As beauty editors, we consider ourselves exceptionally tapped into the never-ending newness bubbling up in the beauty industry at any given moment. The latest celebrity makeup line? We know all about it. The upcoming drop from the buzziest skincare brand? Yep, we've tested that, too. But the sheer number of under-the-radar beauty buys reaching cult status on Amazon is one pocket of the beauty world that never ceases to amaze us.
Leave it to the massive e-tailer to break the conventional rules of beauty by totally disregarding celebrity endorsements and fancy packaging to hoist these often unassuming products to online superstardom. That's why we consistently find ourselves digging through Amazon's beauty section to learn about the latest random buys reviewers can't get enough of.
Ahead, check out 21 highly rated beauty must-haves we might not have ever heard about if not for their Amazon fame.
This brush set has nearly 9000 reviews, the vast majority of which give the 14-piece synthetic tools five stars. Makeup brushes can really get up there in price, so it's nice to see such an affordable set that appears to exceed expectations in terms of quality and performance.
"These brushes are wayyyyy better than expected!! As a brand ambassador for many makeup lines I’ve used many brushes. These are superb in price and quality!!! Great value PERIOD!! I may order another set," said one reviewer.
The reviews of this cream contour kit are pretty hot and cold, but for those who rave about it, the love runs deep. A quick scan of the ingredients reveals the first ingredient to be capric triglyceride (an oil derived from palm kernel or coconut oil), which would explain the common complaint about breakouts after using. If you've got acne-prone skin, it's probably not a good fit, but if your skin isn't bothered by coconut oil, then this kit could be your next favorite purchase.
"Stepped up my makeup skills for sure with this palette," one buyer commented.
People tend to be skeptical of eyelash and eyebrow growth products, and for good reason: They take a long time to start working, and continued use is imperative. Seventy percent of reviewers of this serum think it delivers a five-star performance, so that should tell you something.
"So I was getting my lashes tinted and curled every month. Then I started using the lash serum and my girl mentions to me that she is astounded by how much growth she has noticed since I started using the serum," one customer reports.
This acne skincare system comes with four different products that, according to the reviews, help to clear acne in as little as two weeks. We're intrigued!
"I have been struggling with really bad severe acne for 6 and a half years, and nothing seemed to work, until I found this system that works really well! I have sensitive acne skin and this system I use works very well, I am so happy with these results," writes one user.
We're always here for a natural, organic skincare brand that makes clean beauty accessible ASAP and without breaking the bank. Reviewers of this face cream seem to agree.
"It is everything I wanted for my very sensitive skin. I turned 72 yesterday and over the years I’ve used many different comparable products and this is by far the best," one verified purchaser revealed.
As we move toward clearing out the toxins in our beauty routines, we're also turning our attention to the environmental implications of our beauty practices. Reviewers seem to love these reusable muslin cloths for makeup removal, and we love the idea of incorporating a sustainable alternative to wasteful pre-soaked makeup remover wipes.
"I love these facial cloths! I've been using one for I don't know how long and it's in perfect shape! After each use it gets a quick wash & rinse w/ Dr. Bronner's and hung up to dry," a fan of the cloths noted.
With some of the most popular HA serums at the moment ringing out for $100, $200, and even $300, seeing a $15 option with close to 10,000 reviews is enough to make us do a double take.
"For very dry and/or mature skin, you can’t beat this product. VISIBLE results. It's not best as a stand alone moisturizer....wear this under your other skincare products. You won’t catch me without this product ever," one enthusiastic customer wrote.
Although this brand is a Japanese drugstore staple, it's still relatively unknown stateside. Unless you regularly lurk in the Asian Beauty subreddit, that is. (We do!) This HA hydrating lotion (the Japanese use this term how we use the term toner) delivers instant hydration and plumping to the skin.
"To properly use this lotion, do what thousands of Japanese and Asian women do with this product: peel cotton pads into thin layers, saturate, then let sit on skin for 3-5 minutes. You will see a VAST difference in plumping + hydration with this synergistic technique vs. just applying the product on your face," one savvy consumer explained.
Speaking of international beauty staples, this K-beauty favorite is also something you'll see heavily discussed in online forums dedicated to international practices. This is basically a clay mask that bubbles upon application, covering your face in a thick layer of suds. We're not sure if it's as effective as it is funny to look at, but nearly 6000 Amazon customers have written in about the purchase.
"Literally made my boyfriend's blackheads disappear! I wasn't so lucky but his were really bad. Made our faces feel so clean," a reviewer wrote.
There are more face creams on the market than we can even count, so the fact that this one has racked up nearly 5000 reviews is truly impressive.
"When I ordered this product I was mid eczema outbreak, with dry, itchy, painful red patches around my nose and face, and over all bad skin. By day two of using the cream my face was already better. By the next week my face looked completely better! I am blown away and in love with this product," one reviewer wrote alongside extensive photo evidence of her skincare journey.
The face cream isn't the only LilyAna Naturals product that's adored on Amazon. The retinol is also a fan favorite, with upward of 6000 reviews to date. Seriously, this brand is low-key royalty.
"This is a powerful and fabulous product! I am a complete convert to all the LilyAna Natural products and use the Vitamin C, this Retinol, and the scrumptious Face Cream as my daily/nightly ritual for skin care," said a mega-fan.
This under-the-radar superstar of a flat iron has over 30,000 (yes, you read that number correctly) reviews on Amazon, tens of thousands of them being five stars. We already added it to our shopping cart.
"Love love love. Salon quality! The straightest I’ve been able to get my hair at home," one fan wrote.
While this accompanying heat protectant doesn't have quite as many reviews as its über-popular flat-iron counterpart, it still has several thousand five-star reviews of its own.
"This is by far the best heat protectant spray I have ever used. It smells amazing and leaves my hair silky and smooth. If you need a great professional product at a great price this is for you," a reviewer wrote.
We wouldn't classify Revlon as an under-the-radar brand by any means, but this hair-drying brush has been a sleeper hit. In addition to the more than 15,000 people who've reviewed it on Amazon, several Who What Wear staffers actually own it and swear by it.
We'll try just about anything for $10 or less, and it looks like hundreds of Amazon shoppers feel the same way.
"I was pretty skeptical but decided to try them anyway. I wore them for 24 hours when I got them and the cracks in my heels that I've tried to get rid of for over a year were completely gone. I was shocked," a once-skeptical convert wrote.
This Italian shaving cream is beloved on Amazon for the high-quality, glorious scent, and longevity of the tube. Men and women alike appear in the comments to tout the magic of the luxe cream.
"So maybe this is some kind of shaving travesty, but I'm a woman and I use this for shaving my legs. I recently returned from a trip to Italy and their body products are just very different than American products. Scents are different, so is the texture," one customer said.