We Tried a Ton of Products in January, and These Impressed Us the Most

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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.

Faith Xue, editorial director, trending

Grown Alchemist Anti-Pollution Primer

Grown Alchemist Anti-Pollution Primer

"I've never really used a primer or even really believed in them... until now. This new primer from Grown Alchemist feels like a tall drink of water for your face—it literally feels cooling when you apply. It has a grippy gel texture that melts into a liquid when you smooth it over your face, and using it always feels like a treat for my tired morning skin. Unlike other primers, it's silicone-free and doesn't leave my face super shiny by midday. Instead, it leaves a velvety finish behind that's still slightly blurring, and it makes my foundation apply so much better. Plus, I love that it's made with ingredients like Indian ginseng and peptides to protect my skin from blue light (a must, considering I'm usually staring at a screen all day) and a prebiotic peptide to balance my skin's microbiome (another new obsession of mine)."

Givenchy Teint Couture City Balm Anti-Pollution SPF 25

Givenchy city balm

"I've been dealing with some stubborn zits for the past few weeks and thus, have needed a heavier-duty foundation than my normal go-to tinted moisturizer. Enter: this new City Balm foundation from Givenchy. I was expecting a dewier formula given the 'balm' in the name, but it's actually a more matte, velvet finish—it still makes my skin look like my skin though, which is the most important thing. I love that it instantly covers, blurs, and smooths my skin tone without veering into cake-y territory. It's my new go-to medium coverage foundation (the SPF 25 is a plus!)."

La Prairie Complexion Liquid Foundation Brush

Prairie foundation brush

"I've been using a sponge to apply my foundation since the first time I was introduced to the concept years ago. I swore off any other vehicle forever, remaining steadfast in my belief that it is the best way to blend my favorite formulas. But on a recent trip, I questioned the hygienic practice of the whole thing, considering I'd just applied my makeup and needed to throw my (damp) sponge into my makeup bag to pack up. I pictured the amount of germs breeding in the dark, moist environment, and, as a last-minute decision, swapped in a La Prairie complexion brush I had sitting in my vanity. I'll admit, I was nervous to be going on a trip without my beloved sponge and rolling the dice on a new application method, but I was ultimately shocked at how great the final result was. I also end up using less foundation compared with the sponge. It's been over a month now since I've so much as picked up a sponge, and I can't imagine going back. Also worth noting: Yes, this brush is pricey, but considering my favorite sponge is $20 and I replace it every few months, I know that it will last me well over a year."

Femmue Ideal Crème Riche

femmue creme riche

"I'm hardly the only one who deals with excessively dry skin in the winter. If you can relate, I highly recommend this rich cream by K-Beauty brand Femmue to restore moisture instantly. The formula is so comforting; the best way I could describe it is like a cozy, protective blanket that just makes you (and your skin) feel good."

Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops

Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops

"I normally only use eye drops when my eyes feel irritated, but I decided to try these to see if they would make my eyes look brighter and whiter. I stare at screens all day, so my eyes look red often, but in just minutes after putting these drops in, the whites of my eyes looked clear and bright. I noticed that when I did my eyeshadow later that day, my eye color popped way more than normal. Plus, my eyes felt hydrated and healthy. These will be in my makeup bag from here on out."

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

Augustus Bader The Rich Cream

"I finally tried this celeb-loved moisturizer, and after the first use, I completely understand the appeal. It left my skin feeling hydrated and plump but not sticky or oily. It makes for a great base under makeup, and when I put it on after my skincare routine at night, it seals in all my serums and I wake up with fresh, dewy skin. I will definitely be reaching for this all winter long."

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

"I had tried this product once or twice in previous years, but never truly integrated it into my routine until this month. I gave it another go after Charlotte Palermino, the co-founder of a soon-to-launch skincare brand called Dieux, sang its praises on the internet. Her skin, brilliantly branded "Saran Wrap Skin," is perhaps the most beautiful thing I've ever seen up close. So, when she talks, I listen. The serum features two active formulas (they're in separate chambers until you pump them out and mix them together on the back of your hand), one brimming with protein (aka growth factors) and amino acids and the other with peptides and antioxidants. Together, it's an anti-aging and brightening powerhouse that very literally helps to regenerate your skin cells. I can't recommend it enough. It's expensive, I know, but it absolutely delivers real results. I apply it twice a day and have gotten more compliments on my skin than ever before."

Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer

Hourglass vanish

"I never thought I'd stray from Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer—it's still absolutely in my rotation—but I found a shiny, new formula to obsess over. This gem from Hourglass is so good. I learned about it first from watching Katie Jane Hughes' Instagram story; she mentioned it was like Shape Tape but a little bit 'sexier.' I called it in immediately. By 'sexy,' she meant less matte (which is my only qualm about my beloved Shape Tape), and rather than use it just as an under-eye concealer, I apply it with a fluffy brush in lieu of foundation wherever I need coverage. It is full coverage, which isn't my go-to finish, but the result is so satiny and beautiful. It keeps your skin looking like skin, and sheering it out a bit with the brush and a good moisturizer makes it all the more glow-inducing."

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette Pillow Talk

CT Instant Eye Palette

"I'm not really an eyeshadow person, at least not in the traditional sense. I'll wear it on occasion for an event, but never during the day or in a more casual setting. That all changed when Charlotte Tilbury launched her Pillow Talk Instant Eye Palette, a collection of pinks, nudes, and beiges that are unbelievably easy to apply. They're the 'chillest' eyeshadows I've ever seen. The result never looks overdone or overly fancy, just pretty and soft."

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydrating Eye Gel

PTR eye gel

"I'm a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth's Water Drench Cloud Cream moisturizer, so I couldn't get my hands on this new iteration for under eyes fast enough. It's a luxurious, gel-like consistency that melts into under eyes, deeply hydrating and plumping fine lines. As a bonus, the consistency is sort of like jell-o in that after you've plunged your finger into the jar, the formula re-combines as if you've never used it. So it always feels like you have a fresh, shiny, brand new pot of product."

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Lip Pop

GR lip pop

"As someone who loves lipstick but also has chronically chapped lips, I've been waiting for a product like this my entire life. Lip Pop is a natural, buildable wash of the most natural pink, but feels more like lip balm than a color product. The formula contains the tiniest specks of coconut flower sugar that dissolve as you rub your lips together for a delightful scrub-to-balm experience (that smells like watermelon)."

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