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Women On The Beauty Products They Thought Were BS But Now Can't Live Without

Don't knock it till you try it.
PHOTO: Jon Paterson/Studio D

It happens. You come across something—a new innovation or a product a friend swears by—and, at best, think “meeeeh,” or feel downright dubious about it. Surely some things are too good to be true? In a trending thread on the Makeup Addiction Reddit, women get real about products they thought would be “snake oil” (that is, sketchy or questionable and have no actual benefits), but turned out to be amazing IRL.

1. Eye cream

“I always thought this was just for prevention. Turns out I was wrong—so wrong. I started using some a few months back, and when I ran out, thought nothing of it. Within a couple days, my eyes looked drastically different! I hadn't noticed the effect the cream was having because it was so gradual, but boy, did I notice the effect when I stopped.” - yeoman221

“I am a night owl, so naturally I'm going to have dark circles to some extent. Ever since I've been wearing eye cream however, I honestly feel comfortable enough to go out with no under-eye concealer.” - hatsumochi

2. Clear lip liner

“I've been using it for about 15 years now. I love that it works for everything, from my brightest red to my Technopagen Lip Tar. I have a few colored lip liners that were freebies, but I will never buy one myself because the clear one works for every color.” - misskitty5077

“If you put on your lipstick, you can then use the clear liner around the outside edges. I smooth it down with my finger as well, because it can look a tiny bit waxy in my peach fuzz. You can also use it like a normal liner and fill in your entire lips if you don't have a lip liner that matches the lipstick you are using. It’s pretty versatile, I love that my creamy lipsticks no longer feather, and I don't have to worry about purchasing lip liners blindly hoping that they match.” - Warrior_of_Weekends


3. Color-correcting concealer

“Green concealer. Huge, red, angry spots on my face and rosy cheeks made me look beet red no matter how much foundation I wore. Totally though green concealer would make it look worse—never have I been so wrong.” – AerinHawk

“Peach corrector. This was before the whole 'color correct' craze, and there were just a few salmon-colored ones in pots. I'm pretty pale, so it made no sense to me why I'd put a darker peach-colored waxy balm under my eyes. Won't my concealer have to work harder to cover that up too? Nope, so wrong. It just brightens up the area and makes it so much easier to look alive.” – blainezeyy

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4. Eye primer

“Urban Decay's Eye Primer Potion. My eyes are a little oily and a little hooded. I'd gone through other eye primers and thought they were all crap. (And basically resigned myself to terrible eye shadow.) Then I found this magical stuff, and it's like opacity! Blending! What is this sorcery?! It's made doing my eye shadow a pleasure instead of a chore.” – Gotticka

“Eye primer is so worth it! I didn't really care about it and just asked for UDs for Christmas just because, and I'll always keep it in my arsenal now. It's amazing how much more pigmented it makes eye shadows.” – sttrakeiznek

5. Beauty Blender

“Never going back! The best way to use it is damp. Don't even bother using it dry to do your foundation. Hold it under the tap and squeeze it until it gets really big (it goes to about twice its normal size), then squeeze out the excess water into the sink first, then into the towel, then you're ready to go! … It's also good for blending stuff in after applying it with fingers or brushes to make it look more natural—I usually bounce the BB off my eyebrows to make them not look so boxy or use it to blend in my liquid highlighter. As you can tell, I'm an absolute convert.” – mmlui

“It would help you control how much product you would be using, and be able to layer it better. In my experience, it allows the foundation to appear like it's your actual skin. It's excellent for people who want to achieve dewy looks, and really does allow seamless blending.” – monster_bunny


6. Quality tweezers

“I never realized how annoying it was to use cheaply made tweezers that didn't quite line up or didn't have a sharp enough edge. I got a pair of Tweezerman tweezers on clearance when I lost my others, and man, what a difference! I can do my brows in half the time, and much less redness since it doesn't take so many tries to grasp and actually remove the hair.” – dachshundmom

7. Bronzer

“I'm not 100% sure I do it right, but it looks fairly natural, gives a great subtle dimension, and you can hardly tell it's there with your head turned sideways. Still, for me it does make a huge difference, and I'm happy with it.” – blackmuffins

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“I used to be like ‘well I'm white everywhere else, bronzer is just gonna make me look like my foundation doesn't match,’ and yeah, *maybe* if you apply it all over like a face powder. But just a little bit gives my face such a nice dimension.” – emrcn

8. Setting spray

“When I first started hearing of them (I got into the makeup game a bit late), it didn't make sense to me that a spray for your face ‘melts’ everything together. That must be hogey! But then I caved and bought MAC Fix +, and I've got to say, that really smoothens out the makeup to give it a flawless glowy finish.” – ARRmatey

“I thought that MAC Fix Plus was snake oil. And then I tried it. I hate the way my face looks powdery after face makeup. I just love using it; it takes the 'just done' makeup look away and makes it look more like your real skin.”  Allisonb93

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