23 last-minute gifts you can still get in time for Mother’s Day, including gift cards and subscriptions

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Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Products in the Drunk Elephant The Littles™ 4.0 lying flat on a pink background

  • If you’re purchasing a Mother’s Day gift last minute, there’s still time to order something special.
  • We rounded up 23 options – from luxurious hair products to cookbooks – that will arrive by May 9.
  • If you’re not in a hurry, check out these 54 Mother’s Day gifts under $50.

Mother’s Day is around the corner and there are just a few days to get a gift for the moms in your life. For those living on the edge and have yet to pick up something, we have you covered with last-minute gift ideas that can be ordered, delivered, and presented, right in time for Mother’s Day. If you’re cutting it close, we also have recommendations for subscriptions and gift cards that can be purchased and gifted on the day of.

Here are 23 of the best last-minute Mother’s Day gifts that will arrive by May 9

The most stunning bouquet we ordered and reviewed

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - UrbanStems The Hema Bouquet on a living room table

Gift an UrbanStems bouquet, starting at $50

Let’s start with the Mother’s Day basic — a beautiful bouquet. UrbanStems offers a range of fresh, modern bouquets and other arrangements that are a step above the average flower mix. They were the best flower delivery service we tested, and the best part: they offer next-day delivery for 48 states and same-day delivery in New York City and Washington, DC.

A clothing subscription to switch up mom’s wardrobe

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A Stitch Fix subscription box, including tops, bottoms, outerwear and a pair of shoes

Gift a Stitch Fix subscription, $20

Amp up the traditional blouse you get mom with a Stitch Fix subscription, which will deliver a customized wardrobe based on a style quiz and the plan you choose. There’s a $20 styling fee, and then you can personalize your picks after.

A sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set for salon-looking hair

Last minute Mothers' Day gifts - Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner lying next to each other on a table

Gift Kristin Ess’ The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner, $20 each

If healthy and shiny hair is important to mom, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, like Kristin Ess’ The One Signature line, won’t dry out hair, so it’s perfect to gift — especially with summer coming up. When ordering online from Target it will arrive by the weekend, or you can pick it up at a local store.

A clothing subscription to switch up mom’s wardrobe

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Everlane Gift Card in an envelope

Gift an Everlane gift card, from $25

For cozy, luxe basics, Everlane is one of our favorite retailers. Simply enter the gift card amount of your choice, print out a few options to stick in a Mother’s Day card, and you’ll be all set.

A pair of designer shades to sport this summer

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Ray Ban Clubmaster Square Sunglasses

Gift the Ray-Ban Clubmaster Square Sunglasses, $161

For a timely, practical gift for the warmer months, you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of Ray-Bans. They’re one of our favorite retailers for womens’ shades and are Amazon Prime-eligible too.

An oversized beach tote for all the necessities

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - CGear Sand Free Gray Stripe Tote

Gift the CGear Sand-Free Gray Stripe Tote, $49.99

For moms who can’t get enough purses, crossbody bags, and clutches, gift her another carrier — a spacious beach bag. The CGear Sand-Free tote has a gray- and turquoise-striped design and is Amazon Prime-eligible. You can even fill it with a reusable water bottle, high-end sunscreen, and wireless headphones for the beach.

A smart tea kettle for making tea or preparing baby formula

Last minute Mother's day gifts - Smarter Electric iKettle standing upright on a kitchen countertop

Gift the Smarter Electric iKettle, $99

For frequent tea drinkers, the Amazon Prime-eligible Smarter Electric iKettle boasts Wi-Fi and voice activation with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant — you can control the temperature from the Smarter app on your phone. The iKettle is wonderful for new moms for hassle-free nighttime feeding.

A Walmart+ subscription for the savvy shopper

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A Walmart tote bag with what you can get with a Walmart+ Subscription inside, including groceries, Play-Doh, and a Nintendo Switch

Gift a Walmart+ subscription, $12.95 per month

Walmart is known to sell almost everything under the sun, and gifting mom a Walmart+ subscription adds the convenience of items shipped directly to your door. We tried it out and, whether shopping for groceries or video games, Walmart+ is a practical idea.

If mom is a big Amazon shopper and isn’t already an Amazon Prime member, here’s how to sign her up — a monthly subscription costs $12.99.

The comfiest pair of sneakers you’ll find

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A woman walking on pavement wearing the gray Allbirds Wool Loungers

Gift the Allbirds Women’s Wool Loungers, $95

From grocery store runs to walks in the park, moms are frequently on the go. The Allbirds Women’s Wool Loungers are some of the comfiest shoes we’ve reviewed, and the brand appeared not once, but three times in our best white sneakers for women guide. The shoes will arrive in two business days or can be expedited in one business day.

A nostalgic and sentimental coupon book

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A mother writing on one of the Knock Knock Vouchers for Mom

Gift the Knock Knock Vouchers for Mom, $12

If you have an all-I-want-is-a-card type of mom, the Knock Knock Vouchers for Mom is a fantastic, sentimental idea. It’s Amazon Prime-eligible and contains 20 “coupons” that you fulfill, ranging from breakfast in bed to a day without complaints (two things that mom will adore).

A wine subscription for the so-called sommelier

Last minute Mother's Day gifts  - A Winc subscription box and four bottles of wine on a doormat

Gift a Winc subscription, $39 per month

If mom is a wine fanatic, Winc is a fitting gift. The most affordable subscription starts at $39, which includes three $13 bottles of wine. You can also purchase a gift card for choosing bottles. You can read about our experience in using the Winc wine subscription service

A deluxe skincare sampler to boost hydration and self-care

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Products in the Drunk Elephant The Littles™ 4.0 lying flat on a pink background

Gift the Drunk Elephant The Littles 4.0 Set, $90

Skincare can be an expensive gift for Mother’s Day. Drunk Elephant, one of our favorite brands, offers the 4.0 Kit, a sampler of not one but eight great skincare products that include the Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer, the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, and the C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream. And, these cruelty-free products are packed in a reusable case.

When ordering at Sephora, you can opt for one-day expedited shipping, or order and pick up at a local store.

A cookbook with 100 cookie recipes for the baker

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - The "100 Cookies" cookbook on a pink table surrounded by baking tools

Gift the “100 Cookies” cookbook, $23.55

If the kitchen is your mom’s most-visited spot, gifting a cookbook is thoughtful and will offer inspiration for whipping up more sweet treats. The Amazon Prime-eligible “100 Cookies” cookbook highlights — you guessed it — 100 cookies, brownies, bars, and other yummy recipes to bake over the weekend. 

If you want to splurge, you can pair it with one of our favorite KitchenAid stand mixers.

An Audible subscription for the reader

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A woman listening to an Audible audiobook while at the gym

Gift an Audible subscription, starting at $7.95 a month

For a really last-minute gift idea, Audible is an instantaneous subscription after ordering. The platform serves as a digital audio library of popular books — play them as you would your favorite podcasts. You can pair the subscription with some bestselling audiobooks.

A beauty and grooming subscription box to switch things up

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A Birchbox subscription box with assorted makeup and skincare items to its right

Gift a Birchbox subscription, $15 per month

Birchbox packages makeup, hair, and skincare products, which is perfect for providing mom with new products to try. It’s a perfect IOU to include in a card, so you’ll have something ordered in time for May 9.

A gel manicure kit if you can’t get to a nail salon

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Pro Kit

Gift the Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Pro Kit, $79.99

Give mom a salon-like manicure without the need for an in-person appointment. Red Carpet is the best at-home gel nail kit we tested, and it will arrive from Ulta in two to three business days with premium shipping, or available for in-store pickup after ordering.

The Dyson Airwrap mom will never purchase for herself

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A woman curling her hair with the Dyson Airwrap Styler Volume and Shape

Gift the Dyson Airwrap styler, $778.99

If you’re chipping in with your siblings or simply want to splurge on mom this year, the Dyson Airwrap styler is your best bet. We tested it alongside a celebrity hairstylist and found it to be a quality, versatile tool that produces gorgeous salon looks with its air-and-no-heat technology.

A sleek essential oil diffuser for a fresh-scented room

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - The URPower Essential Oil Diffuser in use on a carpeted bedroom floor

Gift the URPower Essential Oil Diffuser, $19.99

While we love our candles, a diffuser is a no-flame option that will make a room smell like eucalyptus, peppermint, or fresh linen — the latter perfect is for bathrooms. URPower is our favorite essential oil diffuser on a budget and when paired with an essential oil kit, it’s an all-in-one thoughtful gift for Mother’s Day — Amazon Prime-eligible.

An exercise bike and work desk duo that’s super practical

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A woman on a call while on the Bike Desk 3.0

Gift the FitDesk Bike Desk 3.0, $299.99

Does mom want to stay active while working from home? The FitDesk Bike Desk 3.0 is a laptop desk and exercise bike hybrid that will get her feet moving while in meetings. Even better: it’s Amazon Prime-eligible and something that will boost productivity.

For an add-on, pair the bike desk with a pair of our favorite spin shoes we tested.

A Nespresso machine for cafe-style brews at home

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle

Gift the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle, $160

If your gift recipient is always running to Dunkin’ or Starbucks, the Nespresso VertuoPlus will be much appreciated. It’s Amazon Prime-eligible, and it comes with a milk frother and a coffee pod sampler to get started. 

A waffle robe for getting ready after the shower

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - A woman wearing the Bohang Summer Waffle Bathrobe in Light Purple

Gift the Bohang Summer Waffle Bathrobe, $25.99

Fluffy robes are great for winter, but a waffle robe is perfect year-round — especially to throw on after a relaxing bath or shower. It’s Amazon Prime-eligible, comes in three colors, and feels like one you’d find at a hotel.

A meal delivery service to take some stress off cooking

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - The ingredients that come in a HelloFresh meal kit box alongside the final meal

Gift a HelloFresh meal kit subscription, from $33.97

Meal delivery is all the rage these days — you get pre-selected meal options shipped to your door, with pre-portioned ingredients included. We tested HelloFresh and deemed it as one of our favorite meal delivery kit services.

For shipping, HelloFresh offers expedited delivery, depending on the plan selected.

A gold bangle that is dainty and will match any outfit

Last minute Mother's Day gifts - Kate Spade New York Idiom Bangle

Gift the Kate Spade New York Idiom Bangle, $26.60 

Designer for less than $30? The Kate Spade New York Idiom Bangle is a classic, gold-plated bracelet proven to match any outfit. It’s also Amazon Prime-eligible and makes for a simple and dainty jewelry piece.

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I try a lot of skincare for my job, and Maelove makes some of the best products I’ve ever reviewed

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Maelove Collection

  • I try a lot of skincare products for my job, and Maelove is one of my most recommended brands.
  • Maelove is a skincare line founded by MIT grads and most of the products are under $30.
  • Learn more about the company, the products, and how they make skincare so affordable, below.

When you step into a Sephora, it doesn’t take long to realize that plenty of skincare is not affordable. Glossy tubs of La Mer go for $190, and there’s an $85 Peter Thomas Roth mask made with pure 24-karat gold.

But, if you know where to look, you can find skincare products that perform on par with luxury picks. Companies like Maelove, a startup founded by MIT grads, use many of the same ingredients and cosmetics labs as high-end brands but sell products for a fraction of the cost, like a skincare version of Italic.

Formulas are based more firmly in exhaustive research than the farm-to-face movement, and each product in the line is listed under $30, with the exception of the Love 31 face oil ($74.95) and the Moonlight Retinal Super Serum ($34.95, currently sold out).

Maelove, $28

What’s better, though, is the quality for the price. I try a lot of skincare products – both luxury and drugstore – for my job at Insider Reviews, and if I could only recommend one skincare brand to my friends and family, this would probably be it. The products work well, they’re not expensive, and the startup rarely disappoints. Like the loophole of buying Differin gel rather than Differin cream to save $200, Maelove is one way to save hundreds on the essentials without making any concessions when it comes to what goes into the products themselves. Below, you can learn more about what makes up the Maelove skincare line, including many that I’ve personally tested and reviewed.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The Glow Maker serum

The Glow Maker ($28) is a vitamin C serum that works to brighten your complexion, even tone, and lighten dark spots. It’s lightweight and sinks in quickly and completely without leaving any tacky residue. And while vitamin C serums can be drying, Maelove’s iteration has a botanical blend and hyaluronic acid (which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water) to prevent it.

Consumers have been quick to note the Glow Maker has a very similar ingredient list to the multi-award-winning C E Ferulic Serum ($166), despite being more than $130 cheaper.

Read my full review of The Glow Maker here.

The Night Renewer cream

The Night Renewer ($28), is one of my favorite products. It uses 10% medical-grade AHA, a blend of soothing ingredients, and hyaluronic acid to gently resurface the skin for better texture and more even tone without being too harsh or drying. It took the company years of research to master something gentle and effective, and they’ve nailed it here. After one night of use, I noticed an improvement in my skin’s texture and tone and have noticed my dark spots fading over time. My pores also look a little smaller.

Read my full review of the Night Renewer here.

The One Cream daily moisturizer

The One Cream ($28, currently sold out) is an everyday moisturizer that will hydrate without clogging pores. It’s good for all skin types, and it goes on lightweight and absorbs quickly and completely. When I’m not testing another cream, this is the budget-friendly one I prefer – there’s never any irritation to my sensitive skin, and it deals with dry patches well.

Read my full review of The One Cream here.

The Eye Enhancer eye cream

The Eye Enhancer ($28, currently sold out) hydrates, tightens, and brightens the delicate skin around the eyes. A little goes a long way, and it absorbs into the skin for an all-day brightness and de-puffing boost. Cold-pressed Robusta Coffee seed extract, which is full of antioxidants and polyphenols, reduces water retention and puffiness, and a botanical complex soothes the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes. But if you’re used to a thicker eye cream this may not be for you – it’s very lightweight.

The Deep Exfoliator face polish

The Deep Exfoliator ($24) is a good, relatively gentle exfoliant. Its ingredients include BHA (salicylic acid) and pulverized clay to draw out impurities and absorb excess sebum, and niacinamide (vitamin B3), glycerin, allantoin, and vitamin E to restore moisture. When used a few times a week, it helps resurface your skin for better tone and texture. It works best when combined with another AHA/BHA like the Night Renewer, but it’s nice on its own – and especially for sensitive skin types. If you’re looking for a stronger exfoliant and don’t want to buy both, I recommend buying the Night Renewer.

The NIA 10 Calming Serum

The NIA 10 Calming Serum ($27.95) is designed for dry, inflamed, sensitive, acne-prone skin. Niacinamide (vitamin B3), zinc, and white tea extract work to calm the skin and improve redness and tone over time. I noticed it helped calm my blemishes and made my pores look noticeably smaller. In terms of redness, it’s helped slightly with steady use, but the results have not been drastic. If redness is your main concern and your skin is too sensitive for vitamin C serums, this is worth checking out as an alternative. Otherwise, the Glow Maker may be better for overall tone correction.

Read my full review of the NIA 10 Calming Serum here.

The Refresher face wash

The Refresher ($18.95) is a gentle cleanser that helps clean the skin without disrupting its natural moisture barrier, but it can be slightly drying if you’re used to other simple, gentle cleansers like Cetaphil. The Refresher uses a blend of AHAs (lactic, malic, and tartaric) to remove dead or dull skin cells, and without a moisturizer after, it can be drying. Personally, I like that the AHAs help calm my breakouts and remove dull skin, but if you’re prone to dryness, you may want to stick with Cetaphil. The internal straw also doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom of the bottle, so you may have to dig for the last bit of the face wash.

The Moonlight Retinal Super Serum

The Moonlight Retinal Super Serum ($35, currently sold out) is Maelove’s first retinal product and, while it uses an ingredient that’s more efficient than retinol, it’s relatively inexpensive at $35 an ounce. It’s currently sold out, but you can sign up for alerts here. Like other vitamin A products, Moonlight is designed to increase the body’s natural processes that combat signs of aging: cell turnover, collagen production, improving discoloration, hydrating the skin, and reducing acne.

Maelove claims its Moonlight serum delivers “prescription level benefits” over-the-counter. And, retinaldehyde is actually stronger than retinol according to celebrity dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. However, Dr. Engelman also says it can have more intense effects – like dryness. To balance out the formula, Moonlight includes niacinamide, bisabolol, ceramide, tea extracts, hyaluronic acid, and squalane.

It’s also important to note that vitamin A derivatives are a “known teratogen” according to Dr. Engelman, so it must be avoided if pregnant or breastfeeding. You can learn more about retinol and vitamin A and how it works here.

The Stargaze Enhanced Retinol Serum

Recently, Maelove introduced a gentler retinol serum that contains the dermatologist-recommended concentration (0.25%) for those who are uninitiated with the ingredient. Called the Stargaze Enhanced Retinol Serum ($28), this formula is a good choice for those who are prone to sensitivity, too. Retinol has plenty of benefits when it comes to reducing fine lines and evening out skin tone, but it’s also known to cause dryness and irritation. The Stargaze serum lessens the effects by including a host of hydrating and calming ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. If you’ve been wanting to try out retinol but you’ve been worried about potential irritation, this option is a solid entry point with a fairly affordable price tag.

Read my full review of the Stargaze Enhanced Retinol Serum here.

Stargaze Enhanced Retinol Serum (small)

How Maelove made good skincare cheap

Maelove CEO and cofounder Jackie Kim wanted to cut prices on grooming products, and cofounders Brad Yim and Rishi Khaitan were looking for ways to apply artificial intelligence techniques to unexpected industries. Skincare – with its glamour and markups – seemed like a natural fit.

As industry outsiders, Kim and company were able to pinpoint the norms that needed challenging. “The first oddity of the skincare industry that we noticed was that it’s run like the fashion industry,” Kim explained. “Marketers create trends and endless product varieties in an attempt to maximize sales. What you end up with is a ton of undifferentiated products hyped by overzealous marketers, which leads to confusion among shoppers.”

The team recruited friends from all disciplines – cancer and brain researchers, chemical engineers, lawyers, and medical doctors – to hone in on the research without the baggage of preconceived notions. In essence, Maelove is one huge – and very successful – science experiment.

First, the team leverages decades of clinical research. “There are abundant and widely accepted published works that show which compounds work well for maintaining skin health. These are the tried-and-true ingredients recommended by every dermatologist and [which] are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths (the classic ingredients like retinol, AHA, certain vitamins and peptides, etc).” In short, these are the ingredients that should work.

Then, Maelove uses artificial intelligence to scan millions of self-reported product reviews – what Kim refers to as empirical real-world data – to determine which ingredients correlated with success, and which to avoid. These are the ingredients that, according to users, do work.

Finally, the company finds human volunteers to test the formula to verify that it’s effective. So instead of building a business around variety for the sake of variety, Maelove focuses on making one line of stellar skincare that can work for all skin types.

The bottom line

This radically affordable luxury skincare line is the real deal. Maelove makes some of the best and some of the cheapest skincare products that I’ve found. And while I don’t often get to stick to my own skincare routine as a product reviewer, I’ve surprised myself by preferring to use the cheaper Maelove products over luxury skincare I often test for work because they’re simple, gentle, and effective.

I recommend Maelove to everyone who asks me for recommendations because it works for all skin types and doesn’t cost much, but skincare is also a notoriously subjective experience. What works for me may not work for you – even a skincare line built to cater to every skin type. Luckily, Maelove has a 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee, so you’re not risking much if you want to give it a try yourself.

Shop Maelove here.

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I tested 14 pairs of false eyelashes to see which ones actually stay on and aren’t horribly uncomfortable, and only 7 survived my test

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • False eyelashes are a great way to get the look of full lashes without the hassle of mascara.
  • With so many on the market, it can be difficult to suss out which are the best option for you.
  • I tested 14 styles to find the best false lashes in a variety of categories.
Best false eyelashes 4x3

Few things can boost your confidence as instantly as a good pair of false lashes. Whether you’re looking for something subtle or prefer to go full-on glam, falsies can add the perfect finishing touch to your makeup look or even help you feel a bit more put together on a no-makeup day.

But finding the best false lashes for you is certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation. Besides the fact that we all have different preferences, our individual eye shapes also play a huge role when it comes to choosing falsies. This is why it’s so helpful to do your research before purchasing false lashes; after all, it’s not like you can try them on before you buy.

Here, I tested nearly 20 different styles of false lashes – everything from the cult-favorites to new launches – to bring you the best of the best in a variety of categories. Read on to discover your perfect pair of falsies.

Here are the best false lashes in 2021:

The best false eyelashes for everyday wear

Best false eyelashes_MyLashButBetter

If you love everyday glam, look no further than Kiss’s My Lash But Better collection.

If testing lashes has taught me anything, it’s that a thin band is key for all-day comfort. Kiss has long been in the falsies game, but the My Lash But Better collection hits it out of the ballpark. Their supposed “Superfine Band Technology” sounds pretty gimmicky, but the band is extremely thin, flexible, and easily adheres to the lash line. Perhaps the best part? They’ll only cost you five bucks — an ideal price point if you’re wearing them daily. 

My Lash But Better (small)
The best natural-looking false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_LoveSeen

LoveSeen allows you to customize your lashes based on your coloring, eye shape, and preference, resulting in the most natural-looking style. 

As someone with hooded, slightly downturned eyelids, it’s often difficult to find false eyelashes that fit properly and don’t stick out at the outer corners. This is why I was thrilled to come across the brand LoveSeen — they offer a quiz that recommends the best styles based on your eye shape and preferences. They also offer both Brown/Black and Light Brown shades, which I’ve rarely seen in falsies. 

I particularly love the “Jack” lashes — they looked so incredibly natural while also giving me the perfect amount of volume. Plus, the band is extremely thin, making them a breeze to apply. I also tried (and loved) two other styles (Iris and Cate), but felt Jack looked the best on my specific eye shape. 

LoveSeen lashes range from $20-$24, putting them on par with other mid-tier brands. However, they do not come with eyelash glue, so that would be an additional cost.

Luca (small)
The best magnetic false eyelashes lashes

Best false eyelashes_Velour

Struggle with applying lashes? You’re not alone. Velour Beauty’s magnetic lashes make it incredibly easy.

If you’re clumsy (and impatient) like me, lash glue can quickly become a giant mess. Magnetic lashes were created to take the guesswork out of applying falsies since they are meant to adhere to a magnetic eyeliner. Velour Beauty’s Vegan Mink Luxe Lashes apply exceptionally seamlessly — and they felt super comfortable all day long. 

The first time I wore them, my immediate thought was that they would be the perfect false eyelashes for someone’s wedding day. Not only are they just the right amount of glam, but they’d be super comfy during hours of smiling, dancing, and photo-taking.

At $27 these lashes may seem a bit on the pricier side (plus, the magnetic eyeliner is sold separately at $23), but I was able to rewear them several times with no issues. For a special occasion, they’re definitely worth the splurge.

Vegan Mink Luxe Lash Collection (small)
The best glam false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_LillyLashes

When you want your lashes to make a statement, these Lilly Lashes will do the trick.

Sometimes you just want the look of long, full lashes. These Lilly Lashes are the perfect compliment to glam makeup because they heighten the look without overpowering it. The criss-cross style of the “Goddess” lashes, in particular, gives such a pretty effect.

I find these quite easy to apply and I love the thin band. Though I wouldn’t say they’re bothersome, they do feel a bit heavier on my eyes than some of the more natural styles. However, if you’re only wearing them for a special occasion, chances are you’ll be peeling them off in a couple of hours anyway. 

These lashes retail for $20 and do not come with lash adhesive. 

Goddess (small)
The best affordable false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_Ardell

Ardell lashes are widely appreciated for their affordability, variety, and accessibility.

Ardell lashes are a well-loved falsies brand and for good reason. Most pairs are around $5 and they offer a wide selection of styles for any and all preferences. I personally love the Natural #110 (they look the most natural on my eye shape), but the Demi Wispies are a hugely popular style. Plus, Ardell is also sold in major retailers like Ulta and Target as well as most drugstores — so you can easily find them in the event of a lash emergency.

Natural #110 (small, Preferred: Ulta)
The best individual false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_KissIndividual

This trio helps you build a natural look — without the commitment of a strip lash.

Let’s face it: false lashes can be extremely intimidating. If you’re new to falsies and want to test the waters (or just want to try something a bit more low-maintenance), individual lashes are a great option. This trio from Kiss is great because it offers three different lengths, so you can easily customize your look to get the most natural effect. I like to apply two of the longer lashes at the outer corner for subtle, wispy lashes.

At only $6 for 30 individual lashes (that you can easily reuse), it doesn’t get much better than that. These do not come with lash glue.

Ever Ez Trio Lash (small, Preferred: CVS)
The longest false eyelashes

Best false eyelashes_Lashify

These innovative falsies are essentially DIY lash extensions — they can last up to 10 days.

Lashify is changing the false lash game with their patented Gossamer lashes. They give you the look and feel of lash extensions, but without the costs and upkeep. It consists of four steps: applying a primer, attaching the lashes, fusing the lashes together with a wand, and applying a clear mascara that’s meant to lock everything in. I tried out the Control Kit (in the style Bold), which provides you with everything you need for $145. It’s definitely not cheap, but the kit comes with two sets of lashes (in two different sizes) and each wear can last up to 10 days. 

I absolutely love the look of these lashes. Because you apply them underneath your natural lashes (rather than on top), they look extremely natural and feel weightless. If you’re someone who’s interested in the longevity of lash extensions but wants to avoid the costs and maintenance involved, the Lashify system is definitely worth checking out.

Gossamer Lashes (small)
Other lashes we tested

Best false eyelashes_What else we considered (Glamnetic Livin; KVD, Qveen)

Although the seven lash sets above were my top picks, I also tested a variety of styles from 7 other brands. Here’s why they didn’t make the cut:

  • Qveen Studio Lashes in Hot Boy Sweat: These did not fit well on my downturned eyelids and they are also a bit heavy, but they do have a soft, fluttery look. For someone with a different eye shape, these could work really well. 
  • Glamnetic Luxe Lash: While these did adhere very well, the individual magnets along the band make it a bit bulky as well as difficult to trim. This particular style was also way too long for my eye shape/preference.
  • Glamnetic Livin’ Lash: While this set was far more comfortable, the lash length was too natural. I could barely see the lashes past my natural lashes, so it just didn’t seem worth it to have on falsies at all. However, if you’re looking to simply add fullness and not length, this could be a good option.
  • Sephora Collection Luxe False Lash in Plume: Again, these lashes are very pretty and natural-looking, but lacking a “wow” factor.
  • Tartiest Pro Cruelty-Free Lashes in Wifey: These lashes are extremely long and heavy, making them difficult to apply. These should definitely be avoided if you’re a natural lash lover, but if you’re after a dramatic look and are an absolute pro at applying falsies, these might be for you.
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James Charles’ underage sexting scandal lands makeup brand Morphe in hot water

James Charles
Influencer James Charles recently addressed allegations that he was having inappropriate conversations with minors on Snapchat.

  • James Charles recently addressed accusations that he had flirtatious conversations with minors on Snapchat.
  • He apologized for being ‘reckless’ and said he was unaware that they were underage when the interactions began.
  • Makeup brand Morphe is being criticized for not speaking out against Charles and continuing to promote his products.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Makeup brand Morphe is being called out by consumers and influencers for staying silent following a video from YouTube beauty guru James Charles, in which he addressed accusations that he’s had sexual interactions with underage fans over Snapchat.

On Thursday April 1, Charles – who is one of the biggest beauty influencers in the world, with more than 25 million YouTube subscribers and 36 million TikTok followers – posted a video acknowledging that he had sexually charged conversations with two 16-year-old boys who he added on Snapchat. He said that at the time he believed them to be 18 and that he blocked them once he became aware of their age.

A number of similar accusations against Charles have been made in recent weeks, primarily in the form of viral TikTok videos posted by the boys who say they had flirtatious or sexual conversations with Charles. In his apology video, Charles said he had been “reckless” and that he needed to “take accountability for my actions and most importantly apologize to the people that were affected by them.”

Now, pressure is mounting on brands that have previously aligned themselves with Charles to speak out and distance themselves from him. Followers are singling out Morphe, a makeup company that has been closely associated with Charles since it released a hugely successful eyeshadow palette in collaboration with him in November 2018. Morphe has since launched a mini version of the palette, as well as two brush sets in collaboration with Charles. One of the brush collections, which is priced at $149, is currently sold out in the US; the rest of the products are still available to purchase on Morphe’s website.

On Sunday, internet reporter Def Noodles, who has close to 100,000 Twitter followers and has amplified the accusers’ stories since they began to emerge, tagged Morphe in a tweet which laid out the accusations against Charles.

It has now been retweeted and quote-tweeted more than 300 times. People asked why Charles still has a platform and encouraged others to stop supporting him. A number of users also tagged Morphe, as well as Nickelodeon, which produces the Kids Choice Awards, which recognized Charles this year. Some added that they will no longer support Morphe as a result of its silence, and drama YouTuber Truth Sleuth, who has more than 50,000 subscribers, is among those who have made videos calling the brand out.

It follows similar criticism from Def Noodles over a post on Morphe’s Instagram on Saturday 3 April which promoted the James Charles palette. Fellow influencer Trisha Paytas, who has used her platform of 1.4 million YouTube subscribers and 5.6 million TikTok followers to frequently criticize Charles, also tweeted to denounce Morphe, calling its continued association with Charles “embarrassing.”

Morphe has yet to address the allegations against Charles or his statements in his apology video. On the brand’s website, a page entitled Morphe x James Charles says: “Step into the crazy-colorful world of our Morphe Babe, James Charles. It’s so, so good!”

“Morphe Babe” is the term used by the brand for loyal customers and influencers it works with. Morphe is known for being one of the first beauty brands to heavily work with online content creators, both in the form of product collaborations and also affiliate programs, which allow influencers to make a small percentage of the revenue of each sale which comes via their unique code. This form of monetization has been criticized for potentially encouraging influencers to promote brands they are affiliated with over other products.

This is not the first time Morphe has found itself facing criticism for its links to controversial influencers. Just last year the brand cut ties with YouTuber Jeffree Star, whose makeup brand was sold in Morphe’s stores, amid controversy following the release of his makeup collaboration with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson. Dawson and Star – two of the biggest names on the platform with a combined YouTube following of more than 35 million people – became the focus of intense scrutiny last year, much of which focussed on Dawson’s past behavior in YouTube videos, which ranged from using blackface to making jokes about pedophilia.

Insider has reached out to Morphe for comment on its ties to James Charles and has yet to hear back.

Read the original article on Business Insider

22 popular online startups you can now find at Target – including Function of Beauty, Harry’s, and Gravity

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Flamingo Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Though a popular business strategy for new startups today is to sell direct-to-consumer through their own websites, the practice often serves as a springboard for other retail opportunities, not an outright boycott. Direct-to-consumer selling hasn’t replaced brick-and-mortar stores; rather, it has helped redefine how to create brand experiences and nurture loyal customer followings.

In a similar fashion, many online startups eventually find their way into popular retail stores that you’ve been shopping at for years, whether for a limited run or a long-term residency. It’s just another way for these startups to get their products in front of more eyes, plus it’s undeniably convenient to shop all your favorites at one site and enjoy free shipping and return perks.

Target is one such home to many direct-to-consumer startups you might recognize across personal care, bedding, food, pets, and more. It’s the perfect place to discover new and innovative brands, so it’s no wonder the following 22 online companies have decided to sell through the company.

Here are 22 popular online startups you can now find at Target:

Hero Cosmetics

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch

 Shop Hero Cosmetics at Target here.

The Mighty Patch has become a skincare staple for many, and that’s probably because these tiny dots draw out the gunk from your blemishes. All it takes is sticking them to your skin and leaving them on overnight or throughout the day to flatten your pimples. But besides the fan favorite patches, Hero Cosmetics has also created more conventional skincare products like a cleanser, toner, serum, and blemish balm — all of which you can find at Target. You can read our full Mighty Patch review here.

Thinx for All

Thinx for All Women's Super Absorbency Brief Period Underwear

Shop Thinx for All at Target here.

Thinx is known for its period-proof underwear, which now appears on the shelves of select Target stores and on Target’s site. Thinx for All is an extension of the brand’s existing offerings and uses the same design and technology, but with lower prices and a smaller selection. The cotton underwear is tagless and can soak up the equivalent of three to five regular tampon’s worth, depending on whether you get the moderate absorbency or super absorbency version. These period saviors also control odor and wick moisture to best support you during your cycle. 

Billion Dollar Beauty

Billion Dollar Beauty Billion Dollar Box

Shop Billion Dollar Beauty at Target here.

Initially recognized for its Billion Dollar Brow products, Billion Dollar Beauty has created a customizable makeup box that’s sold exclusively at Target. The Billion Dollar Box is a magnetic, mess-free palette that rethinks the typical makeup bag. You can fill your box with Billion Dollar Beauty products like eyeshadow, blush, lip balm, and more. Best of all, one side of the box includes a mirror that props up, making it perfect for on-the-go touch ups. The brand also puts sustainability first, and its makeup formulas meet Target’s clean beauty standards.

Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty Target

Shop Function of Beauty at Target here.

Popular custom haircare brand Function of Beauty sells four Target-exclusive collections that are each geared towards a specific hair type: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Each collection features a shampoo, a conditioner, and three booster shots that match with the respective hair type. You can alternatively mix and match by buying individual products from different collections. Not to mention, these offerings align with Target’s clean beauty guidelines and are wrapped in recyclable materials. If you want to learn more about the brand’s custom haircare, you can read our review here

Olive & June

Olive & June The Poppy Manicure Tool

Shop Olive & June at Target here.

Olive & June started as a nail salon in Los Angeles, and has since grown into a mainstream nail brand that’s known for its minimalistic packaging and chic colors. Building on its lacquer empire, Olive & June sells nail care products like its Cuticle Serum and The Poppy Manicure Tool, in addition to heart-shaped nail stickers. To hear from the founder and what it’s like to decorate with Olive & June’s stickers, read more here.

Honest Beauty

Honest Beauty Makeup Remover Wipes and Mascara and Lash Primer

Shop Honest Beauty at Target here.

Perhaps one of the most widely recognized brands that you can now find in Target’s aisles is Honest Beauty. Founded by Jessica Alba, the brand covers makeup, skincare, kids, babies, and cleaning supplies, although only its beauty products appear at Target. Honest makes human health a top priority when it comes to ingredients, but also ensures the products get the job done. Some of its most popular offerings at Target include the Extreme Length 2-in-1 Mascara and Lash Primer, Makeup Remover Wipes, and Hydrogel Cream.

True & Co.

True & Co. True Everybody Women's Adjustable Strap Triangle Bra

Shop True & Co. at Target here.

True & Co. makes lingerie that is seamless, wireless, and weightless. Though the brand provides bra, underwear, tank, and bodysuit options on its own site, only its bras and bodysuits have homes at Target. Not only are the items immaculately designed and constructed for maximum comfort, they are also size inclusive, with some bra styles fitting up to 3X. If you want to learn more about the brand, here’s our full review.

Flamingo

Flamingo Women's Foaming Shave Gel and Five Blade Razor

Shop Flamingo at Target here.

Harry’s success in men’s grooming led it to create Flamingo, a female shaving and bodycare brand. Like its sibling, Flamingo sports the same sleek packaging along with the same quality formulas and designs. You can find its five-blade razor, razor refills, body wax kit, and Body Moisture collection on Target’s shelves, and all at affordable prices. You can learn more about what it’s like to shave with Flamingo by reading our full review here

Winky Lux

Winky Lux Flower Balm Lip Stain

Shop Winky Lux at Target here.

Known for embedding its products with flowers and confetti, Winky Lux’s vibrant packaging and fruit-infused formulas have made their way to Target. Some of the brand’s bestselling products include the Flower Balm, Confetti Balm, Uni-brow, and Eye Cream Applicator. Winky Lux’s products are a nice treat if you’re looking to pamper yourself, or if you have a friend who loves all things beauty. 

Versed

versed at target skincare

Shop Versed skincare at Target here.

Target carries many skincare and beauty brands, but it’s a little harder to come by clean, vegan, and sustainable products. Versed, with its large variety ranging from cleansing balm to mineral sunscreen, is changing that trend. Its bestsellers are the moisturizing gel-cream, which is light and bouncy without making your face oily, and the clarifying serum, which keeps breakouts at bay with willow bark extract and zinc. The mineral sunscreen is also one we stock up on, here’s our full review.

Gravity

gravity at target blankets

Shop Gravity weighted blankets at Target here.

Gravity makes our favorite weighted blanket, as well as other products designed to help you fall asleep, like a weighted sleep mask and a memory foam pillow. Though there are now many weighted blanket brands hoping to take up precious real estate on your bed, Gravity is arguably the first to kick off the sleep and relaxation movement and has the high-quality, comfortable blankets to prove it.  

Partake

partake at target cookies

Shop Partake cookies at Target here.

Partake’s cookies are not only tasty but also free of the top eight allergens, making them safe for kids (and adults) with food sensitivities. They were created by a mom who couldn’t find delicious snacks for her daughter who has serious food allergies. You’ll be able to choose from birthday cake, chocolate chip, and cookie butter flavors — or, get all three, just to be safe.  

Casper

Casper Lead

Shop Casper mattresses and bedding products at Target here.

We’ve reviewed nearly all of Casper’s mattresses, and now you can easily add your favorite into your cart alongside your other Target purchases. The breathable percale Cool Sheets and soft, supportive pillow are also popular choices from the online sleep startup.

Bark

barkbox

Shop Bark dog treats and toys at Target here.

Bark, the company behind dog treat and toy subscription BarkBox, sells adorable individual pet products through Target. If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to the subscription, you can get a preview here. Check back often for seasonal themed toys and creative treat flavors like Hawaii Luau Roast Pork and Chicago Hot Dog. Profits from its Snacks That Give Back collection support local animal rescues. Read our review of BarkBox here for an idea of what to expect with Bark.

Native

Native Deodorant

Shop Native natural deodorant at Target here.

Native is aluminum- and paraben-free natural deodorant that’s safer for your body and comes in a variety of nice scents. Unlike other deodorants, it doesn’t leave a sticky residue and for some users, it lasts even longer than traditional deodorants. It’s our top pick for the best natural deodorants, check out our full review here

Harry’s

Harry's

Shop Harry’s shaving products at Target here.

Men’s grooming brand Harry’s is best known for its high-quality and affordable razors and shaving sets, though it’s also broken into haircare and bodycare. Restock on sharp razor blades, treat your skin to gentle body washes, or style your hair to perfection with putty and waxes. Its paraben-, phthalate-, and aluminum-free formulas are better for your body, while its prices are friendly on your wallet. 

Quip

Quip toothbrush

Shop Quip electric toothbrushes at Target here.

These sleek, stylish, and lightweight electric toothbrushes from Quip are American Dental Association-approved. I’ve been using one for more than two years and I’m still impressed. The soft-bristle brush isn’t too harsh on your gums, and it pulses every 30 seconds for two minutes to guide your toothbrushing routine.  

Rocketbook

Rocketbook journal

Shop Rocketbook notebooks at Target here.

Rocketbook makes innovative, eco-friendly notebooks for the digital age. Using its special pen, you write in the notebook, send its contents to your favorite cloud service, wipe the page clean, then start over. There are multiple styles and versions to suit your needs, whether you’re taking notes for school, business meetings, or personal use. Here’s our full review.

GIR

GIR Spatulas

Shop GIR spatulas and kitchen tools at Target here.

GIR nails the design of a common kitchen tool. Its super heat-resistant silicone spatulas are strong, flexible, and easy to clean — which is why you’ll find yourself using it for all your mixing needs and throwing out your old, inferior spatulas. Other noteworthy products from the brand are the silicone lids with strong suction and the Mini Tool Set. 

Hello

Hello Products

Shop Hello oral care products at Target here.

Another oral care startup gracing the shelves at Target is Hello, whose claim to fame is natural, fluoride-free whitening toothpaste. They contain ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil, and taste great, too. If you’re interested in the cleaning and whitening power of activated charcoal, it also offers charcoal toothpaste and mouthwash. 

Primal Kitchen

Primal Kitchen

Shop Primal Kitchen supplements and protein bars at Target here.

Founded by a former elite endurance athlete, Primal Kitchen was born from the inability to find healthy and delicious salad dressing. Its offerings include mayonnaise and dressings made with avocado oil, and at Target, supplement powders that contain collagen to support your bones, skin, and hair. 

Hidrate Spark

Hidrate Spark

Shop the Hidrate Spark water bottle at Target here.

If you can never remember to drink water throughout the day, you might need the Hidrate Spark, a smart water bottle that tracks your water intake and reminds you to meet your daily water intake goal. It connects to fitness and health apps like Apple Health, Fitbit, and MyFitness Pal. 

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Maelove’s under-$35 skincare products are on par with many luxury brands I’ve tried – here’s what they’re like to use

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Maelove Collection

  • I try a lot of skincare products for my job, and Maelove is one of my most recommended brands.
  • Maelove is a skincare line founded by MIT grads and most of the products are under $30.
  • Learn more about the company, the products, and how they make skincare so affordable, below.

It doesn’t take long when you’re at a Sephora to realize that plenty of skincare is not affordable. Glossy tubs of La Mer go for $190, and there’s an $85 Peter Thomas Roth mask made with pure 24-karat gold.

But, if you know where to look, you can find skincare products that perform on par with luxury picks. Companies like Maelove, a startup founded by MIT grads, use many of the same ingredients and cosmetics labs as high-end brands but sell products for a fraction of the cost, like a skincare version of Italic.

Formulas are based more firmly in exhaustive research than the farm-to-face movement, and each product in the line is listed under $30, with the exception of the Love 31 face oil ($74.95) and the Moonlight Retinal Super Serum ($34.95, currently sold out).

Maelove, $28

What’s better, though, is the quality for the price. I try a lot of skincare products – both luxury and drugstore – for my job at Insider Reviews, and if I could only recommend one skincare brand to my friends and family, this would probably be it. The products work well, they’re not expensive, and the startup rarely disappoints. Like the loophole of buying Differin gel rather than Differin cream to save $200, Maelove is one way to save hundreds on the essentials without making any concessions when it comes to what goes into the products themselves. Below, you can learn more about what makes up the Maelove skincare line, including many that I’ve personally tested and reviewed.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The Glow Maker serum

The Glow Maker ($28) is a vitamin C serum that works to brighten your complexion, even tone, and lighten dark spots. It’s lightweight and sinks in quickly and completely without leaving any tacky residue. And while vitamin C serums can be drying, Maelove’s iteration has a botanical blend and hyaluronic acid (which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water) to prevent it.

Consumers have been quick to note the Glow Maker has a very similar ingredient list to the multi-award-winning C E Ferulic Serum ($166), despite being more than $130 cheaper.

Read my full review of The Glow Maker here.

The Night Renewer cream

The Night Renewer ($28), is one of my favorite products. It uses 10% medical-grade AHA, a blend of soothing ingredients, and hyaluronic acid to gently resurface the skin for better texture and more even tone without being too harsh or drying. It took the company years of research to master something gentle and effective, and they’ve nailed it here. After one night of use, I noticed an improvement to my skin’s texture and tone and have noticed it fades dark spots over time. My pores also look a little smaller.

Read my full review of the Night Renewer here.

The One Cream daily moisturizer

The One Cream ($28, currently sold out) is an everyday moisturizer that will hydrate without clogging pores. It’s good for all skin types, and it goes on lightweight and absorbs quickly and completely. When I’m not testing another cream, this is the budget-friendly one I prefer – there’s never any irritation to my sensitive skin, and it deals with dry patches well.

Read my full review of The One Cream here.

The Eye Enhancer eye cream

The Eye Enhancer ($28) hydrates, tightens, and brightens the delicate skin around the eyes. A little goes a long way, and it absorbs into the skin for an all-day brightness and de-puffing boost. Cold-pressed Robusta Coffee seed extract, which is full of antioxidants and polyphenols, reduces water retention and puffiness, and a botanical complex soothes the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes. But if you’re used to a thicker eye cream this may not be for you – it’s very lightweight.

The Day Eraser makeup remover and cleanser

The Day Eraser ($19, currently sold out) is a thicker, more oily cousin to micellar water. Maelove went through over 90 product iterations before landing on this one. It’s a two-in-one makeup remover and face cleanser that respects the skin’s natural moisture barrier and doesn’t leave it feeling stripped or dry. It can remove waterproof makeup and still leave skin feeling smooth and hydrated. I like using it as a makeup remover and first cleanser because it’s gentle and silky, but grabs waterproof mascara off my eyelashes without rubbing them. But, sometimes I apply too much. And since I don’t wear makeup often, I tend to favor Bioderma Micellar Water for its slightly easier application.

The Deep Exfoliator face polish

The Deep Exfoliator ($24) is a good, relatively gentle exfoliant. Its ingredients include BHA (salicylic acid) and pulverized clay to draw out impurities and absorb excess sebum, and niacinamide (vitamin B3), glycerin, allantoin, and vitamin E to restore moisture. When used a few times a week, it helps resurface your skin for better tone and texture. It works best when combined with another AHA/BHA like the Night Renewer, but it’s nice on its own – and especially for sensitive skin types. If you’re looking for a stronger exfoliant and don’t want to buy both, I recommend buying the Night Renewer.

The NIA 10 Calming Serum

The NIA 10 Calming Serum ($27.95) is designed for dry, inflamed, sensitive, acne-prone skin. Niacinamide (vitamin B3), zinc, and white tea extract work to calm the skin and improve redness and tone over time. I noticed it helped calm my blemishes and made my pores look noticeably smaller. In terms of redness, it’s helped slightly with steady use, but the results have not been drastic. If redness is your main concern and your skin is too sensitive for vitamin C serums, this is worth checking out as an alternative. Otherwise, the Glow Maker may be better for overall tone correction.

Read my full review of the NIA 10 Calming Serum here.

The Refresher face wash

The Refresher ($18.95) is a gentle cleanser that helps clean the skin without disrupting its natural moisture barrier, but it can be slightly drying if you’re used to other simple, gentle cleansers like Cetaphil. The Refresher uses a blend of AHAs (lactic, malic, and tartaric) to remove dead or dull skin cells, and without a moisturizer after, it can be drying. Personally, I like that the AHAs help calm my breakouts and remove dull skin, but if you’re prone to dryness, you may want to stick with Cetaphil. The internal straw also doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom of the bottle, so you may have to dig for the last bit of the face wash.

The Moonlight Retinal Super Serum

The Moonlight Retinal Super Serum ($35, currently sold out) is Maelove’s first retinal product and, while it uses an ingredient that’s more efficient than retinol, it’s relatively inexpensive at $35 an ounce. It’s currently sold out, but you can sign up for alerts here. Like other vitamin A products, Moonlight is designed to increase the body’s natural processes that combat signs of aging: cell turnover, collagen production, improving discoloration, hydrating the skin, and reducing acne.

Maelove claims its Moonlight serum delivers “prescription level benefits” over-the-counter. And, retinaldehyde is actually stronger than retinol according to celebrity dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. However, Dr. Engelman also says it can have more intense effects – like dryness. To balance out the formula, Moonlight includes niacinamide, bisabolol, ceramide, tea extracts, hyaluronic acid, and squalane.

It’s also important to note that vitamin A derivatives are a “known teratogen” according to Dr. Engelman, so it must be avoided if pregnant or breastfeeding. You can learn more about retinol and vitamin A and how it works here.

How Maelove made good skincare cheap

Maelove CEO and cofounder Jackie Kim wanted to cut prices on grooming products, and cofounders Brad Yim and Rishi Khaitan were looking for ways to apply artificial intelligence techniques to unexpected industries. Skincare – with its glamour and markups – seemed like a natural fit.

As industry outsiders, Kim and company were able to pinpoint the norms that needed challenging. “The first oddity of the skincare industry that we noticed was that it’s run like the fashion industry,” Kim explained. “Marketers create trends and endless product varieties in an attempt to maximize sales. What you end up with is a ton of undifferentiated products hyped by overzealous marketers, which leads to confusion among shoppers.”

The team recruited friends from all disciplines – cancer and brain researchers, chemical engineers, lawyers, and medical doctors – to hone in on the research without the baggage of preconceived notions. In essence, Maelove is one huge – and very successful – science experiment.

First, the team leverages decades of clinical research. “There are abundant and widely accepted published works that show which compounds work well for maintaining skin health. These are the tried-and-true ingredients recommended by every dermatologist and [which] are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths (the classic ingredients like retinol, AHA, certain vitamins and peptides, etc).” In short, these are the ingredients that should work.

Then, Maelove uses artificial intelligence to scan millions of self-reported product reviews – what Kim refers to as empirical real-world data – to determine which ingredients correlated with success, and which to avoid. These are the ingredients that, according to users, do work.

Finally, the company finds human volunteers to test the formula to verify that it’s effective. So instead of building a business around variety for the sake of variety, Maelove focuses on making one line of stellar skincare that can work for all skin types.

The bottom line

This radically affordable luxury skincare line is the real deal. Maelove makes some of the best and some of the cheapest skincare products that I’ve found. And while I don’t often get to stick to my own skincare routine as a product reviewer, I’ve surprised myself by preferring to use the cheaper Maelove products over luxury skincare I often test for work because they’re simple, gentle, and effective.

I recommend Maelove to everyone who asks me for recommendations because it works for all skin types and doesn’t cost much, but skincare is also a notoriously subjective experience. What works for me may not work for you – even a skincare line built to cater to every skin type. Luckily, Maelove has a 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee, so you’re not risking much if you want to give it a try yourself.

Shop Maelove here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

68 thoughtful and fun gifts that won’t cost you more than $25

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks.

As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of, based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. All of them are things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.

Check out all 60+ gifts under $25:

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A book that’ll make you a cheese connoisseur

cheese

The New Rules of Cheese, available at Uncommon Goods, $15

Master the art of cheese for your next charcuterie board. This book tells you all you need to know about different types of cheese, how to pair them, and how to store each one. You’ll know exactly what to serve with an extra-sharp cheddar or a smooth, melty brie.

An at-home lavender growing kit

lave

Mason Jar Lavender Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Grow English lavender indoors with this reusable, self-watering kit. It’s perfect for the novice gardener or someone who doesn’t have the outdoor space. Just combine the seeds in the self-watering system, set it in a sunny window, and adore your fragrant lavender in its vintage jar.

The bedside storage essential

storage

Bedside Essentials Pocket, available at Uncommon Goods, $15-$20

Whether it’s your remote controls, books, and reading glasses, your bedside or couch essentials will fit perfectly in this convenient felt pouch. It slides between your mattress or under your couch cushion without looking like an eyesore.

The self-confessional book you can burn after writing

Burn

Burn After Writing Book, available at Amazon, $7

This bestseller went viral across TikTok because of its unique approach to self-reflection. With inquisitive prompts, the notebook works as a giant confessional you can quite literally burn after writing. 

A reflective card game that encourages connection

were

We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Target, $25

This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships. 

A custom plaque for the music lover in your life

miley

Custom Spotify Song Plaque, available at Etsy, starting $20

These custom music plaques have become a popular gift for music lovers. Commemorate their favorite song with this clear piece of home decor that pulls up music with a quick scan. It’s great for anniversaries, letting you add a personal photo along with you and your significant other’s song. 

An assorted cookie tin

cookies

6-Count Cookie Tin, available Milk Bar, $20

Satisfy their sweet tooth with this assortment of cookies. You can’t go wrong with Milk Bar’s best, from its fudgy Chocolate Confetti Cookie to its fruity Blueberry & Cream Cookie.

An ambient moon lamp

saturn

Saturn Moon Lamp, available at Amazon, $23.99

This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.

Hip wine glasses that elevate a nice dinner

wine

Hip Wine Glasses, available at Crate & Barrel, $6.95

There’s nothing that screams elegance more than a nice set of wine glasses. At only $7 each, Crate & Barrel’s stemware styles are the perfect guest to accompany your next charcuterie board. 

A sentimental card to keep forever

cards

Aya Paper Co. Gratitude Greeting Card Set, available at Kohl’s, $15

Is their love language words of affirmation? Then this is the perfect find. Express your admiration for the ones you love with these greeting card keepsakes. 

A milk frother that brings the taste of a cafe closer to home

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PowerLix Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $18.95

A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make a frothy latte or cappuccino that tastes closer to what you’d find at the cafe.

Reusable straws that fold up on the go

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Food52 Reusable Straw Set, available at Food52, from $25

Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.

A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, available at Target, $7.99

The Aztec Clay Mask has been called “the world’s most powerful facial” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. You can read a full review here.

A cozy, activity-ready beanie

Cheap gift ideas Under Armour

Unisex UA Truckstop Beanie, available at Under Armour, $22

There’s no such thing as too many beanies, and Under Armour’s truly stands out thanks to its sweat-wicking, quick-drying material. Its acrylic knit design will keep them warm on long walks, but it’ll also keep them from overheating during winter workouts. If they’re into fitness but not into hats, Under Armour’s gift guide is a great place to check out clever gift ideas.

*Sponsored by Under Armour

Their new favorite pair of socks

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Women’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Men’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.

A Disney+ subscription

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Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

It gives you unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A large photo print of a meaningful memory

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Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $20

Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $20, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $25.

A roulette of spontaneous date night ideas

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Date Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Never run out of fun and new date night ideas — and take some of the pressure off deciding on an activity.

A cold brew coffee tool that makes a quart of liquid

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Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $20.10

This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option.

A trio of bestselling lipstick shades

Beauty gifts under $25 Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio, available at Sephora, $25

This paraben-free, ultra-pigmented trio features tiny but mighty editions of Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance lipsticks.

A hair towel that cuts down on drying time by as much as 50%

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Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Turban, available at Amazon, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.

Textured dip bowls for condiments

Gifts under $25 dip bowl

Textured Dip Bowl, available at West Elm, $6.50

Ideal for snacks, condiments, and the basics they love to cook with frequently. 

An approachable cookbook that’s great for hosting

Where Cooking Begins

“Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music, available at Amazon, $18.69

This is the cookbook to beeline it to if your recipient loves to host friends for dinner. You can find more great options here, too.

A holiday shave set from a popular startup

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Shave Set, available at Flamingo, $16

Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.

Smart outlet plugs that let you turn devices on or off from anywhere

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Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini, available at Best Buy, $17.99

A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button. 

A custom family portrait – including pets

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Custom Family Portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

For an especially thoughtful, impactful gift, order ahead of time and get a custom portrait of your little family — pets included.

A mini griddle that makes individual servings of breakfast foods

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Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.

A lifetime REI membership

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REI Membership, available at REI, $20

Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

A set of three silk hair scrunchies

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Slipsilk Mini Scrunchies, available at Sephora, $20

Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.

Containers of Belgian chocolate for fondue

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Decadent Chocolate Fondue, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Order a stoneware container of Belgian chocolate that you can heat up for a night of hassle-free fondue. 

A water bottle with a built-in filter system

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Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle, available at Amazon, $16.99

The Brita water bottle has a built-in filter that can improve the taste of water by reducing its chlorine content and smell. It can replace an estimated 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year.

A reusable shopping bag that comes in tons of fun colors

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Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Amazon, $12

Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in tons of fun prints and can fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. 

An indoor wireless smart home camera

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Wyze Alexa-Enabled Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera, available at Chewy, $25.98

The popular Wyze Indoor Camera is an inexpensive, Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled smart home camera that lets you see inside your home from anywhere when using your mobile device. It also has night vision. 

*This product was selected at a price point below $25, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $25. 

A spray that protects your shoes from stains

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Jason Markk Repel Spray, available at Amazon, $17

This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly. 

Soft, cozy underwear that comes in holiday patterns

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MeUndies Boxers, available at MeUndies, $24

MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns.

Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. 

Coasters made from reclaimed vinyl records

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Upcycled Record Coasters, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

These upcycled coasters are made from reclaimed vinyl records and sealed against moisture. Each set includes a variety of music genres. 

A water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours straight

Gifts under $25 Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $20.97

Hydro Flask’s cult-favorite water bottle keeps chilled drinks cold for up to 24 hours. This particular version is marketed with kids in mind, but the smaller size and bright colors also work well for adults on the go.

Fast-absorbing, moisturizing hand sanitizer

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Touchland Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Touchland makes hand sanitizers that aren’t sticky or drying. We like them because they’re fast-evaporating, moisturizing, and effective

An eco-friendly utensil set for eating on the go

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United by Blue Utensil Kit, available at United by Blue, $24

Perfect for eating on the go or at a campsite, this utensil kit comes with two stainless steel straws, one silicone straw tip, one straw cleaner, one stainless steel spork, and one pair of stainless steel chopsticks.

United by Blue is an eco-friendly outdoors retailer, and the carrier is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a water-resistant finish.

A protective phone case

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Incase Phone Cases, available at Incase, from $14.95

Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization. 

A membership to unlimited reading

Scribd

Scribd Membership, available at Scribd, $9.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one. 

A cult-favorite fidget toy

speks

Speks Classic Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $24.95

Speks are one of our all-time favorite fidget accessories. They’re tiny magnetic balls that you can break apart, reconfigure, and otherwise mold, mash, and build with. They help us divert just enough energy to remain productive throughout the day. 

Herbs de Provence in a cool ceramic crock

Cheap Valentine's Day Gifts

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock, available at Williams Sonoma, from $14.95

Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups. 

Spiral hair ties that don’t leave kinks in their hair

Gifts under $25 Invisibobble

Invisibobble Pouch of Awesome, available at Ulta, $11.50

Inivisibobble makes popular spiral hair ties that apply even pressure to a ponytail, providing a strong but comfortable hold. This set comes with four hair ties: the Slim, Scrunchie, Basic, and Power.

Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 40 colors

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Smith and Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith and Cult, $18

Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 47 colors and the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor,  among others.

An advent calendar of 24 herbal teas

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Pukka Advent Calendar, available at Amazon, $14.17

This pack of 24 tea bags in different varieties supplies a full month of daily spontaneity and self-care. According to Pukka Herbs, all its teas and supplements are ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization

lottolove

Scratch-off Donation Card, available at LottoLove, from $5

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

Lip gloss that’s moisturizing and not sticky

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Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14

Tower 28 makes soft lip glosses with subtle color and a non-sticky, moisturizing formula with ingredients like raspberry seed oil and rosehip oil. Pick it up in 10 colors. 

A set of glasses that have a how-to diagram for Bloody Marys

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Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $25

These cute Bloody Mary glasses make a playful science out a truly perfect spicy and savory Bloody Mary. 

Reusable beeswax sandwich wraps

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Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap, available at Food52, from $18

Beeswax Sandwich Wrap is made from cotton infused with beeswax and natural oils. It acts as an eco-friendly substitute to plastic sandwich bags, and which can be reused over and over and over again.

Gourmet flavored syrups that are perfect for coffees and teas, and even cocktails

monin mini coffee syrup

Monin Mini Coffee Syrup, available at World Market, $9.99

Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations. 

A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost

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Tile Mate, available at Target, $24.99

How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound. 

A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products

cheap gifts

NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil Duo, available at Sephora, $20

NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich. 

A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 7,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.5-stars out of five. 

A slip-resistant armband to keep their phone in place on a run

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Tribe Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, from $14.98

If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.2-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design. 

Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online

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Tommy John Knee High Casual Sock, available at Tommy John, from $16

Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over. 

A ceramic jewelry holder and ring dish

cheap gifts

Cactus Jewelry Holder Dish, available at Amazon, $16.99

A cute, quirky ceramic ring dish and jewelry holder that looks like a cactus.

An adjustable phone stand for their desk, dinner table, or kitchen counter

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Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, available at Amazon, from $11.99

Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect. 

One of the best new books of the year

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“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon, from $17.39

If you’re looking for a good book to gift, look no further than the reading lists already on Amazon — from the best books of the month, to the best books of the year, to the 100 you should read in a lifetime

All the tools you need for a delicious, fast avocado toast

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Avocado Toast Breakfast Set, available at Walmart, $11.50

This set of breakfast tools makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who wants a delicious meal faster, which is never a bad thing in the morning.

A photo book with some of their best memories

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Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising from $15

For a sentimental gift under $25, we recommend these beautifully designed photo books that look like a personal magazine, curated by you for them.

Bath salts that are the perfect excuse for relaxation

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Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, available at Dermstore, $15.30

Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.  

The best hair mask you can buy

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It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask, available at It’s a 10, from $12.49

Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We ranked it the best hair mask you can buy

Fruit ice molds to liven up water or cocktails

Gifts under $25 fruit ice balls

Fruit Infusing Ice Balls, Set of 4, available at Uncommon Goods, $10

This slow-melting ice mold can add a crisp, refreshing burst of fruit or herbs to their water. All they have to do is add their fix-ins to the mold, fill with water, and freeze.

A cute, bunny-shaped loose-tea infuser

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Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $9.79

Gift them some relaxing time spent sipping their favorite tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

The makeup remover tourists stock up on in French pharmacies

Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover, available at Amazon, $14.90

Bioderma’s makeup remover is a cult-favorite among makeup artists, celebrities, the average person, and the Insider Reviews team. We’ve ranked it the best makeup remover you can buy, and it’s one of the many beauty products tourists are known to stock up on when visiting a French pharmacy. 

Silicone gloves that keep the other half of the avocado fresh

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Avocado Huggers, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $8

These little silicone cups hug the remaining half of an avocado to keep it fresh in the fridge. 

Tickets to an event you know they’ll appreciate

StubHub gift card

Live concert and game tickets, available at Stubhub, from $15 per person

Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile and minimal irritation

  • The best teeth whitening kits are easy to use and cause minimal irritation to your gums or teeth.
  • Our top overall pick, Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit, is effective, simple, and fairly affordable.
  • We interviewed four dentists to inform our choices and explain the ingredients and efficacy of each pick.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Dr. André V. Ritter, DDS, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the NYU College of Dentistry.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Some of the most delicious and beloved foods – red wine, coffee, soda – are not the best for keeping your pearly whites spotless. And that’s exactly why teeth whitening is a $3.2 billion worldwide industry. Consequently, there are thousands of options out there, including expensive services at your dentist’s office.

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth at home but don’t want to drop serious cash, there are several effective at-home teeth whitening kits. (You can also try a whitening toothpaste.) Below, we rank a few of the best options on the market with insight from four dentists: Dr. Ania Mohelicki DDS, Dr. Ira Handschuh DDS, Dr. Patrick Campbell DDS, and Dr. Charles Sutera DDS, FAGD.

Experts say that whitening kits are safe when used as directed. However, gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are common side effects even when you follow the directions. For more input on how to whiten sensitive teeth, see the FAQ section at the end.

We undertook hours of research combing through both consumer and expert reviews and ratings and did personal testing before settling on the whitening kits we’ve included in this guide. Each of the teeth whitening kits below are effective, easy to use, and less likely to irritate your teeth or gums.

Here are the best teeth whitening kits you can buy:

Best teeth whitening strips overall

crest whitening kit

If resting a tray on your teeth doesn’t sound appealing, Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips are an effective, dentist-recommended way to get whiter teeth.

Pros: Produces results in four or five uses, recommended by dentists, low peroxide levels

Cons: May irritate the gums

The Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit comes with 40 strips for 20 treatments (each treatment consists of a strip on the upper teeth and one on the lower teeth.) You are supposed to wear the strips for half an hour once per day.

Crest’s “Advanced Seal Technology” offers a no-slip grip, which allows you to drink water and talk while wearing the strips. Crest claims that after the 20 daily treatments, you can remove 14 years of tooth stains. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the active ingredients in the Whitestrips.

The Reviews team interviewed Dr. Hadaegh DDS to get his recommendations for the best whitening products. He recommended Crest’s strips because the hydrogen peroxide levels are relatively low yet still effective.

But, one drawback of using strips is that they don’t offer the custom fit of trays, which means you may notice some increased sensitivity if your gums come in contact with the whitening strips.

Best for sensitive gums

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If you’re looking for more precision in your application to avoid gum sensitivity, your best bet is combining teeth whitening gel with mouth trays or guards like in the Opalescence Go 15% kit.

Pros: Effective, greater control over application, potentially less gum sensitivity

Cons: Expensive

The benefit of using a mouth tray or mouth guard with gel is that, unlike white strips, you aren’t as likely to miss spots on the teeth or irritate your gums. 

If you don’t have whitening trays and want as close to professional results as possible, Dr. Hadaegh DDS has recommended Opalescence Go 15% to Business Insider in the past. “Like Crest 3D Whitestrips, the whitening gel comes in ready-made trays that adapt to your teeth all the way to your molars,” he wrote. “They have 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you only need to wear them for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five to 10 days. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity while strengthening enamel.” Because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is so high, there’s a chance you may still experience some sensitivity, in which case it’s best to switch to a less concentrated alternative like Crest Whitestrips.

The prefilled trays can be worn right out of the package, but the kit is more expensive than other reusable options on this list. It’s convenient, but you could save yourself money by buying reusable trays (or asking your dentist’s office to make you some) and replenishing your whitening pens when they run out. 

Best LED kit

best teeth whitening kit

If you don’t want to use strips and are determined to use an LED light, the SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit is the way to go.

Pros: Few reports of sensitivity issues, more precise application of whitening gel, reusable mouth guard

Cons: Expensive, dentists agree the LED light will not make a noticeable difference 

SmileDirectClub, like many of the more expensive direct-to-consumer teeth whitening kits on the market, includes a mouthguard with an LED light inside that’s meant to act as a catalyst for the hydrogen peroxide that whitens teeth — ideally, giving you professional results faster than other options. It also only requires 10 minutes of use each day.

However, studies don’t seem to agree with the marketing claims that LED lights make teeth whitening more effective, and most of the dentists we interviewed agreed that they don’t speed up the process. Dr. Campbell DDS put it succinctly: “Frankly, these products are not worth the money.” But, they do come with whitening pens that allow you a bit more control in terms of the application so you can avoid your gums and any increased sensitivity. There’s also the option to buy only the whitening pens and invest in whitening trays for safe and precise application.

If you don’t want to deal with whitening strips or buying gel and trays separately, or you’re committed to trying the LED light system, then SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is one of the most convenient choices. 

It’s built to last you through one full year of treatments and includes nine whitening pens (enough for two full treatments, according to the company’s estimates, plus one bonus pen) and the LED light mouthguard. Unlike most LED options that need to be plugged in overnight before you can use them, SmileDirectClub’s version can plug right into your smartphone (Android or iPhone) and requires minimal battery power. 

The company recommends using the device for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening every day for a week, once every six months. I tested the device and found the company’s estimates to be conservative — I got more than double the use out of the pens than expected. 

SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is $74 for the LED Light and an estimated 12-month supply of whitening pens, and $40 for the LED Light and 6-month pen supply. You can find them all here

Best natural kit

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The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit is your best alternative if you’re looking for a natural, chemical-free approach to whitening your teeth.

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, no added chemicals

Cons: Takes some getting used to, smells weird

Teeth-cleaning sticks known as Miswak have been used for thousands of years in what is now Pakistan, India, many African countries, and other parts of the world. And, a meta-analysis in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that the Miswak was just as effective for oral hygiene as the toothbrush and toothpaste used by Western cultures.

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit features two Miswak root sticks with two carrying cases. Each stick will last for three weeks of daily use. Miswak comes from the Arak tree, and this product contains no pesticides or chemicals. Miswak Club offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you do not have noticeably whiter teeth after using their kit.

Several expert sites reviewed the Miswak Club kit because of the novelty of it. Bustle liked that it comes with two sticks in the kit, doesn’t make a mess, and is easy to bring along when traveling. Subaholic found that the root works great, but thought the taste was terrible. And, Apartment Therapy was put off by the “sweetly musky” smell of the root but found that when you soak it in water with some peppermint oil, it is much more bearable.

Some reviewers have noted that it may take a few weeks of daily use to notice effects and that the smell may be a bit off-putting.

What else we considered

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  • GLO Teeth Whitening Kit: Glo Science sells a similar device to SmileDirectClub; both use an LED mouthpiece to reportedly act as a catalyst for hydrogen peroxide. But SmileDirectClub is a better value at half the cost. We still recommend strips over gel and mouth trays over LED light options, though.

FAQs about whitening your teeth

What types of teeth whitening products exist?

There are essentially two types of kits: ones that bleach your teeth to take stains off and ones that physically scrape off the stains. Whitening trays and strips have been the standard for decades and generally rely on carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Activated charcoal powders had a spike in popularity recently, but the dentists we interviewed would tell you to nix the powders. Dr. Handschuh and Dr. Mohelicki told Business Insider that they don’t recommend these because they can be abrasive and only remove surface stains. 

There is a third type of teeth whitening product that simply blasts your teeth with LED light, which typically claims to speed up the process and achieve more intense results. However, most of the dentists we interviewed agreed that any gains from this treatment are short-lived or nonexistent. “Most studies show some difference detected by computers, but no visual difference detected by the human eye. For the studies conducted in actual patients (in vivo), most found no added benefit for light-activated systems,” says Dr. Sutera.

Only the SmileDirectClub system in our guide uses this technology, but it is used in conjunction with a whitening gel and a mouthguard that may offer better control over your placement and avoid increased gum sensitivity in comparison to strips. 

Which teeth whitening products are most effective?

“Shopping for teeth whitening products is very simple.” Dr. Sutera explained. “There is only one active ingredient in all teeth whitening products: hydrogen peroxide. It’s the same agent whether it’s prescription use or over the counter. Any other ingredients in the product are inactive fillers needed to create the right consistency of the product.” If you see carbamide peroxide on your ingredient list, it’s just a derivative of hydrogen peroxide. 

“The key is to understand that whitening can be effective at any percentage, but what differs is the time of use. A high percentage of hydrogen peroxide typically is only kept on the teeth for 20 minutes maximum, while a lower percentage can be worn for 6 hours or overnight.” Dr. Sutera explains. “Much of the selection comes down to personal preference. If you have a tendency to develop tooth sensitivity or if you want to minimize the risks of irritating your gums, that’s when you’d select a lower concentration.”

A few warnings about teeth whitening kits

Peroxide is effective, but it comes with several warnings. Pregnant or nursing women may want to stop using peroxide-based whitening products. It also isn’t suitable for children under 14 years old. And, you should not use peroxide for longer than two weeks of daily use without the supervision of a dentist.

The FDA does not recommend using any whitening gels with a peroxide concentration of higher than 18%. Two of the kits we recommend use peroxide (Crest Whitestrips and SmileDirectClub) but they should be safe for most people.

Again, you should always consult with your dentist before starting a course of treatment. For instance, if your darkened teeth are due to the natural thinning of tooth enamel that comes with aging, whitening kits will not help you. Also, they cannot whiten fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, or caps.

Most importantly, Dr. Mohelicki says the biggest concern is wearing whitening kits for the right amount of time. “Over-the-counter options are inexpensive when compared to in-office whitening, but they offer no gum protection. With no gum protection, users can experience increased sensitivity and even burns in severe cases.” 

How to use teeth whitening kits effectively

Before using a teeth whitening kit, brush your teeth so your whitening agent can make contact with the surface of your teeth to improve efficacy, and so it doesn’t accidentally create an uneven white. “Any buildup of plaque or food debris will not allow for the whitening agent to contact the tooth and therefore not allow the whitening agent to do its job,” Dr. Campbell explained. “You could end up with a speckled, uneven whitened appearance.” 

And, after you’ve whitened, try to avoid food and drinks that stain your teeth.”I recommend that my patients stick to a ‘colorless diet’ just after whitening,” Dr. Handschuh told Business Insider. “Meaning, avoid highly-staining food and drink such as coffee, red wine, tea, sauces, etc.” But, if you really want to, he recommends using a straw to bypass your teeth a bit. 

As Dr. Sutera explained, whitening your teeth and then having a glass of red wine is like “two people in a canoe paddling in different directions. The whitening products open the pores and clean them out. If you have coffee, tea, or red wine within 72 hours of whitening your teeth, your teeth are more likely to absorb dark stains and adversely impact your whitening results.”

Does teeth-whitening damage your enamel?

“Most studies show that whitening does not damage enamel,” Dr. Sutera said. Though, there has been recent research that shows teeth whitening can affect proteins deeper in the tooth, though researchers are not currently sure if the damage is temporary or permanent, according to Dr. Sutera.

How can you prevent tooth sensitivity?

“It is common for the majority of people to experience increased tooth sensitivity after having teeth whitening done.” Dr. Mohelicki says. “However, for those who already have sensitive teeth, I recommend starting out by trying a whitening toothpaste. This takes significantly longer than trying an over-the-counter product or having teeth bleached in-office, but it can be significantly less painful.”

For whitening toothpaste, Dr. Sutera recommends patients with sensitive teeth use a toothpaste with potassium nitrate and fluoride and also use a fluoride mouth rinse. According to Dr. Sutera, potassium nitrate is the primary ingredient that helps with sensitive teeth, and fluoride a secondary option that has also been shown to help.  

If you have sensitive teeth and want to use a teeth whitening agent, you may just want to avoid higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. “The suggestion I would make is to use a lower concentration of whitening agent to get their desired whitening outcome while minimizing the risk of tooth sensitivity.” Dr. Campbell said. “Although anecdotal, I’ve found that brushing with Sensodyne toothpaste before and after whitening has helped me avoid sensitivity.”  

Why do you feel increased sensitivity after you whiten?

The bleaching temporarily weakens your enamel so the bleach can pass through it and further lift those stains, explained Dr. Mohelicki. “When [our enamel] is weakened during the bleaching treatment, many patients find that it can be hard to consume hot beverages, ice-cold beverages, or even eat certain foods. This typically wears off within 72 hours of ending treatment.” 

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The 11 best sheet masks we’ve tested for every skin type

skII

  • Sheet masks offer an easy, speedy way to treat your skin without having to leave home.
  • We’ve tested dozens of sheet masks and rounded up our favorites for every skin type.
  • You can also check out our guide to the best moisturizers.

As well as being renowned for their incredible hydrating properties, sheet masks treat different skin concerns, from soothing sensitive skin to brightening dull complexions. Some are great for a pre-night-out boost, while others work better if you wear them before you go to bed, so the serum can soak in and you can wake up with glowing skin. Many experts are now using sheet masks as part of their daily skincare routine.

With the incredible number of sheet masks on the market, working out which one is right for you can be a minefield. As well as researching thousands of reviews from beauty experts and buyers, we’ve tried and tested all sorts of sheet masks to come up with our top picks.

Here the best sheet masks in 2021:

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Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet

farmacy sheet mask

The Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask Sheet is loaded with ultra-moisturizing ingredients for a boost of hydration in a pinch.

Farmacy’s Coconut Gel Sheet Mask is loaded with nourishing ingredients like coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber extract. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, so it delivers some serious hydration. Paired with calming cucumber extract and moisturizing, refreshing coconut water, this mask works for any skin type. Just slap the Coconut Gel Sheet Mask on for 15 minutes — that’s all you need for the mask to work its magic. Take it off to reveal more supple, smooth, calm skin.

Coconut Gel Sheet Mask (small)
Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask

patchology sheet mask

For smoother, hydrated skin in just five minutes, the Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask is hard to beat.

Patchology’s mask is your secret weapon for defeating dry skin because it features ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration, and vitamin B5 and betaine to improve elasticity and smooth skin. Traditionally, sheet masks take up to 20 minutes to work, but the Patchology Hydrate Flashmasque accelerates delivery of the ingredients to the skin with its unique material, so you see results in just five minutes.

This speedy skin saver is perfect for a last-minute touch-up before you put on your makeup or before you go to bed. It is the ideal quick fix for winter when your skin needs some extra hydration or on a long flight (as long as you don’t mind scaring the flight attendants).

Hydrate FlashMasque 5 Minute Facial Sheet Mask (small)
Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks

Erno Laszlo sheet mask

For an easy, fast path to radiant skin, the Erno Laszlo White Marble Bright Hydrogel Masks should be your go-to sheet mask.

The White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask from renowned skincare brand Erno Laszlo is designed to instantly brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots and aging. The serum is made up of allotonin to plump up the skin, essential oils including peony and chamomile to moisturize, and sunflower seed oil to protect against wrinkles.

We’re obsessed with Erno Laszlo’s range of sheet masks, and this one is awesome. Each sheet mask comes in two pieces of gel-like material. It felt a bit slippery and strange, but it was easy to apply. I liked that it didn’t slip off my face so I could walk around while the mask did its work.

White Marble Bright Hydrogel Mask (small)
Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask

dr jart +

When you want to give dry, sensitive skin some extra love without spending a fortune at the spa, the Dr. Jart+ Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask is ideal. 

Our favorite water-based face mask for sensitive skin comes from the legendary Korean Brand Dr Jart+. The mask is packed with hydrating ingredients like algae extract, aquaxyl, xylitol, and oligo-hyaluronic acid to moisturize sensitive skin without irritation. The mask is designed to calm redness and cool irritated skin, making it a godsend for people with sensitive skin. It works just as well for those with oily, dry, or combination skin.

Dermamask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Mask (small)
SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask

SKII sheet mask

Japanese brand SK-II’s Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is a cult classic because it visibly hydrates, brightens, and firms your skin.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask is an all-in-one sheet mask that does everything you need for a glowing, gorgeous complexion. The sheet is soaked with SK-II’s signature serum Pitera. Discovered in a sake brewery back in the ’70s, this liquid is packed with naturally-derived vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. It is designed to refine texture and address uneven skin tone, dryness, large pores, and oiliness. SK-II suggests you use a mask once or twice a week or before a special event.

The SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask lived up to the hype in our testing. It made my skin look more radiant instantly, and my skin felt tighter and softer. The mask fit well and stayed put, although it felt a bit slimy. Granted, most face masks feel a bit slimy because it’s the slime that fixes your skin.

Pitera Facial Treatment Mask (small)
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask

tatcha sheet mask

For smoother skin in just 15 minutes, the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask is our top pick.

Tatcha’s gel-like face mask is packed with powerful anti-aging products including red algae and hyaluronic acid, as well as green tea and rice to target dryness, dullness, and loss of firmness. It is derived from coconut and is more effective than paper masks.

Tatcha claims it can increase the skin’s total moisture by 200% in 15 minutes. While we can’t verify that claim, we can say that it left our skin feeling great. It’s a bit fiddly, as you have to remove one of the layers to put it on, but it fit well. 

Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (small)
Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask

AC Clear sheet mask

If you’re prone to breakouts and want effective instant relief, then you’ll love the Leaders AC Clear Treatment Mask.

The AC Clear Treatment Mask from Korean company Leaders Insolution balances skin and provides relief for irritated, stressed, and sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts and inflammation. This hypoallergenic 100% cotton sheet mask is packed with maple water, hyaluronic acid, and snail secretions to calm skin and reduce redness. It’s gentle enough to be used daily and the more often you use it, the better the results.

AC Clear Treatment Mask (small)
Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask

tony moly sheet mask

For a fun and very affordable sheet mask with great results, the Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask is a winner.

Established in Seoul more than 10 years ago, Tonymoly pioneered the Korean sheet mask beauty trend that has spread across the world. The innovative brand is now a household name in the US. There are 14 different masks in the Tonymoly I’m Real Sheet Mask collection to address every possible skin concern and we’ve tried them all. Our favorite is the I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask.

Ideal for dull, dry, and stressed-out skin, this highly moisturizing sheet mask is soaked with nutrient-rich avocado essence. The paper sheet has a pleasant smell but feels quite delicate. After leaving it on for 20 minutes in our testing, our skin definitely felt softer and looked fresher.

I’m Real Avocado Sheet Mask (small)
St. Ives Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask

St Ives sheet mask

St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask helps calm even the reddest of faces.

Just like the oatmeal baths of your childhood, St. Ives’ Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask soothes whatever is ailing your face. Sunburn? Pop this on. Windburn? You got it. That’s all thanks to the oatmeal extract. It works to calm any type of skin issue while leaving your face feeling refreshed and clean.

And since it’s in an easy-to-use sheet, you can get all of the benefits without the mess. This is actually a great mask to pop on after you’ve applied a more detoxifying mask. It will calm things down while sealing in the good-for-you ingredients of the first.

Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal Mask (small)
Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask

7 wonders face mask

Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask helps fight free radical damage, leading to a bright, beautiful complexion.

If you live in a city, it’s not just the sun you have to worry about every time you step outside. Free radicals brought on by pollution can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to a dull complexion. But a skincare regimen rich in antioxidants is perfect for combating these issues. And Leaders Cosmetics 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask should be a regular part of any antioxidant-rich regimen.

This little mask is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients that help fight free radicals. Vitamins C, B, and E are the powerhouses of this mask, while acai berries come in for the assist. All these ingredients work to wick away the negative effects of pollution.

7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti Pollution Mask (small)
Check out our other great skincare guides

body lotion

The best exfoliators


The best moisturizers


The best eye creams

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The 9 best lip balms with SPF – because your lips need protection, too

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best lip balms with SPF 4x3
  • We know that wearing sunscreen is crucial, but we often forget to apply it to our lips. 
  • A good lip balm with SPF will block harmful UV rays while moisturizing your lips.
  • We consulted two dermatologists and gathered our nine lip sunscreen mainstays.

You’ve probably heard numerous times from your doctor, dermatologist, or favorite beauty YouTuber that wearing sunscreen every single day is a must. And they’re definitely right. But one part of your body that can sometimes get overlooked when it comes to SPF is your lips, which need protection just as much as the rest of your body. 

A great way to deliver SPF to your lips on a daily basis is with SPF. But not all of these tubes are created equal. So we turned to Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, a board-certified dermatologist and senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation, and Dr. Marie Hayag, board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics who advised us on working lip balms with SPF into our daily routines. You can read on to learn more from our experts and hear about our team’s nine tried-and-true lip balms with SPF. 

Here are the best lip balms with SPF you can buy:

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Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30

skincare for runners_Lip balm Vanicream Lip Protectant

Lip Protectant/Sunscreen SPF 30 (small)

I’ve tried a few lip balms with SPF, but this one from Vanicream is my preferred pick. On top of a simple formula, the consistency is nice and creamy. It also lacks any sort of strong sunscreen smell or taste, which is a dealbreaker for me. However, without a mirror at hand, it’s hard to know if you’ve rubbed in all of the white cream and sometimes it takes a bit of lip-smacking to reduce the tint. Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow 

This lip balm contains both titanium oxide and zinc oxide for effective protection against damaging UV radiation. Additionally, it is water-resistant, free of fragrances, flavoring, and dyes, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin. Dr. Marie Hayag, board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics 

Aquaphor Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment

Best lip balms with SPF_Aquaphor Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment

Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment (small)

I bought this lip sunscreen ointment because I’m never without Aquaphor’s ultra-nourishing Lip Repair. The two products have similar ingredient lists and consistencies. And though I’m not a huge fan of the sunscreen smell and taste, they’re minimal and do not override the efficacy of this balm. The formula specifically caters to those with sensitive skin, and I find this to be true, as well. Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm

Best lip balms with SPF_Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm

Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm (small)

As someone who is sensitive to the sun and prone for my fair skin to burn, I’m especially cautious with the products I’m using. That being said, I use SPF just about everywhere, even in the colder winter months. I absolutely swear by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm. It has SPF 15 and also prevents my lips from being chapped. It applies buttery smooth, as its name suggests, and smells divine. Victoria Giardina, Buying Guides Fellow

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_Kiehl's Since 1851 Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 (small)

I have a tube of this in the clear/untinted shade in every hiking backpack I own. It’s moisturizing without feeling sticky and goopy, and the balm doesn’t melt — even during multi-hour-long hikes in the sun. The SPF 30 is strong enough to keep my lips from burning, and the clear shade I use most often comes in handy when I need to reapply sunscreen on the bridge of my nose or the tops of my ears. The metal tube feels more substantial and luxurious than other balms, and the cap screws onto the tube so there’s no chance you’ll lose it at the bottom of your bag. It does, however, contain octocrylene so it’s not reef-safe and I don’t use this when I’m around the beach. Jada Wong, senior editor

Supergoop! PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai

Best lip balms with SPF_Supergoop! PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai

PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai (small)

The tube and formula remind me of old-school Vaseline, but much more protective and way less goopy. The SPF 30 is great for protecting my lips and the formula includes shea butter for lots of moisture. It doesn’t contain any oxybenzone, octinoxate, or octocrylene that would be harmful to coral reefs, so I always use this when I’m around the beach. Jada Wong, senior editor

Coola Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_Coola Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30

Classic Liplux Organic Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30 (small)

If you’re looking for a quality plant-based sunscreen lip balm, this one from Coola offers broad-spectrum protection, instant moisture, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s water-resistant for 80 minutes and should be reapplied every two hours. Dr. Hayag says, “This is a good balm that provides broad-spectrum protection against UV rays while also providing hydration to the lips through ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil.” 

Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35

Best lip balms with SPF_Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35

Lip Shine SPF 35 (small)

For days where you want more color and luster, this lip gloss checks off those boxes — plus, it has broad-spectrum SPF 35 sun protection. You can reapply every two hours, but every 40 minutes if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. According to Dr. Hayag, “This is a great gloss that contains zinc oxide and Vitamin E to aid in photoprotection. It also contains hyaluronic acid, helping the lips stay well moisturized. Additionally, it has peptides that give the lips a more plump appearance.” The shade selection includes rose, pink, champagne, coral, and clear. 

CoTZ Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

Best lip balms with SPF_CoTZ Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

Lip Balm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45 (small)

With a zesty kiwi-lime-ginger tang, this product is ever so slightly tinted to avoid that white cast other sunscreens oftentimes leave behind. It’s also cruelty-free, reef-friendly, and free of chemical sunscreens, oil, lanolin, and gluten. Dr. Hayag says, “This contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide to cover UVA/UVB rays and blue light. It is moisturizing, yet water-resistant and has antioxidant protection.”

MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30

Best lip balms with SPF_MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30

Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30 (small)

This tinted lip balm has a gentle, cruelty-free, and reef-safe formula that does all of that, but of course fends off ultraviolet rays, too. The broad-spectrum SPF 30 sheer tinted balm comes in red, pink, and nude. According to Dr. Hayag, “It also has multiple ingredients in it to help keep your lips moisturized, like avocado oil and olive butter. The balm also contains shea butter, which is rich in antioxidants and soothes and softens the lips.”

FAQs

Best lip balms with SPF 4x3

What is SPF and what SPF should I wear on my lips?  

SPF stands for sun protection factor, which is the measure of how well a certain formula will protect you from the sun’s rays. “For example, if you use an SPF 30 product properly, it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen,” Dr. Hale explains. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 15 for daily wear and SPF 30 for prolonged outdoor activity. 

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

There’s ultraviolet A (UVA), which is connected with skin aging, and ultraviolet B (UVB), which is linked to burning. Instead of worrying about whether your lip balm protects against UVA or UVB rays, Dr. Hale says to pick broad-spectrum sunscreen products, as they shield your skin from both rays. 

What can sun damage do to your lips? 

The skin on your lips is thinner and missing a layer that the rest of your body uses for UV protection, so it’s more susceptible to burning. Too much sun exposure without any protective lip balm can lead to dryness and flakiness, and even skin cancer. Dr. Hale says, “About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.” 

Are there certain ingredients I should look out for?

According to Dr. Hale, there are two groups of UV-blocking ingredients: physical and chemical. The former are ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while the latter includes components like avobenzone and octisalate. “Look for products with antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C,” Dr. Hayag says. “They neutralize and boost protection from free radicals produced by UV radiation and visible light.”

As for ingredients to avoid, Dr. Hayag explains that products with menthol — the thing that gives cough drops and pain relief creams its cooling effect — can irritate the lips. You should also stay away from phenol and fragrance for the same reason. 

When should I wear it and how often should I apply?

Our experts urge you to wear lip balm with SPF both outdoors and indoors, as the sun can penetrate through glass windows. And they suggest reapplying every two hours, but more frequently if you’re eating, drinking, or swimming. 

What should I do if my lips get sunburnt? 

Dr. Hale recommends the following steps: move into a shady spot, stay hydrated, take Advil or Motrin to reduce inflammation, and apply a water-based, moisturizing lip product. For the very last step, she advises steering clear of petroleum and oil-based balms that could possibly aggravate the burn.

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