One of the most glorious aspects of being a beauty editor is the number of products we get to take for a test drive. Sure, we'd be lying if we said we weren't constantly surrounded by a mountain of bottles and tubes both in the office and in our apartments, but we approach that mountain eagerly, hiking boots in tow.
Each month, Byrdie editors will be sharing the products within that mountain that stood out the most. Maybe it was a peel that made our skin glow like J.Lo's or a hair mask that brought our dry strands back to life. Whatever it was, we're eager to share it with you so you can experience the same bliss that we did. Take a look at our favorites below.
Leah Wyar, general manager and editor-in-chief
"I LOVE this. You open the jar and there are two chambers—one, a jelly-like mask made with rosewater and hyaluronic acid, and two, a cream-based mask. Dip your finger into the jelly and apply all over (I like doing it on damp skin, just misted with a hydrating essence or water), then apply the creamy bit. Go to sleep and wake up with incredibly hydrated, soft, naturally highlighted skin that looks well-rested."
Faith Xue, editorial director, creative
"I can’t stop using this new palette from makeup artist Nikki DeRoest. I’ve completely stopped using brushes of any kind when it comes to eye makeup (mostly due to laziness), so the Roen formulas are right up my alley—they’re not quite powder, not quite cream, and somewhere in-between. They feel solid at first, but you swirl your finger in them and they warm up into a formula that melts right into your lid when you tap it on. I’m obsessed with the shades in the cool-toned 52°—they’re great for layering or wearing alone, and you can add more layers for a more wet-looking effect."
"I feel like I’ve tested every purple shampoo and conditioner under the sun in my quest to keep my platinum hair bright, but I might be tossing all those to the wayside in favor of this new product from ColorWow. The Dream Filter brightens your color not by adding a tint, but by removing minerals and metals that build up over time from hard water and chlorine. You spritz it into your hair before shampooing, wait a few minutes, then do your normal shampoo and condition routine. I couldn’t believe how much brighter my hair looked after I used this product—it went from a dullish gray-tinged platinum to looking like I had just gone into the salon for a fresh touch-up.
It’s honestly kind of crazy—you have to see it to believe it."
"A tinted primer sounds kind of unnecessary at first, but Gee Beauty’s version totally blew me away with the formulation and no-makeup effect. The oil-free formula feels super hydrating and melts right into the skin—I apply one to two pumps using my fingers. It smooths out some redness I have around my nose and makes my pores look much less visible. The finish isn’t too shiny or too matte—it’s more of a velvet effect, and I’ve traded in my normal light-coverage foundation for this instead; for any spots I need more coverage, I just add a few dabs of my concealer.
I like that it allows my freckles to show through, and the coverage is just enough for it to look like I have naturally-smooth, even, softly glowing skin. On less-than-great skin days, I treat this like added insurance and apply a light layer of foundation over it; it never pills or feels too heavy."
Elspeth Velten, editorial director, quality
"During a recent trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui, I was lucky enough to explore the local beauty scene, which is characterized by a high regard for keeping your body and the environment clean. After I demonstrated the opposite and got a pretty mean sunburn, the Kau body and hair elixir from Oshan Essentials helped my depleted and sore skin spring back to life with a mix of bergamot, clary sage, frankincense and local oils essentials like macadamia and coconut. I love that each of Oshan’s products are formulated to use with water to ensure that not only am I nourishing my skin—I’m simultaneously hydrating it."
"An emphasis on the eco-conscious is a theme across many of Hawaii’s local products, and in light of the fact that many of the most popular glitter products on the market are bad for the planet, I was thrilled to come across Mermaid Magic Glitter during lunch in a vegan restaurant in Maui. I love that this glitter gel applies in a thick, unmissable layer, while each shard of sparkle is also biodegradable, ensuring that the tiny pieces don’t end up floating in the state’s surrounding oceans forever."
"I was immediately drawn to this chic golden oil by its radiant sheen—when shaken, a bottle of this stuff produces a dreamy, snowglobe-like shimmer that’s impossible not to daze off to. And the ingredients are just as exciting: rainwater from Maui’s North Shore, kukui and macadamia oils and Hawaiian algae come together in a flexible, water-based oil that left my face supple and glow-y, even after a full day of sun. 'Alohi recommends adding a few drops of golden oil to their complementary healing water with hyaluronic acid and aloe, or even sunscreen."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"There is nothing I love more than an all-purpose oil—one you can use on your hair, body, and face if you feel it necessary. Noto’s Agender Oil ($40), a blend of organic hemp seed oil, vetiver, and lavender, offers up a really lovely aromatic experience as well as nutrient-dense moisture. It’s velvety to the touch, rich in omega fatty acids, anti-inflammatory, and really, really calming once you’ve given yourself a proper rub-down. The scent is smoky and soft, a duality that lends well to a treatment meant for anyone, regardless of gender or skin type.
As an added bonus, you can use it as a hair mask to promote growth."
"I first tried this product while we were doing all our research and testing ahead of our Eco Beauty Awards. I only needed to try it once to realize it offers all the goods. It feels so amazing as you apply it, plumping up your skin and refreshing tired eyes in one sweep. Plus, a cocktail of natural brightening, lifting, and stimulating ingredients—including licorice root extract, algae, bakuchiol, and centella asiatica—work to reduce puffiness, hydrate your skin, and protect against free radical damage."
"Once I fell in love with Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm ($60), I had to try the other launches in her namesake line. One of her newest products, Moisture Boost Vitamin C Cream ($66), feels super luxurious. That’s the first thing I noticed. Then, after giving the ingredients a look, I realized it pretty much has everything I’ve ever wanted in a moisturizer—that includes vitamin C (two percent to be exact), red algae, vitamin B3, and coenzyme Q10. Mixed together, all those actives work to boost collagen, diminish discoloration, reverse sun damage (while protecting from future sun damage), increase hydration, and smooth fine lines.
It’s the glowiest, most supple my skin has ever looked. I’m officially hooked."
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
"Stick highlighters with a powder finish are my absolute favorite, so whenever I come across a tube that gives me the perfect sheer veil of faint shimmer, I sing its praises from the rooftops. I first learned about Bodyography after seeing a ton of makeup artists rave about it on Instagram, so I finally got my hands on the ever popular Inner Glow Stick. It's dual-sided (one end is a clear balm, the other is the actual highlight) and gives off the perfect ethereal radiance without being glittery.
I actually tend to shy away from the balm as my skin is greasy enough on its own and doesn't need the extra dewiness, but if your skin is on the dry side, it's a lovely way to fake hydration."
"La Mer's OG lip balm is one of my favorite lip products to ever exist. It repairs even the most deeply chapped lips, and smells like a peppermint patty; whipping it out in the winter months gives me insurmountable joy. The brand's most recent lip launch, a volumizing lip serum, is a close second, though. It's filled with the brand's proprietary Miracle Broth to help diminish fine lines and smooth the skin as well as a 'Plumping Renewal Complex' of marine minerals to help you achieve that pillow-y plump look I'm constantly vying after.
Upon first try, I was delighted by both the doe-foot wand (for easy application) and the same minty tingle as the balm. I definitely notice my lips look fuller right after I paint the serum on and love that there's no sticky aftermath."
"My feet have really had a rough go of it this winter after walking around in heeled boots just about every single day. Apologies for the visual, but I have terrible calluses on the pads of my feet, so I've been in search of something that will help them look more like sandal-ready feet than the eye sores they are. Serendiptiously, Rituals' new Foot Set appeared on my desk, a gorgeous box that contains a pumice stone, foot cream, and a large tea bag of skin-softening oils you throw into a bath tub.
One night, when my feet were particularly in pain, I lit a candle, drew a hot bath, and let the tea bag steep. I then sat on the edge of my tub, dipped my feet in, and let out a huge sigh of relief. The oils immediately went to work to soothe and soften my rough skin, which perfectly set the stage for the pumice stone to remove dead skin. After about 20 minutes of sheer bliss, I dried off my feet and applied the foot cream, and honestly felt like a new woman. My feet were far less pained and much smoother, and the effects have lasted ever since."
Kelly Gallagher, senior social media editor
"I’ve never been the type of person who only washes their hair once a week (I’m more of a shampoo-every-other-day kind of gal) but I went four straight days with no wash because of this stuff. My fine hair normally gets weighed down from dry shampoos that have texture in them, but this one is different. It has alpha keratin which helps to repair dry damaged hair while tapioca starch cleans follicles of excess oil."
"This nude lipstick has been my go-to ever since it came across my desk earlier this month. It’s the perfect mix of pink and nude; the formula is super creamy, so it hydrates my lips instead of leaving them feeling dry and cake-y the way other lipsticks can. It looks great with a no-makeup makeup look or, for a night out, I’ll add a gloss on top."