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I trawled Reddit for the internet’s best beauty recommendations

WORDS BY JONTI RIDLEY

God bless the subreddits.

To this day, I credit Reddit for most (if not all) of my beauty know-how. From hair care to skincare, Reddit has it all. 

This isn’t to say all of Reddit’s favourite products are the best in the market, but at least these reviews are crowdsourced from thousands of legitimate users and not put online by the brand itself. I’m looking at you, Sunday Riley.

But because Reddit is this tremendously big, endless pit of information, finding what you need to know can be near impossible if you don’t know where to look. 


We’ve road-tested the latest beauty drops so you don’t have to. Head to our Beauty section for more. 


Lucky for you scrollers out there, I’ve done the hard work for you and put together a few of Reddit’s holy grail products for your shopping pleasure. I’ve also tried most of these myself because I have poor impulse control, so consider this a two-for-one deal.

A little disclaimer: I’ll only be featuring one product per brand. Otherwise, this would just be one big Corsx and The Ordinary ad. Also, I’ve only included products that you can purchase within Australia, because where’s the fun in hyping a product you’ll never get to try?

Banilla Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm — Original

Since receiving rave online reviews across the globe, Banilla expanded its Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm line to include different balms for a variety of skin concerns, but many still swear by the OG for a low-fuss makeup remover. This was actually my first introduction to oil cleansers. As you may or may not know, oil cleansers are terrific as a ‘first cleanser’ to dissolve your makeup and sunscreen before you go in with a second cleanser (typically with a higher pH). 

Personally, I’ve stepped away from solid oil cleansers because I literally always lose the mini-spatula and end up digging my grotty fingers in there, inevitably creating a bacteria bathhouse within the tub (something to consider before purchasing). 

You can scoop this balm for yourself through Yesstyle and Nudie Glow.

Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+

Products come and go, but nothing has ever left an impression on the beauty world quite like Bioré’s Watery Essence SPF50. Hailed as one of the first no-sunscreen-sunscreens, this blue tube of SPF goodness promises to sit underneath your makeup without creating the stick-n-ick experience many greasy sunscreens can leave you with. 

This was my absolute go-to for a while. However, Aqua Rich is quite high in alcohol, which is fine unless you’ve got sensitive or acne-prone skin like yours truly (the alcohol content is what gives this sunscreen its ‘watery’ texture). 

Avoid eBay fakes and order directly from YesStyle.

Nars Bronzing Powder

 

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If I see one more person recommend this in a pale skin subreddit as a powder contour, I’ll snap. This bronzer has a little shimmer to give you a ‘sunkissed glow’, which is absolutely terrific if you’re a shade ‘Sand’ and above. I will say, as far as bronzers go, it has a really lovely texture that doesn’t fade in the first 30 minutes. 

But if you’re anything south of ‘Sand’, don’t do it. The bronzers themselves aren’t orange, but they’re very warm-toned (Yes! Even Laguna! Don’t @ me!), which can quickly seem orange on cool-toned, lighter skin. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t revolve around me, so this bronzer might actually be the glowy bronze of your dreams. 

I encourage you to swatch it for yourself at Mecca, because the formula itself is pretty velvety.  

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Also known as the at-home ‘vampire’ facial, this is another rule breaker on my list. Technically you can’t buy it in Australia because of its potency and ingredient list. Its acidity is too high in combination with our UV exposure levels, apparently. This water-based liquid mask is just so full of active ingredients – glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid, with 30 per cent AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and two per cent BHA (beta hydroxy acid) the government said ‘no can do’. 

I can’t use this treatment at the moment due to other harsh actives in my current routine, but if you can sit through the discomfort (coined ‘extreme’ tingling, but otherwise known as mild burning) for 10 minutes, you’ll have a brand new face by the morning. High risk for high reward, but please proceed with caution. 

I won’t link it here because I’m not totally sure it’s allowed, but Google is your friend.

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme

 

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Experience the pout of your dreams on a budget, provided you can stand the mild tingling and burning. As someone still building their injectables savings, lip fillers aren’t on the table just yet, but a $24 product from Mecca is merely a small Afterpay purchase away. This is another brand with questionable ethics, which is why I no longer buy from them, and Redditors are certainly moving away from supporting the brand any further. However, the internet is forever, the reviews are still there in the thousands, and this is a massive hit for anyone wanting semi-instant results for a short period of time. 

This Lip Injection gloss contains capsicum (you know, like capsicum spray), which is an irritant. The avocado oil and jojoba oil help prevent the capsicum from causing severe or long-term irritation to your skin, but while it’s working, it undoubtedly puffs your lips in the pouty direction. Absolutely do a swatch test of this one. Capsicum allergies aren’t unheard of, and it could cause restriction to your airways. 

You can try the mini or full-size at Mecca.

CeraVe Lotion and Hydrating Cleanser

No beauty-based Reddit listicle could ever be complete without CeraVe’s Daily Lotion and Hydrating Cleanser. I know I said I’d only do one product per brand, but I’d argue there’s no point in separating these two when they’re constantly recommended together as a miracle elixir for those with problematic skin. 

A CeraVe post on r/SkincareAddiction will typically divide the sub some people absolutely swear by this combo as the first time they’ve ever had clear and hydrated skin. Others like myself, for whatever reason, didn’t find the combination that effective. I found the cleanser too weak to remove my makeup while the lotion actually broke me out. But my skin is honestly just an asshole at this point, so if it’s in your budget and you’ve tried everything else give it a crack. 

Both are available at Chemist Warehouse.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel

 

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Another r/SkincareAddiction favourite that fell flat for me. Many Redditors claim this is the perfect daily moisturiser. It sinks in quickly, doesn’t counteract most other serums and is reasonably priced all things a good moisturiser should do. Personally, I didn’t finish the pot. Since trying the Water Gel, however, a new ‘gel cream’ version has been released. The largest difference is the gel cream doesn’t have nearly as much fragrance or alcohol, which was my biggest gripe with the water gel and what caused my irritation. 

Those with oily skin might benefit most from the water gel formula, as it has little-to-no oily residue after applying. If your skin is of the drier persuasion, this might not be strong enough for you on the daily, but there’s a nighttime concentrate alternative which I honestly preferred over the original in terms of effectiveness. 

Pick one up at Priceline or Chemist Warehouse.

Corsx Snail Mucin

 

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I know what you’re thinking, and uh, it’s not just the name. This is literally a bottle of snail goo. Again, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it’s a pretty gross concept. Also, it’s obviously not vegan-friendly. Snail mucin isn’t a new product on the market. In fact, it’s the key active ingredient in a lot of our favourite sheet masks. K-beauty has known about the power of snails since forever.

As an ingredient, snail mucin is controversial in terms of ethics, and you should absolutely make your own informed decision, but its effectiveness is undeniable. The lack of added fragrances and other stuff meant my skin wasn’t instantly enraged at its introduction. The thin consistency also means it’s a great first step after cleansing as it sits underneath other products really well. But again, it’s snail goo, so it’s probably not for everyone. 

You can try a bottle from Adore Beauty or Yesstyle.

Laniege Lip Mask

 

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Another K-beauty legend, the Laniege Lip mask is an r/asianbeauty celebrity. As any chronic acne sufferer can tell you, a majority of acne treatments leave you with incredibly dry lips. This often leads to over-sensitivity and frequent peeling. But this lip mask essentially does a week’s worth of repair overnight. You can also use it during the day as a thick lip balm, which I like to put on as a protectant while I’m using a strong or acidic face mask. 

Many Redditors rave that the lip mask gave them fuller, more hydrated lips with a reduction in peeling, and the hyaluronic acid and vitamin C can help reduce pigmentation. Fellow lip chewers, I’m talking to you. 

You can buy it from Sephora or Adore Beauty.

Glossier Cloud Paint

 

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Love it. I’ve bought it twice for myself, and even forced a friend to visit the Glossier NYC store to enable my obsession. There are plenty of dupes out there, and I’ve tried more than a few, but I just really love how the Cloud Paint feels on my skin, as well as how it looks and how it can be layered. 

Glossier as a brand receives mixed reviews due to a few controversies throughout the years, but Cloud Paint is often number one in Redditors’ liquid blush hit lists. Personally, I think the shade ‘puff’ is a perfect cool-toned pink for my skin, and it’s honestly just lovely to blend out. 

You used to be able to buy this on Heartdrops, but I’ve just discovered it’s out of stock indefinitely due to COVID, which is a bummer.

For more, here are some of the most popular beauty products from last year according to Reddit.

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