For a product to be crowned iconic, it has to meet a certain criteria. First of all, it has to the bomb.com, aka a product that you’d recommend to everyone and anyone. It also has to be a beauty staple, as in, you couldn’t imagine the beauty industry without it. Once it ticks all of these boxes, you have to ask yourself; ‘But is it iconic?’ Here are the 25 most iconic beauty products of all time; from makeup and skincare to beauty tools and fragrance, these are the ones that have won over the hearts, faces, and hair of HB HQ and the world!
The Most Iconic Beauty Products OF ALL Time:
We swear by the Bioderma Micellar Water: our nighttime skincare routine wouldn’t be the same without it. It was the OG micellar water that sparked the trend, leading everyone else to follow, and this gentle formula is one of our faves. It easily removes makeup while also lifting away any dirt, sebum or impurities from the skin, without stripping away any natural oils. Just soak a cotton pad in micellar water and gently wipe it across your face and use it as the first step of your nightly double cleanse.
Chanel No.5 redefines the word iconic. Everything about it is utter perfection, from the diamond-shaped bottle cap, which was inspired by the geometry of the Place Vendome, to the scent made up of over 80 notes. You cannot think of fragrance, without mentioning the famous No.5. Oh, and if you’ve ever questioned ‘Why No.5?’ Well, it was Coco Chanel’s lucky number and it was the fifth sample she received.
Can you imagine life without Vaseline Petroleum Jelly? We definitely can’t, and that’s probably because it’s been around since 1859! Whether you use it as lip balm or for cracked heels, Vaseline works by creating a barrier on the skin, thereby locking in moisture to speed up the natural recovery process. It’s also suitable for all skin types, as the patented jelly has been purified three times to remove impurities. Check out why Reddit users are obsessed with it here.
This hairspray is legendary. If you ask any celeb hairstylist what product they use every single day, it’s probably the Elnett Hairspray. The ultra-fine mist leaves hair with a lightweight hold that lasts all day long, and the mist is so fine it disappears with one brush stroke for super easy styling.
Who hasn’t heard of this one? The serum helps us (and thousands of others) wake up with brighter, more radiant skin. It was actually the first-ever serum to launch and the first product to use mega-hydrator hyaluronic acid. Because of the insane formula and amazing ingredients, it achieved cult status back in 1982 and has remained popular ever since.
Clinique was one of the first brands to provide a simple skincare regime in one easy purchase. Clinique’s founding dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich, identified four skin types when formulating the 3-Step System: Very Dry to Dry (Skin Type 1), Dry Combination (Skin Type 2), Combination Oily (Skin Type 3) and Oily (Skin Type 4). The kit essentially organizes a skincare regime according to your skin type that will cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
7. The Do-It-All Cream: Nivea Crème, $6
This all-purpose cream has been a handbag essential since, well, forever! You can use it on any dry skin on your body, face or hands. It’s super moisturizing, free of any nasties, and is super gentle so it works for everyone, even children.
The iconic red jar needs no introduction, so we’ll get straight into the ingredients! The formula is filled with some of the most important anti-aging ingredients, like vitamin B3 and wrinkle-smoothing amino-peptides, plus hydrating hyaluronic acid that’s designed to penetrate the skin 10 layers deep. It might not have a high price tag, but that most definitely doesn’t mean this anti-aging moisturizer isn’t amazing! Read our full review here.
Batiste Dry Shampoo saves us on a daily basis. You know the drill… You hit snooze one too many times! We love it because it instantly leaves your hair feeling clean, and the powdered formula will soak up any oil that’s making your hair look greasy. It also adds insane volume, plus it contains L-arginine, an amino acid that strengthens your hair.
La Mer Soft Moisturizer is the ultimate beauty luxury. It’s a celeb and beauty-editor fave due to its skin-saving ingredient list, which includes the famous cell-supporting Miracle Broth. This signature elixir is formulated with sea kelp and other nutrients and minerals that support the five facets of natural healing: moisture, regeneration, soothing, smoothing, and radiance. In short, it will give your skin a new lease of life. And yes, it’s insanely expensive, but it’s VERY good.
The Most Iconic Makeup Products OF ALL Time:
The Touche Eclat was the first concealer on the market to be infused with brightening pearls, which is why YSL patented it for 15 years (until 2007) explaining why it was an instant sell-out. In fact, one is sold every 10 seconds – dark under eyes be gone! If you’ve yet to experience the magic of a Touche Eclat, it’s a light coverage luminizing pen that you can use to brighten and conceal. If you prefer a full coverage finish, they now have a medium to full-coverage sister that we’re equally as obsessed with.
If you’re looking for a summer glow year-round, you need the Benefit Hoola Bronzer. The uber-flattering bronzer has a pure matte finish helping you achieve a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow. The buttery powder applies like a dream and is easily buildable making it great for contouring or bronzing. Each bronzer comes with a built-in mirror and compact brush so you can touch up throughout the day. They also recently added three new shades to the line for lighter and deeper skin tones.
Nars Orgasm Blush is possibly the most memorable product name of all time. The product was named by Francois Nars, who said he “wanted something shocking,” and that “looking back, I think the combination of the name and shade made it so popular.” At one point, four blushes were sold every minute, which is approximately 1,400 each day. The powder blush is now offered in 28 shades, but we still love the OG original pink; it’s universally flattering and builds so well.
The Urban Decay Naked Palette was the OG eyeshadow palette – in 2015 one sold every six seconds, and Forbes even named it the ‘iPhone of makeup.’ The first Naked Palette had 12 shades including buttery mattes and pigmented shimmers in classic nude tones, as well as a double-ended eyeshadow brush. In 2019, the OG palette was discontinued and relaunched as Naked Reloaded. Urban Decay also expanded the Naked Range with eight other Naked Palettes, we love the Naked 3 palette, $54 (pictured above).
While Better Than Sex is a pretty bold claim, this mascara is the bomb. It gently separates and lengthens the lashes for a fluffy, sexy finish. They also have a waterproof version, which is just as legendary. The plush hourglass brush was actually inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s body as was the name. The Founder explained to The Cut ‘A reporter asked Marilyn Monroe how it was performing on Broadway for the first time in the 50s, and she said, “It was better than sex.”
When it comes to foundations, the Luminous Silk Foundation remains at the top of our list. The award-winning formula has a weightless texture, with Micro-fil technology that’ll sculpt and brighten while blurring imperfections, leaving your skin with a glowing, silky finish. It literally glides onto your skin and is easily buildable too, so you can cater the coverage from light to medium
Benefit dominates the brow space in the beauty industry, and this has to be one of our favorite products in the line. The super-fine, waterproof eyebrow pencil allows you to create hair-like strokes that last for 12-hours. The twist-up formula remains sharp and has a built-in spoolie. It also comes in 12 shades so no one is left out!
You can’t think of a red lip, without thinking of MAC’s Ruby Woo Retro Matte Lipstick. The cool-toned red lipstick literally looks good on everyone and the pigment payoff is unreal. It’s long-wearing but it doesn’t leave your lips feeling dry, which is super important.
One of these mascaras is sold every five minutes, that’s how good it is. The hourglass-shaped natural bristle brush separates and fans the lashes so it remains clump-free, regardless of how many coats you lash on. It doesn’t flake, it doesn’t smudge, but what it does do, is leave your lashes looking long, sexy and fluttery. Even Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John swears by the drugstore mascara. The best bit is it only costs $11!
This foundation ticks every box, which is why it’s achieved cult status and has been around for years. The full coverage foundation is 24-hour proof with a flawless natural-matte finish. It’s also oil-free, fragrance-free and non-acnegenic, so it won’t block your pores or cause breakouts. Best of all, it has an extensive 55 shade-range, which undoubtedly contributes to why it’s so damn iconic!
The Most Iconic Beauty Tools OF ALL Time…
Tweezerman has been hand-making tweezers since 1980, and we’ve had a pair of Tweezerman tweezers stashed in our makeup bag since we knew we could pluck our brows. The tip is hand-filed for a sharp edge and aligned at a 25-degree slant to grab every hair with perfect precision and without the possibility of grabbing the skin, as it has the optimum angle for working against the brow bone. Hands down, the best tweezers we’ve ever used.
Tangle Teezer has literally dominated the market in the past 10 years, with over 40 million brushes sold globally! Each brush is created with long and short teeth to glide effortlessly through the hair, detangling and smoothing as it goes. The long teeth detangle without pulling (or hurting) and the short teeth smooth the hair cuticle for a glossy finish. It’s our ultimate everyday brush – it makes brushing quick, painless, and oddly satisfying! Read our full review, here.
If there’s one product we couldn’t imagine doing our makeup without, it’s a beautyblender. We use it to apply everything – our foundation, concealer, baking powder, and of course our contour. Pre-beauty blender, sponges were typically made in a wedge shape because it was the most cost-effective. However, when beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva attended a makeup class, she learned that wetting a sponge with water gave a flawless finish. That’s when it hit her that using an edgeless wet sponge can result in a naturally smooth, evenly textured finish, for which we’ll be forever thankful.
“I’m your Venus, I’m your fire your desire!” …Remember those adds? Going to the drugstore to buy your first Venus Razor is like a beauty rite of passage! Each razor has three blades that hug every curve and the handle has an anti-slip soft grip to minimize the risk of cuts. Plus, you can mix and match different razor heads so you don’t have to continue to buy single-use razors, thank you next.
Ask any makeup artists or beauty junkie what their fave lash curler is, and they’ll tell you it’s this one. The Shu Uemura lash curlers lift and curl your lashes like no other due to the patented hinge that provides just the right amount of pressure on your eyelashes. It also has a curved angle with mushroom-shaped silicone padding to protect lashes and suit all eye shapes, including hooded eyes and almond eyes. It’s the secret to longer-looking, sexy curled lashes.
Which do you think is the ULTIMATE iconic beauty product? Let us know in the comments below.