10 Beauty Products That Are On Sale Right Now That Will Sell Out Quickly

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If you’ve been looking for a sign to try out some of the most Internet-famous beauty products on the market, this is it. Amazon is running yet another sale so you can treat yourself to a little beauty haul before the holidays without feeling an ounce of guilt. It’s called self-care, look it up.

I know what you’re asking yourself now, “What’s the catch?” Well there is none, except you need to get your shopping in before November 6th. Do deadlines give you the ick? Fear not and keep scrolling. As an early holiday gift, we’ve rounded up all the best beauty deals so you can spend more time doing the things that matter, like catching up on Taylor Swift’s most recent album drop.

Gone are the days where you get a round brush stuck in your hair. This one-step hairdryer has become my new best friend for the perfect at-home blowout.

Just FYI, it IS possible to take the glowy makeup look a little too seriously. Don’t fret, because we’re obsessed with little device fits in your bag and will de-slick any oily situation.

If you’re still using your OG Naked Palette it might be time to trade it in for something new (and grab some eye cream while you’re at it). This NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette is the perfect for everyday use. 

Buy $11.99
price as of time of posting

As with anything in life, it’s important to invest in basics. Words cannot explain how these brushes have changed by eyeshadow game for the better. Better yet? Get them now for 20% off.

Glazed donut nails at home? Sign me up! If you’ve been dying to try this trend but aren’t sure which colors to get, this nail polish set is for you.

Who else can relate to the pain of having to wash your makeup off after a night out? It just feels like so much effort sometimes. Thankfully, the Makeup Eraser is on sale to help keep your skin clean with a minimal amount of effort.

I don’t think there’s anything that makes you feel more like an adult than buying an electric toothbrush. You’re one click away from being cavity-free, plus it’s 35% off.

Buy $25.96
price as of time of posting

Speaking of clean teeth… This Prime Day best-seller is back. All I want for Christmas are sparkling white teeth—is that too much to ask?

Buy $34.99
price as of time of posting

We know TikTok is obsessed with the EltaMD Sunscreen, but have you tried their toner? This stuff is a triple threat with the benefits of repairing damaged skin, having a calming effect, and minimizing the risk of irritation.

What’s better than treating yourself to flowers? Treating yourself to this English Rose-Infused Radiance Duo when it’s 20% off, duh. This viral cleansing balm and matching facial oil is sure to make your skim calm & bright this holiday season.

Summer Beauty Products That Won’t Sweat Right Off

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Summer is officially here, which means the temperatures are rising and your makeup is starting to melt off by noon. We all know the feeling when you want to throw out the thick shit and swap in some newer, lighter summertime alternatives. I feel like there are some people out there that can get away with no makeup but, *speaking for myself*, that’s not everyone. So we’ve rounded up all the best summer beauty products that will give you that effortless, no-makeup-but-I’m-still-wearing-makeup look.

Face & Skin

Two words: Sweat. Resistant. Estée Lauder has been in the beauty business for longer than many of us have been alive, and they’ve really hit the nail on the head with this one. With a weightless feel and over 25 shades, your skin will glow all day long.

For those of us who tend to get a bit oilier in the summer (*cough* me *cough*) a powder foundation can keep you shine-free for a lot longer than some liquid products. Bonus points: there’s a built-in primer.

This concealer is honestly everything you needed and more. It’s a concealer, eye cream, and spot treatment all in one little tube. Less time layering products = more time day drinking on rooftops.

Buy $28
price as of time of posting

I know some of you are thinking, “Setting spray, really? Isn’t it just overpriced water?” But I promise you this product is worth every penny. It’s smudge-proof and transfer-resistant for up to 16 hours and perfect for those late summer nights.

Merit’s cult-favorite complexion stick is not a foundation or concealer, but it also kind of is? Offering breathable and buildable coverage, this lightweight product can also serve as a contour. I mean, what can’t it do?

Eyes

This base layer provides an incredible blank, crease-free (& vegan!) canvas for all the fun beauty trends you’ll want to try this summer. If you’re feeling brave enough to try them, that is. I heard blue eyeshadow is coming back and idk how to feel about it.

Okay, this is definitely a cult favorite of mine. With its smudge-proof formula and shimmery pigments, this stuff is perfect for the golden-hour-every-hour vibe you’re hoping to give off.

Am I the only one whose eyebrows sweat? I didn’t think so. Enter: this Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel by REFY. Whether you want your brows to have that feathery effect or you simply want to make sure they stay in place, this wax/gel hybrid will work wonders.

Talk about natural—the first ingredient listed in this mascara is water. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and makes people around you ask, “Are those your real eyelashes?” It’s buildable so you can take it from day to night and the only thing that’s flaking is you canceling plans.

Buy $28
price as of time of posting

Cheeks

For those of us who are locked in an office 24/7, it’s still possible to look sun-kissed without going in the sun. This easy-to-blend formula is perfect for both the bronzing expert and the cosmetic newbie.

Buy $38
price as of time of posting

This cream-to-powder formula has a natural, yet visible shimmer to it. Highlight for the perfect dewy (not sweaty) look that won’t budge. Also, it’s Rihanna… Enough said.

This blush boasts a 12-hour wear, and I can promise it lives up to the hype. Made with Amazonian clay, this blush glides on seamlessly and provides a true blush, not a fake flush.

Lips

There’s quite literally nothing worse than thick, sticky lip gloss in the heat. This Wet Lip Oil is the perfect balance of treatment and color. It’s light, hydrating, and sheer for a perfect kiss of color.

A lip stain is the ultimate summer lip product—it gives your lips natural color while staying in place virtually all day long. This best-selling cream lip stain is transfer-proof and full coverage—perfect for sweat-filled days or nights.

If you are really going for that “no makeup” makeup look, a balm is perfect for you. This Vanilla Lip Butter Balm smells incredible and can even double up as an overnight lip mask. Great for the beach or bed—my two favorite places.

Image: Martin Pisotti /Deathtothestockphoto.com

The Right Face Sunscreen That Won’t F*ck Up Your Skin

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

The days of laying out in the sun and monitoring the UV index like it’s our full-time job are quickly approaching. While this may be a more enjoyable task (who doesn’t like being tan?), something many of us avoid or simply forget to do before basking in the sun is apply sunscreen. You can easily avoid a lobster-red sunburn by just applying a little SPF, especially to your face – one of the first areas of your body the sun reaches. 

Choosing the right face sunscreen is crucial for all skin types to help protect your skin from the sun. Not sure which sunscreen is best for your skin type? Here’s a quick cheat sheet.

Acne-Prone Skin

If you have acne-prone skin, finding any sunscreen that doesn’t completely irritate your skin probably seems impossible. Sticking to an oil-free sunscreen will save you from a horrendous breakout.

buy $25
price as of time of posting

This water-resistant sunscreen is specially made to provide light hydration and broad-spectrum sun protection. It contains a handful of plant-based boosters which help reduce skin inflammation, moisturize the skin and prevent any further dreadful breakouts.

This mineral-based, oil-free sunscreen is formulated with lactic acid, which can help brighten discoloration (like from acne scars) while protecting your skin from free radicals.

Sensitive Skin

Any sunscreen made with chemical UV blockers can aggravate the skin, which is a nightmare for anyone with sensitive skin. Nobody wants stinging, burning, or redness, so if you do have sensitive skin, look for a mineral sunscreen. 

Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this 100% mineral, non-comedogenic (won’t block your pores) sunscreen will protect your skin from the harsh sun, while the Thermal Spring Water soothes it.

Hydrate, repair, and protect your sensitive skin with this non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, and synthetic fragrance-free SPF. This 4-in-1 formula helps absorb oil, reduce shine, hydrate and provide sun protection. Get you a sunscreen that can do it all.

Dry Skin

With dry skin, you want to look for a sunscreen with hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate, and avoid anything with fragrances as they can be irritating.

The extremely lightweight sunscreen shields your skin against harsh UV rays. Once applying, your dry skin will feel moisturized, hydrated and feel silky soft – all without irritating your skin.

A 100% mineral sunscreen that absorbs harmful UV rays which can damage skin and cause your skin to age quicker. Your skin will look and feel moisturized while wearing this sunscreen. 

Oily Skin

When you have oily skin, you should use an SPF that has a high concentration of Zinc Oxide—at least 5%. This is important as it helps mattify oily skin.

This lightweight, silky, 100% sheer mineral sunscreen blends into skin effortlessly without clogging your pores or leaving behind streaks or white residue. It’s made to help control excess oil that may get worse over the summer and minimizes the appearance of pores.

Made with oil-trapping microspheres that mattify your skin and deliver smooth, soft skin. This SPF controls oil and shine for 10 hours while protecting your skin against the sun.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

One of the downfalls of basking in the sun is how much it can age your skin. Luckily, using a broad spectrum formula sunscreen everyday can protect your skin from the sun’s rays and delay damaging and premature aging effects of sun exposure.

This SPF moisturizer will hydrate your skin while helping delay any signs of aging. It’s antioxidant-rich White Tea-Infused formula will nourish your skin and further protect your skin’s youth.

A daily hydrating, broad-spectrum SPF that works to promote healthier, younger looking skin. The water-light formula fights visible signs of aging and prevents premature aging of the skin, which we can all benefit from.

Image: Pansfun Images / Stocksy.com

The Most Unbelievable Claims Celebs Have Made About How Their Skin Looks So Good

In my free time, I like to overthink all of the potentially embarrassing things I’ve ever done or said in front of other human beings. On the off chance that I have run out of things to cringe over, I give my nerves a break from roasting myself and instead put the heat on a topic that’s been hammered into my little noggin since I first developed spatial awareness: why do celebrities look so good, and how can I do it, too?!

Although I could be reasonable and focus on the facts (entire teams of people are paid to primp them and they generally have incredible genetics), there are a few incredibly cursed claims that I simply cannot unhear. If my brain sounds like a horror movie, that’s because it is. Except, instead of a bloody figure popping up in the mirror while I’m winding down for bed, it’s the ghost of a celebrity sponcon post touting a holy grail beauty product and a discount code that will essentially shave $1 off the retail price. Here are a few unrealistic things celebs have said about how they look so good. These tend to pop into my head usually when I’m perusing CVS for a product that will drastically change my appearance (without breaking the bank), or when I’m simply in a phase of blissful self-confidence, during which I’m convinced simply drinking enough water is making me objectively stunning.

Don’t Let Your Body Tell People How Old You Are

Do you have at least five Kardashian-Jenner quotes floating around your head at all times of the day, or are you normal? (I am truly just a girl caught between “phone eats first,” and Kim’s deranged mantra: “Instagramming photos of food isn’t sexy.”) Ever since Khloé shared her “new mom beauty routine” with Vogue, I’ve been unable to shake the sound of her voice from my subconscious when I get ready each morning. After toning, Khloé says she lathers SPF 46 on her face, hands, neck, and chest, “because this is where we all show our age.” Sorry, but that’s essentially my entire body? You mean to tell me that my entire body… shows my age? Damn. It really do be like that. Now, when I moisturize and apply sunscreen, I make sure to work the product all the way down to my toenail cuticles, lest anyone do the math and find out when I graduated college. Next, I cycle through five different photo editing apps and gaslight anyone with access to photos I haven’t doctored first. (But trust: I owe it all to the SPF.) 

Stop Being A Potato

You know what will totally save you after a long night out? Potatoes. Unfortunately, you will not be eating hash browns, but you will be rubbing them on your face if you subscribe to the ways of Lauren Conrad, who once suggested, “to reduce puffiness, slice up a few refrigerated potatoes, soak them in water for a moment or two, and then place them over your lids for 15 minutes. Works like a charm.” Although, I have to wonder: if I am the kind of person who is whimsical enough to calmly sit with chilled potatoes on my face, what lifestyle mistakes am I making to suffer from puffiness in the first place? There must be some other habit I can eliminate. LC, LMK. 

Enough With the “I’m Practically A Vegan!” Charade

During a chat with Extra, Halle Berry revealed that if you want to glow, you simply cannot be vegan. Relax, vegans, she did not call it out like that, but if you want to be beautiful, you’ll have to be able to stomach potentially seeing an animal carcass. Her skin care secret is simple: homemade bone broth. “You can go to the butcher and get all the bones they’re going to throw away and he’ll give them to you for free. Take the bones, boil them up for 24 hours… and you drink the broth. It’s so full of collagen that it’s crazy.” You heard it here, folks. It is officially free to look like Halle Berry. 

Beauty Is Pain

Oh, the $28 Glossier serum you use to decrease inflammation isn’t working wonders? You should probably trash it immediately and opt for nature’s fix: letting a bunch of bees sting you. If you’re feeling skeptical, let Gwyneth Goop Paltrow calm your nerves: “I’m open to anything. I’ve been stung by bees. It’s a thousands of years old treatment called apitherapy,” she told the New York Times. “People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring. It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, it’s painful.” Perhaps the best part of Gwyneth’s suggestion is that even she doesn’t sound sold on it… which somehow makes me want to try it even more? It’s like when you meet a friend for a Starbucks run, and when she takes one sip of the $11 unnaturally colored drink and says, “This tastes like shit,” your first instinct is to grab it and try it for yourself. 

But Also, Don’t Worry Because Everything Is Optional!

Bella Thorne has done a lot of things that made the internet collectively scream, “Oh no!” so it’s understandable if you missed the day everyone was spiraling over her beauty routine. The former Disney star revealed, “I don’t use moisturizer or anything,” which is simultaneously the most reassuring and troubling statement I’ve ever heard in my life. When a casual happy hour turns into all-night karaoke, the one thing I can typically manage to do when I get home is slap some kind of hydrating concoction over at least a portion of my face. If I lose sight of the most foundational skin care rule, I’m not really sure where I’ll end up next. But on the other hand, I know that even if I finally pull the trigger on the $70 Drunk Elephant moisturizer that’s been sitting in an online cart for a week, I’m still going to wake up and reenact Mia Thermopolis’ “This is as good as it’s going to get” scene from The Princess Diaries every day for the rest of my life. 

Images: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Good American

It’s Hard Being An Average-Looking Jewish Fan Of ‘The Bachelor’

I’ve been a Bachelor fan for over seven years, and while our relationship has always been one-sided — me committing every Monday night to the show and getting nothing but broken engagements in return—I may finally be close to reaching my breaking point. While I’ve been getting older, the contestants have been getting younger. While I’ve become more convinced that no God could possibly allow *gestures broadly at the world* this, the leads have been getting more religious. While I look more and more like my great aunt Connie each day, my jawline receding like Steve Carell’s hair in the early seasons of The Office, the women look more and more like the same impossibly beautiful Instagram model. Hannah B., Hannah G., Hannah Ann — shouldn’t you at least try using a different first name?

I miss the days when contestants would show up to Paradise with new lips, higher and thicker brows, a fresh batch of highlights, and a growing thirst for sponsorships. Back then, we’d at least get a glimpse of their “before”. But now it seems ABC will only cast women who have either completed their transformations or were gifted with unnatural beauty and a 0% body fat at birth. Has someone started a Bachelor franchise farm somewhere where women are bred with the intention of reaching an Emily Ratajkowski level of perfection? Because I spent some time in the world before the pandemic, and I’m pretty confident that the majority of humans don’t look like this . Where are you finding these people????

But it’s not just the entirely unrealistic and arguably destructive beauty standards that have, over the past few years, made it harder and harder for me to relate to the show, to listen to Chris Harrison talk, to believe in love. It’s also that producers appear to be more afraid to show Jewish (and other non-Christian) storylines than I am to talk politics with my conservative aunt on Facebook. Sure, there have been Jewish contestants (Adam Gottschalk, Lacey Mark and Jason Tartick, to name a few), but did you know they were Jewish? And if you did, did you know that while they were on the show or because like me, you have a fun little hobby of googling “is xxx Jewish” every time someone remotely Semitic-looking appears on your television screen?

There are people who aren’t Christian! There are people who aren’t religious! #TheBachelor https://t.co/1gMNMDjfXY

— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) January 5, 2021

While there are as many Jesus references and cross necklaces as there are “perfect places to fall in love”, you’d be hard-pressed to find any air time spent on a belief other than Christianity. Even last season, when Tayshia broke up with one of her final three over their religious differences, the show didn’t air the discussion about what those differences were. Who am I kidding, we can’t even get them to acknowledge the existence of agnosticism and I’m over here hoping we’ll get a hometown date with a nice Shabbat dinner.

But season after season I keep coming back. If Jesus still loves Hannah B. after she had sex with Pilot Pete four times in a windmill right before dumping him, can’t The Bachelor still love me after I refuse to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior?

It’s not like I’m asking for a Bachelor-like love story for myself. In fact, I turn to the show for reassurance: even ridiculously good-looking people pick the wrong men, even the Tyler C.’s of the world get rejected, even a show about finding love has somehow managed to… barely ever find it. But I am asking to be able to see myself reflected in one of the many Hannahs of the franchise — it’s a very popular Jewish name for God’s (and Jesus’) sake! And fine, maybe they have a binding contract with the Emily Ratajkowski farm and are strictly prohibited from casting an average-looking woman, but the least they could do is cast someone who doesn’t have a Bible verse in their Instagram bio.

The opening scene of Matt James’ season showed some promise :  a short brunette strolling up to Matt and introducing him to her vibrator. But I’m afraid the shelf life of its relatability for me lasted about as long as Peter and Hannah Ann’s engagement. Because, before even getting a first impression rose, we got the first group prayer. And as Matt knelt down to pray to “Heavenly Father” on behalf of all of the women, I couldn’t help but puke wonder—what the f*ck am I still doing watching this show?

Anyway, I’ll be tuning in all season to see if anything changes . Because just like with any toxic relationship where I feel neglected, taken advantage of, and generally unworthy, I’d rather have that than nothing at all.

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; giphy (3); @BrettSVergara

Does Dry Brushing Do Anything? Here’s The Deal With This Wellness Trend

Self-care has never seemed as important as it has in the last few months, and with everyone having so much more time at home, there’s no excuse not to show your skin some love. Although wellness trends seem to be a dime a dozen, some of them are actually a worthy addition to your weekly routine, even if they don’t perform all of the miraculous functions they’re touted for. 

Dry brushing has been around for centuries as an ancient way to detox the body, increase circulation and aid in digestion. In recent years, it’s ridden the wellness wave into our homes as an easy way to reap major benefits and rid the body of toxins from the comfort of your own bathroom. But what is it, and does it actually work? We spoke to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adam Mamelak and pharmacist and natural health and wellness expert Dr. Lindsey Elmore to comb through the details (see what we did there!)

What Is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a centuries-old practice that is well known in Ayurvedic healing. It employs a brush with stiff yet soft bristles and a wooden handle to softly and methodically brush away dead skin cells over large portions of the body. Although primarily an exfoliation practice, dry brushing has been plugged for potential detoxifying properties. It’s also been heralded as a way to miraculously brush away cellulite (if only it were that easy!). Unfortunately, there is no hard evidence to support the idea that dry brushing is the dream technique your tush has been looking for, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of all benefits. 

What Are the Health Benefits?

That’s a bit of a gray area. It’s been said that dry brushing can help reduce cellulite, increase circulation, and detoxify the body. Wellness influencers and celebs alike have been drawn to this trend, with beauties like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria’s Secret model Josephine Skriver adding it to their routines. Hell, even dream girl Cindy Crawford calls it a “miracle tool.” However, the results are mixed, and there isn’t much hard science to support all of the things you’ve heard. 

Dr. Mamelak says that “Exfoliation is by far the greatest benefit of skin brushing. The dry bristles help remove dead and flaky skin from the surface, leading to a brighter, healthier and more vibrant glow.” As we know, exfoliation is a great way to scrub away dead skin cells, unclog pores, and leave you with a more lively look. It is also thought to increase circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage, which would in turn encourage detoxification, says Dr. Mamalek. Dr Mamalek says “Rubbing the skin could theoretically increase circulation to the area and encourage lymph movement. While this could help encourage fluid movement in and out of the area, the brushing itself would not necessarily eliminate toxins from the body.” Dr. Elmore goes on to explain that by stimulating the skin’s lymphatic system through brushing, it could help to release waste and environmental toxins from cells.

When it comes to reducing cellulite, Dr. Elmore says, “Unfortunately, though many women swear by it, there is little to no evidence that dry skin brushing can improve the appearance of cellulite. What is likely happening is that the increased circulation makes the cellulite dimples plump up. 

How Do You Do it?

As the name suggests, neither the brush or the body should be wet. Use a brush with soft, yet stiff bristles and a wooden handle (this one from Goop is specifically designed for those hard-to-reach places). Dr. Elmore suggests starting at your feet, then “gently drag the brush bristles over the skin in sweeping patterns towards the heart.” She recommends adding this practice to your morning routine (before your shower) as it’s thought to have some energizing properties, and could give your skin a more vibrant appearance.  Dr. Mamelak recommends starting with 5-10 sweeping strokes per area of the body about 1-2 times per week.

Can Anyone Do it?

Although almost anyone can dry brush, Dr. Elmore says there are certainly some people who should exercise caution or avoid it altogether. If you have inflamed or irritated skin, or if you’re experiencing a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, it’s best to skip it. Also, she notes, you should definitely not use a dry brush on wounds or skin with an infection.

The Bottom Line?

Dry brushing is a fantastically effective way to exfoliate and reenergize dry or dull skin. It can also increase blood circulation and might help to support lymphatic drainage. If you want to add an easy, energizing and indulgent wellness practice to your routine, this is a great one to incorporate. All other miracle cures should be met with a skeptical eye.

Images: Zainchkovska Kateryna / Shutterstock.com

How To Get Ready At Home For Your Corona Wedding

Once upon a time, getting ready for a wedding (whether or not it was your own) meant endless salon trips and overpriced beauty treatments. As COVID-19 changed literally everything to do with modern celebrations, it makes sense that the global pandemic would royally f*ck up a bride’s beauty plan. While some salons have reopened, that doesn’t mean all brides have the option to go about the traditional pre-wedding glamming ritual. Whether your finances are all out of whack thanks to lost wages or you’re in a position (whether physically or morally) where you don’t want to risk spreading the virus, you’re probably wondering how tf you can still feel like a plucked, pruned, and polished bride the day of.

As someone who hated leaving her home even before the pandemic hit, I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible to indulge in some hardcore beauty prep before the big day without ever setting foot outside your door. From teeth whitening to manicures, self-tanners to Botox, you can make all of them happen from home (yes, even the Botox). While it might not seem as glamorous as the prep plan you had back when the world wasn’t a dumpster fire, just think: If you film the process as you get ready, that’s content for TikTok.

Teeth Whitening

Myth: You have to be an influencer-level #girlboss to utilize teeth whitening kits. While they are the bread and butter of sellouts on Instagram, a teeth whitening kit is an easy way to up your look without doing things like exercising or leaving your house. Some kits take a few days while others take 30, so time it out to ensure your best results line up with the big day. A kit like Colgate’s version of those IG LED light whiteners is a great option since it only takes 10 days, you only have to use it for 10 minutes a day, and it doesn’t cause sensitivity like a lot of other products/strips do.

Colgate Optic White At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit

If you’d rather go the most classic route, these Crest Whitestrips have over 15K reviews on Amazon (with a majority of them being positive). Just make sure to use toothpaste for sensitivity during treatment to avoid discomfort if you’re not down for the whole “beauty is pain” thing. 

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

Waxing

If you feel the need to ditch the razor to eliminate any cuts or bumps on the big day (still, as someone who shaved hunched over in the shower, painfully hungover the morning or her wedding, it’s really nbd), waxing a few days before your wedding will ensure you’re stubble-free for your wedding night. For smaller areas (like the lip, fingers, toes, and even brows), simple wax strips will get the job done. Opt for something created for sensitive skin like these strips which are dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and cheaper than bottomless brunch. 

TOPNaturePlus Hair Removal Wax Strips

If you’re looking to do larger areas like your legs, arms, or your (peace be with you) bikini area, depilatory wax (aka what the salon uses) is the answer. To make things simpler, a hard wax kit that doesn’t involve strips streamlines the process. This kit from Amazon is $35 and works like a charm. Just know that it will take much longer than however long you would spend shaving in the shower, so block out a good chunk of your day if you plan to go from “Corona au naturel” to hairless from the ears down.

Bella Verde Waxing Kit – Home Wax Warmer

Tanning

Having a ~glow~ is something most brides crave to make the white of their gowns pop. While spray tanning might give you flashbacks to the scene in Bride Wars when Anne Hathaway turns orange, not all of the options out there yield secondary color results. St. Tropez is one of those brands everyone seems to universally love, and for good reason. The products are high-end yet affordable and they don’t turn your skin orange. Snatch up the wildly popular bronzing water mousse which will give you more of a medium glowy tan that’s shockingly easy to apply. 

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

While the bronzing water is ideal for anyone wanting a medium tan, there are other options depending on what level of baked you’re looking for. If you want a dark tan, opt for the bronzing mousse, or if you just want an “I hung out at the pool and responsibly applied sunscreen” sun-kissed look, the gradual tinted body lotion will get the job done. Whichever you choose, make sure to use an applicator mitt to avoid telltale streaks and give you even coverage. 

St. Tropez Applicator Mitt

Manis & Pedis

Even the most laid-back bride usually opts for a mani and pedi on her wedding day. With plenty of ring shots, having at least polished nails is a simple way to feel put-together on your big day. If you want something quick and simple, swipe a polish on your nails the night before or morning of the big day after a quick shaping sesh with a file. Sally Hansen Insta-dri is great if you want a rich color and are notorious for smudging your mani. While it doesn’t actually dry instantly, it does dry faster than anything else out there (just keep your coats thin). Just make sure to use a top coat, obvi.

Insta-Dri Sally Hansen Finger Nail Polish

If you want a thicker, more salon-quality mani (and have the time/patience to do something more than a few swipes of traditional polish), consider getting a powder dip kit. While it will def help to watch a few YouTube videos before you accidentally spill blush-colored powder all over your bathroom, the results are just as good as a $50 mani after a bit of practice. 

Acrylic Dip Powder Nail Color Kit

Hair Coloring

oVertone Golden Brown Healthy Color Duo

While home hair coloring is a gamble, there’s a way to get rich hues without going to a salon or drying your hair out with box dyes. oVertone offers a variety of shades from traditional colors like brown, black, and ginger to vibrant ones like pink and blue. The semi-permanent dyes are great if you want to add some warmth or depth without the commitment or damage of a permanent dye. Try out a few options in the months leading up to your big day to figure out what feels right. If you’re looking for just a subtle change, the color conditioners add some richness without a full-blown color change. 

Deep Hair Conditioning 

Deep conditioning to hydrate your ends and eliminate frizz is Beauty Prep 101. While most people have their tried-and-true deep conditioner selections, now’s the time to up your game because uh, even if there’s a global pandemic, it’s still your wedding, dammit. And by God, you deserve to feel pampered AF. First, grab a deep conditioner or hair mask to soak into your follicles and soften all of your “I can’t f*cking believe I had to postpone my wedding twice” damage.

It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask

From the end-all-be-all line that makes your hair looks like you haven’t been swimming in split ends for months, It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask is under $30 yet still more high-end than the old bottle of Suave in the corner of the shower. After rinsing, spray some It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In product on your damp hair and get yourself married with silky, “she didn’t just live through a pandemic, did she?”-worthy locks. Oh, and in a few days when your hair feels brittle and dull after drinking champagne and eating cake for an entire weekend, repeat the process and thank me later. 

Deep Moisturizing

Whether or not you plan to rock a wedding day tan, having smooth, sleek, hydrated skin will not only photograph better, but it will also give you a glow no matter your skin tone. In the days leading up to your wedding, lather on some hardcore moisturizer to glisten the day-of. CeraVe’s famous Moisturizing Cream is dermatologist-approved, gentle on skin conditions and your wallet, and wins tons of awards year after year.

SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

If you want something a little less “everyday” and a little more special, Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream combines a blend of cupuaçu butter, antioxidant-rich açaí, and coconut oil which wakens dry, dull skin. Oh, and it smells like a tropical vacation, which will 100% up the exotic vibes day-of, even if you’re getting married in your backyard.

Extensions

Whether you have baby-thin hair that tangles in the slightest breeze, decided to give yourself a DIY cut during quarantine and lost more inches than you care to admit, or you just dream of rocking mermaid locks for your wedding photos, extensions are the key to getting those hair-envy wedding looks. If you’re forgoing a professional stylist and plan to do your own hair, however, selecting extensions that are easy to utilize by yourself is key. If you plan on wearing your hair down, Hidden Crown extensions are by far the simplest solution out there (and great for half-up half-down styles). Instead of clips or tape (which are tricky to perfect on your own, no matter how many YouTube vids your watch), Hidden Crowns are full crowns of hair that are secured with a piece of wire kind of like a headband. This means the chances of you throwing it across the room in frustration are greatly reduced.

Hidden Crown extensions

If you’re looking for something even simpler and plan to wear your hair in either an elegant pony, some sort of bun or updo, or get all boho with some braids, the Insert Name Here ponies are quite literally the simplest hair accessory I’ve ever used. You put your natural hair in a bun or ponytail, and then you just wrap the velcro of the pony extension around your elastic. It takes five minutes and gives enviable results. Add some Baby’s Breath or clips for an additional elegant pop.

Botox

No, I am not advising some back-alley at-home Botox injectables. If you’re looking for neck wrinkles and crows feet solutions for your bridal portraits and don’t feel like that’s a valid reason to leave your home and go to the doc for a non-essential visit (RESPECT), you can still have that “I’ve never squinted at my computer screen for 12 hours straight” wrinkle-free look. Firming creams and serums are literally everywhere, so don’t be afraid to test out products to see what works (bc wtf else are you going to do right now?). If you want a famous celeb-endorsed option, The Athena 7  Minute Lift cream is one of those products you’ll probably try once and then buy for the rest of your life. It’s all-natural, plant-based, and smooths out lines on the face, neck, and décolleté. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s cheaper and less invasive than actual injectables, so it could be a solution for your wrinkles even after the world opens back up for good.

The Athena 7  Minute Lift

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you prep for your wedding. 2020 is a whole new era of nuptials, so when it comes to prepping, do what makes you feel best. Whether that’s an entire home pampering day or just rolling out of bed and saying your “I dos” in your pajamas, as long as it’s with the person you love (and as long as you throw a kick-ass party when Corona is over), you’ll still make plenty of people jealous. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the point of weddings in the first place?

 

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Images: Elena Taranenko on Unsplash; Giphy; Amazon; Sephora; Ulta; oVertone; Alex Gaboury / YouTube; Hidden Crown Hair; 7 Minute Lift

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

The Beauty Products I Swear By As A Black Woman

My freshman year of college can be summed up with one word: cringe. It’s the year I thought it was a #lewk to wear a bra, leggings, and combat boots to dorm parties; the year I really mastered the art of the peace sign, duck face selfie; and it’s the year I tried my hand at filming my own makeup tutorials. Now, please don’t get me wrong—there is nothing cringeworthy about makeup tutorials in and of themselves. In fact, there have been many a morning when I’ve woken up with “the grumpies” (as my free therapist calls them) and have been seconds from giving up, ordering chicken parm for breakfast, and going back to sleep, only to be saved by my favorite makeup artist, Katie Jane Hughes, and her divine ability to film perfect winged eyeliner tutorials while dancing to ABBA. Makeup tutorials have never been the problem; it was me doing makeup tutorials that were the problem. Me—sitting at a bulky wooden desk, filming on a used MacBook Pro, my twin extra long bed as a backdrop, and the casual cameo from my roommate who did not speak to me—filming makeup tutorials. That was the cringe factor. Needless to say, I took a quick look at the footage from my first 55-minute video, made the Jay-Z yikes face, and decided to permanently retire from the makeup tutorial filming profession. (Okay, you got me—I had every intention of posting that 55-minute video, but my laptop crashed, making the difficult but necessary decision to end my beauty blogger career for me.)

Although my YouTube influencer dreams never came to fruition, my passion for makeup and beauty never stopped. But then again, how could it? Long before I could even spell “going viral,” I had a well-established, indelible, even, relationship to beauty that ran deep. Some of my earliest memories include my mother scrubbing my face every night with Ivory soap and my dad laying down my eyebrows with a thick, nourishing pomade. My parents agreed on very little, but thankfully, they were able to come together on the essentials: skin care. As a teen, I technically was not allowed to wear makeup, so I joined the cheer team to bypass the system, as a glitter eyeshadow was a mandatory part of our getup. But what really solidified my affinity to beauty was my first trip to Sephora. I was a senior in high school touring colleges in New York, and my mother and I had some time to kill (how every great Sephora tale begins). We spent far too many hours and far too many dollars in that black and white striped oasis than I’d care to admit publicly.  

All this to say, if there is one thing I know well, it’s makeup and beauty. I’ve always received much joy, confidence, and even peace in discovering new products and new beauty routines. You have your healing crystals, I have my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick (we both should see health care professionals). But as a Black woman, specifically, my passion for beauty discovery has had to be far more intentional than your average (okay, white) consumer. Let’s face it, despite Black women being a majority demographic for beauty brand consumption, very few products are actually made with us in mind. I can’t tell you how many eyeshadow palettes I’ve opened that disappear entirely on my skin; how many skin care products that seek to fight “redness” when very few dark-skinned people encounter that issue. So, after years of being makeup and beauty obsessed, and even more years of being a Black woman, here are some of the beauty products that I swear by. 

Skin Care

Every girl has a moment in her life that she’ll remember forever. For some, it’s her engagement day, for others, it’s the birth of her first born. For me, it was the day my roommate asked me if I was wearing makeup when all I’d done was wash my face. What can I say? There is glory in proper skin care! In the last few years, models, influencers, and makeup artists alike have been raving about one universal craze: glow. That sunkissed, radiant bronze that screams “I spent the entire summer on a nude beach in Brazil.” Now, amateurs will try to achieve this look with bronzing powders or shimmering highlights or booking an illegal (COVID, etc.) flight to Brazil, but real radiance experts know: the perfect glow starts with the right skin care.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Facial Wash & Scrub

In all honesty, I first started using this product accidentally. My family lives in California, and whenever I went home to visit, I hated lugging around my entire beauty cabinet. So, I decided to go to Target and randomly select a travel-sized tube of this African Black Soap Facial Scrub and keep it in California. While I was home, I would use this product every day, and would also start saying things like: “Wow, my skin is so much better in California—must be the water!” It took me a couple of trips home to realize that it wasn’t the California tap water that was revitalizing my skin, it was this Shea Moisture Facial Scrub. I then started incorporating this product into my daily routine (the right way, I must add—this is an exfoliant and shouldn’t be used daily, but rather 2-3 times a week max). And, at the humiliating risk of sounding like an infomercial, after using this scrub, my skin feels like legit silk. Not only does my skin feel softer, it is so much clearer. This facial scrub leaves your skin looking clear, feeling soft, and providing you with the perfect canvas for the rest of your skin care routine.

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

I discovered this product recently, during the height of COVID quarantine. I was depressed and had a promo code that was “expiring soon”—a lethal combination. I’d been looking for a better alternative to the toner I was using at the time and will be forever grateful that this impulse buy was just that. These radiance pads are unique because they are 3-in-1: they tone, but they also exfoliate and illuminate the skin. I use these pads after I cleanse my face, so they also help remove any excess makeup, oils, dirt, etc. And I can honestly say that within days, I noticed my skin became brighter and more radiant. I also love First Aid Beauty products because they’re conducive to all skin types. My skin is very dry and very sensitive, but I’ve been using this product regularly for about four months now, and haven’t had any negative reactions. Who knew that glow could start with your toner? This product is definitely a must.

Tatcha Violet-C Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Full transparency: the first thing you’ll notice when you look up this product is that it is disgustingly expensive. And to address your questions now: no, I do not have a trust fund, I just have a credit card with no real sense of the word “debt.” And that, I get, is a “me” thing. But I do also sincerely believe that if there is one thing to splurge on, it’s your skin. You only get one face, unless you are a Real Housewife, so I choose to take care of mine at all costs. You’ll also notice that this product is a serum. Honestly, I did not start using serums until about a year ago because I “didn’t find them necessary,” but really because I didn’t know what they were or how to use them. After some research, however, I found that serums are attractive skin care aids because they target specific skin care concerns. Truly whatever concern you may have, there is probably a serum for it. My major issue has always been hyperpigmentation, which is a multisyllabic word for dark spots on your skin. I love this Tatcha Serum, in particular, because not only does it eliminate dark spots, but it also, you guessed it, radiates the skin! I’m looking for glow anywhere I can, babe. Pro tip: this was the product I started using when my roommate asked me if I was wearing makeup. Needless to say, it is worth its weight in gold—and is probably a similar price! 

Makeup

While deeply humbling, it’s important that I admit: it has taken me a while to master the “no-makeup makeup” look. If you unearth any of my Instagram photos circa 2012, you might have trouble identifying me, as in most of the pictures I look like a woman in her 50s going through a nasty divorce, painting on blush and eyebrows to mask her pain and be strong for the children. It’s been… a journey. But after much trial and error and watching Rihanna’s 10-Minute Beauty Routine sincerely once a month, I finally have a makeup routine that’s comprised with products that make me look natural and youthful. So now when I look like a woman in turmoil, it’s because my life is in disarray, not my makeup!

Fenty Beauty

Believe me, I tried to narrow this list down to one Fenty product. But asking me to choose only one product from this brand is like asking me to choose between cheese and sauce on a pizza—it’s simply not done. A few years ago, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line garnered critical acclaim and traction when it launched foundations and concealers that were inclusive to, dare I say, all skin tones. From the palest to the darkest coverage seekers, Fenty formulated a hue just for you. As such, I simply cannot mention makeup must-haves without highlighting the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer. This is a full coverage soft matte concealer that can be used on its own or combined with your favorite foundation. I often find that some matte concealers can be chalky and overpowering, but this one provides the perfect amount of coverage while still offering a dewy, natural look. I bought this concealer a year and a half ago, and it has remained in my makeup bag ever since.

Fenty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer

While we’re talking Fenty, I also have to shout out their Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer. Bronzers have always been sort of an enigma to me. I loved how they looked on other people, but I, myself, was unsure of how to use them, especially as someone with darker skin. But, after watching the aforementioned Rihanna video, I learned that bronzers are used to warm the face. After applying your foundations, concealers, and powders, chances are you’ve eliminated blemishes, but you’ve also probably eliminated any warmth in your skin along with it. Bronzers bring that warmth back, and this bronzer, in particular, brings it back effortlessly by bringing out the undertones within your skin. I can’t recommend this product enough. 

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream

Earlier this year, I was on the hunt for a great highlighter. I researched powder formulas, cream formulas, and finally came across the MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream. This product is unique because it’s not a typical highlighter, meaning you don’t apply this product to the high points of the skin toward the end of your beauty, like most highlighters. Instead, this product can be combined with your favorite foundation at the very beginning of your routine, providing for a more natural, radiant glow. This is because the deceptively lucent white cream has iridescent undertones. I wear it every day, either on its own for a natural radiance, or combined with a finishing highlight, for even more drama. This product is one of my most prized (and top-secret) products in my toolbox. You’re welcome. 

Pat McGrath Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner

I couldn’t honestly tell the story of my makeup journey without mentioning my personal never-ending plight: trying to find a liquid eyeliner that is very black and easy to use. In my quest, I’ve found tons of eyeliners that have been extremely pigmented, but also extremely hard to use, or a liner that glides on effortlessly, but doesn’t show up on my skin at all. Which is why we simply must give thanks to Pat McGrath and her precision liquid eyeliner. If you don’t know Pat McGrath, she is a prominent makeup artist, and she is a Black woman. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s how to formulate beauty products that are bold, pigmented, and inclusive. And she’s done just that with her perfect liquid eyeliner. Admittedly, I can’t take full credit for discovering this product because I first learned about it from watching Naomi Campell’s 10-Minute Beauty Routine (I watch these videos like most people watch the news). It was good enough for top model Naomi Campbell, and it has been more than good enough for me. When it comes to liquid eyeliners, this product is top-tier. 

Beauty products are an integral part of most of our daily lives. At the very basis, they are preventive maintenance agents that work to provide us with healthy and youthful-looking skin for years to come. But beyond that, they’re simply fun—offering so much to play with, discover and explore. Which is why some of us (@ing myself here) decide to throw caution to the wind, foregoing contributions to a retirement plan, and invest in rejuvenating eye serums instead. But believe me, beauty products are far less enjoyable to play with when you don’t feel represented by most of them, when only select products are accessible to your skin concerns and hue. The discussion of beauty inclusivity is a big one and shouldn’t stop here, as there is much work to be done in this arena. And while some brands are making strides to better diversify their products, the work isn’t done until this mindset is adopted widely across all brands. I hope that this list is helpful to you in the meantime.

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Images: Alex Sorto / Unsplash; Giphy; Shea Moisture; First Aid Beauty; Tatcha; Fenty Cosmetics; Mac Cosmetics; Pat McGrath