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    7 Game-Changing Beauty Products That Are Actually Worth Your Money

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    1. Invisibobbles don't squeeze and pinch the life of your strands, nor do they leave awkward dents after they're taken out. (Plus, they're just really fun to play with.)

    Anamaria Glavan / BuzzFeed, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    One of my most distinct elementary school memories is sitting on the carpet while my mom sat on the couch and combed my hair into a smooth, high ponytail every morning. I got sick of it by middle school and started leaving my hair down every day, barely combed through and just plain frizzy. Since then, not much has changed...she half-ashamedly admits. But after bleaching and damaging my locks into fried yellow noodles last year, I've become increasingly unhappy with my hair to the point where sometimes I just NEED it to be up and out of sight. Plus, tying up my hair makes me feel like I'm automatically going to get more shit done (the jury's still somewhat out on this one).

    Anyways, I never thought I'd write a review on hair ties. For as long as I can remember, I'd pick up whatever was cheapest from the drugstore (hello, Scünci), but these telephone-cord hair ties are game-changers for me. Once I got past the kiddish design (who am I kidding, I'm basically still a kid), I started instinctively reaching for them every time over my usual hair ties. Because of the damage, my hair has a hard time staying flat, so my regular elastic ties started pinching my hair thanks to the "extra area" they had to encircle. Does that make sense? I hope so.

    On the other hand, Invisibobbles provide a strong ponytail or messy bun hold with NO pinching or tugging at my roots. And — *breathes deep sigh* — no indents on your hair or marks (or minor feelings of blood flow restriction) on your wrists either. Something as simple as putting your hair into a ponytail shouldn't be painful or stressful, and I can't believe it took me so long to realize that. They get stretched out after a wear (obviously) but they actually shrink back to their original size after a while. Annnd they come in a bunch of colors, so you can coordinate to your heart's content if that's your thing! I really like my mint ones but I also bought clear ones for a more subtle option — '90s girl, '90s vibes forever. —Sarah Han

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $9 (clear) or $8 (mint). Also available at Sephora for $8 (in seven colors).

    2. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks are ethereal, magnetic, and pigment-packed gifts from Queen Riri herself so that you (yes, you, mere mortal) can achieve a fabulous ALL-OVER GLOW.

    Christina Lan / BuzzFeed

    By now, you're probably tired of hearing everybody scream about how outrageously magical Fenty Beauty is, but guess what??? You're going to hear it again: Fenty Beauty is the fucking shit. While I could write an essay reviewing every piece from the line, I'll just tell you about one product that needs just as much attention as Trophy Wife and every single one of the 40 foundation shades: Shimmer Skinsticks.

    First of all, THEY'RE MAGNETIC!!!!! They're all homies that feel separation anxiety when they're not together...hence the need to buy every single color. I only have three of them (Starstruck, Sinamon, and Yacht Lyfe) right now, sadly, but will very soon be adding to the collection. Although they are petite-sized, they pack a punch when it comes to pigmentation, just like all of the collection's Killawatt Highlighters. Honestly, I broke up with all my other highlighters, eyeshadows, and blushes when I bought these because I can wear them all over my face. YES, you heard that right. I can put Sinamon on my lids or on my cheeks as bronzer and similarly I can put Yacht Lyfe on my cheeks and on my lips. They're the chameleons of makeup.

    Just like how Rihanna looks good in any setting, on any planet, or in any eon, you'll feel like the empress of the last-standing matriarchy. Or you'll just feel really confident, like you could walk into the office on Monday and not slam your head into the side of the coffee machine. However you wear it, you'll look bodaciously radiant (and feel closer to Rihanna, which is honestly the most important part). —Christina Lan

    Get them from Sephora for $25 (available in 10 shades).

    3. Tigi Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray locks in your fabulously styled hair and wards off humidity and frizz all day. Bonus: You'll smell really good too!

    @bedheadbytigi / Via, @sam_wieder / Via

    Let me start by saying that I've never had any sort of attachment to a specific hairspray before. I'm usually open to using whatever looks like it'll work well. But over the summer I spoke at a conference and got a free sample of Bed Head's Masterpiece Hairspray, and now I am indeed attached to this hairspray.

    For starters, it smells SO good. It doesn't have a strong chemical scent, which I find a lot of other hairsprays can have. I'm not sure how to describe the fragrance exactly...but it's truly magical. And it works great too! It keeps my desired hairstyle intact by firming it up enough so it stays, while also giving it a natural look and feel. It also doesn't make my hair feel really hard like other hairsprays sometimes do.

    My hair frizzes super quickly especially when it's hot outside, and the day this photo was taken, I was able to curl my hair in the morning and the hairspray helped it stay in place long enough for this late-afternoon picture. I definitely recommend getting yourself a bottle of this stuff ASAP. —Sam Wieder

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $18.97.

    4. Milk Gel Brow is a waterproof pencil that breathes much-needed life and visibility (👀) into your brows so you can easily frame your face and slay all day long.

    Rebecca O'Connell / BuzzFeed

    I have very light eyebrows. So light that sometimes they don't even show up in pictures and it looks like they've been shaved off. Tired of looking like the victim of a frat-party prank, I've turned to Milk's Gel Brow for eyebrows that can be seen by both a camera and the human eye.

    The oily pencil gives brows a prominent, matte look that appears natural but bold. It's also super waterproof, so I can jump in the pool and come out without leaving my eyebrows in the water. The pencil comes in three colors: Pale Ale, Pilsner, and Dark Brew. I'm currently sipping on the lightest color, Pale Ale, but I might be brave and get the Pilsner shade next. I'm just so relieved to finally have natural-looking eyebrows that people can actually see. Applying takes only 30 seconds and it completely transforms my face. I really recommend this pencil for people who want to color in their brows once in the morning and then forget about them for the rest of day. It stays on so well! —Rebecca O'Connell

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

    5. Too Cool for School Egg Mousse Soap Facial Cleanser ~whips~ your facial care routine into gear and swaps all the makeup and dirt on your face for a hydrated and smooth AF complexion.

    Ignacia Fulcher / BuzzFeed

    I just want to start off this fab review by saying that I don't put any effort into facial care AT ALL. When it comes to cleansers, toners, and whatever else that isn't a face mask or makeup, I just can't be bothered to start a routine, but this Too Cool for School Facial Cleanser is so fun that it almost changes my laziness ways!

    It comes in this really cool canister, which I, the unimaginable dumbass that I am, assumed meant it was going to be a gel. But surprise! It dispenses a super-cool foam the consistency of shaving cream. It feels so smooth upon application, and as you massage it into your skin you can see all of the makeup and dirt from the day come up to the surface IMMEDIATELY. Do you know how satisfying that is? Pretty damn satisfying! Once you start rinsing it off your skin feels sooooo soft. Almost like silk, or a baby's butt — whichever description suits your fancy! It also doesn't dry out your skin at all (probably because of the egg extracts in the formula), so you don't have to put on a moisturizer after, but you still should, because your face doesn't deserve to be ashy.

    In addition to its amazing cleansing benefits, it also doesn't have a strong smell (or any at all, for that matter), so anyone who is bothered by scents or has sensitive skin needn't worry. Basically, treat yourself to this shit NOW. It's a fun time and during these dark days we all need a bit of joy in our everyday routines. Ok, bye! —Ignacia Fulcher

    Get it from Sephora for $12+.

    6. Tatcha The Water Cream is an oil-free moisturizer that ~actually~ works for combination skin, meaning it doesn't dry out your skin (no random rough patches) or clog your pores (bye, shiny T-zone).

    Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    Everyone, I have finally found THE ONLY moisturizer that soothes my sensitive combination skin. I had pretty decent skin as a teenager, but my skin type changed drastically after I turned 18; the oily areas (T-zone and chin) became oilier and the dry spots (cheeks) became drier. I tried everything to calm my skin down — from drugstore products to higher-end ones — but it was constantly irritated and kept breaking out. Acne-treating products dried my skin, while hydrating products and oils clogged my pores.

    This ordeal continued until I received a sample of Tatcha's The Water Cream from Sephora. I applied some onto my hand, and to my surprise, the cream instantly turned into a water-like consistency — it absorbed quickly and didn’t leave a sticky residue, and the smell was incredibly fresh and not too perfumey. According to its description, the product is oil-free, noncomedogenic (aka it doesn’t block pores), non-irritating, non-sensitizing, dermatologist-tested, and cruelty-free. It also doesn’t contain mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. I decided to give it a try, and within a week, my skin was noticeably less irritated. The pimples were still there (because this is not an acne-treating moisturizer), but new ones stopped popping up. The formula was gentle enough that it didn’t make any existing zits inflamed (which happens a lot when I try new products). It was light enough that my T-zone didn’t get too shiny, but also hydrating enough that my cheeks felt properly moisturized. My makeup went on smoothly too — no more random dry patches.

    By the time the sample ran out, most of my pimples had healed on their own and my face looked clearer than it had in a long time. I took a leap of faith and ordered the full-size jar, and I haven’t looked back since! Even though it's pricey ($68!!) and I hate spending a lot on cosmetics, I do believe it’s worth it since NOTHING ELSE has achieved the same effect for me. Plus, a little goes a long way with this cream. —Yi Yang

    Get it from Sephora for $68.

    7. Aveda Madder Root Color Conditioner enriches warm tones in red shades so you're left with a salon-fresh look (without the hefty price tag!).

    Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed, Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

    Most anyone’ll tell you that shades of red are the hardest to prevent from fading when it comes to coloring your hair. I’ve been naturally auburn for the better part of my life (but was born blonde!) with bouts of blonde highlights and the emo black-underneath thing back in 2006. Now I DIY my hair color in more vibrant auburn hues with Feria box kits and a little help from my roommate. (My beauty idol Dita Von Teese colors her own hair and discusses it in her book! Don’t @ me about how I shouldn’t.) Oh, and I heat-style my hair all the dang time. So my color-treated, thick, naturally wavy hair needs some serious help.

    Last time I got a haircut at the awesome Aveda salon near my apartment, they used this Aveda Madder Root Shampoo and Conditioner on my hair. I couldn’t shake how much brighter my hair looked after JUST ONE WASH. I bought the conditioner on the spot. When I got home my roommate told me that my color job looked great and I informed her that I had only gotten a haircut. Yep, it’s that good.

    I don’t use it every time I wash my hair, but alternate it with this $4 Pantene deep conditioner. (More on that here.) The conditioner will NOT magically match your roots to the rest of your strands, but it WILL deposit a substantial amount of rich color in the parts of your hair that are color-treated. And your shower is going to look like a scene out of Psycho while you’re rinsing your hair (which tbh, I love). Just make sure you bleach any red spots in your shower afterward or it’ll stay put for days; it’s that potent. Also, Aveda is PETA-certified cruelty-free! —Elizabeth Lilly

    Get it from Aveda or Nordstrom for $22.

    We did it. We finally figured out Ariel's secret to long-lasting, vibrant red hair!!


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