Sephora's Beauty Directors Say These Underrated Products Should Be Super Famous

Sephora has always been a Willy Wonka–esque magical land for makeup lovers. I have so many memories of going into a Sephora store looking for a specific product and coming out with even more that I’m excited to play with. There are so many popular makeup and skincare products that we’ve either heard about from a beauty influencer or from a TikTok video that have turned out to be amazing, but there are also the ones that are a little lesser known. The thing is, it’s those hidden-treasure beauty products that can turn into the holy-grail product we’ve been looking for all our lives. 

If you’re a Goldilocks looking for that elusive “just right” beauty product, you might just need a little help from top beauty experts, like Sephora’s beauty directors. Melinda Solares, Helen Dagdag, Myiesha Sewell, and David Razzano are spilling the tea on their favorite makeup, hair, and skincare products that may not be as known as some of the more popular ones. The fabulous foursome gives us the scoop on their favorite under-the-radar products, from body oils to blotting powder and beyond. 

Keep reading to learn which retinol serum won’t irritate your skin and which long-wear lip stain never cracks or feels dry, and pick up new favorites from brands such as Fenty Beauty, Makeup by Mario, Dermalogica, and more. 

Melinda Solares, Beauty Director



"As a mental health advocate, beauty has always been more about a feeling than a look to me. I discovered my own self-care through skincare and created somewhat of a self-love ritual to slow down and be present. These have become my favorite part of my routine because the ultra-hydrating oil feels divine, and the essential oils are intentionally used to calm or invigorate the senses. When I am trying to literally Calm the F*ck Down, the lavender, neroli, and chamomile are lush, and when I am trying to Wake the F*ck Up, the lemon verbena, grapefruit, and eucalyptus bring me back to life!"

"Cay Skin founder and model Winnie Harlow developed an SPF line after a cover shoot gone wrong. She was modeling on the beach, and the team didn’t have SPF that would work on camera for her skin tones. Then, she got terribly burnt. Fast-forward, and Cay Skin is an inclusive line of SPF, exclusively at Sephora, that has become a go-to! Now let’s talk simple, but necessary. I’ve seen lip balms come and go, but few stick around. This nourishing lip mask has sold out multiple times and is becoming a classic but still under the radar. My favorite thing about it? It has SPF 30, smells like heaven, and doesn’t taste like sunscreen. It also has sea moss to hydrate and protect, aloe stem cells to soothe redness and irritation, and vitamin E as an antioxidant."

"First of all, this mascara is $12, such a steal! Before I became a beauty director, I worked on the Sephora makeup merchandising team and the social media video marketing team, and in all three roles at Sephora, I have seen countless mascaras come and go. This one contains cellulose microspheres that create next-level volume in just a few strokes. Affordable, quick, and effective, this mascara deserves to be famous!"

"Have you ever considered color correction for your bodycare? It is a different approach to self-tanning. Whether you want a little glow, have redness, or uneven skin tone, this dreamy butter from Isle of Paradise does it all while hydrating the skin. Typical self-tanners can change your skin tone, while this body butter is all about your skin but better. This one flies under the radar because gradual tanners have a reputation for having a strong and sometimes unpleasant aroma. Not this one! It smells fresh and light, with notes of coconut, eucalyptus, and peppermint."

"You have probably heard of the K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask ($75), a leave-in treatment mask for all hair types that clinically reverses damage in four minutes. It has been creating quite the stir in the world of hair. But have you heard about the brand's new detox shampoo? Similar to our skin, the canvas must be clean for products to penetrate and be effective. Clean hair and scalp helps optimize results from products and treatments, like the K18 Molecular Repair Hair Mask. Many people forget this when it comes to hair. This color-safe, non-stripping clarifying shampoo has K18Peptide to reduce protein loss that can weaken hair, activated charcoal to absorb toxins, and salicylic acid to clear sebum buildup, leaving your canvas ready to go!"

Myiesha Sewell, Beauty Director



"This is one of my favorite low-effort ways to exfoliate. It's a rice-based powder that's activated by mixing in a few drops of water, or you can sprinkle it directly into your cleanser. I’m always shocked when someone doesn’t have a little Dermalogica in their rotation. Really great for someone that wants continuous gentle exfoliation or perhaps can’t handle anything too aggressive. Also, the Age Bright line for mature acne, the BioLumin-C range for brightening, the Daily Glycolic Cleanser all so good!"

"I am a member of the very-long-nail crew, and I mask several times a week but hate getting product under my nails. Sephora Collection Face Mask Applicator to the rescue! On one side, there’s a flexible silicone spatula, and the other has gentle little bumps to scrub product off (great for removing a thick clay mask). I even use it to scoop hair gel or scrape the last bit of product out of jars!"

"This brush is a masterpiece. I use the flatter side to apply cream products like concealer or touch up the foundation around my nose. The fluffier side is great for applying powder in small amounts so you don’t overdo it. The size of the brush and the fluffy vegan fibers make it super easy to diffuse product beautifully—I recommend keeping an extra one in your touch-up bag!"

David Razzano, Beauty Director



"The moment I started using these incredible eyeliners, I fell in love! They are smooth and easy to apply with a richly pigmented formula that rarely needs more than one stroke for full intensity. They glide effortlessly through both upper and lower waterlines or for any graphic effects on the lash line or lid you want to create, and they stay put once applied! They have a small but mighty shade range that includes your classic deep black, brown, blue, berry, and terra-cotta! I must add that the terra-cotta shade, Tiger Queen, has been a favorite color of mine this past year. So unique and cool yet works on all eye colors. It’s a personal must-have for my professional makeup kit!"

"This brush is a major multitasker! I have about four in my brush collection because I find they do so many things easily. It has a unique shape that mimics the pad of your fingertip, which allows you to apply product with a sweeping motion and then use a patting motion to blend it seamlessly into place. Then the straight side is great for getting product into the detailed areas of the face or creating sharp lines for sculpting. It works great for concealers, eye primers, cream contours, liquid highlighters, even foundation when you only want it strategically placed."

"This new foundation from Westman Atelier took me by surprise! It applies with a light/sheer coverage that is easily buildable to a medium coverage with little effort. The finish is dewy and radiant in the most hyper-realistic manner. In fact, the foundation, even when heavily applied, is almost imperceptible. So it simply looks like you have the most refreshed, rejuvenated, polished, and perfected skin with no makeup on. Plus, it is packed with highly beneficial skincare ingredients that will plump, protect, and revitalize your skin! This is a foundation that you should check out!"

"Let's not forget the skin on our bodies! We focus so much on the face and forget that a basic body cream is most likely not enough. Exfoliation is essential to all areas of skin in order to stay strong and look its best. This luxurious milky serum moisturizer uses retinol and both glycolic acid and lactic acid in combination with other ingredients to make sure your body is smooth, soft, and glowing! This body serum is great for anyone who has dry, rough, bumpy, dull skin or even those prone to body blemishes. Start using this during the winter so you’re ready to shed those clothing layers in the warmer months and showcase your beautiful skin everywhere."

Helen Dagdag, Beauty Director

"This is one of my all-time favorites for setting under-eye concealer. It is an extremely fine-milled powder that will not enhance any texture and diffuses light for a soft-focus effect. It’s great for a touch-up on the fly, too."

"This serum isn’t quite under the radar since it is an award-winning formula, but it deserves all the accolades. This retinol will not irritate your skin and will not cause those pesky purges that retinol is known for. It is encapsulated retinol that is seriously effective—both Myiesha and I swear by it. It will help with fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone."

"Sephora Collection's Lip Stain is the gold standard of liquid lipsticks, and here is why. It has avocado oil in it, so it never cracks or feels too dry. It comes in a ton of shades, and if you haven’t found the perfect red lip, check out this bunch—there are nine of them to choose from."

"This exfoliator makes your face feel so buttery smooth. The first time I tried it, I was hooked. I use it a couple times a week, and my skin glows. It is a dual exfoliator, meaning it has both chemical and physical exfoliators. It’s also part of Sephora’s Clean and Planet Positive category, so no micro beads, just bamboo stem powder, which works wonders."