Kaitlyn McLintock
Updated May 28, 2020 @ 4:34 pm
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Credit: Kaitlyn McLintock

A few months ago, I was talking with a friend, and we were discussing our favorite products, as well as those we both consider to be timeless and universal—the ones that aren’t just good or great, but truly elite and iconic. When I mentioned that I hadn’t tried most of them, I was met with a look of surprise and a gasp of mock horror. What did I mean I had never tried MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick? I felt like a bad beauty writer, so I took it upon myself to get some of the most iconic beauty products of all time and test them out. I’m a skeptic, so I wanted to know what made them so good. I tried 10 of the most iconic beauty products of all time, and these are my honest thoughts about each one.

1Beautyblender

Credit: Beautyblender

The Original Beautyblender is the makeup sponge used far and wide to seamlessly blend in concealer, foundation, cream blush, bronzer, and more. I like to use brushes and my fingers to apply makeup, too, but there’s nothing else I’ve found that blends my complexion products quite as well as this sponge. I just wet it with water, squeeze it to distribute the dampness, and press and dab foundation and concealer into my skin. It works like a charm.

2MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick

Credit: MAC

Shop it! $19, Ulta.com

This lipstick is loved by celebrities, makeup artists, bloggers, and beauty editors worldwide, and I think the hype is very well deserved. The blue undertones in the vivid red formula make it a universally flattering color, even for someone like me who doesn’t normally love the way red lipstick looks against my skin tone. Because there’s absolutely no shine to this matte formula, it looks soft and velvety against the lips. (Just be sure your lips are moisturized before you apply so that it goes on smoothly and evenly.)

3Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Credit: Maybelline New York

Shop it! $6.99, Ulta.com

This green and pink tube is found in almost every drugstore beauty aisle in the country—one is sold every three seconds! From the first swipe, I knew why it was so universally loved. It’s a standard, no-frills mascara. It will make lashes look natural and fluttery, no matter how many coats are applied, and it washes off easily, too. I’m used to dense volumizing mascaras that require a makeup remover and an oil to fully remove, so just using water and my FaceHalo Reusable Makeup Remover Pad to remove this one was refreshing.

4Clé De Peau Concealer

Credit: Clé de Peau

Shop it! $73, Nordstrom.com
This full-coverage concealer has a thick and creamy consistency that stays put all day long. No wonder it’s a favorite of professional makeup artists. I like how easily it blends into my skin, that it offers SPF 25, and how well it covers all my imperfections without looking obvious. Plus, it lasts all day, which makes up for the luxury price tag IMHO.

5Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer


Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Shop it! $30, Sephora.com
I’m a big fan of the no-makeup makeup look, and this powder bronzer accentuates my jawline and the hollows of my cheeks without looking severe or too, well, done. It also wicks away shine, so my complexion stays velvety and glowy just how I like it (never shiny and oily).

6L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray

Credit: L'Oréal Paris

Shop it! $14.99, Ulta.com

To test this, I first sprayed Batiste Original Dry Shampoo at the roots to freshen up my hair and give it a volume boost, and then I spritzed L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray throughout my waves to give them hold and texture. It’s one of the only hairsprays I’ve ever used that’s kept my hair in shape all day long. Yes, this is one of the several iconic beauty products that lives up to the hype.

7NARS Orgasm Blush

Credit: NARS

Shop it! $30, Nordstrom.com

This iconic peachy-pink blush adds color and a touch of shimmer to the cheeks. The powder is light and silky and adds dimension to any skin tone. There’s a reason it’s probably the most recognizable blush on earth and earns a spot on the list of the most iconic beauty products of all time.

8Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

Credit: Armani Beauty

Shop it! $64, Sephora.com

This foundation is the closest thing to bottled candlelight. You know when you’re in low light, and your skin looks extra radiant and velvety, almost like it’s lit from within? Yeah, that’s the effect that this foundation has. It’s major.

9Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Concealer

Credit: Yves Saint Laurent

Shop it! $35, Sephora.com

Imagine a product that’s one part highlighter and one part concealer. That’s exactly how I would describe YSL’s Touche Éclat, which many Sephora reviewers call a game-changer for their under-eye area. Just a few strokes will even out your skin tone and make you look wide awake. It’s truly one of the most iconic beauty products of all time—and for good reason.

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Bioderma Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution[/listheader

Credit: Bioderma

Shop it! $14.90, Dermstore.com

If you’re looking for a truly iconic skincare product, look no further than this Bioderma pick. It’s a micellar solution that wipes away dirt and makeup without the need to rinse. It’s safe for sensitive skin since it’s paraben-free and hypoallergenic. Did I mention that it’s also a favorite of multiple makeup artists who use it instead of eye makeup remover to clean up the edges of eyeshadow and sharpen the shape of eyeliner? Just squeeze a few drops on a cotton swab, and it will wipe away fallout like a dream.