The 30 Best Beauty Products As Picked by Cosmetologists
It's time to streamline your makeup bag.
There are certain beauty products that seem to get an undue amount of coverage from magazines and blogs alike. Every time a “Best Of” list hits newsstands, we’re inundated with tales of how Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara changed someone’s life or how there’s no foundation will ever live up to Diorskin Forever Undercover?
But instead of rehashing the same beauty advice you’ve heard a hundred times, we’ve gone straight to the source, asking cosmetologists, salon owners, and makeup artists what they actually use on themselves and clients. And when you’re ready to give your beauty routine an overhaul, make sure to ditch these 20 Beauty Products You Should Never Use.
$20; buy now at Amazon
One of the most popular beauty tools of the past decade, the Beauty Blender is as good as it’s cracked up to be. “This award winning, non-disposable beauty sponge has a unique egg shape that can be used wet or dry with minimal product waste,” says Stephanie Jones, licensed esthetician and owner of The Blushery in Beacon, New York. “[You can] use it to apply foundation, powder, or to blend your makeup to a flawless streak-free finish.” And when you’re short on time, Simplify Your Life With These 20 Multitasking Makeup Products.
Prima Eyelash Curler
$20; buy now at Amazon
You don’t need an Instagram filter to make your eyes look substantially bigger in a hurry. Jones recommends the Prima eyelash curler to lift and separate lashes. “Unlike traditional lash curlers, this lash curler fits all eye shapes and lashlines. Its mini design allows it to get in close to grip and lift every lash in small sections,” she says.
Ardell Individual Lashes
$6.14; buy now at Amazon
While strip lashes may seem convenient, individual lashes, like these ones from Ardell, look like the real deal—only better. “Individual lashes are small fan-shaped clusters that are placed along the lash line, with the ability to be stacked and spaced as far or as close together as needed,” says Jones. “Individual lashes have a more natural appearance than strip lashes and are more comfortable to wear, as they do not lay across the full length of the eyelid and pull at the lash line.”
Elf Brush Cleaner Glove
$10; buy now at Elf
Cleaning your makeup brushes is a necessary evil to avoid breakouts and infections, but it’s rarely fun. Luckily, this Elf brush cleaner glove makes this thankless task a whole lot easier. “This silicone mitt uses multiple wavy textures to deep clean makeup from hard to reach spaces between brush bristles,” says Jones. “The glove shape fits over your hand for
portability and has a slot to hold brushes while drying.” And when you want to get your tools perfectly clean, This Is the Safest Way to Clean Your Makeup Brushes.
Nurse Jamie UpLift Massaging Beauty Roller
$69; buy now at Nurse Jamie
You don’t need to shell out cash for pricey fillers to get younger-looking skin. This beauty roller from Nurse Jamie helps promote collagen production and keeps fine lines at bay. “This massaging roller promotes anti-aging by energizing and lifting the skin,” explains Jones.
Stimulite Bath Mitt
$26; buy now at Amazon
Instead of scrubbing yourself with a bacteria-harboring loofah or sponge, get your skin baby-soft with this convenient bath mitt. “Use it for cleansing, exfoliating, and massaging the body,” suggests Jones. “This nonporous, silicone bath mitt is naturally antifungal and antibacterial.”
SLIP Silk Pillowcase
$85; buy now at Slip
When it comes to looking your best, what you put your skin on is just as important as what you put on your skin. “Silk pillowcases are hypoallergenic and allow your skin and hair to glide and breathe while tossing and turning. Unlike cotton, which grips and tugs at your skin causing sleep creases and eventually, fine lines and wrinkles,” explains Jones. And for more ways to get a good night’s rest, check out these 17 Sleep Products People Swear By.
Pointed Cotton Swabs
$2.99; buy now at Target
Not all beauty products have to be expensive to be effective. Case in point: the pointed cotton swab. “A makeup bag must-have,” says Jones. “Perfect for cleaning up under eye makeup, perfecting winged eyeliner, smudging out a smokey eye, blending blemish concealer, or touching up nail polish. The possibilities are endless.”
PMD Personal Microderm Pro
$179; buy now at Amazon
You don’t have to go to a salon to enjoy the smoother, more youthful skin microdermabrasion treatments afford you, thanks to this at-home tool from PMD Beauty.
“This at-home microdermabrasion device comes with dual settings for regular and sensitive skin types, as well as multiple exfoliation disk options to customize your treatment. Use once a week to exfoliate and smooth skin’s texture, reduce fine lines, and fade dark spots. This treatment allows for deeper product penetration,” says Jones, who also recommends to apply sunscreen after use.
Skin Gym Jade Facial Roller
$32; buy now at Skin Gym
The fresher, more awake-looking complexion you’ve been dreaming of doesn’t require an expensive facial or invasive fillers. Jade rollers can stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation and puffiness, making your complexion look healthier in no time, according to Jones. She recommends refrigerating and using with your favorite serum or oil for additional skin-smoothing benefits.
100% Pure Argan Oil Facial Moisturizer
$37; buy now at 100 Percent Pure
If you’re eager to fight the signs of aging, you’ll want a lightweight moisturizer with SPF to wear on a regular basis. Julie Featherman, owner of Juju Salon & Organics, says that one is her go-to all year round. “A facial moisturizer with an SPF of 30 is a must in preventing wrinkles, sun-damage, over freckling and dry skin,” she says.
French Girl Le Lip Tint
$16; buy now at French Girl Organics
Love a colorful lip, but don’t love the stiff feel of a matte lipstick? Try one of French Girl’s Le Lip Tints on for size instead. “[They’re] vegan, organic, and hydrating, with a simple pop of color. Perfect for everyday use, when you want a natural look with a little eye-catching color,” says Featherman.
Hamadi Shea Leave-In Conditioner
$37; buy now at Beauty Bridge
The prescription for softer, healthier hair? A rich leave-in conditioner. “Leave-in conditioners are great for long lasting moisturizing and fly-away control and can also act as a styling product. Apply leave-in on towel dried hair, mid-shaft to ends,” says Featherman, who specifically recommends this product for those who like to air-dry their hair.
Skinnyskinny Organic Dry Shampoo
$32; buy now at Anthropologie
Not in the mood to wash your hair? Not a problem, thanks to Skinnyskinny’s organic dry shampoo. “Over shampooing will dry out the hair, and dry hair, especially on curly hair promotes frizz and the dreaded halo-effect,” says Featherman, who lists this among her favorite beauty products. “I recommend shampooing no more than three times a week and using a dry shampoo on off days.”
Supergoop Lightweight Sunscreen Oil with Meadofoam
$34; buy now at Amazon
While many sunscreens are goopy and hard to rub in, this lightweight sunscreen oil, a favorite of Featherman’s, is easily blended and absorbs quickly. Better yet, this sunscreen is loaded with antioxidants that can help heal damaged skin, as well. And if you need further convincing to stay safe in the sun, learn the 20 Ways a Sunburn Harms Your Overall Health.
Stinky Girl Natural Deodorant
$12; buy now at Stinky Girl Beauty Co.
If you want healthier skin, start by swapping out your deodorant for a more natural formula. “Stinky Girl Beauty Co’s natural deodorants are made with ingredients straight from this small company’s farm in Upstate New York,” says Featherman, who describes them as capable of handling the hottest heatwave.
Innersense Inner Peace Whipped Creme Texturizer
$20; buy now at Innersense Beauty
Finishing creams aren’t just for short hair anymore. Nutritive finishing creams, like this one from Innersense, are great for making dry, brittle hair look and feel healthier. “Dab a very small amount of a finishing paste on dried and styled hair to lock in moisture, nourish weak and brittle hair, and give a healthy shine,” says Featherman. “The Shea Butter and Essential Oils in Innersense’s Inner Peace Whipped Creme Texturizer really fights frizz and helps heal damaged hair.”
MGA Styling Gel
$12.99; buy now at Max Green Alchemy
Hair gel has come a long way in the past few decades. In fact, new formulas, like this aloe-infused variety, can help hold your hair in place without the wet, crunchy look made popular in the 1990s. “I like MGA’s Styling Gel because of its lightness and versatility,” says Featherman. “Aloe not only moisturizes the hair, reducing frizz potential, it also provides hold and style.”
Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
$26; buy now at Sephora
If you find yourself dealing with eyeshadow or liner that migrates into your eyelid crease or under your eye, it’s time to invest in a tube of this Nars eyeshadow base. “This primer is the best way to keep your eyeshadow from fading or creasing for 12 to 24 hours,” says makeup artist Mindy Green, founder of mobile beauty business MG Beauty. “It dries clear so it doesn’t change the color of the shadow applied over it. And, it contains Deep Sea Extract, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and Rice Bran Extract, a powerful antioxidant.”
Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
$24; buy now at Stila
While shimmer has outpaced glitter in popularity in recent years, this glittery eyeshadow from Stila might just tip the scales the other way. “This sparkle shadow has staying power,” says Green. “It’s packed with glitter and it dries with little to no fallout. It comes in about 20 shades, so you can sparkle and shine with a different shade to match for all your moods.”
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner
$27; buy now at Bobbi Brown
A great eyeliner can help define your space in minutes. And fortunately for those who aren’t skilled with liquid eyeliner, Bobbi Brown offers an easy-to-use alternative. “This gel liner provides a rich color payoff,” says Green. “It glides on smooth and, once dry, it’s water resistant.”
Eufora Fresh Effect Dry Shampoo
$32.50; buy now at Amazon
If you’re not into the overly-floral scents of traditional dry shampoos, try this one from Eufora on for size instead. Super absorbent and easy to use, this one is a favorite for NYC-based stylist and Eufora style director Mirza Batanovic. And for more ways to get photo-ready skin, try out The 25 Best-Selling Foundations at Sephora.
Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial
$80; buy now at Sephora
Better skin comes in a bottle these days, according to licensed cosmetologist Shreeda Tailor: “Turn back the clock years in 20 minutes. This is hands down best mask to smooth, even, and tone skin.”
CoverFX Illuminating Setting Spray
$31; buy now at CoverFX
Keeping your makeup on doesn’t have to mean using a drying setting spray. With this illuminating setting spray from CoverFX, your makeup will stick around all day and your skin will look dewy, too, according to Tailor.
Aria Unicorn Dryer
$69.99; buy now at Aria Beauty
Not all blow dryers are created equal. In fact, this colorful beauty is a real unicorn. “This mini blow dryer is a powerhouse,” says Tailor. “I love it for travel or my gym bag. It’s powerful enough to dry my hair quickly and very lightweight and portable.”
Tangle Teezer Brush
$12; buy now at Amazon
Getting a brush through coarse or tangle-prone hair is generally a recipe for breakage, but not with the Tangle Teezer. This palm-sized brush is the perfect size to take on the go and can get through even the most difficult hair. “I absolutely love this for detangling west or dry hair,” says Tailor. “It’s gentle on hair to minimize damage and great for kids who hate getting their hair brushed.”
Cozzette Infinite Eyeshadows
$12; buy now at Roque Cozzette
You don’t need to shell out a huge amount of money to get a huge color payoff from your eyeshadow. These inexpensive shadows from Cozzette are every bit as beautiful as their more expensive counterparts. “These shadows have long been an artist favorite,” says B. Wilson, owner of Philadelphia-based beauty concierge service Just B Beauty. “[They’re] packed with blendable pigments, come in an array of colors, and you can create your own customized palette. As a bonus, the palettes are padded so you can travel without worrying about your favorite shadows.”
Smith Cosmetics Face Essentials Set
$86.50; buy now at Smith Cosmetics
A well-made set of brushes is a must-have for any makeup aficionado, and this trio, containing a foundation brush, bronzer brush, and contour brush, has all the tools you need for a chiseled face. “[These are] well-crafted, long-lasting, and versatile brushes,” says Wilson. “They can be used for so much more than the face. You can use these brushes for just about everything, liquids, creams, powders and always get a flawless finish to your makeup.”
Macadamia Professional Anti-Humidity Finishing Spray
$19.95; buy now at Amazon
When the humid days of summer hit, most hairstyles go haywire—except those protected by this world-class finishing spray. “My must-have spray,” says Wilson, who says she uses this product on clients year-round. “This spray will keep you sleek and smooth through the harshest weather.”
Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick
$24; buy now at Smashbox
While liquid lipsticks have a reputation for getting uncomfortable as they wear throughout the day, this one from Smashbox manages to be flexible without rubbing off. “Unlike other liquid lipsticks this Smashbox formula doesn’t leave your pout dry and sticky,” says Wilson. “This comfy non-sticky formula stays with you from coffee to dinner, and it also comes in some of the most flattering nude shades as well as on-trend colors.”
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