21 Beauty Innovations That Will Change Your Life

Unless you’re a huge makeup lover who is invested in the beauty world, makeup products can start to kind of blend together. Sure, you know the difference between lipstick and lip gloss, and liquid and powder foundation, but there are so many options out there that are similar to each other that things can start to feel a little, well… boring sometimes. That’s why it’s so much fun when beauty brands start coming out with new and innovative products that bring some much needed pizzazz into your routine, and maybe even change the way you see certain makeup.

This happened to me recently when I discovered powder exfoliant. At first, I wasn’t impressed by the fine powder in its little bottle, convinced it would never exfoliate my skin the way a chunky sugar scrub does. But the second I used it, I fell in love. Powder exfoliant is a thing right now for good reason – and it is only one example of many beauty innovations that have recently become super popular.

Not all of these beauty innovations are new, though. Some have been around for years and are just gaining traction in the beauty world. Some of these products have been huge in other countries and have finally made their way to the United States. And then, of course, some are just plain new. Either way, these beauty innovations will change your life – or at least your beauty routine. Ready for something new? Read on.

1. Face Gloss


One of spring and summer’s biggest makeup trends right now is glowing skin with no sign of heavy contouring – and face gloss helps you achieve that. It sounds weird, but it works similarly to a highlight product – you use it the same way, but it gives you a more dewy, fresh look that is very *in* right now.

Milk Makeup Face Gloss, $20, Sephora


2. Beauty Balm


I wouldn’t call beauty balms new, since they’re pretty basic, but they are having a moment. A good beauty balm is a game changer because it does so much – use it on your lips if they’re feeling dry, keep your cuticles hydrated with it, use it on eyes for a glossy look, put it on dry patches… it does basically everything, and leaves skin feeling super soft.

Honest Beauty Magic Balm, $18, Ulta


3. Powder Cleanser


I got this DHC face wash powder a few months ago, and it was the first time I had ever heard of a powder cleanser. I was skeptical, but I shouldn’t have been – it’s awesome. To use, you simply fix the powder with a few drops of water, then wash your face with it. It somehow ends up cleaning skin better than even your favorite traditional cleanser, and it’s awesome for travel – it’s not liquid, so it’s easy to take anywhere. Sure, it requires a small extra step, but if you feel like your skin needs something new, this is what you should try.

DHC Face Wash Powder, $14, Urban Outfitters


4. Powder Exfoliants


Just like powdered cleansers, powder exfoliant is having a moment. I was also skeptical about this product, even after my success with the cleanser – but I was proven wrong again. I know this Tatcha product is expensive, but it’s also INCREDIBLE. I don’t think my skin has ever felt so soft than it did after I washed my face with this stuff. Powders are definitely worth trying right now.

Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, $65, Sephora


5. Cushion Foundation


If you haven’t heard of cushion foundation yet, I’m not sure where you’ve been. There’s liquid, there’s powder, and now there’s cushion – and it’s awesome. Cushion foundation feels spongey and strange, but it’s amazing – and like so many great, innovative beauty products, it’s from Korea. The airy formula makes for a weightless feeling and buildable coverage that looks natural and not cakey. You might normally stay away from sponge applicators, but not with this kind of foundation. This option from Pur is so great. The compact comes with the little sponge to apply, and when you buy it, you get a foundation refill. It’s perfect for summer weather!

Pur Cosmetics Air Perfection Cushion Foundation w/ refill, $43, Ulta


6. Undereye Tools


Does this Foreo beauty tool look like a strange vibrator? Absolutely. Does it act like a strange vibrator? Uh, yeah, it does. But it’s not a vibrator – for your vagina, anyway. It’s for your eyes. This little tool goes around your eye, vibrating and pulsing gently, to get rid of aging signs as well as dark circles. It’s pricey, but it’s so cool, and if you’re worried about your eye area, the extra maintenance is worth it.

Foreo IRIS Illuminating Eye Massager, $139, Sephora


7. Micellar Water


I’m fully aware that micellar water is not new at all, but it deserves a spot on this list because it’s incredible. I’ve tried a lot of expensive makeup removers over the years, and this less-than-ten-bucks item from Garnier is my number one favorite. Micellar water works like a dream. Put some on a cotton round, and gently rub away eye makeup – it comes off easily, without leaving behind icky residue. It can also be used on your face, and since it’s legitimately cleansing, you don’t even need to wash afterwards. It’s the BEST.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-One Waterproof Makeup Remover, $8.99, Ulta


8. Lip Shade Transformer


What makes these lipsticks innovative? The yellow lip color you see works to lighten any lip shade you want lighter, and the black one makes lipsticks darker. It’s kind of the best idea ever, and yes, it really works. This is great if you receive a lipstick and don’t love the color, but can’t return it, or if you just want to play around with colors!

The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder Lip Flip, $22, Sephora


9. Lip Plumping Treatment


Lip plumping glosses certainly aren’t new – I have clear memories of being a pre-teen and slathering it all over my lips, laughing with friends about the prickly feeling after. But unlike the weird lip plumping glosses of my pre-teen days, the ones these days are more legit. This LifeCell Plumping Treatment is particularly awesome – swipe it on, wait for that tingling, stinging feeling, and then enjoy the look of fuller lips. While you won’t be mistaken for Kylie Jenner, these definitely give lips a boost.

LifeCell Lip Plumping Treatment, LifeCell


10. Roller Brushes


If you’ve ever tried to use hair rollers, you know it’s not easy. I’m not sure how vintage women made them look so easy, but rollers are tough to actually roll up, and even harder to keep in place. Enter these rolling brushes, called Click n Curl. You attach a hairbrush handle to the end, wrap hair around it, roll up, then click the button on the handle, and the handle comes off – and roller part stays put, without a clip. A whole set should get your whole head, and there are even different sizes depending on if you want a wave or more of a curl. This changes the game, and makes at-home blowouts so much better.

Click n Curl, $39.99, Click n Curl


11. Illuminizing Moisturizer


GlamGlow has taken advantage of the glowing skin trend and presented us with this amazing product: illuminating moisturizer. This little pot of moisturizer looks heavenly, and works so well. Use it like any other face lotion, but this one leaves skin glowing – it’s like lotion and highlighter mixed together. It creates a nice glow that works for any skin tone, keeping skin hydrated while providing the perfect makeup base.

GlamGlow Glowstarter™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, $49, GlamGlow


12. Large Makeup Brushes


If you’re going to drop a lot of money on makeup brushes, make it makeup brushes from Artis. These huge, unique brushes work like a dream to create an even and flawless application. They’re super soft, easy to navigate, and will become your new favorite tool.

Artis Oval Makeup Brush, $55, Anthropologie


13. Cleansing Conditioner


Remember when shampoo/conditioner combos were super popular? Well, I guess cleansing conditioners are similar, but… they’re also so much better. A cleansing conditioner should be used in place of your normal shampoo and conditioner, but instead of washing it out immediately, you let it sit in your hair for three to five minutes before rinsing, like a hair mask. I’m obsessed with this Joico option – it’s whipped, so it feels and looks like mousse, but once you put it through your hair, it leaves strands super hydrated and clean. It’s truly life changing.

Joico Color Co+Wash Whipped Cleansing Conditioner, $23.99, Ulta


14. A Heavy Duty Brush Cleaner


Why stand at a sink carefully washing your makeup brushes when a machine could do it for you? The Brush Pearl is like a little dishwasher for makeup brushes – put them in the designated spots, press go, and close the lid. Once the cleaning cycle is over, you’re left with super clean brushes. This makes being hygienic so much more simple.

BrushPearl Cosmetic Brush Cleaner, $99, BrushPearl


15. Airbrushing Machines


Makeup airbrushing isn’t new – professional makeup artists have been using it for years now. But airbrushing is so complicated and expensive that it’s often been left for big events, like weddings, or celebrity stuff. That’s why this Temptu Air is so innovative – it’s an at-home, handheld airbrushing kit that is easy to use and even portable. This little guy makes your makeup look so natural, leaving skin looking smooth and basically perfect.

Temptu Air, $195, Temptu


16. Face Mist


Face mist is not a new product either, but it’s super popular right now, and for good reason: it’s awesome. The first time I got one, I didn’t understand it or what to do with it, but now I can’t imagine a life without it. Face mist is great to spray on when you need some extra hydration (I usually put it on before mositurizer or as soon as I get out of a hot shower). It’s also great for a refresher on a hot day (it won’t make your makeup run), especially at the beach. It smells great, and makes skin more moisturized in a second.

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist, $32, Sephora


17. A Rotating Curling Wand


You’ve probably seen the Beachwaver and thought, “that looks terrifying.” That’s what I did when I first saw it – I thought a rotating curling wand had to be a recipe for pulling hair out of your head. Nope. The Beachwaver is one of my absolute favorite hot tools. Put hair under the clamp, press a button, and watch it rotate up until you stop it. If you don’t want to use the rotating part, you can use this as a wand. It works so great, helps curls stay for hours, and makes getting ready so fast.

Beachwaver S1.25, $129, Ulta


18. Cleansing Sticks


Cleansing sticks are basically like portable face washes, except you don’t need to actually wash your face. Swipe it over your skin, and it removes impurities and ickies, leaving you feeling and looking great. And they’re portable!

Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleanser in Stick, $22.40, Amazon


19. Jello Texture Eye Shadow


I’m really picky about my eye shadow, so I was skeptical about this Chosungah 22 palette. The eye shadows are described as having a “jello” texture, and they kind of. They’re similar to cushion foundation, but a little different – if you press down – it feels almost like a powdery sponge or something. But as weird as the texture is, these shadows go on like any other powder shadow. I love these shades, their staying power, and the adorable case.

Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Jello Color Eyeshadow Palette, $39, Sephora


20. Color Gloss


Going weeks in between salon visits can be rough when you color your hair. I dye my hair blonde, and I deal with dark roots for at least two weeks before my standing every-six-weeks appointment. This is where color gloss comes in – it’s a treatment put in your hair during the shower, then rinsed out. It brings out your color, making it look brighter and more vibrant. I love the dpHue Gloss+, which works so well and is priced so great.

dpHue Gloss+, $30, dpHue.com


21. In-Shower Tanning Lotion


Self-tanner is great for saving your skin, but it’s more than a little annoying to apply. Enter the St. Tropez In-Shower Gradual Tan. This self-tanner goes on skin while you’re showering, then can be washed off after three minutes. It’s not a dramatic difference, but when used regularly, it gives skin a nice, healthy glow – and it’s so simple!

St. Tropez In-Shower Gradual Tan, $25, Sephora

Which one of these beauty innovation products are you going to try? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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