Cult Beauty Products

Certain beauty products haven’t only stood the test of time, they actually seem to get more popular with age. These 10 consistently found in hairstylists’ and makeup artists’ collections—and for good reason.


1Mason Pearson Boar Bristle & Nylon Hairbrush, $170

These British-made brushes date back to 1885. To this day they’re mostly handmade, crafted using the techniques pioneered by inventor Mason Pearson. The natural boar and nylon bristles were designed to massage and stimulate the scalp, improving circulation and helping to distribute the hair’s natural oils along the shaft with each stroke.

READ MORE: The Science of a Perfect Blowout


2Arden Eight-Hour Cream, $17

This multitasking moisturizer was created by Mrs. Arden herself, back in 1930. According to company lore, the name came to be after a customer reported using the cream on a scrape that healed in eight hours. Its effectiveness comes from the skin-soothing blend of petrolatum, salicylic acid and vitamin E. Not only does it hydrate chapped hands, feet and lips; makeup artists swear by it for adding sheen to eyelids and cheeks or taming unruly brows.

READ MORE: Beating The Winter Skin Blues


3Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System, $49-$53

When this revolutionary, three-part skincare system was developed by dermatologist Norman Orentreich nearly 50 years ago, it made Clinique one of the first mainstream brands to take a scientific approach to skincare. Updates include new formulas targeted to different skin types, but the basic premise—cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing—has remained unchanged.

READ MORE: Skincare Basics: How to Wash Your Face


4Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, $7

Open the kit of just about any makeup artist and you’ll find at least one tube of this versatile balm.  Since its introduction in 1969, the lip-smoothing miracle worker—which is spiked with sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, aloe vera and vitamin E—has remained unchanged, but the balm’s popularity has spawned several spinoffs. You can now get tinted, scented and SPF-infused versions, too!

READ MORE: Protect Your Lips With SPF


5Crème de La Mer, $150

Inside this famously expensive face cream is a scientific brew of potent ingredients first blended together by aerospace engineer Max Huber. Dr. Huber was searching for something to heal severe burns on his own skin. After many experiments, he concocted the  “Miracle Broth”—a patented blend that includes sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C, E and B12.

READ MORE: What Can BB Cream Do for You?


6Nars Orgasm Blush, $28

This peachy-coral shade (with the barest hint of shimmer) has an almost uncanny ability to bring a radiant glow to virtually any skintone. Its tremendous popularity had led to the creation of other “orgasmic” products—including lip gloss, nail polish and an illuminator.

READ MORE: Blush Formulas 101


7MAC Spice Lip Pencil, $15

This neutral pencil—a warm, pink-ish cinnamon shade—made its debut in the late ‘80s, and has been a best seller ever since. But the color isn’t the only reason for this pencil’s cult status. Users swear by the creamy formula for its staying power and the fact that it simply feels good on.


8Rosebud Salve, $6


When it comes to time-honored beauty staples, this one—created in 1892—might be the most beloved. Formulated by a druggist named Dr. Smith to soothe minor skin irritations, it’s still a go-to salve for dry lips, skin and even diaper rash.

READ MORE: Volume Control: Fight Lip Aging

9Maybelline Great Lash, $6.40

This drugstore staple, introduced in 1971, is still the best-selling mascara in America.  In fact, one of these bright green and pink tubes is sold every 1.7 seconds! The formula dries quickly so there’s no waiting between coats, it’s safe for sensitive eyes and conditions lashes.

Stila Kitten Eye Shadow, $18

Introduced in 2004, this rosy-gold shimmery shadow became an immediate cult favorite.  The shade is truly universally flattering and the versatile formula can be worn both dry or damp (using a slightly wet applicator ups the intensity).

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