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7 Life-Altering Beauty Products You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner

Tried, tested, and loved by BuzzFeed editors!

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1. Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids, $10.79

Nora Whelan / Via BuzzFeed

I have been using Manic Panic on and off since high school — most recently a jar of their semipermanent Atomic Turquoise that Augusta had lying around for my bangs. But after several months of fading blue-green bangs and years of not trying another brand, it felt like time for a change, so I decided to try Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids in Violet.

Now, my fellow frequent dyers, I have always been the instant gratification type. Like, I know I'm supposed to mount shelves with special anchors and shit, but that hasn't changed my habit of instead doing it with whatever's in my house, so long as it takes under five minutes. Which means I've been living with wobbly shelves for my whole adult life. By the same token, I thought I might be able to skip lightening my bangs again and just plop the purple on top of my faded green — which, if you're not already 100% confident in this, was a stupid idea and resulted in sad purple-grayness that I had to redo every week or so. Now that I've fully committed and bleached my bangs again before adding the purple, though, the ChromaSilk seems to be staying way more vibrant than its Manic Panic counterpart (I used Pravana Power Lightener and some Clairol Professional Creme Developer I had lying around for the lightening, but you may find something else works better for you).

I haven't yet grown out of my bad shelf habits, or what one commenter called "hilarious fringe" in the last post (I mean, true; I don't see much point in not having fun with the way I look), but it seems as if I've grown out of my trusty high school dye brand after all. Check it out, and don't skip the bleach. —Nora Whelan

Get it here for $10.79.

2. Body Glide Anti-Chafe & Moisturizing Balm, starting at $5.99

Augusta Falletta / Via instagram.com

Summer in New York is hotter than the devil’s dick. Not only am I forced to literally just smoosh my exposed back on someone else’s exposed back on the subway, but I'm also expected to walk everywhere because most of the time, the subway stop closest to my destination is also a 12-minute walk beyond the station. I'm sweating my proverbial balls off, which is only made worse when I wear dresses and am subjected to my hot, sweaty thighs rubbing against each other.

In the past, I’ve tried the ol’ deodorant-between-the-legs solution, which is fine. I’ve also tried wearing biker shorts under my dresses to avoid the leg touching altogether, but doesn’t that negate the idea of not wearing pants? You’re right, it does. My latest attempt at just saying no to chub rub has been Body Glide, and so far, we get along juuuuust fine.

This particular stick that I’m using is the “For Her” brand — which is kind of bullshit because it’s the same as the cheaper “gender-neutral” packaging also offered — and for me, it does two things. First, it forms a barrier between my thighs so when that when they do rub together, I don’t want to strangle someone. Second, it’s almost like lip balm for your legs because it moisturizes your skin where it would otherwise be dry. If I'm wearing a dress, I'm also wearing this to survive. —Augusta Falletta

Get the unisex version here for $5.99.

3. Masking Twice a Week, price varies.

Me with the Glossier mask on; instructions say to use a "thin layer", so it doesn't look quite as white as the photos on their site do.
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Me with the Glossier mask on; instructions say to use a "thin layer", so it doesn't look quite as white as the photos on their site do.

Me again, with the Boscia mask on. I can still sort of smile here, because it hasn't dried completely yet.
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Me again, with the Boscia mask on. I can still sort of smile here, because it hasn't dried completely yet.

When it comes to skin care, I'm insanely lazy. Wash your face before bed? Eh, maybe (MAYBE) I can dab with a baby wipe. "Exfoliate"? "Moisturize"? But wait, I just got a new book to read, and there's another episode of The Sopranos that I really want to watch. Can't I put my PJs on and be done with this?

But lately, I've noticed that the tiny lines on my forehead and between my eyes are more pronounced, I recently got my first gray hair, and for some reason I still have acne. Now, there's nothing wrong with aging, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I want to do what I can to make sure it happens sort of slowly. That translates to sunscreen, clean skin in the morning and evening, moisturizing, and, lately, masking twice a week.

It started when Augusta, queen mother of making BuzzFeeders use beauty products, handed me Glossier's Moon Mask. It was December, and my skin was peeling off like I was some sort of reptile (thanks, NYC winters). This mask fixed that problem and helped a little bit with my "fine lines" issue. But it being the holidays, I can't say that I was consistent — I used it maybe every other week or so, which isn't really frequently enough to see major results.

Then I got Boscia's Sake Bright White Mask (full disclosure, they gave it to me to try), which you let dry then very satisfyingly peel off. After two weeks of alternating the Boscia mask with the Moon Mask (every three days or so), I looked in the mirror and, to my great shock, realized what it means to have your skin look "brighter." Like, I always thought that was just a myth made up to make me buy expensive skin care products. But...it's actually not. My skin looked clear(ish, with the exception of chin acne), clean, and not at all splotchy.

You don't have to use these pricier masks, either: There are tons of dermatologist-approved DIY masks you can make with stuff from the grocery store. Next step: banishing this acne once and for all. —Natalie Brown

Get the Glossier Moon Mask here for $22; get the Boscia Sake Bright White Mask here for $38. It will also be available at Sephora in August 2016.

4. Parlor by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray, $24

Augusta Falletta / Via instagram.com

My natural hair is a fried, frizzy mop, so trying to make it look smooth is an exercise in futility. But lately I’ve been into that ~brushed~ look — remember when people actually brushed their hair instead of spending hours making it look like they had the unnaturally natural-looking bedhead? — and I have been on a seemingly endless pilgrimage to find The Land of Smooth Hair.

I lucked into this blowout spray mainly because Jeff Chastain, the sorcerer who invented it, was the one who gave me my first bottle. He explained that all I had to do was use a few spritzes of the keratin-infused spray on my damp hair, then activate it with my blow-dryer using a big ol’ round brush. Here’s why it’s special: I can’t feel ANY product in my hair; instead, I feel what I imagine the girl from Tangled's hair feels like. The rogue broken hairs around my face (thanks a lot, BLEACH) weirdly melt into the rest of my hair and completely disappear. And even after two very, very moist and disgusting summer subway rides in New York, there’s no frizz happening. People, I have found the promised land. And its name is Parlor by Jeff Chastain. —Augusta Falletta

You can get the full bottle for $24 or you can test out the Blowout Spray and equally amazing Flexible Hold Hairspray and Reworkable Hold Paste in this travel-size kit that's only $18.

5. Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick, starting at $10

Alison Caporimo / Via BuzzFeed

I've heard that there are people who don't smell when they sweat. I DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE. Maybe they're robots or perhaps they've evolved in some way, but I am a Homo sapiens and my shit smells when I sweat. I started looking into natural deodorants when I read the ingredients list of my drugstore stick and encountered elements that sounded like they could be used to fuel a rocket ship. Aluminum chlorohydrate? Propylene glycol? No, thanks. The thought of natural deodorant sounded nice, but could I really rub some baking soda and eucalyptus under my arms and not smell?

That's when — after months of trying different natural deodorant brands that kinda sorta worked — I discovered Meow Meow Tweet's deodorant stick. While applying some natural deodorants can feel like rubbing gritty toothpaste on your underarms, the Meow Meow Tweet stick is a solid that goes on smooth and clean (no clumping or residual white goo). I got the lavender bergamot variety, which smelled fresh, but very subtle (it's not going to compete with your perfume). Also, I put this thing TO THE TEST (aka on the NYC subway in June, to a spin class, while rock climbing, etc.), and it lasted the entire day. The ingredients include cocoa seed butter, lavender oil, and rosemary leaf extract, which sound like things more likely to be found in a cup of tea than in a NASA vehicle, and I'm just fine with that. —Alison Caporimo

Get it here for $10+.

6. Benefit's Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter, $30

BuzzFeed

I know, I know, highlighter/strobing/smothering your entire face in shiny stuff is having a moment, but honestly, I've always just wanted a hint of sheen without getting too crazy. Benefit's Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter is perfect for a subtle, everyday glow to add a little ~dewiness~ to your normal makeup routine. They call it "soft focus highlighter," and that's exactly what it is, dudes — this isn't going to incinerate your eyeballs with its brightness.

It only comes in one neutral, shimmery pinkish-beige shade (called "luminous champagne," lol), which is easy to blend with your finger as it dries. (I know it comes with a "blender," but my finger works better, TBH.) And, guys, it stays on ALL. DAY. Like, sometimes I sweat off all my makeup except for this, and I look in the mirror and think, Well, damn, at least my cheekbones are still poppin', and then high-five myself. And, hey, let's be real, don't we all deserve that? —Chrissy Mahlmeister

Get it here for $30.

7. Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash, $20

I love face wash. I use it every day, and I love trying different ones. For days when I don't use an exfoliating face wash, I've been using this Charcoal Face Wash by Clinique for Men. It's amazing because it leaves my skin feeling clean and tight and I love the black color. Apparently charcoal has the ability to draw out toxins in your skin, and since I started using this one I've noticed that my normally oily face isn't nearly as shiny as it usually is. The smell is minimal, and a little bit goes a long way. Normally I would balk at a $20 price tag, but as I try out more products, I'm beginning to realize that you really do get what you pay for. Plus, if you use this as directed, it'll end up lasting much longer than you think.

One other thing — despite the "for men" name, I've read many reviews from women who say that they love this product as much as I do. —Kevin Smith

Get it here for $20.

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