Mary Kay, the mega-famous beauty company founded in 1963 by entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash, has earned its stripes with its devoted fan base thanks, in part, to its effective formulas. Not only does the company known for its iconic pink Cadillacs invest millions in research and testing, but the brand has at least 1,500 patents.
Three particular areas where the brand shines are anti-aging products, moisturizing formulas, and bold cosmetics. Below we’re sharing the products in those categories that any MK devotee will tell you is a must-shop, whether you’re looking to expand your collection or start a stash from scratch.
Best Dry Skin Quenchers
If you’re battling dryness, genetics, the weather, and even soaking too long in a hot bath can be to blame. But regardless of the cause — ask your derm what they think the culprit is for you — these three wonders will come to the rescue with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, and squalane. And the clincher? The brand’s high-tech formulations will help your skin stay hydrated.
These pretty pink patches are the perfect slip-on fix any time your eyes could use a moisture boost. According to an independent consumer study of 157 people, these patches, loaded with the humectant glycerin, boosted skin hydration upon application. Translation: you’ll see the effects right away. They leave the delicate eyelid skin feeling cool and soothed, and can help reduce the look of puffiness and dullness.
This cream is luxe. Loaded with shea and mango butter and sunflower and apricot kernel oil, it feels unbelievably smooth and creamy and, based on biophysical testing, was proven to moisturize for 24 hours. The light, energizing scent? That’s just a bonus.
We love this oil not only for the hydrators it contains (squalane, sweet almond oil, sesame oil, and olive oil) but what it doesn’t (parabens and synthetic dyes and fragrances). Glide it on your face, elbows, cuticles, the ends of your hair, or wherever you need an extra dose of moisture for instant relief.
Best Youthful Glow-Getters
Turning back the clock is all about lifting and firming to blur and soften lines while protecting the skin from collagen-depleting damage. And this is an area where MK’s science-backed, award-winning family of anti-aging products shines. Read on for some of the stand-outs in the range.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one skin-perfecting system, well, here you go. This set (which comes in normal/dry and combination/oily versions) contains a cleanser, SPF day cream, night cream, and eye cream, all packed with encapsulated resveratrol, vitamin B3, and peptides to both treat existing signs of aging and protect the skin against free radicals that can cause further signs of aging. And the combination is effective — in a 12-week independent clinical study, participants found that there was a visible improvement of multiple signs of aging in just four weeks, with more results coming after prolonged use.
Use this Korean beauty-inspired sheet mask just once for 20 to 30 minutes to help boost the radiance of your complexion. Use it twice weekly for 14 days and you’ll get visibly firmer and more lifted skin, according to clinical trials. You can address your thank you note to the blend of oat kernel extract, orchid extract, and skin-conditioning sodium hyaluronate and the plant-based bio-cellulose material that helps all that goodness absorb into the skin.
The serum was formulated to enhance what the brand dubbed the “triangle of youth,” meaning full cheeks, a defined jawline, and a taut neck. If the ingredients sound fancy — peptides, plant stem cells derived from gotu kola, and alpinia galanga leaf and schisandra extracts — that’s because they are. They were specifically chosen to support your skin’s hyaluronic acid, elastin, and collagen levels, which are required for the firm, bouncy skin associated with youth.
Best Makeup to Get Glam
Getting all done-up doesn’t have to be a big production. By choosing the right high-performing products, you can make a major impact with a just few must-haves. That’s why we’ve selected these three Mary Kay products as your makeup MVPs — they work. There’s a pigment-packed liquid shadow, a high-shine lip gloss, and a volumizing mascara, each clocking in under $20.
With a shine that’s out of this world and a formula that’s intensely moisturizing (due to patent-pending technology), this brand new non-sticky gloss is a statement lip in the making. Oh, and it comes in 14 shades and three finishes (cream, pearl, and shimmer), so there’s one to fit every mood.
Ultimate, indeed. When you want LASHES in all caps, this is the mascara to reach for. This ultra-thickening, smooth formula manages to give major volume without flaking, smudging, or clumping. It’s also ophthalmologist-tested to ensure that it’s suitable for contact lens wearers and people with sensitive eyes, so everyone can swipe safely.
All four of the light-catching celestial-inspired shades (Pink Starlight, Light Beam, Purple Nova, and Meteor Shower) of this creamy shadow are packed with pigment for a rich pop of color, but they feel weightless on your lids. Even better: The formula is blendable, so you can sweep on with the doe foot applicator and sheer out with your finger when you’re going for a more subdued look.
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