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 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 is, we're eager to share it with you so you can experience the same new-product bliss that we did. Take a look at our favorites below.
Tatcha's newest cleanser is a thick, fragrant gel that melts into a creamy foam when you mix it with water. It feels completely luxurious and cleanses without making my skin feel dry or tight (it uses amino acids to wipe away dirt and debris instead of harsh sulfates). I use it alone or as the second cleanser in my double-cleanse ritual and am totally hooked.
I'm supremely low-key about my haircare routine, so when I heard about a brand created solely to help people embrace their natural hair texture when they air-dry, I had to give it a try. Playa is a Cali-cool line that relies on gentle botanicals and hydrating ingredients to cleanse and treat your hair—no hard-to-pronounce chemicals or sulfates here. I've been using the shampoo and conditioner this month and genuinely look forward to washing my hair because of it. The smell is incredible (it's made with sugar beet), and I love that it gets rid of buildup and makes my hair feel clean without stripping it of its natural oils. I swear that my hair feels softer, too.
Nothing excites me more than when a brand comes along and innovates in a field that we just take for granted (e.g., Lola tampons). Billie is the latest, and its field of specialty is women's razors. For just $9, you can get the Starter Kit, which contains a sleek razor handle (in four photo-worthy colors), a magnetic holder (genius), and two five-blade cartridges. Then, you can select how often you want them to send you cartridges at a price of $9 for a four-pack—an amazing value considering how much you'd pay for razors at the drugstore. The razor itself is not only aesthetically pleasing (perfect for any shower 'grams you have planned) but also gives the smoothest shave. I love my Billie razors and am now recommending them to everyone I know.
Full disclaimer: I'm not a primer person. After trying just about every product under the sun, I had pretty much lumped them into the "phooey" category. So color me surprised when this new glow-enhancing formula from Charlotte Tilbury came across my desk. Even though I'd made a bad habit of ignoring the primers I come across, I couldn't ignore the Charlotte Tilbury name (sorry, I just really really love her products) and figured if there was ever a primer I would fall in love with, it would be this one. Well, here we are. Not only is it chock-full of superfood fare like chlorella, watercress, olive extract, and vitamin B3 (hello, brightening), but it also has pretty pearlescent pigments that reflect light in a hard-to-describe, super-flattering way (aka no disco-ball effect.) It's officially made its way into my daily morning routine, and I swear by adding a small amount to my go-to moisturizer pre-foundation for a believable glow.
It's not often you get to interview the designer behind your all-time favorite perfume, so you can imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to chat with fashion designer and all-around icon Stella McCartney this month in celebration of her newest launch: Stella Peony. Though it originally made its debut years ago (and was sadly discontinued), it's been brought back by popular demand, and both I and all other fans are thrilled. An update to her original cult-favorite scent (which I wear regularly), Peony is a slightly lighter take with delicate notes of pink peony, mandarin, and freesia, all anchored by amber. The result is delicate but not overly so, and I can't stop applying it (or receiving compliments).
Don't be fooled by its insanely cheap price point. This stuff works (so you might want to buy it in bulk). I hadn't washed my 22-inch extensions in a couple of weeks—don't judge me—but after using this shampoo with its conditioner, the shine on my hair was practically blinding. This is formulated specifically for damaged hair, and even though my extensions weren't necessarily damaged, I needed a quick transformation. I also loved how soft and bouncy my texture was afterward. All hair textures stand to benefit, though. Just watch how it revitalizes the look of your hair.
This might not be new, but it's worth talking about. I'm not going to act like I wasn't immediately entranced by this extraordinary bottle. It's practically me in perfume form: extremely over-the-top. Fortunately, the infatuating scent it carries levels up to its luxurious packaging. With strong notes of bergamot, orange blossom, gardenia, and more, this floral scent is too captivating to ignore.
Ever since I started shaving my armpits, I've been left with essentially a 5 o'clock shadow. It never looks fully smooth, as hard as I press the razor and as many blades as I use. It's a huge point of frustration for me, and nothing I've used has ever helped—until I tried the Luminess Air. It's a small, battery-operated hair removal device with a covered area hiding a quiet blade that never even comes in contact with the skin. I just move the device in circular motions, then clean up the area a bit with a regular razor after I'm done. I'm not kidding when I say my underarms have never been smoother or lighter-looking (i.e., no shadow).
Can a fragrance win an award just for presentation? If so, this one should. The sleek glass bottle comes topped with a heavy magnetic black top engraved with the Louis Vuitton logo, and it's packaged in a pretty white cardboard cylinder. LV's newest scent, launching March 15, was inspired by the morning's first rays and the freshness of daybreak, with notes of magnolia, osmanthus, and a blackcurrant accord. It's reminiscent of spring blooms and completely captivating.
I tend to shy away from hair oils because most are too heavy on my hair. I have my go-to that I've been using for years and have never looked back. When I came across this hair brand from Japan that uses plant botanical technology with its products, I was intrigued to try it, and it's now safe to say I've found my new favorite hair oil. Its smooth collection utilizes argan oil to keep hair frizz-free. It's really lightweight, keeps my hair looking smooth, and smells amazing.
It's flu/cold season, and germs are flying everywhere. If you're looking for something that will kill bacteria but doesn't contain any harsh chemicals or smells strongly of alcohol, I highly recommend this product. It's made of sugar-cane alcohol and infused with natural oils and fruit extracts to leave your skin super soft and germ-free. It also omits the loveliest coconut scent with every spritz, so it's something sweet-scent lovers like me can really appreciate.
Over the past few months, my skincare routine has seen several casualties: My Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, Shani Darden Retinol Reform, and Skinceuticals CE Ferulic all bit the dust, and each of them is pricey enough that I A) feel guilty about playing the beauty editor card and calling in samples and B) don't have the extra cash to invest in them all. That said, without a solid chemical exfoliant in the rotation, my skin has been feeling a little dull and patchy. So when I heard about Glossier's buzzy new Skin Solution, I was intrigued—and a little skeptical. The reviews I'd read billed it as a much more affordable version of the P50, but could it really stand up to one of my favorite products of all time? Just two weeks later, my answer is a resounding yes: Two stubborn acne scars on my chin disappeared within 48 hours, and my skin has never been brighter or more even.
I've had dark circles for long enough to know that it's mostly genetic. Sure, there will be some extra puffiness after a late night or lack of sleep, but I've pretty much had to just accept them as part of my face. So, I'm not the likeliest candidate to try new eye creams, because I pretty much stopped believing the hype. That is, until the hype surrounding Philosophy's Ultimate Miracle Worker Fix Eye Power-Treatment Fill & Firm was too positive to ignore. After a four-week independent clinical and self-assessment study with 31 women ages 45 to 65, 97% of women saw a creaseless eye area that looked ironed flat in as little as 12 days, and 100% saw a less-crinkled eye area in just 31 days. See what I mean? I tried the creamy, light-feeling formula a few weeks ago and haven't looked back.
This luxe Japanese brand is new to me but has been around forever. Their newest launch, the Dip in Glow Highlighter, is the most absurdly perfect texture—balmy, buttery, and just the right amount of creamy. It has a natural-looking, sheer, luminizing formula that I would dip my entire face in if I could.
I've been hoarding samples of Dior's Lip Glow in Pink since that very first tube landed on my desk. The balm itself super sheer, with just a wash of ethereal pink goodness and really buttery hydrating ingredients. Instead of gloss, the formula offers a subtle glow that I can't get enough of. Now, the brand has launched a new iteration. It has all the same lovely qualities (hydration, a hint of color) in a matte texture that's really nice over another lip product of on its own.