- Earlier this year, Insider surveyed its own employees worldwide on their favourite makeup and skin-care products.
- Over the past few months, we’ve revealed their opinions on the beauty products that are actually worth splurging on, best new buys, ultimate makeup bag staples, and under-the-radar products you should know about.
- Within each category, some of the same brands and products came up time and time again.
- Here are the absolute best products you can buy, according to Insider employees.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Ordinary serums
Cult brand The Ordinary is a clear favourite among Insider employees, and the serums appear to be the biggest hit.
24-year-old Corina from Queens, New York City said: “I know in beauty circles it’s well known but I was surprised to see that most people haven’t heard about it (at least within my friend group).
“Makeup is fun but I’ve been trying to curate a skincare beauty regime and a brand like The Ordinary has an array of products (serums, sunscreens, vitamins, etc.) that are affordable and effective.”
Talking about the brand’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum, $5.90, Rosie, 29 from London, said: “I had comedonal acne for years and nothing could shift it (from hormones to antibiotics). Finally read about this product, and within 10 days it had made a very noticeable difference. I’ve been using it for about a year now and my skin is almost perfectly clear.”
22-year-old New Yorker Shivani is a fan of the “super volumizing” BADgal BANG!, which “stays on for a super long time, and makes my eyelashes look great!”
Shana, 30 of New York, added: “It makes my lashes look (naturally) longer and thicker.”
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Insider employees agree with Khloe Kardashian – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is truly the best, and its name came up in our survey a number of times.
A recent Business Insider article named it the best long-wearing concealer at $30, calling it “a highly effective under eye concealer with impressive results and serious staying power.”
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
“It hydrates, it smells good, and it somehow cures everything by the morning,” 27-year-old Becky from San Francisco said of this cult Kiehl’s product, $49.
30-year-old Megan from New York City was also a fan, while 32-year-old Nico suggested trying the brand’s Midnight Recovery Eye Cream as well.
MAC Matte lipsticks
MAC lipsticks ($18.50) are a handbag staple.
23-year-old Melina from Brooklyn loves the shade “Red Rock,” saying: “Lipstick is super easy to apply and can automatically make you look put together.”
22-year-old Page from Staten Island added: “I’m not one to splurge, but MAC Matte lipsticks are worth their price tag. My favorites are ‘Mehr’ and ‘MAC Red.’ They’re super long-lasting, they never make my lips feel dry, and they always fade nicely and evenly as I drink coffee and eat snacks.”
Anastasia Brow Wiz
A number of Anastasia products were nominated in this survey, but the brow products – particularly the Brow Wiz pencil, $23 – were a clear favourite.
“Everyone’s a fan of the Anastasia brow pomade, but the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil is underrated,” said 23-year-old Melina from Brooklyn. “It’s the most natural-looking brow pencil I’ve come across, and it comes with a brush on the end that does a great job of fluffing out brows.”
Milk Makeup Highlighter
The Milk Makeup Highlighter stick, $28, is not only great for achieving that pearly glow, but it’s a good brand to get behind, too.
22-year-old Katya of New Jersey said: “I think a lot of people go for the more traditional powder highlights but this one is amazing for the fresh, everyday look.”
Shivani, 22 of New York, added that the brand “is vegan, cruelty-free, has the best packaging and really high quality products.”
There’s nothing like a timeless classic, and Chanel lipsticks are no exception – in “any shade,” according to 30-year-old Shana from New York.
“The texture is so much more appealing than cheaper brands,” she said.
“I think everyone who wears makeup should own a good lipstick,” added Chloe, 28 from New York City. “At least, I find putting on lipstick can change your entire mood.”
She added that if you’re “willing to splurge,” Chanel’s Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour ($38) is ideal for a red lip.
Ashley, 28 from Brooklyn, said: “I think lipstick is something worth splurging on, because high-end lipsticks have a better consistency than drug store brands. I really like Chanel’s Rouge Coco ones (also $38).”
Insider employees are big Clinique fans, but the gel moisturizers were their favourite items.
“I can’t say enough about Clinique Moisture Surge (from $39.50) for being light-weight but super hydrating,” said 28-year-old Ali of London. “It’s a gel that sits really nicely under makeup and is the only thing that consistently helps my dry skin without clogging pores.”
Marissa, 22 of New Jersey, added that Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (from $15) is her “favorite/best product for everyday use (for anyone).”
DevaCurl hair products
“If you have a unique hair type, it really pays to splurge on products that are specially made for it and don’t contain harsh chemicals,” said Melina, 23 from Brooklyn, who claims to be a fan of DevaCurl hair products.
Shana, 30 and also from New York, agreed: “They’re a total life-changer for anyone with unruly hair!”
Origins face masks
Qayyah, 25 from London, is a big fan of the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($26) – and she’s not the only one who loves the brand.
“I’m always a bit sceptical of face masks (and most beauty products, if I’m honest) but, aside from just being a nice thing to do after a long day, this mask has helped a lot with combatting the effects of hard water and pollution in London,” she said. “If I put this on at night as an ‘emergency’ fix, I wake up with much smoother, calmer skin, much less of the flakiness and much less blotchiness.”
Megan, 30 from New York, added: “Origins face masks are some of the best around.”
Mario Badescu skin products
Mario Badescu skin care products are “cheap and good,” according to 33-year-old Hilary of New York.
Meira, 25, added that she loves the Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($7) because “it is cheap and works wonders in the summer when rehydrating your face.”