14 expert-recommended tried and true magnificence merchandise

Nowadays, it seems that every trend is backed by nostalgia. We’ve seen capris make a comeback and even the rebirth of jelly sandals. But while fashion trends seem to come and go, there are quite a few beauty products that have remained consistent through the ages, having been passed down through the generations as tried-and-true must-haves.

For example, I grew up watching my grandfather use a mascara wand to “dye” his mustache. And decades later, I use the same product to coat my lashes — it is that good! That’s the essence of a timeless product: These classics remain a staple for a reason.

From this list, you might recognize a few products from your grandparents’ or parent’s cabinets. And highlighting each item is NewBeauty’s Senior Editor-At-Large Sarah Eggenberger, who recently shared with TODAY why these products continue to be staples years after their release. Plus, we included some of our own favorites.

Seen on TODAY | More tried and true products | How we chose

Tried-and-true beauty products seen on TODAY


Pond’s Cold Cream Makeup Remover Deep Cleanser – Scented

“The product old Hollywood loved for flawless skin is making a comeback!,” says Eggenberger. “This was the go-to cleansing and makeup removal method for theater actors, who typically wore extremely sticky and heavy makeup, before becoming more mainstream in the 1920s and beyond.” And since it is infused with “50% moisturizer,” you get the benefits of powerful makeup removal and intense hydration. 

“It has a light yet distinct smell, but if you’d rather a fragrance-free version, which is recommended for those with sensitive skin or a history of eczema,” notes Eggenberger, the brand sells a scentless version, too. 

Noxzema Classic Clean Moisturizing Cleansing Cream

This cobalt blue jar contains “a balancing cleanser that cleanses without over-drying the skin, thanks to the oils in the formula,” suggests Eggenberger. “If you are looking for a new summer cleanser and you like the cooling, tingling sensation it gives, find yourself some Noxzema products and relish in the nostalgia and clear skin.”

Their cream, in particular, contains eucalyptus, which contributes to that cooling sensation. “This ingredient cleanses pores and helps with acne because it’s a natural antiseptic that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.”

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

This rosebud salve does it all. For when you need to smooth rough skin, moisturize dry cuticles or combat chapped lips, this has you covered. And it fits perfectly in a tote or makeup bag, too. “Selling in the early 1900’s for 25 cents, bottles up the much-needed nostalgic feeling and sells for $7,” highlights Eggenberger. “To this day, the Rosebud Company is still owned by the Smith family.”


Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation

Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation might be a current viral favorite, but it was equally as popular before the word “viral” was even thrown about trendy items. And it continues to be one of the brand’s most popular products, thanks to its medium- to full-coverage formula that lays matte on the skin.

“Looks light on the skin, feels lightweight, too. Plus, it actually stays in place all day,” Eggenberger adds. “Their best foundation for long wear, it’s the makeup that keeps up — no matter where your day takes you.”

Maybelline Great Lash Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara

Once you see the pink and green container, you’ll easily recognize Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara. It’s one of few highly affordable formulas that provides “lift, length and pigment without smudging” at an accessible price point. We can contribute this to its lightweight, comfortable formula and sleek and slim brush.  “The bristles are tiny, which helps coat every part of the lash and avoid wasting product,” explains Eggenberger. “This is great for avoiding clumps and maintaining control over how much you’re putting on.”

Revlon Extra Curl Eyelash Curler

“Just like a moisturizer or primer preps your skin for face makeup, the best eyelash curlers will get you off on the right foot for seamlessly glam eyes,” mentions Eggenberger. And that’s why a quality eyelash curler is essential for getting the most out of your mascara (Hence why it’s forever been a classic!) — and does no harm to your lashes, too.

“The Revlon Eyelash Curler features a gently rounded pad that effortlessly and evenly curls every lash without crimping, pinching, or sticking — plus, it won’t tug or pull on eyelashes,” she adds.


Dove Beauty White Beauty Bar Soap

“This iconic cleanser contains a tried-and-true blend of gentle ingredients that moisturize and soften without stripping the skin,” says Eggenberger. And in its 65+ year reign, it has stayed true to its message of prioritizing moisture for achieving healthy-looking skin. In fact, it was created as one of the “first-ever soap-free cleansers” to protect the skin from drying ordinary soap. No wonder why it consistently sells, with 60 bars selling every second, according to Eggenberger. 


Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Parfum The Perfume of Desire

“Paying homage to nature and art, the brand’s holistic perception of beauty has allowed its visionary designs to be recognized and appreciated worldwide,” notes Eggenberger, as the design of the bottle comes from a story of passionate love. For instance, “The balanced lines of the bottle echo gardens with their elegant symmetry, as well as the gushing fountains with the blue stopper,” she adds.

Commerce editor and producer, Julie Ricevuto, loves this scent, as it reminds her of her grandmother. “My grandma wore this everyday, and now my mom wears it, too,” she says. “Once you find a signature scent, you’ll use it for years to come, and this fragrance holds so much history and beauty,” confirms Eggenberger.

More tried-and-true beauty products

Goody Ouchless Brown Bobby Pins

“My grandmother showed me early on how to use Goody pins to curl my hair,” says editor Rebecca Brown. “She’d take a strand of my hair, wrap it around her finger and fasten it at the root with bobby pins. I think of her whenever I use Goodys.”

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

A favorite for lip care, skin care and other healing purposes since 1982 (when it was first sold to consumers), Aquaphor has long been a true multi-use product. It’s a staple lip balm for associate editor Kamari Stewart, who has used it to treat dry skin and heal tattoos. “A little goes a long way so this tube will last you quite a while,” she notes. “I recently introduced my mom to using Aquaphor on your lips, and she couldn’t believe how moisturizing it was!”

La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizer

This editor-loved and forever classic has remained a treat for the skin over the years. The ultra-rich cream drenches the skin with healing moisture to sooth irritation and improve signs of aging. After a few uses, the brand says overtime, skin should feel and look more firmer and rejuvenated.

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

First launched in the 1970s, Batiste came about after a desire for an alternative to talcum powder to cleanse hair. Evidently, the brand has continued to be the leader in prolonging hair washes and refreshing our strands with its fresh scent and volumizing perks.

Coppertone Glow with Shimmer Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Coppertone was the first sunscreen brand to launch in the U.S. market, and remains one of the most trusted labels out there, claims the brand. Since their first release, they’ve come out with multiple version, from mists to lotions, all the way to this shimmer-y sunscreen that equally protects and enhances your skin’s glow.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Blister Box 

“Burt’s Bees is a tried-and-true brand for me, never failing to leave my lips and skin feeling better than before,” mentions associate editor Sierra Hoeger. “It also contains an ingredient list of products that are recognizable.” One of its star ingredients is bees wax (what the brand is known for!), which promises to be incredibly nourishing, conditioning and healing for dry lips.

The lip balm is also “available in a number of flavors so you can choose one that you like best, even emergency repair, blister repair and more,” she adds.

How we chose

The Shop TODAY team spoke with New Beauty Senior Editor-At-Large Sarah Eggenberger to gain insight into the best tried and true beauty products, as well as their history and importance now.

We then scoured the internet and chose shopper-loved items that met the guidelines provided by our expert. We also shared a few of our personal favorites.

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