Gemma Chan definitely knows how to make an impression. Her turn in 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians was unforgettable, and we’re waiting with baited breath for Don’t Worry Darling to land next year (Chan, Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine star). In the meantime, Chan is working on a podcast about Asian American civil rights, and using her position as a L’Oréal Paris spokeswoman to promote self-care’s role in building confidence and asserting equality. To that end, the actress and activist recently revealed her full beauty routine — and the intel is juicy.
In a video for Vogue released earlier this month, Chan walked viewers through exactly what she relies on to maintain her glowing skin. As expected for any celebrity, she invests in some pricey finds like Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream, celebrity aesthetician Joanna Czech’s Facial Massager, and Foreo skincare tools. Yet alongside those triple-dollar-sign buys — The Rich Cream fittingly goes for $265 a bottle — are two hard-working products in the under-$20 range.
The first? L’Oréal’s Revitalift Derm Intensives Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, an all-important base layer. Hyaluronic acid is in tons of products these days because, as researchers say, it has a “unique capacity” for retaining hydration — it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, which keeps that dew-making moisture on your skin. With that power, it’s no wonder Chan says the serum “works really well” to wake her face up on tired mornings after late nights, or that the serum’s garnered over 18,000 five-star Amazon ratings.
“I’ve been breaking out so badly from constantly having to wear a mask,” writes one 30-year-old with skin they describe as extremely sensitive and dry. “I added this serum to my skin care routine, and I got instant results overnight. My face is so dewy and moisturized, I’m literally glowing for the first time in years.” Others write that it instantly fills in deep wrinkles, and more still say that after trying “everything on the market,” the Revitalift serum gave them silky, glowing skin.
That efficiency is rivaled by the next steal in Chan’s routine. “My secret weapon is a caffeine eye cream,” she explains. “[I] just very, very gently dot under my eyes. Hopefully [it] encourages a bit of drainage of the puffiness,” Chan says of The Inkey List’s $9.99 Caffeine Eye Cream. Reviewers say it does the trick: They credit the formula with taking puffiness down quickly and keeping it down all day, on top of brightening under-eyes and dark spots.
“Holy crap, it really does reduce puffiness,” writes a shopper of the impact. “I’ve been using this product consistently (AM and PM) for just over a week, and I already notice such a difference. I don’t look like a zombie anymore.” Others say the cream’s moisture lasts all day, even for dry eyes — and at $10, it bests even more expensive products. Shop it at Sephora, and keep scrolling to see the rest of Chan’s routine for blockbuster-ready skin and makeup.
If you struggle with dehydrated skin and fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve probably tested serums that promise to solve those skin concerns — and you’ve probably struggled with them, too, if they didn’t contain superstar ingredients that treat signs of aging, like hyaluronic acid. Luckily, Amazon shoppers have pinpointed a powerful formula you can add to cart right now.
Over 6,100 of them would likely recommend the La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum, if the number of five-star reviews says anything. It’s crafted with pure hyaluronic acid, which deeply hydrates the skin by holding in moisture and helps it to look plumper. “Hyaluronic acid is widely used in skincare as a humectant, [a substance that helps the skin hold onto water] and can often be found as the key ingredient in serums, oral supplements, dermal fillers, and eye drops,” Dr. Lian Mack previously told InStyle.
La Roche-Posay’s formula blends it with vitamin B5, which moisturizes and helps to reduce acne inflammation. According to the brand, the dermatologist-tested serum is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
The hyaluronic acid serum has a rich texture that doesn’t feel greasy or weigh down the skin — instead, according to shoppers, it’s light and refreshing, absorbing instantly. You can expect immediate plumpness after use and an overall reduction in fine lines over time, says La Roche-Posay.
Reviewers on Amazon are practically drinking it up. “This serum actually worked beautifully. And I am seventy!” one wrote. “What I like best are the results. About two months in, I looked in the mirror one morning and noticed my little eye wrinkles were just plain gone… I use it generously at bedtime, and in the morning, always over clean skin. I don’t notice any scent at all. It literally glides on like silk. Afterward, It feels a little sticky at first, but that dissipates. I’m so pleasantly surprised by the obvious results. It really did exactly what it claimed it would! My complexion looks tighter, very moisturized, soft, and smooth.”
Another shopper added, “I have a small amount of rosacea on my cheeks that comes out in the winter and if I use certain face products. I did research on switching my skincare routine and, honestly, have fallen in love with this stuff. It’s gentle, and my skin has been looking better and better. A small amount does go a long way, but I for sure will be buying again.”
And they confirm that the results the brand promises really come through. One shopper wrote, “it revived the plumpness of my skin and smoothed fine lines. Just love the La Roche-Posay line of products because it is ideal for sensitive skin! Just recently started using this product and immediately saw great results in a few weeks.”
Even if you think you’ve tried it all before, try La Roche-Posay’s hyaluronic acid serum on Amazon for only $30 and watch your fine lines and wrinkles disappear.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you’re about to jet off to a green-list tropical island or settle into a staycation, it’s time to make sure your summer skincare routine is at its tip-top shape. From dehydrating heat and pore-blocking humidity to those extra strong and damaging UV rays, sunny climes can have myriad effects on our skin.
So, what can we do to protect it? To find out more, VOGUE asked some of the industry’s leading K-beauty and skincare experts for their tried-and-tested tips.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #58 series on my blog.
1. Sarah Oh, founder of skincare and K-beauty blog, Oh My Gloss
“Heat and humidity make our pores produce more sweat and oil, so skin can feel grimier and dirtier than usual [in the summer]. However, it’s important to keep our skincare routine gentle, even when washing our skin. People tend to over-wash and use harsher face cleansers around this time — these strip the skin, causing dryness and sometimes prompting the skin to produce more oil.”
“Using a low-pH cleanser is a gentle yet effective way to wash away daily impurities while keeping the skin healthy. In K-beauty, cleansing is the most important step, so doing this properly will set your summer routine for success in motion. Technique tip: work on sections of the face for up to a minute, make small rolling motions with your fingertips.”
“My husband and I love using the 107 Chaga Jelly Low pH Cleanser. It washes off clean, doesn’t leave behind a film, and the crushed green tea leaf powder and the aged vinegar in the formulation give your skin a mild exfoliation.”
2. Elisa Lee, founder of K-beauty product website,Dot Dot Skin
“Sunscreen is a must, every single day, even if you stay indoors or you go out for a few minutes. I like Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream as it doesn’t leave a white cast, it’s not sticky and it looks great under make-up. Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is also needed. I recommend putting it on your neck and hands too, and using a lip balm with SPF — these are the areas that people forget, but they’re so important. Also, wear caps or hats to protect your face from the sun.”
“During the summer, I love using cooling products — I suggest storing sheet masks and eye patches in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. I love using skincare tools and I put those in the fridge as well, such as Fraîcheur Paris Ice Globes. My favourite tool is the icing roller that I massage over my sheet mask.”
“My biggest skincare tip for summer is a three-part mantra, but honestly it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Keep it cool, keep it simple and keep it calm! First of all, for me, everything that comes after cleansers lives in the fridge during summer. There’s nothing more refreshing than a chilled sheet mask or a gel eye patch. When my skin is hot, it’s also red and angry, so cooled-down products help soothe it. I’m obsessed with sprays, but since I have dry skin, I want my mists to be more than just water. The Farm Stay It’s Real Collagen Gel Mist is like a moisturizer in a spray, and I love it.”
“Warmer months aren’t the time to use chemical exfoliants. A good philosophy is that summer is for maintenance, winter is for treatments. Sunscreen is always key, but it’s of utmost importance when we’re spending more time outdoors.”
“My skin gets a lot of heat, and that’s one of the areas that the aestheticians at Shangpree Spa in Seoul helped me understand how to treat. Ms Joo-Eun Kim, the spa director, explained that when my skin is hot, I should only use my hands to apply skincare as cotton pads and other tools can cause further heat friction. She also made me aware that red, dry skin makes moisture leave much more quickly, so it’s important to rehydrate with toners and cooling sheet masks.”
5. Sarah Lee, co-CEO and co-founder of beauty brand Glow Recipe
“Growing up in Korea, we would always observe our mothers and grandmothers perform their beauty rituals. It was a common practice for them to rub cold watermelon rinds on our backs in the hot summer months. It would instantly soothe and heal our heat rash, so this superfruit became the inspiration behind our first product — the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask — and has since become a Glow Recipe signature to achieving natural, glowy skin. Watermelon is rich in water content, vitamins, amino acids and anti-inflammatory minerals, which is why it works as a skin hydrator and soother.”
“This mask is a great calming treatment after a day out in the sun — you can use it as the last step of your bedtime routine as an overnight mask, or as a 10-minute wash-off treatment for instantly soothed and plump skin. As well as watermelon, it has hyaluronic acid and AHAs to gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin, which makes it ideal for all skin types. I love putting it in the fridge at least 30 minutes before application for an extra cooling experience. Our early beauty memories have driven the innovations that we bring to Glow Recipe and they remind us of the efficacy of natural ingredients.”
“Another tip to beat summer skin buildup is treating yourself to a clay-infused facial treatment. Traditionally, clay masks can be too harsh for all skin types, especially sensitive or dry complexions — which is why we recently launched the Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial. Our hyaluronic-acid-infused whipped clay frees skin of cell buildup and draws out impurities, while chemical exfoliants, watermelon enzymes, BHA and PHA help clear congested pores. Combined with gentle, exfoliating blueberry-seed powder, this five-minute facial encourages softer, brighter, and clearer-looking skin.”
6. Christine Chang, co-CEO and co-founder of beauty brandGlow Recipe
“Watermelon is a soothing and calming ingredient that blends beautifully with a range of active elements. We love formulating products that intend to hydrate, smooth and balance the skin with watermelon extract, leveraging its calming and soothing properties.”
When you see someone with super long eyelashes, it’s easy to assume that they have extensions. Getting your lashes to look as lengthy as you want without settling for a set of falsies or making a salon appointment probably seems too good to be true.
But, the real deal is possible with the help of an eyelash growth serum. These treatments are enriched with conditioning peptides and fatty acids that stimulate and promote growth.
The best part: They’re pretty simple to apply, too. After removing your makeup and cleansing your face, all that’s required of you is taking a few extra minutes to brush the serum along the base of your eyelashes. Don’t expect to see results right away, but with regular continued use, you’ll start to notice your eyelashes are longer and stronger over time.
Best Overall: Revitalash Advanced
Original, one-of-a-kind, Ophthalmologist developed eyelash conditioner that enhances the look of lashes and protects against breakage, while improving health, flexibility and strength, for lashes that thrive, naturally.
Best for under mascara: Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum
Rimmel lash serum is a conditioning and fortifying gel that can be used on eyelashes and eyebrows. The ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested formula works around the clock, promoting healthier growth. A unique hybrid applicator allows for precise application to lashes, lash lines or brows. The clear eyelash and eyebrow growth serum is quick drying. It can be worn alone or under mascara for easy, ongoing use.
Best for hydration: Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme with Hyaluronic Acid
LiftActiv Serum 10 is a power serum that revitalizes the skin’s appearance in only 10 days. Skin appears rejuvenated and shows an overall reduction in appearance of wrinkles, improved appearance of complexion and firmness.
Best for stronger lashes: Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For, Turbo Conditioning Lash Enhancer
A potent blend of 11 percent peptide complex and biotin helps improve the look of natural lash length, thickness, density, and fullness, while a 10 percent conditioning complex, aloe vera, and Tahitian plankton extract help moisturize, soften, and enhance the appearance of dry, brittle lashes for luxurious results. This product is ophthalmologist and dermatologist test, is safe for contact lens wearers, and is suitable for sensitive eyes.
Talika’s Mythical Plant Complex was discovered in 1948 by Danielle Roches, a nurse at the Ophthalmological Unit of the Paris Hospitals, who formulated an herbal healing cream to treat victims of war with eye burns.
Beyond its regenerating power, she discovered that her formula made her patients’ eyelashes and eyebrows grow spectacularly. That’ s when she created Talika.
Today, our unique treatments, combining age-old secrets and cutting-edge technology, offer a complete range for eyelashes, eyebrows and the eye contour area.
Best for lashes & brows: MILK Makeup Kush Lash + Brow Serum
Hemp-derived cannabis seed extract* conditions to strengthen hair for healthier-looking lashes and brows. KUSH Growhouse™ peptide blend improves the appearance of lash and brow thickness. Aloe, B5, and quinoa combine to support healthy hair follicles for longer-looking lashes and brows.
This 94-percent natural formula means you don’t have to worry about irritation or eye/skin discoloration. See results beginning in after four weeks, with full payoff after 12 weeks. It’s formulated without prostaglandin, and ophthalmologist-tested.
*The cannabis seed extract in KUSH Growhouse™ is hemp-derived and non-psychoactive.
Disclaimer: This product is not intended for hair growth or for the treatment of hair loss.
Best for brittle lashes: LashFood Photo-Medic Eyelash Enhancer
Use with eyelash extensions to get longer lasting bond life. This product is Ecocert certified, dermatologist tested and approved, and vegan. It is free of gluten as well as cruelty- and irritation-free. It is formulated without prostaglandin, silicone, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, mineral oils, phenoxyethanol, PEG, petrochemicals, GMOs, and formaldehyde donors.
LashFood is safe, effective, and no prescription is required. Its distinction lies in its drug-free cosmetic alternative category, providing users with results without the side effects. LashFood packaging components are made with Ecocert compliant and sustainable materials. Ingredients have been evaluated for its environmental impact (biodegradability and ecotoxicity).
Best for fullness: DIOR Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
Gentle on sensitive eyes, Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer’s new balm texture coats each lash with a dense and airy film. Enriched with cornflower floral water, the formula upgrades the radiance, intensity, and color of the mascara. The primer comes in a new iconic Dior couture case.
Best applicator: Shiseido Full Lash and Brow Serum
This powerful, hydrating formula helps condition and restore lashes and brows, leaving them with a healthier and shinier appearance. It’s formulated with arginine, which is known to help restore the condition of hair-like lashes and brows. It easily absorbs to quickly deliver ingredients with no mess while helping to hydrate the lashline and brows. It’s designed with a flocked tip applicator to comfortably reach small areas between lashes and into your lashline.
Best drugstore option: No.7 Lash Impact Lash Serum
This No7 Lash Impact Lash Serum with its unique blend of ingredients gives visibly fuller, thicker and darker looking lashes in just 8 weeks (as tested by consumers.) Use the serum every night for at least 8 weeks.
This beautifying serum, formulated with Biotin and Panthenol, helps to promote eyelashes to look more lush. High performance conditioning agents and Pumpkin Seed Extract, rich in essential fatty acids improve the look of thin or sparse lashes. Use daily for camera-ready lashes.
Whether you’re going full glam for an occasion, or an important meeting over Zoom, it’s important to make sure that beat doesn’t budge — especially after sitting under the glow of the computer screen for hours on end. Luckily, the easiest way to ensure your flawlessly applied foundation, blinding highlighter, and sharp-winged liner doesn’t melt off, is by incorporating a setting spray — aka hairspray for your face — into your routine.
According to Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Victoria Vohland, setting spray is made up of three components: water, alcohol, and a film former that create a barrier to prevent makeup from slipping. It’s the same chemical formula used in hair gel, just made safer and gentle enough to use on the face.
To use, simply give your whole face a mist, or in cues. New York City-based makeup artist Tommy applies setting spray in a zig-zag motion on his clients, starting on the forehead and moving down to the chin. “I spritz it on the skin in distance to help rehydrate the face after applying makeup,” he says.
Another tip, courtesy of makeup artist Kate Lee, who works with celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, and Emma Roberts, dampens a BeautyBlender sponge with the liquid before pressing it on the skin to smooth out dry patches or creased makeup.
With these tips in mind, here are the best setting sprays on the market right now:
Patrick Ta Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist
Patrick Ta’s Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist is made with rosehip seed oil to moisturize, black tea to even out skin’s tone and texture, and witch hazel extract to calm and refresh. All this to say: This facial mist does way more than give you a glowy finish. Plus, the glass packaging is so luxe, you’ll feel rich when spritzing.
Morphe’s Continuous Setting Mist has a nozzle that sprays wide so it hits every inch of your face with just one hit. Just spray it eight inches from your face (eyes closed!) and you’ll immediately thank it for the long-lasting effects it has on your makeup.
Coola’s Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray has SPF 30 in the formula to protect from harsh rays as it holds makeup in place. It’s also made with hydrating hyaluronic acid, and a blend of juniper, date palm, and peony extracts to maintain moisture as it shields.
Benefit The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray
According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, dimethicone, which you can find in Benefit’s The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray, “gives a blurring effect to the skin.” The microfine mist minimizes the appearance of pores, all while maximizing the wear time of makeup.
Tarte’s Maracuja Miracle Mist Setting Spray is made of a cocktail of maracuja oil (rich in vitamin C to brighten and rose and cucumber water to soothe. Spray this over your finished makeup to lock in your look and reveal an overall luminous glow.
Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Another 2020 Best of Beauty winner, the Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is a longtime favorite of magazine editors and makeup artists alike. The microfine mist lets you dance the night away (on Zoom, of course) without worrying about your foundation melting off or your shadow creasing. You’ll seriously be set for 16 hours straight.
When commerce writer Angela Trakoshis first tried Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, she didn’t have high hopes because setting sprays never really work for her. Luckily, it proved to be the exception. “My makeup lasted all day — even under a mask — and that, my friends, is impressive,” she says.
The way Hourglass Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray is part makeup lock, part skin moisturizer, all with lots of staying power. The Allure Best of Beauty 2020 Award winner creates an invisible shield over skin to give it a forgiving finish if you have any blemishes while keeping your makeup in place for the day.
Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set
The Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set doubles as both as a primer and a finisher, which makes it that more of a favorite to former assistant beauty editor Kat Suico. “I love that I’ve found a drugstore option that works well for me,” she says. “This spray comes out in a fine mist that covers my face in about two to three pumps. I’m convinced it grips and helps makeup last all day.”
L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist
I love a good multi-tasking product, which is why the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist earned a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. Use it as a skin freshener when you need a pick-me-up. The coconut water and vitamin C will prime and give dull skin a boost. And then spritz again after applying makeup to set it.
If you’d spend $5 to have your makeup last all day — look no further. E.L.F.’s Makeup Mist & Set Spray was one of the staples in editorial assistant Gabi Thorne’s makeup bag when the drugstore aisle was the primary source of her collection. “It keeps my foundation lasting all day long for a very low price and leaves a nice mist of product on the face without feeling like you’ve been attacked by the spritzer,” says Thorne.
Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray
The Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray is a very gentle formula made with saltwater and hypochlorous acid, which calms irritated skin and soothes inflammation. Los Angeles-based makeup artist Robin Black like to spritz it on a clean face before applying skin care and makeup. “It’s also great midday as a quick makeup refresh and at night before bed,” she says.
The Nyx Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray is great if you’re looking for more of a dewy finish, rather than matte. The drugstore find leaves skin looking luminous but never oily. They do have a matte version of this setting spray though, if you need.
Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist
The Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist is described as a ‘micro-mist,’ this milky spray is so fine you’ll need to bring the bottle just four inches from your face to feel the full effect. Once you do let the mist hit, it’s ah-mazing. Post-spritz, your skin will look slightly dewier and happier.
“This lightweight mist is always in my kit,” says makeup artist Elisa Flowers. According to Flowers, the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ helps prep the skin for makeup, refreshes it during the day when products tend to separate on the skin, and makes for a great mixer if you add it to powder products.
If glass skin is what you’re after, then Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dewy Set Setting Spray was made for you. The 2019 Best of Beauty winner gives skin a gorgeous radiance with zero shimmer or sparkle to be found — and it locks makeup in place for hours. Just call it liquid gold.
If, like me, you’re on an eternal quest to quench your dehydrated skin, there is an exciting new skincare gem destined for your face. CeraVe’s new Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which launched in the UK this week, is exactly that, and at less than £20, it’s a product I feel compelled to shout about.
If you haven’t yet heard of – or tried – CeraVe, consider this post your call to action. A budget brand that develop formulas under the discerning eye of dermatologists, it offers skincare that harnesses the power of ceramides to fortify the skin barrier, as well as other innovative ingredients. From the Hydrating Cleanser to the Facial Moisturising Lotion, those that know about it swear by it, and dermatologists regularly recommend its products to their clients for good and gentle home skincare. It is, quite simply, pharmacy skincare at its finest.
The new Hyaluronic Acid Serum is just as stand-out as its now-cult companions in the range. Unlike the jelly-esque texture of traditional hyaluronic acid (HA) formulas (which can often feel quite tacky, and not for everyone), CeraVe’s offering is delivered via a lightweight, ceramide-rich cream that essentially offers a two-in-one hydrator. Tom Allison, founder of the brand, explains why: “We were really thinking about what HA does and what is unique about it. It’s a wonderful ingredient, it attracts water to the site of application and is one of the most effective humectants out there,” he says. “But what it’s not going to do is help mitigate why you’re dry in the first place.”
The resulting “creamy serum” contains a high concentration of the HA active, but in true CeraVe style, also tackles the issue of transepidermal water loss (or dehydration) through an impaired skin barrier. That, after all, is what actually makes the skin dehydrated in the first place. “It takes advantage of HA but also restores the skin barrier at the same time,” he says. As well as HA, ingredients include glycerin, vitamin B5, three different ceramides, and the brand’s patented MVE technology, all of which works hard to keep the skin barrier strong and healthy, while locking hydration in.
The Inkey List — for those who may not know and consequently have been seriously missing out — is a U.K.-based brand that made its way to Sephora shelves worldwide back in 2019. Brand co-founder and chemist Mark Curry along with co-founder Colette Laxton were devoted to creating a brand that introduces effective ingredients into your skincare routine without asking you to spend more than $15. In other words, you get to save some money while you watch your skin thrive.
Not only is the brand very reasonably priced, but it’s also very easy for a consumer to navigate and shop. Each product in The Inkey List is named after its main ingredient. For example, if you want to try a hydrating hyaluronic acid, it makes a serum that’s simply called Hyaluronic Acid. The same goes for exfoliating glycolic acid; the brand offers a Glycolic Acid Toner. You get the gist. And if you’re confused about which ingredients you need for your skin type, concerns, and goals, it has you covered with plenty of helpful information.
With more than 30 affordable, ingredient-centric products in The Inkey List’s lineup, it’s hard to know what you may want to start with. While I enjoy a lot of the products, I’ve narrowed it down to nine of my favorite products.
Oat Cleansing Balm
The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm is formulated with oat kernel oil to keep skin moisturized and colloidal oatmeal to reduce redness. This surprisingly luxurious face wash will strip all the makeup and dirt off your skin but will never strip your skin of moisture. And that’s why it won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award.
For just $8, the Hyaluronic Acid is a great pick if your skin needs a burst of hydration. Just a dime-size amount of this lightweight serum and your dry, dehydrated skin will be thanking you for quenching its thirst.
The Caffeine Eye Cream does for your eyes what a cup of coffee does for the rest of you: make you look more awake. The formula is made up of caffeine that reduces puffiness and Matrixyl 3000, a peptide that cosmetic chemist Ginger King says will help to boost collagen to firm up the skin and minimize fine lines. When the two are combined, you’ll be looking like you had a full night’s rest (even if you didn’t).
The Salicylic Acid Cleanser gets a gold star for helping acne-prone skin get — and stay — clearer. This formula features 2 percent beta hydroxy acid to exfoliate skin and unclog pores, and its zinc compound helps reduce inflammation.
The Glycolic Acid Toner features 10 percent of its star alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, to minimize the look of pores and fine lines. It also has witch hazel to help control excess oil. After just one use, you’ll notice smoother, brighter skin.
The Kaolin Clay Mask is ideal for getting all that gunk out of your pores. The mixture includes kaolin and smectite clays, which work together to remove gunk from pores and absorb excess oil. All in all, this mask will leave skin looking even and feeling clean.
After winning a Best of Beauty Award in 2019, the Rosehip Oil is still an all-time favorite. It’s made of 100 percent pure rosehip oil, which promotes softer and smoother skin. Apply a couple of drops as the last step in your skin-care routine before you go to sleep, and you’ll wake up with glowy, moisturized skin every time.
According to Miami board-certified dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, tranexamic acid is an increasingly popular ingredient for treating discoloration. “It’s known to help not only lighten [hyperpigmentation] but decrease recurrence,” she says, and that’s exactly what the Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment does. After your pimple heals and becomes a dark spot, just apply a pea-size drop of this magic potion every night, and you’ll surely notice a difference in your skin after about a month’s use.
Get your glow on with the Vitamin C cream. The formula is 30 percent L-ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C that brightens dull skin. Another perk: Use this moisturizer before your morning makeup routine and you can say hello to a smoother canvas for your foundation.
Have you heard about slugging? As slimy as it might sound, it’s a Korean beauty skincare trend made popular a few years ago that has recently had a renaissance thanks to TikTok, on which it’s going viral. Check Reddit and you’ll also see a number of threads enthusing about it. “Slugging is a trend that centres around putting a thick layer of Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your face as the final step in your skincare routine,” explains Maree Kinder, founder of Beauty & Seoul.“The idea behind it is to act as a seal or barrier to prevent moisture loss from skin.”
Taking the concept of fortifying the skin barrier to new – and somewhat greasy – heights, to many (those for whom a moisturiser is more than enough, thank you very much) the thought of slapping on some Vaseline onto skin is a no-no. But those who do it swear it helps to leave skin hydrated, plump and glowing. The trend emerged after, Kinder says, a Korean actress claimed it was her secret to “chok chok” skin, which is that dewy finish that has also become popular in the UK.
But does it work? While some skin types can take this hefty way to retain moisture, most dermatologists are wary of the trend: “I worry that excessive amounts of petroleum jelly will clog pores, especially if you already suffer from acne-prone skin,” says Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR. “Vaseline is occlusive, meaning it forms a barrier – pure occlusion can trigger breakouts in acne-prone skin types.”
Kinder, who hails from Korea and grew up in the UK, also admits that few of her South Korean friends actually partake in the trend, but does point out that the method can work for dry skin types. Dr Ukeleghe agrees, explaining that slugging on “small, dry patches, shouldn’t be too problematic for the skin as petroleum jelly can be soothing and moisturising” but she advises avoiding applying it in a blanket manner. It’s comedogenic so there’s a high chance you’ll break out in spots.
What both experts agree is that there are products that promise that same dewy, plump skin without the risk factor. Ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide work to help bolster the skin’s barrier, leading to better retention of moisture in the skin, and subsequently a healthier appearance. “Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate hydrating molecule,” adds Dr Ukeleghe. “It’s a natural component in our skin but, applied topically, helps bind and retain moisture.” She recommends following with a nourishing moisturiser to keep everything locked in.
Meanwhile, good quality facial oils may also be excellently deployed as the last step in your skincare regime to lock hydration in and leave skin luminous. Finally, Dr Ukeleghe recommends making use of overnight masks in lieu of Vaseline. Sticky situation averted.