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12 Amazing Beauty Products You'll Wish You'd Known About Sooner

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1. Skyroad Exfoliating Back Scrub and Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap are the kick-ass bacne-fighting duo you need in your life ASAP.

Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

About a year ago I decided to get off my lazy butt and exercise more. My body thanked me, but my skin did not. In a cruel twist of irony, it turns out excessive sweating and exercise is ~less~ than kind to my skin, primarily my back. I'm not a fan. So when I read an article on Vogue.com about the benefits of a Korean exfoliating towel, I decided to give it a whirl. For something that's only $12, the Skyroad Exfoliating Back Scrub really helps. It lightens those dark marks that acne can leave and brightens the rest of your skin. After using your regular body wash to properly soak your skin, stretch this puppy out and go to town on those hard-to-reach places. Just don't use it during a fresh breakout, as this will definitely be too harsh on tender spots.

I usually put Mario Badescu's A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap on the towel to really get the acne-fighting body wash into my pores and make it work to its full effect. Plus, using the exfoliating towel dry is too harsh on my ghost-like skin. Do this once a week (more is too abrasive for your skin) and you should see results pretty fast! Just in time for ~bikini season~ (during which you will look beautiful no matter what). —Emma McAnaw

Get the Skyroad Exfoliating Back Scrub on Amazon for $11.99 and the Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap for $8+.

2. Unlike regular liners, Vasanti Waterline Eyeliner doesn't budge from your waterline, irritate your eyes, or take an army to remove — need I say more?

Lisa Paradise / BuzzFeed

As opposed to the about five liquid eyeliners I keep on hand for my upper lid (depending on color or thickness of the brush, or whichever one I grab first), I just stick to Vasanti's Waterline Eyeliner for my waterline.

Part of the reason I first bought this eyeliner was because my eyes were getting really irritated by my "whatever eyeliner I grab first" way of life. Vasanti claims the liner is safe for your waterline, and honestly in the couple of years that I've been using it, it doesn't appear to be lying. The product doesn't irritate my eyes during the day, and on the occasional night I fall asleep wearing makeup, I arise to eyes that shockingly aren't red and itchy.

I love this liner because it does not budge. You know that feeling when you look in the mirror and realize your bottom liner is halfway down your face? With this, it never happens. Some residue will still build up in the corner of my eyes with the daily "eye boogers," but it's mostly not a issue for me. It's also pretty easy to get off; I still need makeup remover and a cotton ball, but I don't have to scrub, which honestly kinda shocks me considering how well it stays on. —Lisa Paradise

Get it from Amazon for $19.

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3. Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Mask Wash Off is a gentle, delicious-smelling scrub that leaves your skin feeling soft and clean (and NOT like it's been totally stripped of life).

Anamaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

I’ve been on the hunt for an exfoliator that would give my combination skin a good, clean, Orbit feeling and not leave my face raw, red, and reeling. The exfoliators I’ve used in the past have either been too harsh (St. Ives) or too subtle (Clean & Clear Blackhead Scrub — I like it more as a cleanser than an actual scrub), and I wanted the perfect in-between product. Enter Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Mask Wash Off, a black sugar, vitamin C–enriched treat that promises to leave your skin feelin’ great.

This Skinfood mask has the texture and smell of strawberry puree — it’s what I imagine putting a farmers market worth of fruit on your face would feel like. The black sugar “seeds” exfoliate the crap (literally) out of your skin and get all the gunk out of your pores, while not drying it out to the point where your forehead is crying out “moisturize me” in a hoarse whisper. I took a quarter-size amount from the adorable lil' tub, gently rubbed it into my skin, and let it sit for about 10 minutes before washing it off with warm water.

Conclusion: My skin feels smoother (my blackhead-ridden nose in particular) but not dried out, tight, and in desperate need of night cream after I use this. Also, 10 minutes after I removed the mask, the subtle scent of strawberry had yet to leave my nostrils. Yum. —Anamaria Glavan

Get it from Amazon for $9.14.

4. R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste plays double duty as a dry shampoo and styling paste, mopping up excess oil and providing a major boost to your 'do all at once.

Megan Paolone / BuzzFeed

I have a lot of hair — the kind of hair that’s so thick and coarse and porous it takes more than 24 hours to air-dry. And topping the list of my least favorite chores is washing it.

This means a) I wash my hair maybe once a week — basically as long as I can possibly go without looking like some sort of tangled moss-covered lagoon creature — and b) I’ve been on the dry-shampoo train for years. I’ve always had longer layered hair to combat thickness, but I’ve gone shoulder-length in the last year, which has opened up a whole new range of styling products (texturizing sprays! pomades!). So when my hair dresser (hi, Cheryl!) tried R+Co’s Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste on my last fresh cut, I knew I had to buy it for myself.

Badlands is a dry shampoo and styling paste combo that’s meant to revitalize second-day hair, but I usually reserve it for day five or six when my hair has flattened out and is looking dull. You take about a quarter-size amount with your finger from the little pot, rub it until it melts in your hands into an oily powder, and work in at your roots to your ends. (I know “oily” is a scary word for dirty hair, but this dries matte, I promise.) Once it’s worked through, you’re left lifted at the roots, with your hair looking volumized and cleaner. I usually blow out my hair, but Badlands is great to weigh down my natural curls and combat the dreaded Triangle Head that curly-haired people know all too well. And, as I mentioned, it’s great on just-washed hair for texture and extra volume. It smells so good, too — clean and vaguely lemony but not sickly sweet.

This stuff is not, by any means, perfect. It definitely doesn’t make your hair feel cleaner the way some dry shampoos do — it can get kinda gritty if you use too much — and I can imagine it not working as well for people with thinner, finer hair. But after a few months of use, Badlands has solidified its place as something I’ll be keeping in my hair arsenal for the foreseeable future. —Megan Paolone

Get it from Amazon for $28.

5. L'Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer is all you need to hide any pimples that decide to drop by your face for an unexpected (and completely and utterly unwelcome) visit.

Treye Green / BuzzFeed

During a recent weekend trip to DC, I was joined by a last-minute travel companion — a random-ass pimple. I wanted a quick fix to help mask the pimple and its red glow during my time in the Capitol City. So I decided to pop into an Ulta to pick up some concealer.

After browsing the limited options for people of color within the less-pricey drugstore lines, I eyed the Medium/Deep Cool shade of L'Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer. And to my excitement — and relief — the color matched my skin tone perfectly. With just a minimal amount of product, I effectively covered the redness of my unexpected blemish. The wand applicator made it easy to apply and manage the amount of concealer I put on my face.

I only used it on a small area of my face, given that I only wanted to cover my pimple. But the concealer was lightweight and easy to blend over the blemish. It remained in place for several hours without any issues. Plus, the bottle is the perfect size to toss into a purse, bookbag, or even your pocket. —Treye Green

Get it from Ulta for $9.99 or Amazon for $7.49 (available in nine shades).

6. Japonesque Velvet Touch Primer is a weightless gel that glides over the skin to create a velvety-smooth palette for foundation application.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

This past month I’ve using Japonesque’s Velvet Touch Primer on a daily basis and I've never had to reapply makeup at any point in the day or worry about oil that a rogue spaghetti noodle flicked onto my cheek. It was like my foundation was one with my skin. I even slept with my makeup on overnight multiple times — no residue left on my pillow. I’ve gone to the gym to sweat it out and my face still looked just as good as when I walked in. Fucking awesome.

The product itself is a little strange. It’s this semi-opaque gel that feels like some sort of strange silk when you apply it. It certainly didn’t feel like something I should use regularly, but I haven’t had any issues with dry spots or acne.

My application routine follows like this:

-Wash face with Cetaphil cleanser.

-Liberally moisturize with Aveeno lotion.

-Apply Japonesque Primer.

-Apply Urban Decay liquid foundation.

I tried going a few days without the primer and it just didn’t feel the same. When I applied the foundation, it didn’t spread as evenly and it looked like my makeup had lost most of its ~vibrance~ as time passed. So I feel like this primer is definitely a game-changer for me and will become a permanent member of my routine. —Jeff Barron

Get it from Amazon for $32.

7. Beauty Junkees Matte Liquid Lipstick in Dinner Party is the perfect vampy-but-not-TOO-vampy lippie that even fades beautifully, so you'll feel confident battling all the elements (and meals) of the day.

Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

My faaaaavorite makeup is lipstick — without it, my face just feels incomplete. So I am ~aLwAyS~ wanting to try new lipsticks and share the results with you guys. Which brings us to Beauty Junkees Matte Liquid Lipsticks. Spoiler alert: I'm into them. They go on easily, are super pigmented, and have a LOT of product in the tube. The application is similar to that of Kat Von D liquid lipsticks (which I also have and love), but these are actually way less sticky when dry. I wore the above color all day, and real talk: It did transfer a little, and after (admittedly, a very olive oil-y) lunch, it had faded to a stain. But frankly, the stain was such a nice berry color that I didn't even feel an urgent need to reapply.

The two darkest purples I love, but my FAVE is the one I have on here^^. It's called Dinner Party and is the second-darkest color. The darkest color (Vampirette) is gorgeous too, but this is my top choice for everyday wear. If you've ever read any of my other beauty reviews (or if you've looked at these photos), you know that I am ghostly in color. The "nude" shades are a little too deep and brown for me, but if you're looking for that sort of nude or a trendy '90s throwback color, they'd be PERFECT. —Maitland Quitmeyer

Get it from Amazon for $14.97 (available in six colors).

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8. MD Solar Sciences Mineral Beauty Balm is the one-stop summer product you've been looking for — it has SPF 50, gives subtle glow and coverage, and comes in travel-friendly packaging.

Jess Probus / BuzzFeed

MD Solar Sciences makes my favorite quick-drying spray sunscreen ever, and I'm truly disappointed in myself that I didn't think to look into its daily face sunscreens until recently. The line's tinted beauty balm sunscreen is so good — it's the Goldilocks of sunscreens, if you will. It's just the right amount of matte, just the right amount of tint, and just the right amount of SPF (aka a lot: 50 to be exact). It's not the same as a BB cream and doesn't provide a ton of coverage, but the tint provides a lovely glow and prevents the white sheen of most higher SPFs. Plus, the bottle is travel-sized and perfect for a minimal-makeup travel look.

The only negative thing about this product is the pump, which, according to Amazon reviews, is a recent change. It does sometimes spit out a lot of the product, so you have to be careful with how you hold the bottle. But at this point I'll probably cut the thing open and scrape out the last few drops with my fingers just so I can use it all, so it's not a deal breaker for me. —Jess Probus

Get it from Amazon for $37.05 (available in two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark).

9. NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder in Twilight Tint is a subtle white-blue shimmer that lets you achieve an Instagramworthy glow on camera and IRL.

Cathy Ngo / BuzzFeed

I don't wear full makeup every day, but when I do, highlighting is definitely a vital part of my routine. It makes your face look brighter and enhances your features. Plus, it makes taking selfies 10 times more fun. At first glance, these NYX highlighters look like they would be good for those who covet the Anastasia Moon Child or Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic palettes, but are too broke to afford them. Duo chrome makeup is so cool because it shifts from one color to another, depending on the light and the angle of your face. NYX describes Twilight Tint as a white and blue combo.

When you open the powder, you can see the pearlescent sheen right away. I used a brush for applying the powder to my cheeks, and I used my ring finger for smaller areas (like the Cupid's bow). I had no problems with application, and it was super easy to blend. I also like how the highlighter doesn't have huge chunks of glitter. All you get is that beautiful sheen.

Capturing this highlighter on camera was more difficult than I expected. I tried so hard to get that Instagram glow, but it's very subtle on camera with minimal layers. It looks really stunning in person, though! Fast-forward to the weekend. After multiple layers and lots of prayers, it came close to being Instagramworthy. I do like that it's buildable; you're able to switch from a natural glow to over-the-top gorgeousness. That versatility in a product is a big win for me. Pick this up and add it to your highlighter collection if you haven't already! —Cathy Ngo

Get it from Ulta for $7.99 (available in five shades).

10. Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush blends your foundation seamlessly without soaking up precious product, and most importantly, it holds up year after year.

Morgan Steffes / BuzzFeed

I bought the Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush a few years ago and I use it every time I apply liquid foundation. It blends the product so well into my skin and doesn't soak up into the brush at all. It's firm enough that the brush ends have still stayed together (even after years of use), which is great for me because I don't have to keep re-buying a brush and spending money on it every year. It has lasted me so long! Every once in a while I clean it with Johnson's Baby Shampoo and it's good as new. —Morgan Steffes

Get it from Sephora or Tarte for $34.

11. Lancôme Grandiôse Liner in Cerulean is a shimmery teal liquid eyeliner that is bendable (!!!), so you can finally perfect your cat eye and become the ~risk-taking~ makeup lover you were always meant to be.

Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

I rarely deviate from my trusty black liquid eyeliner, so I was really surprised when I fell for this Lancôme eyeliner that my friend Christina was gracious enough to let me have.

Its main selling point is the color, obviously. Just look at it! I'm not really sure how to describe it with due justice, but it's a gorgeous true teal (no filters here) and has a subtle shimmer, but not so much that it looks like there's a disco party happening on my eyelids. Oh, and the wand bends 45 degrees! I find it super addicting to jiggle around, but thankfully it's holding up to my 10-year-old antics. I've never been particularly miffed about straight applicators (they're the norm, so you get used to them) but I did find that the angle helped guide me when drawing out my wings. Note: I don't draw my lines nearly this thick, but I needed to show you the eyeliner in its iPhone-captured FULL GLORY.

Besides the chic packaging and smart design, the color actually stayed! Yes! The chances of me remembering to put on eye primer are 50/50, but it didn't seem to matter for this one. On days I forgot, it didn't dry in patches, and it seemed to last just as long (I also don't have especially oily eyelids, so that helps). You just really have to remember to give it a good, long shake. I won't be parting with my black liner anytime soon, but may this teal liner signify the start of a long life of experimenting with colorful liners. Okay, maybe not neons. Little changes, not total overhauls here. —Sarah Han

Get it from Lancôme for $32 (available in nine shades, including three mattes).

12. Nerd Skincare Acne Treatment System comes with a clarifying cleanser, acne treatment lotion, and nourishing cream that helps unclog pores, replace acne-causing bacteria with the good kind, and heal damaged skin.

Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

I’ve struggled with acne since I was about 12 years old. Some of my flare-ups have been small, but most of the time they've been painful and cystic. I've visited to dermatologist after dermatologist, been prescribed every acne medication you can think of, and suffered all the side effects too. I can honestly say that since I was a preteen, there hasn’t been a day I haven’t had at least one pimple on my face. Long story short, fuck pimples.

Recently I was contacted by Nerd Skincare to try its new three-step acne treatment, and since I’ve never been able to find a product to completely clear my skin, I was curious to see if this could finally be the one. It’s pretty pricey, with the whole system coming in at just under $200 for a two- to three month-supply — but I did the math, and between the doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, face creams, ointments, masks, facials, steamers... Well, you get the point: I easily spend way more than that trying to treat my acne. So if it works, $200 isn’t a completely outrageous price to pay.

I have super-sensitive skin, and Nerd is designed to help with that. It doesn’t use harsh chemicals or weird ingredients to treat acne, and instead uses the skin's own abilities and nutrients to fight zits. First, you wash your face with a gentle soap (any of your choosing), followed by Nerd’s clarifying cleanser, and then you apply its Acne Treatment on your affected areas. Finally, you apply a layer of its nourishing cream all over your face. When I first started, my skin broke out pretty badly. The instruction book provided explains the life cycle of a pimple and how you can tell what stage it's in, which helped in my understanding of my current pimple situation. After a few weeks, my skin felt softer — and slowly my acne started to disappear.

It’s been almost a month now and I still have pimples, but they’re different. They don’t last as long, the texture of my skin is SO much softer, my pores are a little smaller (just a little), and my flare-ups are happening less frequently. Full disclaimer: In the "after" photo I am wearing a BB cream, but I still think the picture shows the difference in my skin's texture, especially around my chin. All in all, I am going to keep up with the treatment and see where it takes my skin because so far I am really loving it. —Elena Garcia

Get it from Nerd Skincare for $195 (each item can also be bought separately).

Wanna keep feeding that beauty-loving brain of yours? Check out all of our past raved-about products here!

Some products were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge.

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