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35 Popular Beauty Products That Deserve Their Hype Because They Work So Damn Well

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Generally speaking, it’s good to be a bit cynical of hyped-up beauty products (or hyped-up anything). But sometimes, it’s okay to give into the hype — especially if that thing really, truly delivers, like any of the cult-favorite beauty products featured here.

Ahead, you’ll find a mix of old, new, familiar, and relatively under-the-radar beauty products and tools. The thing they all have in common? Either via the internet, word of mouth, or simply by dint of staying on the shelves for decades, they’ve all garnered loyal customers for following through on their promises. Think: A makeup-removing cloth that works without a cleanser, and a Japanese liquid exfoliator that literally peels away dead skin. Some are so good, they may genuinely change your life — like a sunscreen/serum hybrid you’ll actually look forward to putting on every day, or a blowout brush that dries, smooths, and volumizes your hair in a matter of minutes.

Shockingly, all these products cost under $50 (though they should cost so much more); and as everything is sold on Amazon, most are eligible for free two-day shipping from Prime. So you won’t have to wait long, or spend more than you’re comfortable with, to give these high performers a go.

Ready to start shopping? Scroll on to discover 35 of the best, buzziest beauty products that Amazon has to offer.

1

The Velvety Loose Powder People Have Loved Since 1935

You may very well have spotted a case of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder on your grandmother’s vanity, but this legacy beauty product deserves a spot on your top shelf, too. It feels airy and light on your skin, but packs enough punch to impart a filtered, velvety finish, and curb shine for several hours. This is an especially good choice for baking, as it has excellent staying power and stays smooth and crease-free.

  • Available shades: 6

2

This Plush Cloth That Removes Makeup All On Its Own, Sans Cleanser

This makeup removing cloth is capable of sloughing off a full face of makeup when wet, without the use of an additional cleanser — nothing short of magic, as far as I’m concerned. The ultra-plush construction feels lovely — nothing like an abrasive bath towel — and it won’t irritate sensitive skin. You can throw it in the washing machine, so it’s an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable makeup wipes or cotton rounds.

3

An Editor-Approved Treatment That Makes Hair Silky & Soft In Seconds

Thousands of Amazon shoppers (and our own obsessed editors) confirm: This rinse-out treatment from L’Oreal will make any hair type feel silky-smooth in a matter of seconds. For best results, shampoo your hair first, saturate your whole head from root to tip with this ultra-light treatment, then rinse it out after eight seconds. You can follow it up with conditioner, but you may not need to — it does all the moisturizing, detangling, and softening work of a conditioner on its own, even if your hair is thick or coarse. But since it’s water-light, it won’t weigh down fine or thin hair.

4

These Lemon Peel Pads That Leave Your Skin Refreshed & Glowy

A favorite of Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho’s, these NEOGEN DERMALOGY peel pads brilliantly combine manual exfoliation and chemical exfoliation in one fell swoop. They feature a textured gauze on one side to slough away dead skin, and a softer, quilted side on the other to sweep away debris; and it’s all soaked in a solution containing glycolic acid, lactic acid, fruit acids, and antioxidants to promote a smoother, brighter complexion. You’ll be left with baby-soft, glowing skin that feels hydrated and plump, not stripped and irritated (it’s also packed with soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid). Considering that peel pads can run upwards of $80, this $27 jar is a true bargain.

5

A 6-Pack Of Makeup Sponges For Less Than $10

These cult-y makeup sponges perform just as well as their pricier, more popular counterparts. They’re super-soft, absorb just the right amount of product, and feature that signature teardrop shape: Rounded on one side for applying and blending product to larger areas of your face, and pointed on the other to handle smaller areas like your inner corners and under eyes. Though if you prefer a flat side, that style is also available on Amazon for just a dollar more.

6

This One-Step Hair Styling Tool With Over 200,000 Perfect Amazon Ratings

With over 200,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this one-step hair dryer from Revlon may very well be the most beloved hair tool on the market, period. This blowout brush is equipped with two bristle types to smooth, volumize, and detangle hair, while a stay-cool tip and long, tangle-free swivel cord facilitate a truly stress-free process. This will revolutionize your hair styling experience, especially if you have thick hair that otherwise takes ages (and a good amount of upper body strength) to dry.

7

A Drugstore Face Wash That Soothes & Hydrates As It Cleanses

Some skin care products are absolutely worth spending a little more on — but face wash just isn’t one of them, with so many amazing drugstore cleansers available. And even those with extra-sensitive skin can benefit from a reasonably priced face wash, safely, with this Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser. It harnesses gentle surfactants to lift away impurities, while glycerin and purified water work to soothe and hydrate dry, reactive skin. Like all Vanicream products, this is free of common irritants like fragrance, sulfates, and alcohol, and it boasts a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. The pump-top bottle doles out just the right amount of product — though at under $10, you can stock up on this stress-free.

8

This Wonder-Working Liquid Exfoliant With A Serious Cult Following

Containing a simple blend of 2% salicylic acid and green tea leaf extract (among a handful of other ingredients), this Paula’s Choice liquid exfoliant is wildly effective on...pretty much everything: Congested pores, acne, bumpiness, excess oil —you name it. Aren’t you just a bit curious about what it can do for your skin?

9

A Sunscreen That Feels & Works Like A Serum

If you hate the feeling of thick sunscreens, this La Roche-Posay serum/SPF hybrid will transform your skin care routine. It contains an impressive SPF of 50 that offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, along with antioxidants to fend off environmental aggressors that can contribute to skin damage over time. The water-based formula feels light and refreshing on your skin, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave behind a white cast, as well. Perfect.

10

This Body Wash That Buffs Away Rough, Bumpy Patches

CeraVe is a foolproof (and, now, hype-y) drugstore brand for effective, no-frills cleansers, creams, and washes — and with this body wash, they even have a solution for retexturizing rough, bumpy skin, including caused by keratosis pilaris. Salicylic acid does the smoothing work, niacinamide works to calm inflammation, and the brand’s signature, tri-ceramide blend helps strengthen your skin barrier. As is so often the case with CeraVe, this simple yet sophisticated formula belies its nearly negligible price tag.

11

The Treatment Hair Stylists Swear By For Restoring Damaged Hair

Ask any hair stylist to recommend a treatment for damaged hair, and they’ll very likely point you to this one from Olaplex. Powered by the brand’s patented bond-building technology, this professional-grade rinse-out treatment works to actively rebuild hair that’s been damaged by heat styling tools, chemical treatments, or bleach, leaving it noticeably stronger and smoother. I credit this treatment for absolutely saving my hair from repeated bleach sessions and 10+ years of dye jobs before that.

12

One Of The Best Korean Cleansers Of All Time (Seriously)

When you think of “Korean cleanser,” this Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm likely comes to mind. It begins as a sherbet-like balm, but when you warm it up between your fingers, it emulsifies into a silky oil that melts through makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara and matte liquid lipstick. The Original formula featured here is the most popular, though it comes in three other versions, too: Nourishing, which feels rich and delicious on dry skin; Revitalizing, which is made with extra antioxidants; and Purifying, a calming formula for irritation-prone skin.

13

A Body Scrub Made With Moisturizing Cream & Rice Milk

This Dove body scrub is the only exfoliating scrub I feel comfortable using on my sensitive, dry skin. Where others leave my skin feeling irritated (not the goal), this one makes my skin actually feel hydrated and soft, courtesy of the brand’s moisturizing formula with brightening rice bran oil. Doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing (and costs just $6), either.

14

This Intensely Pigmented, Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick That Comes In Over 50 Shades

This Maybelline liquid lipstick is one of the best liquid lipsticks of all time, guaranteed — and definitely the best affordable one. Its 16-hour staying power is unparalleled, even among notoriously long-lasting liquid formulations; but unlike so many liquids, it doesn’t dry out your lips, or crack and feather. Instead, the flexible formula moves with your mouth, and its lightweight consistency feels like nothing. And of course, you’ll benefit from the intensely concentrated, opaque color payoff liquid lipsticks are known for. Good luck choosing just one from this 52-shade range.

  • Available shades: 52

15

A 36-Pack Of Acne Patches That Help Flatten Pimples Overnight

Acne patches are becoming increasingly mainstream, but Mighty Patch — one of the first acne patches on the scene — remains one of the most popular and most affordable options. These hydrocolloid bandages work to pull up impurities from spots, relieve swelling, and create a sealed, sterile environment, which prevents pimples from becoming further inflamed by outside bacteria. These work best overnight, though the ultra-thin, translucent edges are discreet enough to wear during the day (they also cover up nicely with foundation or concealer).

16

This Active-Rich Niacinamide Serum That Costs Just $16

The concentration of actives in this Naturium Niacinamide Serum rivals those of expensive serums, so at $16, it’s such a steal it’s almost criminal. Its effects are beneficial for virtually every skin type, too: In here, 12% niacinamide and 2% zinc promote a brighter, more even complexion and balance excess oil production, while hyaluronic acid and vitamin E impart and lock in moisture.

17

The Poster Child Of Cult-Favorite Beauty Products

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay garnered so much buzz (and deep dives into its secrets) over the past few years — and though it’s no longer officially Amazon’s number-one best-selling beauty product, the cult of the clay mask remains. This powerful mask contains just one ingredient — natural calcium bentonite clay — which can help minimize the appearance of congested pores, quell breakouts, and promote a generally clearer complexion. Simply mix it with water, or with apple cider vinegar for even more clarifying benefits. It’s a fairly intense experience — you might feel your face “pulse” when it dries, or be unable to smile while it’s on — but the results are worth it. This works well as a body mask, too.

18

The Original Micellar Water

Bioderma literally invented micellar water, so if you like this kind of makeup remover, you can’t get one much better than this. The French pharmacy staple (and all micellar waters that came after it) harnesses “micelles,” compounds made up of glycerin, purified water, and surfactants that absorb oil and grease without stripping your skin of the oils it needs. The addition of cucumber extract in the formula adds to its refreshing, hydrating feel. Since you only need to use a bit at a time, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this big $9 bottle.

19

A Treatment-Caliber Shampoo That Soothes Dry, Flaky Scalps

If you’re contending with a chronically dry, flaky scalp, this supercharged Briogeo shampoo might be your fix. The 98% naturally derived formula contains a potent blend of vegetable-based exfoliators to slough away dead skin cells; charcoal to absorb impurities contributing to itching and discomfort; and biotin to encourage stronger hair regrowth. Think of this treatment-caliber shampoo as a luxe version of your standard drugstore dandruff shampoo.

20

This OTC Gel That Can Stand In For A Prescription Retinoid

As an acne treatment, no other over-the-counter product works better than Differin Acne Treatment Gel. But as it contains Adapalene, a retinoid that encourages cellular turnover, it also works wonderfully as an alternative to prescription retinol treatments. Like all retinoids, this won’t work its wonders overnight, so stick with it for a few months to start seeing results.

21

An Under-$20 Vitamin C Serum That Feels So Moisturizing

Vitamin C serums are foundational to a well-rounded skin care routine; and at just $19, this one from CeraVe is leagues more affordable than some other, popular vitamin C serums. This is formulated with a healthy concentration of 10% L-ascorbic acid, the purest and most stable form of vitamin C, along with protective ceramides and panthenol. The texture is creamier than most serums, so this feels especially moisturizing on dry skin.

22

This Classic Drugstore Concealer That Just Keeps Getting More Popular

This Maybelline concealer has been around for a decade, but it’s seemed to experience a resurgence in popularity recently. (I blame TikTok.) This has the same ample coverage as a cream concealer, but its liquid texture isn’t as prone to caking as thicker formulations, and it glides on like a dream. The included antimicrobial sponge makes quick work of blending, too. You’ll want to pick this up in three shades: one to conceal, one to contour, and one to use as a matte highlighter.

  • Available shades: 18

23

A Lotion Made With 15% Lactic Acid To Smooth Away Keratosis Pilaris

Along with that Dove body scrub, this Amlactin body cream was the golden ticket to smoothing away stubborn KP on the backs of my arms. This formula relies heavily on lactic acid (15% of it, to be precise) for its exfoliating benefits, so you might feel a tiny bit of stinging if your skin is very dry or cracked — but if you’re like me, you’ll simply find that to be satisfying evidence that the formula is working. More great things: It’s fragrance-free, so it’s safe for reactive skin, and it absorbs remarkably quickly.

24

The Beloved, $6 Mascara That Comes In Gorgeous Jewel Tones

Perhaps one of the best mascaras of all time, the L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara makes your lashes look thick, curled, and dramatic-looking; but the formula is relatively soft and surprisingly lightweight, so it doesn’t get crunchy or flaky. This is also the rare mascara that comes in non-traditional shades, like cobalt blue and emerald green — though you can’t go wrong with the ultra-black version featured here, or its Teflon-tough waterproof counterpart.

  • Available shades: 8

25

A Brow Gel That Effortlessly Tints, Tames, & Sets Your Brows

NYX makes a few hype-y brow products, but this Tinted Brow Mascara wins for most effortless application: Just comb it through your brows and go, without worrying about clumps or a hard, waxy-looking finish. Though the formula contains enough wax to tame and set your brows all day, and more than enough pigmentation to fill in sparse hairs. NYX also makes a super-popular clear brow gel, if you’re in the market for something to set your brows without tinting them.

  • Available shades: 5

26

These Korean Water Tints For A Gorgeous Flush On Lips & Cheeks

Nothing is better than these Etude House Dear Darling Water Tints for a giving your lips a juicy, just-bitten effect. A cult classic in Korea and beyond, these water-based lip stains impart a soft, gradient finish that lasts almost forever (the pigment really bleeds into your lips), though you can build up the intensity and opaqueness with another layer or two. Dab the pigment onto your cheeks for a pretty flush of color.

  • Available shades: 3

27

This Coconut Oil Cream That Defines & Revitalizes Curls (& Smells Divine)

Cantu is always a go-to for people with curly hair, but their Curl Activator Cream has an especially fierce following. This cream contains moisture-rich ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil to deeply nourish hair, smooth unwanted frizz, and revitalize and define curls, and it’s free of silicones. The fruity-floral scent smells amazing, too. About a quarter-sized dollop (or less, if you have fine hair) is all you need for soft, bouncy waves or curls, so this big, 12-ounce bottle will last you a while.

28

This Arnica Bath Oil That Helps Soothe Sore Muscles

After a long day on your feet or a rigorous workout, nothing feels better than a long, hot soak with this bath oil. The key ingredient in here is arnica, which has long been used as a remedy to soothe sore, achey muscles and joints. This oil, which hails from cult German brand Kneipp, is quite nourishing for your skin, too.

29

This Peeling Gel That’s Wildly Popular In Japan

Cure Natural Aqua Gel enjoys the esteemed position of being Japan’s top-selling exfoliator — and beloved among beauty insiders all over the world. A peeling gel in its truest form, this watery gel harnesses chemical exfoliants that encourage little balls of skin to peel off when you massage it onto your face — gross, but so satisfying. Sounds incredibly intense, but this is suitable for sensitive skin (as many Japanese skin care products are), since the formula is made up mostly of gentle ingredients, like 91% activated hydrogen water and aloe extract.

30

A Korean Hair Treatment Infused With Collagen & Strengthening Proteins

K-beauty brand Elizavecca is known for their collagen-rich skin care products, but the protein is put to excellent use in this popular, playfully packaged hair treatment. In here, hydrolyzed collagen is joined by almost every strengthening ingredient imaginable — like biotin, ceramides, keratin, and vegetable proteins — to restore damaged hair, increase its elasticity, and make it feel softer and more manageable overall. So many shoppers on Amazon swear by this treatment for making their hair “impossibly silky,” even those with severely damaged hair.

31

This Face Mask & Scrub Made With Hydrating Black Sugar

Moisturizing and exfoliating are not mutually exclusive, thanks to this genius mask from SKINFOOD. The hero ingredient in here is black sugar, a natural humectant that draws moisture to the skin and helps preserve your skin’s natural oils. At the same time, its stores of AHAs work as a chemical exfoliant, while its gritty texture manually sloughs away dead skin. This can be used as a scrub, or you can let it sit for a few minutes to let all that goodness sink into your skin.

32

A Bottle Of Deliciously Cooling Aloe Vera Gel

Despite the most fastidious SPF application, a sunburn here or there is unavoidable. And when that happens, you’ll thank yourself for having a bottle of this Sun Bum aloe vera gel at the ready — ideally refrigerated. It contains aloe vera, vitamin E, and tea tree oil to cool and hydrate burns, and its lightweight texture immediately sinks into your skin. Even if you’re not sunburned, this feels refreshing slathered over your arms and legs after a hot day in the sun, or a sweaty workout.

33

This Face Cream That’s Extra-Gentle On Sensitive Skin

Even though it’s made for babies, people of all ages can benefit from this Mustela face cream. As you would imagine, it’s formulated to be extra-gentle on delicate skin, so it’s a safe choice if you experience rashes, breakouts, or other reactions to most face creams (or other skin care products). The texture is lighter-weight than you may expect — more of a lotion than a cream — so it absorbs beautifully, and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on your skin. It’s also free of common irritants like synthetic fragrance, and gets the stamp of approval from dermatologists.

34

A Luxurious Cuticle Oil Infused With Nourishing Milk & Honey

You wouldn’t necessarily think that a cuticle oil would become a diehard favorite with thousands of gushing reviews, but such are the wonders of Amazon. Reviewers credit this nourishing oil with restoring cracked, brittle nails; helping nails grow back stronger; filling and smoothing jagged edges; and keeping their cuticles hydrated and soft. It dries down almost instantly, too, so you can scroll, type, et cetera without smearing everything with grease. Other than the fact that it truly works, it just feels so luxurious to pamper your nails with this golden milk-and-honey elixir.

35

This Electric Razor That Painlessly Removes Unwanted Facial Hair

If you choose to remove any facial hair or peach fuzz, this electric razor will make that sometimes-painstaking process so much easier — not to mention, the rose-gold, lipstick-shaped tool is surprisingly pretty. It effectively shucks unwanted facial hair with just a single pass, and it’s gentle enough to use every day. This pocket-sized tool is equipped with a tiny light so you can get more precise with your work, and it’s easy to clean when you’re done — just untwist the cap, throw all the collected hair into the trash, and clean out the cartridge with soap and water.

  • Available colors: 6