CNN
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At Underscored, we try hundreds of beauty products each year, so naturally we’ve found some that are heads above the rest.

What are the beauty products we can’t live without, you ask? From hair tools to facial cleansers to nail polish, we’ve rounded up some phenomenal products that we think are worth every penny — enough to buy them again and again.

Kiana Murden/CNN

Pantene Miracle Rescue Deep Conditioning Hair Mask Treatment

My 4B curls desperately crave hydration 24/7. One of the only products that surges my hair with needed moisture when my locs need a bit of TLC is the Pantene Miracle Rescue Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. Not only is it affordable enough to buy over and over, it’s formulated with powerfully conditioning ingredients that leave my hair feeling soft, hydrated and strong. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Esarora Ice Roller

Rachel Lubitz/CNN

Esarora Ice Roller

I’ve never met a more multi-use beauty product than this ice roller. I use it to de-puff my face and eyes in the morning on the regular, and it even helps with headaches and hangovers (but you didn’t hear that from me). On the hottest of days I’ve literally just taken it out of my freezer and rolled it all over my face, neck and back. For something that looks so utilitarian, your skin and body will seriously thank you. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Ilia Beauty Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm

Kristin Magaldi/CNN

Ilia Beauty Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm

I’ve taken on more of a minimalist makeup routine lately, and this is my go-to easy lip color. The color goes on so smoothly and appears vibrant without too much application, but it is buildable if you want a more dramatic effect. It feels incredibly hydrating on my lips, which is a nice departure from the matte lipsticks I used to wear, and the shade Lullaby is just the right shade of berry pink. — Kristin Magaldi, associate editor

Remington MB4700 Smart Beard Trimmer

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Remington MB4700 Smart Beard Trimmer

When it’s time to trim my beard, I always go with our pick for the best beard trimmer, the Remington Smart Beard Trimmer. You can save multiple lengths as presets, so trimming your whole face to just the right length is quick and easy. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Kiana Murden/CNN

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Under-eye bags and dark circles have been two of my biggest skin care concerns for years now, so much so that I even considered getting filler for them because I couldn’t find a solution that worked for me. At some point, I was introduced to The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution and I haven’t looked back since. The caffeine helps reduce the appearance of eye contour pigmentation and puffiness, which is basically the perfect remedy for my issues. No eye cream compares to this solution. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Original Lipstick

Stephanie Griffin/CNN

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Original Lipstick

Matte lipsticks almost always leave my lips feeling dry and flaky, so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried social media’s beloved Pillow Talk lipstick and it left my lips feeling more hydrated and looking more plump than before. The shade is somewhere between the perfect pink and nude, and is natural enough to wear to work, or it can be built up and paired with the matching lip liner for a night out. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Ouai Detox Shampoo & Fine Hair Shampoo

Rachel Lubitz/CNN

Ouai Detox Shampoo & Fine Hair Shampoo

It took me until I was a whopping 29 years old to figure out what to look for in shampoos. Yes, really. I have extremely fine, curly hair, and about 90% of the shampoos and conditioners I’d use would make my hair intolerably greasy with product buildup. I’d go through purifying shampoos, but then my hair felt stripped. So finally I thought, “Is expensive shampoo really worth it?” And yes, for me it is. I found my cure to my constant greasy, thin hair with this little duo. The Fine Hair Shampoo is what I use every day. It doesn’t weigh my hair down or fill it with product, and I’ve felt like my hair is fuller and I experience less fallout when using it. Then, on days when I feel like I have been a little greasy, I use the Detox shampoo just once to get that buildup out. I can’t even remember the last time I was dealing with greasy, limp hair. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner

Sarai Thompson/CNN

Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner

After testing eyeliners for our best liquid eyeliners story, I’ve been hooked to one product in particular. The Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner has a hold on me and I’m not ashamed to admit it! Rated as our best liquid liner for a dramatic look, the product’s felt tip liquid pen helps me create the perfect wing and also gives me the option of adding an extra-dramatic enhancement to my waterline with the pencil. — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser

I absolutely love this face wash from Image Skincare because it feels gentle on my skin but still cleans away any dirt and grime. It’s made with aloe vera and flower extracts, and it’s pH balanced, leaving your face feeling clean, smooth and refreshed. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler

Kiana Murden/CNN

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler

During quarantine when all the salons were closed, I was on a mission to learn new styles for my natural hair. For years, one thing that held me back was the dreaded task of blowing out my hair. I’m not the best at manipulating a separate brush and a blow-dryer at the same time, so when I discovered this paddle brush dryer I bought it immediately. It has since completely changed my life. It makes blowing out my natural hair so easy and efficient, especially when I’m trying to do it quickly before getting braids or headed to bed. At Underscored, we rave about the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($39.99; amazon.com), but this deserves some love too. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation

Sarai Thompson/CNN

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation

I originally tested this foundation for Underscored’s TikTok to see if the formula really matches my skin tone. I’ve always been skeptical of purchasing foundations online. I find that I get a better match when I shop in-person. However, I took the match test and received a foundation color that matched my skin tone. I get so many compliments! It’s full coverage and my skin looks flawless! — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under-Eye Full-Coverage Anti-Aging Concealer

Kristin Magaldi/CNN

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under-Eye Full-Coverage Anti-Aging Concealer

I have been using this under-eye concealer for about six years now, and I refuse to give it up. It’s the only concealer that will mask the bags under my eyes without any need for a color corrector first. It’s also long-lasting, and will withstand an entire day’s worth of wear without budging. My only qualm with the formula is that you definitely need a setting powder to go over it or else it appears too shiny. Other than that, it’s perfect. — Kristin Magaldi, associate editor

Sundays Nail Polish

Rachel Lubitz/CNN

Sundays Nail Polish

If you’re looking for a nail polish that can easily last you a week without chipping or more, look no further than these polishes from Sundays. Available in a slew of lovely shades, they are always my go-to for an at-home mani. I use the clear blue base coat and clear topcoat with other polishes too because there just seems to be something magic inside of these bottles that makes everything chip-free. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Style Factor Edge Booster Hair Pomade Stick

Sarai Thompson/CNN

Style Factor Edge Booster Hair Pomade Stick

Fuzzy hair and flyaways are the absolute worst. To combat those issues, especially when I wear protective hairstyles for my natural hair, I use the Style Factor Hair Pomade Stick. This product slicks down my hair for long periods (even in humidity) without causing damage. — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

Versed Skin

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

I can’t speak highly enough of the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm — in fact, I talk about it as many times as I can. It’s that great. I got this when I knew I wanted to stop using makeup removing wipes, and I haven’t looked back since. The balm literally melts your makeup away and easily rinses off with water and a washcloth. Then, I just wash my face as normal afterward. Now I wake up with fewer breakouts and more peace knowing I adequately took off my makeup before bed. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator

Kristin Magaldi/CNN

Wander Beauty On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator

I’ve been buying into the cream/gel blush trend in a big way, and this is by far the best one I’ve tried. Because the stick is dual-sided, I just swipe one line of blush on my cheekbone, flip it around and swipe another line of highlighter on top of that. Though it looks like a lot at first, it blends so seamlessly, adding a nice pink pop to my cheeks with a gentle glow that isn’t blinding. It’s so easy to use and looks great on whatever foundation you use. — Kristin Magaldi, associate editor

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Stephanie Griffin/CNN

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I first discovered this multiuse makeup product on TikTok, and I can confirm it’s absolutely worth the hype. I apply it all over my face using the sponge-tipped wand, and the lightweight formula instantly blends into my skin, creating an illuminated, real-life Hollywood filter effect, just as its name implies. For anyone looking to turn their summer glow up a notch, you need this. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil

Kiana Murden/CNN

Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil

The Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil is meant to be a nourishing facial oil to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Although I love putting it on my face at night, I absolutely love it for my nails. After acrylics or gel manicures, my nails, like many of ours, get so weak and fragile. I randomly put some of this on them as a sort of cuticle oil and woke up to my nails transformed. They were super soft and noticeably stronger with much less breakage. The oil includes argan, jojoba, grapeseed and rosehip oils, which clearly my nails love. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

American Crew Fiber Hair Product

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

American Crew Fiber Hair Product

I use this hair fiber every day to give my hair shape and hold. Its high-hold with low-shine formula works in my thick hair, and you don’t have to use very much, so each tub will last you a long time. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Rachel Lubitz/CNN

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

As a redhead with a bunch of freckles, I’ve had to take skin protection very seriously. That’s meant going through bottles and bottles of terrible sunscreen that made me break out or look extremely greasy or smell terrible… The list goes on. There is absolutely no beating this formula. It’s completely clear (making it fantastic for a range of skin tones) and melts right into the skin for a matte finish. That’s what makes it such a great layer before makeup too. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner

Kristin Magaldi/CNN

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner

When I want to guarantee that my hair will look good, I use this shampoo and conditioner combo. My scalp can get very dry, and my hair is color-treated, which makes it even drier. When you put this in your hair and let it set before rinsing it out, you can actually feel it working. It tingles and cools your scalp, which feels incredibly refreshing and leaves your hair soft and hydrated long after you wash it. — Kristin Magaldi, associate editor

Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment

Kiana Murden/CNN

Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment

The Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment has been my go-to for as long as I can remember — my guess is since I really started breaking out when I was a teenager. The gel is made with 2% salicylic acid and witch hazel to reduce the signs of acne without stripping your skin. Because it’s a spot treatment, I just place a little less than a pea size amount of product on my stubborn zits before bed, and usually when I wake up the pimple is reduced just like magic. I’ve tried plenty of acne-fighting beauty products, and nothing holds me down quite like this. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Ilia Multi-Stick

Stephanie Griffin/CNN

Ilia Multi-Stick

This multi-stick product does it all. It can be applied to your cheeks, lips, eyelids (you name it!) and glides on so seamlessly and smooth, resulting in a healthy, semisheer wash of color. This product is the perfect time and space saver and I couldn’t love it more. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Merit Brow 1980

Rachel Lubitz/CNN

Merit Brow 1980

I’ve talked about how much I love Merit’s products (namely the Flush Balm) before, and its brow pomade is honestly just as rave-worthy. With the perfect little spoolie brush that gets just the right amount of product on every time, and sleek gold packaging that feels expensive, I get a little thrill every time I reach for the tube. You can build the formula on your brows as well, and I honestly have not experienced a single smudge or messy gloop of product yet. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Maybelline New York Pore Minimizer Master Primer

Sarai Thompson/CNN

Maybelline New York Pore Minimizer Master Primer

If you’re a fan of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, then you’ll love this Maybelline option. As a girl with combination skin, a good primer makes all the difference in your makeup look (especially in the summer). I use this primer before applying foundation or by itself to keep my face from looking fresh and oil-free. This is a major go-to product in my beauty drawer. — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator