What are your hidden, little-known product gems?

What are your hidden, little-known product gems? Share your secrets!

I feel like I’ve revealed all of mine, LOL! I mean really, ME keep a beauty secret?!

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Mine isn’t exactly a single product, but I LOVE commissioning the Susan of Darling Girl Cosmetics for custom colors! She’s SO cooperative and the result never cease to impress me. For body products, Epically Epic Soap does pretty amazing custom scents (and the best lip balm in the whole world).

The Stick ‘Em eyeshadow primer from Silk Naturals makes a good glitter adhesive! It didn’t cause fall out or creasing the whole night I wore it! (And it’s cheaper than any similar products I’ve seen.)

Borghese, especially eye shadows. I hevent bought any in a few years, but my stash is stunning fine product. It was a major line long before UD or MAC or Bobbi Brown existed. I think they’re still independent so they can’t jostle for counter space against the Lauder and L’Oreal behemoths, but my stuff is still up to the Princesses quality standards.

I, too, am a long-time fan of Borghese. Unfortunately, they were one of several lines “squeezed” out by Estee Lauder through their “exclusivity” marketing practices (ie, MAC, Bobbi Brown, etc.). Borghese is actually owned by Revlon, and have been for many years, not independent.

They used to be owned by Revlon, but now La Prairie owns them. You can get their products at counters in Lord & Taylor or Bloomies. They also have a lower-end extension with the same name that is a staple in Costco.

It’s just good to know that your favorite brand is still out there with some stable retail representation. 😉

Thanks for mentioning this! I will be seeing if any of the Bloomingdale’s I hit up in the next month will carry this! Have been wanting to try for sooo long!

I’m in SoCal, and I think all the Bloomie’s here stopped carrying Borghese over 10 years ago. I have an eyeshadow I picked up a few years back at TJMaxx, and that was distributed by Kirkland; although it’s a great palette, it’s not quite the same. Borghese always had the best GWPs/PWPs of *any* brand; I’d buy the skincare or foundation, and walk away with a years supply of makeup for less than $100…

Wet ‘n’ Wild Kohl Kajal brow pencils and the lip pencils are fabulous, and they only cost a dollar! I also love Atopalm moisturizers for my dry skin, as well as Korres Body and Lip Butters. L’Occitane Purifying Roll-on Deodorant is the best natural one I’ve tried by far, and Caudalie Lip Conditioner doesn’t get the love it deserves. All life savers for a girl with sensitive, dry skin.

I really love Avon’s Glimmerstick eyeliner(stays on my waterline all day!) and Super drama mascara,not an indie brand by any means but i feel like people dissmiss them based on old memories and a cliche.

Arcona skincare products…especially Tabula Rasa. My sensitive skin is so happy.
Also, DCL eye makeup remover. I can’t use even the “oil free” drugstore stuff, bc they all make me break out. This stuff doesn’t AND it actually removes the makeup.

I absolutely LOVE The Aloe Vera and Nutrigens skincare lines from The Body Shop. The Aloe line is great for people who like to avoid unnecessary chemicals and the Nutrigens line features some high quality ingredients for an affordable prize.

I am always using Lacome’s Gaze eyeshadow. I’m in my 4th one in five years. This shade is perfect for brow bone everyday but I also love to use just it when I don’t want (or can’t wear) a full eye look. It’s great for waking up my eyes and hiding the purple capillaries on my lids.

Using 1/4 sample sizes to build an immense loose eye shadow collection. The Beauty Sampler and The Body Needs sell Mac samples and indie companies like Fyrinnae sell sample sizes. It’s far less expensive and gives you a fantastic amount of variety. I organize them by shade.

Haaah, I do this too! I wanted a few Fyrinnae shadows (miiight be an understatement) for xmas, so on my list I just wrote “(SAMPLE SIZES, SAMPLE SIZES, SAMPLE SIZES)”. I have enough eyeshadows as it is anyway!

Clinique brow powder. I try other products (why? why? why? the eternal quest for a holier grail) and always come back to this. This thing is, I think it’s probably not that pigmented, which makes it work for this purpose. You make little strokes to mimic hair and your brows look subtly fuller. Also, the color is charcoal, not dark brown as is the darkest color of most available brow products. For me, personally, dark brown is the wrong color.

I think sometimes we forget about some products that have been around a long time. I love Coty Airspun Finishing powder. It’ gives the most beautiful finish and it’s really inexpensive. It is one of my favorite setting powders. I feel like no one talks about it and instead goes out and buys expensive translucent powders like Chanel or Tarte.

I also love Bag Balm which is awesome for dry skin and can double as a lip conditioner.

I use Bag Balm for EVERYTHING. I had really bad acne through my teens, and also still have rosacea. Because of the years of very strong prescription medications (both topical, and oral) my skin is very sensitive, and Bag Balm is literally a miracle. I can use it on rosacea flare-ups, spots, dry spots, dry cuticles, hangnails…pretty much everything! My partner uses it on his face/neck after shaving and it really brings down the irritation and razor burn.
I find myself constantly telling people about it and have never heard of anyone else using it, so I just had to pipe in and give a shout out to the most amazing product ever!

My doctor kept prescribing different things for my ezcema. Bag Balm is the only thing that worked. i wear it at night with gloves. I too feel like no one talks about this miracle product that has been around for more than 100 years.

It’s great slathered on feet before bed-time (slip some socks on top!). Not mad for the smell and don’t like it on my hands (too slippery! Makes it hard to turn a doorknob!) but love it on my feet. Same for the Palmer’s coco butter cream in the big jar/tub.

I would have to say embryolisse lait-creme concentre, at least in the US. It is a really nice moisturizer that is especially great for sensitive skin. You can find select stores on their website that stock in the US or you can get it on amazon.

Make up-wise, I’d say YSL Touche Eclat or Guerlain Meteorites for that subtle-yet-makes-a-difference glow.

Skin care-wise, it’d be dermalogica’s overnight clearing gel. Nothing works best on me for keeping pimples and blemishes at bay!

My little secret product is coty airspun powder in translucent extra coverage. It is the best setting powder I have tried and you get a lot for your money (65g for $6-7). The only downside is the scent but it doesn’t last long.

The scent makes me think of my grandmas. I don’t love how it feels on my skin, but I will put it on occasionally because it looks good and has nostalgia.

Because you mention her blog occasionally on your Sunday Link, I am going to say Musings of a Muse. The Muse puts out these Asian cosmetic brands. She seems to have friends in those Asian countries in her pocket to help her get those most adorable beauty products. There are too too to many Asian brands for me to die for…such as Jill Stuart, Etrude etc. I cannot remember them all. The packaging are all so cute…

I don’t know if it’s hidden and not known about, but I feel like The Body Shop’s Brush on Radiance is a great product! It always looks great on whoever I put it on, myself included!

Spending an afternoon really reading up on which skincare ingredients do what (if anything). An entire domain of marketing and product-hawking no longer exists for me. I only pay attention to ingredients and proper packaging. Since I changed my skincare regime, in the last 4 months been stopped to ask about my skin more than A DOZEN times, including being repeatedly told I look like a model by my dentist’s receptionist. I always had decent skin but never got comments like this. And this happens now in my mid-30s!? I highly recommend learning to separate the wheat from the chaff in skincare.

betty cool liquid liners. They are a black matte pigmented liquid liner that’s extremely water proof and will not budge EVER. It’s an asian product. AMAZING!

I also love Almay automatic brow pencils. Dirt cheap!

Well, a few days ago, I would have included Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm, LOL, but since Christine did a review the other day, I don’t think it’s “hidden” anymore… This stuff is seriously amazing, along with the Hand Salve. I had these from a “sampler” pack for a couple of years, but they just sat untouched, until my daughter was born. I was constantly washing my hands & using hand sanitizer, and I tried to keep as many chemicals as possible from touching her, so I pulled these out, since my hands were becoming so dry. A year later, I landed a job in a bank, and again, the constant hand washing (handling cash is *very* dirty; I rarely even use cash in my everyday life), and the air-conditioning did a real number on my hands. Between home & work, I probably cleaned my hands 20+ times a day. I think if I didn’t have these products, my hands would be a serious wreck. Instead, my hands are very supple, and apart from the application of the cuticle balm, I don’t have to do any cuticle maintenance. The best part is both products absorb quickly into the skin, faster than any cream I’ve used, and both are a fantastic value for the amount you get.

I must also sing the praises of pure jojoba oil, and natural oils, in general. Since I’ve switched to using organic oils, my skin is much softer, and my face is much smoother. Another face product I keep going back to (and have for over 10 years) is Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash, and it’s only $6, and lasts about 6 months. I’ve actually switched to the Trader Joe’s version, since they’ve phased out Desert Essence products to make room for their own, and so far, I find it comparable.

Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps are also amazing; I use them for the bath, brush cleaning, foot soaks, shaving, occasionally face wash, pretty much *anything*, and my 2 faves are Lavender & Peppermint.

Lastly, L’Oreal Sublime Sun SPF 50; it looks great under makeup, and contains antioxidants & I can skip moisturizer in the Summer. The only thing keeping this from being HG for me is that it does contain one paraben, but considering it’s low on the list, and only one compared to the usual 3+ in most products, I make an exception. I also really like Garnier B.B. Cream; I haven’t tried a “real” one yet, but this seems to work well for me (I actually find it comparable in terms of effects & feel to NARS Pure Radiance TM, but at a fraction of the cost).

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Taupe/Ash! I use the Taupe shade to fill in my eyebrows and the Ash shade to contour my nose. I’ve had my current set for at least a year and a half and only just hit pan on it. Definitely going to repurchase this!

I seriously love Jordana products! My local supermarket sells all Jordana, regardless of item, for $1.19 each. The loose shadows are great, as are the Easy Shine glosses (the screw-tubes). I’ll have to check out the blush–I’m a blush fiend! 🙂

My favourite little know product gem is GINVERA MARVEL GEL. It is the best exfoliator ever!! I read about it on an internet forum years ago now (comes from Asia) & I have used in excess of 7 tubes & I hardly ever get to the bottom of anything! It is so gentle but extremely effective. It makes your skin velvety soft.
It must be good as Harvey Nichols have just started to stock it in the UK, but much cheaper on Ebay.

all skin care things that stores don’t carry (or aren’t in canada)… liz earle hot cloth cleanser, cure aqua gel, bha 9 resist from paula’s choice, 10% AHA body lotion…. ALSO! silk naturals eyelash gel, it works as well as talika liposils and its less than 10 dollars!

EcoGeo megawater emulsion and serum. I got it first as a sample at a Korean market. I love love it! It makes my skin feels so hydrated and soft. I’m gonna buy a set for my sister and mother in law.

I recommend Pangea Organics Egyptian Calendula Cleanser to everyone I meet. NYX Natural lip liner works across many skin tones, and Sephora Flashy Waterproof eyeliner is pretty darn good.

The entire line of “Tatcha”, skincare of the geisha’s. I have dry, delicate, sensitive skin and this is the best line I’ve ever come across in decades of skincare. Pure, gentle, natural ingredients like camellia oil, green tea, red algae etc. I’ve used everything and it’s all great. I’ve never been able to say that about any other line. Free shipping, free samples, no icky ingredients like mineral oil, sulphates, parabens etc. Gentle, effective products. Check out their site!

CO Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy:

I wash my hands for my job as much as several times an hour and this will heal chapped hands and prevents chapping. I use it on any patches of eczema or dry skin too. Bc of the high glycerin content, this works best on slightly damp hands or more humid environments.

CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Balm SPF 15 (the black stick balm):

I prefer this over the Jack Black. I just like the texture better.

Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel. This is hands-down the BEST astringent I’ve ever used. It’s alcohol free, vegan friendly and it helped banish my acne once and for all.

The body shop’s lip butter, they are so creamy, i apply a v little amount to cover my lips at night and sleep on it, the next day my lips are smooth as ever, i scrub my lips with sugar to remove the excess skin on my lips, and viola! Smooth, pouty, pink lips in one night! I’ve been using it for over 10 yrs now.

I never reveal to anyone that i keep layered my SK-II cream foundation after I’ve done my basic foundation to make skin transculent and glowing. Its not my skin that so good, its the product. 😉

Tough one – most of the stuff I use is pretty commonly available. I guess I’d say the GOSH eye pencils – they are so great and so reasonably priced. The brand doesn’t seem all that known in the US but in Canada it is readily available at Shopper’s Drug Mart chain, even though the company itself is Scandinavian, I think. Also, skin care from Jouviance (a small Canadian company with first rate skin care products – their eye “serum” has replaced the much more expensive Clarins product I had been using)

I coat my arms/legs in baby oil ormore recently safflower oil to protect my skin from a long shower. More recently I have also started using the safflower oil after my shower to moisturize my skin. I also started using Grapeseed oil on my hands/cuticles and it is making a huge difference in how my cuticles look and feel.

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