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8 Seriously Amazing Beauty Products That Are Worth Every Penny

Tried, tested, and loved by BuzzFeed editors.

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1. Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner

Nora Whelan / Via BuzzFeed

I am about as far from a beauty expert as one can get, but I feel like that makes me uniquely qualified to write a review of liquid liner even I can't fuck up too badly.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be able to wear cat eyeliner — and for as long as I can remember, I have been awful at it. Not only were my wings uneven; they were also jagged, far above my lash line, and either weak and watery, or sufficiently black but thoroughly smudged. With this felt-tip liner, though, none of that is an issue: It's dark black, dries quickly for easy layering into a thicker wing (or other corrections), and is all around super smooth to go on. And that last part is particularly important to me, since many of my previous attempts at cat flicks have been foiled by liner catching on the corners of my hooded eyes — but a trick I've learned, if you have the same issue, is to work from the outside in.

If you already know that trick, well, I said I'm no beauty expert. But I do think, if I ever have a hope of nailing the perfectly symmetrical cat eye, it will be with Eye Do. —Nora Whelan

You can get it here for $19.

2. Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish is a natural product that works to whiten your teeth (even though it looks super weird while you're using it).

Daniela Cadena / Via BuzzFeed

I think I saw a Facebook ad about this and it immediately caught my eye (yay Facebook ads!), mainly because the picture of a girl with black goo all over her mouth was both intriguing and terrifying.

My teeth have always been fairly white, but I consume a lot of coffee. Every now and then I like to do something to get rid of that beige hue that invades my pearly whites — a common side effect of daily double espressos.

What is it exactly? It's a natural teeth whitener and the secret ingredient is activated charcoal. It removes external stains from your teeth without any toxic chemical ingredients.

How does it work? Dip your toothbrush into the black powder and brush away. Dampen your toothbrush a little before and after applying the powder so it doesn't fall everywhere. It will still be slightly messy, but this helps a little. Brush for about two minutes. Then spit it out carefully, rinse, and voilà.

Pros: It does work. I saw results the first time I used it and I'm curious to see the difference after using it for a week, or even a month. It doesn't really taste like anything, so don't be grossed out by its color or texture.

Cons: It's a damn mess. I'm not sure if there's a way to do this without spreading black powder all over the place. It's not a cute look either. I looked like I'd just made out with a Sharpie. But who cares? You're doing this in the privacy of your own home (and maybe sharing it with all your Snapchat followers).

Overall, this is a great product that works quickly and efficiently. I would recommend this to anyone who is tired of the awful whitening creams and strips that taste like crap and don't always work. —Daniela Cadena

You can get it here for $39.95.

3. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Le Rouge has a creamy texture and is a deep, true red lipstick that will make you ~feel~ things.

@kayetoal / Via instagram.com

I recently purchased YSL's #1 lipstick because I was told by a very reliable source that it is the lipstick Huma Abedin uses, and all I want in life is to be half as poised and magnificent and adjacent to the future president. It is hands down the most expensive lipstick I've ever purchased, but holy shit, is it worth it. It's such a luxurious texture and smells so nice and is a shade that no other red lipstick I own (and I own, at last count, seven true-red lipsticks) has quite matched. It's like "blood of my recently fallen enemies" red. It's like "the terrified heartbeat of the man who just interrupted me again in a meeting and saw the look on my face" red. It's like "what I choose to believe the hair color of Irish Queen Boudica who fought off the Romans in 60 AD was" red. It's probably most similar to MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color in Fashion Legacy, my other current fave, but just a touch deeper. I love it. I highly recommend it if you want to feel classy and murderous, like an ancient love-and-death goddess. —Kaye Toal

You can get it here for $37.

4. NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette will help to cover dark circles, discoloration, and yes, even major bruising. NOTE: This bruise was caused by a nonviolent accident.

Natalie Brown / Via BuzzFeed

Despite my wizened old age of 26, sometimes I make decisions that aren't the best decisions for my health. Like going to an all-the-caipirinhas-you-can-drink-for-two-hours brunch wearing four-inch heels, then tripping and falling flat on my face in the middle of the sidewalk.

Thankfully, I was just a little scratched up, or so I thought at the time. I wasn't even bleeding. The next morning, though, the skin around my right eye began to darken to a bruised, swollen aubergine, that purpled more and more through the day. Monday morning, I wore eight layers of skin-tone concealer to work, which sort of worked, and also took me about half an hour of smearing, waiting for it to oxidize, and blending.

When I swung by her desk to say hello that morning, Augusta took one look at me and handed me this palette. And it has been my go-to for the past two weeks while my eye has slowly healed itself. I wear Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye overnight to help reduce the swelling (thankfully, I had a sample size from the last time I bought hand lotion), then pat on the yellow and yellow-ish orange color corrector in the morning to help disguise the embarrassing bruise (which is now on the internet forever, but, oh well).

For the first couple of days, I did still need about four layers of the color corrector on top of my foundation layer, then two layers of skin-tone concealer on top of that (with powder to set it all). But it covered so much better and lasted so much longer than just my regular skin-tone concealer, and took so much less time to apply. I still had to be careful not to touch the skin under my eyes after application, so it wouldn't rub off, but that was a small price to pay for looking like the unbruised version of myself. Eventually, all I needed was a coat of color corrector and a coat of skin-tone concealer to keep the bruise from view. —Natalie Brown

You can get it here for $11.99.

5. Leahlani Siren Serum feels like a lotion/serum hybrid that works to level out skin's natural oil production.

Claire de Louraille / Via BuzzFeed

I am Claire, Queen of the Oil. Like the face juice kind of oil.

I’ve tried everything to stem my oily skin. Lotions and oils make my face even greasier than it already is, and tend to eventually drip into my eyes by the end of the work day. (Hooded + oily eyelids FTW.) Serums tend to feel thin on my face and not very moisturizing, as if they’re just resting on my face instead of absorbing into it. So I was skeptical about the Leahlani Siren Serum, which is more like a serum-oil hybrid, because why would this small skin care company from Hawai‘i work for me when nothing else has? But I’m so thrilled I gave it a shot because it's the product of my dreams.

The thing about being a serum-oil hybrid is that Leahlani’s Serum is the best of both worlds. It feels lightweight and silky, not greasy or thick and clogging — a problem I often encounter with other oils and lotions. It absorbs into my skin quickly, although I do like to give it a few minutes to fully soak in before putting on my primer and the rest of my makeup. My skin feels smooth and healthy all day, and doesn’t ever give me that grimy feeling I’m so used to. While it doesn’t keep me matte (nothing does) it doesn’t make me any oilier either, and my skin looks radiant, even-toned, healthy, and ~glowy~.

The Siren's Serum has a bunch of shit in it I've never heard before (like BioActive Sea buckthorn CO2 oil, micro algae, and tocopherols) which usually makes me roll my eyes. But oh my god, I swear, this stuff is worth every penny. (And at $42, I know it's a lot of pennies, but you don't even need to use a full pump to cover your entire face, so the bottle will last forever).

I love it like I have never loved a skin care product before, and am now using it daily. If you are an oil monster and have all but given up hope like me, I urge you to try out Leahlani skin care. (The Mermaid Mask is also amazing, but that’s a review for another time.) —Claire DeLouraille

You can get it here for $42.

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6. Vapour Organic Beauty's Soft Focus Foundation is a cruelty-free natural foundation that works well on sensitive skin.

Elena Garcia / Via BuzzFeed

As a super objective and not at all biased mom to the most adorable dogs you’ve ever seen in the world, I was absolutely shocked to find out a lot of animal testing is done on dogs. Many of our favorite beauty products don’t make their way to us until after they’ve been used on adorable puppies trapped in cages. (Cue Sarah McLachlan music now.) This realization gave me a swift kick to the ass and motivated me to convert my entire beauty routine to cruelty-free products.

Which, sucked! I mean it was good blah blah blah, but so many of the products I had grown to love were no longer an option. (I’m looking at you, MAC!)

In my search for their replacements, I discovered Vapour Organic Beauty Soft Focus Foundation. It’s a natural and cruelty-free foundation, that, regardless of its cruelty-free status, is the best foundation I’ve ever used. It smells good, it feels good, and, most importantl it looks good.

Since I have super-sensitive skin and have been fighting a war with acne for the better part of my life, I am always very cautious with new foundations. So I approached Vapour with serious caution. But, using some sort of crazy awesome witch magic, it actually helped heal my skin! My flare-ups became less frequent and the texture of my skin started to change. When I did have a breakout, it gave me a solid amount of coverage to allow me to walk out into the world and not scare any children in the process. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, it provides a stunning glow without feeling greasy and it lasts…like ALL day!

My only cons would be the available shades and the cost. I have fair skin with some pink undertones so I use shade 110, and it matches my skin PERFECTLY. This might not be the case for everyone though — it only comes in 12 variations. The other downside: One bottle (1.14 ounces) is $50! That made me very hesitant at first, but once I tried it, I realized it was the BEST $50 I’d ever spent on makeup. Let’s be clear: Vapour is a luxury makeup line and the quality of its products and the results back up that claim. The company even goes as far as saying that you can use its foundation to replace your Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. So, yes $50 is a lot of money for makeup, but you’re getting what you pay for. —Elena Garcia

You can get it here for $50.

7. Herbivore Sea Mist Spray is a natural spray with hints of lavender that gives wavy hair definition without making it crunchy or stiff.

Alison Caporimo / Via BuzzFeed

If trying wave sprays were a job, I'd be the CEO. I'm always on the hunt for the perfect formula that will make my natural waves look defined and tousled (instead of crunchy and stiff). And it's a hard job — I'd basically given up and tried to straighten my hair more often. That is until I encountered Herbivore's Sea Mist. The ingredients list is short and sweet (seven items total). It includes aloe vera (to keep hair follicles soft) and it's formulated with the same salinity as natural sea water — it really does make my hair look as if I just left the beach. The scent is a mixture of lavender, sage, and suntan lotion, which is totally on-point. I spray it on damp hair and let it work its magic. And if you're OBSESSED with beautiful packaging like I am, this spray is just for you. —Alison Caporimo

You can get it here for $18.

8. Lavanila's Healthy Deodorant is just that: a natural deodorant that actually works.

Lara Parker / Via BuzzFeed

I love this deodorant!! I had been wanting to make the switch over to a natural deodorant for months and months but always found a reason to go back to the good ol' Dove stick until I tried this stuff. When I first tried to make the switch over I tried Toms natural deodorant, which totally turned me off of natural deodorants for a couple of weeks. I smelled horrible and sweated profusely. And it lasted for WEEKS. Once I finally got up the courage again to try a different kind I was drawn to this one. First of all, it's not crazy expensive (IMO), and it's a stick, which makes it feel like the stuff I was used to using for years before. It also smells, like, really freaking good. The first week that I used it, I sweated more than usual with most natural deodorants. But after a week or so, my skin adjusted and I haven't looked back since. It doesn't leave residue, it smells great, it doesn't make me sweat profusely, and it protects me during workouts or on day two of no showering. Truly, it's a great product, and I now own a stick in every scent. —Lara Parker

You can get it here for $14.

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