The Shopping Team’s August Under-$100 MVPs (Most Valuable Products)

Here on the Refinery29 Shopping team, we see it all. All the new arrivals, all the top sellers, all the sales, and countless pitches on products ranging from snow boots to butt spas. We spend our days combing the inventory of retailers big and small, looking for the must-haves that will help our readers solve a problem, feel their best, or indulge in some self-care. (We also occasionally buy things for ourselves in the process.) All of this researching, browsing, and buying has given us a pretty good handle on what’s a good value and what isn’t — so you better believe that when we do see a stellar buy, much cross-cubicle chatter ensues.

We get so heated about these finds, in fact, that we decided it was time to start assembling them into a living, breathing, frequently-updated roundup of what we’re calling our “Shopping team MVPs” — those hands-down, no-foolin’ solid purchases that embody the much sought-after combination of competitive price, function, and sheer appeal. We put our heads together and assembled a list encompassing all of our shopping “beats” — fashion, lifestyle, home, and beauty (plus a few wild cards) — to create a short list of product suggestions that all clock in under $100. Click through to see what’s getting the Shopping team’s seal of approval this month.

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Dickies Straight Leg Carpenter Pant

“I’ve watched rugged, workwear-inspired designs gain traction with wish-list brands like Lorod, Ganni, and Calvin Klein’s 205W37NYC imprint, who peddle conceptually contrast-stitched separates that retail in the upper $300s. My little secret? You can get these workhorse trousers from the streetwear/uniform stalwart Dickies for a mere $60.”

— Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer

Dickies Straight-Leg Carpenter Pant, $59, available at Urban Outfitters

 

Shinola Canfield On-Ear Headphones

“When Detroit-based luxury craftsmanship brand Shinola came out with their Canfield headphones two years back, despite customers and reputable tech outlets like PC Mag giving it high scores for ‘its crisp, detailed audio performance…and handsome design,’ there was a resounding groan at the $350 price tag. But, if you’re like me and can care less about having the newest tech product on the market, then you’re in luck — these gorgeous (yep, I’m describing a pair of headphones as gorgeous) are now 75% off on Nordstrom Rack. Scoop ’em up before they’re gone forever. Seriously — the stock is running low.”

Marissa Rosenblum, Senior Shopping Director

Shinola On-Ear Headphones, $87.5, available at Nordstrom Rack

 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

“I'm fully convinced that this stuff is made with angel tears, because I've never used a face oil that leaves my skin looking makeup-optional by morning. And while retinol is a great ingredients to ward off premature signs of aging, it's also done wonders for my acne-prone skin, thanks to its mild exfoliating properties. Also, my skin drinks up the blue tansy and chia seed oils, leaving it looking glowy AF.”

— Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty and Wellness Market Writer

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $55, available at Ulta Beauty

 

mDesign Bath Runner

“Yes, this is a bathmat MVP. Why? Because, as it turns out, attractive bath runners for attractive prices are not easy to come by. After hunting my way across lifestyle sites, I struck gold with this chic, well under-$50 number from Amazon. It's top-rated, plush af under my toes, and comes in a subtle pink hue that elevates my bathroom's dark not-so-spa-like atmosphere.” — Liz Buxton, Lifestyle Market Editor

mDesign 100% Cotton Bath Runner, $24.99, available at Amazon

 

Golden Ponies Binocular Oval Box Bag

“This multifunctional top-handle-meets-cross-body bag was inspired by a vintage binocular case and comes in a paralyzing nine on-trend colors (including the option for a custom colorway). Handmade by a small, Guadalajara, Mexico-based brand, this unique indie design can be had for under $50. I’m showcasing the lavender option here, but I may go back to the drawing board and opt for the mustard yellow or tortoiseshell patent color for fall.”

— Emily

Golden Ponies Binocular Oval Box Crossbody Bag, $48.6, available at Etsy

 

Soko Horn Drop Earrings

“I find that high quality, artisan-made goods usually come with a hefty price tag (and rightfully so). Soko’s earthy and glamorous jewels are no exception — every bauble is made by craftspeople in Kenya using locally sourced and sustainable materials — but the brand has a strong commitment to keeping their price point accessible. The results are luxurious and elegant adornments that clock in at very reasonable retails — like these horn and brass earrings for $64.”

— Emily

Soko Horn Pia Threader Earrings, $64, available at Soko

 

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

“I love a fancy mascara as much as anyone else, but I honestly think that this under-$10 L'Oréal gem beats ’em all. A couple coats gives you Bambi-like, fluttery lashes that are lengthened, separated, and feathery — true to its name, it's heavenly lashes in a tube.”

— Karina

L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara, $6.99, available at Ulta Beauty

 

Superga 2555 Cotu Sneaker

“Last year I became obsessed with bumper shoes. It’s one of those features that hurts the eye the first few times you see it, then gradually grows into acceptance, then somehow evolves into major longing. I don’t why the bumper shoe is so appealing to me. It can certainly be described subjectively as “ugly” and perhaps that's what it's all about. Jil Sander has them for $660, Marni makes a pair priced at $750. I quite like this Superga style that rings in at $49.99.”

— Marissa

Superga Cotu Sneaker, $49.99, available at Urban Outfitters

 

Philips Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock

“I kissed harsh, siren-alarms goodbye a long time ago and traded them in for a more peaceful wake-by-sunshine routine. Since my city bedroom gets not an inch of sunlight, I rely on this genius clock apparatus that gradually wakes me through a sunrise-simulating process. There's also an option to layer in the sound of birds chirping, if you want to go full Disney-princess style with your mornings.”

— Liz

Philips Wake-Up Light Sunrise-Sunset Alarm Simulator, $75, available at Walmart

 

Sigma Beauty Best of Sigma Brush Set

“A great brush set can last you years with proper care and use. I love Sigma Beauty’s edited brush sets because they’re great quality while being relatively affordable — sorry, Hakuhodo — and synthetic, antimicrobial fibers mean that no furry friends were harmed in the making of your beauty tools.”

— Karina

Sigma Beauty Best of Sigma Brush Set, $92, available at Sigma Beauty

 

Mango Nacre Pendant Necklace

“I have two fine gold chains that I wear every day but love to layer fun, costume necklaces and quirky charms into the mix on a whim. And while I do believe in investing in precious jewelry that you’ll keep for life, I do not spend on the trendy stuff. This faux pearl mini strand is so sweet — a perfect addition to the neck party. Our fashion contributor Amanda Randone recently wrote about the evil eye amulet origins so this piece is really resonating with me.”

— Marissa

Mango Nacre Pendant Necklace, $29.99, available at Mango

 

Urban Outfitters Velvet Body Pillow

“Decor-piece by day, sleep-essential by night: this luxe body pillow provides my aging body (that recently decided to start aching/going numb in certain sleep positions) the soft spooning-support it needs. Plus, the mauve-velvet for fall is major.”

— Liz

Urban Outfitters Velvet Body Pillow, $69, available at Urban Outfitters

 

Martha Stewart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven

“This is an investment piece that — if you like to cook — does pay off, especially heading into fall (a.k.a. soup season). It's a timeless kitchen staple that: lasts a lifetime; transitions from stovetop to oven with graceful ease; whips up everything from baked pastas to stews, casseroles, and even desserts; looks good just sitting on your kitchen counter doing nothin' at all; and can usually be found on sale from your favorite retailers at any given moment.”

— Liz

Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron Round 6-Qt. Dutch Oven, $89.99, available at Macy's

 

Nike Boys’ Dry Short Sleeve Swoosh Tee

“Picture this: a shrunken athletic logo T-shirt (the boys section is the perfect resource) worn under a soft, houndstooth wool blazer paired with stiff, straight-leg jeans and a pair of comfy leather boots. It’s already autumn in this sartorial scenario.”

— Marissa

Nike Boys' Dry Short Sleeve Swoosh Tee, $24.99, available at Amazon

 

BAGGU Go Pouch Set

“I honestly use this colorful, multi-sized pouch trio for everything. Casual poolside clutch? Check. Travel makeup bag or tech accessory organizer? Check, check. Extra barrier between my packed lunch and my work bag? CHECK. They are minimalist, durable, and you can throw them in the wash when they get tired from all their hard tote #werk.”

— Liz

Baggu Go Pouch Set, $38, available at Amazon

 

Rollas East Coast Flare Corduroys

“I know, I know — these '70s-inspired flares come dangerously close to our price cap at $99. But hear me out, because I think that the throwback designs of this Australian denim brand are the best thing since sliced bread. Rarely breaking the $100 mark, Rollas offers the retro flavor that I’m always combing vintage stores for, but at a fit and price point that’s always predictable — unlike the grab bag of silhouettes that come with the secondhand options.”

— Emily

Rolla's East Coast Cord Flare Pants, $99, available at Free People

 

Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer

“I know: $50 is a lot to spend on a very tiny pot of foundation…or is it a concealer? Either way, Kevyn Aucoin’s cult-favorite complexion product defies conventional makeup categorization by working as a super-pigmented concealer — seriously, a tiny dot is all you need for your entire face, not exaggerating — or mixed into your favorite face cream to transform it into a bespoke tinted moisturizer. Again, I can’t reiterate how tiny the jar is, but I’ll bet anyone it’ll take a long, long time to get close to finishing it.”

— Karina

Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, $48, available at DermStore

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