Illustration: María Jesús Contreras
There’s a second Prime Day underway, which we’re thinking of as a pre–Black Friday, “get a jump start on holiday shopping” sort of event. We’ve sifted through hundreds of products to surface the best of what Prime Day has to offer. Some of these — like the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask — we highlighted just a few months ago for the previous Prime Day. Now you have another chance to get in on those repeat deals. And there are lots of new Strategist picks this time around, including Olaplex’s fan-favorite No. 3 conditioner, which we’ve deemed the very best hair mask, and Belif’s Aqua Bomb moisturizer, a favorite of drag queen Farrah Moan that came recommended by drag sister Kim Chi. You’ll likely recognize most everything on this list; we’ve tested and written about much of it before. We’ve also triple-checked prices to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
As in Prime Days past, things move quickly and stock fluctuates, so we’ll be updating this post regularly to make sure it’s current. For even more deals, follow us on Twitter or check out our Prime Day hub.
Note: We’re finished updating for today, so prices and stock may change overnight. We’ll be back tomorrow for day two, so stay tuned.
This face-sculpting device makes our list every Prime Day for two reasons. One: It’s effective and has made fans of everyone from dermatologists to celebrities to TikTokers (and, well, me). Two: It’s expensive, which makes a sale price of $150 all the more appealing.
These Crest whitening strips (one of the rare whitening products approved by the ADA) use hydrogen peroxide to give you a brighter smile and are thin enough that you can talk and drink while wearing them.
According to Rio, this dry shampoo from Living Proof is the “best she’s ever used.” It doesn’t have a sticky, tacky feel, she says, and it leaves behind a faint floral smell.
The Revlon blow-dryer brush is a longtime Strategist favorite. This is the 2.0, which has a slimmer, sleeker handle and a smaller brush size that makes it easier to get close to the root. There are also more heat settings to reduce heat damage by 50 percent.
A four-pack of Real Techniques sponges, which Rio has said are “so much better than the original Beautyblender.”
Rio first mentioned GrandeLASH back in 2018 as a way to help her lashes grow back after a freak accident with a lash curler. It took about three and a half weeks for her to see a noticeable difference, though the brand says it typically takes four.
Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Wiz is beloved, and for good reason. It’s great for creating eyebrow-like strokes and comes recommended by brow artist Robin Evans, who likes that it creates a natural look.
This cleanser from Youth to the People is a favorite of Strategist staffer Brittany Nims. It’s packed with antioxidants like vitamins E, C, and K, which brighten skin over time, and won’t dry out your skin. And in case you want to build out your routine, there are lots of other Youth to the People products to choose from.
Plenty of products from French pharmacy staple Avene are on sale, including this retinol, which we previously recommended for dry skin. In addition to being moisturizing, it contains peptides, which help with fine lines, and vitamin E, a known antioxidant that helps to protect skin from free radical and sun damage.
Rio’s favorite skin-calming mist is also on sale. It’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, and according to Rio, it “feels like a real luxury.”
This moisturizer from Belif is a bit of a celebrity among the RuPaul’s Drag Race cast. It’s a favorite of drag queen and skin-care enthusiast Farrah Moan, who heard about it from season-eight queen Kim Chi and has since converted all her closest friends. Our friends at the Cut have also recommended it, as have the Dewy Dudes, who called it an essential in 2019.
Sunscreen is a must for daily skin protection, and even if you’re good about slathering it on in the mornings, many of us are less diligent about reapplying. We first named this the best brush-on sunscreen in 2019 and have written about it many times since, noting that it’s shine-reducing, easy to apply, and offers skin just a hint of shimmer.
Our favorite dry shampoo is 30 percent off, making it the cheapest we’ve seen all year. Hairstylists swear by the stuff, which they say is “lightweight and great for all hair types.” It’s also a bit better for the environment because it releases as a powder rather than an aerosol spray.
Also on the hair front, Olaplex’s fan-favorite shampoo is on sale. The Prime Day perennial is a hairstylist staple, thanks to its ability to rehabilitate hair after one treatment. As one stylist puts it, “it’s a general powerhouse.”
The oft-recommended Laneige Sleeping Mask is 30 percent off, a good time to stock up on the popular lip mask. Euphoria actress Storm Reid, who heard about it from her makeup artist, Pauly Blanch, says, “It keeps my lips super-moisturized but also has a high-shine gloss and adds a little plumpness to my lips.”
For a lightweight daytime alternative, there’s this ultra-moisturizing glowy lip balm, which doubles as a lip gloss and contains hydrating ingredients like shea and murumuru butter.
We’ve previously recommended this spray from Glytone for people with acne in hard-to-reach areas, noting that it’s particularly effective for keeping pores unclogged post workout.
The Malin + Goetz shampoo has made fans of New York staffers and hairstylists alike, with beauty editor and writer Jessica Prince Erlich calling it “instantly moisturizing.” The peppermint scent of the clarifying shampoo is 30 percent off, which we think is a very good deal.
The Mario Badescu facial spray two-pack is another perennial favorite. Writer Tavi Gevinson has called the rosewater scent “mind-resetting,” and while she uses it as a meditation tool, it has skin-care benefits, too. Rosewater and aloe are known to be hydrating and calming for the skin.
A good vitamin-C serum can be hard to come by, because while effective, the ingredient can be mercurial and difficult to stabilize. This one from Vichy comes recommended by dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal, who says it’s a good, strong option that’s not too expensive. It also has hyaluronic acid, which helps to moisturize the skin.
Our favorite flat iron for short hair is this ultra-thin Babyliss flat iron, which is superthin, lightweight, and has lots of heat settings so you can achieve a smooth look without damaging the hair. The titanium plates are also particularly effective for curly and textured hair because they evenly distribute heat.
This flat iron from GHD (which comes in a limited-edition pink hue) is our favorite flat iron overall and came highly recommended by hairstylists, including former first lady Michelle Obama’s longtime stylist Yene Damtew. She says it’s good for “a multitude of hairstyles and producing shape and movement for all hair textures.”
PMD makes skin-care tools meant to enhance your routine. There’s a silicone facial-cleansing brush that gives skin a deeper clean and this personal microdermabrasion tool, which sucks the gunk out of your skin and leaves you with clearer, unclogged skin.
We first sounded the alarm on ColorWow’s root coverup in 2018, when Rio penned an ode to its ability to disguise her mother’s grays. During the early days of the pandemic it resurfaced again as a fix to salon appointments. Now’s your chance to grab it at a significant discount — or, if you’re already a fan, to pick up two.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.