I’m in awe of Urban Outfitter’s stellar beauty department, which has been ramped up and refined during the last couple of years to include a mix of recognizable brands (Stila, Anatasia), minimalist cult favorites (Heribivore, Gourmand, Nudestix) and an excellent selection of Korean makeup, skin care, and hair products.
While Sephora is Mecca for things we know we want, I believe Urban to be the best spot for beauty obsessives to discover products they never knew they needed. I walk by the retailer’s New York flagship every day on the way to the subway, and—more than I’d like to admit—emerge with things like a handful of $3 Korean sheet masks, some newfangled all-purpose balm, a gel-based cheek tint, a container of snail extract (more on that ahead) or a chic hair-waving spray whose glass bottle my vanity desperately needs.
If you haven’t yet discovered the joy that is the UO beauty aisle, here are 25 game-changing products to shop right now.
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Lip Conditioner, $22
There's a reason why this simple lip balm is one of Urban's best-selling products: It's made with a key blend of virgin coconut oil, Bulgarian rose, French pink clay, and shea butter.
Nudestix Skin Pencil, $24 each
If you haven't tried Nudestix's collection of easy-to-use makeup crayons, get on it. This particular stick is my personal favorite, and it's available in four iterations: The Moisture Pencil with Amazonian clay mimics a lipid-rich barrier, the Matte + Blemish Pencil absorbs sebum and oils to mattify, the Clean-Up pencil helps you fix makeup mistakes, and the Blur pencil minimizes the look of lines, creases + pores for a smoother-looking texture. Genius.
Milk Makeup Cooling Water, $24
I'm a sucker for anything in a balm format, and this vegan formula—infused with marine minerals, seawater, and caffeine—can be used as a smoothing primer or an anytime pick-me-up for seriously dewy skin.
TONYMOLY Sheet Masks, $3 each
Every time I walk into Urban, I leave with a handful of these Korean sheet masks, each of which addresses different skin concerns using ingredients like aloe, avocado, seaweed, and red wine.
WHITELABELSAMPLE Matte 2, $19
The trick to getting second- (or third-) day hair, even if you just washed, this cream instantly mattifies and creates artfully messy, beachy texture.
Lime Crime I Have 2 Moods Velvetine Liquid Matte Lipstick Duo, $32
Sick packaging aside, this vegan liquid lipstick duo includes one pinky-nude shade and one vampy burgundy that dry to a super-matte finish.
Youth to the People Cleanser, $36
I refuse to use any cleanser that might suck the little moisture out of my dry skin, and this formula—nondrying thanks to kale, spinach, and green tea—removes makeup and keeps my skin balanced. It's also kinda like a green juice for your face.
Baiser Cream Blush, $30
This dewy cream blush—available in pink or poppy red—is made from organic ingredients naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F so it hydrates and balances as well as it imparts a subtle tint.
Rasasara Skinfood Makeup Remover, $32
Yes, it removes makeup like a champ, but this Aussie formula also cleanses, hydrates, and soothes inflammation with lavender, chamomile, grapefruit, and essential oils.
Eyeko Brow Gel, $25
A tinted gel that's enriched with botanicals, keratin, ginkgo biloba and natural proteins that work to condition and thicken. Pro tip: It's especially adept at creating slightly unkempt brushed-up brows (think: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen).
TONYMOLY Pure Eco Snail Moisture Gel, $14
A mainstay in Korean beauty products, fans flip the eff out over snail secretion—known to be packed with hyaluronic acid, enzymes, proteoglycans, and antimicrobial and copper peptides that hydrate, smooth, and work antiaging magic. This particular product gets five stars across the board, with reviewers claiming they wake up with the best skin ever.
Petal Multi-Use Oil in Rose, $28
Love, love, love this do-it-all oil that smells more of a clean musk than rose. I bought it on a whim and find myself using it on days when I don't feel like wearing perfume—and I always get compliments.
Twist N Clean Mascara Cleaner, $10
Um, brilliant: A small cube that cleans and de-clumps your nasty mascara wands with biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-GMO cornstarch that lasts about a month.
Egyptian Magic Skin Cream, $26
A cult favorite, this "magic" balm is beloved for its benefits to skin and hair thanks to its natural, effective mix of honey, beeswax, olive oil, royal jelly, bee pollen, and bee propolis.
Holika Holika Hello Holika Breeze Kitten Blush, $28
This multishade pressed powder from Korea can be used as a brightening blush and an illuminating highlighter. A word to the wise: It's packed with tiny light-reflecting particles, so if you prefer a matte look, keep walking.
Milk Makeup Lip Marker, $20 each
Obsessed with these crazy-pigmented lip markers that come in four bold shades, including bright orange and hot pink.
Aquarian Soul Amethyst Headache Oil, $12
Ayurvedic devotees swear certain oil blends can cure a headache better than popping two Advil, and this portable roller tube includes 100-percent-pure almond oil and therapeutic-grade organic essential oils. Reviewers say it takes about 15 minutes to kick in, but when it does, it really works.
Moon Juice Beauty Dust, $65
This edible powder—made with Pearl, Goji, Schizandra, Rehmannia, Lo Han Guo, and Stevia—is meant to be mixed into smoothies, tea, or nut milk to increase collagen and silica, tone and firm, and hydrate skin, hair, nails, and cells.
Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator, $43
A miracle tube for rough, dull skin this stuff is made with avocado oil and jojoba beads to gently exfoliate, while calendula oil and carrot seed extract calm stressed-out skin.
Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly Watery Cheek , $10
This lightweight "jelly" cheek tint is a fave among K-beauty fans—it's water-based, so it's blendable and buildable.
Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp, $12
Commitment-phobes need to check out this instant temporary tattoo stamp that comes in hearts or stars, lasts all day, and is made from a soothing blend of vitamin E.
Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist Hair & Body Spritzer, $10
This super-mild spray—made with Dead Sea salt and aloe water, and scented with lavender and sage—adds textured waves to your hair and provides a hit of moisture to skin.
Aquis Essentials Hair Towel, $30
Towel-drying wrecks my thick, dry hair, so I'm constantly wringing water out after a shower with an old cotton tee. This towel—made from Aquitex— improves absorbency, cuts down on friction, and dries hair crazy-fast. As one reviewer put it: "This is pretty much the best thing that ever happened to my hair."
Plantfolk Apothecary X UO Lip Scrub, $14
Lip scrubs are one of those beauty products that I always thought just took up space—until I started using them. Plant oils, ground herbs, and raw cane sugar exfoliates and conditions, so balm or lipstick applies flawlessly.
Printed Zip Makeup Bag, $8