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    30 Makeup And Skincare Products We've Tried, Loved, And Deemed Worth The Investment

    Because a great vitamin C serum is priceless, tbh.

    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. Hyper Skin Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum is packed full of 15% vitamin C and vitamin E that will work tirelessly to renew your skin's rough texture, lessen hyperpigmentation, and give you a fabulous overall glow.

    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    This product is paraben-, sulfate-, phthalate-, and scent-free.

    This is a new product for me, and I'm already hooked! I love a good vitamin C serum and this is one of the best I've tried. It doesn't have the off-putting smell that some serums have and it doesn't feel tacky when it dries. It layers flawlessly under any moisturizer I've used and I can already tell it's working on getting my complexion nice and smooth after I took a long break from using any skincare at all. Hyper Skin is also a Black woman-owned company! I could not recommend supporting them and trying this product enough.

    Get it from Hyper Skin for $36. (It's currently backordered, but will ship in 10–15 days.)

    2. Glossier Invisible Shield's watergel SPF formula is practically a superhero, protecting your skin against the sun's harmful rays with SPF 35. It also layers flawlessly under makeup, so you have no excuse not to use sunscreen every day!

    Kyla Davis / BuzzFeed,

    The sunscreen is vegan and cruelty-free.

    "Invisible Shield is so amazing because it essentially functions as both a sunscreen and a primer. It's light, translucent, and smells fresh and slightly fruity, but not in a manner that's overpowering whatsoever. Because it's so light and hydrating, it works rather perfectly under makeup and other post-sunscreen skincare. Though $25 for one fluid ounce of sunscreen may seem pricey, it's decidedly worth it — smoothing on sunscreen every day has never been simpler." —Kyle Davis, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Glossier for $25.

    3. Versed Keep the Peace Cleanser calms acne without drying your skin or stripping your natural oils, making it perfect for twice-daily use. Salacylic acid, blue tansy, and apple extract are the magic ingredients that has made this my favorite cleanser, and the only one to make a real dent in my hormonal breakouts.

    model squeezing tube of blue cleanser

    The cleanser is formulated without parabens, silicones, or sulfates.

    I really can't get enough of this cleanser. It makes my skin feel squeaky clean but not too dry. After using it, I feel like my face is the perfect canvas for serums, treatments, and moisturizers to be maximally effective.

    Get it from Versed for $16.99.

    4. Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask works all night long to hydrate your skin with juicy watermelon extract. It also gently resurfaces and removes dead skin cells using AHA to reveal all that bright, glowing skin you've been hiding.

    model dipping a tiny spoon into the thick pink mask in a glass pot

    The mask is phthalate-, paraben-, and sulfate-free, as well as cruelty-free and vegan.

    This mask is super-hyped, but even though my expectations were super high, it exceeded them. The morning after using this, my skin feels plumped, refreshed, and — not to brag, but — I simply glow. It's cooling and refreshing going on and after washing it off in the morning, I'm ready to take on the day fresh-faced.

    Get it from Sephora for $22+ (available in two sizes).

    5. And Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer that keeps the glow fest going with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.

    tall thin glass bottle of pink product

    The moisturizer is vegan and cruelty-free.

    "I've been using this product for the last month and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It's a brightening and lightweight moisturizer that really works! I like to use it in the morning for a fresh start to my day. The pretty pink hue and glass bottle also just looks gorgeous on my counter — no complaints!" —Heather Braga, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Sephora for $21+ (available in two sizes).

    6. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer will have you saying farewell to dark circles for good with it's 24-hour, crease-free, waterproof coverage that also maintains a natural "I woke up like this" finish.

    on the left buzzfeed writer's face with arrows pointing to her dark under eye circles and fine lines, on the right the same writer wearing the concealer with arrows pointing to no eye circles or lines
    Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

    The concealer is paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free, as well as cruelty-free and vegan.

    "I've used a bunch of different under-eye concealers (all cruelty-free, of course) to hide the disaster that lives under my big blue eyes, but none have worked nearly as amazing as It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. It gives me perfectly matte, full coverage without clumping up into the wrinkles of my eyes. It's supposedly waterproof too, but since discovering this concealer, I never cry anymore, so I can't say I've ever tested it out." —Elena Garcia, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Sephora for $27 (available in 48 shades).

    For Elena's full review, head to "This Concealer Totally Makes Your Under-Eye Baggage Disappear."

    7. bareMinerals Poreless Clay Cleanser gets your skin feeling fully cleansed while still keeping it hydrated. If you're only down for a one step routine, this should be your go-to. I have it and love it for when I want to feel fresh without much fuss.

    Rachel Dunkel / Via BuzzFeed

    Most cleansers are too something for me: too exfoliating, too drying, too sticky. This one strikes the perfect balance. It fully cleanses without stripping your skin and lathers into a creamy foam that just feels great. TL;DR: I love it! It's paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

    Get it from bareMinerals for $22.

    8. Glossier Boy Brow makes getting thick, shapely brows a cinch with its simple, mascara-like applicator and creamy formula that'll lift and hold your lil' hairs while looking natural.

    on the right buzzfeed editor with no product on her brows captioned "before" on the right the editor holding boy brow with brows darkened  captioned "after"
    Anamaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    "This magic bottle is proof that not all heroes wear capes. The creamy formula, which comes in blond, black, clear, and brown (which is what I used!), goes on smoothly and doesn’t require a lot of product to do the job. I used the wand to brush baby hairs in the beginning/middle of my brow upwards, and then brushed the longer, toddler-like hairs at the end of my eyebrows, sideways. And one coat was more than enough! Boy Brow does what exactly what the Glossier brand claims to do; it gives me a filled-in eyebrow that doesn’t look filled in. The finish looks natural, which is exactly what I wanted — my facial caterpillars have never looked better." —AnaMaria Glavan, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Glossier for $16 (available in five shades).

    9. Bad Medina Lip Paint doesn't even *think* about budging, and stuns all day, so you can focus on literally anything other than reapplying product.

    buzzfeed beauty director wearing light purple matte lipstick and holding the tube
    Essence Gant

    "This formula is legit like paint. It applies with such ease, and it doesn't crease, crack or go on blotchy. Even when it dries matte, my lips still feel hydrated and soft. Another plus is that it stays on so you're not reapplying every time you eat or drink something. I've worn it countless times now, and just about every time I have it on, someone asks me who it's by and what the color is. Tbh, as poppin' as it looks in this pic, I don't even think the pic does it justice. I also have the color Young Rouge, and it's such a good red if you're on the hunt for one!" —Essence Grant, BuzzFeed Beauty Director

    Get it from Bad Medina for $21.

    10. First Aid Beauty's Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Skin Moisturizer gets your skin ready to have a fabulous day by packing it with moisture and superfoods like coconut water and quinoa protein before you even put on your makeup.

    tube of the product

    It's made specifically for normal, dry, and combination skin types. It's also vegan, and cruelty-, and gluten-free.

    "Sephora was handing out tiny samples of First Aid Beauty products and I snagged a couple of packets as I was heading to catch my train. I put the samples on my dresser with my other skincare products...and then promptly forgot about them — until my recent trip to the Poconos, that is. I didn’t want to pack my usual bottle of moisturizer because I thought it would take up too much room, so I stuffed the little packets of this FAB moisturizer in my bag instead — any moisturizer would do for the weekend. While up in the Poconos with the dry, cold air, my normally oily skin got DRY after just the first night. Like, flaking-off-in-sheets dry. I applied this moisturizer under my makeup and it felt super creamy and instantly smoothed my skin, but even though I didn’t expect it to, it totally hydrated my face all day. I loved it so much that I went to Sephora and bought the full-sized bottle. Happy to have a new skincare favorite!" —Jasmin Suknanan, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Sephora for $29.

    11. Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush melts into skin to give you a from-within flush. Its buildable formula lets you go as light or heavy as you want, but IMO there's no such thing as too much blush.


    The blush is vegan and cruelty-free.

    "I recently got this blush in shade 'Drama Cla$$' to experiment with purple/violet blush and loved how it looked on my cheeks! Who knew purple blush would be so lovely? It's natural and flattering, and all you need is your fingers. I see myself reaching for this a lot this summer tbh." —Nusrat Sultana, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Sephora for $20 (available in eight shades).

    12. Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb blows most other moisturizers out of the ~water~ with its refreshing gel formula, long-term effect, and all around amazing feel. It's the skin equivalent of drinking a ton of H2O before bed to avoid a hangover after a night out — I personally could not recommend it more highly!

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed, Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    The moisturizer works for all skin types and is oil-, phthalate-, paraben-, and sulfate-free.

    Aqua Bomb moisturizer is easily my desert island skincare product. Although I have dry-leaning combination skin, I hate most moisturizers because creamy formulas feel heavy and just yucky to me, especially under makeup. Aqua Bomb's gel-like consistency absorbs like a dream. It's soothing to stressed out skin in the winter and cooling through the heat of summer. I recommend it to friends of all skin types because it gives your skin that bouncy hydration it craves without feeling oily in the slightest. I took a break from it for a while to try out other products but JUST ordered a big tub so I can return to using it daily for the rest of my life. It's unbeatable, IMO.

    Get it from Sephora for $22+ (available in three sizes).

    13. Milk Makeup's Kush lip balm calms and hydrates your pout with cannabis seed oil, shea butter, and moringa butter. Getting this just before winter is an incredible gift to give yourself.

    BuzzFeed editor holding the product in green, which applies clear
    Kayla Boyd/BuzzFeed

    "I love this lip balm because it's ~super~ moisturizing. The 'Green Dragon' shade goes on completely clear so it also makes a great base to wear under lipstick. It's ultra comfy to wear, nonsticky, and doesn't flake. Plus, the lid is magnetic and the overall packaging is really nice quality." —Kayla Boyd, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Sephora for $16 (available in six shades).

    14. Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser gently removes makeup and cleans your face all in one fell swoop. No more messing with cotton rounds — hooray!


    The cleanser is cruelty-free and vegan.

    "I have extremely sensitive skin, and back in fall 2019 I experienced a sudden onset of cystic acne all over my face, went on birth control for it in December, and now six months later, my skin is completely clear and I finally want to try all of these skincare products I was too scared to use. As someone who was using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for YEARS, I was nervous to make the switch to Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, and full expected I'd try it once and have to retire it. Quite the opposite actually. This cleanser is truly SO gentle. Rather than leaving my skin feeling hot and irritated like some skincare products do, this leaves my skin with a cooling sensation and I actually really look forward to washing my face in the morning and at night, rather than dread it. I haven't worn makeup much lately, but the few times I have since buying this cleanser, it's done an excellent job of removing my makeup, and I can go to sleep with peace of mind that my pores aren't clogged up." —Sam Wieder, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Glossier for $9+ (available in two sizes).

    15. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray keeps makeup picture-perfect throughout the day and well into the night. Sweat, rain, and time are now powerless to bring your makeup look down.


    "I use this spray and will swear by it for the rest of my days. I definitely have oilier skin in the summer months and over the years, I've tried a number of drugstore setting sprays that did absolutely nothing. This spray is worth the extra coins. I even wore it to Puerto Rico. Through the blazing sun and lots of ocean splashes, my makeup did NOT budge." —Marquaysa Battle, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Sephora for $15+ (available in three sizes).

    16. Versed Game Over Acne Drying Treatment zaps breakouts as soon as they start to surface using bentonite clay, kaolin clay, and sulfur.

    model dabbing treatment onto fingertip

    The cleanser is formulated without parabens, silicones, or sulfates and is vegan and cruelty-free.

    I've never used a more effective overnight treatment — I put a visible layer over any budding pimples before bed, and usually by morning they're calmed and quelled. Sometimes it takes multiple days for the zit to completely leave, but I think that's super reasonable. I'm always stunned by this product's overnight effectiveness. Thanks for working the night shift, Game Over Drying Treatment!

    Get it from Versed for $16.99.

    17. Fluide Universal Gloss takes your look to a place that's ~out of this world~. Give your eyes, cheeks, lips — wherever! — an iridescent shimmer worthy of approximately 5,000 selfies.


    The gloss is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free.

    I love this product for when I want a makeup look that's extra and subtle at the same time. It goes on clear, but the gloss really pops, especially on the eyelids. I'm not a huge eyeshadow person, but it turns out I *am* a huge eye gloss person — who knew?

    Get it from Fluide for $15 (available in three colors).

    18. Aú Natural Skinfood Rotorua White Mud Mask is formulated with Manuka honey, volcanic minerals, and bee venom (?!) which help to hydrate, exfoliate, and improve your skin's micro-repair response. I love this mask for lessening my pores and smoothing my overall complexion.

    Aú Natural Skinfood, Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    This mask is paraben- and preservative-free, as well as cruelty-free.

    You KNOW a mud mask is good when you can barely move your face when it finally dries, like in the photo above, LMAO. This mask applied smoothly and effortlessly and after the allotted half hour was dry and ready to take off. When I washed it off, my face felt SO smooth I honestly thought there was still mud on it. Nope, that silky smooth feeling was my own dang skin. My pores were so small and my face felt perfectly primed for moisturizer. Can't wait to use this mask again! I'd anticipate you can get four masks out of this tub.

    Get it from Aú Natural Skinfood for $28.50.

    19. Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner pen keeps your eyeliner on *point* all day long with its long-lasting formula that I've put through the ringer for give or take eight years and am continually stunned by., Rebecca O'Connell / BuzzFeed

    "Listen, there are a lot of good liquid eyeliners out there, and I've tried my share, but please listen when I say that Stila's Stay All Day liner is the greatest, most reliable pen on the market. It lasts forever without smudging, glides on effortlessly, is super pigmented, and has a sharp tip so you can draw wings with ease." —Rebecca O'Connell, BuzzFeed Editor

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

    Read Rebecca's full review in "Stila Makes The Best Liquid Eyeliner, Fight Me." Stila also won best mid-priced liquid eyeliner on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    20. Tarte Deep Sea Collagen Super Serum uses vegan marine plant collagen, marine plant extracts, and argan oil to plump and make your skin supple and glowy. I suspect this is the product mermaids use that keeps themselves looking so radiant.

    blue dropper bottle of product

    The serum is formulated without parabens, phthalates, or sulfates and is cruelty-free.

    "I use this serum almost every day. It plumps and brightens my skin and makes it feel totally rejuvenated. I have oily skin and I can often get away with using this instead of a moisturizer." —Kayla Boyd, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Tarte for $39 or Sephora for $19+ (available in two sizes).

    21. Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb is everything you want in a gloss: shiny, long-lasting, and most importantly, not sticky. All of its shades look killer on all skin tones, and it's formulated with shea butter, leaving your lips feeling hydrated.

    model in the glittery translucent gloss

    The gloss is cruelty-free, phthalate-free, and paraben-free.

    This lipgloss is EVERYTHING TO ME. I deemed last year my "year of gloss" and of all the ones I tried, this was what I reached for most often. It's as easy to apply as lip balm but WHAM it packs just the glittery punch I'm pretty much always looking for. And it really does feel different than most other glosses — the moisturizing is no joke!

    Get it from Sephora for $18 (available in six shades).

    22. CeraVe moisturizer is an investment when it comes in a big ol' tub, and according to pretty much everyone, you'll want this much after it saves your dry skin.

    BuzzFeed writer holding the large tub of moisturizer
    Marquaysa Battle / BuzzFeed

    The moisturizer is fragrance- and oil-free. It's also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.

    "Since the spring, I've been dealing with stress acne that I never had before in my life. I resorted to an acne cleanser and spot treatment but those products are typically drying (because they're literally meant to dry out the blemishes) SO this moisturizer has been super key for ensuring my skin doesn't dry out while I try to clear up the pimples. Aside from it living up to its 24-hour hydration promise (game-changer), it has also never broken out my sensitive skin and actually helps soothe the many skin irritations that I experience. In short, it's my holy grail and CeraVe better not ever stop making it. 😊" —Marquaysa Battle, BuzzFeed Writer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.08.

    23. The Lip Bar Liquid Matte Lipstick packs a hearty dollop of color on your lips and keeps it there all stinkin' day. Brightening your day with a bright lip is simply a wonderful idea.

    A quadrant of photos showing a closeup of different models wearing a bright pink lip
    The Lip Bar

    The Lip Bar is a Black woman-owned company based in Detroit, MI that makes vegan and cruelty-free makeup products and is working to make the industry more inclusive. While they're known for their lip products, they also carry face and eye makeup!

    "I use The Lip Bar's matte liquid lipsticks often and the formula is truly incredible. It hardly budges at all throughout the day, the pigment is bomb, AND it doesn't dry out my lips at all — which is really difficult to find in a matte lipstick." —Kayla Boyd, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from The Lip Bar for $13 (available in 17 colors) or Target for $12.99 (available in 13 colors).

    24. Biossance 100% Squalane Oil hydrates your skin so well, it's incredible you haven't been a raisin without it. It's plant-based formula locks in the moisture your skin craves and also helps reduce redness.

    hand holding product bottle with pump top

    The oil is paraben-free, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and vegan.

    "This is the stuff of dreams, people! I put it on my face at night after serum and before my night cream, and wake up with bouncy, bright skin. The first time I used it, I had overnight results. I am constantly yelling about this product to everyone who will listen; I even convinced my dermatologist to try it." —Rebecca O'Connell, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Biossance for $8+ (available in three sizes).

    25. La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer provides 48-hour hydration and helps repair your skin's natural protective barrier — I don't know what else I could possibly expect from a moisturizer!

    reviewer's hand holding a squeezable bottle of the moisturizer

    The moisturizer is fragrance-free and paraben-free.

    "Having sensitive skin means that I can't just slap on any ole moisturizer or SPF on my skin and hope for the best. Sunscreen is essential for everyone on this planet, but I'm porcelain-complected and have a pretty bad case of rosacea. So walking outside without SPF is a major no-no. I'm a pretty big fan of La Roche-Posay (h/t to my derm) and this Toleraine Double Repair with SPF 30 has become my go-to daily moisturizer. Now that I'm in my 30s, my skin is dry and I need something that's super moisturizing — but not to like, emollient levels of moisture. This is a perfect balance for that. I've been using it for a little over a year and it hasn't failed me yet! Plus, one bottle of it lasts a really long time. Ugh, I love this brand." —Elizabeth Lilly, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available with or without UV protection).

    26. Benefit Lovetint cheek and lip stain gives your everyday makeup a little more pizazz. Your look will have a lot more life with this all-purpose, sheer-yet-buildable formula.

    the writer wearing the tint which is bright on her lips and sheered out on her cheeks
    Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

    I love this product! If you're down to clown in that you love a bold cheek look, this product is absolutely for you! I like to build it up with two layers on the lips and sheer it out on the face. And "stain" is right, it truly stays on all day!

    Get it from Sephora for $18.

    27. Supergoop! SPF 30 City Sunscreen Serum is a triple threat and acts as a sunscreen, moisturizer, and antioxidant-filled serum all in one. Score!

    model applying the white product

    Sunscreen Serum is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan.

    "I use this stuff daily and adore it! I love that it's not perfumey, and it's really light and easy. I'm very low-key when it comes to beauty and skincare, but what matters most to me is that I get some SPF on my face, plus some moisture so my skin doesn't feel all dry after blow-drying my hair in the morning. Slathering this on accomplishes both of those things and makes me feel like I have a fancy skin routine with just a couple pumps of a bottle. Oh, and the bottle is large and lasts a while." —Katy Herman, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Sephora for $42 or Amazon for $42.

    28. Deck of Scarlet Threeway Solid Lip Oil gives your pout a heavy dose of moisture all while also delivering lasting color payoff and amazing shine. What CAN'T this one lip product do?!

    model in beige shiny lipstick
    Deck of Scarlet

    On days I wear makeup, I have the hardest time deciding between lipstick and lipgloss. With this lip oil, I don't have to! It has the unbeatable color payoff of a lipstick and the irresistible shine of a gloss, with an additional benefit of moisturizing. With bolder shades I haven't found that it "runs" at all, which I was a bit afraid of with an oil formula. But nope! Stays in place and vibrant for a long while.

    Get it from Deck of Scarlet for $28 (available in 13 colors).

    29. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Nourishing Lip Balm can be used as an everyday balm *or* as an overnight lip mask. It's packed with honey, plant oils, and shea butter so chapped lips are forever a thing of the past.

    pot of Nuxe Reve De Miel honey lip balm

    "Nuxe's Rêve de Miel lip balm is truly holy grail-tier IMHO. I bought my first pot at a pharmacy in Paris after hearing British beauty bloggers rave about it — and it did not disappoint. It's quite thick when you first apply but it literally melts on your lips when you rub it in. It feels hydrating without being sticky, and a little goes a long way. My lips are basically never chapped — not even in the middle of winter — thanks to this dreamy lip salve. I'm pretty sure Nuxe stopped selling this in the US, so we are truly blessed that Amazon carries it. (Seriously, I love this lip balm so much that I accepted two pots of it as payment for house-sitting for a month.)" —Melanie Aman, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Amazon for $24.

    30. Tarte Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint has a variety of rich, long-wear pigments from nudes to reds. Might as well avoid making a hard decision and get one nude and one bold shade!

    BuzzFeed editor wearing a nude pink lipstick and holding the tube near her face
    BuzzFeed / Kayla Boyd

    "One of my biggest problems with liquid lipstick is that a lot of them will flake and peel. This Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint does not! It dries super fast and then you can barely feel it on your lips at all. It can be a tad dry so I just like to make sure my lips are moisturized before I apply it. It stays on all day long and I'm obsessed with the neutral shades 'Exposed' and 'Festival.' They both have a pinkish tint and make great everyday lip colors." —Kayla Boyd, BuzzFeed Editor

    Get it from Tarte for $20 (available in 18 shades).

    You glowin' from all these products, knowing you spent your $$ on the right stuff.


    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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