Feb 7, 2020

Here’s What We’re Actually Buying For Under $100 This Month

There comes a time when our budgeting resolve prevails. A time when after paying off our monthly expenses, we're left with a little something extra in our checking accounts — which begs the question: to save or to shop? If you don't plan on squirreling away your extra February nut, then join us in burrowing down a shopping rabbit hole into the $100-and-under items worthy of a splurge ahead.

These available-for-a-Ben-Franklin picks have been vetted and approved as treat-yourself material by R29's most serious product enthusiasts (aka the Shopping team). Covering beauty to fashion and lifestyle categories, you'll find appearances from sell-out status sports bras, miracle acne patches, magical vintage treasures, actually delicious paleo cookies, and the like. Scroll forth for the best bang-for-your-buck buys our editors are adding to cart this month.

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.

ASOS DESIGN Rouge Chunky Lace-Up Ankle Boots

"Confession: I do not buy expensive everyday shoes. As much as I'd love to own pairs on pairs of designer kicks, the truth is that the few pairs I've splurged on end up defeated from trudging through harsh city streets. After itching to get in on the combat-boot train this season (and spending an embarrassing amount of time searching for the perfect style at the perfect price), I was striking out with dream styles that were too pricey or cheaper styles that were too chunky — until I found this ASOS pair. They were the perfect mix of feminine with an edge, a heel that was high enough, and just the right amount of chunk. I wasn't thrilled about the buckles, but at $25 they were a low enough investment that I pulled the order trigger anyway. And? I'm wearing them now with #noregrets." Liz Buxton, Market Editor

ASOS DESIGN Rouge chunky lace up buckle ankle boots, $, available at ASOS

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Micropoint For Blemishes

"I've managed to keep my skin in pretty good shape thanks to a consistent routine and Spironolactone to keep my hormonal acne at bay. That said, I still get the occasional breakout if I have too much dairy or sweets, and for those moments, Hero Cosmetics' new microprint acne patches have been a saving grace. They're a bit larger than most hydrocolloid patches (which I like, since it covers more surface area), and the tiny points allow for the salicylic acid to really get into the pimple and heal it from the inside out for visible better results by morning." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Micropoint For Blemishes, $, available at Urban Outfitters

Baublebar Freshwater Pearl Necklace

First, it was Jared Leto and Harry Styles accessorizing with a string of pearls, then I saw it on our fashion team members Gabrielle Korn and Eliza Huber, but when our social media editor Hannah Buillion posted a selfie wearing a pearl necklace, I finally gave into my case of The Wants and purchased the freshwater strand from Baublebar. I plan on layering it with my everyday fine jewelry and possibly a silver chain. – Marissa Rosenblum, Senior Shopping Director

BaubleBar Lacey Pearl Statement Necklace, $, available at BaubleBar

Lulus Easy Listening Cold-Shoulder Dress

"I never thought I’d put a bridal gown into an under-$100 roundup, but such is the magic of Lulus. The brand is a go-to for affordable wedding gear — whether you’re in the bridal party or walking down the aisle — and they just added plus sizes to a number of their best-selling nuptial-friendly silhouettes. My pick? This simple-but-sensuous, cold-shoulder wrap dress that's perfect for a casual wedding or a coterie of free-spirited bridesmaids." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer

Lulus Easy Listening Blush Cold-Shoulder Wrap Maxi Dress, $, available at Lulus

Etsy Mismatched Vintage Glass Collection

"When I was younger, my parents let me 'design' our family tablescape on special occasions using an antique glass collection inherited from my grandparents. Ever since then, I've been somewhat obsessed with exclusively drinking from and entertaining with mismatched glassware — it just makes everything, no matter the occasion, a little more magical. Since I no longer live at home and have my grandparent's repertoire to work with, I've taken to Etsy for its vibrant vintage selection. (I'll be serving Oscar's-party refreshments from these treasures later this weekend.)" Liz Buxton, Market Editor

simplychi Mismatched Collection Of Glasses (Set of 6), $, available at Etsy

The YES Bar Plant-Based Cookie

"I am a cookie monster. But, since taking a rough break from dairy, gluten, and added sugars due to longtime stomach issues, I've not been able to consume my weekly (aka nightly) quota. On my hunt for a dietary-restriction-friendly replacement that didn't taste like laboratory cardboard, I came across these absolutely stunning morsels — that, admittedly, looked too good to be true. But, they weren't. I am here to attest that these cookies actually look and taste as amazing as that photo suggests. Just ran out and will be ordering more, highly recommend to my fellow cookie monsters out there." Liz Buxton, Market Editor

The YES Bar Dark Chocolate Chip - (6 Count), $, available at Amazon

Girlfriend Collective Paloma Bra

"Now, Girlfriend Collective’s beloved Paloma sports bra — a longline, torso-hugging style that walks that sought-after fine line between bra and crop top — isn’t exactly new. In fact, it's such a best-seller that it was completely sold out prior to last month's re-stock. What is new this month is a fresh drop with brand-new colors that I'm eyeing to add to my workout wardrobe. Do not delay, folks — colors are already starting to sell out again." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer

Girlfriend Collective Paloma Bra, $, available at Girlfriend

EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

"Consider this a friendly reminder that sunscreen is something you shouldn't just wear in the summer! During a recent ski trip to Wyoming, I made sure to shield my skin while on the slopes with the derm-beloved EltaMD sunscreen. It's decently hydrating without being greasy (which my skin appreciated while being exposed to the dry mountain air), and the SPF 40 mineral protection warded off rays so I could shred to my heart's content (and by "shred," I mean, make it safely down a double blue)." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, $, available at DermStore

HUE Scalloped Pointelle Socks

"Getting dressed during the winter sucks — my daily looks have become a predictable rotation of cropped wide-leg pants, chunky sweaters, and ankle boots. So, I've been trying to shake things up by upgrading my sock game. Enter: this under-$10, scalloped-ankle pack that added just the fresh, polished, and feminine touch my winter assembles (and bare ankles) needed. I've been pairing them with everything from my usual ankle boots to the untapped potential likes of loafers, open-toed heels, back-less clogs, and beyond." Liz Buxton, Market Editor

HUE Scalloped Pointelle Sock (Pack of 3), $, available at Amazon

NovoLido Mini Portable Humidifier with 7 LED Lights

"I know it's hyperbolic, but some days, I swear the office air at R29 HQ rivals that of the Sahara. By 2 p.m., my eyes start to get red and my face feels like it's been eons since a drop of moisturizer has graced my skin. After years of being a total skeptic, I caved and fired up this mini humidifier in the hopes that it would create a non-arid environment at my desk. To say that the game has been changed is an understatement: I'm misting less and less, and my contacts no longer feel like they're about to fall out of my eyes. Plus, adding a couple of drops of essential oil creates a zen-like atmosphere even when I'm on deadline." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

NovoLido Mini Portable Humidifier with 7 LED Lights, 400ml Small, $, available at Amazon

Mango Oversize Knit Sweater

"Whenever I'm asked 'where's that from?' nine times out of ten the answer is Mango. It may be more in 'fast-fashion' shopping lane, but I truly put thought and value into each of my purchases from the brand — and never cycle through a piece for only one season. My secret is doing a deep dive into the site's monthly sale stock (it's mega) for quality goods (like my all-time favorite sweater here) that won't go out of style rotation with a little TLC." Liz Buxton, Market Editor

Mango Oversize knit sweater, $, available at Mango

David's Tea Daily Ritual Loose-Leaf Tea Kit

"Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a Tea Person through and through: I start my day off with a cup of matcha and wrap things up with a few mugs of herbal tea to help me wind down and get ready for bed. This assortment of caffeine-free loose leaf tea (which is currently on sale!) has been my favorite PM self-care treat, and I can't even choose a favorite among the five flavors because they're all that good." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

DavidsTea Daily Ritual Loose Leaf Tea Kit, $, available at DavidsTea

Ghospell Rosie Ruffle Collar Blouse

"I'm kind of a fiend for Cara Cara — the LA-based off-price retailer that’s like a T. J. Maxx for all of the indie brands I covet. They just got a new drop of duds from brands like Rachel Antonoff, Samantha Pleet, and Baggu — plus, a few very wearable blouses and dresses from London-based Ghospell that I plan to buy now and wear well into spring." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer

Ghospell Rosie Ruffle Collar Blouse, $, available at Cara Cara

String Of Pearls Hanging Succulent Plant

"On my never-ending quest to keep a plant alive and combat the seasonal scaries inside my dark apartment, I purchased a luminous hanging succulent known as the 'string of pearls.' Because this delicate beauty comes conveniently potted in a chic hanging planter, I was able to elevate it to more optimal sunlight-catching heights. Here's hoping it survives the winter..." Liz Buxton, Market Editor

Plants.com String of Pearls Hanging Succulent Plant, $, available at Plants.com

Alo Yoga 7/8 Player Legging

"These leggings from Alo's new collection are a splurge, but I've literally never felt anything more comfortable grace my body. Ever. The mesh stripes at the knee and ribbed cream detail at the legs give a cool, sporty vibe, and they're stretchy and soft as can be, which comes in handy when I'm hanging upside down during my Sunday afternoon aerial yoga class." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

Alo Yoga 7/8 Player Legging, $, available at Alo Yoga

Topshop Quilted Faux Leather Tote

"The squared-off exterior of this faux-leather tote may look a little familiar to some high-fashion enthusiasts, but I couldn‘t resist a chance to buy into the quilted leather trend for a mere $52. Aside from its aspirational exterior, this roomy tote caught my eye simply for its high capacity and work-ready elegance." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer

Topshop Riley Quilted Faux Leather Tote, $, available at Nordstrom

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