Skip To Content

    32 Products You Don’t Need To Be A Makeup Artist To Use Well

    This cult-fave $5 mascara and reviewer-beloved setting powder are here to make sure you never overthink your routine again.

    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's Lash Princess mascara, because TBH, we've all wasted too many years and too much money looking for the ~holy grail~ mascara. This one is less than $5, is buildable in a way that's quite easy to control, and doesn't require any primer to stay put.

    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    Hello, that is my face above, because I bought into the hype of over 128,000 positive reviews and now I will never look back!! Putting it on is like giving my eyelashes butterfly wings. It doesn't get clumpy, it stays put ALL the livelong day (I've spent two brutally hot NYC summers wearing it, so I can speak to that), and you can apply it on very lightly if you don't want it to look so dramatic, or continue applying for longer lashes each time.

    Promising review: "This has became my favorite mascara. It lasts and doesn't dry super fast so you can build it as much as you want. It comes off easily with my eye makeup remover and doesn't flake throughout the day. I also love the wand (this part is huge for me) it glides the mascara on perfectly and separates my lashes. I have been using this stuff since January and have not looked back! For the price and quality you cannot beat it!" —Nash Native

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    2. Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind concealer, an inexpensive lightweight concealer with a built-in sponge tip for anyone who wants to quickly touch up before Zoom calls or errands, but doesn't want to commit to a whole layer of foundation. This also helps cover dark circles without caking and reduces puffiness.

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    TBH, at the start of the pandemic I started using this myself (although this is BuzzFeed editor Kayla Suazo's lovely human face above), and I am mad that I wasted time with other concealers for so long. I am a deeply impatient person who likes to look good and does not like to put in effort in any way, shape, or form, and Maybelline created this so that people like me could gracelessly slap it on in the morning and be like "OKAY, REFLECTION, YOU GOT THIS" before being on their merry way. It never cakes, I look way more awake than I have any right to, and I never struggle to blend it the way I do with other concealers. 11/10 subscribe.

    Promising review: "Best coverage for under-eye bags and dark circles! I have used a lot of expensive eye products in the past and this has them all beat. I have light- to medium-olive complexion and was perplexed as to what color to choose. I went with the Brightener and it was a perfect match. My daughter is darker olive and it also looks good on her. Looks and feels great and can't beat the price." —Ana R.

    Check out BuzzFeed's full review of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer for more deets.

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

    3. Or CoverGirl's TruBlend matte concealer, which blends so seamlessly to your skin tone that it basically does half the work for you. A lot of reviewers noted that they didn't even *need* additional foundation or powders for coverage, so these lil' tubes are working overtime.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I don't know what to start off with besides saying how amazing this concealer is!! The concealer has a great formula, that's easy to blend and dries to a matte finish. Almost didn't bake afterwards because the look was close to flawless. I'm big into bright under eyes and this gave me the look I love. This has easily made its way into my go-to makeup, and perhaps one of my new favorites." —Mandy Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $7.89 (available in 30 shades).

    4. A set of premium makeup brushes perfect for anyone who is interested in makeup, but doesn't necessarily want the whole YouTube tutorial song-and-dance of it — these standard, reliable brushes include everything you *might* need if the fancy ever strikes you, and even come with a handy photo reference of what each brush does.

    The rose gold and black set of brushes with a carrying case
    Amazon

    Psst — you can peek at the photo reference guide on the product page, too! 

    Promising review: "In my 30s, I decided I should learn more about makeup than just a touch of blush, BB cream, and eyeliner on rare occasions. I still don't wear makeup often, so I didn't want to spend a fortune on quality brushes. These have been great for me over the last six months. They come with a photo reference of what each brush is designed to do, which is great for me who still can't tell one small brush from another without looking at my guide. Out of the big brushes, I mostly use one for blush and another for mineral foundation. I use the various small brushes for eye shadow. The fine one is nice for using eye shadow as eye liner. So if you're a makeup newbie or an occasional makeup wearer who wants a good set of brushes, these are for you." —Belle Brita 

    Get a set of 14 brushes on Amazon for $10.99

    5. Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder, which is so beloved it's racked up over 55,000 5-star reviews. It's designed not only to give your make-up a beautiful blended look and last the whole livelong day, but to be super easy to apply — this doesn't leave a white cast like some other powders do.

    reviewer with matte makeup
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "What a difference from my old powder! I had been using the Nyx loose powder for years but it always made me look so...dusty...this stuff, oh man...it makes my foundation look airbrushed on! Like, what the hell!? It has a very very slight sheen and seems to just sink into your foundation, no dusty look whatsoever! I am amazed...and also never using any other powder ever again...I love it when I find a good staple for my makeup routine, this is definitely sticking with me! And you get soooooo much! I couldn't believe how much you get for the price! Just can't beat it! And for added bonus, it smells amazing!" —Amazonian

    Get it from Amazon for $5.67 (available in six colors, including translucent).

    6. An illuminating moisturizer designed to enhance your skin's natural glow ✨ — perfect for anyone who wants a lightweight alternative to foundation or just a lil' extra shimmer in their lives.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love love love this stuff. This is such a stellar product that is so versatile. Can be worn alone for some to put some glowy life to skin. Add to foundation or layer it. Beautiful. Use it as a base wear you put highlighter on top. Mix some with moisturizer. This in my opinion is better than so many high luxury brands that make similar products. And I am pretty sure it can be used by all skin types. It’s not oily feeling at all and it doesn’t dry out skin either. Just a total package. Can’t beat the price either." —Figgy08

    Get it from Amazon for $7.65+ (available in four shades).

    7. A tube of long-lasting, moisturizing E.l.f. lip lacquer so perfect for every day use that it will become a "must" in your beauty routine from the first use.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "Even during this stay-at-home era, I continue to wear at least basic makeup to make ME feel good. This gloss is a perfect color and the price can’t be beat. Also appreciate that it’s both flavorless and fragrance free." —Karen Templeton

    Get it from Amazon for $3 (available in seven shades).

    8. A illuminating powder you can simply dust on to highlight just about anywhere you please — reviewers mention using it on their cheeks and eyelids, over their lipstick, and even under the eyes for a little brightening. It's so subtle and shimmery that you simply can't go wrong.

    Moonrise Creek/Etsy

    Moonrise Creek is a California-based Etsy shop established in 2014 that specializes in botanical skincare and mineral cosmetics.

    Promising review: "Absolutely the perfect shade! This wonderful illuminator gives me the softest moon kisses of a glow. ❤️🌙" —Heather Chen-Hyder

    Get it from Moonrise Creek on Etsy for $21.50 (available in four shades).


    9. Rimmel's Transparent Moisture Renewer Lip Liner, aka a universal lip liner you can use to ensure your mattes and lipsticks stay put *and* your lips don't dry out. A lot of reviewers swear by this as an easy way to prevent their lipstick from smudging.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've never used a clear liner before, but with summer, I use a lot of lip tints, stains, and different formulas of lipstick which don't always look good with an opaque liner out any liner at all. I read a bunch of reviews and this had the best ones, and I'm not disappointed in the least. No matter what O wear on my lips this keeps my lips shaped nicely with no color bleeding. If I fill in my lips entirely it does feel a bit moisturizing. This works with anything which helps with not having to own every color lip liner under the sun. I've had no problem with the tip breaking or not being able to see where I applied it." —Kindle Customer 

    Get it from Amazon for $6.31

    10. A bottle of Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Tint that comes complete with an applicator shaped to your lip, so application is *that* much more foolproof. Reviewers love this for how buildable and long-lasting it is, and how it doesn't crack or leave skin feeling dry.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "My go-to lip stain forever. I will never buy another stain product. This is the best formula I have ever used and the colors are highly pigmented." —Tracie Higgins

    Get it from Amazon for $9.90 (available in seven shades).

    11. E.l.f.'s Poreless Putty Primer, a TikTok-famous lightweight base primer that reviewers swear by for reducing the appearance of pores and helping their makeup apply more smoothly and evenly.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    LOL, allow me to be the one to shout to GRAB THIS WHILE YOU CAN. I've been trying to snag it for weeks and, thanks to TikTok, it's constantly out of stock. Now is finally our chance!

    Promising review: "WOW!!!! I've been looking for a pore-filling primer for some time now, I am very very picky and usually try to do super-lightweight ones because my skin is sensitive, so I was a tad skeptical of this because it looks so thick in the package photos. However, I'm a BELIEVER now, y'all. It's much less thick than it looks and spreads super easily and evenly. My pores are getting smaller thanks to a new skincare routine, but I've been SO frustrated trying to find a primer that will actually conceal them so they don't completely suck up the foundation and make me look awful. This. Is. IT. You can't beat this for the price. I've even tried the Maybelline Baby Skin pore filler primer and this blows it out of the water. Can't beat it, especially for the price!!!!" —Jody Ferguson

    Get it from Amazon for $9.

    12. Maybelline's Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush, which is basically the affordable Cloud Paint dupe you'll love so much you'll wanna buy it in every shade — it spreads on your cheeks like finger paint and requires truly NO strategizing to blend. It is truly the easiest part of my routine.

    BuzzFeed editor holding pink tube of Cheek Heat with it applied to cheeks
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    I'm a Glossier Cloud Paint stan so I'll continue to buy it, but I love this affordable dupe, too! It spreads on super easily and can either go on sheer or build for a bolder effect. I got the Rose Flush shade and enjoy it for ~everyday wear~ since it's so easy to squirt a bit on my fingers, swirl it into my cheeks, and be on my merry way. It lasts all day and looks super natural to boot! 

    Promising review: "LOVE this cream blush! Goes on smoothly and looks completely natural and I am in my 60s! WOW! WOW! WOW! I am amazed with this little tube! And the price cannot be beaten! Thank you!!!" —Renee A. Parker

    Get it from Amazon for $5.98 (available in six shades). 

    13. An internet-beloved set of makeup sponges for easy blending and coverage that reviewers have crowned a Beautyblender dupe. It works for foundation, BB cream, powder, *and* concealer, plus wet or dry, so basically it's working harder than I have for *checks watch* my whole life.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I am never buying Beautyblender–brand sponges again. These work just as well, are softer, and you can't beat the price! I've been using these since September 2019. Personally I think they apply makeup better and don't stain nearly as bad. Also noted that when cleansed, you don't get tons of dye and color rinsed out. There's none of that. I much prefer these to Beautyblender or Real Techniques, which I wasn't that impressed with. Over five months of use, they're still in great shape, no splits, rips, or tears. They don't appear to absorb as much product, either, as other sponges I've tried. They apply and blend makeup beautifully, and I really couldn't be happier with them. I'll definitely be ordering again when my current ones are ready to be replaced." —Sharie

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $7.55.

    14. Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Primer you can simply spread on the canvas of your eyelid to show humidity, sweat, and any other force of nature trying to mess with your perfectly blended shimmer palette who's boss.

    Reviewer with blend of purple and silver shadow on their eyelid
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is just as good as the big makeup brands and you can not beat the price! I am in Houston with heat and humidity and it fits the bill!" —Lauren Brown

    Get it from Amazon for $4.93

    15. Plus the Queen of Hearts eyeshadow palette, a high-pigmentation, bold-colored set of six matte and six foil eyeshadow shades you can seamlessly blend for any occasion.

    Coloured Raine

    Coloured Raine is a California-based, Black woman-owned cosmetics that specializes in100% cruelty-free, high pigmentation makeup to suit all skin tones.

    Promising review: "If you don’t have this, you need this, NOW!!!! Seriously though!! If you are debating on getting this just do it. You will not regret it. It is a gorgeous palette!!!" —Tiffany L.

    Get it from Coloured Raine for $42.

    16. *And* easy-to-use cream-to-powder eyeshadow stick (!!), so literally all you have to do is glide it onto your lid and then either use your finger or the built-in smudger to get the desired ~effect~. Easy peasy eyeshadow squeezy.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Oh you better get these. I have been ill and for the first time in my adult life, I couldn't use my hands right to put on eye makeup. I read reviews and thought I will try these. These are amazing. I put it on yesterday. Smooth, easy application. Goes on just as you see color, not too light like others I've tried. It is still on today from my trip yesterday. We were at my doctor and I was so tired I slept with eye makeup on, not unusual, lol. I mean this stays and color for my brown eyes is great!!!" —girlyjohnnie

    Get it from Amazon for $14+ (available in 11 colors). Cruelty-free.

    17. L'Oréal Paris Infallible Fresh Powder Foundation, yet another TikTok-famous makeup product that lives up to the hype. You can either do a quick layer of it for coverage, or go full matte — it does take a little patience to buff if you go all out, but thankfully, very little *skill*. You just have to be a bit patient spreading it on, and you'll get smooth, matte coverage that stays the heck put.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I saw this product on a reviews page and thought I'd try it. Managed to pick the right color first time around. I was nicely surprised that on my day off I could use this after simply washing my face and moisturizing. Nice and easy application. It's definitely buildable. Covers nicely and is matting. I probably wouldn't use this to replace my foundation or powder in my normal actual routine make up, but for a quick face of make up, this is great. And it's great for a touch up since it has that foundation base." —Reyna

    Get it from Amazon for $11.59 (available in 16 shades).

    18. Maybelline's Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil, a subtle eyebrow filler that's so easy to use that it's basically impossible to mess up (I'm a deeply impatient makeup-doer who's been using it on my brows for almost a year now and can attest to that).

    A model with one eyebrow natural and the other eyebrow filled in and brushed
    Amazon

    The tool comes with two ends, one a small eyebrow brush and the other a specially edged eyebrow pencil. I love that it glides on super easily and stays put all day, even when I'm out on sweaty runs. Plus it lasts a long time, so you really do get your bang for your buck. 

    Promising review: "This eyebrow pencil is perfect! I have thinner/finer eyebrows and typically fill them in for a more defined look. This pencil is perfect. It looks natural and the brush is really effective at blending the color in with your eyebrows. And you can't beat the price!" —emies

    Get it from Amazon for $7.64 (available in four shades).

    19. Plus an Onset Eyebrow Soap Kit, an eyebrow pomade that doesn't just fluffy up your brows for a little extra ~drama~, but holds them in place all the livelong day. It's basically like getting a whole bunch of extra eyebrow thickness without any effort!

    reviewer showing before, after application, and complete with filled-in brows
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love this product! Perfect size to bring along when you’re traveling and you can’t beat the price because it comes with two! One for you and one for your bestie! Definitely worth it!" —Sasha Gonzalez

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $7.99.

    20. An almond-scented shimmer oil you can simply rub a few drops off onto your face for an instant natural, dewy, sun-kissed glow. Psst — some reviewers even put some in their hair!

    Small bottle of brown shimmering oil
    Skin Foodie/Etsy

    Skin Foodie is an Ohio-based Etsy shop established in 2014 that specializes in sustainably sourced, fair trade, and organic skincare. 

    Promising review: "Super subtle glow! Smells like summer. Great to add to no make up days or make up days!" —Olivia Loschert 

    Get it from Skin Foodie on Etsy for $22

    21. A versatile mechanical eyeliner pencil you can get in basics or a ton of fun colors — reviewers are especially obsessed because it not only smudges beautifully, but stays PUT on your waterline.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "You can't beat the price. The most perfect creamy, pigmented, and easy to put on eyeliner ever. I think most eyeliners are a bit stiff and kind of tug on the eye when you apply it but not this liner! I bought it in black but will be buying it in other colors as well. Also! If you like to smudge your waterline, this liner is perfect for that." —Kaykay

    Get it from Amazon for $5.45 (available in 12 colors).

    22. Plus a smudge-proof eyeliner stamp so you can finally get the perfect cat-eye on the first go without having to ~wing it~ (read: wasting eight cotton balls, half a bottle of eye makeup remover, and all of the minutes you were setting aside to make your morning coffee).

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Psst — this tool is double sided, so you can choose the thickness of your wing, and comes with two stamp pens — one for each eye!

    Promising review: "This goes on well and stays well. I cannot wing eyeliner for the life of me and this does it for me!! I just repurchased a second time and it's been almost a year since my first purchase...I use this daily! That means it lasted me almost a year. Can't beat the price point and quality for that! I also enjoy the clean ingredients. :)" —Nickel

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $14.97 (available in two colors and four styles).

    23. A facial ice roller you can stash in the fridge or freezer, then pull out whenever you want to take your face for a ~chill~ ride to help reduce puffiness and under-eye circles without using any complicated methods or routines.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Reviewers also swear by this migraines and cooling down on hot days, so it's multitalented.

    Promising review: "I was skeptical about this product. I wasn't sure how it was much different than rolling any other frozen thing on your body. I'm beyond pleasantly surprised. I've used it for sinus pain, migraines, swollen neck glands, under-eye circles/bags, inflamed acne, TMJ pain, etc. Not to mention, when I use it on my face, it leaves my skin feeling tight and wakes me up in the mornings. It also stays cold for forever but never sweats or leaves water behind. It's like magic. I also bought one for my mom who suffers from nerve damage in her arms and legs. I think it'll really help when she has bad pain days." —Jessica McRee

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in eight colors).

    24. A makeup-correcting stick for eyeliner, lipliner, and lipstick, because, in the words of Hannah Montana, "Everybody makes mistakes." Now you can make them fearlessly knowing this lil' corrector will make them all "poof!" disappear.

    Model using the stick to correct eyeliner
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? For years, I’ve been using Q-tips dipped in makeup remover to remove little goofs or mistakes. This is so much better and portable! Erases waterproof mascara marks around my eyes easily. Must buy product!!" —Katherine Riordan

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97

    25. A makeup setting spray with a matte finish to lock your look in place in just a few seconds, even on days when you're sweating up your own rainstorm.

    A model spraying the setting spray on their face, which has colorful makeup on it
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is my first time using a setting spray, and I'm very impressed with this one! My skin is pure chaos, with oily, dry, flaky, sensitive and pimple prone areas. This doesn't dry or break me out, and controls oil wonderfully. I definitely notice my face looking fresher longer when I use this — and I wear a full face for 11- to 12-hour days. I don't notice any scent, which is a plus. It comes right off at night with coconut oil and baby wipes. Can't beat the price, also!" —Tiffanie P. Chong

    Get it from Amazon for $6.69 (available in seven styles).

    26. Glossier's Skywash sheer matte lid tint with a diffused texture that blends so seamlessly into your eyelids that you don't have to deal with three other blending shades and a teensy how-to guide on the back of an eyeshadow palette to give it depth.

    Glossier

    Promising review: "This is just so easy to apply and it's quite hard to mess up. I rarely wear eyeshadow for any reason other than going out and I'm excited that the color I purchased (Valley) is the perfect shade for day wear. I'm at the point in my life where if something isn't quick and easy to put on my face ... I just won't wear it. Very excited to try other colors as well." —alana

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

    27. Dr. Jart+'s Mini Cicapair Tiger Grass Color-Correcting Treatment, a formula you've probably seen before if you're on Beauty TikTok — reviewers swear by not just for reducing redness and uneven texture, but for skin protection, since this bb has SPF 30 built in. All you have to do is spread it on before your concealer or foundation and you're raring to go.

    Model holding the twist open jar of product
    instagram.com

    Promising review: "This product is INCREDIBLE! It has completely changed my skin. When I’m working I will just put this on my redness and I’ll be out the door! There’s also a little bit of coverage as well! This product, I think, will forever be a staple!"  —brittherman

    Get a mini from Sephora for $19

    Psst — you can watch TikTok's @BauerBeauty use the color corrector in action on Sephora's product page

    28. An all-in-one Neutrogena Moisturesmooth Color Stick you can easily swipe on as both a lip color and lip balm, then — in the ultimate "lazy" hack — also use for a quick blush and eye shadow.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "The BEST lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss replacement. I am IN LOVE with these!!! They are SO moisturizing and yummy! They work great as a light lipstick or lip gloss and also as a blush (do a cross on your cheeks and blend it out) and eye shadow. They provide just enough color to look natural and pretty! I don't have to use any other ChapStick or lip balm when I wear these and they're especially perfect for summer as thy won't melt. I cannot recommend these enough!" —Linda J.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.89 (available in seven shades).

    29. Or a ~shimmery~ version — Fluide's Universal Crayon, a delightful high-pigmented makeup pen you can easily roll on your lids, lips, and cheekbones for an extra pop of color without overthinking any blending.

    Fluide

    Fluide is a queer-owned and woman-owned business specializing in vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetics.

    Promising review: "I'm a huge fan of quick and easy enhancements and it doesn't get any easier than this. Drag across your eyelids, lips, rub into your cheeks and nose for a fabulous rosy shimmer." —Teneca Kennedy

    Get it from Fluide for $12 (available in four colors).

    30. A set of itty-bitty dermaplaning razors you can use for some gentle exfoliation to get a nice dewy glow *and* make it that much easier to smoothly spread on foundation.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    A lot of reviewers also use these on fine hair and their eyebrows!

    Promising review: "YOU NEED THESE. I seriously just got them an hour ago and can’t begin to tell you how obsessed I am. I used them to shape my eyebrows and woOW. They’ve never looked so good. Super easy to use and the perfect size. I’ve used mini razors like this before (including Tinkles) and these are by far the best. Do yourself and your brows a favor and buy these!" —Kaylee Frederickson

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $4.99.

    31. BYO Blush Oil is the ultimate in easy-to-use makeup because it practically does all the work *for* you — its color is designed to react to the pH of your skin, giving you a wholly personalized look without any extra work. TBH, it's no wonder this is one of their best-selling prods.

    Youthforia

    Youthforia is an Asian woman-owned small business established in 2020 that specializes in environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free makeup made with at least 90% renewable ingredients.

    Fun fact: all of Youthforia's makeup is designed with ingredients that make it A-OK for your skin to sleep with it on!

    Promising review: "Dewy and glowy. I tried it over makeup and it appeared as a strong pink shade but settled to a flushed, glowy color. I had my little sister try it too because I wanted to see the color change again and it lasted a really long time on her. The texture was smooth and it was easy to rub in and blend out." —Summer

    Get it from Youthforia for $36.

    32. A set of two freckle pens you can dot at random on your face to give yourself a sun-kissed vibe *or* use to enhance your natural freckles if they get covered up by your foundation. They're designed in two different shades you can mix for natural, super easy faux freckling.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "So I bought these on a total fluke thinking they probably would be awful, but what the heck. THESE THOUGH — ARE AMAZING. Application? Ten seconds. Realistic look? Yes ma’am! I am honestly over the moon with this product and already repurchased. You really can’t go wrong here and I am thrilled to be out here living my best fake freckle life (but no one will know because 10/10 realism)." —Ansley House

    Get a two-pack (one light brown and one dark brown) from Amazon for $7.99 (available in three shades).

    Flexing your new makeup brushes like:

    Ariana Grande/VEVO

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated gift guide banner
    BuzzFeed

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form