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    27 Summer Beauty Products That Actually Do What They Say They Will

    Before and after photos that'll prove they're keepers.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Essence Lash Princess Mascara volumizes lashes beyond belief. Even if you don't wear as much makeup in the summer, you still want your lashes to be lifted and curled to the heavens.

    reviewer before and after using mascara

    Promising review: "I usually don’t write reviews, but I had to write one for this mascara. I saw a review for it on Facebook, which directed me to Amazon and for less than $5, I figured what could it hurt to try it. I never expected it to be as good as a $40 mascara! I only wear washable mascara and this stayed on all day with no flecking off at all and no smudges. It easily came off with just soap and water too! The length was good with just one coat, and it stayed wet enough to separate your lashes well before it dried. I liked it so much with just one coat that I didn’t even bother with a second coat. I put on my sunglasses and my eyelashes were touching the glass! Now that’s length and I’m 60 years old!" —P. Blomberg

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    2. Glossier Ultralip adds gloss and shine to lips with the perfect hint of color. Achieve a "your lips but better" look all while hydrating them post sunbathing.

    Ali Faccenda / BuzzFeed

    It's super buildable and is vegan and cruelty-free.

    This is an amazing lip product for summer. It's hydrating and not sticky (which is in my opinion, the worst thing about glosses). I love applying a light coat and then blending it in with my finger so it isn't too shiny but it looks great without blending too. I find that in the summertime, regular lipsticks and liquid lippies can be way too drying so this balm is the perfect hybrid between lipstick and gloss. It has a gorgeous sheen that looks natural and healthy. You can even apply it on the high points of your cheeks for some glow and a pop of color (no need for blush!).

    Get it from Glossier for $18 (available in nine shades).

    3. Denman Hair Brush cuts down styling time and also helps brush through knotty post-ocean hair without the pain. The evenly spaced bristles will keep curls nicely defined and bouncy.,

    This brush is great for 3c/b hair!

    Promising review: "I love this brush! I ordered because I saw a Youtube video of a girl with curly hair using it, and her curls came out amazing! I always do wash-and-gos, and I usually would only brush/comb my hair in the shower style it once I was out, but sometimes if I waited a little longer to style it, my hair would get dry and frizzy. It would be almost impossible to get my curls defined without getting back in the shower. With this brush, now all I have to do it spray my hair with water, put product in it, and comb it through with this brush, and my curls are poppin'! My image shows before and after use of the brush about 30 minutes after getting out of the shower. The brush is also very sturdy and you can take rows out if you want a looser curl!" —Kirstie

    Get it from Amazon for $18.95+ (available in three styles and eight colors).

    4. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay works wonders on hair and skin when mixed with apple cider vinegar. Utilize it as a hair mask, bath soak, foot soak, and even on those pesky bug bites you can get from sitting around the bonfire on the chilly summer nights.,

    The Aztec Healing Clay can also be used as a face mask that's great for people with oily skin and hyperpigmentation. Combine the powder with apple cider vinegar.

    Promising review: "I have very thick, super curly, coarse hair. I have been natural going on nine years. I’ve never been able to wear my hair in a wash and go style because my roots were always puffy, tangled, and had no curl definition. It would just swell up and look like cotton. Oh but then I used this miracle in a jar. It’s messy, and takes forever. But for the first time in my natural hair journey, I have been consistently wearing wash-and-gos. Takes me no time to style my hair, it’s moisturized, shiny, and looks so healthy. I’ve had soooo many people tell me how healthier my hair looks now. If I could give it 20 stars just for my hair I would!" —keina

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95+.

    5. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream infuses skin with shea butter and calms with oatmeal so any flaking skin (AKA that sunburn from Miami), can stop, well — flaking. This is thicker than your typical face cream in case that lightweight one you currently own just isn't cutting it.


    Promising Review: "I absolutely LOVE this moisturizer. I’m a total beauty addict, and there isn’t much I haven’t tried in the way of skincare. This product really stands out! It has an amazing, thick texture and a lovely scent. I was blown away when I put this cream on my face. It felt so soothing and took away the redness! I can’t recommend this moisturizer enough to anyone who has sensitive skin, has a skin condition like eczema, or is like me and uses strong skincare products. Plus, it’s insanely moisturizing. That being said, it is not one of those moisturizers that you use and it instantly soaks right into the skin. This cream does actually feel like a cream, but I wouldn’t say that it feels greasy. I will always have a big tub of this stuff around for sure. It really does work wonders on dry skin!" —ilamarie10

    Get it from Sephora for $16+ (available in three sizes).

    6. Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 works to repair damaged hair to a ~like-new~ state. It starts at the cuticle to strengthen and smooth hair so if it's a bit crispy from a lot of sun exposure, you can give it new life again.,

    Promising review: "Magic, I swear this stuff is made from unicorns. I was doubtful, given that I have tried the gamut of hair conditioning treatments (yes, yes, I know this is NOT a conditioner, but a bonder) and all I have to say is WOWZA! After some really harsh processing (got my hair from dark dark brown to very very blonde so I could add funky colors), my hair more closely resembled hay than it did actual hair and as the weeks went on, the breakage started getting worse. I tried this at my last feeble attempt to salvage my locks after a friend recommended it and I am BLOWN AWAY by the results! It really does work." —

    Get it from Amazon for $28.

    7. Zombie Face Masks minimize enlarged pores and fine lines after just minutes on the skin (15 to be exact)! Invite your pals over for a summer slumber party and go face mask crazy. (Who's bringing the wine?),

    Promising review: "I'm 27 and this is my second time purchasing these masks. I use these about once every other week or so. I have seen drastic improvements in my skin. After one use my skin was not nearly as dry and flaky. My face seemed a lot more supple and plump as well. After continued use, I have noticed my fine lines on my forehead are less noticeable and the overall texture of my skin is more smooth compared to bumpy looking. I also noticed I don't look as tired even though I'm exhausted lol. My uneven skin tone has improved and my face has brightened some. I live and work in the city and I think you can tell by my skin appearance but after using these my skin looks fresh, soft, and has a nice glow to it even after one use. I will continue to keep these masks stocked in my vanity." —Rachel

    Get a pack of eight from Amazon for $21.50+ (available in three types).

    8. Avarelle Acne Patches vanish breakouts overnight. We all know the feeling of sunscreen breakouts (no thank you), so these will be your secret weapon.,

    They also blend into the skin so they can be worn throughout the day and not just at night!

    Promising review: "I’ve been experimenting with these for the last month and a half, and I am in love. They are really thin and blend into my highly freckled face incredibly well...I have gone out in public twice with them on, because when I did my last second mirror check before I got out of the car, I didn’t notice I had them on! While they absolutely help clean out the skin underneath, the biggest thing it does for me is stops me from touching my face. When I'm stressed out, I will absentmindedly touch/run my hands along my face and jaw constantly. Now, when I notice I’m doing that, I run into the bathroom and put these on any spots I have. Since they are thin and stick really well, I am able to leave them alone and stop touching my face." —MelsBells

    Get a box of 40 round patches for $8.49.

    9. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner features a waterproof formula that doesn't budge even through sweaty workout sessions and trips to the pool. A winged liner that lasts all day in the summer heat? Magic.

    reviewer showing before and after a workout class wearing eyeliner

    Promising review: "I literally just received this eye liner in the mail, tried it on, and had to write a review! Awesome product, buy it now. Very dark, very easy to put on (nice sharp point) and I'm a very happy customer. After a one hour long Body Combat class in the middle of summer in a crowded room with hardly any air-conditioning, I was VERY curious to see how this eyeliner would hold up. At the end of the class I checked it out and there was NO smudging or flaking. That is seriously impressive!" —Taylor Ross

    Get it from Amazon for $22 (available in 12 colors). 

    10. NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel works as the perfect topcoat after you fill in your brows with your favorite pomade or pencil. This will ensure they don't take one step out of place. This is great to tame brows before a trip to the beach!,

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this stuff. I have a bare minimum makeup look and this stuff is part of it! I actually use it even if I don't fill in my brows at all. This stuff is able to go on thin enough for me to not feel it but thick enough to hold the hairs where I want them until I take it off. I don't have any extra wax or residue, it lasts until I remove it, and does not have any smell or tint to it. I take my brow shape pretty seriously since that seems to be what I'm complimented on more than anything else. You will not find anything this good for a price in the same ballpark." —Nina

    Get it from Amazon for $5.97.

    11. Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer soothes and smoothes pores so your makeup will have the perfect base for application. This will also feel great on sunburned skin with it's green tea extract.

    picture of the primer's smooth silky texture on skin, then a picture of it blended into skin,  making pores invisible

    Touch in Sol is an POC-owned brand from South Korea who mission is to put the fun back in makeup. 

    Promising review: "Even after only the first use, I was blown away by this primer. I honestly didn't think a primer could do what this one does. It went on very smoothly and didn't feel greasy whatsoever. All during my super long day at work (12-hour shift), my makeup didn't budge and my face looked so smooth and satin-y under my makeup. I have moderate to severe acne so my skin is generally fairly oily, but it's has also been very dry lately, and this primer made it so my makeup didn't crease at all or cling to dry patches on my skin. I can't emphasize enough how surprised I was every time I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror to see how smooth my makeup still looked." —MMkay13

    Get it from Amazon for $15.50.

    12. Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant gently exfoliates skin and impurities — like blackheads and large pores — without the harshness that mass market exfoliators provide (ouch). This will come in handy when that weeks-old tan needs to finally be exfoliated off. Bye-bye Bora Bora bronze.


    Promising review: "I have acne-prone skin that is combo-to-oily with large pores, and this stuff has truly been a lifesaver! Like this is literally witchcraft in a bottle and my new holy grail! Ditch your harsh scrubs and give this a go... your skin will thank you." —Philena

    Get it from Amazon for $10 (available in two sizes).

    13. Elizabeth Mott Eyeshadow Primer extends the longevity of your eye makeup with a few swipes before application. This also makes shadows more opaque and less patchy so if you're headed to a summer wedding, you don't have to worry about your eye makeup melting off before the reception.

    Reviewer's before pic at 7 am and after pic at 5 pm showing little eyeshadow smudging and fading /

    Promising review: "So let me start by saying I have used nearly every eyeshadow primer available. From high-end to low — MAC, Lorac, Urban Decay...they don't hold a candle to Thank Me Later. I have very oily skin. I use this primer and my shadow lasts a full eight hours or more. I could get maybe five or six out of the other brands, if I'm lucky. I got this as a sample in my Ipsy bag, and I had to buy the full-size product straight away! I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Thank you Elizabeth Mott for finally making a primer that lasts! I love this stuff!" —Melissa Mae

    Get it from Amazon for $13.48.

    14. She Is Bomb Collection Edge Control assists with smoothing and laying your edges (if you want to!) so you can rock top knots all day, every day — and in the summer, top-knots are a must!, Amazon

    It goes without saying that you 100% do not need to lay your edges if you don't want to!

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this edge control. I have tried so many edge controls that did not work from all price points. Some edge controls would slick my edges down, but after an hour or two, it would need to be reapplied or it wouldn't slick my edges down at all. My hair absorbs everything I put in my hair. So I was so amazed at how well this edge control not only slicked my edges down but kept my edges slicked down all day. I apply it in the morning and when I return home in the evening my edges still look the same. I have natural hair, but with this edge control, my hair looks permed. This edge control is by far the best that I have ever tried. I normally purchase it from my local beauty store. I like it so much I was telling my husband about it and he ordered it from Amazon for me. It is so worth every penny." —Jamie Morgan

    Get it from Amazon for $9.75.

    15. Maybelline Concealer conceals dark circles with ease. Simply swipe, pat, and set with your fave powder to look like you didn't stay up all night at the pool party last night...

    Model's before/after pic using the concealer to cover up dark circles and brighten up under the eyes

    Read my co-worker Maitland's full review of the Maybelline Age Rewind Concelear.

    Promising review:I love this concealer! I am pale and the brightener has a slight pink undertone, so it works well to cancel out any darkness under my eyes, but also works as a concealer too. It doesn’t feel dry under my eyes. I always have a hard time finding a concealer that I love because most make my under eyes look dry/cakey even though they seem well moisturized before. I love how well this conceals but still feels so lightweight!" —One Whisper

    Get it from Amazon for $5.41 (available in 18 shades).

    16. Grande Cosmetics' Lash Serum promotes lash growth so you can ditch the makeup this summer since your lashes will already look bomb on their own.

    A before/after of a reviewer's lashes, looking much fuller and longer after

    Promising review: "I really wish I would have taken 'before' pics. My hairdresser told me about this stuff and said 'it works so good I had to stop using it every night.' I thought to myself 'Oh yeah, lashes too long, no such thing' but I on my second tube and I'm going to start using every other night. My lashes are so long, and it's like I have a double row of lashes. My bottom lashes are thicker too. I rarely write reviews but wanted to share because it really really works." —Asc

    Get a three-month supply from Amazon for $65.

    17. Cuvée Beauty Daily Dose Set brings hair back to life with its champagne-infused shampoo and conditioner. Not only does it smell super good, but it's great for adding hydration back into color treated hair (bleaching babes this is for you). Everything you need for travel is in this lineup!

    Ali Faccenda / BuzzFeed, Cuvee Beauty

    This perfect-for-travel set includes shampoo, conditioner, texture spray, blowout bombe, a perfume roller ball, AND a cute carrying case.

    This is the perfect travel set, it has everything you could need for hair care all in one handy travel case. All the products smell AMAZING. These products feature champagne extracts and truffle extracts for a silky, hydrating finish and the scent lasts post styling hair. I have a lot of bleach in my hair and struggle to get it looking and feeling healthy and these products made my hair feel definitely healthier after a few washes.

    Get it from Cuvée Beauty for $55 (originally $84).

    18. Peripera Lip Stain for that "I just ate a Popsicle" flush that'll last all day. It'll even stay on after eating — so this is perf for barbecues!,

    Promising review: "The tint feels super refreshing on my lips. It stains the lips well on the inner parts and even after eating it’s still there." —Mochi Ballz

    Get it from Amazon for $7.50 (available in 10 colors; also available in a liquid lip).

    19. Fanola Purple Shampoo brightens and maintains blonde tresses without having to shell out big bucks for toning appointments at the salon. Doing a lot of pool swimming? Invest in this shampoo, you won't be sorry.

    reviewer before and after photo using shampoo

    Just don't use it for more than three minutes (once a week), because then your hair will turn lavender (unless you're into that, which some reviewers are!!!).

    Promising review: "I never write reviews, but this shampoo is amazing. I always struggle with brassy tones almost immediately after getting highlights and I can never find a good no-yellow shampoo until now. My stylist recommended this and it did not disappoint. After leaving it on for about four minutes, my hair looks like I just got it done professionally again. It does still leave hair a bit dry, but not as dry as some other purple shampoos. I plan on using this once a week at least to help keep my perfect tone between highlights. 100% recommended to anyone who struggles with the brass!" —Kassandra

    Get it from Amazon for $10.83+ (available in three sizes).

    For more info, check out "If You Color Your Hair Blonde, You Need This Purple Shampoo".

    20. John Frieda Hot Brush supplies salon-status hair without the hefty price tag you can get slammed with at the salon. This'll style dry *and* wet hair and its ~ionic technology~ tames frizz and adds shine at the same time so when you step out the door for your next summer date, you won't worry about your hair immediately frizzing.

    Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

    It has two heat settings plus a cool setting, as well as nylon- and ball-tipped bristles to gently detangle while creating volume.

    Promising review: "I am no professional hair stylist, nor do I have time to do my hair everyday (mommy of two) but I must say this blow-dryer curling brush makes getting ready so much easier. I like my hair to have a lot of volume (I have thin hair) and my layers to show so this look is easy to achieve. I just sectioned my hair in small pieces, used this tool from my roots to the tip, then from the tip curled up (inwards) and rolled the brush around and out to keep the curl. I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a nice easy blowout!" —L

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99 (available in two sizes).

    To learn why a BuzzFeed editor recommends this, check out "Your Hair Struggles Are Over Thanks To This Magical Hot Air Brush."

    21. Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color supplies hair with rich, saturated color while simultaneously conditioning. It even works on dark hair (!!!) so you can spice up your summer tresses for something more fun!,

    BONUS POINTS: it's vegan and cruelty-free! It's extra vivid on already-bleached hair, but creates colorful highlights on darker hair.

    Promising review: "I didn't bleach my hair before using this, so I knew it wasn't going to be bright but it is just the right color. My hair was a medium brown and now it's a beautiful dark purple. My hair felt dead and now it looks better then ever. My hair is very thick and halfway down my back and one of the 8oz bottles covered my whole head with some left over." —shelton graham

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in two sizes and 20 shades).

    22. Teddie Organics Rose Water Toner Spray calms the skin while diminishing redness and excess oil. This will breathe new life into the skin especially post unwanted sunburns.

    reviewer before and after photo using toner spray

    It'll also restore your skin's pH balance and absorb excess oil. It's everything you want your toner to do, except now you can use it WHEREVER. Plus it's organic and suitable for sensitive skin!

    Promising review: "I have very acne-prone and sensitive skin that is pale with pink and red undertones. I break out very easily, and my skin is irritated even by the 'sensitive skin' brands and formulas. I have used EVERYTHING under the sun to aid in redness and sensitivity, and nothing has worked to calm flare-ups like this. I wake up and my skin is glowing and peachy pale, as opposed to red and blotchy. This rose water has not only improved my skin's redness and overall tone, but it has virtually eliminated any signs on acne. I use before I put on my redness moisturizer and before bed as a refresher. I also find myself spritzing at various times of the day, because the fragrance is so pleasant." —Kathy Pancake

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95+.

    See what won best toners on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    23. L'Oreal Voluminous Primer Mascara goes on white and adds additional fibers to lengthen and thicken lashes so you're new summer makeup routine will consist of lash primer and mascara...and nothing else. (If you've been saying you want lash extensions, this is your inexpensive solution.)

    Allison Faccenda / BuzzFeed

    Over the years I've noticed my lashes falling out and they're not as voluminous and long as they once were (*cries*). This mascara primer has changed all of that. I use it in tandem with the Thrive Causemetics mascara for a dynamic duo that hasn't failed me yet. The primer base adds a noticeable amount of fibers to thicken my thin lashes, which gives me a full lash look.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.12.

    24. OPI Nail Strengthener prevents nail breakage so you can live stress-free knowing that your summer mani won't be flaking off before that two week mark. Or if you're forgoing nail appointments altogether this summer, its wheat protein and calcium formula will have them strong and unbreakable by fall.

    Promising review: "I love this nail strengthener!! When my nails were destroyed from gel polish, this easily made my nails more stronger and longer in about three months! The proof is in the pictures! This stuff is AMAZING." —Cierra Lewis

    Get it from Amazon for $17.95.

    25. Razor Bump Solution helps heal ingrown hairs, rashes, and razor burns from consistent shaving and bikini waxes. Keep this on hand after your next Brazilian — you won't be sorry.

    Before/after pic of reviewer's armpits with significant razor burn and bumps. The after photo shows smooth skin with no bumps or irritation.

    Promising review: "This product has worked GREAT on my armpits where I had big, painful, gross, inflamed and embarrassing hair follicles for YEARS! I use a dollar shave razor now, changed every couple of weeks with Tend Skin after every shower and before deodorant. Miracles!" —A User

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    26. Argan Oil Thermal Spray protects hair before heat tools and also doubles as a leave-in conditioning serum. So whether you're letting your hair air dry and want to avoid frizz, or are getting ready to use that blowout brush, your hair will stay smooth and protected.

    Reviewer's before/after pic using the thermal spray. The after pic shows sleek shiny hair after styling.

    Promising review: "I’ve tried a lot of heat protectors and straighteners, but this is the best one yet. It doesn’t make my hair difficult to brush or sticky, like many of them. My hair is so soft and conditioned, and straightens very easily. I don’t even think it’s meant to be a straightening product, but when you have thick curly hair, it still makes the process sooo much easier. I love the fine mist too. I washed and sprayed my hair, then went to bed, and in the morning I finished blow drying (if you have curls, you know they don't dry completely overnight, lol) and flat ironed. Beautiful results! I’ll be reordering for sure." —luckydb16

    Get it from Amazon for $15.95.

    27. Dry Shampoo Powder rejuvenates second and third day hair, especially if you've been spending a ton of time outside and it's getting a bit greasy. If the humidity is taking a toll on the longevity of that recent blowout, pop some of this in for taming.

    Reviewer's before/after pic using the powder on their bangs, which shows less shiny/greasy hair

    Promising review: "It makes my bangs and roots look fresh again. And I love that this is a powder and not a stinky aerosol spray. That also means that this lasts MUCH longer. I use it every other day when I don't wash my hair since I have very oily roots. I've been using it for almost a month and barely any is missing out of the bottle. A little goes a long way." —Rachel G.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    Your beauty routine just got a summer upgrade.


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

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