You know that feeling when you’ve taken a punt on what seems like a fairly boring purchase and it kind of blows you away? I live for it. Whether it be a cleanser or moisturiser , some of the most useful and effective beauty products don’t seem that flash at a glance but are genuinely deserving of that over-used title, 'game-changer'.
The truth is, these under-the-radar gems really are products that people secretly (or not so secretly, in my case) get quite excited about. They’re those beauty buys that you return to again and again, either because they save you money, take little-to-no time or effort to use, or generally improve your beauty routine. In my opinion, once you try one of these six products you’ll probably never look back.
1. Footner Exfoliating Socks
Footner Exfoliating Socks
It’s an unusual thing to get excited about, but Footner’s exfoliating socks really do have that effect on people. This is down to two things; one, they dramatically improve the state of cracked, dry feet, and two, they are the very definition of gross-yet-satisfying. You soak your feet in the solution inside the socks for an hour and for a few days, absolutely nothing visible happens. Then, the top layer of skin slowly begins to peel off. It is, in no small way, quite disgusting. But once all of this skin has been shed, your feet are left nice and soft. Just make sure you don’t use them within a fortnight of wearing sandals.
2. Eylure Dybrow Brow Dye
Eylure Dybrow Brow Dye
Personally, I only really treat my brows to being tinted by a professional if I’m having another treatment—like brow lamination—to kill two birds with one stone. Not only is this brow tinting kit excellent and easy to use, it’s so affordable, and I know most of my fellow beauty editors love it, too. I’ve never tried to work out the cost-per-tint but it’s got to be pennies. A tint barely takes five minutes and lasts me a good few weeks. If it’s ever discontinued I may genuinely cry.
3. Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner
Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner
Cleaning make-up brushes is a pain. I get it. Very few people enjoy it, which is part of the reason this iconic brush cleaner from Cinema Secrets has found TikTok fame. Pour a bit of this liquid into a small container, dip a dirty make-up brush in, and then wipe it clean with paper towel, repeating if necessary. Then, simply leave your brushes to dry. The time saved is incredibly satisfying, as is watching the make-up dissolve.
4. Rubis Classic Tweezers
Rubis Classic Tweezers
Not all tweezers are created equal. They need to be precise enough to grab even tiny, short hairs, strong enough not to make the process more painful, and good enough to actually extract very fine ones rather than breaking them. Rubis does all of the above and makes the tweezing process less uncomfortable. I’ve had mine for years and they’re still nearly as good as the day I got them.
5. Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips
Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips
A multipurpose balm should never be far away and Dr Lipp’s lanolin-based formula claims to have 10 uses. I use a little on my hands alongside hand cream when any excessively dry patches pop up. I bought some recently for a friend who’s a new mum. Another friend used it to heal a nasty swimming cap chafe (a very specific injury but believe me it looked raw). You only need the tiniest bit at a time and it just works, so it’s always worth having on hand.
6. Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
The Shu Uemura lash curler—so famous it was name-checked in The Devil Wears Prada—has sadly been discontinued, but I can wholeheartedly recommend Shiseido’s as an alternative and as the best I’ve tried. Yes, lash curlers look terrifying, but believe me they make your lashes appear longer and will boost the results of even the very best mascara. Carefully and gently press it over your lashes and you shouldn’t have any issues; it’s time to change the rubber pads when you notice they no longer feel springy. I’ve had this one for years and use it pretty much every day.
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Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.
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