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11 style-defining wardrobe and beauty staples under $20

There are a few key pieces every woman should have in her closet in order to stay fresh and on trend! Whether it’s shoes, makeup or accessories, there are items that are a must for everyone’s wardrobe. I call these “the staple items” for the season. The best news is that these items can be wallet-friendly for everyone. These must-have items are all under $20, and I’m going to give you the tricks, tips and picks that are all budget-friendly.

More: 10 tips for finding budget-friendly fashion trends

1. Luscious lips

Image: MAC

A great lip can go a long way. With a variety of colors and lots of makeup brands, you are sure to find a statement lipstick for under $20. A bright pink like Candy Yum Yum or Nars’ Schiap semi matte is perfect for a hot summer day, and a nude is great for a dinner date out on the town.

2. Statement phone case

Image: Cellular Outfitter

You can make a style statement with something as simple as your phone case. Over the last year, I’ve been really into my phone covers and how they look with my overall style for the season. Did you know that your case could take your entire look over the top and get you lots of good attention? Yes, it happens all the time when you get something that’s bold and stylish. One of my favorite places to shop is from Cellular Outfitter because of their great phone accessories at a very affordable price.

3. White and black tank

Image: H&M

Every woman needs a white and black tank top in her closet. A quality tank can go under jackets or under tops you feel are too revealing. I’ve gone as far as to get H&M tank tops in just about every color so that I’m always prepared whenever I’m in need of one.

4. Nail Lacquer

Image: Super Star Nail Laquer

As the owner of a nail lacquer brand, Superstar Nail Lacquer, I know all too well that the easiest and most affordable fashion staple you can find under $20 is a good nail lacquer shade. Depending on the mood or event, you can change up your color to match the theme. You can go bold and bright with a hot pink or make a dramatic statement with a dark blue hue. Either way, you can find a quality nail lacquer well under $20.

5. Black cocktail dress

Image: Forever21

A black cocktail dress is a must to have in your closet. This Strappy Midi Dress is a gorgeous one that you can wear to just about any event. The great thing about having the perfect black dress is that you are prepared for any invite that’ll come your way. What they say is true: When in doubt about what to wear, pull out your LBD!

More: 5 home and fashion trends taking over this summer

6. Stylish scarf

Image: Shop Spring

A great scarf can go a long way. It can transform your look and add that stylish edge you’ve been wanting. For summer, opt for a thin silk scarf like a floral one that allows your neck to breathe and brings any casual outfit to life.

7. Mascara

Image: Bloomingdales

Mascara is something that’s small, but makes a major difference in your look. My favorites include the Zac Posen Zoom Lash Mascara and the Wet n Wild Max Volume Plus. The MAC Cosmetic addition is a bit more expensive, but looks great for a more dramatic look. The Wet n Wild is great for the everyday look and is under $5. Way to look fabulous on a budget!

8. Rings and things

Image: ASOS

A beautiful ring can make a major difference in your everyday look. It’s that accessory that makes your hands look fabulous especially with the right nail lacquer to match. From simple and elegant rings to flashy costume rings, there are some fabulous ones you can find even when you don’t want to spend the big bucks.

9. Off the shoulder pieces

Image: Forever21

My favorite theme this season is the off the shoulder trend. It’s ’70s boho chic meets 2016. Whether you get it in a dress or rock it as a cute shirt with jeans, you’ll be the fashionista of the year!

10. Black dress shorts

Image: Uniqlo

Black dress shorts are a lifesaver when it comes to those warm and muggy nights. My favorites are from Uniqlo and can be dressed up with a cute top and wedges or worn casually with your favorite flats. They are a little over $20, but so worth it. The great thing is that you can wear your shorts over and over again, and if you switch the tops, you’ll look like you have on a new outfit every time you wear them.

11. Get shady

Image: Zero UV

A great pair of shades is a must-have fashion staple that doesn’t have to cost a million bucks to be fabulous. I love floral sunnies for a fun, festive look or sleek black shades for an everyday look on the go.

More: 10 simple ways to save money on traveling

Ariana Pierce is a fashion, lifestyle and business expert, helping millennials and beyond achieve their dreams and look great doing it! For more on Ariana, visit or follow her on Instagram at AriTheHeiress.

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