YouTube beauty gurus can convince me to buy practically anything. The ones I watch religiously are Desi Perkins, Gothamista, and Lisa Eldridge, and their unmatched enthusiasm combined with the live-action results (there’s none of the is-that-Photoshopped skepticism I get on Instagram) make it difficult to resist impulse buying anything they demo.
The downside, as always with impulse shopping, is that I’ve bought a few things I’d categorize as complete and utter trash. Like the self-tanner suggested by a very popular YouTuber that turned me a bright shade of orange — I’m still haunted and traumatized by it.
But over the course of dozens (hundreds?) of hours of YouTube beauty videos, I’ve honed a few tricks to avoid repeating the Self-Tanner Disaster of 2016. The hero rule is to only take recommendations from people who have the same skin type and issues as you. The second is to try to not fall victim to impulse buying by waiting until you’ve heard the beauty blogger mention the product in question at least twice. This one especially matters with skin care: Often the recommender might think a product was great, but then she’ll realize down the line that her skin improvements had to do with a diet change or improved hydration. The third rule is, it’s always smart to look at product reviews on Sephora and MakeupAlley.
This system has led me to my most beloved products: I don’t know who or what I’d be without my Tarte Shape Tape (recommended by Alissa Ashley) or my Neogen PHA pads (recommended by Gothamista). Below, you’ll find the products that YouTube beauty bloggers made me buy, and that I’ve loved (and repurchased).
As a Riri stan, I’m attracted to anything and everything Fenty puts out. But I’m not a huge primer girl (my beauty routine is extensive enough) so the launch of Fenty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer didn’t pique my interest. But after hearing rave reviews from YouTubers like Scottish beauty vlogger Jamie Genevieve, who was quick to add it to her everyday makeup routine, I became curious. I thought I wouldn’t much like it seeing as I’m on the dry side, but since Jamie liked it, and since we have similar skin, I decided to try it out under my NARS sheer glow foundation on a night out. It turns out, this primer does the best job of giving your skin that dewy-and-velvety look. It’s not super matte and it’s not shiny, but somewhere in between. And your makeup stays put all damn night.
It’s hard to pin down who suggested this product because I’ve heard it mentioned so many times by so many YouTubers as “the most iconic liquid liner in existence.” If used with a wing liner brush (I like Zoeva’s), this liner makes a cat eye possible and almost easy. It stays on incredibly well, ensuring that I won’t need to touch it up throughout the day or night (this liner is unique in that it does not chip or flake). Its lasting properties has a downside: It’s not the easiest thing to get off. Micellar water helps.
Desi Perkins constantly references this as her highlighting staple when she’s looking to achieve her famous glow, which she describes as “glazed-doughnut realness.” There are multiple shades of this, but Desi’s (and now my) favorite is the Gold Light. The texture of this product is closer to a moisturizer, and it gives a very natural, glow-from-within effect. Like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Finish, I love using this on minimal or no-makeup days to make your skin look extra beautiful and radiant.
Different Neogen exfoliating pad alert! First of all, if you like K-beauty or really just skin care in general, Gothamista’s videos on YouTube are an absolute must-watch. Recently, she convinced me to buy these PHA pads from Neogen, which are super-hydrating exfoliating pads for when your skin is on the sensitive side. According to her, these pads are best used when your skin is dry, inflamed, and breaking out, and will help soothe irritation while hydrating your skin. The pad formula makes them particularly good for travel, or if I don’t feel like doing my whole skin routine, just cleanse, and then swipe them all over my face.
I’m not too fussy about my brows and wasn’t all that interested in trying this product until I started watching a YouTube segment called “The Boy Beat,” spearheaded by Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John, who in a video for Allure revealed that he believes that extenuating your most natural features, such as messy brows and dark under eyes, can create a natural, effortless-but-elegant look. Boy Brow, according to him (and now according to me) does a great job creating a dramatic but not over-the-top messy brow.
Yes, that’s right, YouTube told me to put soap in my eyebrows. And guess what? I did it and I love it. If you’re trying to make your eyebrows look fluffy and full but still natural, rubbing a spoolie in some soap and then running it through your brows will keep them in place all day long in the most beautiful and effortless way. This might sound insane to you, so please just watch the video to see just how incredible it can make your brows look.
And here’s the spoolie.
If you’re interested in trying a bronzer but are scared of looking overly bronzed or contoured, this is a must-try. I’ve seen this bronzer come up in a lot of natural, or “no-makeup makeup” looks — like this GRWM by YouTuber Chrissstttiiine — and it quickly became a staple of mine on days when I just want a little definition on my cheeks without going full glam.
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