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2017 Best Beauty Buys

Glam-team tested, wallet approved—our experts experimented with more than 250 hair, makeup and skin care products to select this year’s most innovative 50 under $50.

EXPERT PANEL

  • Emily Kate Warren, LA-based makeup artist
  • Katie Jane Hughes, NYC-based makeup artist
  • Dr. Francesca Fusco, dermatologist
  • Dr. Whitney Bowe, celebrity dermatologist
  • Paul Cucinello, celebrity stylist and owner of Cucinello Studio NYC
  • Nunzio Saviano, hairstylist and owner of Nunzio Saviano Salons
  • Sadah Saltzman, hairstylist at Salon AKS

HAIR

Hydrating Shampoo 
Honest Beauty Beyond Hydrated Shampoo, $20  
Coconut juice quenches super-dry hair. 

Color-Protect Shampoo
Alterna Haircare Caviar Infinite Color Hold Shampoo, $34  
Keep your color bright thanks to UV filters and moisture boosters. 

Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Air-Light Foam Conditioner, $6  
Leave hair full and bouncy with a weightless mousse conditioner.

At-Home Hair Color
Dark and Lovely Color Gloss Ultra-Radiant Color Crème, $6.50  
This buttery soft formula brings out maximum shine, and the instructions are easy to follow. 

Frizz Fighter
Nexxus City Shield DD-Crème, $22  
“After staying frizz-free for two rainy days, my client called this cream her hair savior,” says Cucinello*. Apply to damp hair before drying for ultra smoothing.

Hair Oil
OGX Hydrate & Tone-​Reviving + Lavender Luminescent Platinum Penetrating Oil, $8  
Shine, bottled. Made for blondes but boosts all hair colors.

Deep Treatment/Mask
Novex Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, $7  
Ideal for overprocessed hair, the luxe cream brings damaged strands back to life. 

Volumizer
Schwarzkopf göt2b Volumaniac Root Lifting Spray, $6  
Spray at the roots and work through with fingers to add height and body. 

Dry Shampoo
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresh Dry Shampoo, $7  
No shower? No problem. This instant refresher keeps your dirty little secret under wraps, without the white residue.

Smoothing
Living Proof T.B.D Multi-Tasking Styler, $26  
Unlike heavier smoothing creams, this one allows for flexibility after styling, says Saviano*.

Cleansing Conditioner
Bed Head by TIGI Calma Sutra Cleansing Conditioner, $22  
The rich emulsion cleanses, conditions and defines curls.

Hairspray
Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Frizz-Free Hold Hair Spray, $5  
No need for midday touch-ups with a strong-hold spray that keeps flyaways at bay. 

Curl Booster
Matrix Style Link Air Dry Twisted Boho Curl Defining Cream, $18  
A gel-cream hybrid that works wonders for all curls.

Leave-In Conditioner
Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Express Repair Conditioner, $6  
Hydrates, detangles and then basically disappears. “Hair feels like there’s nothing in it—in a good way!” raves Saltzman*.

 

MAKEUP

Brow Product 
E.l.f. Tinted Shape & Stay Wax Pencil, $3  
A brow tamer that fills in flawlessly and includes a built-in sharpener. 

Tinted Moisturizer 
No7 City Light Tinted Moisturizer, $15  
Hides imperfections with sheer, natural-looking coverage. 

Blush
It Cosmetics Confidence in Your Glow, $32  
This sunset-inspired compact is super versatile—swirl a brush through all three shades, or dust just one on the apples of your cheeks. 

Eyeliner
L’Oréal Paris Super Slim Liner by Infallible, $9  
Staying power plus ease of removal makes this liner Warren’s* top pick.

Lipstick
Maybelline New York Color Sensational the Inti-Matte Nudes, $7.50  
The perfect marriage of creamy and matte. With 10 shades of nude, one’s sure to be right for you. 

Primer
Milani Prime Light Strobing + Pore-Minimizing Face Primer, $10  
Luminosity in a primer. Hughes* describes this as “a beautifully sheer veil of glow.” 

Balm
Revlon Kiss Balm, $5  
A wash of color, fruity scent and SPF 20—what more could your lips ask for?

Concealer
Physicians Formula #InstaReady Full Coverage Concealer SPF 30, $11  
Dark spots, blemishes and under-eye bags, begone! This concealer camouflages them all. 

Eye shadow
Single NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Crème Colour, $10  
In 12 bold shades that deliver a big color payoff.

Foundation
CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation, $10  
Makeup gets a skin care boost in this vitamin-infused formula. 
Highlighter Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Highlight, $6   A bouncy cushion luminizer that leaves skin beaming.

Mascara
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise, $10  
No clumping or flaking with this wavy bristle brush, no matter how many coats. 

Contour
Product Catrice Prime & Fine Professional Contouring Palette, $8  
Sculpt and spotlight cheekbones with a silky, soft powder duo. 

Lip Gloss
Pür Chrome Glaze High-Shine Lip Gloss, $18  
Hughes loves the doe-foot applicator. It lets you be perfectly precise. 

Bronzer 
No7 Bronzer in Caramel, $13  
A sophisticated matte shade that doesn’t fall flat.

Eye Shadow
Palette Pacifica Pink Nudes Mineral Eyeshadow, $14  
No eye shadow primer needed. These pretty pinks go on smooth and last all day.

 

FACE

Facial Oil
Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil, $20  
Jojoba and primrose oil rejuvenate dry skin. 

Eye Cream
It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream, $38  
This luxe cream combats puffiness while brightening the eye area.

Serum
No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum, $34 
Not only did Bowe’s* skin feel tighter, her makeup went on smoother too.  

Mask
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask, Clear & Comfort, $13  
Soothes stressed skin with a clay and seaweed combo.

Face
Mist Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist, $19  
Spritz for a quick pick-me-up. Makeup stays put; skin glows.

Daily Moisturizer 
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer, $20  
Calming ingredients—including thermal water and ceramides—make this ideal for sensitive skin.

Peel
Vichy Idéalia Peel, $37  
An overnight peel that brightens and tightens your complexion.  

Wrinkle Fighter
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream, $27  
After three weeks of daily application, Fusco’s* fine lines were less visible.

Facial Wipes
Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes, $6  
One swipe—with pads sourced from recycled T-shirt scraps—erases grit and grime. 

Facial Sunscreen
Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 20, $18  
This tinted sunscreen protects skin while evening out blotchiness. 

Acne
Differin Gel, $30  
Bye-bye, bumps! Differin, a derm fave breakout buster that was previously prescription-only, is now available over the counter. 

Night Treatment
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream, $17  
You’ll be saying #IWokeUpLikeThis every morning, thanks to powerful plumpers like hyaluronic acid and olive extract. 

Micellar Water 
Garnier SkinActive All-in-One Mattifying Micellar Cleansing Water, $9  
A good wash for oily complexions—just soak a cotton pad and swipe. 

Cleanser
Simple Skincare Water Boost Micellar Gel Wash, $7  
Removed all of Fusco’s makeup without triggering her rosacea—a win-win.

 

BODY

Sunscreen
Coppertone ClearlySheer Whipped, SPF 50, $11  
The light, fluffy formula melts into skin in seconds. 

Body Lotion
Vaseline Mature Skin Rejuvenation Healing Lotion, $4.50  
Get dressed without the wait thanks to this fast-absorbing pick that leaves skin smooth, not sticky. 

Deodorant
Dove Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant, $5.50  
Bowe put the spray’s 48-hour claim to the test and still smelled fresh the second day.

Body Wash
Le Petit Marseillais Vanilla Milk Extra Gentle Body Wash, $5  
Even the driest skin can skip moisturizer after showering with this luxurious lather. 

Body Scrub
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Frothy Scrub, $10  
A big-time brightener that buffs away dead skin cells with yerba mate and volcanic clay.

Bar Soap
c.Booth Lemon Sugar Energizing Body Bar, $5  
Add a little sweetness to your day with this uplifting morning wake-up.