Pretty Isn't Everything

We've come a long way in recent years in terms of redefining our perception of what is beautiful — except, ironically enough, with beauty products themselves. It seems that old adage of "Don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't really apply to the beauty industry. Granted, you can't compare self-acceptance to skin-cream purchasing habits, but there's no denying that a looks-based mentality still prevails when it comes to what's on the shelves.

Which is a shame, because we often overlook baller beauty buys when they come in homely packaging. In an informal survey of the R29 office, the overwhelming response to, "Do you buy beauty products based on their packaging?" was, "Hell, yes." As one staffer put it, "I'm a sucker and prefer to look at pretty things. I want my vanity (and, okay, even bathroom cabinet) to look glamorous because it makes me feel like I'm living a more successful, impressive, grown-up existence." Another employee admitted to decanting products into prettier bottles if he thinks they look too tacky to display.

Suffice it to say, packaging is a major selling point. My argument is, it shouldn't be. Sure, it's nice to have something that you're proud to display or fits your personal aesthetic, but what's the use of it if you can't actually use it because the formula or color isn't right for you? You might as well flush your money down one of those fancy Japanese robot toilets. That's not to say there aren't any products with formulas as fantastic as their packaging, but in general pretty does not equal superior.

In an effort to help you get over any package prejudice, I've rounded up an exhaustive list of products that are unjustly looked down on because of their cheap, passé, dull, or all-around tacky containers. A quick clarification: I mean no disrespect to the brands or the hardworking people behind them. This is simply one girl's opinion of which products get an unfair bad rap or are overlooked based on outward appearance. Basically, no shade intended.

Keep clicking to discover the beauty world's ugly ducklings — hopefully, you too will find a few swans hiding in here.
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Might as well start with a bang, am I right? Off the bat, that "dress" lets me know this is going to be a totally classy affair. The pink-and-black trompe-l'œil and discreetly embossed label just confirm it.

All snark aside, this is actually quite an appealing scent for some people. One such person is our own tech-department mastermind, Zooey Purdy. Her ode to Paris shows why this parfum deserves a shot. Just don't look bedsheet-clad Paris in the eye, or we can't be responsible for the psychological damage it inflicts.

Paris Hilton Sheer, $15.99, available at Target.
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I cannot tell you how many people ask me about the efficacy of Bio-Oil. My answer is usually a heartfelt proclamation about how effective it is for everything from acne scars to dry skin.

Unfortunately, it comes in whatever the hell this is. From the '80s script to the weird liquid drop design, it's not something I'm proud to keep on my bedside table, yet there is sits — mostly so that when people see it, I have an excuse to gush. My spiel usually starts with "OK, so I know it looks cheesy but..."

Bio-Oil, $12.99, available at Target.
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I know I am going to get so much shit for this one (the rest of the beauty team all vehemently disagree), but I stand by my ruling. The hammered metal tops on Smith & Cult's Nailed Lacquers look so badass and stand out from everything currently on the market. That same concept, unfortunately just doesn't work on the lip products. Every time I see this cap, my brain thinks it somehow got damaged during shipping.

The stains themselves are gorgeous. Sweet Suite and Linger Sigh are soft, glossy, sheer tints that create the subtlest whisper of color. Or, layer it to create a soft glossed lip look. And, if you love these, the brand is releasing a new formula called The Tainted Lip Stain_Flatte — a hyper-pigmented matte stain that wears more like a liquid lipstick.

Smith & Cult The Tainted Lip Stained in Sweet Suite, $24, available at Net-A-Porter.
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Is it though? Surprisingly, yes. The bottle is a dismal 4, but the product in it is a solid 11. Beauty editors, hairstylist's and surfer girls (actual surfer girls, not Billabong customers) adore this. It does pretty much everything from fighting frizz to protecting from hot tools and softening fried strands. The brand sets itself up to lofty standards and surprisingly it not only delivers, it slays.

It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, $18.59, available at Walmart.
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I take umbrage with the tagline on this one. Look good naked? Girl, I look damn fine naked naturally. I — and every other women in existence — don't need a beauty product to be hot as hell sans clothes.

But, once I got past that (and believe me, it took some willpower to try it after that outdated marketing), I was impressed with how natural it looked on my skin. It's one of the better self-tanners out there, both for ease of use and color.

Tan Towel Plus Self-Tan Towelette, $27, available at Ulta.
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What even is that bottle? It looks like the magical vessel from I Dream Of Jeannie. It's described as "curvaceous" in the marketing materials, so, you know, there's that. It was launched in 2009, well before Beyoncé became the baseball-bat, hot-sauce toting Queen Bey we all know and worship which is the only explanation I have as to why this exists as such.

Thankfully, the fragrance lives up to its namesake. Notes include red vanilla orchid, magnolia, peach, almond macaroon, honeysuckle nectar, and amber. It's the scent equivalent of "Drunk In Love."

Beyoncé Heat Eau de Parfum, $55.99, available at Walgreens.
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Chances are very good that many of you are not familiar with this brand. Which isn't surprising, considering how nondescript the packaging is. There's no actual branding on the lipstick tube, save for Axiology's vague triangle logo. Every time I look at it, all I can think of are those portable emergency phone chargers.

Inside that meh tube though, is an absolutely breathtaking lipstick. It's vegan, organic, cruelty-free, and abundant in cool colors. The finishes range from a tint of pearly color to a glossy cream and the feel is ultra-moisturizing thanks to a whipped formula made with a blend of organic avocado butter and pure coconut oil.

I'm currently obsessed with the new Enlighten, a lilac sheen, and Fundamental, a brick red with a veil of rose-gold mixed in. Do yourself a favor and click on the pictures of them on actual lips — they look even more amazing on than they do in the tube.

Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick in Fundamental, $28, available at Axiology.
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Famed aesthetician brand Mario Badescu was founded all the way back in 1967 — and it doesn't look like they've changed their packaging since. I find the flip-top nozzle to be excessively annoying when I'm trying to get the dregs of the mositurizers and lotions out of the bottle.

And, while this alcohol toner looks like someone drained a highlighter and decanted it into a plastic bottle, it's surprisingly soothing. Great for those with acne, the cucumber formula also helps to prevent future blemishes and keep emerging ones from getting more inflamed. And it doesn't stain your face fluorescent yellow, promise.

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion, $15, available at Mario Badescu.
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It's recommended by pretty much every dermatologist ever, and we can confidently assure you it's not because of the fancy jar.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, $13.99, available at Ulta.
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Don't judge this brow whiz by its box — or the YouTube brows displayed on it. Our very own brow guru, Bob Scott, recommended this fiber filler to us, and we've got to agree, it's actually pretty good.

Word of warning: Start with a light hand. It's very easy to load too much on your arches and get a dark, goopy effect. Try wiping the wand lightly with a tissue to get the perfect amount.

Grande Naturals Grande BrowFill, $19.95, available at Grande Naturals.
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This hippie staple is pretty much the definition of "crunchy granola." The organic and fair-trade liquid soap is biodegradable, and you can use it for 18 (!) different tasks, from washing your bod to washing your floor — it even keeps bugs away from plants. Just be sure to dilute it first for best results.

Dr. Bronner's 18-In-1 Hemp Lavender Pure-Castile Soap, $16.19, available at
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This one is ugly both in the packaging and on the face. A modeling mask feels like covering your visage with Silly Putty. You mix up the powder with water, apply the yogurt-consistency mixture, and then wait for it to solidify into a rubber mask. It's considered superior to a sheet mask because it fully conforms to your face — something even the best of the sheet bunch can't truly do.

To get the true Korean skin-care experience, first apply an essence or serum liberally to your skin and then apply the rubber mixture. It will seal in the essence and supercharge it in addition to delivering the anti-inflammatory benefits of the colloidal gold.

Lindsay Gold Modeling Mask, $6, available at Glow Recipe.
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These look like something you'd find lying forlornly at the back of a dusty bottom shelf at the drugstore, but the quality tells another story. Inexpensive and effective, they would be an all-around slam dunk — if you could find 'em. Trader Joe's only stocks them in-store, so if you're not near one, you're going to need to bribe a friend who is to stock you up.

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash, $3.99 each, available in-store at Trader Joe's.
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Too Faced's whole shtick has always been bombshell beauty for the under-21 set. Bows, pink, hearts, and subtle sexual innuendo (or flat-out references, like its Better Than Sex Mascara) are all hallmarks of the brand. But damned if it can't do a good cheek product.

If you can get past the cocoa scent — yes, this is a face palette that smells like a bag of Hershey's Kisses had an orgy — the contour kit is pretty decent, especially for a beginner.

Too Faced Cocoa Contour, $40, available at Too Faced.
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Another entry into the crunchy-granola beauty canon, this brand is a favorite of Shailene "I whip out my vagina in public so it gets vitamin D" Woodley. The font on the labels is worse than Comic Sans, and the marketing is pretty cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs (sample product description: "Enjoy a bounty of botanicals to bless the skin"), but the products themselves are pretty great.

This rose face cream, in particular, gets rave reviews for its ability to moisturize and calm inflamed skin without causing more pore blockage. So go ahead, "Grace your skin with a symphony of beauty." While you're at it, you might as well "Adore each pore with the beauty of our potent petal crème." Right.

Living Libations RoseGlow Crème, $25, available at Living Libations.
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Pretty much everything about this — from the name to the bottle, to its very existence — is probably telling your body to flee in terror. I know it did that for me. However, if you actually get past, well, all of it, the scent is surprisingly appealing.

Need proof? In a staff blind sniff test, some editors actually preferred the fragrance to many of the more sophisticated options they inhaled.

Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses For Her, $32.99, available at
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You'd think the French would be a bit more refined with their packaging, but nope. At least not with this best seller. It's used by pretty much every makeup artist, model, and individual with perfect skin, and its makeup-removing properties are heralded around the globe. Funny that something with that kind of résumé is housed in such a meh bottle.

Bioderma Sensibo H20, $16.90, available at Beautylish.
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I mean, you can't really expect anything understated from Kat Von D. A tiger can't change its stripes, after all. Or its face stars, in this case. But the execution here of the Gothic lettering, Victorian roses, and pure-black-and-shiny-chrome color palette — it kind of feels like someone took Von D's signature aesthetic and toned it down to try to make it more appealing to the masses. We know Kat has so much more artistic flair to give — let her run wild!

Either way, we advise you to look beyond the design, because there are some really quality products all up in here. This liquid lipstick, for instance, is almost as long-wearing as a tattoo, and has crazy color payoff. It's worth the tackiness, promise.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, $20, available at Sephora.
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This has to be the least attractive jar of $900 face cream we've ever seen. At least you know you're not being upcharged for fancy gold-accented caps and Baccarat crystals, right?

3Lab Super Cream, $875, available at 3Lab.
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So...this kind of looks like a toothbrush. But it's not. It's a contour brush. It's pretty good at contouring. And now, you know everything there is to know about this weird brush. Mic drop, peace.

Bésame Cosmetics Boudoir Short Hair Contour Brush, $48, available at Sephora.
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Not really sure where to start. The giant, lipstick-wearing gorilla? The fact that it's calling itself “No. 1,” but not telling us who deemed it so? The comic-book lettering? Or the inexplicable Band-Aids covering said gorilla's nipples? If I hadn't seen this in person, I would have thought it was some art student's Photoshop project. All of that aside, it does a decent job of removing makeup and softening skin, so it gets a pass, nipple Band-Aids and all.

Mizon No. 1 King's Berry Cleansing Oil, $38, available at Peach & Lily.
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I don't know why this bothers me, but that little bare-butt toddler makes me angry. Like, someone take that dog to obedience lessons. You don't want an underwear-pulling dog running all willy-nilly around the streets, do you?

But yeah, the sunscreen is pretty good.

Coppertone UltraGuard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $7.97, available at Walmart.
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Given how amazing this product is, the ho-hum packaging does not do much to convey it. Have you seen this video? With that kind of transformative power, it deserves something a bit more spectacular than a boring plastic jar with a black cap.

Dermablend Cover Creme, $39, available at Dermablend.
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Despite the fact that we desperately wanted to turn away, the Kardashians' hair-care line sucked us in. Doing our due diligence in testing everything — and we mean everything — that comes to our desks, beauty director Cat Quinn volunteered her hair as tribute and was pleasantly surprised at how good it actually was. This mousse, in particular, was a high point. Well, at least they're talented at something, right?

Kardashian Beauty K-Body Volume Foam, $10.99, available at Target.
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Those Germans know a lot about effective products, but not so much about package design. Developed in the 1800s (and looking like it just arrived here via time machine), this herbal brand is famous for its plant extract-based formulas.

Kneipp Evening Primrose Hand Cream, $19, available at Kneipp.
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Beseeching the user with an existential question before even opening the product — "Where is pore?" indeed — this no-nonsense jar has an old-timey frame on the front akin to something you'd see on silent-movie placards. But it is pretty boss at removing pore gunk, even though it looks like something you found in your grandma's medicine cabinet, next to the hemorrhoid cream and the half-used, economy-sized tub of Vaseline.

Caolion Pore Original Pack, $20, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Not going to lie, this kind of makes me think it's a lice shampoo. What? You've got to admit, the packaging is kind of similar. Anywho, this is not a lice shampoo. It is, in fact, a wonderful face cleanser from a brand known for its healthy-skin prowess.

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, $40, available at Dermstore.
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I can't help but look at this mascara and think "tampon." I know, it's juvenile. But look at it now and tell me you don't see it?! When I'm not comparing it to feminine-hygiene products, I'm swiping Double Extend on my lashes like there's no tomorrow. I skip the primer and go straight to the mascara: It lifts, curls, and darkens. And it does. Not. Budge. At all, ever. The tubes stay in place all day, but remove easily with just warm water. And isn't that the mascara dream?

L’Oréal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara, $9.99, available at Ulta.
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Touted as the ancient Egyptians' secret magic cream, this "As Seen On TV"-looking jar is illustrated with a pyramid and ankh displayed on the side. You would be forgiven for thinking someone found this buried with Tutankhamun's tacky aunt. It was not (as far as I know), but despite that uphill battle, it's persevered as a killer pore-clearing treatment. Also, it's infused with ancient Egyptian magic, according to the jar. Not really sure what that means, but assuming it's an essential-oil blend maybe?

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream, $39, available at Birchbox.
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R29's former resident fragrance expert, Anne-Marie Guarnieri, described this oldie as thus: "Don't let the price tag fool you — you can get an amazingly constructed, long-wearing, soft musk (that's also a wonderful scent for layering) for the price of two entrées at Chipotle. (If you are still eating at Chipotle, that is.) Its price also explains its disco-era bottle's utter lack of flair. And you just have to block out the superfluous 'ō' symbol in its name, too. (What, without that, you were going to pronounce it, what, 'Jow-van'? 'Jah-van'? I don't get it.)"

Jōvan Musk For Women, $9.29, available at Walmart.
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Dickinson's is another case of ho-hum packaging, but its reputation for toning and clearing skin is so legendary, it could be in a Ziploc bag and it would still get purchased in bulk. If you're like me and not a big fan of toners, give this a shot. It made my broken-out, inflamed skin soft, toned, and helped minimize the redness. #skingoals

Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner, $3.99, available at Walgreens.
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Fancy seashell soap, this is not. It's a big ol', misshapen, rough chunk of black soap. But it doesn't need to be pretty enough to be put in the soap dish in the guest bathroom — it just needs to clean your skin, and it does a damn good job of that. Charcoal soap is, hands-down, the BEST cleanser for oily, acne-prone complexions. It's the next best thing to dipping yourself in a charcoal bath (and way less messy).

Soapwalla Activated Charcoal & Petitgrain Glycerin Soap Bar, $10, available at Spirit Beauty Lounge.
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When I first saw this, I thought it was a dish-soap refill, like the ones from Method. My second thought was that someone needed to go back to school and learn how to spell "pretty." My third thought was... I don't remember, actually, because I was still distracted by the name. Mostly because my autocorrect was having a conniption. In case you're wondering, it's pronounced "pretty potion." See what they did there?

And no, it's not a dish soap but rather an illuminating body lotion — available in tinted or no tint — created by a Hollywood makeup artist. Celebs love it because it makes legs look glowy and airbrushed. Which is probably why we plebeians can't get enough of it either.

Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion, $39, available at Doobop.
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With a name this charming, it's hard to believe this isn't on the shelves right next to Dior and Chanel. It looks exactly like something you would pick up in a Vermont country farm store, along with a gallon of maple syrup and a whimsical stuffed moose. And you'll be glad you did: This stuff is legit. Bag Balm fangirls have spread the word of this skin-softening wonder far and wide across the internet for a reason — it works.

Vermont's Original Bag Balm, $10.99, available at CVS.
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Guarnieri again: "I can't come up with a better way to describe this fragrance than perfume critic Chandler Burr did: 'If Chanel No. 5 were a Jolly Rancher flavor, this would be it.' Yes, it's true — inside this cheesy, World Market-looking globular bottle is one of the better celebrity scents of our day. I'm totally serious. It's a sweet, fruity, musky gourmand that, frankly, deserves better than its bedazzled container."

Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy, $20.99, available at Target.
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While it's nice to know exactly what I'm getting and what it's for, perhaps this eyeshadow palette is a little too direct. It's also incredibly easy to overlook on the shelf, especially the more muted tones like this chic combo.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Silent Treatment, $2.99, available at Walgreens.
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It's a squishy root, suspended in a package of liquid. If you were a K-Beauty newbie and passed by this in the beauty aisle, you'd probably think it was a Beautyblender past its expiration date.

Even I was hesitant a few years back when these came on the US beauty scene. As a rule, I tend to avoid rubbing root refuse on my face, but I made an exception in the name of beauty, and I'm so glad I did. Washcloths can suck it — konjac sponges are the better way to cleanse and gently exfoliate.

Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge, $12, available at Julep.
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Uslu Airlines is probably one of the most unappreciated brands out there. The frosted, tiny plastic bullet is plain and the airport-code names give no indication as to what the shade hidden inside the foggy cap may be. But when you do uncover it, you find a lipstick collection in some of the most distinctive, unique colors on the market.

Not to mention how it wears — I put this on in the a.m., and it's a bold, in-your-face orange. By the end of the day — after numerous cups of tea, apples, and the occasional stacked-high sandwich — it's faded into a bright, smudged stain. And anything that makes me look like I've been making out in the backseat of a car is all right in my book.

Uslu Airlines Lipstick in TOR, $19.99, available at Urban Outfitters.
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I don't expect my brushes to be ornate works of art I delicately display on my non-existent vanity. I do, however, prefer them not to be ombré, plastic, and in a shade called Tequila Sunrise. I make an exception for this detangler because it gets knots out of wet hair like no comb can.

The Wet Brush Pro Select Ombré Hair Brush in Tequila Sunrise, $9.99, available at JCPenney.
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It's definitely eye-catching, but not exactly in the best way. Physicians Formula tends to package its products on the gimmicky side — and its lingerie-inspired line is no exception. But beneath the over-sexed exteriors are true workhorse products that get the job done. The bronzers, in particular, are worth checking out — they're some of the best of the drugstore bunch.

Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Bronzer, $12.78, available at
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If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was some kind of European cough syrup. For the record, it's not, so please don't try to drink it. The Swiss brand was one of the first on the biodynamic scene way back in 1921. And the formulations have only continued to improve over the decades. The Sea Buckthorn line is rich in antioxidants, and the fast-absorbing body oil makes skin silky-smooth without feeling greasy.

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil, $26, available at Weleda.
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This kind of looks like something a cat would throw up. Or the inside of my vacuum after a vigorous apartment cleaning (jk, I don't clean it). But, as we've already learned, looks aren't everything. While Lush's generic black packaging and less than appealing — for lack of a better expression — gunk therein are not the most pleasant, devotees of the brand (and there are plenty) can attest to the revelation these concoctions are for skin.

Lush Angels On Bare Skin Facial Cleanser, $13.95, available at Lush.
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Despite how buzzy and technologically advanced it is, Korean skin care also happens to be unapologetically twee. Yes, we get it: It's a banana hand cream that is housed in a banana-shaped container. Twelve-year-olds may love it, but at 33, I feel a tad bit self-conscious whipping this out of my purse and slathering it on. But that's the whole fun of Korean beauty — it makes it impossible not to smile. It's just an added bonus. And, because I know you're wondering, yes, it does smell like bananas.

TonyMoly Magic Food Banana Hand Milk, $9.99, available at Ulta.
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I get that it's a brand known for its stage-makeup heritage, but does it have to be so creepy? That theater mask stamped onto its packaging calls to mind a more refined Michael Myers. And I don't know about you, but I don't want my beauty products to remind me of serial killers.

When you get past that disturbing image, the good news is the products really are killer. (Sorry, had to do it.) Since they were made for stage and screen, the complexion products are hardcore skin perfectors — ideal for when you need your skin to look flawless. Or like a bloody zombie. They cater to everyone.

Kryolan Ultra Foundation, $26.80, available at Kryolan.
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Ask any pro manicurist and they will undoubtedly tell you this is the best topcoat known to woman. It dries fast, locks polish into place, and imparts a glass-like shine to your digits. And it definitely looks like something you'd buy at a beauty-supply store — non-descript, basic, and like it's been in your bathroom cabinet for at least a decade.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, $9.95, available at Ulta.
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The wispy curlicues and calligraphy "E" on this French brand's packaging aren't doing much to make us want to pick up this cream. It looks very department-store stodgy. But despite that, makeup artists and models swear by it for its skin-calming and hydrating powers. And if some of the most image-conscious people in the world can deal with the pretentious packaging, pretty sure the rest of us can, too.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré 24-Hour Miracle Cream, $16, available at Birchbox.
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I'm not sure what it is about curly-hair brands, but they often have among the most downmarket-looking products on the shelves. For the record, none of them are, in terms of formulation and benefits — they are usually more efficacious than their straight-haired counterparts. Kinky-Curly's Curling Custard is absolutely legendary in the curly-hair community, because it moisturizes and adds shine while still defining and providing hold for your twisted tresses.

Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, $16.99, available at Target.
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If Studio 54 had a lip gloss, this would be it. Solid gold, baby. Good thing the lip color is fab enough to make up for that retro (and not in a good way) packaging.

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Red My Lips, $5.99, available at Walmart.
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To be fair, No-Ad's whole thing is "no TV ads, no hype, and no gimmicks." And it achieves that five times over with this bland bottle design. But it's a quality sunscreen for sure, and at the end of the day (spent in the sun), that's all that matters.

No-Ad Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45, $9.99, available at Walgreens.
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As a brand with a huge following online and at retailers like QVC, this one is not to be dismissed. Its lash and brow products are superb, and the CC cream is racking up rave reviews for good reasons. I just wish the products didn't look so much like those of a QVC brand.

When I look at the packaging, all I can think of is one of the network's beauty personalities gushing about how easy it is to use, while simultaneously reminding me that it's today's special value and to act fast before they sell out. What? My grandma watches a lot of QVC, okay?

It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil, $36.50 for a pack of two, available at QVC.
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This is definitely a cultural thing, as many international brands, especially those from South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East, tend to plaster models all over their packaging. But that shouldn't stop you from picking up this questionable-looking tube: It's one of the absolute best products out there for calming and diminishing rosacea, irritation, and redness. And you can't beat the price tag.

Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream, $6.24, available at Amazon.
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If only the tube were as amazing as the concealer. And for the record, the concealer is pretty effing amazing at covering up dark circles, redness, and blemishes. It's a real shame it's been relegated to such lackluster packaging. Don't even get me started on the website.

Also, personal pet peeve: Why do brands insist on putting complexion products in black, matte packaging? The minute I first use the powder/concealer/foundation, it gets all over the outside of the packaging and makes it look like I've been toting it around since my middle school days.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer, $42, available at Sephora.
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There's a reason one of these is sold every 10 seconds — and I'm willing to wager my adorable schnoodle that it isn't thanks to its homely plastic bottle. (No, you can't actually have my dog — but this magic makeup eraser is the next best thing, and it's totally up for grabs.)

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $28, available at Dermstore.
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At first glance, you wouldn't be blamed for not knowing what the hell this actually is. It kind of looks like something the police would use to dust for fingerprints. It is, in fact, a convenient way to up your SPF game. Brush this on over makeup or midday to add a quick boost to your previously applied sunscreen and extend your protection time.

Note: It does not replace sunscreen or provide the same protection level as a reapplication of traditional SPF. Instead, it's good in a pinch for when you can't apply actual sunscreen and just need something to tide you over. I keep one of these in my purse as a "just in case."

Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 Brush, $52, available at SkinStore.
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Cate Blanchett is a huge fan. 'Nuff said.

Lucas' Papaw Ointment, $15.99, available at Ricky's NYC.
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