Sephora is a not-so-secret beauty treasure trove filled with thousands of eyeshadows, lipsticks, beauty inventions, and an interesting mix of makeup-obsessed customers. Nestled among the traditional foundation bottles and makeup brushes, there are some makeup products that look downright intimidating and a few weird-looking hair products. You can’t help but pick it up and wonder what the heck is this odd beauty gadget, and if it is really meant for your face. Not only do they have some strange-looking makeup products, they have their fair share of sci-fi-esque skin care products as well. These 10 products might look different than your traditional lotions, but they offer just as good results–if not better.
Sometimes products names are mysteries in themselves. “Beauty elixir” sounds like something a suspicious witch would offer you, claiming it gives you internal youth. That actually isn’t too far off. This is a part-serum, part-toner that you spritz on your face. It shrinks pores and improves the radiance of your skin, for glowy skin without the facial.
This genuinely looks like something you would find in a mad scientist’s lab. Look at that color! This weird liquid is actually a non-acidic facial peel that is meant for daily use. The “non-acidic” part means that it won’t irritate or make your skin go bright red like traditional harsh peels. That justifies the price. Sort of.
Self-tanner is an intimidating product no matter what kind of packaging it comes in. A lot of us forgo self-tan on our faces entirely, preferring to use bronzer instead of ending up with a streaky forehead. These face towelettes actually make tanning a lot easier. Just rub them around your face like you would a washcloth, and you’ll be left with a natural-looking tan.
You’ve probably read about the cult Clarisonic brushes, but are probably dubious whether they make your skin look that noticeably different (at least enough to justify the $100+ price). Clinique has come out with their own version, which is suitable for all skin types and leaves skin squeaky-clean. They may look funny, but sonic cleansing brushes are the way of the future.
Think “cleansing oil” is an oxymoron? You’re not the only one. Fighting a greasy complexion with more oil seems counterproductive, but cleansing oils are very effective at removing dirt and makeup. Don’t worry, they’re not greasy. Cleansing oils can actually help reduce excess oil. Who would have thought?
If it’s not in a tube or a bottle, I am normally uncertain about a new product. I’m even more suspicious when the skin product is black and resembles tar, when most of the lotions we see are white. These pods are brilliantly divided for a single use, so you will never use too much product. The mask’s ingredients, charcoal and China white clay, are described as “nature’s complexion clean-up crew” and get rid of all the gunk from your pores, for a more flawless complexion.
One would assume that this is a powder with a good dose of SPF protection, but it actually is a sunscreen, first and foremost. It might not be in the typical lotion form, but it helps protect against UVA and UVB rays and has SPF 45. The best part? It doesn’t have that sticky residue most sunscreens will give you. Instead you’re left with a radiant look.
A back loofah is probably the most “adventurous” beauty tool that you own. This sponge might look like something that you scrub dirty dishes with, but the bamboo charcoal-infused sponge is gentle enough for most skin types, particularly those with oily or combination skin. Used regularly, it will reduce the appearance of pores and help stop zits from forming.
You’ve heard of scrubs, face washes and foaming soaps, but you may not have heard of cleansing balms–or have yet to figure out exactly what they are. It might reassemble a jar of night cream, but this solid turns into a silky oil on your skin and removes every spot of makeup and dirt.
For exfoliators to be effective they need to be grainy and contain all of those micro beads right? Wrong. This powder-based cleanser is just as effective for removing dead layers of skin, but is much more gentle. Just add a bit of water until it froths up, and massage away.