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9 Holy Grail Beauty Products That Work, According To The Zoe Report Editors

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With the sea of skincare, makeup, and haircare options at your fingertips, it can often be hard to distinguish which formulas are all talk and which beauty products actually work. So, when you finally do discover an item that not only delivers, but totally transforms your beauty routine, it can be a pretty euphoric experience. Like, fireworks.

There are plenty of tools online to help you figure out the right routine for your skin type. If you're super crunched on time, Ulta has a very simple two question quiz that will point in the direction of a tailored routine; Sephora's quiz is slightly more in depth (it might take you 30 seconds, as opposed to five); and plenty of brands have short quizzes that lead you to a bounty of products to choose from (check out Philosophy, Kiehls, and True Botanicals for their quizzes). Dermalogica even has a "biosensitivity quiz" to help determine the severity of flare-ups and redness.

But nothing compares to a recommendation from a friend, right?

In an effort to narrow down the pool of beauty superstars that actually deliver on their promises, The Zoe Report's editors reveal the specific formulas that made them believe in miracles. From an SPF that doubles as a foolproof primer to an $8 mascara that reportedly supersedes every luxe option, these are the beauty products TZR editors swear by.

Lauren Caruso, Managing Editor

@laurencaruso_

Pure Light

$66

Dermalogica

"It's so unsexy to call a sunscreen my holy grail product, but I wasn't always so diligent about sun protection and I've got the dark spots and fine lines to prove it. This *super* lightweight lotion helps fade hyper-pigmentation over time, and oddly enough, it also acts like a primer for my makeup. When I don't use it, I've noticed my foundation either slips off, or settles into said fine lines, but this sort of plumps my skin enough to keep my makeup in place. I basically recommend it to anyone within an earshot of me."

Nicky Deam, Contributing Style Director

@theflashtruck

Moisture Infusion With Plant Stem Cells

$88

Hylunia

"As I entered my 30s, my skin started freaking out. It was a combination of hormonal fluctuations, the dry LA climate, and living next door to a construction site. This is the only product that calmed my skin and actually kept it hydrated. It's natural, packed with hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells, and I've sworn by it ever since."

Anna Buckman, Shopping News Editor

@annavbuckman

LOTION P50 W

$76

Biologique Recherche

"This product absolutely changed my skin. I had stubborn chin acne for years that I could never get rid of, and weeks after I started using this every day, it vanished forever. It also made my skin more even and glowy, which has always been difficult for me since I have super dry, sensitive skin. It's a game changer!"

Mecca James-Williams, Contributing Market Editor

Andre Gray

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil

$16

Ulta

"Early on in my beauty care routines, I would use toners or moisturizers based on either recommendations or observations. I was never satisfied with any of them — they always left my face really dry or overly caked up with product. Finally, a friend gifted me Burt's Bee's Cleansing Oil, and my beauty routine has never been the same. It's perfect for dry skin, and cleans my face without taking all the moisture out of it. I live by this stuff!"

Khalea Underwood, Beauty Editor

@letsbekhalear

Supermud Clearing Treatment

$59

GLAMGLOW

"Some skin-care aficionados prefer glitzier, top-shelf masks, but I'll always be loyal to my college favorite that has charcoal and salicylic acids. It shrinks my pores and gets rid of pesky whiteheads on my nose."

Aidan Macaluso, Social Media Editor

@theflashtruck

Clump Crusher Mascara

$8

CoverGirl

"My mom's best friend recommended this mascara to me earlier this year, and I haven't looked back since. It delivers full lashes without the dreaded clump. And while it's only $8, it supersedes all the expensive mascaras I've tried before."

Aemilia Madden, Senior Fashion Editor

@aemiliafay

Illuminating Moisturizer

$85

Tata Harper

"I tend to be a minimalist with my routine, but one thing I swear by is Tata Harper's Illuminating Moisturizer. It hydrates my skin without ever feeling too heavy and helps keep my dry skin in check, especially during the winter."

Ruby Buddemeyer, Associate Celebrity Editor

Ruby Buddemeyer

Promise Keeper Blemish Facial

$120

Allies Of Skin

"Although I’ve experimented with more acne-fighting products than I’d like to admit, I’ve been unable to find a formula to combat the monthly breakouts on my jaw and chin (thank you, hormones). That’s why I was particularly skeptical when I came across the Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Facial — an overnight serum that claims to destroy zits as you sleep. But after I took a peek at the formula (which is spiked with azelaic acid, lactic acid, niacinamide, and rosehip oil) I decided it’d be worth a try. Suffice it to say, I’ve never used a serum so darn powerful. I slather it on before bed every night and I wake up to significantly less redness and irritation, a noticeably brighter complexion, and few (if any) zits. Out of the many skincare products I rely on, this tube is a nonnegotiable in my routine — it's my ride-or-die, holy-grail, desert-island formula."

Angela Melero, Senior West Coast Editor

Karla Ticas

The Rice Polish — Deep

$65

Tatcha

"I have oily skin, so exfoliation is a non-negotiable to avoid clogging and breakouts. I love that this polish is gentle enough to use twice a day without making my skin freak out. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since using this product — it lends my skin a natural glow (that I swear is not a result of oiliness). Now that it's been reformulated, I'm hoping the benefits keep on coming."