Style

Real women reveal the beauty product that changed their lives

Good beauty products are a dime a dozen. (After all, we spend most of our time testing and writing about the latest and greatest). But every once in a while, you come across something that goes way beyond.

Maybe it’s the blow dryer that finally enabled you to give yourself a frizz-free blowout. Maybe it’s the face cream that took away your embarrassing redness for good. Maybe it’s the serum that renewed your confidence after years of battling with acne.

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From brow pencils to beauty waters, read on as real women (including a few beauty gurus who have tried just about everything) share some of the next-level, too-good-to-be-true, problem-solving products that have made the biggest difference in their lives, some for as low as $4.

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“I grew up with thick, blonde hair on my face. It wasn't your normal peach fuzz. I felt like Santa Claus, and tried everything to help hide the fact that this long hair was present. I threaded and waxed, which left me covered in bumps. I even bleached my upper lip thinking that would be a solve. (It wasn't.) I tried laser hair removal, but it caused hyperpigmentation, and the hair eventually grew back. It wasn't until I started shaving my face that I was not self-conscious when in close quarters with another person. I use a single-blade razor that's meant for your eyebrows. You can buy the Tinkle on Amazon, or, if you want a professional-grade dermaplaning option, I also love Stacked Skincare's razor.” –Kirbie Johnson, ​Host, Senior trend producer and reporter at Popsugar

Tinkle Eyebrow Razor 3 Pack, $4, Amazon

Amazon

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“I have dry skin so I constantly feel the need to exfoliate my face. This product is gentle enough that I can use it every day. It balances my skin out, not only when it comes to my dryness but also tone, and makes my face feel super fresh all day. Seriously, Sephora keeps selling out of it and it hurts my whole life.” –Lindsay Morris

Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, $41, Amazon

Amazon

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“I'm constantly searching for the next best thing, but nothing has changed my skin more than Son & Park Beauty Water. I have very oily and acne-prone skin, and this toner/cleansing water has made my routine a lot easier. I was skeptical to purchase it at first for its price tag, but now I can't live without it. I like that it's technically a toner, but it also removes makeup. I love to use it right in the morning when I wake up — it's very lightweight and refreshing. I also use it at night after I wash my face, and it picks up any leftover makeup. There are a lot of natural ingredients, such as rose flower water, orange fruit extract and lavender water, which make it especially great for sensitive/acne prone skin. My acne isn't as bad, and my face looks so much brighter and toned. I didn't notice how dull my complexion was until I started using this product!” –Lexington Hartman, 21, Beauty YouTuber/Influencer

Son & Park Beauty Water, $20, Amazon

Amazon

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“I have hormonal acne on my chin that I could NEVER get to go away no matter what product I used. And I'm in my mid-30s — I shouldn't have any acne at this point! Pore Therapy is the first thing that has completely changed my skin. It's finally clear! And when I do see a potential breakout coming, using this before bedtime can squash those blemishes before they even appear. It's pretty amazing!” –Melea Johnson, savings expert/founder of The Melea Show

Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy, $37, Amazon

Amazon

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“I've been a devoted user of Devachan's curly-hair products for a long time now, but DevaCurl's Styling Cream completely changed the game. No more too-tight, too-crunchy curls — these give me exactly the kind of soft, touchable hair I've always dreamed about, while still giving my curls all the moisture and structure they need.” –Kate Winick

DevaCurl Styling Cream, $17, Amazon

Amazon

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“I’m obsessed with grooming my brows, but even though I have a pretty full shape, they’re super sparse. Therefore, I’m constantly testing products to help fill in the gaps. I've tried everything from dying them to waxes, shadows and all types of pencils, but it wasn’t until I tried this pencil from IT Cosmetics that I finally felt they looked their best. It’s unlike any other I’ve ever used. It’s so thin that it allows me to create strokes that look like my actual brow hairs. Plus it’s waterproof.” –Jeannine Morris, Beauty and wellness expert

IT Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny Waterproof Brow Pencil, $20, Amazon

Amazon

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“I found this product a few years ago and will never switch again — it's the one staple in my beauty routine that covers my skin imperfections without making me look orange — just like a better version of myself.” -Angela Pessolano

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, $44, Amazon

Amazon

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“My cheeks get flushed in the wintertime after I shower. I started using Clinique Redness Solutions cream (the Daily Protective Base Broad Spectrum SPF 15) and it keeps my skin color in check, plus provides some sun protection. Now I'm not as self-conscious when the cold weather has a stronger affect on my skin!” -Katie Killary

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream, $41, Amazon

Amazon

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"I’ve tried just about everything for the persistent acne on my cheeks — prescription ointments, natural salves, OTC creams. Everything either dried out my skin (making things worse) or did absolutely nothing. I was *this* close to popping Spironolactone when I decided to give this gel a shot. Within two months, it cleared up my acne without causing any dryness at all. (And it’s so light, you can wear it under makeup.) You can’t put a price on clear skin — but $13 is pretty freaking good." -Cat Quinn, Beauty director at Refinery29.com

Differin Gel, $12, Amazon

Amazon

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“This is truly the best deodorant I've ever used! I don't consider myself to have bad body odor but, living in New York in the summer, I felt the need for something that was strong without a prominent fragrance. This is perfect. It goes on so smoothly, has a very subtle scent, and is so effective! Plus, I only have to apply it once a day.” –Mallory Hauser

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant, $25, Amazon

Amazon

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Harry Josh Blow Dryer, $275, Amazon

“I had always failed at blow drying my thick, coarse, wavy hair at home (it would look so frizzy after), but this dryer changed everything. For starters, it has significantly cut down on my drying time (it takes me 15 minutes tops now, while it used to take 30 to 40 minutes). My hair looks smooth after blow-drying it and I don't even have to run through it with a straightener after. It's also really lightweight and doesn't hurt my arm when I hold it.” –Christina Heiser, Editor and writer in New York City

Amazon

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“As someone with brown hair and blonde eyebrows (I know, WHAT?!), I need to fill in my eyebrows every darn day as to not look like an alien. This pencil is easy to use and makes my brows look natural!” -Kourtney Sokmen

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil, $23, Amazon

Amazon

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“I've struggled with acne since I was 10 when I hit puberty at a young age. I've had consistent, often cystic breakouts that I could sometimes cover with thick makeup, and sometimes not. Because of my skin issues, I've cancelled many dates last minute, not gone out with friends because I was embarrassed, not agreed to go to certain restaurants or bars because of their lightning and not been comfortable waking up in the morning with a boyfriend without running to cover up my pimples. To say it's impacted my confidence is a major understatement. And I've tried everything: Accutane, Proactiv, antibiotics prescribed by dermatologists and everything over the counter. I've sought second opinions and I've written (and assigned) so many articles, seeking a solution. While Accutane worked for a while, last fall, I started having hormonal acne symptoms, with major breakouts along my jaw and t-zone. And out of the blue, without requesting it, a publicist sent me CerumWorx Day and Night creams from Dermworx. I was honestly willing to try anything... and my skin has never been healthier or clearer. Having a zit-free face is a luxury and blessing, and after going through it all, I'm so thankful.” –Lindsay Tigar, Writer

DermWorx CerumWorx Day and Night Serums, $64-$68, DermWorx

DermWorx

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“As a woman of color, it can be extremely difficult to find a physical sunscreen that has no white cast. I know because I spent years searching. When I finally discovered Nutrient Day Cream, it was love at first application — the clean ingredients and transparent finish meant that I could finally wear sunblock on a daily basis without questioning the product or how it makes me look.” –Namosha Boykin, Attorney and founder of ChidiBeauty.com

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30, $85, Josh Rosebrook

Josh Rosebrook
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