The 29 Beauty Buys Every Blogger Actually Swears By

It might seem like every other week (or minute), the makeup-vlogging world is giving us yet another trend to obsess over, tool to try, or look to copy. But when you peel back the hype, these internet beauty experts have some serious authority in the space. Their go-to picks have been shaped and honed through hours of testing, filming, and testing again. They don't just read about something and recommend it. Opinions are formed through hours of hands-on experience, which is something that many, sadly, don't have the time for.

Some of their advice can get a little, shall we say, creative (stiletto contouring, anyone?), but generally, bloggers work to make their looks accessible, smart, and most of all, budget-conscious. In fact, they're up there with the pros when it comes to figuring out the best drugstore buys.

We reached out to Huda Kattan, Maryam Maquillage, Leigh Ann, Jaleesa Moses, Karen Yeung, and more to figure out what buys you really need. They've tried it all, so you don't have to. (Just kidding, you totally have to.)
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A Variety Of Foundation
You may think that foundation, as the err, foundation, of your makeup routine, should sport a high-end name. But when it comes to creating many looks, versatility is a must. That's why Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty suggests stocking up on less expensive versions.

"I wasted my money on too much product [when I first started out]," she tells Refinery29. "Instead, I'd suggest buying four shades, max — olive tone, beige tone, light tone, and dark tone — and mixing to make a perfect foundation."

The point isn't to get the priciest formula out there, but to get the one that will get the job done. If your skin tone fluctuates from summer to winter, it might be worth buying more for mixing and matching.

Luckily, a few showstopping drugstore foundations have established cult followings. Jaleesa Moses, Ipsy stylist and beauty vlogger, recommends L'Oréal True Match, given its whopping 33 shades.

L'Oréal True Match Super Blendable Makeup, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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If you're willing to spend a bit more, this is another runaway favorite among the blogger set. “It took me so long to find a foundation I loved and [I'm] so glad I stumbled upon this one a couple years ago,” Meggan Morehead of Somewhere, Lately says. “It's natural-looking and gives you great coverage.”

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, $48, available at Sephora.
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For those on the go, YouTuber Christen Dominique offers up this handy stick. "It's so easy and quick to apply, not to mention the coverage and feel [are] comfortable and flawless," Dominique says.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation, $43, available at Sephora.
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A Good Concealer
The secret to that flawless, YouTube skin? Finding the right concealer. Tarte's formula comes highly recommended by Dominique. "It doesn't crease, and it has a nice-sized applicator that makes it easy to apply to a large area," she says.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $24, available at Tarte Cosmetics.
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This cult favorite is a blogger fave, too. "It's great for perfecting the complexion," Moses says.

Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer + Treatment, $7.19, available at Target.
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A High-End Skin-Care Routine
Bloggers may fill their carts with drugstore makeup — but they invest most of their money in skin care. "Good facial creams are the most important place to spend money," Kattan says.

Her recommendation (and obsession)? Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale Cream, a luxe anti-ager loaded with orchid extracts. "I buy it in boatloads, because it's my go-to for skin emergencies," she adds.

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream, $455, available at Nordstrom.
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Not willing to shell out $500 just yet? YouTuber Gabriel Zamora swears by this anti-aging serum. "It has reduced fine lines and the appearance of my pores in a matter of a month," he says.

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Daily Age-Defying Serum, $75, available at Macy’s.
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You can never go wrong with a classic. "It gives your skin so much moisture and youth, it's unreal," Dominique says. There's a reason it's one of the most popular beauty products in the world.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, $65, available at Sephora.
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A Good Makeup Remover
What you put on your face is important — but how you take it off is even more so. A clean face is, after all, the first step in great skin care. "I hate when my face feels like I haven't removed all of my makeup," Olia Majd of Love, Olia says. "These wipes work wonders and don't dry out my skin at all."

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $6.49, available at Neutrogena.
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Karen Yeung loves this Kanebo makeup remover, which is more difficult to track down. "I just love the way it makes my skin feel!" Yeung says.

Kanebo Sensai Silky Purifying Gentle Make-Up Remover, $33.27, available on Amazon.
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And who can forget this classic French-girl staple? Not only does micellar water easily remove makeup, but it also cleans your face without over-drying. "I go to Paris twice a year, and I stock up on every trip," Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life says. "It's the most effective and gentle makeup remover I've yet to use."

Bioderma Sensibio H20, $16.90, available at Birchbox.
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Bold Basics
Of course, when you're first starting out, the goal is to get as much variety as possible while paying the least amount. Here, the drugstore is your best friend — and not just for foundation. "Mascara, eyeliners, tweezers, and eyebrow products — all drugstores have great options for these staples," Kattan says.

It's also the best place to grab bright and experimental shades. Black lipstick might not be worth $30 if you soon realize it's not your color. But $6 is a different story. Yeung, for one, opts for CoverGirl blush, while Moses swears by Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipsticks. "They wear nicely at a great price," Moses says.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick, $5.79, available at Walgreens.
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Another must-have? A bold, easy-to-use eyeliner. "I don’t wear eyeliner all the time, but when I decide to wear liquid liner it is always Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner," says YouTuber Madelynn De La Rosa. "If there’s one eyeliner I swear by, it’s that one! Not only does it last all day and is incredibly easy to apply, it’s also cruelty-free and vegan."

Kat Von D Ink Liner, $20, available at Sephora.
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Lust-Worthy Lashes
You may think that false lashes are a wee bit dramatic for day (unless you're competing on The Bachelor), but daily falsies are a staple within the beauty-blogger community. "When I started out, I didn't wear foundation and I was just learning how to apply lashes," Leigh Ann says. "I was basically an alien in the beauty world."

Now, Leigh Ann sports false lashes in almost all of her videos. One of her old favorites? Half-lashes, which add a touch of flair without feeling overwhelming.

Ardell Lash Accents Pair Style 301, $11.05, available at Amazon.
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Falsies seem a bit much? A great mascara will do the trick. Moses loves this Lancôme version. "It makes even the wimpiest of lashes look long and fluttery," she says.

Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara, $27.50, available at Sephora.
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And almost all of the bloggers swear by lash serums.

"I've used this serum for years faithfully, and everyone thinks I have lash extensions," says Katey McFarlan of Chronicles of Frivolity. "I've even had a grandmother pull on my lashes at brunch from a booth over, asking if they were real!"

NeuLash by Skin Research Laboratories Lash Enhancing Serum, $95, available at Nordstrom.
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A Cult Palette
We asked bloggers what they were really lusting after. And while some chose gear (plenty were saving for lighting kits and nicer cameras), others chose, of course, major makeup.

"Really great pigmented eyeshadows change the game. My favorite palette is Lorac Mega Pro 2 palette," Yeung says.

But what she's really saving up for? "Natasha Denona has a 28-color shadow palette that I've been eyeing," she says. "I haven’t splurged or bought it yet, because it’s $240, but it’s on my wish list. I heard the pigmentation of it is amazing!"

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28, $239, available at Natasha Denona.
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Another favorite of Yeung's is the Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette. While that giant set is currently out of stock, this smaller version will tide you over.

Lorac Pro Palette 2, $44, available at Ulta Beauty.
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But not all palettes need to cost as much as a steak dinner. Moses recently discovered this drugstore version, which has become her new go-to. "The eyeshadow duos and palettes are great for creating different looks, and they're very creamy and pigmented," she says.

6-Well Mineral Eyeshadow Palette Wet/Dry in Ocean Glass, $12.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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One Powerful Primer...
Primers don't just keep vloggers' makeup from sweating off under bright studio lights — they also make foundation, shadows, and lipsticks look brighter, bolder, and smoother on camera.

Yeung's most recent primer obsession? This redness-correcting version, which she says goes on velvety without drying out your skin.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer, $37, available at Sephora.
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...& A Powerful Setting Powder, Too
All that work, only to disappear by 2 p.m.? "A great setting powder helps to keep everything in place all day," Moses says.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $23, available at Sephora.
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Baller Brushes
"Quality brushes make a huge difference in the application and blending of product. Plus, they last longer than inexpensive ones," Moses says.

These Artis oval brushes dominate the vlogger-sphere. "They're actually revolutionary in their density and the way they apply product so heavily," Kattan says. "It's some of the best coverage you'll ever get, especially if you're trying to conceal pigmentation or scars."

Artis Brush Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set, $165, available at Net-A-Porter.
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Great brushes don't need to be crazy-expensive, but finding quality ones will make applying and blending blushes, creams, and other products a breeze. "I love the Real Techniques brushes by Sam and Nic Chapman," says Moses. "They’re soft, super-durable, and come in convenient multipacks."

Real Techniques Mega Set, $49.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Finally, these Smith brushes are oh-so-pretty, and a fave of Yeung's.

Smith Cosmetics Face Essentials, $84, available at Smith Cosmetics.
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A Killer Contour Kit
Although they may be as sick of contouring as you are, beauty bloggers see it as a welcome necessity. "You have to have a flawless canvas," makeup blogger Maryam Maquillage says. "Contouring is great for stage and professional makeup."

For beginners, Maryam recommends a powder contour kit, like this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills, which has six shades, ranging from warm to neutral to cool.

"The cools are best to chisel the features, because they look like shadow under the cheekbone or along the sides of the nose," she says. "The warm tones bring everything together."

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, $40, available at Sephora.
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If you're not into full contour, a bronzer can add some definition without looking overdone. "I cannot live without MAC Cosmetics' Give Me Sun! It's an amazing bronzer that makes you look like you have a glow from being out in the sun," Zamora says. "I tend to play with bronzers a lot, since I love the glowy, bronzed look all year 'round."

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Give Me Sun!, $33, available at MAC.
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Sick Gear
When it comes to gear, your first investment might be a light. Natural light is, by far, the most flattering, but if vlogging is becoming a full-time job, you'll have to start creating light — especially if you're filming late at night.

"Changing my lighting really improved the quality of my videos," Leigh Ann says. "I started out with two desk lamps. Now, I'm using a ring light and natural light. I've learned exactly what looks best."

Many bloggers use ring lights, but be warned — if you get sucked down the rabbit hole of lighting kits, you could easily spend around $4,000. This one, luckily, is only a couple hundred bucks — and comes with a diffuser.

Diva Ring Light Super Nova, $249, available at Amazon.
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A Beautyblender
By this point, everyone and their mother knows what a Beautyblender is and how it works. (If you don't, here's a primer.) Still, it's worth rehashing that this teardrop-shaped tool is a game-changer when it comes to creating flawless looks. And knowing how to use it, especially when you're using a cream contour, is the sign of a true pro.

"The key here is to really blend it out. If you don’t, you can always tell," Maryam Maquillage says.

For the record, Maryam uses the side of the Beautyblender to feather out her foundation after applying and the corner tip to highlight along selected areas.

Beautyblender, $20, available at Sephora.
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According to many bloggers, lighting is more important than your camera, so "any camera that captures your technique adequately works fine," Moses says.

Still, an upgrade could help you get incredible closeups and great video quality. If you do want to invest in a fancy DSLR, Canons seem to be the cameras of favor among the beauty bloggers; Yeung recommends the Canon T5TI, while Kattan suggests the Canon Rebel model. "I think that all Canon cameras make your skin look great," Kattan says.

Canon Rebel T5 Kit, $399, available at Canon.
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