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

Tried, tested, and loved by BuzzFeed editors and writers!

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1. A complexion-clearing clay mask formulated with 10% sulfur and eucalyptus oil to draw gunk out of your pores and ~keep~ them open and clear.

Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

"Until three weeks ago, I'd never done a face mask before, mostly because I'm terrified of doing anything that might make my very acne-prone skin freak out. However, I felt like basically the last person on earth not to try one and I had a sneaking suspicion there was probably one magic mask out there that would actually help my complexion rather than ruin it. So when my sister suggested we do face masks during a wine and movie night (yes, living in the same city as a sibling is the best), I decided to pull a Nike and just do it. She's less blemish-prone than I am but she promised she did her research, and considering her skin was literally glowing, I went for it.

Enter the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Mask. It looks like gray mud and smells like the child of clay and sulfur, but whatever works, right? I smeared on a medium-thick layer as instructed, and let it set for 10 minutes. One of the reasons I was excited to step into the face mask world was because I wanted the satisfaction of peeling it off and seeing all the grime it sucked out of my pores. But with this one, you just wash it off after it hardens, which takes about five to 10 minutes. My initial disappointment was washed away with the mask, though, because once it was off, I noticed that my face felt like velvet.

I've since bought my own tub o' clay and use it two to three times a week, and let me tell you, this shit works. I still get a zit here and there (nothing is a miracle product, after all), but the zits are smaller than usual and my skin overall feels smoother and my complexion looks much more even. It's not the cheapest, but I've been told one container lasts a while and compared to the amount of money I've spent fighting acne, it's a drop in the bucket." —Terri Pous

Get it from Amazon for $26.85.

2. A makeup brush–cleaning set that’ll make you feel like an artist hard at work.

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

"We’ve all heard the spiel about how much bacteria can get on your makeup brushes and yada yada yada. But who thinks to clean them at any other time until, like, midnight the night before you’re going to use them the next morning? I can’t be the only one out there that always puts it off, even as I’m raking a brush across my blush palette and choosing to ignore that it looks a little gross.

So I finally broke down and bought one of these brush-cleaning mat sets. This one also came with a knockoff Beautyblender sponge. Why? I don’t know! But now I have that too.

I gave it a go with my years-old Sephora foundation brush and from-who-knows-where blush brush that I’ve been using for quite a while. You can see what I was working with at the beginning with visible, built-up makeup on my brushes. And dear reader, I went to town on my foundation brush with the mat. I swirled and swished it around with a few drops of this body wash I happened to have in my shower.

It was quite satisfying to see the foundation water run through the various designs on the large mat, which mostly stays put thanks to some suction cups on the back. The handheld heart is better if you want a little more control for detail cleaning. I found it equally — if not more — effective than the sink mat. These mats made cleaning my brushes feel like way less of a chore that I should be doing on the reg. So maybe I’ll *actually* do this on the reg." —Elizabeth Lilly

Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in three colors).

3. A nourishing organic leave-in conditioner for totally bouncy and healthy-looking strands with no split ends in sight.

Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

"I straighten my hair erryday. Which is a lot of heat. On my head. So I probably have really dry hair, right? WRONG. The first day after I used this John Masters organic leave-in conditioner for the first time, I immediately noticed a huge difference. It fully hydrates and makes every strand feel super lightweight, plus it heals split ends. I found that doing my hair was a lot faster in the morning and overall my hair looked so healthy and bouncy. An added bonus: It’s all-natural and cruelty-free. The main ingredients are lavender and avocado oils, as well as flower and tea extracts. I find that leaving it in for about five minutes gets the full effect.

Seriously, I don’t think dogs at the Westminster Dog Show feel this damn ~silky smooth.~ And they’re pretty fabulous. It is a little pricey, so I usually save the majority of it for special occasions, like New Year's. My hair stayed in the beachy waves that I styled all night and maintained that *glossy finish*." —Emma McAnaw

Get it from Amazon for $26.26.

4. An acne-clearing foaming wash with 10% benzoyl peroxide to clear up your bod at a truly affordable price.

Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

"Back in high school I remember asking my dermatologist what I could do about body acne — my condition wasn't bad bad, but the pimples dotting my upper arms and back weren't cute. She prescribed a daily antibiotic and recommended this body wash for me to use in the shower. I took the antibiotic — hey, popping a pill is easy! — but I never tried the wash. My condition improved but it wasn't resolved entirely.

Fast-forward to a few months ago when, thinking about the upcoming summer when I'd be shirtless at the beach, I realized I needed to get a handle on the acne that had cropped up again on my arms and back. First I tried an anti-acne body wash with 2% salicylic acid, but even after a month or so, my skin looked more or less the same. I decided to take the advice of my old dermatologist and finally give PanOxyl a shot (I actually purchased the Walgreen's brand equivalent with the same active ingredient since it was cheaper).

After only two weeks, my skin looked remarkably clearer — existing pimples had disappeared and new ones were appearing much less frequently. I did however need to adjust my shower routine in order for the product to work effectively. After stepping in, I'd apply the foaming wash to my arms and back and let that ~soak in~ while I washed my face and hair, being careful not to rinse off the acne wash for at least a few minutes. I'd then finish up with my regular body wash.

Having used the wash daily for a few months now, my arms and back are almost entirely clear. And with summer right around the corner, I couldn't be happier." —Jon-Michael Poff

Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (or the Walgreens version for $12.49).

5. A cult-favorite foot peel that tears apart dead skin in full-fledged flaky glory and then blesses you with baby-soft tootsies two weeks later.

Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

"Summer is upon us, and much like many of you, I needed to get myself beach-body ready. Now I’m not talking about going on some diet (I am far too much of a carbivore for that) — I’m talking about my feet. If I wanna prance around the streets in sling-backs and open-toes, I need to get these puppies ready. So I enlisted the magical services of my favorite foot skin eater: Baby Foot, the ever-so-popular booties filled with the magical solution to all your gross feet woes.

I have fairly sensitive skin so I always do a small skin test of the solution before I start (basically I just dab a little onto the top of my foot and wait 20 minutes to see if I have a reaction), but I’ve never had a problem. Once I knew I was good to go I washed and soaked my feet, slipped the booties on (I like to slip a pair of socks over the booties too), and relaxed! In an hour I took them off, washed my feet again, and I was done. I didn’t notice anything at first, just that my feet looked nicely moisturized. About two days later is when the real carnage began — flakes and chunks broke free from the shackles of my soles. It was both intensely disgusting and immensely satisfying.

In about two weeks the peeling stopped and my feet were soft and supple, like we all know they’re meant to be. The only real issue during the whole process was that my feet were gross and skin flakes were peeling off like some sort of apocalyptic disease was trying to eat me from the bottom up. I also couldn’t wear sandals or take my shoes off in public. But some out there might not care about scarring children and scaring passersby, so that might not be an issue. Nevertheless, the end results are totally worth it! My feet feel amazing, like an IRL example of the praise hands emoji. 🙌 " —Elena Garcia

Get a pair from Amazon for $21.90.

6. An insanely hydrating tinted lip balm to give your pout a tiny pop of color for a night out on the town (and SPF during the day!).

Morgan Steffes / BuzzFeed

"I don't wear a lot of makeup but I still like to put some on when I go out on the weekends. When I want to add some color to my lips (nothing too bold), I use Maybelline Baby Lips tinted lip balm. It keeps my lips moisturized all night but gives me the little pop of color I'm looking for. The one I use the most is the Cherry Me color — it's not too bright but definitely adds what I need for a 'going out' look. It feels super soft and silky when applying and it's easy to just throw in your purse and reapply a few times throughout the night. It even has SPF 20, which is always a plus!" —Morgan Steffes

Get it from Amazon for $2.65+ (available in six varieties).

7. A sheer, imperfection-blurring facial tint packed with antioxidants to enhance your natural, radiant look.

Anamaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

"GOOD NEWS! Though I suffer from the occasional pimple, my high school self would cry never-ending tears of joy to discover that my face is now pretty clear. BAD NEWS! My skin is uneven and oily in the T-zone, so I usually wear Smashbox foundation and NYX setting powder to counteract it. But last week, the unseasonably hot and humid weather in New York filled me with dread. Why? Wearing foundation. In summer. When the floodgates of my face open up to create pools of sweat and streaky strips of orange. Summertime sadness, amirite?

Here’s what the dose of it’s-disgusting-out reality made me realize I needed: a lightweight facial tint that would even out my skin tone and not make it look like the grease you dab off a pizza slice. Cue the Osmotics Age Prevention Sheer Facial Tint with SPF 45, a lightweight moisturizer packed with antioxidants that promises to enhance your skin tone, prevent premature aging, and blur imperfections.

Now, I’ve tried a few tinted moisturizers before (Aveeno being one of them) and had been pretty disappointed; while they did even out my skin, they also felt greasy. In short, I decided to review this product as a skeptic with little hope for the world.

I squeezed a dime-sized amount of product into my hand (I used the light shade, but it’s also available in medium and dark!) and applied it on my face the way I would a regular moisturizer, only to be incredibly disappointed for the first few minutes. While it felt really great on, I ALSO THOUGHT IT MADE ME LOOK ORANGE AND GREASY. I started brushing my teeth with passion, annoyed that I wasted my time on something that didn’t work. Two minutes later, I passed the mirror and realized my skin had transformed — I was now an angel with glowing skin that looked dewy and clear, not greasy and splotchy. The product just needed a few minutes to settle in and feel at home.

While it is on the pricier side, this facial tint is definitely worth the splurge for people who are looking for light coverage — it makes your skin look radiant and smooth, feels great on, and isn’t made of junk that will clog your pores and anger the pimple gods within.

**In this picture, I’m wearing the Osmotics facial tint with Nars Radiant Concealer under my eyes, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and Glossier Boybrow (which I reviewed last month). Everything took all of five minutes to put on!" —AnaMaria Glavan

Get it from Amazon for $39 (available in light and medium shades).

8. A weightless, miracle-like leave-in hair treatment to replace multiple products in your post-shower routine (thank god).

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

"I have long, coarse hair that tends to curl at the mere hint of humidity. But I hate putting it up…unless I’m exercising, because I’m not a total weirdo. Since high school I’ve perfected my hair hair regimen to make it look smoother and more manageable. As of two years ago, I’d whittled down a post-shower product regimen of a spray detangler, spray leave-in conditioner, and smoothing cream — all before I blow-dry my hair. Then I’d use hairspray for any styling and then some Argan oil or whatever other smoothing potions I had nearby to finish it off.

That changed for me a few years ago when I received a sample tube of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Treatment during a Sephora haul. I’d heard the best things about the brand back in 2009 during Twilight press (perhaps this Allure story?) because the on-set stylist used the (new-to-me) products on the movie’s stars’ hair to combat the Pacific Northwest shooting locations' humidity. (I read all the books while on winter break from college because I was incredibly bored. So sue me.) At the time, I went with my college roommate and her boyfriend to the mall and we smeared all kinds of Living Proof product on his hair (he was a good sport) to test its merits. We were satisfied, but that price tag was not in this college student’s budget.

So I chose that little ~deluxe~ sample in 2015-ish and have looked back only once. Recently when my last bottle ran out, I decided to try out this Sexy Hair Smooth Encounter Blow Dry Extender Cream and was incredibly disappointed. It was fine and I probably would've dug it pre-Living Proof, but it felt heavier and didn't leave my hair nearly as smooth and shiny.

The product container errs on the small side, but a little bit goes a long way. And look at how much hair I have! I pull it through my hair from roots to ends and then blow-dry my hair (with this blow-dryer) and a brush (like this one). As you can see from my Slash-ish Snapchat filter before pic, my hair is naturally curly. My after pic is of my hair immediately after blow-drying, with no extra product. Without this 5-in-1 miracle stuff, it’d take a lot more product (and effort) to make my hair look like this post-blowout.

I've received lots of compliments on my hair since switching to this product, from random people asking if I paid for a blowout (NOPE!) to a friend's roommate exclaiming, 'Your hair is editorial straight!' (Thanks!) So yeah, it’s legit.

It’s also extremely lightweight because it’s made without parabens or phthalates, which I’m told weigh down your hair! And it’s safe to use on straight, wavy, or curly hair. In short, if Living Proof stops making this stuff, I’m buying a damn case of it." —Elizabeth Lilly

Get it from Amazon for $16.58 or Sephora for $15+.

9. A lightweight, natural-looking BB cream to sway even the most devoted foundation wearers.

Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

"I am a full face of makeup kind of person — it is very rare that I do activities or go to work without spackling on some MAC Studio Fix Fluid and powder. I'm mega-super-pale, and I like to even everything out and hide some pesky acne/scars. But for lazy Saturdays and hot summer days where putting on makeup just seems like a chore, I wanted a BB cream with solid SPF and decent coverage.

Enter IPKN's Moist & Firm BB cream. It has SPF 45 (🙌), is super hydrating, and actually blurs and evens out your skin — not in a ~made up~ way, but in a 'damn, my skin looks good' kind of way. Infused with vitamin E and skin-soothing ingredients, it feels and looks natural on the skin, neither too dewy nor too matte. I've tried applying it with my fingers and with a Beautyblender and got excellent results both ways! AND the fair shade ACTUALLY works on my better-check-her-pulse-to-see-whether-she's-dead-or-sleeping skin.

This photo is from this past weekend — my allergies were in Full Swing and I really didn't feel like getting all fixed up — my eyes were too itchy for even a coat of mascara and any lipstick I put on would be immediately ruined with nose-blowing. So I pulled out some Benadryl, some giant mirrored sunnies, and my trusty IPKN BB cream — it was the perfect combination to trick people into thinking I was a functioning human instead of an allergic mess. (That is, until I sneezed so aggressively my sunglasses flew off my face.)

With the SPF, lightweight feel, and solid coverage, this BB cream is going to be seeing a lot of face time this spring and summer. If you are a foundation person who wants a BB cream alternative to cut down your getting-ready time, look no further! —Maitland Quitmeyer

I’ve never found a BB cream I liked until this one. Every BB cream I’ve tried has had too-weak coverage and has left my face weirdly greasy (my face is not oily to begin with?), which results in me running back full-force to my full-coverage foundations (Pür Bare It All, you are love). And ever since moving to NYC, my skin has become a raging monster (due to crappy lifestyle habits and also probably pollution), so I'm definitely NOT inclined to keep my base makeup light. Nah, PILE. IT. ON.

No lie, I expected this BB cream (I use the shade light/medium) to be like the rest, providing close-to-zero coverage and quickly disappearing into thin air so all my redness would resurface after an hour (in my head my pimples are yelling, "I'M BACK, BITCHES!"). But IPKN, consider me very impressed. You hold up on your own like a smooth skin-perfecting operator while still being more lightweight and blendable than a full-fledged liquid foundation (it doesn't ~completely~ mask my pimples, but I'm not expecting any miracles).

I second Maitland on the fingers vs. Beautyblender test, which is a lifesaver when I'm really in a pinch and don't have time to be wetting my Beautyblender (like I always do with my foundations). Plus, even without using their green color-correcting primer (which has SPF 15), the BB cream's SPF 45 alone is wonderfully sufficient protection. My skin looks natural and fresh, and it's probably thanking me for going easier on the daily coverage and slathering. And I really do reach for this every day — idk what's happened, but I'm not mad." —Sarah Han

Get it from Amazon or Birchbox for $35 (available in four shades).

10. A flattering, multitasking liquid highlighter that also doubles as bronzer, blush, and eyeshadow because it's a fucking champion.

temptu.com

"I am a notorious blush over-user, an apple-to-brow cheek sweeper. I've tried my share of powder options, including cult classics like Orgasm that, while flattering, still somehow make me look clownish.

I discovered this Temptu highlighter/bronzer/blush (in the shade Copper Bronze) in a BirchBox I had gifted my mom, but when I discovered its magic I promptly stole it back from her. (Sorry, Mom!) The subtlety of the color and texture is a perfect match for my typical heavy-handedness. You almost can't use too much. It works as a highlighter or bronzer (depending on the color) when used lightly and as a perfect fresh-faced blush when used in thicker layers. I've even started using it as an eyeshadow, which also feels very rosy and on-trend. This is my third bottle and I am already thinking of buying another so I never run out. 10/10, Bronze Medal material." —Jessica Probus

Get it from Temptu for $29.50.

11. A light-as-air, confidence-boosting liquid foundation that will make you say, "DAMN, I look so good."

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed, @urbandecaycosmetics / Via instagram.com

"There is a first time for everything, and this makeup review will be no exception. So here is a little background about me: I’ve always had a fascination with makeup and how it makes people look prettier and masks glaring blemishes. Growing up I had awful acne, and I still have the acne scars on my face from years of terrible skin care. Having a pimple on your face is one of the more common confidence-destroying experiences that we all go through. I was jealous that women had tools to hide their blemishes but it wasn’t socially acceptable for a man to use those same tools. WHY THE HELL NOT?! Wow, let me tell you, if someone came up to me and said, 'Hey, for like $40 you can buy something that makes you feel more confident,' you bet your ass I would hand over the money. It is only now, at the ripe ol’ age of 27, that I sheepishly shuffled my way into a local Sephora — and the rest is history.

Now, I’m no makeup fanatic. I really don’t know much about the tips and trick of the trade. Sure, I’ve watched those YouTube videos of people like Pony Makeup turn people into Taylor Swift look-alikes, but how does that apply to me? I just wanna look like Jeff, but slightly better.

Enter Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (I use shade 4.0). I’ve worn enough types of foundation to know that this stuff ~feels~ better than the other one I’ve tried. I wanted something that wasn’t too heavy, something that just brought out my skin more. Well, this has fit the ticket for the past four months. It’s nice and light on my skin, almost like a moisturizer (but maybe a touch heavier than that). It’s like I’m wearing nothing at all. It applies and blends really easily and I found myself getting pretty quick with the routine of getting it on my face and going out the door. One thing I will say is that it can be a little drying, so just be liberal with your moisturizing beforehand. I haven't really experienced any patching, but your mileage may vary.

I don’t know a whole lot about what people look for in their foundation, but if you share my need for an easy, weightless liquid foundation that isn’t cakey at all, this ought to fit the bill for you." —Jeff Barron

Get it from Sephora for $40 (available in 24 shades).

12. A foolproof black liquid eyeliner that won't slip or budge on you...or throw you into a raging fit that only comes from using runny liners.

Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

"About twice a year my brain decides, I want to become an eyeliner person! I rummage around my makeup bag for ghosts of liners past...or hit up Duane Reade and Sephora. I try a felt-tip marker, a gel pot with angled brush, a kohl pencil, and either I become the human embodiment of a makeup meme, scream in fury, and rub my eyes raw with makeup remover, OR I succeed at winged eyeliner...and then two hours later half of it has somehow transferred beneath my eyes. And I return to my usual routine (some may call it a rut): bright lipstick, tightlined eyes with a black eye pencil, and a few coats of mascara.

Well, the cycle began again a few weeks ago, but this time I tried NYX's Matte Liquid Liner. And I think I've broken the cycle, guys. This liner dries quite quickly, so you don't have to worry about accidentally smearing it and ruining the whole look. And once it dries, that baby STAYS. PUT. The above GIF is me aggressively rubbing the dried eyeliner on my hand. NO BUDGING. By the end of the day, my liner looked pretty damn close to perfect.

It's super matte black — no sparkles or wet-looking liner here! And rather than being a felt tip or marker, the brush is made up of little hairs so it won't dry out and you won't lose any product. It's surprisingly easy to control and I found that I could closely follow my lash line and swoop upward without making a mess.

I'm aware that these are little baby kitty kat eyes rather than big wings, but hey, it's a work in progress. I'm learning as I go. So whether you're learning how to do a cat eye or you're an expert looking for a drugstore liner that ~actually stays all day~, this might be the one for you! And at only $6.99, it's certainly worth a try." —Maitland Quitmeyer

Get it from Target for $6.99.

13. An incredibly milky cleansing foam to wash away the day's grime while also brightening the skin (hello, pearl extract!) and boosting hydration levels (hello, seaweed and algae extract!).

Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

"At the ~very least~ I wear foundation every waking day, so my nighttime routine obviously includes a cleansing step of some sort. I was never super freaking impressed by any cleansers, let alone by their textures, until I came across Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam (say that five times fast). I'm ADDICTED to the way the ~tiniest~ amount of product (no exaggeration — I usually use even less than the lil' sliver pictured) instantly lathers up to this massive pool of fluffy cloud face milk (that might sound like nonsense but I swear it's an accurate description). The smell is heavenly too! Not too overpowering, but it legit smells like a creamy milkshake — it reminds me of walking into an Oberweis ice cream shop (where my fellow Midwesterns at? 🍦).

To me, a very scientifically backed sign of a good cleanser is how much/long I want to pat my soft AF face while dorkily smiling to myself after it's been washed off. My face never feels tight or like I need to run to my room and apply toner IMMEDIATELY afterwards to perform pH-restoring CPR — I still put on toner anyways, but my face doesn't feel like a dried-up Spongebob if I forget about it for a few YouTube videos. Besides seaweed and algae extract, the cleanser also boasts ~30~ other calming oceanic plant extracts, which is vital for splotchy red skin like mine. And because it contains pearl extract, I obviously feel like royalty using it. Always a plus in my book. 💁 👑

I'm not the biggest fan of taking my makeup off and cleaning my face, but this foam makes it a tad less of a chore. Sometimes...dare I say, I even enjoy it. *gasp*" —Sarah Han

Get it from Soko Glam for $30.

Looking for more beauty recommendations? You're in luck! Here are all of the previous editions ready for your perusing.

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