8 Beauty Products That Actually Work — Tried And Tested By Yours Truly

I am a consumer. You are a consumer. I think it's safe to say we are all consumers, here. And some of my personal favorite products to "consume" are, of course, beauty products (because the quest to both become and remain beautiful just never, ever ends). Now, B.T.I. (before the internet), we beauty-product consumers were bombarded with ads for miracle-working products in magazines, on TV, in flyers, and in all the stores themselves. But today, ladies and [some] gentleman, we now have the wonderful and glorious internet to contend with!

As though it wasn't enough to be completely flooded by ads for products everywhere else in our lives, we can now log onto Facebook and be presented with some kind of product being pushed and promoted in those little ad boxes to the right. But you can't always trust online reviews of products these days, because so many people are paid by these companies to do the reviews (people have been "selling out" since, well — always). So with all this marketing overload and the vast amount of beauty products in existence to choose from, how does one pick the right thing? How do we know which products actually work, and which ones are falling flat?

In case you hadn't gathered, I like beauty products. I love them, in fact. I guess one could say that I was a beauty-product-slut, even. There: I said it. It's out there. Now, I may have boxes of discarded, half-empty bottles of creams, lotions, sprays and other such things pushed to the very back of my cupboards and drawers to be forgotten about for forever, but I also have a vast knowledge of some products that I've tried, tested, and now live by. I'm asked all the time what products are my favorites and which ones I actually use, so now rest easy my fellow product lovers! With my years of purchasing and trial-and-error-ing it up, I have come up with a list of eight products that actually do what they claim to do.

Ditch The Dead Skin

MICA Beauty Exfoliating Peel Gel, $150, Mica Beauty

I swear by this exfoliant gel, which is both gentle (you don’t even feel it) yet extremely effective. I rub this gel in circular motions onto damp, warm skin (a perfect time to do this is right after you get out of the shower) and immediately you start to see (and feel) little tiny balls of peeled-off dead skin form on your face. Used once a week, this product helps keep your skin smooth, soft, and glowing. Totally worth the money.

Cover Up

MICA Beauty Mineral Foundation Powder, $65, Mica Beauty

When used alongside the MICA Beauty Exfoliating Peel Gel, this mineral foundation is the absolute bomb. When applied, it offers full-day coverage that won’t crease, run, clump or burn with sweat — it stays exactly how it is when applied. It’s also extremely light, and you don’t even feel like you’re wearing any makeup on your face. It applies with an already matte finish, and also works gloriously in photo shoots. Use this personally for your everyday, or professionally for in front of the camera. By far, this is my personal favorite foundation and I use it constantly.

Hair We Go

Herstyler Argan Oil Hair Serum, $50, Her Styler

This serum is an absolute dream for hair. Made of an Argan Oil and Pro Vitamin E formula, this serum is light, non-greasy, and adds instant protection, softness and shine to your hair. The tips of my hair used to be completely damaged and fried from bleaching and coloring, but after applying this serum to the tips of my hair after getting out of the shower, it’s made the dead ends soft, silky and like brand new again. I swear by this stuff.

True To Style

PYT Ceramic Styling Tool In Polka Dot, $300, PYT Hair

My favorite hair styler to date, this ceramic styling tool locks in moisture, causing less damage and a smooth, no-frizz finish to your hair. You can straighten, wave, or curl your hair with this tool, and with its “floating plate” design, you will never get creases in your hair when you style. It heats up and is ready to use super quickly, and it comes in all sorts of pretty designs (like the pink and black polka dot one that I have!). I only use this tool to curl my hair.

Nailed It

Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat, $5, Ulta

As an ex-nail-biter, I have to give some credit for my (now) long, healthy, lovely nails to this product. Not only does this strengthen my nails and protect them from bending and breaking, but using it as a base coat and then top coat when applying nail polish makes the polish last weeks with very little chip-age. This product completely saved my nails, and I never go without a coat of this polish on them.

Wait Another Day

TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo, $14, Amazon

For those days when you just don’t have time to wash your hair (or you’re too lazy, like me) this dry shampoo is a life saver. I’ve tried several brands of dry shampoo before, but this one remains my favorite. It takes away the shine from your hair when sprayed onto your roots and scalp, and also adds a little volume and bounce (and smells awesome). It’s also great to spray on your roots before doing any styling that involves teasing, as it helps hold the tease better.

Out Damn Spot

Clarins Truly Matte Blemish Control, $28, Clarins

Let’s “face” it, we all get breakouts. I’ve always suffered from chronic breakouts, and I’ve tried every product under the sun to help remove unwanted spots from my face. And after all my trials and errors, I finally found something that helps dissolve and remove breakouts and spots quickly and effectively from my face. This blemish control stick can be applied over or beneath makeup, and as it works to dissolve the spot, it also soothes the skins surface (so you don’t have a huge dry patch of skin around the spot). I swear by this product, and it’s definitely a face-saver!

Forever After

Australian Gold Forever After All Day Moisturizer, $15, Amazon

THIS. LOTION. I’ve tried many lotions and creams that have claimed to nourish and firm your skin, but nothing has ever come close to the gloriousness that is the Forever After Lotion from Australian Gold. This lotion is thick, nourishes your skin for 24 hours, firms your skin (and yes, it actually works), smells amazing (like a tropical vacation) and has ingredients like hemp seed extract. Still to this day, I’ve never found a lotion that has tightened and nourished my skin quite like this gem.