Everyone has their one thing when it comes to beauty products – the one highlighter or dry shampoo that changed their life. This leads to certain products earning cult-like followings, making them the celebs of the beauty world. But which ones are actually worth the hype? As a beauty aficionado, I try to test out as many products as I can. Some of them aren’t that great (there’s a pretty popular pink-and-green mascara that does nothing for my lashes), but some of them have actually changed my life simply by changing my beauty routine. These are the products that have touched my life in awesome ways in the past year, and I’m super thankful they exist!
Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers
I started this year off with major heartbreak when, in January, Bonne Belle announced the closing of its factory and offices in January. Bonne Bell was parent company of the iconic Lip Smacker brand, makers of the Dr. Pepper lip balm, a trusty go-to for me and beauty aficionados everywhere for decades. It’s the perfect budget beauty buy: a balm that moisturizes lips while leaving a rosy tint and delightful taste behind for under $2. What would we do without it?! Thankfully, the company was bought out (by Marwkins, whom also own Wet N’ Wild and Physician’s Formula), and Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker lives on.
Smith Cosmetics Lip Brush #302
In order to get your lipstick looking super Instagrammable, you can’t just apply it straight from the tube. You need a brush. Lip brushes are easy to find, and for the most part, a makeup brush is a brush is a brush… until you discover Smith Cosmetics’ Lip Brush #302. Made from synthetic sable bristles, the rounded angle tip makes this brush perfect for applying lipstick to the curved, imperfect lines of my lips, especially around the cupid’s bow. Smith Cosmetics is a new line of makeup brushes to hit the scene, but the brand already has a huge following. It’s quickly become a favorite amongst Instagram and Youtube beauty gurus, along with celeb makeup artists, so naturally I had to try it – I’m so glad I did!
Bioderma Sensibio H20
Micellar water has definitely been having a moment this year. It’s a type of magical potion that both removes makeup and cleanses the skin, eliminating precious minutes off your nighttime skincare routine when you’re just too tired to properly deal with removing your makeup, double-cleansing, and toning. I had a bottle of Bioderma’s version, frequently cited as the best on the market, rolling around in my bathroom drawer for months before I was forced into using it when my regular cleanser ran out. I just didn’t really expect that much from a makeup remover. I was so wrong it’s almost criminal. Micellar water deserves a place in everyone’s bathroom cabinet. It removes makeup, waterproof eyeliner, that gnarly leftover dried glue from your lashes, longwear lip color, and anything else on your face without freaking your skin out.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
This is another product with a fanatic following that I was side-eyeing for awhile. I already had a longwear, waterproof liquid liner (with its own obsessive following) that I was hopelessly devoted to. Why in the world did I need this? However, when that liner failed to live up to the humid temps of the Carribbean this year on a recent vacation, I decided to look to other options. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, which turned 5 this year, was at the top of my list. I picked up the black one and put it to the test in rain, with tears, with long-nights and messy applications. Once it dries, it does. not. budge. It’s almost scary how well this works.
The first time I saw this little teardrop shaped pink sponge that took the beauty world by storm, all I could think was, Oh big deal, it’s a sponge, how great can it be? Right? It’s also not inexpensive ($20 at Sephora), needs to be replaced every 3 months, and requires a special cleanser, so I was dubious to say the least. Something that’s going to soak up that much of my cash should be a miracle-worker. This one kind of is. It’s used to blend your makeup into different types of finishes: you can use it wet or dry, blend your makeup, stipple your foundation, highlight, and contour with it. It works better than a foundation brush because it doesn’t leave behind any telltale streaks. It also just feels amazing against your skin, as if tiny unicorns are kissing your foundation onto your face. And applying makeup does not get much better than that.
Images courtesy of Instagram, Kat Von D Beauty, and Smith Cosmetics