2015 Best Beauty Buys Online Exclusives
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
In the beauty world, “miracle” is generally a word we could do without. This two-step polish range ($10; ulta.com)—which mimics the gloss and longevity of gel manis without a single LED lightbulb—earns every letter. The key is the top coat’s natural light activated photoinitiator which cures the polish for 14-days; 47 juicy shades eliminate the need to compromise style for durability.
You can match your hair type to the right formula, says L.A. stylist Frankie Payne, who uses this mousse ($5 for all products; drugstore.com) on Kim Kardashian. Loaded with natural ingredients to protect strands against environmental and styling damage, these products will keep your hair and your bank account in tip-top shape.
Oh, you’re one of those people who think that unless your face is naturally flawless, foundation just makes you break out? Please reconsider. Blend a pump of this mousse-like whip ($55; sephora.com) and watch it dry down to a soft, shine-free finish thanks to oil-absorbing kaolinite clay. “It’s not a matte that looks dull, either,” says L.A. makeup artist Carola Gonzalez.
L’Oreal Paris True Match
"Whenever I walk into a drugstore, this line ($9; drugstore.com) always catches my eye because the range of colors is so perfect," raves N.Y.C. makeup artist Margot Boccia. All 24 shades go on ultra-sheer and layer nicely for fuller coverage, says Kerry Washington's makeup artist Nick Barose.
Murad Acne Treatment
My clients use this a few weeks before a photo shoot because it treats and prevents pimples, says N.Y.C. makeup artist Darac. A combination of salicylic acid and green tea ($21; murad.com) zaps zits without dehydrating skin, and limits oil production as well as future breakouts. The creamy formula (available in Light, Medium, and Dark shades) never flakes, even if you pile it on.
Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum
Smoothing silicones make this powder ($20; bareescentuals.com) feel light and soft, not chalky, while lemon peel extract fades dark marks over time. Makeup artist Kimberly Bragalone loves the eight versatile shades. “If you’re trying to cover deep purples or blues, most concealers look gray,” she says. Here, copper particles lend a flattering orange tint that cancels dark circles right out.
These makeup brushes have soft bristles, which makes makeup application smooth and effective. I also love that they are 100% cruelty-free with bamboo handles ($10; ecotools.com).
Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths
Sturdy cotton cloths are soaked with Japanese thermal water and infused with the brand’s cult-classic cleanser, a gentle blend of six botanical herbs and white birch sap ($39; sephora.com). “It’s the closest you can get to actually washing your face with soap and water,” says makeup artist Matthew Vannleeuwen. Not scratchy or filmy like some wipes, you’re going to look forward to taking off your makeup.
Ardell Duralash Naturals Knot-Free
Because they're knot-free (and thus easier to hide among your natural lashes), you can build up to a lush fringe "without looking like you're in Halloween makeup," says Stern ($5; sallybeauty.com).
L'Oreal Extraordinaire by Colour Riche
While some drugstore glosses deliver leave a sticky shimmer suited for fangirls at a 5SOS concert, this silky formula ($10; ulta.com) is all grown-up thanks to five nourishing oils and sixteen alluring shades—from ballet slipper to pinot noir. “They’ve got great staying power with a good sheen that doesn’t dry,” adds makeup artist Julie Harris.
For nails that are naturally onion skin thin (or ones that have been rendered that way from months of manis), this clear lacquer ($14; amazon.com) is miraculously packed with fortifying keratin and calcium to stimulate strong regrowth. For tip-top tips, “apply it daily for two weeks,” advises manicurist Sunshine Outing. “Then use it a base coat.”
CND Solar Oil
Barking cuticles simmer down with a drop of this cureall, a medley of sweet-almond, jojoba, rice-bran, and vitamin E oils ($12; cnd.com). "It smells like sugar cookies," says Kiss. Bonus: It penetrates even acrylic nails.
Nails Inc. Magnetic
Nail art needn’t be messy. This polish ($11; sephora.com) has a magnet on top of the cap that creates “a holographic effect,” when it’s held over the still-wet nail,” says N.Y.C. manicurist Lisa Logan.
Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
Though long-lasting gels are the latest advancement in nail lacquers, applying them at home isn't the easiest feat. Says N.Y.C. manicurist Lisa Logan of using this foolproof LED dryer ($80; ulta.com): "You just turn it on and turn it off. It's that simple." As for the color range, the shades are current and "true to what you see in the bottle."
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
What if Biggie and Tupac had made an album? This collaboration of lipo hydroxy acid and benzoyl peroxide ($37; laroche-posay.us) is almost that epic. The former “clears pore-clogging dead skin” and the later “kills acne bacteria” says dermatologist Annie Chiu. A tiny dab clears up welts and pustules without scaling.
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
Prone to clogged pores and persistent breakouts? The one-two punch of zinc sunblock and hyaluronic acid in this featherweight formula ($32; lovelyskin.com) won’t aggravate acne, says Dr. Karyn Grossman. And niacinamide—an anti-inflammatory that controls sebum production—also guarantees you’ll be knocked out.
If you’re a boogie boarding, chicken-playing, dock-jumping type of gal, this water-resistant formula ($22; dermstore.com) will make sure you can spend your time doing those things instead of constantly reapplying. “It’s water resistant for 80 minutes, and it doesn’t sting the eyes,” says dermatologist Susan Binder. Also: major staying power doesn’t translate to major white residue.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Moisture Velvet Shampoo and Conditioner
Camellia oil—an extract the company says geishas used to smooth and soften their hair—fortify brittle strands. We just know it works ($48-$58; shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com). Hairstylist Racquel Martuscelli, who has “very damaged, thick hair” lets it “air dry with minimal product” when she lathers with this. “It gives you those really polished, glassy strands.” Konnichiwa, good hair days.
Living Proof No Frizz
There was a time when silicone had a monopoly on taming fuzz. Then this duo ($24 each; sephora.com) came along and took smoothing to another level with their ultralight OFPMA molecule, changing the game forever. Instead of feeling weighted into submission, strands are “light and soft” without that “greasy, limp” look says hairtylist Domingo Quintero.
Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing
“Breathes life” into lackluster spirals, kinks, and coils with Tahitian manoi oil and coconut extract ($21-$22; sephora.com), says L.A. stylist Charles Dujic. For strands that have been run-down by chemical treatments or straightening, “it’s healing and reparative” after one wash. It also smells good enough to garnish with a little umbrella.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original
On towel-dried hair or flat-ironed flyaways, this silicone sealant ($10; ulta.com) delivers glassy shine and heat protection and “literally feels like liquid silk,” says N.Y.C. hairstylist Cynthia Alvarez.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
Because a day spent snorkeling in Belize isn’t a reliable hair styling option, this matte, salt-based elixir ($27; sephora.com) is the next best thing. Mist it on towel-dried strands—being sure to dose underlayers, too—then let air do the rest. Hours later, you’ll have loose, piecey waves “that mimic the look of beachy day without wrecking your hair,” says hairstylist Charles Dujic.
Leonor Greyl Paris Eclat Naturel
Of course the French discovered second day hair perfection and bottled it in a non-descript white tube ($46; nordstrom.com). Hairstylist Adir Abergel works a dime-sized dollop through Kristen Stewart’s clean, dry strands. “It takes away the puff of fresh hair and gives that broken-up coolness,” he says. (Not that K.Stew is ever lacking coolness.) It also boasts UV protection, so it’s très bon for color-treated strands.
Oribe Shine Light Reflecting
Some days a coffee is enough. Other days call for an espresso shot (or two). This argan oil, sunflower and lemongrass extract mist ($39; oribe.com) has the same enlivening impact on your strands. A three-second spritz leaves behind a thin veil of twinkly light. “It’s the perfect finishing touch for blowouts or air dried hair,” says L.A. hairstylist Raquel Martuscelli, who also likes it “when curly hair looks dull.”
L’Oréal Paris Couleur Experte
No rookie mistakes with this all-in-one box ($13; drugstore.com), which includes a base color, a highlighting cream, and a brush you can attach to your index finger for foolproof placement. “Applying high lights is the hardest thing to do at home, and this makes it easier,” says L.A. hairstylist Charles Dujic, who uses it for “fantastic results” when he does quick fixes outside the salon.
Barbar Eco 8000
A feat of engineering, this ceramic model ($120; folica.com) uses 700 fewer watts than the standard tool and saves 40 percent more electricity. And it’s gentle on your biceps. “This won’t kill your arms,” promises Galotti.
Aveda Air Control
Calling this a hairspray is like referring to Versailles as a house ($26; nordstrom.com). It mists on dry, layers easily, and conditions while it holds (shoutout to organic flaxseed, pine, and jojoba for that). “You can run your fingers through your hair with this spray,” says N.Y.C. hair colorist Kathy Galotti.
Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up
Even the wiriest grays are no match for this creamy pigment ($7; drugstore.com). A stiff bristled comb nestles right into the root bed, allowing you to get dye this close to the scalp. The eighteen shades blend seamlessly, making it great for “women who need weekly touch-ups but don’t feel like schlepping to the salon,” says N.Y. Hairstylist Gabrielle Corney. Oh, and did we mention it takes ten minutes?
Remington 3-in-1 Styler
The cords of your flatiron, curler, and dryer shouldn’t resemble Clark Griswold’s Christmas lights. This multitasker ($33; remingtonproducts.com) can help you declutter. Two detachable sleeves—one rounded, one studded with spikes—transform this straightener into a curler and a volumizer. But here’s the thing: All three functions actually work, meaning you can be Gisele one day and Ariana Grande the next.
20% off at remingtonproducts.com from 4/18 until 5/16; use code INSTYLE20
Urban Decay EyeShadow Primer Potion
This classic acts like a magnet for pigment. A wand applicator makes it easy to swipe the creamy base over lids, neutralizing redness and locking in color for budgeproof wear ($20; sephora.com). Editors and pros, like makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani, can attest to its holding power. Yep, it's tough enough to anchor your smoky eyes from evening cocktails to midnight toast.
Sometimes affordable makeup comes with a tradeoff: the colors are less cool, the finishes more sheer, and the formulas don’t last past lunch ($8 each; flowerbeauty.com). Drew Barrymore’s collection of blushes, shadows, liners, lipsticks, and foundations adjusted our expectations. Shades range from petal-soft to high-voltage, and finishes are silky, elegant and last forever. Equally impressive: Not a single piece is over $15.