The 13 Best Brow Gels Right Now

When you think of must-have beauty products, your brain will probably overlook eyebrow gel. However, if the latest innovative brow gel formulas are any indication, it might be time to change that. The truth is, eyebrows, and brow products, are severely underrated.

Eyebrows have the power to make a face by shaping, lengthening, and defining its features. Beyond the basics, filling and defining the brows can completely change and elevate a makeup look—much the way the right hairbrush, blow-dryer, or volumizing product is key to a bombshell blowout. You can’t have great hair without great hair products, and the same goes for eyebrows.

Whether you’re looking to tame, fluff, or simply keep your ’90s-inspired skinny brows in place, these products have your arches covered. Read on for the best eyebrow gels for all your grooming and glamming needs, according to Glamour editors.

Glossier Boy Brow

She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she’s been the moment since she first launched in 2015—she is Glossier’s Boy Brow. A legion of fans swear by her super-light but thickening formula, which delivers the softest and fluffiest brows. Just a couple swipes will make your brows look groomed and defined, never cartoonish. When I’m pressed for time or want to do a minimalist makeup look, this is my go-to. —Ariana Yaptangco, senior beauty editor

Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

My first experience with this eyebrow gel was testing it for the Glamour Beauty Awards earlier this year, and it’s stayed in my rotation ever since. I like how light the product texture feels—no greasy, clumpy sensations here. Instead I’m left with a perfectly subtle yet fluffy brow. —Anna Moeslin, deputy editor

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

I didn’t know I needed an eyebrow gel until I tried this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills. It holds my eyebrows in place and gives them a sleeker look. Sometimes I pair it with my Anastasia Brow Definer, but for the most part I’ll only use a few coats of this gel. It looks good regardless, and I will definitely be repurchasing once I run out! —Monique Wilson, editorial assistant

Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel

My go-to for hot summer days and special occasions, Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel is the Black + Decker of brow gels. Layer on a little too much, and you might end up leaving clumps of dried product behind (been there). But the tackiness is a godsend for arches that tend to fall throughout the day. Slicked on with a decisive hand, this gel will give you serious hold and definition. Plus, the dual-ended plastic applicator makes precision a cinch. —Hanna Lustig, staff writer

Tarte Big Ego Sketch & Set Brow Pencil & Tinted Gel

I’m obsessed with Tarte’s brow duo mainly because the gel side is pigmented enough to add some depth but not so much that I look as if I literally drew my brows in with a Sharpie. I’m also partial to eye products that are packaged in super-slim tubes, like this one, as they allow for greater control. Extra points for the inclusion of nourishing babassu oil, which leaves brows soft, never crunchy. —Perrie Samotin, digital director

Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color

I’ve always appreciated my eyebrows, but after I shaved my head, I realized how lucky I was to have the same bushy eyebrows my grandfather has. Since my brows were now the focal point of my face, I got very into keeping them perfectly plucked and in place. The Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color quickly became a regular in my beauty routine. I use the Primer side to keep any rogue hairs in place, while the pigmented side helps define my brows. The product is light enough to not make your eyebrows feel hard and allows for a more natural look. —Krystyna Chavez, senior social media editor

Refy Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel With Lamination Effect

I have naturally thick brows, and while I used to be ashamed of them, I show them off proudly now. This gel is unlike any other brow product I’ve used before. It sculpts my arches while maintaining a natural look thanks to the laminating effect. I took one look at brand founder Jess Hunt’s brows and knew this would be a game changer for me. —A.N.

L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Waterproof Topcoat  

Face sweat is my biggest enemy during the summertime—especially during the current heat wave. As a result, my makeup products have been given the impossible task of fighting off humidity and perspiration. This waterproof eyebrow topcoat from L’Oréal does not budge—ever. My brows stay in place from morning to night, no matter how much I sweat or how often I spritz cooling mist onto my face. —A.Y.

Nyx Professional Makeup The Brow Glue Clear Laminating Gel

I love a good drugstore find, and Nyx never disappoints me. With naturally curly hair comes naturally curly brows, so not every brow gel on the market can tame these bad boys. The Nyx brow glue keeps those brow ends down and straight with just a few swipes. I also love that I don’t have to worry about any sticky gel residue as the day passes. —Andrea Navarro, commerce writer

Benefit Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel

I’ve used Benefit’s Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel for as long as I can remember. It perfectly shapes, fluffs, and defines my brows without weighing them down—it’s not at all hard or crunchy. At this point I’m so attached that I don’t feel like my makeup look is done until it’s applied. It’s just that good! —Danielle Sinay, associate beauty editor

Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel

I have basically nothing in common with Hailey Bieber, except for the fact that we share a favorite eyebrow product. In her viral Lazy Makeup Routine” on TikTok, the only thing the model puts on her brows is Milk Makeup’s Kush Brow Gel—and same here, girl, same. The gel perfectly fluffs up arches and defines hairs for a soft-soap brow look without any residue. I use a dark brown and tend to heavy-up on areas that are a bit more sparse. It may be a “lazy” product for Mrs. Bieber, but it’s an everyday thing for me. —Shanna Shipin, contributing editor

Too Faced Fluff & Hold Laminating Brow Wax

I typically don’t use eyebrow gel (just an eyebrow pencil and spool for me!), but when I want to make sure my brows stay in place for when I’m doing a full face of makeup, the laminating liquid wax formula of TooFaced’s Fluff & Hold totally does the trick. Plus, the dual-sided brush applicator makes it super easy to get the full-brow look I want. —Jessica Radloff, senior West Coast editor

Makeup by Mario Master Hold Brow Gel

I’m a huge fan of celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s beauty line because you are able to see his years of industry work reflected in his products. The Master Hold Brow Gel is no different—the slim packaging makes it easy to control and navigate the curves of your brow, while the spool is big and fluffy to catch every hair. —A.Y.

GLAMOUR

Drugstore Makeup Dupes That Are Just As Good As Luxury

Drugstore makeup dupes are everywhere. If you’ve got your pulse on the beauty industry or scrolled any TikTok beauty threads lately, you’ve likely heard makeup lovers rave about cult favorites like Nars Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, or the Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb. And just in case you’re wondering, these makeup products are as good as they say. But stocking up on these high-end holy-grail finds can get expensive.

The good news: There are often drugstore products that do a comparable job at half the price—you just need to know which ones are the hidden gems. 

Foundation

Nars Light Reflecting Foundation gives you a natural finish. Although it’s a splurge, the flawless base layer and full coverage are well worth the price.

L’Oreal Infallible gives you a great matte finish. You might be worried that a foundation that holds this well will be heavy, but we find it to be breathable and lightweight. It goes on smoothly (and once you apply it, it’s there to stay for the long haul). 

Filter

Charlotte Tilbury has become one of the most popular beauty brands over the past few years, and the Flawless Filter is particularly famous on #beautytok. It provides sheer coverage, a beautiful glow, and it’s a great foundation for oily skin. 

According to TikTok’s Mikayla Nogueria (and other makeup influencers), E.L.F’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter is an exact dupe for the CT’s Flawless Filter. She says, “There is pretty much zero difference.” If you’re looking to save money on this step of your makeup routine but still want a glowy, sheer look with adaptable shade coverage, try the E.L.F. option.  

Concealer

Nars’s radiant creamy concealer seems like everyone’s go-to concealer, especially for dark circles. When shopping for a new concealer, my Sephora advisor pointed me into Nars territory. The product lives up to its name and is indeed creamy. It goes on easily and conceals for hours at a time without having to reapply. 

When it comes to drugstore products, Revlon is one of the best drugstore brands. Its Photo Ready Candid concealer is one of the best drugstore concealers because it provides long-lasting and brightening coverage. You can build it up or use it sparingly for light application, and similar to the Nars version, it has a creamy formula.

Blush

If you’re looking for a glowing, bright blush, look no further than Ilia’s multi-stick. It brightens cheeks with beautiful pink and red hues, and the shades can be layered depending on how many colors you’re looking for. The wide range of colors means there are options for many different skin tones. Bonus: You can use it as a lip tint or eyeshadow if you want.

Fan-favorite E.L.F makes a similar multi-stick that makes for a great blush. This blendable stick goes on easily for a shimmery finish, and the product is so creamy that it’s almost indistinguishable from its luxury sister. And, similarly to Ilia, this stick can be used for more than just blush.

Mascara

Lancôme’s Lash-Lifting and Volumizing Mascara helps you achieve that false-lash look with the swoop of a wand; it’s a high-end mascara that will help lift and lengthen your lashes. It stays on long and doesn’t smudge.  

A few months ago, I wandered into Ulta before a wedding, needing a great mascara—but I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. The Ulta advisor immediately brought me the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara and WOW—I was impressed. It’s been my go-to for dramatic, long lashes ever since. My lashes appear 10 times longer, and the formula goes on clump-free. I recently got my makeup done professionally and was delighted to see the makeup artist was using this product too.  

Eyebrows

Anastasia Strong Hold Brow Gel has grown in popularity as folks try to achieve the “clean girl aesthetic.” This brow gel does a great job of wisping brows up and making sure stray hairs stay in place.

When it comes to brow gel, the most important aspect is that eyebrows stay where they need to stay. The E.L.F. Cosmetics Brow Lift won a 2022 Health Beauty Award this year because it helps brows stay put all day long. The gel goes on smooth and clear and stays on all day. 

Eyeliner

Cult-favorite Stila eyeliner is a classic for a reason. This liquid liner stays put all day long and stays on through sweat, tears, rain—you name it. 

Maybelline’s budget-friendly eyeliner gives us a similarly thin tip and lasts for hours. The pen applicator makes it easy to do a super-thin line, or layer it for a thicker, more dramatic look.

Eyeshadow

Tarte’s Tartelette Eyeshadow Palette features both matte and shimmery neutral hues. With colors that look good on pretty much everyone, this palette is highly versatile. Meanwhile, Amazonian clay in the formula makes the shadows smooth without being chalky.

NYX’s eyeshadow palette features almost identical neutral colors for a fraction of the cost, and the blendable formula allows for easy application. And the 16 colors (Tarte only has 12!) make it easy to use this for everyday wear, a night out, and everything in between. 

Lip Gloss

One of the many gifts that Rihanna has blessed us with is Fenty Beauty, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer helps you achieve Riri’s glossy lip look in a single swipe. 

But I’ll be honest: Lip gloss is one of the places I look to save money in my makeup routine. I am usually reapplying it a few times throughout my day (after meals, after happy hour, you get it). Beauty By Artrice on TikTok let me in on a great secret: Revlon’s Super Lustrous The Gloss is an amazing, affordable version of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb. The shades are great, leave lips shiny, and don’t break the bank.

Lip Balm

Absolutely no other lip balm can touch La Mer The Lip Balm. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but if you have inherently dry skin, it’s so worth it. While you often have to reapply lip balm, this product is so moisturizing that you will find yourself using it sparingly. Its glossy finish is a nice cherry-on-top too. 

That said, Aquaphor lip balm never disappoints. This multipurpose balm is a classic because of its intense hydration powers. At just under $5 and available on Amazon, it’s a must-have for any person looking for softer, more moisturized lips.

Bronzer

While shopping at Sephora once, I asked a beauty advisor if they had a popular bronzer in stock; they did not, but she pointed me in the direction of Rose Inc and said that this would be the next viral product. I immediately bought it, and the purchase did not disappoint. I apply Solar Infuzion Moisturizing Cream Bronzer around the frame of my face and cheekbones, and it gives me the perfect bronzed look. It’s a cream bronzer rather than powder, and its creamy texture makes it easy to add layers or keep it simple. 

But Physicians Formula takes drugstore bronzer to a new level. The ingredient-conscious brand created a bronzer that is lightweight and buttery. Similar to Rose Inc, it’s easy to apply and leaves you looking like you just returned from that yacht trip in Mykonos.

Highlighter

Selena Gomez is one of the many celebrities that have recently come out with makeup lines, but she seems to have done something right: Rare Beauty continues rising in popularity and has become a favorite of makeup connoisseurs. The Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlighter provides a nice glow without being too shiny. Thanks to its applicator stick, it goes on smoothly and is a great finishing touch for any makeup routine.

Made with shimmering pearl pigments, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter offers a similar buildable glow. For a fraction of the price, it helps me shine in all the right places and complements any foundation and blush I pair it with.

Sunscreen

The most important part of any makeup routine? A high-quality sunscreen. Dermatologists and makeup artists agree that SPF is an essential step, and EltaMD’s formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends easily under makeup. (If you want skin care and makeup all in one, they have a tinted sunscreen version as well!)

Aveeno’s face SPF is just as refreshing and lightweight as EltaMD’s solution. This SPF is made with nourishing prebiotic oats to help you feel moisturized and protected under your makeup. It’s non-greasy (goodbye, oily skin!), hydrating, and will help you save a few bucks while protecting your skin.

SELF

The 7 Best Brow Pencils for Defined, Fuller-Looking Eyebrows

A lot can be said about eyebrows. For one, they frame your face, so they have the power to completely change the way you look. And, as the saying goes: Most eyebrows are sisters, not twins, so it’s rare for them to be symmetrical. Whether you have a few sparse patches that need filling in, are trying to make your brows look more even, or are simply looking to accentuate what you’ve got, the right brow product can make all the difference.

As far as brow products go, there’s a ton of options ranging from gels and pomades to powders and pencils. According to brow expert Joey Healy, if you want to lengthen the tail of your brows, create more of a peak in your arch, or fill in a sparse spot, the easiest, most effective choice is an eyebrow pencil. You may have guessed it — these handy, pigmented pencils work like actual pencils and can be used to draw, shape and define your eyebrows. “A pencil feels more familiar,” says Healy. “You can really direct the color in a concentrated way.”

There are so many different eyebrow pencils out there, making it hard to narrow down the best of the best. After keeping texture, ease of use, color payoff, and shade range top of mind, the editors determined the seven best brow pencils of 2022. Ultimately, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil was the most impressive, thanks to its non-drying, creamy texture and beginner-friendly shape.

Best Overall: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil

What We Love: The tip’s triangular shape is user friendly and makes defining your brows a seamless experience.

What We Don’t Love: We wish this formula was waterproof.

Anastasia Soare knows a thing or two about brows. Aside from being responsible for JLo’s snatched eyebrows, she also is the mastermind behind her eponymous brand, Anastasia Beverly Hills. We tested two brow pencils from the brand, but this one, which our tester calls “the gold standard of brow pencils,” reigned supreme. The slim, retractable pencil makes drawing soft, hairlike lines a cinch.

The pencil isn’t too thin, nor too fat and wasn’t heavy in my hands,” the tester says. The tip is triangular and “perfectly slanted” so you can’t mess up, regardless of whether you shade your brows in one swoop or cautiously make thin, hairlike strokes. Once you’ve penciled everything in, you can easily flip the product over and use the built-in spoolie to style your brows to perfection. And although the Brow Definer isn’t waterproof, our tester assures us that the pigment is long-lasting and doesn’t smudge.

Shades: 12 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Vitamin E, Hydrogenated castor oil

Best Value: e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil

What We Love: For under $5 you can shape, tame, and define brows with this dual- ended pencil.

What We Don’t Love: There are only five shades available.

The e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil is a dual-ended precision liner and spoolie duo that allows you to tame, shape, and define your brows in seconds. Between the price point (ahem, five dollars) and a creamy, smudge-proof formula, there’s a lot to love about this option. Ideal for filling in sparse areas, the eyebrow pencil goes on smooth and can be manipulated — with the help of the spoolie — to disguise the look of sparse areas. “I have thick brows, so I used it to fill in some gaps,” the tester shares. “It goes on heavier than other options I’ve tried, but it’s easy to use and it helped me achieve fuller-looking brows.” Aside from adding pigment, the formula also helps condition and promote brow growth over time thanks to a touch of nourishing grapeseed oil and vitamin E.

One thing our tester wishes she could change: The color range. “It only has five shades, so there isn’t much variety,” she says. “But, nonetheless, I would recommend this one, especially given the price.

Shades: 5 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E

Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer

What We Love: The thin-tipped brow pencil is retractable, so it’ll never dull after you use it.

What We Don’t Love: If you press too hard, the pencil can be too pigmented.

This drugstore find is a favorite for a reason: The pencil has a precise tip, a connecting spoolie, and comes in 10 blendable shades. The ultra-fine tip — which is 0.5 millimeters to be exact — is the ideal size for replicating the look of super tiny brow hairs. And, because it’s so thin, it’s lightweight and fits nicely in between your thumb and pointer finger. A soft spoolie on the other end also helps to seamlessly style brows and blend out the pigment after it’s been applied.

The most underrated feature, though, is that it’s retractable. Unlike other pencils that require a sharpener to keep the tip in pristine condition, all this needs is a quick twist to dispense more of the formula. Plus, once you’re done using it you can twist it back down to fend off bacteria and keep the tip in pristine condition.

The tester notes that the pencil can be too pigmented if you press too hard, so keep that in mind during application. “Thankfully, the pencil is really thin, so it’s easier to control and eliminate any excess pressure,” she says.

Shades: 10 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil

Best for Thick Brows: NYX Professional Makeup Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade

What We Love: It’s great for those with thick brows who are looking to fill in sparse areas.

What We Don’t Love: It’s pigmented and applies thick, so it’s not ideal for creating hairlike strokes.

If you have thick brows, you may not need a ton of help, but having a trusty brow pencil on hand to even out your brows is a total game changer. Not only is the Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade shockingly affordable, but it works like a charm to fill in the gaps between thick brow hairs — even Stacy Wodu, the makeup artist behind Zoë Kravitz’s fierce brows in The Batman, can confirm.

Professional makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell says that no matter the thickness of your brows, a creamy formula is key. “To achieve a natural-looking, fluffy brow, I turn to brow pencils that have a creamy consistency,” she explains. This option, according to our tester, is creamy and easy to blend, but stays put once it’s had a few minutes to set in. “It’s a better option for filling, rather than shaping,” she says. “One side is thick and one side is thin and angled, which gives you options. Just be careful which side you’re applying to different areas of the brow because the payoff can be different.” It’s not ideal for gently drawing hairlike strokes, but it’s highly effective for filling in and buffing out sparse areas.

While the shade range isn’t too extensive, the available shades are super pigmented. The line also includes a clear wax option, which is harder to come by.

Shades: 9 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Micro-crystalline wax, Castor oil

Best for Thin Brows: Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat Refillable Hair-Like Eyebrow Pencil

What We Love: This refillable pencil seamlessly mimics the look of real-life brow hairs.

What We Don’t Love: Some shoppers say the tip can fall out of the pencil.

If there’s one product on this list that outshines the others when it comes to drawing hairlike strokes, it’s this one from Charlotte Tilbury. The refillable pencil has a super precise tip that helps mimic the look of real-life brow hairs. “It’s a classic pencil shape, so it’s easy to grip and maneuver across your brows,” the tester explains. “The tip itself is pointed and angled so you can easily draw on tiny hairs.” The pencil is accompanied by an attached brow brush to assist with smoothing hairs into place both before and after application.

The formula contains carnauba wax, which gives stretch and elasticity to brow hairs, easy-to-glide micro-crystalline wax, and pure pigments to create natural-looking color without ashy undertones. “It goes on smooth and has a creamy yet sturdy texture,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag either, but rather glides in between brow hairs.” As for the pigment: It’s rich but not overwhelming. “You only have to apply each stroke once — you don’t need to layer it on,” she says.

Despite the fact that the tip retracts into the applicator when not in use, some shoppers have found that the tip can fall out. When this happens, it’s hard to use again.

Shades: 8 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Carnauba wax, Micro-crystalline wax, Pure pigments

Best Shade Range: Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil

What We Love: The ten blendable shades ensure a match for every brow color.

What We Don’t Love: It has a natural finish that can appear light if you don’t press hard enough.

As the name suggests, the Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil does quite a few things. The triangle-shaped tip is multipurpose: The thick side fills in bald spots, while the thin side helps sculpt and add feathered strokes that replicate brow hairs. The built-in spoolie brush then helps blend it all in for perfectly snatched brows.

The extensive shade range doesn’t go unnoticed, either. With a variety of colors including Honey Blonde, Taupe, Auburn, four different brown shades (Soft, Medium Chocolate, Medium, and Dark), Brown Black, Black, and Gray, there’s a match for everyone. Though pigmented, the finish can be lighter than expected. “The payoff is great for a natural look,” our tester says. “It shows very lightly on the skin, so you have to play around with it to get the finish you want.

In addition to having a deeper shade range than some of the other options on the list, there’s also conditioning benefits to consider as well. Shoppers have said that the pencil also increases brow volume over time. While our tester can’t speak to that just yet, the formula includes castor oil and panthenol provitamin B5, which the brand says helps brows reach their “full growth potential.”

Shades: 10 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Castor oil, Panthenol pro vitamin B5

Best Waterproof: Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil

What We Love: The waterproof formula is excellent for triple digit temperatures, high humidity, and even unexpected rainstorms.

What We Don’t Love: The shade range, which skews darker, could be better and more inclusive of lighter options.

There’s nothing worse than having your brows come dripping down your face in 100-degree heat or during an unexpected rainshower. With the Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil, you can get sweaty or even dance in the rain and know that your brows will stay put. How? Well, the pencil’s pigment adheres to hairs and the skin between them. You do have some time during application to manipulate it, but once it dries down, it stays there until you intentionally remove it.

Thanks to the pencil’s geometric, ergonomic shape, the tester found it easy to hold. Despite the size, this small but mighty pencil seriously packs pigment. “It can be overly-pigmented if you are heavy handed with it, but it works really well,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag or skip, either.”

One thing we wish we could change is the shade range. After taking one look at the color options, you’ll notice that it skews dark, with the blonde hue looking more like an ashy brown.

Shades: 8 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Hydrogenated castor oil


What to Keep in Mind 

Type of Tip 

To avoid breakage and achieve a more precise look, consider a retractable pencil with a fine tip. “Big chunky pencils or ones that need to be sharpened are a pain and can be inconsistent,” Healy says. “It’s easier to manipulate a pencil with a retractable tip.” And, according to Sewell, pencils with a slanted tip offer more versatility (think: filling in and drawing on hairs), which is one of the reasons why the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil claimed the Best Overall spot.

Finish 

When shopping for a brow pencil, consider the finish. Some options have shimmery sheen, and, although pretty, Healy says to avoid them. “For a more natural look, find something that is matte, as it mimics the look of real hair,” he says.

Shade 

Some brands don’t offer enough shades, and other brands offer too many, which makes things confusing. According to Healy, it’s best to match your brow pencil shade with your eyebrow color, not your hair color. “For example, a lot of blondes who are very blonde have darker brows,” he explains. “In this case, you’d match the brow pencil to the dark brow color instead of the golden blonde hair color.

INSTYLE

The 12 Drugstore Foundations That Look Like Filters

Here, find the 12 best drugstore foundations you can buy. Plus, keep reading for some more expert advice from makeup artists.

BEST FOR ENLARGED PORES Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

This foundation is a classic for all the right reasons. It dries down into a matte finish that blurs pores and lets the skin look healthy and natural. It’s a great option for oily skin, since it uses clay to absorb excess oils.

BEST FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN L’Oreal Makeup Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation

Normally, breakouts and makeup don’t go well together. But this foundation uses ingredients that won’t clog your pores. Plus, this foundation is super long-wearing, thanks to its oil-absorbing properties that make sweat and rain non-issues.

BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT FULL COVERAGE e.l.f. cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation

If you want a full coverage foundation that doesn’t look too cakey, this is a great option. The formula is incredibly lightweight, but will give you an even complexion that still looks natural.

BEST FOR DRY SKIN L’Oreal True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum Foundation

The latest TikTok viral product, this lightweight, serum foundation is ideal for anyone who wants to achieve glowing, hydrating skin without packing on too much product. This foundation uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin.

BEST FOR GLOWING SKIN Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation

For a full coverage foundation that still lets the skin look dewy and fresh, look no further. This foundation won’t clog your pores, but is so creamy and hydrating that it makes blending an absolute dream.

BEST FOR FINE LINES Covergirl Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation

This isn’t just a foundation, it’s a skincare product. Designed for aging skin, Olay and Covergirl collaborated to create this creamy foundation infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to make sure the skin is looking hydrated and glowing, with or without makeup.

BEST FOR SELFIES Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

This foundation was designed so that everyone’s skin can look camera-ready. Whether you’re on set of a photoshoot or taking a selfie on the way to work, this creamy, lightweight foundation will make sure you look your best.

BEST FOR OILY SKIN Revlon ColorStay Matte Finish Foundation

For oily skin types that are on the hunt for a long-wear, matte foundation, look no further. This product controls oils and creates an even complexion that is protected with SPF15.

BEST FOR BUILDABLE COVERAGE L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation

Looking for a foundation that blends in with your skin perfectly? Not only does this product contain no pore-clogging oils, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It layers beautifully, so you can create either a sheer finish look, or build up to full coverage if you so desire.

BEST FOR SMOOTH SKIN Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

If you want to feel poreless and smooth like a bay seal, this foundation can get the job done. It dries down to a satiny matte finish, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. Plus, for only $2, you can gift one to every person you’ve ever met.

BEST FOR FULL COVERAGE Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer

This foundation is so full coverage that you won’t even need to add concealer. And with over 40 shades, you can definitely find one that suits you. If you’re not a full coverage person, you can also use this product as a jumbo-sized concealer.

BEST FOR WRINKLES Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

Don’t be fooled by the tint, this product is more about the skin than it is about makeup. With retinol and SPF 2o, this product targets signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles to give your skin a youthful glow.


FAQs

What makes a great foundation?

Something that everyone can agree on is that they want their foundation to make their skin look its best and last as long as possible,” says Tricome. “You achieve great skin with a variety of finishes, whether that is more matte or more of a dewy finish. I think more dewy, glowy foundation finishes are currently more popular with consumers. Everyone is very into skin looking like skin and having a radiant finish as opposed to super matte.”

Are there any tricks to making foundation look its best?

Skin prep is the MVP here,” says Moore. “Freshly washed face with a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid daily works wonders. While applying foundation, I warm the foundation up on the back of my hand. I use a dampened Beautyblender so the foundation applies more smoothly.” Using a primer can also help, adds Tricome. “If you are using a primer, like skincare, you want to make sure it is fully settled into the skin and interacts well with your foundation. If you are using a water-based foundation, a silicone-based primer is not going to work in combination with that product.”

When buying a drugstore foundation, are there any tricks to shade match? 

Know your undertones, this can make all the difference when choose a shade,” says Moore. “Also, make sure you match your face and not your hand. If you can swatch on the side of your cheek or jawline this is best, but if you’re not able to, try holding the bottle to your face. And if you get it wrong you can always exchange for another shade!”

ELLE

These Are the 10 Best Eyeshadow Primers That Stay Smudge-Proof All Day Long

There’s nothing worse than spending the time and effort to perfect your eye makeup, only to notice that your glitter eyeshadow and concealer has worn off after only a few hours. Enter: eyeshadow primers. These handy cosmetics are specially-formulated to prevent eye makeup from creasing and fading — much like your favorite face primer does for foundation, powder, and blush. While these primers may sound like an unnecessary product, once you start using them, they’ll quickly become an essential step in your long wear makeup routine.

With so many eyeshadow primers available, finding the right one for your needs can feel overwhelming. So to help you out, makeup artists and editors have researched the best ones to make your smokey eye last all night without a single touch-up. When putting together this list, all paid close attention to each primer’s formula, lasting power, and ability to keep eyeshadow color vibrant. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion was a standout for its gentle formula and incredible lasting-power — it keeps eyeshadow in place and smudge-free for hours on end!

Ahead, find the best eyeshadow primers you can buy.

Top Picks 

Best Overall: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

What To Love: Prevents eyeshadow from budging for 24 hours.
Not So Much: It’s expensive.

This eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay is sure to become a staple in your makeup bag. The product claims to keep your eye makeup “vibrant and crease-free for 24-hours.” The wand makes it super easy to apply, and the rich formula blends smoothly and quickly onto the lids, leaving them prepped and ready for eyeshadow. It works on all sorts of eye shapes—from hooded to round—without transferring or pilling, and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. There are four different shades: two are transparent, one is matte, and one is shimmery. And while it is on the pricier side, a little of the product goes a long way and the long-lasting results are well worth the cost.

A Commerce Editorial Director, Laura Gurfein, is also a fan of this primer. She has used it for over three years and said, “This is the primer that made me believe in the power of primers. It doesn’t matter what eyeshadow I use (prestige/drugstore) or where my night goes — my shadow’s not even creasing a little bit until it’s doused in micellar water.”

Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4

Best Value: CoverGirl Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer

What To Love: The sticky finish allows eyeshadows to cling to the base.
Not So Much: The eyeshadow color dulls throughout the day.

If you’re looking for a high-quality eyeshadow primer that’s still budget-friendly, this CoverGirl option is your best bet. The neutral-tone primer dries clear, evens out any discoloration on the eyelids, and leaves a nice smooth base to apply eyeshadow on top of. It does feel a little tacky on your skin when you first apply, but it provides an excellent amount of grip for the eye makeup to attach to. It also dries pretty quickly, so you can still apply a smokey eye even in a rush.

Although all wish it would help keep the eyeshadow colors vibrant for longer, it’s a great affordable option that can hold its own against some of the more high-end primers when it comes to preventing creasing and smudging.

Size: 0.96 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Sensitive Skin: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

What To Love: It has nourishing, gentle ingredients, and is dermatologist-approved.
Not So Much: It could blend better.

This NARS option is one of the most popular eyeshadow primers around, and for good reason. It comes in five different shades, ranging from light to dark — so there’s an option for every skin tone. The best part is that it’s ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested as well as fragrance-free, so it’s a great option for people with sensitive skin and eyes. The formula even includes nourishing ingredients like deep sea and rice bran extract, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It will also increase pigment payoff and keep even the most dramatic looks in place all day or night, making it well worth the price tag.

Size: 0.26 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4

Best Waterproof: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

What To Love: It’s waterproof and has a smooth, matte finish.
Not So Much: It goes on a bit spotty.

The Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer has a fade-proof formula that is not only lightweight, but incredibly easy to apply and quick to dry. Instead of being tacky, the product dries with a matte finish that immediately smoothes out your skin tone and covers up any veins on the eyelids. It will also make the color of your eyeshadow bolder and more pigmented than ever before — plus, it stays that way all day long. If you want to make your eyeshadow really pop, you should definitely consider this primer. To top it off, the unique formula will even protect your skin from blue light damage and it’s waterproof, so your makeup look won’t budge even if you get caught in the rain or happen to shed some tears.

Size: 0.2 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best Lightweight: Ilia Natural Brightening Eye Primer

What To Love: It has all-natural, brightening ingredients.
Not So Much: It can burn a little and is not ideal for sensitive skin.

This clean eyeshadow primer uses natural ingredients and has a very lightweight formula, so it’s great for anyone that doesn’t like the feeling of a heavy product on their eyes. The formula boasts botanicals like rosehip oil, arnica, and jojoba, which brighten and depuff the lids. It also soaks up excess oil, so wave goodbye to greasy lids. The illuminating base for makeup can be worn on its own for a glowy boost and under shadow for a more finished look. It delivers in the lasting-power department as well and your eyeshadow will not budge.

Size: 0.14 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best for All Skin Tones: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer

What To Love: It’s specially designed for all skin tones and is very lightweight.
Not So Much: It can cause creasing.

Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty Beauty is all about inclusivity, and this eyeshadow primer is no different. The product has an invisible pink tone that is specially formulated to become invisible on all skin tones. The weightless, creamy formula also absorbs into the skin immediately upon application and offers an excellent amount of grip for eyeshadow. It boosts color vibrancy and locks in your smokey eye for 24 hours without a single smudge.

Size: 0.27 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Vibrancy: C’est Moi Visionary Gentle Non-Toxic Makeup Crayon

What To Love: It comes in tons of different shades and has a clean formula.
Not So Much: It can be difficult to remove.

This C’est Moi Makeup Crayon is made with clean ingredients like mica, carnauba wax, and daffodil. It’s also hypoallergenic and dermatologist-approved, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin types and it won’t cause any irritation. Even better, the brand itself is Environmental Working Group-vetted, and all of its products are made with recyclable materials and without animal testing. The crayon application method makes it easier than ever to apply and it comes in tons of colors, such as sapphire, ruby, and turquoise, making it a great base for a bold look.

This crayon is a beauty writer Rachel Nussbaum’s go-to eyeshadow primer because it’s the only product that prevents her eyelids from “eating eyeshadow like it’s candy.” She prefers to use the white version of the crayon called “Dove” to prep her lids, as “it goes on smoothly and accepts whatever shadow I layer on top, and then keeps it there all day long.”

Size: 0.06 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 12

Best for Concealer: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don’t Stray Primer

What To Love: It has anti-aging benefits and works on the undereye area.
Not So Much: It doesn’t do much for controlling oil.

If you notice that it’s not just your eyeshadow fading by the end of the day, but your under-eye concealer starts to lose its effect too, consider trying this long-lasting primer from Benefit. The dual-action formula can be applied to both the eyelids and the under-eye area, preventing eyeshadow color from fading and concealer from creasing. It melts into the skin effortlessly and dries with a matte finish. What’s more, it is also infused with sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin, along with vitamins C and E to help diminish signs of aging — meaning it’s effective as both a makeup and a skincare product.

Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Oily Lids: Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer

What To Love: It helps combat greasiness by soaking up excess oil.
Not So Much: It doesn’t come with a lot of product.

Excess oil is one of the main culprits behind eye makeup that fades or melts off throughout the day. So if you have oily eyelids, check out this primer from Bare Minerals — it’s specially formulated to prevent oil from ruining your eye makeup. When blended onto the lids, the creamy formula turns translucent and offers a nice smooth base for eyeshadow. Besides preventing any creasing from occurring, the primer also helps eyeshadow pigment stay intense and true-to-color all day long. All especially love that the product is oil- and fragrance-free, as well as allergy- and dermatologist-tested, so you don’t have to worry about irritation.

Size: 0.1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best Long-Lasting: Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot

What To Love: It doubles as a cream eyeshadow.
Not So Much: It can be hard to apply as it dries very quickly.

If you’re looking for an eyeshadow primer that will keep your eye makeup looking flawless all day and night without any retouches, check out this beloved primer by Mac. The multitasking product can be used as both a primer or a cream eyeshadow, and it’s dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-approved, so it can be used on all skin types. The primer is opaque when applied, which provides a solid base for brightly colored eyeshadows and some shades can even be used as a concealer. It comes in 15 different shades, ranging from everyday neutrals to vibrant pinks and sparkly golds.

The E-commerce Editorial Apprentice, Alyssa Brascia, is a huge fan of this product and recommends it to everyone.”This primer blends like a dream with either a brush or your fingertip and holds color in place all day with minimal to no creasing,” she said. “I’ve used this primer for years after my mom put me on it, and I’ve never looked back, even after trying others!

Size: 0.17 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 15

What to Keep in Mind 

Lasting Power 

The main purpose of using an eyeshadow primer is to make your eyeshadow last longer, so an effective primer shouldn’t budge for 12 to 24 hours. The consistency of the product can also play into its lasting-power. If a primer is more tacky, it can provide a ton of grip for the eyeshadow and keep the shadow in place longer, acting like a glue. No matter what the occasion is, how long you intend on wearing eye makeup, or how dramatic your eye look is, the goal is to avoid needing touch ups and a good primer will ensure this.

Color Payoff 

On top of keeping your eyeshadow in place and preventing creasing or smudging, a good eyeshadow primer will also maintain the color of your eyeshadow or make it pop even more. Look for a primer that will increase the vibrancy of your shadow and if you want even more pigmentation, many primers come in different shades that you can use as a colorful base.

Formula 

It’s always a win-win if a product can do more than one thing, and an eyeshadow primer with a good formula can not only extend the wear of eyeshadow, but it can also hydrate your eyelids, reduce puffiness, or even out your skin tone. A primer with nourishing ingredients or hydrating ingredients can aid in these beauty benefits, so pay attention to the ingredients label if you want the most bang for your buck.

INSTYLE

The 14 Best Tried-And-True Drugstore Mascaras

Whether you’re going full glam or in the mood for a more natural look, mascara can really bring any makeup look to life. Finding the perfect mascara for you can be a little tricky since there are so many out there. While higher-end mascaras may seem more promising, you’d be surprised by the impressive formulas and lasting effects of mascaras found in the beauty aisle of your local drugstore. What’s more, they provide the same results as any Chanel, Dior, and Charlotte Tilbury mascaras out there– just at a more affordable price.

BEST FOR EXTRA VOLUME : Mega Volume Mascara by Wet n Wild

  • Doesn’t clump
  • Cruelty-free
  • Affordable price
  • You may need to use multiple coats

You’re bound to receive lash envy with this mega-volumizing mascara complete with a full spiral fiber brush. Your lashes will not only look thicker and fuller but they will also be moisturized and nourished with vitamin E.

Voluminous Original Mascara by L’Oreal

  • Builds lashes evenly
  • Comes in a variety of shades
  • Not waterproof- the colored shades may run down your face from tears or sweat

Ready for full, dramatic lashes? The L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara helps to build your lashes five times their natural thickness. You won’t have to worry about clumping or buildup with its wand, which separates and hugs every lash for a bold look.

BEST FOR CLEAN BEAUTY : Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara by Covergirl

  • No smudging
  • No clumping
  • Thick bristles
  • Hard to hold handle

Argan and marula oil condition your lash while the vegan formula works to create the high-volume lash look of your dreams.

CULT-FAVORITE : Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara by Maybelline

  • Volumizing
  • Waterproof
  • Hard to remove
  • Clumpy

This viral TikTok mascara features a lightweight formula that won’t cause any flaking or smudging. The mascara is designed with an exclusive flex tower brush that will reach every single lash no matter the length.

BEST FOR A SPIDER EFFECT : Big Mood Mega Volume & Lifting Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics

  • Affordable
  • Lasts all day
  • Hard to apply with brush handle

Get big, bold lashes in one stroke. Infused with jojoba wax, this e.l.f. Cosmetics mascara has a smooth, creamy formula that helps hold your lashes’ curl. It will plump and lift your lashes and last all day. It’s also smudge and flake-resistant.

BEST FOR SHORT LASHES : Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara by L’Oreal

  • Lengthens
  • Applies evenly
  • Difficult to remove
  • Dries out quickly

Short stubby lashes are a thing of the past, thanks to the L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara. This drugstore gem lengthens even the shortest lashes and has a smooth formula that applies easily and smoothly, providing you with a desired clump-free result.

BEST FOR LAYERING : Lash Princess False Lash Effect by Essence

  • Lengthens
  • Adds volume
  • Sticky texture

The Essence Lash Princess mascara features a fiber brush wand that will give your lashes a dramatic volume while achieving a sculpted length. It’s a no-hassle application as it won’t clump up or leave product build-up.

BEST FOR FULLNESS : Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara by Maybelline

  • Applies evenly
  • Good applicator
  • Dries out quickly
  • Flakes

After one application of the Lash Stiletto mascots, your eyes will look brighter and wider. The mascara’s formula includes pro-vitamin B-5, which conditions and smooths your lashes to help them shine.

BEST FOR LENGTHENING : Mega Length Mascara by Wet n Wild

  • Cruelty-free
  • Increases definition
  • Multiple applications to see results

If you’re looking to increase definition and give yourself longer lashes instantly, Wet N Wild has you covered for just $3. This wand allows for precise application and hugs every lash from root to tip, encouraging optimal length.

BEST AFFORDABLE OPTION : Volumizing Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics

  • Doesn’t clump
  • Stays on throughout the day
  • Heavy formula
  • Hard to remove

The e.l.f. Cosmetics Volumizing Mascara adds volume to create fuller, thicker-looking lashes that will widen your eyes. Apply the product to your eyelashes from root to tip and work in a zig-zag motion to fully coat your lashes for the best result.

BEST FOR SUBTLE VOLUME : Great Lash Washable Mascara by Maybelline

  • Gives you volume and definition
  • May transfer to skin after drying

Considered America’s favorite mascara, the formula of the Great Lash Washable Mascara glides on seamlessly to build healthy lashes. This mascara will give you a natural volume and will easily become a staple waterproof mascara in your makeup routine.

BEST FOR EASY REMOVAL : Full ‘N Soft Washable Mascara by Maybelline

  • Applies evenly
  • Doesn’t clump
  • Smudges
  • Flakes

Maybelline’s thickening formula nourishes each lash with Vitamin E. The best part of this mascara is its quick dissolve system that allows for easy removal with no residue.

BEST FOR A LASH-LIFT LOOK : Clump Crusher Water Resistant LashBlast Mascara by Covergirl

  • Applies evenly
  • Doesn’t clump
  • Difficult to remove
  • Sticky texture

The innovative curved brush of this Covergirl mascara will separate your lashes, courtesy of its double-sided design that evenly coats each hair clump-free.

BEST FOR LONGWEAR : Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara by Maybelline

  • Great brush
  • Applies evenly
  • Difficult to remove

The fanning brush of the Lash Sensational mascara has ten layers of bristles, which grabs onto your lashes for a perfectly fanned look. With a waterproof, buildable formula, it’s a great product to trust as your all-day, every day mascara.

FAQs

What should you look for in a drugstore mascara? 

When shopping for mascara, makeup artist Desiree Delia says to think about what your ultimate goal is for your eyelashes. Are you looking for length? A little volume? Or maybe both? 

Volumizing and lengthening mascaras are key to creating that fake lash look without having to use any lash glue. In just two to three coats, you’ll see that your lashes appear thicker and fuller. While there are options of falsies and lash extensions, there’s nothing better than being able to get your desired lash length every day without the pricey upkeep. Plus, using a lengthening mascara is the easiest and most effective way to add some length to your lashes. Waterproof formulas become locked into the lashes, which prevents smudging. 

It is also important to keep an eye out for three key things: the formula, the wand, and the removal process. 

Formula

Look for a mascara that won’t clump, dries quickly, and washes off considerably easily. If you are looking for a clean product, you’ll want to consider a cruelty-free formula. If having a longer-lasting product is important to you, you should look for a waterproof formula. 

Wand

To help you achieve your lash goal, it’s important to look at the mascara wand and its bristles. Delia says a fluffy brush helps to thicken the lash, whereas an hourglass-shaped brush helps to volumize the lash. “If you’re unsure, a more rectangle-shaped brush is a general brush that helps target all your needs,” she adds.

Removal

Mascara is great for making your eyes pop throughout the day, but sometimes, it can be a challenge to remove. Ensuring you’re using a product that can be easily removed with your face cleanser or wipes is important. If it’s a hassle to take off your mascara, it may not be the product for you. With waterproof mascaras, Delia explains that you must use an oil-based cleanser or baby oil to remove the mascara, and often the removal process may require some extra care. But, you’ll find that non-waterproof mascara will come off a little easier.

ELLE

The Best Drugstore Mascara? Here Are the Top 5, According to the Pros

When it comes to cheap thrills, few things leave a beauty lover more elated than having the best drugstore mascara in tow; a tried-and-true tube that curls, volumizes, defines, and comes with a price tag that encourages you to layer it on liberally. From richer color payoff to smoother, creamier textures that don’t flake or smudge, the offerings at the pharmacy are only getting better, furthering the stakes when it comes to what you ultimately toss in your basket. To take the guesswork out of your next trip to the store, Vogue asked a panel of pro makeup artists about their top picks for effortlessly full, fluttery lashes. Here, the best drugstore mascara formulas to stock up on.

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara

An all-time favorite pick for four of the makeup artists we spoke with, L’Oréal’s Voluminous Mascara comes out on top. “I’ve been using this mascara forever and it’s a staple in my kit,” explains celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass. “It’s super black and adds incredible volume and curl, and never clumps or flakes.” On top of the aforementioned aspects, fellow artist Alana Wright can’t get enough of the brush, which she considers the perfect size, shape, and density “to still able to reach those tiny lashes in the inner and out corners of the eyes,” she says. Another bonus is the gentle, non-abrasive formula. “It doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive eyes,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Autumn Moultrie. While Carbon Black is the most popular shade, both Moultrie and editorial pro Akiko Owada also like reaching for Black Brown, which can have a softer effect. “It provides clump-free lashes, it doesn’t run, and it’s easy to control,” adds Owada of the formula’s all-embracing appeal.

Shop at ULTA $9

Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara

For bolder, more intense lashes, Covergirl’s Lashblast is another tried-and-true go to. “I love its creamy texture, which gives you volume and length instantly in one coat, and it’s easy to layer it for more drama,” explains French makeup artist Cedric Jolivet. “I find the silicone brush [makes it easy] to grab the lashes from the root, and it totally works on short lashes!” Makeup artist William Scott, whose clientele includes Padma Lakshmi and Mette Towley, agrees. “It’s perfect for those who want maximum volume on the first swipe, and with a lash comb, it can be spread over the lashes to make them more fluttery.” There’s just as much to love about its waterproof formula: “It will dry a bit faster, which help the eyelashes to stay curled,” says Jolivet of why it’s worth the extra time spent removing it at the end of the day. “I always curl the lashes first, but I noticed a lot of mascaras don’t hold a curl and make your lashes looks heavy… not this one!

Shop at ULTA $10

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara

For Matin, who counts Angelina Jolie as a longtime client, it’s all about Neutrogena’s Healthy Volume Mascara with its nourishing ingredients and jet-black pigment. “It’s a true volume mascara that doesn’t dry out the lashes,” he says of the formula, which is supercharged with vitamin E-rich olive oil and protective sweet almond. “It stays flexible and won’t crumble throughout the day.” Another major draw? “It has a giant brush!” adds Matin. All the better to coat every little lash lash.

Shop at Bed Bath & Beyond $8

Maybelline Sky High Lash

It’s by far one of the best mascaras on the market—and relatively newer, too,” says Colby Smith, who works with Dua Lipa and Charli XCX, of Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Sky High mascara. “I love that it’s super black,” he continues. “A few coats and you really get that full long lash. It has the look of a high end mascara without breaking the bank.

Shop at ULTA $12

L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara

For soft, supple lashes, you can’t beat L’Oréal’s Telescopic Mascara, insists Scott. “I love its applicator and slick formula, which make it easy to apply to bottom lashes and give long and defined lashes all around,” they explain, emphasizing the lengthening powers of its patented plastic-bristle comb brush. “It’s very versatile in that one swipe delivers length and the wand makes it easy to keep the lashes separated, and the formula builds nicely to add some volume.” 

Shop at ULTA $11

VOGUE

14 Best Beauty Products Under $20, According to Gigi Hadid, Naomi Campbell, and More

The world of beauty can be overwhelming, as much for our cabinets as our wallets. But rest assured: a high-powered cosmetics arsenal need not break the bank. Take it from the stars of Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, who have revealed that some of their most prized products are in fact some of the best priced. 

See La Roche-Posay’s $14 Serozinc Toner, a mattifying mist that has earned Naomi Campbell’s seal of approval. What’s more? The Kendall Jenner–beloved Mario Badescu Facial Spray—laced with soothing green tea, cucumber, and aloe—rings in at just $12; spritz it on before applying a layer of Sydney Sweeney’s go-to $16 Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre or a $19 hyaluronic-acid-infused primer that’s a mainstay in Jessica Alba’s Dopp kit. Gigi Hadid, meanwhile, swears by Maybelline’s Lifter Gloss. Delivering an ultra-moisturizing, ultra-shiny finish for only $7, it’s one makeup must-have that will leave you anything but high and dry.

Below, shop the best beauty products under $20 on Amazon, as chosen by Vogue’s Beauty Secrets stars Gigi Hadid, Emma Chamberlain, and more. 

Skin Care

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

Shop on Amazon $9

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea

Shop on Amazon $12

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Shop on Amazon $14

iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Natural Facial Serum

Shop on Amazon $18

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

Shop on Amazon $16

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Toner for Oily Skin With Zinc

Shop on Amazon $16

Epicuren Aloe Vera Calming Gel

Shop on Amazon $15

Makeup

Lano Strawberry 101 Ointment Multi-Balm

Shop on Amazon $14

L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Powder

Shop on Amazon $11

Honest Beauty Everything Primer, Glow With Hyaluronic Acid

Shop on Amazon $19

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Mascara

Shop on Amazon $10

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup

Shop on Amazon $15

Maybelline Lifter Gloss With Hyaluronic Acid

Shop on Amazon $9

Jillian Dempsey Khôl Eyeliner

Shop on Amazon $15

VOGUE article

Best Lip Plumpers For Needle-Free Volume And Fullness

What are the benefits of lip plumpers? 

A co-founder of Le Jolie Medi Spa, Brian Nourian, was asked why someone might want to use a lip plumper, and what benefits they can provide. Here’s what he had to say:

“Whether your lips are au natural or have been cosmetically enhanced, lip plumpers can add an instant boost of plumping and shine. They’re great for red carpet or special events as there is no downtime after using them, and they offer instant results. If you’re thinking about going under the knife, they’re also a nice, non-committal way to enhance your natural lip shape and see what your lips look like slightly enhanced if you’ve never gotten fillers or injections.”

What should you look for when shopping for lip plumpers? 

According to Nourian, “For that coveted bee stung look, seek out plumpers that utilize hyaluronic acid and collagen, as both ingredients help draw hydration to the top level of the skin to naturally plump and define lips. Avoid harsh ingredients like peppermint oil and cinnamon, as these ingredients work to boost lip shape by irritating the skin to increase blood flow to the surface. These irritants are doing more harm than good.”

With Nourian’s insights in mind, here are the best lip plumpers on the market.

Best Overall: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper

Working with thin, lifeless lips? With the Too Faced Lip Injection lip gloss, there’s no need to pout. Beauty sleuths swear by the patented formula’s plumping superpowers that are “based on medically-proven blood vessel-dilating technology,” according to the brand. The gloss is packed with hydrating ingredients, as well as pepper extract that enhances your lips with heat and tingle. Just a thin layer is fast-acting and long-lasting for Kylie Jenner-level results. 

The Lip Injection gloss comes in five glossy shades, but if you’re looking for an extreme volume boost, Too Faced also makes a more advanced Maximum Plump Extra Strength formula.

Shop at Nordstrom $16-29

Best Gloss: Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish

We can’t talk about lip plumpers without giving Buxom a shoutout. The volume-focused brand is big on big lips, offering an entire line of plumping products, including a balm, liner, serum, two lipstick formulas, and of course, its best-selling plumping gloss polish that flawlessly fakes a filler-like pout.

With a selection of more than 100 pigmented shades in three lustrous finishes, its glamorous glossy effect is certainly one of our favorites. Equally as impressive, the Buxom lip plumper features a peptide-infused formula and a refreshingly tingly feel that provides the potent plumping power you’d expect from the brand, while vitamins A and E offer lasting moisture.

Shop on Amazon $21

Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Lip Lifter Gloss Hydrating Lip Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid

At only $7 a tube, this drugstore lip plumper is bringing full lips to the masses, with benefits that rival those of more expensive options. Maybelline’s top-rated Lip Lifter Gloss literally does it all — volume, high-shine, and hydration — at an unbeatable price. And unlike many glosses priced at three times the cost, its moisturizing formula is boosted by hyaluronic acid for a smoother and fuller effect. Nearly 7,500 Amazon reviewers love it for creating an ultra-glossy pouty look, and with a gorgeous 10-shade color selection, you’re guaranteed to find one you’ll love, too. 

Not to forget, beauty enthusiasts continually mention this gloss formula to the infamous Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb.

Shop on Amazon $7

Best Affordable Option: NYX Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Polish

Sure, every lip plumper on this list is far more affordable than fillers, but if you’re looking for a pout-enhancing option that’ll really save some pennies, this under-$6 gloss from NYX provides big payoff at a reasonable price. Its tingly, plumping formula is packed with light-reflecting emollients that make your lips look fuller with a single glossy swipe, while its feather-proof coverage minimizes the appearance of fine lines for a super smooth finish. The gloss is available in six sheer shades, but the same formula is also available in a long-wearing lipstick form if you’d rather pack on the pigment. 

Shop on Amazon $7

Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Lip Gloss

You (yes, you) are an icon, and therefore deserve Dior’s iconic celeb-loved lip gloss — Bella Hadid is also a fan. At $30, it doesn’t disappoint on the plumping front, and its price point fully pays off with results you’ll notice literally seconds after applying. Its vegan formula features one standout skincare ingredient: hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration and fuller lip volume. In fact, the brand claims your lips will be significantly smoother in just four weeks with prolonged use, so start lacquering up. It comes in six lustrous shades, plus two shimmery options that’ll make your lips look even more voluminous in the light. 

Shop at Nordstrom $30

Best Sting-Free Formula: Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss

Not to totally shade other lip plumpers, but many contain mild irritants like cinnamon, capsicum, and even bee venom that cause your lips to swell and sting in the process. Instead, Charlotte Tilbury’s high-shine Lip Bath Gloss promotes a pain-free payoff with gentle mustard sprout extract. And because hydration is key to achieving that ultra-plush pouty effect, nourishing marine collagen and coconut oil will give your lips some much-needed moisture. 

It’s available in five colors — including universally flattering favorites like Pillowtalk and Walk of No Shame — that are each formulated with shimmery pearlescent pigments, reflecting light to create an illusion of larger lips. 

Shop at Nordstrom $35

Best for Hydrating: PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lip Booster

PSA for anyone who applies lip plumpers a little too often (you know who you are): Excessive use can lead to dry or chapped skin, especially if your treatment of choice intentionally uses an irritating ingredient to plump up that pout. What’s worse, dry, flaky skin can actually minimize the appearance of lip volume, so you feel the need to keep reaching for the same product that caused your skin to crack in the first place.

This super hydrating option from PCA Skin turns the tables on moisture-sucking lip plumpers with a nourishing and gentle formula you’ll never regret using. Plumping peptides make your lips look full and supple, but its moisturizing power is equally impressive with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E included in the lineup of soothing ingredients for long-term results.

Shop on Amazon $46

Best Viral Option: Derol Lip Plumper Set

For ultra-thin lips, the Tiktok-famous Derol Lip Plumper delivers needle-free results without a visit to the derm. The set includes two lip plumpers: one with ginger essence for daytime use as a volumizing lip gloss and another with mint for nighttime use as a leave-on mask. Both contain vitamin E and collagen for a fuller, more moisturized look and feel, and feature a lightweight, non-sticky formula for hours of comfortable wear. Reviewers say both plumpers burn pretty intensely upon application, but the feeling is, of course, far less painful than nip tuck. 

Shop on Amazon $17

Best for Lasting Results: GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper

If you’re looking for more than just a fling with your lip plumper, lock down a longterm commitment with a volumizing treatment that’s luckily pretty easy to fall for. The brand recommends applying the gloss twice daily for 30 days to ensure a long-lasting volumizing effect. Best of all: Its high-gloss formula will love your lips right back with nourishing ingredients like Volulip and hyaluronic acid that’ll moisturize your skin while promoting collagen production for natural fullness. 

And if you’re merely looking for instant gratification, no judgement — the fast-acting formula noticeably improves volume in less than five minutes. Purchase it in 10 sheer, high-gloss colors, including rosy-hued dusty taro and peachy toasted apricot.

Shop on Amazon $27

Best Long-Term Plumper: Fillerina Lip Plump Grade 1

The first thing you’ll notice when applying this product is the intense but not unpleasant numbing sensation that overtakes your lips. Unlike other products, this plumper is designed for longterm use and lasting effects. Users should apply the formula from this medical-looking applicator every couple of hours each day for optimal results. If you re-apply lip balm throughout the day, this habit-friendly device is your friend for gaining an attractively swollen-looking smile.

Shop at Dermstore $89

Best Serum: BeautyBio The Pout: Volumizing Lip Serum

Go beyond the gloss with a balm-like serum that’ll serve you far beyond your done-up days. Collagen, squalane, and hyaluronic acid — a dream team of powerhouse ingredients — plump and nourish lips to put fine lines and wrinkles to bed. Two clear, glossy shades can be applied throughout the day to help achieve perfectly volumized and supple lips without the distraction of tints and glitter. But if you do prefer a surge of color, the brand’s shimmery sparking rosé option might make you feel a little more put-together. 

Shop on Amazon $35

Best Treatment: Clinique Moisture Surge Lip Hydro-Plump Treatment

Plumping and hydration go hand-in-hand, so it’s no wonder why this volumizing moisture treatment works so well. Its gentle fragrance-free formula is ideal for sensitive skin types thanks to an ingredient list rich in lipids, shea butter, and ceramides that work together to plump, moisturize, and soothe. And not only is it multitasking, but it can also be used multiple ways: as a balm for an instant boost of hydration, a five-minute treatment to condition lips before applying makeup, or even as an overnight mask to maximize its nourishing benefits. No matter how you use it, the feather-light consistency is ultra comfortable to wear, so you can apply it day or night without that dreaded sticky, weighed down feel.

Shop at Nordstrom $15

Best Mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

The secret to maximizing the results of your lip-plumping gloss is starting with a great foundation. Give your pucker an extra punch of volume and hydration with a mask that’ll prep your pout for the next step in the process. Unlike your favorite face mask, Tatcha’s leave-on treatment doesn’t need to be rinsed off or removed after applying. In fact, its jelly-like formula absorbs into the skin to fully utilize nourishing ingredients like squalane and Japanese peach that lock in moisture, plump fine lines, and improve fullness. The brand recommends using this mask before bed so it can work its magic while you sleep, but its lightweight, non-sticky feel is comfortable enough to lacquer on during the day, too.

Shop on Amazon $28

Best Lip Plumper Patches: skyn ICELAND Plumping Lip Gels

The result of these patches is not as dramatic as with other, more aggressive formulas, but these gels make a significant difference. In just ten minutes, your lips will be hydrated in places lip balm can’t reach, more uniform in shade, and turned up ever so slightly at the bow. For your date night ritual, just stick on a gel patch for ten, then swipe on a gloss and healthy, inviting lips are yours.

Best Tool: Fullips Lip Plumping Enhancer

This unexpectedly simple device has over 800 five-star reviews on Amazon, more than virtually all other products in its category. The silicon device relies on suction from your own mouth in order to plump your lips. Just apply the round or oval shape over the part of your mouth you’d like to enhance, and create a vacuum by inhaling the excess air within. Don’t hold for too long, otherwise you risk bruising your skin, but you’ll be sure to see results after about 30 seconds.

Shop on Amazon $20

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