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Hall of Fame: 12 Cult Beauty Products

We all have our personal beauty arsenals, and after a recent discussion among friends, I realized that many of us have a few secret weapons in common. Regardless of our skin type or personal style, we all have a few of these super-popular products—the ones that never get discontinued because they're just that good. They do what they promise, and we just can't imagine what we'd do without them. Whether they're high end or drugstore cheap, they're all still around, cultishly popular, and totally trend resistant.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
Mason Pearson
Lancôme Definicils
Kitten
Frizzease
Hoola
Nars Orgasm
Dermalogica
Softlips
Aveda Shampoo
Pantene
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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

According to more than one beauty blogger, this Clinique classic is the holy grail of moisturizers (I kid you not). The yellow, fragrance-free standby remains one of the brand’s top-selling products for a reason—it retains moisture without leaving a layer of heavy grease. ($24.50, Clinique.com)

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Clinique’s sheer, glossy Almost Lipstick in Black Honey remains a universal favorite (among all skin types—no small feat) since its inception. The subtle berry color’s moist finish makes it sheer and wearable during the day but also gives a pouty top-off for a more dramatic night look. I say there’s nothing almost about that versatility. ($14.50, Clinique.com)

Mason Pearson

Mason Pearson’s luxury brushes are the La Mer of hair care. Designed to distribute sebum, they’ve been making hair stronger and shinier since 1885 (no joke). Oh, and they provide different brush models based on hair type: pure boar bristle for fine to normal hair, a bristle and nylon mixture for normal to thick hair, and all nylon for very thick hair. And you know these brushes are living up to their promise if people keep shelling out those bucks. ($170, MasonPearson.com)

Lancôme Definicils

Lancôme Definicils earned its spot as a consistently bestselling department store mascara by getting it all right—from its brush to its lengthening formula and daylong endurance. The brush (which is where the magic happens, if you ask me) separates lashes and evenly coats them—even the wispy ones at the edges. Product creators credit the brush’s specially grooved bristles. Whatever it is, I’m a lifetime user. ($24.50, Lancome-usa.com)

Kitten

What, you ask, separates one shimmery gold shadow from another? For starters, versatility. Stila Kitten works as a base, as a finish, or as just a simple swipe of color. The shadow is pure grown-up shimmer, too—it holds up to those itty bitty wrinkles without making us look like wannabe teeny boppers. ($18, StilaCosmetics.com)

Frizzease

Thank you, John Frieda, for giving a little extra help to those of us with not-so-naturally sleek hair. Frizz Ease was the first hair product I spent my own money on nearly two decades ago. Whether we apply it before we blow-dry, air-dry, or rock dirty locks, the silicone blend smoothes tresses, protecting them from humidity and, well, their own natural tendencies. ($8.99, JohnFrieda.com)

Hoola

Makeup artists and casual users alike continue to swear by this bronzing powder. It manages to lend a little glow—natural and very un–Jersey Shore. With Benefit Hoola, you get a healthy, UV-free summer sheen, sans telltale orange. ($28, BenefitCosmetics.com)

Nars Orgasm

With a name like this, the results had better be stunning. The part-coral, part-pink hue appeared on shelves over a decade ago and has been giving faithful users its signature luminous, nonglittery sheen ever since. ($27, NarsCosmetics.com)

Dermalogica

Since stumbling across Dermologica’s Special Cleansing gel over a decade ago, I’ve been totally and utterly hooked. I noticed a difference in my skin almost immediately—clearer, less shiny, a little more glow—and it’s stuck with me ever since. The fragrance-free, foaming gel cleans without drying skin. ($33, Dermalogica.com)

Softlips

With its simple, consistent delivery of smooth, soft lips, Softlips was the beginning of many of our beauty-product obsessions. The light, familiar sweetness of vanilla bean, berry, or mint leaves lips with a healthy sheen; the balm also packs on some SPF for good measure. And you gotta love that price. ($9.99 for a five-pack, Softlips.com)

Aveda Shampoo

Aveda’s top-selling product since its1989 launch, Shampure Shampoo is fortified with a protein from Brazil nuts that leaves hair shiny without stripping it or drying it out. In true Aveda form, the heavenly scent is concocted from twenty-five flower and plant essences. ($10.50, Aveda.com)

Pantene

Consistently one of the world’s bestselling hair-care brands, Pantene Pro-V remains affordable and reliable. Whether we go for the fine/medium, medium/thick, or two-in-one formula, anyone who has used it knows this conditioner must be infused with some kind of magic to leave hair feeling that soft. ($5, Pantene.com)

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