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A scrolling session on Instagram can be perfectly innocent – a quick stint, checking your notifications and DMs. On the other hand, you can find yourself down the makeup tutorial rabbit hole for hours, sucked into the orbit of the latest cult product. Whether it’s had the blogger thumbs-up, comes in oh-so-Instagrammable packaging, or has ‘can’t believe your eyes’ reviews, here are the best thumb-stopping beauty products available on ASOS right now…

Instagram-famous products available to buy on ASOS

Cult icons

I’m as susceptible as the next person when it comes to getting hooked on a new beauty trend, especially if it has an unusual niche. Unsightly peeling mask? Sure thing. Black toothpaste? Why not? Science-lab dropper? Hook. Me. Up. And while Instagram is the glossy revolving door serving these things up to us on a regular basis, do they live up to the hype? I did all the legwork so you don’t have to. Find out below.

Charcoal grin

Sticking a soft bristle toothbrush in a pot of tarry goo and smearing it all over my teeth is not my idea of fun. But I just couldn’t argue with the compelling before-and-after images – as well as the ingredient charcoal, which is one of the beauty world’s fave buzzwords right now. The taste isn’t great (as to be expected), but it attaches to toxins and lifts any stains away. It actually left my teeth noticeably brighter after only a couple of uses. Hooked.


Sister & Co Raw Coconut & Activated Charcoal Tooth Whitening Polish 60ml, $54

Giving lip

There’s a reason that Lime Crime’s liquid lipsticks have gained cult status among Instagrammers and beauty bloggers. In tons of universally flattering shades, applying it is smooth with the straight-forward wand, and the lippie goes on creamy in a soft matte. Long-lasting is an understatement – this stuff is staying on until you want it to come off. Plus, no dryness. Nothing short of a miracle.


Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Lipstick - Nudes, $24

Drop it like it's hot

So it might slightly resemble a nail polish bottle, but you’ll notice a little hygienic dropper at the top that easily portions out the metallic highlighter. A favourite on Insta-makeup tutorials, the shimmery finish reflects the light in a subtle glowy way. Either apply to brow-bones or the top of cheekbones for a more contoured look, or add a couple of drops while applying foundation for an all-over brightness. Bonus: it lasts forever.


Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops, $14

Red flag

A gory-looking deep-red, it may not have the most appealing appearance, but this is hands down one of the best face masks I’ve ever used. The 10-minute exfoliating solution contains a combination of gentle acids, vitamin B5, black carrot and pepperberry (which explains the colour). It can sting a little on application but after a couple of uses – no more than twice a week, though – you can see a definite change in texture. Any pigmentation is evened out and the skin just looks all-around more radiant.


The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $14.50


Think of NIOD as the older, more sophisticated sister brand of The Ordinary – but with the same does-what-it-says-on-the-tin simplicity and ingredients-driven results. And this v. sciencey face mask does not disappoint. Containing plant stem cells from mountain flowers and narrowleaf plantain, the overnight leave-on mask has a brown honey-like consistency, and is designed to hydrate and repair skin cells. So it’s quite messy (put a towel over your pillows), but one overnight use left my skin looking hydrated and well-rested. What heavy weekend?


NIOD Voicemail Night Masque 50ml, $60

Buff stuff

You might not think it, but your method of application is just as important as the product itself when it comes to achieving a flawless finish. Case in point? This foundation brush, which is like the mother of all foundation brushes. With a flat top and dense (but soft) bristles, it covers more surface area and creates a creamy airbrushed finish when applying in circular motions.


Spectrum Buffing Foundation Brush, $18

Pictures: ASOS

Peel play

Now we’ve all seen those brutal videos on Instagram involving some poor soul who’s sacrificed their face in the name of a beauty product review. The latest obsession is industrial-strength charcoal face masks that peel/pull out imperfections (screaming is nearly always involved). Well, think of MasqueBAR’s version as a less militant, more nourishing version, but with the detoxifying effects still intact. After one use, pores are non-existent and makeup goes on like a dream. Plus, three for under 10 bucks? It would almost be rude not to…


MasqueBAR Charcoal Peel Off Mask x3, $9.99