Top four French makeup artists have spoken about high-quality, democratically priced future cult classics that they stock up on in U.S. drugstores. Here, 12 steals you should add to your beauty repertoire, with some of my tips along the way.
Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
“When you have bangs, dry shampoo is your best friend. I also use it to give my hair texture and help shape and style it. I love the mini travel size version.”
My tip: working early mornings and late evenings leaves me no desire to wash my hair as often as I’d wish, so, this bad boy has been my third-day staple for years! It comes in a variety of different scents and sizes, as well.
“You can create a smoky eye on the go in just two minutes. I bought the entire shade range and pick one each day based on my mood.”
My tip: the shade MILK from this lineup is an industry staple white base, perfect for other shadows to pop on the lid or in the waterline. No-budge formula of this pencil has been around for years for a good reason.
“This mascara not only makes your lashes look longer and full, but lets you easily add more than one coat without clumping.”
My tip: this industry staple is one for a reason, with almost every brand out there trying to recreate their own version of a result that this mascara gives you. Volume, length, separation, longevity – it has it all. It also comes in a waterproof version, and a variety of fun shades!
“I keep a few of these with me so I can use it on my clients and give it to them for touch ups or a night on the town. The formula is rich, velvety, and easy to apply, and the pen doesn’t need to be sharpened.”
My tip: if you can’t find this product in your local stores, I recommend Maybelline’s SuperStay Ink Crayon as an alternative.
“I mix this serum into foundation to get rid of bags. I place two drops into the palm of my hand, add one dot of foundation, blend with my finger, and smooth it from the inner to outer corner of the undereye area.”
My tip: for a quicker and better result, use this product by itself before makeup application. Perhaps along with a moisturizer, while you’re working on the eye makeup or brows.
Oh boy, my eyebrows were a casualty of the early teens in the sense that when I say I tweezed them into one singular line of hair, it’s not at all an exaggeration.
After time passed and trends evolved, I finally decided it was time to restore the damage I’d done on my brows. Thankfully, my brows — through years of training — rose from the ashes like a phoenix, and now, I tend to them like the miracle story they are. That of course includes using a brow gel on the daily so they look their best.
And since I generally try to scale back my makeup-wearing days to care for my skin, I often prefer to restock my usual makeup staples from more budget-friendly options — which is exactly how I found my new holy-grail brow product, the NYX Cosmetics Control Freak Eyebrow Gel.
As is the case with most great makeup discoveries, I started with a Google search and ended up on Amazon. In my quest to find a dupe for my usual brow gel, I came across this NYX one thanks to the thousands of glowing reviews of the formula. Then, after spotting the $5 price tag, it was on my mind to purchase within seconds.
Since I first tried Glossier’s Boy Brow years ago, I’ve been sold on it. It gives my brows just enough hold without feeling sticky and locks them in place throughout the day unlike any formula I’d used before. But with a $16 price tag, I wasn’t above finding a dupe, which in and of itself gives me a high, if you will. And based on the reviews, it’s clear I’m not the only one who’s made this discovery.
“I bought this because I ran out of Boy Brow and didn’t feel like paying for a refill,”said one Amazon shopper. “I’m SO glad I didn’t. I will be using this from now on. This holds brows in place and isn’t heavy. You only need to sweep over the brows one time and you’re good. For such an affordable product I’m seriously so impressed, I don’t usually buy cheap makeup but this has blown my mind and now I’m wondering why I’ve been spending so much money on products that might work as well as drugstore brands.”
I’d have to agree. The clear gel tames my brows into a natural and defined shape, and keeps them that way throughout the day without ever feeling heavy or sticky. And at a price tag that’s less than a latte, it’s one staple I plan on keeping in my makeup bag for a very long time.
Shopping for a new moisturizer sounds great…until you’re actually shopping for a new moisturizer. Walking the aisles of Sephora or Target can feel a little like navigating the wild wild west of skincare, especially when you have dry skin. Dry types often need more attention: you want something hydrating enough to prevent flaking and painfully tight, parched skin. On the flip side, you don’t want something that’s going to clog your pores or leave you feeling greasy.
Considering not all face creams are created equal, where do you begin? Rather than spend your hard-earned money on products that may or may not work, ELLE editors brought in some major celebrity facialists for their suggestions on the best moisturizers for dry skin. Ahead, shop the products they use on their A-list clients.
FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN: iS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion
Celebrity esthetician Angela Caglia, the skin whisperer behind the glowy complexions of Helena Christensen and Minnie Driver, knows a thing or two about multitasking your skincare routine. For dry skin types that are also prone to breakouts, Caglia recommends her own line’s Detox Serum. “It’s made of hyaluronic acid to hydrate, chlorophyll to oxygenate the cells, and tea tree oil to help with breakouts.” She adds, “It’s perfect to replace your moisturizer in the summer for acne-prone skin.”
FOR UNDER MAKEUP: Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
Yolanda Mata, better known by her Instagram handle, Yoli Glo, is sought after by YouTube stars like Patrick Starrr and Desi Perkins. She recommends prepping skin for makeup with Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream, saying, “it’s a deeply hydrating formula that glides onto the skin providing nourishment and hydration, while the Japanese purple rice leaves the skin glowing, protected, and prepared for smooth makeup application.” She also adds, “it’s something no one should live without, worth every penny.” Consider us sold.
FOR UNDER MAKEUP: Sanitas Balancing Moisturizer
If you’re looking for pre-makeup hydration, Gina Mari suggests Sanitas Balancing Moisturizer. She explains, “it contains niacinamide (B3), a powerful vitamin that promotes healthy cell function. It also leaves the skin with a matte finish for consumers who don’t want to look shiny or greasy.”
FOR EXTRA HYDRATION: Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage T3 Premium Oil
If your skin is feeling extra dry (even more than usual), Tokyo-based Koh Gen Do brand director and celebrity esthetician Megumi Setoguchi, recommends upgrading your go-to moisturizer. She suggests adding one to two drops of the Koh Gen Do T3 Premium Oil to your daily face cream. “Its light, water-like consistency easily penetrates dry, hardened surface skin and supports the hydration from within to bring suppleness,” she says. “During the dry winter months, I apply it over my makeup, even on hair and the body—it gives skin a beautiful glow.”
FOR EXTRA HYDRATION: Nurse Jamie EGF Stem Cell Complex
Nurse Jamie, the celebrity skin expert behind big names like Lea Michelle, Jessica Alba, and Lisa Rinna, among many others, recommends a fan favorite for super dry complexions. She says her namesake Nurse Jamie EGF Botanical Complex“provides intense hydration with hyaluronic acid and epidermal growth factor to increase cell renewal.” Finally, added shea butter also helps lock in hydration. Nurse Jamie says, “I love the stuff; I’d bathe in it if I could!”
FOR A NATURAL FORMULA: Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream
If you prefer to pick up your moisturizer on your next Target run, Caglia suggests you load up on Burt’s Bees’ Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream. Packed with rice and cotton extract, and soothing aloe, this formula provides tons of hydration without the addition of harsh irritants. Caglia adds, “this moisturizer is great for all skin types.”
FOR A NATURAL FORMULA: Angela Caglia Soufflé Moisturizer
If natural ingredients are an essential detail in your skincare selection, Caglia recommends giving her own Soufflé Moisturizer a try. “The texture is light, and it’s filled with the most soothing and brightening ingredients, like goat’s milk and essential fatty acids,” she says. But even if natural products aren’t your priority, she boasts the formula “will convert a long time La Mer user after one application.”
FOR A SPLURGE: Amore Pacific Time Response Skin Reserve Gel Crème
Mari says, “for the ultimate splurge, I love Amore Pacific’s Time Response Skin Reserve Gel Creme. At a whopping $450 for a 50ml jar, it’s a splurge, indeed. She describes it as “a gel texture that’s really lightweight and the 24-hour release formula leaves the skin hydrated for hours.” As it turns out, you really can put a price on amazing skin.
FOR A SPLURGE: La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream
La Mer’s The Moisturizing Soft Cream is, without a doubt, a cult-favorite in the beauty world. Nurse Jamie suggests it’s worth every penny saying, “incredibly light,” and not just light, “basically weightless, but really great for dry skin types since it is super replenishing.” And it’s a good thing it gets her stamp of approval because, at $335 for a 60ml jar, it’s definitely a commitment.
There’s no shortage of eyelash serums on the market. But as a beauty blogger, one of the most asked questions I get asked by friends and clients is whether or not castor oil makes eyelashes grow longer.
Googling “castor oil as a lash treatment” makes it even more confusing to figure out if the vegetable oil is worth slathering on your lashes. Instead of a definitive answer, you pull up dozens of mixed results in Reddit threads and posts by other beauty enthusiasts. That’s why I wanted to find out if castor oil is better than Meghan Markle’s beloved Revitalash.
And, well, the hard answer is no.
Dermatologists Dr. Mona Gohara and Dr. Joshua Zeichner both state that there’s no scientific evidence proving that castor oil helps eyelashes grow longer. “It’s unclear whether castor oil truly promotes hair growth or simply conditions and plumps the hair shaft itself,” says Dr. Zeichner.
So, what about all of those people on Reddit who claim that their lashes are longer because they coated their lashes with castor oil for weeks? It’s most likely just an optical illusion. “It works like a hair conditioner to coat and protect the hair shaft itself so it looks thicker and can grow longer,” explains Dr. Zeichner.
But if you’re still set on trying castor oil because buying a bottle of it is a whole lot cheaper than any of the lash serums you’ve had your eye on, just make sure to proceed with caution. Dr. Gohara says that using oils can block the eye glands, which can cause styes and cysts. And if you have eczema, sensitive skin, or allergies, Dr. Zeichner recommends not using castor oil on your lashes at all.
However, the good news is that any irritation you might experience while using castor oil on your lashes will go away in a few days once you stop using it. Applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help, too.
Also, considering the low stakes of this beauty DIY, chances are the worst thing that will happen is you waste $5 on a bottle of castor oil.
Finding the perfect eyeliner is the kind of undertaking that can take years of trial and error. There are hundreds of options in the beauty aisle and even more online, but how do you know which one is best without swiping it on? Not to mention the wad of cash spent experimenting with different formulas. In short, the search is exhausting.
But before I dive into the products themselves, let’s talk about what makes a good eyeliner. For starters, it needs a rich pigment. No one has time to stand in the mirror swiping on layer after layer of eyeliner — all that ends with is red, watery eyes and an exhausted arm. Next, the application needs to glide on with ease. You don’t want a liner that involves tugging on your skin or skipping along the lash line. And finally, you need a formula that stays put all day long. There’s nothing cute about sporting raccoon eyes come lunchtime.
As for the formula, the choice is up to you. There’s pencil, gel, liquid, and marker options. If you’re an eyeliner newbie, I recommend sticking with a pencil or marker applicator, which are more foolproof. But those with experience or a love for a dramatic cat-eye can grab a liquid of gel formula for optimal results.
Here are the 13 best eyeliners for every look and budget:
This eyeliner has won over the hearts of thousands of reviewers. It’s garnered over 10,000 five-star reviews on Sephora and users can’t stop raving about the smooth application, rich pigment, and smudge-free formula. Not to mention, there’s over 30 shades to choose from with matte, metallic, and satin finishes.
If you find it hard to handle eyeliner, you’ll love this curved-tip option. It’s a pen applicator with a bendable, angled tip that allows the liner to be flexible at whatever angle you need. No more awkward arm positions to draw your perfect line.
Best Splurge: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Designer Eyeliner
For days when bold liner is a must, reach for this luxury option from Giorgio Armani. It’s a water-based formula that has a glossy finish like a liquid liner and it stays locked in place all day long (no lie). If you’re a liner newbie, we do recommend experimenting with this liner first because it dries quickly, which is a good thing, but it leaves little room for mistakes and redos. All in all, this splurge-worthy liner is a must-have, even if you only save it for special occasions.
It’s vegan and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and many more toxic ingredients. But don’t let that make you think it doesn’t apply well, too. This gel liner glides on smoothly and doesn’t wear off mid-day. It’s also versatile if you want to blend it or smudge it around for more of a sultry, smokey look.
Best Pencil: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon
In our honest opinion, there’s no better soft-pigment option than this liner. If you prefer a pencil liner but you don’t like the sharp, pointy edge digging into your lash line, you have to try this eye crayon. It works the same as an eyeliner, but the formula is creamy and glides on like butter. And since the color is highly pigmented, swiping on one line does the trick. Plus, if you find yourself head over heels for this formula, you’ll love the 36 different colors it’s available in, too.
Best Liquid: Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen
If you’ve ever tried to master the barely there liner look, you know the struggle. That’s why we love this fine-point pen that makes drawing on practically any look a breeze. The fine tip is also flexible so you can flick out the ends and even draw graphic lines, if that’s your style. As for the pigment, it’s really black and dries semi-matte.
Gel eyeliner can be a wee bit intimidating, but the result is gorgeous. For starters, the color goes on bold, like, super bold. And the color dries in place relatively quickly, so you have to apply with speed and precision. But once you overcome that hurdle, the end product is truly unique. This award-winning formula stays put for up to eight hours and is water- and sweat-proof.
Best Waterproof: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Whether you’re taking a dip in the pool or plan on sweating (or crying), you need an eyeliner that promises to stay put for hours. This liquid liner stays on all day and night and no drop of water will cause it to fade, crack, or run. It’s truly magic.
Sure, black and brown liners are classic, but there’s something fun and youthful about applying poppy colors to your lids. These vibrant hues can be worn alone or atop your everyday black liner. Even if they aren’t the traditional pick for your 9 to 5, you’ll still have fun playing with them over the weekend.
Best White: KVD Vegan Beauty Cake Pencil Eyeliner in White Out
White eyeliner: You either love it or hate it, but truth be told, it can make a huge difference. Often suggested for smaller eyes, adding white liner can make your eyes pop and help you appear more awake, even if you only slept for three hours last night. This one doesn’t look chalky or flake throughout the day, and it glides easily so you don’t have any gaps or bumps in your liner look.
Best Glitter: Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner
Calling all the glitter obsessed! This sparkly eyeliner is so festive and perfect for adding glitz to otherwise neutral looks or amping up your eye look for a special occasion or holiday. There are over 15 shades to choose from and each are chock-full of glitter and sparkles. Consider it confetti for your lids.
Best for Cat Eyes: Lancôme GRANDIÔSE Bendable Liquid Eyeliner
Any tool or product that makes it easy to master a perfect cat eye is easily worth hundreds, if you ask us. This bendable eyeliner has a 35-degree bendable wand that is super thin and allows you to hug tight to the lash line without curving or skipping. This liquid liner is a fan-favorite and has a creamy, black finish that won’t smear.
Best for Waterline: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Eye Cheat
While you can apply just about any pencil liner to your waterline, this nude liner is our go-to pick. You won’t be able to see a pigmented line when you apply, but adding this neutral tone to your waterline makes your eyes appear bigger and brighter. And the best part is, no one will know your pro-level trick for making your eyes pop.
Aside from being some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sophie Turner, and Thandie Newton all have one major thing in common: makeup artist Georgie Eisdell.
Originally hailing from Australia, the now Los Angeles-based beauty expert is one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the industry, known for creating stunning looks for the red carpet, all while keeping her clients’ skin looking flawless.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #23 series on my blog.
Her secret weapon? Clean beauty products.
“I threw myself into the world of clean beauty [when] one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago now,” Eisdell tells InStyle. “When she was preparing for treatment, I wanted to make sure she had everything she needed to keep her skin looking and feeling great and to have some options for her for when she wanted to wear makeup.”
Plus, working with Paltrow on a regular basis has given Eisdell the opportunity to do a deep dive into the science around clean formulations. “Being around the team at Goop has made me a lot more aware of what we can and should be looking at when it comes to beauty,” she says. “I have had quite the education and I am grateful for it.”
While there’s definitely a misconception that clean makeup doesn’t offer the same results as traditional formulas, Eisdell wants to make it clear that in this day and age, that notion is quite simply a load of crap.
The makeup artist says she notices little to no difference when it comes to color payoff, blendability, and coverage when she compares clean and traditional formulas, which is exactly why she feels confident using them on stars for red carpets (during the pre-COVID days), or on set.
And even though the FDA has yet to officially offer regulations around what is considered to be “clean,” Eisdell personally feels more comfortable using formulas from clean brands on both her clients, and herself.
“Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so for me, it is important to know I am using skincare that isn’t penetrating into my skin with endocrine disruptors,” she explains. “I try my best to avoid powders that contain talc, a cancer-causing mineral, and lipsticks and glosses that don’t have lead or other toxic heavy metals in it.”
It’s difficult to articulate exactly what makes a universally beloved beauty product, but whatever it is, skincare brand CeraVe has it. Having launched in 2006 in the US, few faces that have tried a CeraVe product have not liked it. Now, it’s the fastest growing brand in health and beauty, with a total estimated retail value of over £31 million.
Over Zoom, one of the founders of the brand, Tom Allison, explains that a big clue to its success is in plain view on the utilitarian packaging. “Under the CeraVe logo, it says ‘developed by dermatologists,’” he says. “In 2004, we brought together a panel of dermatologists who are considered the world experts in ingredient formulation design and asked them what they would create were they to start a skincare brand themselves. They pointed us to ingredients called ceramides.”
At the time, skincare fell into one of two camps: so gentle it wouldn’t disrupt sensitive skin, or so thick and occlusive that skin had no option but to not dry out. Ceramides, which had been extensively researched and scientifically supported by clinical papers, offered a solution to these two extremes, and one that would work for all skin types. “If you imagine the skin is a brick wall, skin cells stack up on top of each other like bricks, and there is mortar that holds the cells together. Half of that mortar substance in skin is comprised of ceramides,” explains Allison. “Put simply, you don’t lose water through the skin cells themselves, but rather through the cracks between them – also known as barrier dysfunction.”
The CeraVe range is built on ceramides, which explains where the “Cera” in its moniker came from. The “Ve”, meanwhile, comes from MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE), a clever delivery technology in each formula that escorts ingredients to exactly where they need to be within the skin – no mean feat given our skin is a defence machine that doesn’t let any old thing through its walls. “It delivers six times the amount of active ingredient to skin, in comparison to an identical formulation without MVE – and it’s patented and exclusive to us. [Skincare] brands that just have water as an ingredient in their dropper bottle formulations? There’s no thought into the actual delivery of the ingredients into the skin,” Allison says.
Allison and his team understand that today’s customers can see through a poor formulation. In this hyper-connected age, we are more skin-savvy, understand the specific benefits of each and every ingredient, and know what the skin needs. As a result, transparency is king. “Our product development process gives us a leg up, since the dermatologists we partner with are considered subject matter experts when it comes to ingredient and formulation designs,” says Allison. “Transparency drives trust with the consumer.”
Since a lot of skincare now comes with a lofty price tag – and sometimes for dubious formulas – CeraVe’s affordable, efficacious (and luxurious) formulas are refreshing. All products – even the jumbo sizes – cost less than £20, with the bestselling Hydrating Cleanser a steal at £15 for a large 473ml bottle. “CeraVe delivers performance while still driving accessibility,” adds Allison. “We define accessibility in two ways: easy to find at your local store or e-commerce site, as well as value for formulation design and size of format.” Big tick on both counts.
Since the brand puts an onus on creating a product that appeals to dermatologists – its “most important customer” – it’s not just the formulas that are important, but how easily their clients can get hold of them. If a dermatologist is to recommend a product to a client to use consistently, they need to know it’s affordable and easy to find – especially since most clients are paying to visit the dermatologist in the first place, and will often be forking out for prescriptions, too. Accessibility also comes from the fact that there is a formula for every skin type, race and age.
The brand can afford to sell its excellent formulations at a great price because it forgoes the big budget celebrity advertising and paid influencer posts that so many brands subscribe to. Instead, it lets the products speak for themselves, and ultimately, word of mouth is the biggest driver of sales. You only have to take a quick glance at TiKTok to see thousands of videos offering organic testimonials and before-and-after photographs featuring the brand’s products. “We are not making as much money as other skincare brands, and L’Oréal [which bought the brand in 2017] knows that, but it’s okay because we perform and that’s really all that matters,” says Allison.
So, what to try first from the brilliant budget brand beauty editors can’t get enough of? The Hydrating Cleanser is an excellent all-rounder that effectively and gently removes make-up and grime, leaving all skin types happy and hydrated. The recently-launched Hydrating Cream-to-Foam cleanser, meanwhile, is designed for those who like the sensation of a foaming formula, but with the sensibility of the hydrating cleanser – it uses amino acids, rather than surfactants, so won’t strip the skin like most foaming formulas do. Oily skin types will love the SA Smoothing Cleanser thanks to the 0.5 per cent concentration of salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates clogged pores.
The rest of the range is brilliant, too. Everyone should have a Facial Moisturising Lotion in their repertoire, whether their skin is acneic, and even the Salicylic Acid Foot Cream is a must-buy.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Enhanced with a non-foaming gel texture, the silky face cleanser gently lifts away debris and impurities from the skin’s surface. The CeraVe hydrating cleanser resists feelings of dryness or tightness as it effectively freshens the complexion. Suitable for dehydrated and normal to dry skin types, this product is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic to avoid clogging the pores.
CeraVe Smoothing Cream
Designed to combat a variety of skin concerns, including unwanted bumps, scaliness and extreme dryness. Replenishing and non-irritating, the rich cream is packed with essential ingredients to benefit both face and body.
CeraVe Moisturising Cream
Cocooning yet non-greasy, the moisturising cream contains three essential Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid that work in synergy to moisture and protect skin’s natural barrier. Locking in moisture for all-day hydration, it utilises MVE® Delivery Technology, which ensures controlled release of ingredients for 24 hour hydration. Gentle on skin, it leaves itchy, uncomfortable patches feeling soft and replenished. Developed by dermatologists.
Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
Suitable for normal to dry skin types, the luxurious formula boasts a rich, creamy texture that transforms into a luxurious foam. 3 Essential Ceramides harmonise to reinforce the surface barrier, restoring vital moisture to thirsty areas of skin. Amino Acids work to preserve complexions from environmental aggressors, supporting a hydrated, healthy-looking finish.
CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser
A 0.5% concentration of Salicylic acid allows the cleansing formula to perform a chemical exfoliation, gently dissolving dead skin and pore-clogging impurities to reveal a smoothed surface, without disrupting skin’s microbiome.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to get the recommended eight-plus hours of sleep and wake up looking and feeling refreshed. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and thus, getting in all those important ZZZs isn’t always possible. Good thing there’s a foolproof way to trick people into thinking you did, and it’s practically every celeb’s — and makeup artist’s — best-kept beauty secret.
Skyn Iceland’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels promise to banish under-eye bags and dark circles in as little as 10 minutes. They’re formulated with hydrolyzed extensin that helps skin cells lock in moisture, instantly plumping fine lines and wrinkles, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract that improves blood flow, brightens the under-eye area, and depuffs, and pollution-free Icelandic glacial water (yes, really) that hydrates and detoxifies.
These game-changing eye gels will help you fake a good night’s sleep, and as such, it’s no surprise that plenty of celebs have used them whenever they need to look camera-ready. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard snapped a selfie while en route to an early-morning photoshoot decked out in Skyn Iceland’s eye gels, Kaley Cuoco wore them while getting ready for her wedding day, Camila Alves McConaughey shared a photo of herself wearing the gel patches, calling them a “quick fix” for depuffing, and Kourtney Kardashian pops them on prior to heading out for a big night.
Amazon shoppers adore the top-rated cooling eye gels just as much as our favorite celebs, and a quick scroll through the reviews section will show phrases like “easy to apply,” “love, love, love,” and “can’t live without” appearing repeatedly.
“These eye patches are great for giving you the extra boost you need before a date, presentation, or just staying in for the night,” wrote one Amazon customer. “In just 15 minutes, your eyes are revitalized and all under-eye puffiness is gone.”
“I thought surgery would be the only cure for distressed eyes! The Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye gels are amazing,” noted another review. “In under 10 minutes, my eyes looked hydrated, the bags were banished, and it looked like I got an eye lift.”
Whether you’re gearing up for a big day or just need a boost ahead of your Zoom meeting, pop on these celeb-loved Skyn Iceland cooling eye gels to eliminate any signs of fatigue in 10 minutes flat. Shop them while they’re on rare sale during Amazon Prime Day.
Digitally savvy make-up, a product trend loved by beauty professionals for its camera-ready luminosity, became more relevant than ever when we found ourselves socialising and working from our homes. Thanks to technical formulations and sheer textures, this wave of on-screen glow-givers enhance rather than erase, championing picture-perfect skin that, crucially, still looks natural in reality.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow in Colour of Passion
A magical NEW! addition to Charlotte’s ICONIC Pillow Talk collection! Colour of Passion is a deep blushing berry-pink cream blush & lip tint.
Ultra-lightweight and comfortable, the moisturiser offers a barely-there feel on the skin, perfect for even bare-skin enthusiasts. Offering up to 24 hours of hydration, the moisturiser evens out the skin tone and provides a radiant finish. Antioxidants help to reinforce the skin’s natural defences against the damaging effects of daily environmental aggressors such as pollution. Enhance the natural beauty of your skin with this glowing formula.
Infused with a host of skincare benefits, the weightless foundation utilises Butterfly Bush Flower Extract to help protect the skin against potential damage caused by environmental aggressors. Hyaluronic Acid releases a nourishing burst of hydration, helping the skin to better maintain a supple and silky appearance.
Infused with light-reflecting micro-minerals that impart a fresh, dewy glow, the lightweight cream embraces your skin with essential moisture to plump and cushion. An energising blend of Kombucha, prebiotics and fermented Ginger is what powers this nourishing formula, bringing collective anti-ageing properties. Also enriched with fermented Green Tea Seed oil, the formula supports a healthy barrier function and respects the skin’s delicate microbiome.
The best in bronze, NARS presents the award-winningBronzing Powder.Available in four shimmering shades, this fabulous bronzer graces the skin with a sun kissed glow. Creating natural looking luminosity, the velvety texture melts into the skin for effortless blendability. Crafted from diffused powders, the formula delivers warmth and definition wherever you choose, bronzing the skin with a tanned tone. Finely milled, the powder is silky smooth and super blendable, applying evenly for a seamless finish. Thanks to its long lasting formula, this bronzer solemnly swears to stay in place all night long, keeping your makeup perfect so that you feel fresh and fierce. Choose the best, and don’t settle for less, with this infamous bronzer.
This lightweight Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray not only sets make up while blurring imperfections, it also hydrates and grants a dewy finish. Undetectable on the skin and applied via the finest mist you’ll ever come across, this hydrating mist creates a smooth, even and naturally radiant appearance for a healthy-looking complexion. The spray’s water-resistant properties also enhance foundation for maximum staying power, setting it in place for up to 24 hours. It’s our new obsession and it’s about to become your too.
Flecked with micro-shimmers, La Mer’s velvety bronzing powder creates a luminous sunkissed glow. It’s formulated with the vitamin-rich Miracle Broth™ to support a nourished, hydrated complexion with every swipe. Blend on the high points of your face to mirror a fresh-from-the-beach tan or use it to softly contour.
Perfect for everyday wear, Marc Jacobs Beauty’s light-reflecting Glow Away Dewy Coconut Face Luminzer with a doe-foot applicator makes it effortless to spot highlight your features for a dewy, lit-from-within look. With soothing and skin-conditioning ingredients, the lightweight, serum-like formula feels cushiony and blends like a dream.
If there’s one brand that’s proved it’s worth the hype, it’s Glossier. Basically every new launch immediately lands on top of the best Glossier products charts. It’s not hard to see why: Glossier is a master class in brand identity (see: its millennial pink packaging, “G” merch, and dreamy but realistic ads), it’s perfected the art of the no-makeup makeup look, and it’s got a fanbase so loyal that shoppers will patiently wait (often out the door of its showrooms) to get their hands on whatever just hit the shelves.
But just like with anything that seems too good to be true, those who aren’t fully aboard the Glossier train often wonder whether its products are actually worth it. Does Boy Brow really transform your eyebrows in few single swipes? Is Cloud Paint seriously as good as its painfully cute tube would lead you to believe? Do the Body Hero products actually feel as divine as they look in the ads? If the Glossier reviews ahead have anything to say, the answer is a resounding yes.
Scroll on for GLAMOUR’s honest Glossier reviews to see what’s absolutely worth spending your money on.
Glossier Boy Brow
There’s a reason this product is Glossier’s top seller (and inspiration for so many copycats): It’s awesome. I love everything about it—its tiny tube, its teeny brush that separates and grooms so well, its super-sticky, nonflaky, semiwaxy formula that holds hairs in place for days. Even better, Glossier finally expanded its shade range to include an auburn shade for redheads like me. —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor
Everyone says the last thing they want in a concealer is cakey-ness. Having makeup visibly settle into the fine lines we all have isn’t cute and defeats the purpose, for me, of wearing makeup to begin with. What I love about Glossier’s Stretch Concealer is its texture. It’s so lightweight and dewy that it’s almost impossible for it to cake up. I started using it not just under my eyes to cover circles but also on my eyelids to give my face a more pulled-together look, as well as to cover redness under my nose and at the corners of my mouth. It looks super natural—some might say too natural if ultra-full coverage is the goal—but it works wonders for me when I don’t feel like a full face of foundation and want a light glow while still hiding my skin issues. —Perrie Samotin, digital director
I don’t always wear makeup—but I will wear lip balm, which is why the Balm Dot Com formula is so appealing to me. It’s light and moisturizing without being sticky, but is tinted in these gorgeous shades that make it seem like I tried. Cherry is my go-to color, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. —Shanna Shipin, commerce editor
I love how the Lash Slick formula goes on evenly and the brush “combs” so each lash is accentuated. I also appreciate that the tiny fibers add oomph without turning my lashes into spider legs. Whereas other mascaras go on wet and immediately leave dotted marks below my brows, Lash Slick magically stays put—from the moment I put it on until I wash it off at night. I was nervous, since it’s water-resistant, not waterproof, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t flake or smudge. —Kimberly Fusaro, branded content director
I’ve been a fan of Glossier since day one, and most of its products have made their way into my daily routine (hi, Boy Brow!). But my love runs deepest for its Milky Jelly Conditioning Face Wash. The texture is unique—the only way I can describe it is cushiony—and it never leaves my skin feeling tight or stripped. I use it in the morning on dry skin and at night after an oil cleanser or micellar water to remove makeup. The smell is incredible: It’s like roses and lipstick, but it’s subtle enough not to irritate my sensitive skin. I will always have a bottle in my bathroom because it works, and it honestly just makes me happy when I use it, which is what beauty is all about. —Bella Cacciatore, beauty assistant
Normally I’d roll my eyes at anything being called “aesthetic skin care”—meaning, a product that imparts skin-care benefits but also looks incredible on—but that’s exactly what this oil-serum hybrid is, and the glow it gives your face is impossible to scoff at. Futuredew gets its skin-glistening magic from light-reflecting minerals, but it’s also got all the things you’d look for in a great hydrating serum: jojoba, grape seed, evening primrose, and rosehip oils, along with squalane to help lock in moisture. The number of compliments I’ve gotten on my skin has increased tenfold since I’ve started using it. No lie. —L.S.
I won’t lie: When I first tested this by drawing swatches on my hand, I was unimpressed by the pigment payoff. But when I tried it on my eyes, I realized that’s where it’s magic comes to life. The buildable formula makes the whole experience less high-stakes. If your line goes awry, it’s fine, because it isn’t intense dark black until you draw a few layers. This means less of a heart attack for those who haven’t mastered a cat eye and more versatility from day to night. The brush tip is superthin and glides along your lash line for a subtle vibe that feels very Glossier, and the control is top-notch! When I washed my hands, the swatches didn’t budge. —Erin Parker, commerce writer
With all the handwashing I’ve been doing since COVID hit, this rich—but not sticky—hand cream has been a godsend. It smells like the brand’s fragrance, You, which is clean and fresh with a slight hint of florals. I wish I were going more places these days, because this is the kind of cute packaging you never get sick of pulling out of your bag. —L.S.
Glossier’s reformulated Generation G lipstick is a new favorite of mine. I love how comfortable and moisturizing it is. I use the color Zip, which is sheer and buildable, so I can apply it on the go, but still packs such a punch that I don’t need to wear anything else with it. It’s the perfect red lip for those who are a little bit color-shy like me. —Khaliha Hawkins, producer
Until Body Hero, I believed the one metric that mattered in lotion was how well it moisturized. I was a noob! Innocent and impressionable! But as soon as I found this (attractive!) stuff, I learned the truth. A good lotion will make your legs look longer, your skin feel dewier, and your bod smell like a fresh-picked flower. I’ve reordered it three times. —Mattie Kahn, culture director
I’m all in on highlighting pretty much 365 days of the year—but most especially when I’m feeling a little run-down. The combo of crystal extracts and actual moisturizing oils in Haloscope ensures that I look fresh-faced and dewy while it hydrates my skin at the same time. A dash on my cheeks, brow bones, and the bridge of my nose, and I’m good to go. —Abby Gardner, news writer
I used to swear by Nars Orgasm Blush—and it’s still a fave!—but ever since I tried Glossier’s Cloud Paint, I have trouble using anything else. Cloud Paint is incredibly easy to apply (I use my finger), and it blends seamlessly on my cheeks. The tiny tube is also deceptive; it actually lasts me months even though I use it every day. As for the color, I’ll alternate using Beam and Puff between seasons. Beam is orangey, so it gives a pretty glow in the summer, whereas Puff is a light pink that looks great when I’m more pale. —B.C.
After I cleanse my skin at night, I swipe this glycolic acid toner all over my face and neck in order to remove excess makeup residue and keep my skin smooth. Thanks to powerful hydroxy acids (AHA, BHA and PHA), it works to gently exfoliate, unclog pores, and fight breakouts. I’ve totally seen a difference since I added it to my routine. —Jillian Ruffo, contributor
I have my eyebrow routine down pat: I apply a primer/growth serum and use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and that it’s. Two products and I’m done. However, after trying Glossier’s Brow Flick in Black, I realized that my eyebrows were missing some serious definition. Brow Flick definitely made my brows stand out more than they originally did, and as I grow them out to be the big bushy brows I want, it’s become the perfect subtle addition to my routine. The tip is thin and precise, and you can wipe/brush out any mistakes you make. —K.H.
I’ve been a fan of the Body Hero lotion since it launched, but lately I’ve been more into oils, so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Like its older sister, the packaging is cool and expensive looking, and it makes me smile every time I see it in my bathroom. The oil itself is super lightweight—it’s a dry oil so you can put jeans on right away or roll around in clean sheets without leaving a mess—but it feels really nourishing and lush. My favorite part, though, is the scent; the perfect soapy neroli that makes me smell like a rich European baby. I have no complaints. —B.C.
Glossier’s shimmery Lidstar eye shadows have been a mainstay in my makeup bag for years, so when the brand revealed it was launching matte eye shadow, I had high hopes. While I wish the packaging were a bit more interesting (really, how can you beat Lidstar’s mini test tubes?), the formula more than makes up for it. The colors are matte, yes, but they still go on with the sheer, buildable consistency Glossier’s eye shadows are famous for. The dry-down, meanwhile, looks like powder without any of the telltale dryness or cakey-ness. My favorite is the blue shade, Pool, that reminds me of the powder blues that were big in the late ’90s—but look perfectly in place for 2020. —L.S.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a bar-soap girl, and yet I am obsessed with this exfoliating bar. First of all, I hate how much body scrubs leave a trail of grounds at the bottom of my tub, and a lot leave my already oily skin feeling like there’s a thin film over it. This is hydrating yet tough on rough patches of skin, and I love the little well on the bottom of the bar that lets you drop a bit of body wash on top so you can cleanse and exfoliate in one fell swoop. —L.S.
This may be a hot take, but I don’t use many—if any—Glossier products in my daily routine. (I know, I know.) There is one exception, though, and that’s Wowder. The loose powder manages to give my skin a matte yet dewy appearance without feeling too cakey. It’s like putting an IRL filter over your skin. —Anna Moeslein, senior editor
It’s kind of incredible how easily these eye shadows wake up your face. I seriously put it on in the back of a cab without a mirror—that’s how easy they are. With one swipe and smudge on your lid, it leaves the prettiest soft wash of color behind. Most days I wear Lily, the lilac color, with mascara (my current fave is by Maybelline), and it gives the illusion I put much more thought into getting ready. And if I had a late night out? I’ll put Moon in the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them. —L.S.
Kate Middleton has a special glow. Everything from her fashion choices to her accessories and smooth, clear skin always seem on point thanks, in part, to her royal team of stylists and makeup artists. But while we don’t have beauty wizards on speed dial like the Duchess likely does, we may know one important secret of her skincare routine: rosehip oil.
An anonymous source once told US Weekly that Kate swears by a few drops of Trilogy’s rosehip oil to brighten up her face and help keep wrinkles at bay. “Kate continues to use rosehip oil in her daily skincare regimen,” the source told the outlet. “She loves the effect is has on her skin. [Her mother] Carole [Middleton] is also a fan.”
Now ready for the best part? Kate’s rumored rosehip oil brand of choice, Trilogy, happens to be cheaper than usual. While Kate herself hasn’t confirmed her use of rosehip oil, the product has long been regarded as a skincare staple by many, including Miranda Kerr. Experts say that rosehip oil is not only moisturizing, but can also be used to treat signs of aging and fade scars thanks to its anti-inflammatory fatty acids and vitamins A and C.
“Together these help undo and prevent oxidative damage and help the skin re-build collagen,” says Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., FAAD, clinical instructor at the University of Southern California, previously told Good Housekeeping. “It can help fade skin hyperpigmentation and potentially minimize the appearance of fine lines and even stretch marks.”
Of course, like some beauty treatments, it may not work for everyone. But if you’re ready to give it a try, there’s really no better time than right now when the bottle is only $16. But hurry, Trilogy is running out of their stock quickly!
Micellar water has received a lot of buzz in the beauty world thanks to its gentle yet effective cleaning powers, but it’s actually been many a French woman’s skincare staple since the ‘90s. The game-changing cleanser came to fruition as a solution to France’s harsh tap water, and it’s quickly become a multi-tasking beauty buy that’s a less harsh and less drying alternative to regular ol’ H2O and even makeup remover wipes.
There are a lot of well-praised micellar waters on the market, but few are as loved as Bioderma’s Micellar Cleansing Water. With a celebrity fan base that counts practically every A-lister imaginable, including Lucy Hale, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, and Khloe Kardashian, and mind-blowing sales stats that suggest one bottle is sold every two seconds, this French pharmacy favorite has rightfully earned its “world famous” title.
The popular micellar water is incredibly gentle on the epidermis, as it’s free of harsh oils, parabens, and alcohol that can mess with the skin’s natural pH, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective than other facial cleansers. In fact, Biorderma’s cleansing water promises to remove 99 percent of makeup and 98 percent of fine airborne pollutants that most average face washes and wipes miss. It effectively removes all impurities while still respecting the skin’s biological balance, and unlike some makeup remover wipes, micellar water, when applied on a soft cotton pad, requires significantly less rubbing, which means less irritation.
Bioderma’s micellar water has consistently been an Amazon best-seller, averaging a 4.7-star rating and close to 10,000 five-star reviews, with plenty of customers deeming it their “holy grail” skincare product. “The best micellar water, never looking back,” wrote one shopper. “Removes waterproof mascara and foundation quickly and easily without scrubbing… The formula is so gentle, it just feels like water and the scent is very, very mild. Did not irritate my very sensitive skin.”
For plumper, dewier skin, dermatologists recommend adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine.
Hyaluronic acid. Although somewhat difficult to say (and even harder to spell), the skincare ingredient, commonly found in your favorite serums, sheet masks, and moisturizers, is an important addition to your daily skincare regimen. That’s because the ingredient, a molecule that occurs naturally in the skin, binds to water to plump up your skin and give it that dewy, glowy effect. But hyaluronic acid does so much more than boost skin’s moisture levels, which is described by skincare experts to better explain the benefits of the ingredient.
What is hyaluronic acid?
“Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin, [and] it helps to bind water to collagen, trapping it in the skin, so that skin can appear plumper, dewier, and more hydrated,” explains Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, California.
Basically, hyaluronic acid increases hydration in the skin, which can keep your skin looking fresh, full, and bouncy. “The collagen in our dermis forms the structure of the skin,” Shainhouse says. “Natural hyaluronic acid is bound to collagen on one side and links to water molecules on the other, giving skin its plumpness.”
Why is hyaluronic acid so important?
As we age, we lose collagen and hyaluronic acid naturally, so the skin becomes dehydrated more easily. Also, harsh weather, heaters during the wintertime, certain skincare products, and underlying skin conditions can cause tiny breaks in the protective skin barrier, allowing water to escape. That’s why creating a tailored skincare regimen with moisturizing products can be extra beneficial.
“Hydrating skincare ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, glycerin, colloidal oatmeal, urea, propylene glycol, and sorbitol all act as ‘humectants’ that attract water to the skin in an effort to hydrate it,” Shainhouse says. These ingredients are widely used in products, such as moisturizers, eye creams, and serums, says cosmetic chemist Sandra Bontempo.
By using these products, like the Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster, you’ll firm the skin around the eye area, increase moisture to get rid of puffiness, and soften fine lines on the rest of the face, says Bontempo. “Hyaluronic acid penetrates easily, which is why it works so well when applied topically,” she says. “Our skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs up to 60 percent of nutrients we apply to it.”
Additional perks of hyaluronic acid include its lightweight, watery nature, and ability to lock in moisture from the environment and deeper dermis to fully hydrate the skin, Shainhouse says.
Who should use hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types, says Shainhouse. In general, “[the ingredient] is nonirritating and does not trigger acne, rosacea, or allergic skin reactions,” she says. There is, however, a small chance of any adverse side effects.
Those with dry and/or more mature skin will benefit the most from using hyaluronic acid, says Bontempo. “As we age, our bodies produce less of it, so replacing hyaluronic acid topically will make the most impact on those of us who are middle-aged and older,” she explains.
Hyaluronic acid has the word “acid” in its name, but there’s no reason for sensitive skin types to tread lightly — it’s safe for everyone. “There are no known side effects of utilizing hyaluronic acid, as again, it’s produced in our bodies,” says Bontempo. “Definitely talk to your doctor if you do experience side effects from a product that contains it — it could be due to another active or inactive ingredient.”
There’s also an injectable version.
Hyaluronic acid also comes in the form of an injectable. “In dermal fillers, hyaluronic acid presents as a gel-like product that, once injected, attracts water to regenerate volume and recreate lost structure,” explains Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “This, in turn, helps reduce the overall sunken or sagging appearance of the face, and softens the overall look of lines and wrinkles.”
Currently, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved hyaluronic acid fillers are Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Belotero, Juvederm, Voluma, Volbella, and Vollure. These fillers can be used for nasolabial folds, marionette lines (folds that run vertically from the corners of the mouth down to the chin), cheek augmentation, undereyes, lips, and dorsal hands, says Idriss.
Fillers can vary, so it’s important to discuss your options with your dermatologist to make sure you get the right one for you. “The different types of hyaluronic acid fillers are to a cosmetic dermatologist what the various types of paintbrushes are to a painter,” explains Idriss. “They are made up of the same ingredient, but depending on the size of the formulas’ molecules and how they are strung together, they vary in density, lift-ability and longevity.”
And it’s reversible.
Just because it’s injected into your face, doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Hyaluronic acid fillers are reversible, so if you’re not happy with the results, or a blood vessel has been blocked during the injection process, your dermatologist can insert the enzyme hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler within a matter of minutes.
“The enzyme works quickly — the material starts to dissolve immediately, and is completely done within 24 to 48 hours,” Min S. Ahn, a Boston-based facial plastic surgeon, previously told Allure. However, he warns, those with bee allergies should use caution — and talk with a dermatologist — before signing up for a hyaluronidase-based procedure, as the enzyme is highly prevalent in bee venom.
Hyaluronic acid fillers aren’t for everyone, though.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are for most, except those who are pregnant. There isn’t much data surrounding pregnancy and fillers, but dermatologists tend to avoid injecting those expecting for fear of the unknown. Also, skip these fillers if you have an active skin infection. First, treat the infection, and then proceed with your appointment once you’ve been cleared by your dermatologist.
Therearerisks with injectable hyaluronic acid.
If you’re considering getting hyaluronic fillers, there are a few minor risks to keep in mind. “With any injectable treatment, bruising and swelling are the most common side effects,” says Idriss. “The good news is that these shortcomings are just that — short-lived.” Any tenderness should resolve over a few days.
You can reduce the likelihood of bruising by avoiding blood-thinning agents, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and red wine a week or so before treatment. In addition, agents, such as arnica and bromelin, may help decrease swelling and bruising, too. The biggest worry is the unintentional injection into a blood vessel, which may result in tissue death, scabbing, and scarring, says Idriss, but your dermatologist will be able to treat it to prevent damage.
If you’re a habitual nighttime lip-moisturizer, then this product is guaranteed to rock your routine. A cult-favorite of my friend group, this overnight lip mask is ultra-hydrating and buttery soft. It is less greasy than Vaseline or Aquaphor and offers a glossier, thicker texture that stays saturated throughout the night while also firming up those fine lines around your mouth.
Containing a mix of vitamin C and antioxidants, the Laneige Overnight Lip Sleeping Mask comes in five soothing flavors that are subtle but refreshing, including vanilla, berry, and sweet candy. Apart from being a friend-group favorite, this product is also a major hit with Sephora shoppers who’ve given it over 8,000 five-star reviews, with many citing chronically chapped lips and year-round use.
“This lip mask is a staple in my beauty regime,” said one reviewer. “I especially love it in the cooler months to keep my lips looking plump and moisturized, but love it equally as much in the summertime. Sometimes I use it as a gloss because I love the jelly texture!”
In polling my inner circle on their favorite features of the product, one agreed that she uses it in the daytime as well — including over lip tint or lipstick for a glossy finish. Another pointed to the unbelievable staying power this product has throughout the night, remarking that she wakes up with balmy lips that feel like she applied the product just an hour prior. This sustained saturation is a specialty of the Korean brand, which claims that the formula of this balm releases water onto your lips over an eight-hour release period, a proprietary technology they call Moisture Wrap.
Along with hydrating the skin around your lips, this mask is also proven to improve skin texture and elasticity. It can help firm up your skin and therefore decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so don’t be afraid to paint outside the lines in your application.
In addition to guaranteeing you supple lips for all seasons, the $22 price point of this mask doesn’t push your typical nighttime chapstick budget too far off the beaten path. For a formidable solution to your parched lips, visit the links below.
When it comes to our skin-care routines, there’s no step perhaps more indulgent than doing a face mask. Whether you prefer a deep-cleansing clay mask or a hydrating overnight gel formula, there’s no better form of beauty T.L.C. than devoting 20 to 30 minutes to take care of your skin. “[Face masks] are designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to your skin,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Allure. “Generally speaking, masks are used intermittently to help give your skin a boost when it needs it.”
And while our desks are continually graced by new product launches on the daily (a tough job, we know, but someone’s got to do it), we’re taking a step back to spotlight the best face masks that left our complexions brighter, dewier, less congested, and just generally glowed-up. Happy masking!
Lancer Clarifying Detox Mask with Green Tea and 3% Sulfur
Those with acne-prone and oily skin will love the Lancer Clarifying Detox Mask with Green Tea and 3% Sulfur, which is made with a blend of clay, sulfur, azelaic acid, and fruit extracts. It was even created by a dermatologist for his own clients. According to Lancer himself, “Acne and aging are triggered by the same mechanisms,” and his skin-care products take on both with a double whammy. Because of this, the mask won a 2019 AllureBest of Beauty Award.
Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Mask With Colloidal Sulfur
Part of Dr. Dennis Gross’s DRx Blemish Solutions collection, the Clarifying Mask With Colloidal Sulfur relies on some of least-drying acne-fighting ingredients — colloidal sulfur, bentonite clay, and kaolin clay, to be specific — to help clear up breakouts. Worn overnight, it makes a noticeable difference on the angriest blemishes without causing any additional irritation. In fact, your skin will even feel soothed come morning.
The Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Mask pumps out as a gel and soaks in as a cream, which is a cool enough reason to give it a try, but you’ll keep coming back to it for the brightening vitamin C delivered via moisturizing squalane.
There are a lot of reasons to hate pollution, but what it does to your skin is the one that hits closest to home. One way to fight back against its dulling effects: this Burt’s Bees Restoring Antioxidant Mask. Of all of its natural ingredients, green tea takes the spotlight as the antioxidant powerhouse. The formula hydrates to give skin a noticeable boost while preparing it to face another day outside.
Renée Rouleau promises, if you use the Rapid Response Detox Masque right when you sense a breakout coming on, this calming gel formula will essentially interrupt the erruption. But it’s not just for acne — Rouleau also recommends it when you’re puffy after partying and even to soothe skin after waxing.
Old-school mineral ingredients, such as calamine, zinc, and pink clay, are modernized with the VENeffect Skin Calming Mask. The 2019 AllureBest of Beauty winner can be slathered all over your face to slough away dead skin cells and banish breakouts, or you can dab it on blemishes to clear them up overnight.
Herbivore Botanicals’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask
The serious tingle factor from Herbivore Botanicals’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask will let you know it’s working. And thanks to the alpha and beta hydroxy acids and white willow bark, skin will be left looking and feeling smooth post-rinse and beyond.
A pore-purifying powerhouse, this 2019 Best of Beauty-winning maskemploys glycolic andsalicylic acids to gently exfoliate and suck up oil. Tiny beads in the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner get massaged into skin, releasing iris root and rose extract to nourish skin as the mask tightens.
Just like electrolytes in a drink help rehydrate your body, the electrolytes in this formula bring your skin back to a more hydrated, supple state. You can also thank ceramides, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants for their barrier-replenishing help.
It takes a lot for a mask to call itself a not one, not two, but three-time Best of Beauty winner. Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is an all-star in our book due to its potent antioxidant-rich formula, and the fact that it leaves skin feeling “rose-petal soft.”
A whopping 25-percent alpha hydroxy acid formula packs a serious punch in Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, which quickly won over skin-care fanatics with its gentle yet effective approach to at-home exfoliation. “Ingredients such as matcha and milk thistle contain potent antioxidant and anti-pollution properties, which help to condition and soothe redness,” Shereene Idriss, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, tells Allure.
First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Ginger and Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask
Like a Jello shot for your skin, The First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Ginger and Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask is a cooling jelly mask (and AllureBest of Beauty 2019 pick) that hydrates and brightens skin with antioxidant-packed ingredients, like ginger, turmeric, and vitamin C. Plus, lactic acid gently exfoliates to leave your face feeling all radian, fresh, and new.
If the (skin) thirst is real, consider the Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask a complexion oasis. The cooling gel formula not only feels incredible on skin, but if you’re a fan of the brand’s toner, consider the duo a match made in skin-care heaven.
When it comes to acne-fighting masks, the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment is a game-changer. After leaving it on for 10 minutes, you can visibly see the oil drawn out from your pores (yuck, but in a good way), and after rinsing, skin is left looking brighter than ever.
Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay
The Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay is adored by many a beauty editor, and it’s easy to see why: It instantly minimizes the appearance of pores and leaves your complexion looking beyond glowy — and clocks in at under $30.
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
Not all mud masks are created equal. Case in point: Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask doesn’t leave your complexion feeling the least bit parched, so if you’re looking for a mask that will decongest skin without drying it out, look no further.
“SK-II’s Facial Treatment Mask offers a super-luxe hydrating experience,” says Idriss, who encourages patients to save the remaining essence (which there’s a ton of in that little packet, FYI). “The power player here is pitera, a blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids, that work together to stimulate cellular repair and promote more efficient skin regeneration. The results are a brightened, moisturized, and smoother skin surface.”
Breakouts don’t stand a chance against Sunday Riley’s Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask. And unlike other formulas, Saturn addresses much more than just blackheads; it also clears congested pores, hormonal acne, and emerging zits.
Don’t sleep on Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask, which, as one Allureeditor put it, is the beauty product equivalent of skin-care commercial models rinsing their faces serenely “by dramatically splashing water on it in slow motion.”
Dermatologists consider retinol the holy grail of noninvasive wrinkle-prevention. When applied topically, this vitamin A derivative stimulates collagen production and cell turnover, which reduces the appearance of fine lines, evens out complexion, and unclogs pores.
That said, retinol does have its drawbacks. Side effects can include dryness, peeling, and skin irritation, and some people may see their acne flare up. So before you start slathering these products on your face and neck, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind.
“To reduce irritation, start every other night with the product and move up to every night only when tolerated,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and assistant clinical professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. “Add extra moisturizer when using, and use only a very mild, creamy cleanser to compensate for the extra dryness.” You’ll also want to guard your skin with SPF 30—retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Though you can ask your doc for a prescription-strength retinoid—which is a much stronger version of what you can buy over the counter—the derms we spoke to said drugstore and beauty counter brands do the same thing, and that it just may take longer to see results. Read on for the retinol recommendations from Dr. Tanzi and other top skin doctors.
Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisture, Night
“I recommend this product to my patients all the time because Neutrogena is a reliable company and the products are easy to find in any drugstore. The ingredients are of good quality and I have never had anyone complain about any skin reaction or difficulty managing this retinol.” —Jessica KrantMD, board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of NY and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate
“This is a great intro-to-retinol product because if features microencapsulated retinol complex, which delivers results without the irritation and drying.” —Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
Neocutis Nouvelle Plus Retinol Correction Intensive Anti-Aging Cream
“One of my favorite retinols utilizes only 0.6% retinol in a special microbead formulation that helps penetrate the skin deeper with less skin irritation and less flaking. As an added bonus, it contains melaplex, a hydroquinone-free skin-brightening complex, that diminishes the appearance of dark spots and evens out skin tone. We recommend our patients start applying retinol two to three times a week, just before bedtime and slowly progress to nightly as tolerated.” ––Ulysses Scarpidis, New York City plastic surgeon, Scarpidis Aesthetics
“A key goal within any retinol skin care program is maximum retinol effectiveness with minimized potential for irritation. Because of this, high potency nano-encapsulated retinol formulations such as Amarte Wonder Cream (which also contains multiple potent natural antioxidant ingredients) are ideal. They will ensure maximized retinol efficacy with a virtually non-existent potential for irritation.” ––Craig Kraffert, MD, Redding Derm
“I love recommending the HydroPeptide Anti-Wrinkle Polish & Plump Peel to clients as it’s an extremely effective over-the-counter option for brightening skin and tightening pores. Instead of retinol, which can be irritating to sensitive skin types, it actually utilizes Retinyl Palmitate—an ester of Vitamin A that’s converted to retinoic acid once absorbed by the skin. I use it weekly, on Sundays, (which is my pampering day!), to ensure my skin always has a healthy glow.” –– Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, MPhil, Vibrant Dermatology
“One of my favorite OTC retinoids is Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30. It works against fine lines during the day with a unique sunscreen and moisturizer hybrid. A glucose derivative is combined with this retinol formula to help brighten discoloration. I especially like that it contains hyaluronic acid which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.” ––Jeanette Jacknin M.D. and Brand Ambassador for ZSS Skincare Solutions
“When patients want a particularly gentle formulation, I like SkinMedica Retinol Complex .25. It is one of the mildest non-prescription retinols available and is in an elegant moisturizing formulation.” —Dr. Krant