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7 Life-Changing Beauty Products That Are Worth Every Damn Penny

Tried, tested, and loved by BuzzFeed editors!

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We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

This post features a mix of items that we purchased with our own money and those that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. (But! We’re under no obligation to write a review of those things, let alone a positive review.)

1. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask ain't your average sheet mask — oh no, hunny, it's cool as hell (literally), transparent enough to wear at work, and packs major hyaluronic acid to hydrate and centella asiatica to soothe stressed skin, and, of course, watermelon extract for endless summer glow.

@glowrecipe / Via instagram.com, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

So it's kinda strange, but I haven't reviewed a sheet mask on BuzzFeed yet. Why? It's honestly really hard for me to be über impressed with one. I sheet mask pretty often, but I always switch it up. I'm already a huge fan of Glow Recipe's watermelon line (peep my review at #8!), so I knew I had to hop on their next release immediately. I went to the press preview and learned that founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang used to have chilled watermelon rinds rubbed on their faces and backs to reduce heat rashes and redness — what?? But then I thought about it — I subconsciously reached for a bottle of refrigerated orange juice the other day to soothe my mosquito bites, so sheet masks made out of watermelon extract don't seem strange or far off at all.

I can't even begin to tell you just how REFRESHING this mask feels — especially with NYC summer in full swing, it was just what I needed. And...it actually *stays* extremely cool for the whole 10-15 minutes you have it on for. It also stays on my face SO WELL — there's no fear of slippage and I can still do my usual stuff sitting up, rather than being forced to lay down. My face felt so hydrated, bouncy, and plump, ideally what I wish my face would look like if I actually got enough sleep and drank enough water 😅. And, since it's basically translucent, I'm definitely going to mask with this on my next flight, where the environment is extra-super-freaking dry and adopt Glow Recipe's #maskeverywhere philosophy. Maybe even the office? Coworkers, get ready! —Sarah Han, Beauty Writer

Get it from Glow Recipe or Sephora for $8.

2. Orly Nail Lacquer in "Confetti" is not only the prettiest pale pink that will set Meghan Markle admirers' hearts aflutter, but a color that will still look damn near perfect after almost two weeks post application!

IMO, a good nail polish should be three things: Long-lasting, long-lasting, and long-lasting. If it's a great color that doesn't show chips and goes on with a smooth consistency, that's icing on the cake. And let me tell you, Orly Nail Polish in Confetti has enough icing to spike your blood sugar through the roof. I was looking for the perfect pale pink à la Meghan Markle and came across this shade from Orly at Target. Not only did it go on with a perfectly even color — v. important for those of us who do our own nails — it also knocked me straight off my chair when at DAY 11, there were barely any chips. On regular nail polish! It looked great! I don't have time to be painting my nails every 4 days with the other polishes that barely last that long. If you're looking for the perfect Your Nails But Better polish that gives off Duchess of Sussex vibes, give Confetti a try. —Augusta Falletta, Supervising ProducerGet it from Amazon for $7.49, Walmart for $7.95, or Target for $7.99 (available in 32 shades).
Augusta Falletta / BuzzFeed

IMO, a good nail polish should be three things: Long-lasting, long-lasting, and long-lasting. If it's a great color that doesn't show chips and goes on with a smooth consistency, that's icing on the cake. And let me tell you, Orly Nail Polish in Confetti has enough icing to spike your blood sugar through the roof. I was looking for the perfect pale pink à la Meghan Markle and came across this shade from Orly at Target.

Not only did it go on with a perfectly even color — v. important for those of us who do our own nails — it also knocked me straight off my chair when at DAY 11, there were barely any chips. On regular nail polish! It looked great! I don't have time to be painting my nails every 4 days with the other polishes that barely last that long. If you're looking for the perfect Your Nails But Better polish that gives off Duchess of Sussex vibes, give Confetti a try. —Augusta Falletta, Supervising Producer

Get it from Amazon for $7.49, Walmart for $7.95, or Target for $7.99 (available in 32 shades).

3. R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste is 50% dry shampoo, 50% styling paste, and all together 100% worth it — it soaks up oil from day-three hair and provides natural, lived-in texture and volume that'll have people guessing whether or not you just went to the salon.

R+Co, Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste has quickly become my holy-grail dry shampoo and texturizing product. It’s unlike other dry shampoos in that it’s a paste instead of an aerosol spray. The texture is kind of gritty at first, but it softens as you rub it in your hands. It’s a dual-purpose product because it masks oil in the roots, but then also gives AMAZING volume and texture all throughout the hair.

I have somewhat thick hair, but the actual strands are very fine. My hair usually starts to get oily on the second or third day after I’ve shampooed, and the Badlands paste always gives me a few more days between washes. I’ll use this product even if my hair isn’t very oily, just to give it some added texture and volume. After I’ve applied it to my roots, I work it into the middle and ends of my hair to give it the more lived-in, undone look. I had been trying to get this texture for so long — not too messy, but not too neat and polished — and the Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste nails it. Bonus for brunettes: it does not leave a gray cast in your hair! It’s a salon-quality product, so a 2.2 oz tub will run you $28, but it's definitely worth the months of great hair days. —Anna McCarter, Freelance Writer

Get it from Amazon or Jet for $28.

4. Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter perfects the shape, neatness, and hold of your brows with a clear coat of gel — the easiest lil' tweak to make you feel more put together!

Jemima Skelley / BuzzFeed

I'm not someone who ever ~does~ my eyebrows. I get them waxed every now and then, and I pluck stray hairs, but I've never mastered filling them in or incorporating them into my makeup routine.

This brow gel is perfect for me – it makes my eyebrows look good, but I don't have to actually have any skill to use it. Basically, you just comb it through your brows and it gives them a good shape and makes them neat, plus they stay in place all day. It probably doesn't make a ~huge~ difference, but looking in the mirror and seeing neat brows makes me feel like my face has been elevated to a new level.—Jemima Skelley, Senior Writer (based in Sydney)

Get it from Benefit Cosmetics or Sephora for $24.

5. Nyl Rosewater Face Wash keeps it sweet and simple with three organic ingredients: rosewater, vegetable glycerine, and castile soap — its water-like consistency feels super hydrating and gentle, while rosewater tones and soothes.

If you have sensitive skin like I do, I can't recommend Nyl's Rosewater Face Wash enough. I've been searching for something that's not too harsh but still gets the job done, and after using Nyl for the past few weeks, I can't imagine using anything else. When it first comes out of the pump you may be surprised at its water-like consistency, but it lathers up just fine regardless. It's very gentle on my skin, which I attribute to its plant-based nature — the ingredients read like a bingo card for all of the natural things: it's gluten-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, and organic. Nyl suggests following the face wash with a toner. I've been using rose hydrosol for that and have found that they compliment each other really well. The scent is also very delicate and smells wonderful. So if you like your skin care plant-based and rosey, I suggest trying it!—Whitney Jefferson, Director of Pop CultureGet a 4 oz bottle from Amazon or Nyl Skincare for $29. You can also buy an 1 oz sample bottle for $8.
Whitney Jefferson / BuzzFeed

If you have sensitive skin like I do, I can't recommend Nyl's Rosewater Face Wash enough. I've been searching for something that's not too harsh but still gets the job done, and after using Nyl for the past few weeks, I can't imagine using anything else. When it first comes out of the pump you may be surprised at its water-like consistency, but it lathers up just fine regardless. It's very gentle on my skin, which I attribute to its plant-based nature — the ingredients read like a bingo card for all of the natural things: it's gluten-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, and organic.

Nyl suggests following the face wash with a toner. I've been using rose hydrosol for that and have found that they compliment each other really well. The scent is also very delicate and smells wonderful. So if you like your skin care plant-based and rosey, I suggest trying it!—Whitney Jefferson, Director of Pop Culture

Get a 4 oz bottle from Amazon or Nyl Skincare for $29. You can also buy an 1 oz sample bottle for $8.

6. Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Christmas Cookie is a great neutral color that amps your everyday look up a notch.

Jeffree Star, Chloe Zak / BuzzFeed

A friend gave me Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipstick in Christmas Cookie and I figured I’d try it, 'cuz why not? And I was super impressed! I lovvvvve liquid lipsticks because they stay on so much better than regular lipsticks, but I’ve found that a lot of them get cakey easily or dry out. This one feels super lightweight, while still staying strong for hours! The color is awesomely neutral, so it’s the perfect everyday lipstick. The packaging is pretty cute too, if you like sparkly stuff (uh, who doesn’t?!). If it's not the color for you, then there are tons of other options in all kinds of neutral, deep, and bold shades. At $18 it’s pretty average for a liquid lip, but the amount I love this stuff makes it super great value for money, IMO! —Chloe Zak, Video Producer

Get it from Jeffree Star Cosmetics for $18 (also available in 60 other shades!!).

7. Dr. Roebucks Tassie Anti-Pollution Serum packs in the antioxidants to protect your skin from natural elements, and it's infused with a boatload of natural ingredients: myramaze, blueberry extract, aloe vera, and amino acids to rejuvenate and strengthen stressed skin — plus, it has a "Clean at Sephora" seal!

bit.ly, Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

If "pollution" or "smog" isn't one of the first things you think of when New York comes to mind, then I'm going to guess you've never been outside in the city on a hot summer day. It. Is. N-a-s-t-y. So what's a skin care lover to do in the face of such muggy adversity? Well, Dr. Roebuck's, an Australian vegan and cruelty-free brand, recently released a series of serums — my favorite being the Anti-Pollution Serum. I'll admit I used to avoid serums for fear I'd break out (my skin is more sensitive than a John Mayer album), but this one isn't over-moisturizing at all and my face really feels refreshed, as if I hadn't spent the day walking through what I imagine the rainforest would feel like if it also emitted carbon dioxide 24/7. It also feels a little tighter (in a good way!), as if my pores are literally learning to close themselves off to smog.

Emma McAnaw

Plus, I love that you ~pump~ out the formula, so it lasts longer — instead of eyeballing how much to squeeze out like a traditional serum (I'm guilty of over-applying). And maybe this is just me, but it also makes the whole process seem more sanitary — I think about germs and bacteria constantly, so the fact that everything stays inside the bottle and requires very little from fingers makes it feel a whole lot cleaner. Not to mention I'm already a huge fan of Dr. Roebucks. I use their No Worries Moisturizer every morning and, in combination with this serum, really only have them to thank for my now *glowing* skin. Sure, they're a little pricier than, say, drugstore competitors, but the quality is apparent and it's great for sensitive skin. Now if only I could find a way to avoid the NYC subway. —Emma McAnaw, Market Writer

Get it from Amazon or Sephora for $60.

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