- October 10, 2021
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We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
No matter how experienced you are as an online shopper, at some point, you’ve likely been oversold and underwhelmed by a beauty product you’ve purchased sight-unseen. Maybe it didn’t result in the effects you were promised, the formulation didn’t meet your quality standards, or you just didn’t get the hype. Well, this list is here to resolve any lingering trust issues you may have around shopping for beauty products online. We promise: Of the thousands of best-selling beauty products on Amazon, these 45 are the most legit. And here’s the best bit — every item costs less than $25.
What makes these products so legit? Basically, they over-deliver on results, whether that’s an elegant French cleansing oil that nourishes and pampers your skin, a luxurious hair mask that rivals an in-salon smoothing treatment, or the rare teeth-whitening pen that actually works. Along those same lines, all of these products seem like they should cost much more than they actually do. (Did you ever think you could get a prescription-strength acne treatment for under $15?)
Our shopping editors sifted through Amazon’s thousands of best-selling beauty products and hand-picked the ones we know you’ll be blown away by — because we have been, too. Scroll on to shop them now.
Differin Gel was the first prescription-strength, over-the-counter acne treatment approved by the FDA, so the fact that you can buy it from the comfort of your own couch with a single click, rather than head to your derm for a prescription, seems almost too good to be true. The key ingredient is 0.1% Adapalene, an acne treatment that gives pores a deep, thorough clean to quell existing breakouts and prevent new ones from cropping up. It works almost identically to retinol, since it triggers cellular turnover, so it’s also a great choice for people looking for an affordable retinol to incorporate into their skin care routine.
This Elizavecca hair treatment uses a potent blend of ceramides, soy protein, and collagen to repair dry, fragile hair, leaving it noticeably stronger, softer, and smoother after just one use (honestly, the before-and-after pictures speak for themselves). This wildly popular treatment sells out fast, so scoop one up for yourself before it disappears again.
Considering its potency and thoughtful formulation, this niacinamide serum should cost several times more than it does. The headlining ingredient pretty much does it all, like help regulate oil production, promote a brighter and more even complexion, and minimize the appearance of pores, among other things. Elsewhere, zinc PCA helps calm redness and irritation, and vitamin E offers smoothing and protecting benefits. It’s a safe bet for all skin types, and gentle enough to use every day and night.
Exactly as the name says, the DHC Velvet Skin Coat creates a light “film” over your skin, leaving it with a blurred, filtered-looking finish that’s velvety-smooth to the touch. As a result, any makeup you wear over it will glide and set super smoothly, and stay that way all day long. This J-beauty classic is an especially good choice for people with oily skin, thanks to its unparalleled shine-curbing abilities.
Spa-grade resurfacing pads can fetch upwards of $80 a set, so this 15-pack from Bliss is a serious steal. Each pad is soaked in a solution containing 10% glycolic acid to clarify and polish your skin, plus brightening licorice root extract and soothing witch hazel. You’re essentially getting professional facial-level results for under $20, and in one step.
You really can’t go wrong with any La Roche-Posay product, especially if you have sensitive skin. But with close to 20,000 Amazon ratings and an overall score of 4.6 stars, the brand’s Double Repair Moisturizer UV, from their Toleriane line, is a particularly popular option. In this formula, niacinamide works its myriad wonders, while ceramides and glycerin protect and moisturize your skin. More to love? It’s oil-free, boasts an SPF of 30, and costs about $20 on Amazon. The perfect one-step product for your morning routine.
Part heat protectant, part restorative treatment, this leave-in from CHI is a must for those who just can’t quit their hot tools. The heat-activated formula contains keratin, silk, wheat, and soy proteins to fortify brittle hair, while simultaneously creating a protective barrier against heat. As a result, your hair gets silkier with each pass of your flat iron or blow dryer — results that rival an in-salon keratin treatment, according to Amazon reviewers, albeit for a fraction of the price.
This face wash from under-the-radar Korean brand Dr Song contains a whopping 10% glycolic acid, a concentration on par with serums and treatments; but since you wash it off immediately, it’s a bit gentler than those leave-on formats. Still, it works amazingly well to clear out pores, reduce shine, and promote a brighter, smoother, more even-looking complexion overall. Amazon reviewers confirm that it leaves skin soft, dewy, and feeling properly moisturized, not stripped and dry.
Here’s another product that simply seems too good to be true. This makeup erasing cloth removes an entire face of makeup — long-wear foundation, powder, mascara, the works — with just water, no cleanser necessary. The ultra-soft microfiber cloth is a lifesaver on late nights when you can’t bear the thought of doing your whole skin care routine before bed. Plus, it’s reusable (and machine-washable), so it’s a more environmentally friendly alternative to wipes or cotton balls.
Peruse the r/AsianBeauty subreddit, and you’ll likely find liberal mention of Hadalabo’s essences, serums, and lotions. Though this Gokujun Hyaluronic Solution is slightly less well known than some of their other products, skin care obsessives say it’s even more legit: This boasts five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, so just a few drops of the viscous stuff works to hydrate, soften, and visibly brighten your entire face. Anyone can benefit from this product (all skin needs hydration, after all), but it’s especially handy if you have chronically dry or flaky skin, whether naturally or due to the use of retinol or other chemical exfoliants.
No time for a hair mask — or even conditioner? This L’Oreal hair treatment is literally made for you. Exactly as the name says, this rinse-out treatment works its myriad wonders upon your hair — like strengthening, softening, and detangling — in under 10 seconds. Just apply it right after you shampoo, in lieu of your conditioner. The consistency is as light as water, so it won’t weigh down fine hair, but it’s potent enough to work on thick hair, too.
If you’ve ever shopped for eyeshadow on Amazon, you’ve likely seen this Julep eyeshadow stick pop up constantly. The unique formula applies like a cream but dries down to a powdery finish, which means it’s highly blendable, yet more long-lasting and less prone to creasing than a traditional cream shadow. It’s truly waterproof, too, according to Amazon reviewers who’ve sweat, cried, and even swum in these shadows. These rich shades look gorgeous applied all over your lid, though they also work nicely as eyeliners, or even highlighters, depending on the shade you choose.
Sometimes, opting for a mini flat iron means skimping on the quality you’d get from a full-sized version, but that’s certainly not the case with this one. “This straightener keeps my hair straight all day, heats fast, and works awesome on my thick curly hair!!,” wrote one of thousands of satisfied Amazon reviewers. This works equally well for short hair and bangs as it does a travel-friendly flat iron for longer hair. Plus, the dual-voltage means you can use it anywhere in the world without a voltage convertor.
Long beloved by dermatologists and estheticians, this PanOxyl face wash is integral to an effective acne-prone skin care regimen. It’s made with 10% benzoyl peroxide, the stuff found in most spot treatments; but since you wash it off, it’s less drying and irritating than most other intensive treatments. But it is incredibly effective for calming existing breakouts on an as-needed basis, and preventing new ones from appearing — even on notoriously stubborn cystic acne. You can use this on your body, too, if you tend to break out on your back and chest.
This Haus Laboratories lip gloss solves all the most common woes associated with lip gloss: It’s long-lasting, non-drying, and feels smooth and light, not gloopy. The pigmentation is intense and opaque, almost akin to a lipstick, and comes in a variety of dramatic finishes: mirror-like, pearlescent, or glitter. Choose from 31 shades, from nudes and pinks to bolder hues like orchid purple and holographic black.
Tend Skin Solution is genius for preventing ingrown hairs, razor burn, and redness and irritation after any hair removal method you may choose, including shaving, waxing, laser, and electrolysis. For best results, apply a thin layer both before and after hair removal — the exfoliating formula softens hair for easier removal, then sloughs away the dead skin cells that contribute to bumps and ingrowns.
Ever experimented with DIY egg white masks? This face mask is a step up from that. It’s made with albumin extract, the substance found in egg whites, which helps firm, brighten, and plump skin, while vitamin B3 (aka niacinamide) contributes its does-it-all benefits. It feels as soft as fresh whipped cream out of the tub, but when it dries, you’ll immediately feel those satisfying tightening effects.
Among the “cleanest” polishes on the market, Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Vegan Nail Colors are made with 100% plant-based formulas and are free of 16 potential toxins (for context, you’re more likely to see formulas that go up to 10-free). Even the brush is made of entirely naturally derived substances. But there’s no sacrificing quality here — Amazon reviewers confirm that it applies smoothly and “stays on for ages,” as one person wrote. At $7 a bottle, what’s not to love?
Soap brows are a makeup artist secret to achieving full, fluffy brows with minimal product. While you can experiment with any bar soap you have on hand, this kit is guaranteed to deliver great results — meaning, no white residue, crunchiness, or potential irritation, as may be the case with standard bar soaps. All you have to do it dampen one of the included spoolies, rub it across the clear, glycerin-based soap, then brush it upwards through your brows in thin layers. The tin carrying case keeps the soap protected from denting when you stash it in your makeup bag.
Color-depositing conditioners often have meh results — but according to over 30,000 Amazon shoppers who left a five-star rating or review, this one really, truly works. It’s not a replacement for a professional dye job, but it works nicely to keep your color vibrant and properly toned until your next appointment. Alternatively, you can use this to experiment with a new color or shade with minimal time, effort, and money. It’s available in natural colors, like blonde and brunette, as well as edgier shades like magenta and turquoise.
This Colgate teeth whitening pen may very well be the easiest way to whiten your teeth — just brush it over dried, clean teeth at night, focusing on the stains or discolorations you want to lift, and you should see results in a matter of days. “Absolutely amazing. I’ve only used the teeth whitening overnight stick 3 times and people are already starting to notice a difference in my teeth,” one Amazon reviewer reported.
If you don’t already have a bottle of Bioderma micellar water on your shelf, here’s a friendly reminder to click “add to cart.” A mainstay in makeup artist kits, the water-light makeup remover completely sweeps away even the most stubborn makeup, like waterproof mascara, without stripping your skin — in fact, the water- and glycerin-based formula hydrates your skin and leaves it feeling soft to the touch. Even if you’re not a makeup-wearer, this makes for a lovely, refreshing morning cleanser.
It’s good to be skeptical of hyped-up products, but sometimes, the hype is really well-deserved. Case in point: This Revlon face roller, which you’ve likely seen all over TikTok recently for its genius design (and genuine results). The roller is made of volcanic stone that naturally absorbs excess oil and gives your face a massage in the process — think jade roller and blotting paper in one. The stone is removable, washable, and comes with a protective cap, so it’s totally hygienic, too.
Come for the cheeky product name, stay for the incredible results. The Zombie Pack basically does everything you could want from a single face mask, but it generally excels at firming your skin. Bonus points for the fun application process: The powder mask is packaged in eight single-use pods, which you mix with the included liquid activator and paint on with the small facial brush, also included.
Eye creams and serums that actually work can become very pricey, very fast, but this power-packed eye serum from French brand Vichy is a rare exception. The highly concentrated formula contains hyaluronic acid, adenosine, and caffeine to brighten and hydrate the delicate under-eye area, while mineral water soothes and quenches thirsty skin. Layer it under your usual eye cream, or use it solo.
No list of cheap, legit beauty products would be complete without a tub of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This powder mask went viral a few years back for its incredible smoothing, softening, clarifying, and “pore vacuuming” effects, which all come down to one ingredient: 100% natural calcium bentonite clay. Just a small palmful (mixed either with water or apple cider vinegar) will suffice to coat your face, so this big jar will last you ages. You can use it as an all-over body mask, too.
Moisturizers don’t get much better than this COSRX snail cream. The formula contains a high concentration of snail mucin — 92%, to be precise — which delivers all the smoothing, firming, and moisturizing benefits the buzzy ingredient is known for (meanwhile, hyaluronic acid provides an added dose of hydration). Shoppers are obsessed with the instant plumping and radiance-boosting effects they get with this; and even though it’s so moisturizing, the formula is oil-free and very lightweight, so it works nicely for all skin types.
Yes, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant seriously is that good. Tens of thousands of Amazon reviewers (not to mention plenty of celebrities, models, and dermatologists) dub this a miracle worker for sweeping away blackheads, retexturizing rough and bumpy skin, and generally encouraging your clearest, glowiest skin ever. If you’re still skeptical, pick up this small, 1-ounce bottle for just $10, then move onto the larger version when you’ve been properly convinced.
There’s truly no reason to pay more than $10 on a mascara when Lash Paradise exists. Dubbed the best mascara of all time by several of our editors, this delivers falsie-worthy volume, length, and thickness in a single coat, though the flake-free, clump-free formula builds beautifully, too. Plus, the soft, hourglass-shaped brush is gentle on sensitive eyes.
This face and body cleansing oil is just as legit as Bioderma’s legendary micellar water. Hailing from the brand’s trusted Atoderm line for dry and sensitive skin, this is made with non-stripping surfactants to gently cleanse the skin, while vitamin B3 and a patented natural complex reinforces your skin’s natural protective barrier. That all translates to impossibly soft skin that feels comfortable and moisturized when you dry off — and stays that way for a full 24 hours. It’s safe for even the most sensitive skin types, as it’s hypoallergenic and free of fragrance and other common irritants.
This Maybelline concealer may have gone viral on TikTok recently, but it’s been a firm fan-favorite long before that. The consistency is creamy, hydrating, and therefore easy to blend, but it doesn’t crease after hours of wear. Hundreds of thousands of Amazon shoppers swear by it for concealing the under-eye area, but this multifunctional product also works well as a contour or matte highlighter, depending on the shade you choose.
This Maybelline lipstick rivals matte liquid lipsticks that cost three times the price. Just one coat delivers smooth, opaque color with serious staying power (it stays put even after many hours and meals), and it doesn’t crack, flake, or even feel all that drying. It’s the perfect matte liquid lipstick, in other words, so the under-$10 price tag is just an added bonus. With a whopping 52 shades to choose from, you’re sure to find a few you love.
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder first appeared on the market in 1935, and there’s a reason why it continues to be a bestseller today. The soft, lightweight powder curbs shine, smooths over inconsistencies in your skin’s texture, and basically makes your complexion look filtered. (It happens to work particularly well for baking your makeup, too.) It’s available in a translucent finish, as well as pigmented versions for neutral, yellow, and pink undertones.
Ask any serious self-tanning enthusiast for their product of choice, and they’ll likely direct you to the Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam. The light, mousse-y texture delivers an even, streak-free tan almost effortlessly, while aloe and coconut in the formula leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. Over the next six hours, it’ll develop into a bronzed glow that looks natural, not orange.
Among all of CeraVe’s cult-favorite products, their Renewing SA Cleanser probably takes the cake as the most popular. It’s incredibly effective for treating acne, keratosis pilaris, and other rough, bumpy skin on both your face and body. It’s enriched with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide — and free of stripping sulfates — so it works to soften and restore your skin, rather than leaving it feeling dry and irritated as other exfoliating products can.
There are so many amazing Korean sleeping packs (aka overnight masks) on Amazon, but the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Sleeping Pack is a consistent bestseller. Collagen acts as both a moisturizer and a protective barrier that keeps moisture locked into place, so you’ll wake up with dewy, bouncy, more awake-looking skin, even if you didn’t manage to clock a full eight hours. Since it’s so rich and thick, this can replace your typical night moisturizer or face oil.
Thousands of Amazon shoppers swear by this purple shampoo for keeping their platinum, silver, gray, and blonde-highlighted hair icy and bright. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, “I’m a natural blonde; but I’ve been coloring and highlighting my locks for years. I didn’t think my hair turned yellow until my current stylist talked me into purchasing this product at the salon. Unbelievable the difference. An added bonus: it extends the life of my coloring by 3-4 weeks.” A little goes a long way, so this big bottle will tide you over for once- or twice-weekly toning sessions for months to come.
These capsules from RoC aren’t just useful for portion control — they also create an airtight, stabilized environment to maintain the potency of the night serum contained within. That serum is made chiefly from the brand’s now-legendary pure RoC retinol — one of the best drugstore retinols you can get — along with vitamin E and an antioxidant complex to encourage smoother, firmer, and clearer skin overnight.
If you can’t make it to an esthetician for professional lash extensions, this KISS Lash Extension Starter Kit is the next best thing (and it costs a fraction of the price). The easy-to-use kit gives you fuller, longer, natural-looking lashes in just three steps: Coat your lashes in the mascara-shaped primer, place the “wisps” below your natural lashes along the lash line, then seal it in. You can reuse the lashes up to three times with proper care.
At about $5 on Amazon, this Dr Teal’s lavender bubble bath is one of the cheapest items on this list; but you’d never know it from its delicate herbal scent and the luxurious, spa-like foam it whips up into. It’s also infused with epsom salts to help relax your muscles and joints, so a total treat for both your mind and your body.
In the market for a new heat protectant spray? With over 25,000 five-star Amazon ratings, this one is a foolproof choice. The lightweight mist creates a barrier between your hair and heat without weighing it down, while argan oil nourishes and strengthens at the same time. In fact, you can spritz it on as a detangler, leave-in conditioner, or smoothing mist even if you’re not picking up a flat iron or blow dryer today.
Is NYX Butter Gloss the best lip gloss of all time? One of our obsessed editors says yes. The pigmentation is quite intense for a lip gloss, so you’ll see a discernible difference in your lip color, not just a glossy finish. Though it’s on the thicker side, it glides on incredibly smoothly — like butter, one might say — and feels quite moisturizing. At just $5 a pop, and 28 gorgeous shades to choose from (check out that cornflower blue!), you’ll want to pick up a handful.
This moisturizer from Neutrogena’s ever-popular Hydro Boost line is like a glass of water for dry, dehydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid, the active ingredient, draws moisture directly into your skin, leaving it visibly plumper, softer and dewier. Plus, the gel-like texture and oil-free formula feels light and refreshing on all skin types.
Sometimes, it’s the most unglamorous products that are the most legit. Take this O’Keefe’s foot cream, for instance, which has kept generations of feet soft, moisturized, and repaired of serious cracking and flaking. A blend of dermatologist-recommended ingredients like glycerin, paraffin, and allantoin work to restore and protect your skin’s natural barrier, heal cracks, soften calluses, and impart moisture. For even better results, slather it on overnight and seal it in with a pair of cotton socks.
The NYX Epic Ink Liner is an absolute favorite among pros and amateurs alike for creating (relatively) foolproof wings and cat eyes. The formula applies smoothly and opaquely in a single pass, and the nib is short and flexible to give you maximum control. Plus, it’s waterproof, transfer-proof, and long-lasting, even on very oily lids.