What The R29 Shopping Team Actually Bought (& Loved) For Under $100

If we had $100 to spend, what would we buy? Our answers to this question look decidedly different than they did at the beginning of March. Finances are tight, and not everyone can afford to drop a Benjamin on non-essentials — we get it. That’s why this edition of our Shopping team’s MVPs is not a guide to what you should be buying, it’s simply a list of items that helped us find a small slice of comfort during these uncertain times. We hope maybe one or two can do the same for you.Ahead, the under-$100 products we actually bought, used, and came to rely on over the past 30+ days: from a pair of purple Crocs to a 30%-off cashmere bandana and an almighty makeup-banishing balm. Scroll on to web-window shop, feel seen, inspired, fatigued, or just connected — all emotions are valid. And be sure to holler out what you’ve carted for under one hundo that’s made these stay-at-home days feel a little bit better.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Sojos Blue Light Glasses”I jumped on the blue light blocker bandwagon (specifically the Sojos bandwagon) and I’m so glad I did. These glasses prevent that end of day headache after staring at your computer for hours and they help me sleep at night. But the best part? They’re so cute. Not gonna lie, I even wear them outside because they truly complete an outfit.” – Alexandra Polk, Deals WriterShop AmazonSojos Cat Eye Blue Light Blocking Glasses, $, available at AmazonBaggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve”I’m a sucker for Baggu’s adorable printed totes (I keep one neatly folded in my purse at all times), so naturally, when I was in the market to finally upgrade my laptop sleeve, they’re the first place I checked. While the design factor is undeniable, I was surprised at the quality of the laptop case — which I found pretty reasonably priced at under $30 bucks. I’m pretty gentle with my tech devices, but this puffy jacket-for-your-computer securely pads every surface to prevent drops, falls, and spills. The jade-and-royal-blue-stripe pattern is quickly selling out on Amazon and other corners of the internet, but if you have a 16″ laptop, those sizes are readily available online.” – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market WriterShop AmazonShop Urban OutfittersBaggu Puffy 16” Laptop Sleeve, $, available at AmazonEverlane The Cashmere Bandana”After featuring this delightful thing in a holiday gift guide, I decided I must give it to myself — and so I did. The concept of a cashmere bandana is the epitome of a little luxury, one that Everlane does quite uniquely with this vintage-gingham print in a sunshine-yellow hue. The price is on-point (and currently on sale for 30% off) and the styling opportunities endless. So far I’ve worn it around my neck (as pictured), I’ve used it as a very soft and warm face-covering in a pinch, and I’ve also tied it up in my hair. It’s an all-around superb gift (for yourself or someone else).” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop EverlaneEverlane The Cashmere Bandana, $, available at EverlaneOdi Style Buffalo Plaid Dog Bandana”On the heels of my personal cashmere-bandana purchase, I gifted my pup a less-luxe (but more doggy-durable) version for the holidays. Amazon actually has a very solid dog-bandana selection and I’ve actually spent a good chunk of my time painstakingly analyzing it. However, I finally decided to pull the purchase trigger on this here multicolor buffalo-plaid four-pack — and it did not disappoint. When asked to comment for the purposes of this story, Arlo (pictured here) told me she’s ‘never felt chicer’.” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop AmazonOdi Style Buffalo Plaid Dog Bandana (4-Pack), $, available at AmazonGLEEM Electric Toothbrush”I didn’t think I’d fall in love with this toothbrush quickly as I did — it’s not only sleek against my bathroom essentials but it also makes my teeth and gums feel extra fresh and crisp. The 2-minute timer made me realize I should be brushing for much, much longer.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop GLEEMGleem GLEEM Electric Toothbrush, $, available at GleemCrocs Classic Clog”Guys! My first actual Crocs purchase! I’m so excited. Full disclosure, these were purchased for my daughter’s babysitter, who is having some foot pain and needs some light support for walking around the apartment during the day. I fully endorse her choice of purple, and I may or may not have added some Jibbitz to cart because I couldn’t resist!” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market WriterShop CrocsCrocs Classic Clog, $, available at CrocsDr. Pawpaw Tinted Multipurpose Soothing Balm In Rich Mocha”I can’t remember the last time I got jazzed about a tinted lip balm — that is, until this one. For starters, it’s the largest tube of balm I’ve ever owned (I’m holding it for scale!), and at $8, an insane value for the price. My favorite shade is this caramelly, mid-toned brown that’s a perfect nude for my olive complexion, but there’s also fun shades like tangerine, cherry red, peachy pink, and more. You can build up the color as much as you like, but I am mostly into the gorgeous, glowy sheen it leaves on my lips and cheeks — yep, it doubles as a cheek tint too!” – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market WriterShop Ulta BeautyDr. PawPaw Tinted Multipurpose Soothing Balm, $, available at Ulta BeautyBlack Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp”I bought headlamps for me and my husband to have for reading at night (it’s like using a regular lamp — but fun!) or sunset hikes or the apocalypse. It just seemed like a very 2020 buy when I was cruising the REI sale last month. Anyway, here I am the night before the nor’easter hoping that the power stays on at our little cottage in the woods. If it doesn’t — I’m ready (sort of).” – Marissa Rosenblum, Shopping DirectorShop REIBlack Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp, $19.95, available at REI. Eden & Co Wooden Shoe Rack Organizer”My SO and I have been living in his parent’s basement since the end of March (…yeah) as perma-temp-type guests, which has made organizing all of our stuff unexpectedly difficult. One small thing I felt was in my power to handle was the colossal shoe pile we’d amassed over the months. I surfed Amazon to find the perfect piece — aka structurally unobtrusive with a hint of style that would minimally vibe up our shared space while streamlining the clutter — and happened upon this gem. It was SO easy to put together, came very sustainably packaged with no plastic waste (the hardware was tucked into a little burlap sack), and looks exactly as pictured (sleek and smooth). It fits nine pairs of shoes total — so if you (like us) have a mile-high-shoe pile on your hands, then I’d recommend grabbing a few of these leaning racks to line up on a wall together.” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop AmazonEden & Co Store Wooden Shoe Rack Organizer – (Beech, 3 Tier), $, available at AmazonBathing Culture High Spirits Hand Sanitizer”I take this with me everywhere and it doesn’t dry out my hands, smell like a hospital, or spill in my bag. It also meets CDC recommendations while still being sustainable, which is a total win-win. Thanks to this my November was a whole lot cleaner!” – Alexandra Polk, Deals WriterShop Bathing CultureBathing Culture High Spirits Hand Sanitizer, $, available at Bathing CultureWild One Harness Walk Kit”Some Personal News: Last month, I became a dog mom to my precious rescue, Miso. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spoiling him with fancy dog food and his very own set of Hogwarts robes (he’s a Slytherin, just like his mama), no purchase has gotten more use than his lavender harness from Wild One. The soft, neoprene-like padded nylon and poly material is easy to clean (not to mention slip on and off), and the design and color has literally stopped people on the street to ask where it’s from. Next stop: #dogfluencer status.” – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market WriterShop Wild OneWild One Harness Walk Kit, $, available at Wild OneSkims Cotton Rib Legging”After hearing so much about Skims, and seeing them all over social media, coveted by some of my favorite influencers to follow, I knew I had to bite the bullet and grab some for myself. I have to say: they are as comfortable as people claim, and even more so, they’re sculpting in a way I didn’t know I was looking for. I wear them on early morning dog walks, and to the grocery store, and to meet friends for coffee — all while pairing with a variety of sweaters, hoodies, and jackets.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop SkimsSkims Cotton Rib Legging, $, available at SkimsAesop Resurrection Hand Soap”This hand soap was a celebration purchase, again with my new-ish partner in shopping crime Cortne. We happened to finally meet IRL the day the election was called and chose to commemorate the occasion with this luxurious bathroom treat.” – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates EditorShop VerishopAesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $, available at VerishopOld Navy Cozy French Terry Pullover Hoodie”I haven’t shopped at Old Navy since I was 12, but for some reason, I decided to shop its Black Friday sale and…wow. This hoodie is so cozy (just like it says) and is such nice muted color. I honestly want to buy five.” – Alexandra Polk, Deals WriterShop Old NavyOld Navy Cozy French Terry Pullover Hoodie for Women, $, available at Old NavyMoleskine Classic Hard Cover Notebook”Apparently, my month was filled with only practical purchases. I finally ran out of pages in my work notebook and needed to repurchase. I live for a nice clean blank Moleskine. Grid paper preferred.” – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates EditorShop AmazonMoleskine Classic Hard Cover Notebook, Large, Squared/Grid, $, available at AmazoneBay I Suffer From PMS T-Shirt”Many moons ago, I thrifted an iconic oversized tee emblazoned with the phrase ‘I Suffer From PMS — Putting Up With Men’s Shit’. It made me cackle, so I set up an eBay alert with the phrase, and new ones pop up every now and then – like the one I bought last week.” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market WriterShop eBayVintage PMS T-Shirt, $, available at eBayBy Terry Baume de Rose Jar”When my sister recently complained to me about her chapped lips, I shared my personal tried & true magical cure, By Terry Baume de Rose and she balked at the price. Then I was having a similar conversation with the new shopping director at and when I Slacked her the link, I could see the flash of sticker shock in her eyes when she clicked to take a look. So how do I now have the absolute gall to share this $60 jar of balm baume in our monthly “under $100 most valuable buys” MVP list? Because it works! It’s made of a cauldron of luxury ingredients and is completely paraben-free. And it’s so much more than a lip balm. I put this stuff on my lips before bed and right after I brush my teeth in the morning, — and never chap or peel. I also put it on my cuticles, knuckles, and have even smeared a bit on my knees and ankles in a time of need. Last week I covered a dry, scratchy spot on my face with some Baume de Rose, and boom — gone. It has a subtle rose scent, feels like velvet buttah, and one pot lasts me about a year. (Please don’t @ me even though I thoroughly deserve it.)” – Marissa Rosenblum, Shopping Director Shop By TerryBy Terry Baume de Rose, $, available at VerishopClean It Zero Cleansing Balm”When I ran out of my Dermalogica cleansing oil, I decided to try this balm to mix it up a little. The title ‘Clean It Zero’ is 100% correct because it cleans my skin and leaves zero makeup on my face. I would recommend this for taking off a full face because it will leave you squeaky clean.” – Alexandra Polk, Deals WriterShop Soko GlamShop AmazonBanila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original, $, available at Soko GlamMichael Stars Striped Cotton Mask Pack”I have a very wide face and ears that are on the larger side, so face-mask selection has proven itself to be a struggle. In the past, although not as secure, I’ve opted for bandanas as they ultimately felt less constricting — but, this surprise non-medical style from Michael Stars changed my mind. Sold in two-packs, the reusable masks are crafted here in the U.S. from a breathable-soft blend of 73% polyester, 24% rayon, and 3% spandex. The design features a pleated front with four ties (one on each corner of the mask) that comfortably adjusts and expands as needed to my specific face-ear dimensions. It fits snuggly on my face without giving me that suffocated feeling and behind-the-ear soreness after I’ve worn it for a prolonged period of time. Plus, it feels like I am wearing a very soft striped t-shirt on my face — which IMO, is very nice.” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop Michael StarsMichael Stars Pleated Striped Face Mask 2-Pack, $, available at Michael StarsAmazon Electronic Candle Lighter”I can’t believe I was living in the dark ages, and no one (not even my candle-loving mother) told me how easy these electric lighters are. Do you know when you can’t reach the wick inside a large, glass candle? Yeah, same — and these make it super easy to reach down inside the container. It’s also so much chicer looking than a traditional lighter, and it adds to my coffee table decor.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop AmazonREIDEA Electronic Candle Lighter, $, available at Amazoncomma Faux Fur & Sherpa Throw”The best judge of a good blanket is a good dog — and my very good dog just so happens to be an expert in identifying very good blankets. Case in point: this throw with dual-sided faux-fur and sherpa material. It’s oversized, super soft in the coziest sense of the word, and now belongs to the good girl pictured here (unless she’s not around and I can steal a few solo minutes of snuggle time with it).” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop commacomma Faux Fur & Sherpa Throw, $, available at comma homeRubbermaid Adjustable Shelf”I’m ushering in a new regime of organization in my home, and no one — including my clutter-thriving husband — is going to stop me. Step 1: a set of Rubbermaid wire shelves along with a wall-mounted track so the height can be adjusted as needed, for a myriad of hard drives, cables, and notebooks that currently litter the floor.” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market WriterShop AmazonRubbermaid 25-Inch Upright Extension with Connector, White, $, available at AmazonRubbermaid Configurations Adjustable Shelf, $, available at AmazonAnecdote Glass Candle”These candles smell like a fresh, dewy garden — not too overwhelming, not too light. I light them every night and the scent of lemongrass, black currant, patchouli, and jasmine wafts quickly through the room. Even once I’ve blown it out, you can still smell it long after.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop AnthropologieANECDOTE CANDLES Anecdote Comfort Glass Candle, $, available at AnthropologieGracie Oaks Natural Fromberg Space Solutions Wood Workbench Top”Since returning to work (from home) in June of this year, I have been laptopping away in my bedroom, hunched over an actual folding TV tray. It’s about the size of a piece of paper (and just as sturdy) and barely clears my knees, and my back and my sanity have just about had it. I’ve looked online for a desk that satisfies the proportions of the microscopic, bizarrely oriented corner of the bedroom that my computer and I occupy, but nothing in the world of standard-sized tables or desks complies. What I did find was this butcher block workbench top from Wayfair, which is the perfect size for awkward space. I’m going to drill table legs into it and hopefully finally have some semblance of a desk.” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market WriterShop WayfairGracie Oaks Wood Workbench Top, $, available at WayfairSymple Stuff Georgianna Hairpin Table Legs, $, available at WayfairHello Activated Charcoal Toothpaste”I was looking for a teeth-whitening agent beyond my classic Crest White Strips (which is yes, an obsession.) After seeing the countless positive reviews on Amazon, I knew I had to indulge. This toothpaste, which comes conveniently in a set-of-4, is truly the best. It whitens your teeth naturally without the added burn from strips.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop Amazonhello Store Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Toothpaste, $, available at AmazonHello Activated Charcoal Toothpaste”This purchase was 100% influenced by our very own lifestyle writer Cortne. She showed up on zoom one day with actually perfect glowing bright white teeth and mentioned this charcoal toothpaste was the culprit. I added to my cart as fast as I could.” – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates EditorShop Amazonhello Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste & BPA Free Toothbrush, $, available at AmazonJeopardy 2021 Day-to-Day Calendar”I’ve been a superfan of Jeopardy since I was a teenager — I even got tickets to the live tapings of the Power Players tournament in my hometown of Washington, D.C in my senior year of high school — and like so many people, was saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s passing in November. Since I’m already looking ahead to 2021, I plan on keeping the iconic host’s memory alive vis-à-vis this day-to-day calendar of clues from America’s Favorite Quiz Show®, which will also serve as a daily dose of trivia to keep the brain juices flowing. What is, excitement?” – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market WriterShop AmazonSony 2021 Day-to-Day Calendar, $, available at AmazonEtsy Alpaca Hiking SocksLast Month’s Top MVP:”Alpaca is a super-fiber! It’s simultaneously insulating and sweat-wicking, and it’s unbelievably soft and hypoallergenic — never itchy like wool can be. I went on a bender recently, combing Etsy for alpaca foot coverings for my entire family. (Scrolling through Etsy at midnight is pretty therapeutic — much better than social media, especially these past few days) I’m so excited to receive the pom-pom adorned baby booties I ordered for my daughter, along with the alpaca socks I grabbed for myself. The forest green and canyon clay colors will look tres chic against my patent leather Danskos. (Yes, I really do wear them all the time.)” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer Shop Uniquely Alpaca VAUniquely Alpacas The Survival Sock, $, available at EtsyNoshinku Travel Size Bergamot Hand SanitizerLast Month’s Top MVP:“After much trial & error, I finally found the Goldilocks of hand sanitizers. It comes in a flat, travel-sized square about the size of a credit card that fits perfectly in my pocket or bag. Its bergamot scent is divine (you know it’s 2020 when you start describing hand sani as divine, by the way), and it’s made of the necessary alcohol plus jojoba, argan, rosehip, and coconut oil in a spritz, not a goopy drip. It’s basically the stocking stuffer that everyone needs but nobody asked for.”- Marissa Rosenblum, Shopping DirectorShop NoshinkuNOSHINKU Travel Size Bergamot Hand Sanitizer, $, available at NordstromQuince Mongolian Shrunken Cashmere SweatshirtLast Month’s Top MVP:”As someone who prefers to spend under-$100 on sweaters, I do not own a lot of cashmere. If you can believe it, which I couldn’t, this beautiful 100% Mongolian cashmere sweater only costs $59. The brand, Quince, pulls off such sorcery through its MTC-business model of cutting out the middlemen and directly managing all of its wares’ production elements (from creation to packaging and transportation). This fabric is indeed SUPER soft and does not disappoint in feeling very luxe. I also love how the shrunken fit (I’m wearing a size small here) adds a bit of a sporty-90s vibe to an otherwise preppy wardrobe staple. I was worried that it might pill very quickly/easily over time — but, at this point, I’ve worn it a LOT (in bed, on the couch, in a car, while eating very crumby snacks) and can confirm that it miraculously has done no such thing. It comes in other colorways and, IMO, would make for major crowd-pleasing gift material.” – Elizabeth Buxton, Market EditorShop QuinceQuince Mongolian Shrunken Cashmere Sweatshirt, $, available at QuinceAmazon Tripod Ring LightLast Month’s Top MVP:”It is embarrassing, but I do have a full-blown ring light and tripod combo set up in my studio apartment. It was a gift and I thought I wouldn’t use it, but I actually bust it out every time I need to do my makeup. If your living space has terrible lighting like mine and you have to pray that your make-up is the right shade when you leave the house, I would 100% recommend buying this light. (P.S. It’s also quite comical taking photos of yourself with a remote control.)” – Alexandra Polk, Deals WriterShop Amazonsensyne 10” Ring Light with 50” Extendable Tripod Stand, $, available at AmazonBrandless Charcoal Face MaskLast Month’s Top MVP:”If you have allergy-prone skin, as I do, then you know how difficult it is to navigate the wild-wild world of beauty. Brandless crafts up products without all the added ugh, and this charcoal mask works wonders. Fragrance-free, it contains natural jojoba and apricot seed oils that nourish and detoxes my skin without breaking it out.” – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market WriterShop BrandlessBrandless Charcoal Mask, $, available at BrandlessKermit None Of My Business Enamel PinLast Month’s Top MVP:”Emily (R29 shopping team’s fashion whisperer) shared this in the team Slack one morning, and instantly, I knew I never needed something more. As R29’s resident lover of tea/#tea, the Kermit sipping tea meme has always resonated with me on a profound level. Like America’s favorite fuzzy frog, we love sipping hot brews ’round the clock; also like him, his indirect eye contact shows that he’s always one to rise above the drama; I’d like to think I’m the same in that sense.” – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market WriterShop AmazonBalanced Co. Kermit None of My Business Enamel Pin, $, available at AmazonStackers Black Mini Premium Stackable Jewelry BoxLast Month’s Top MVP:”I’ve always had my jewelry in random pouches hidden all over my room, so I thought it was time to finally keep my rings, necklaces, and bracelets all in one place and invest in a tidy looking jewelry box. This one from the container store is simple and made from vegan leather. It stacks and is super customizable so you can buy the tray configurations that work just right for you.” – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates EditorShop The Container Store Stackers Mini Premium Stackable Jewelry Box, $, available at The Container StoreLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Top-Rated, Under-$100 Boots On Zappos35 Excellent Stocking Stuffers We Dug Up On AmazonThe Absolute Best Gift For Every Astrological Sign