Forever 21 is known in the fashion world for making trends accessible to all, and the same can be said about its fast-growing beauty department. The famous American fast-fashion brand is slowing taking over the world of beauty with its wide selection of everything from basic makeup sponges to Insta-favorite brands like Nyx and E.l.f.
When it comes to Forever 21's namesake line of products, the price is right, and the offerings are enough to get your shopping cart to free shipping status while simultaneously restocking your makeup bag in no time. Of course, working in beauty means I had to test-drive a few of the top sellers to see if they're worth the hype. At $10 and under, each one of the essentials—from makeup brushes to makeup wipes—each one has something that makes it stand out from the pack.
Keep scrolling for my honest reviews of seven of Forever 21's best-selling beauty products.
Makeup brushes are damn expensive, and for $10, getting a set of eight made me skeptical of their quality. All of my hesitation was erased when I opened the cute plastic bag the pack came in. This photo doesn't do them justice—the handles' metallic teal shade is so pretty IRL. "If they totally suck, at least my vanity will look cool," I thought. Surprise number one came when I felt them—so soft. Like, really soft. I was subsequently taken aback when I applied bronzer, blush, and eyeliner using a few of these. They work just as good as my fancy brushes, and I can't get over how soft they are for the price. Even if you end up falling in love with half of the set, I'd say you got your money's worth.
It doesn't get better than a pack of 30 makeup remover wipes for $3. While this particular set has a subtle floral scent, unless you have sensitive skin, this steal is a no-brainer. These wipes even work on stubborn waterproof makeup—I tried them for myself when I put them up against the budge-proof Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara ($24). This is what I would call a serious cheap thrill.
I happily shelled out $30 for my Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler a while back, and it has remained one of the makeup-bag staples I use daily. So when I saw this $3 Forever 21 version, I had zero expectations. How could anything come remotely close to my holy grail curler? Let alone one that costs less than a latte… While this lash curler has an excellent grip and performs decently, it missed some of my lashes. In my opinion, this tool isn't a must-have, but it still gets the job done.
Matte nail polish can be tricky; one wrong swipe and the uniform look can turn streaky. While this matte topcoat won't solve the painting woes that comes with a shine-free mani, one coat is all it takes to get the effect. The best part is that the brush is wide enough that it covered my long, wide nail beds with one swipe. I give this matte finisher two thumbs up.
This palette was the biggest surprise in the best way possible. At $9, it's a total steal and a must-buy for all skin tones. With a combination of four cream concealers and six powders, you can contour and highlight to perfection. While the three bronzing powders are on the darker side, you're bound to find a match within one of the three highlighters. I was really impressed with the concealers, too, but it might be hard to find a match between the four. Luckily I was able to mix a few shades to get a match, and the lighter ones covered up the redness on my cheeks seamlessly. I would definitely recommend picking this palette up, if just for the highlighters.
Tea tree extract does wonders for a breakout, so I had high hopes when I saw that these nose strips were made with tea tree and witch hazel extracts. They claimed to clear pores, and while I wasn't patient enough to wait a full 15 minutes as directed, the strips felt ready to peel off within 10 and worked pretty well. They are made with fragrance, so if you have sensitive skin, keep that in mind. Otherwise, for the price, these make great addition to any travel kit for those times when your skin's freaking out.
I feel like I based a lot of my reviews on price, because I still can't get over how affordable Forever 21's beauty products are. Twenty makeup sponges means each one costs a cool 10 cents. Please tell me what you could purchase these days for two bucks, because this is the only thing I can think of. The sponges are versatile when it comes to makeup application, and it never hurts to keep a pack of these on hand, especially with Halloween around the corner. Also, they're $2 and work just as well as pricier makeup sponges when damp. My tip is to cut them up as needed to really get more bang for your buck.
Do you have a favorite Forever 21 beauty product? Tell us about it in the comments.