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 vice president
"This spray is saving my natural waves this summer. The mix of aloe and neroli waters reactivates the curl pattern when it's fallen or gotten frizzy. It's like the hair equivalent of a skin mist: one spritz and everything just looks a little better."
"I'm throwing away my lotions, creams and butters... this oil is everything! The clean ingredients (basically every yummy oil you can imagine) absorb immediately, so you can walk outside, bare-legged in 100% humidity, and not feel grimy. And it never burns after you shave."
"The never-ending heat wave in the northeast means oily, acne skin—even if you aren't oily or acne-prone. The slightly gritty rice starch in this scrub-slash-mask removes pore-clogging dead skin; leave it on for five minutes so the clay can do more absorbing and disinfecting."
Star Donaldson, associate social media editor
"At first, I approached this serum with skepticism—just another serum that promised to hydrate and plump my skin I thought, but I was wrong. It goes on a bit thicker than other serums in my rotation, but it smells neutral and soaks into skin fairly quickly. After the first night of application, I noticed my skin was bouncy and looked like it had taken a big drink of water it desperately needed. After about a week of use, I had finally achieved the lit-from-within glow that—until now—I didn’t think was possible for my skin.
Since I received several compliments about how glow-y and healthy my skin looks, I credit them to this serum. Definite game-changer."
"Brow Flick came into my life at just the right time. After filling in my brows with pomade and an angled brush for literal years, I was becoming increasingly disappointed with the obviously-filled-in result. I was craving a more natural brow but didn’t have the tools—until Brow Flick.
"To be honest, at first, the pen was a bit tricky. With pomade, I was able to control exactly how dark the strokes I made were and Brow Flick was just not that. The felt-tip pen is a little more about how much pressure you apply and making precise strokes in your brow’s weak spots. This took about two weeks of everyday use to master, but the natural and hair-like brow strokes that I can turn out in about two minutes flat are totally worth it."
"This summer I’ve been finding that my hair is not only a bit more frizzy but also dry—very uncool. The struggle to keep my curls hydrated and poppin’ has been real, so I’ve been searching for help anywhere I can find it.
"Enter Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. My typical hair masking routine involves applying in the shower on damp hair and letting it do it’s thing while I detangle. The first thing that really stood out to me about this mask is that it thickened up as I ran my Tangle Teezer through my curls. It provided the perfect amount of slip, and the thickening made me feel like it was really going to work. Upon rinsing, I noticed my hair seemed stronger and softer—my despair began to dissipate.
Once dry, my curls were frizz-free and more defined then they had been in months. A hair miracle in this insane heat."
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
"I'm all about a cream eyeshadow in the summer, mostly because it's so oppressively hot that I want to spend as little time as possible getting ready in the morning, and cream eyeshadows are quick and tool-free. As such, I let out a shriek of excitement when I was introduced to this new offering from Pixi: an easily blendable, slightly shimmery shadow stick (though some shades are matte) with great color payoff and crease-free staying power. The tip is also tapered down to a point, so if you wanted to use it as a smudgy liner, you're able.
My favorite shade is From Head to Toe, a bronze-taupe marriage that can be worn anywhere, anytime."
"Keeping in theme with easy summer beauty, this lip product is a cross between a tinted lip balm and a lipstick in that it's less sheer and glossy than a tinted balm and has more of the staying power of a lipstick. I can swipe it on without a mirror and am left with just the right amount of color that can be built upon for a more opaque finish. The tint also lasts long after I apply it, even withstanding sipping water throughout the day."
"When brands that do one thing really well later veer off into other arenas, I'm always slightly suspicious about the quality of these new ventures. In the case of Beautyblender, the reigning queen of makeup sponges, I first crinkled my nose when the brand announced they were launching foundation. Turns out, the formula is awesome, as is its newest launch: brushes. Why make brushes when your claim to fame is sponges, you ask? I did at first too, but know that these aren't just any brushes—they've got insanely soft synthetic bristles that expertly deposit powder, but my favorite part is that there's a metal roller ball on the end of the handle to roll along your face and de-puff via lymphatic drainage.
After I apply my skincare, I run the ball along my under-eyes, cheeks, and jaw, then flip the brush around for makeup application. The cool temperature of the metal and the soothing nature of the rolling motion reminds me to pause a bit and take some time for myself amidst the morning rush."
Faith Xue, editorial director, creative
"I'm naturally drawn towards any beauty product that promises to make me look like a baby, so I swiped this peach-toned blush from Gucci Westman's Westman Atelier on my cheeks the second it came across my desk and haven't stopped using it since. The packaging is so sleek and makes me feel fancy, and the texture of the blush is so creamy and blendable. I tap it directly onto my cheeks twice, then blend it out using my fingers. It instantly makes me look more awake, and the peachy-pink is the perfect universally-flattering tone."
"I don't usually love vetiver scents, but this one from Michelle Pfeiffer's clean fragrance line, Henry Rose, has become a new favorite. I wore it to dinner last night and my friend immediately commented on how good I smelled—always a surefire sign I'll be wearing the fragrance again. The scent softens the vetiver-ness with a dash of vanilla, which makes it feel more cozy and wearable. Plus, I love that the entire line is EWG verified and free of any sketchy ingredients (which, news flash, most fragrances are full of).
Plus, every time I wear it, I sing Natalie Imbruglia in my head."
"I love Spongebob so much, I was once gifted a giant stuffed animal version of him for Christmas, but I never once thought that I'd want to put a Spongebob-inspired eye shadow palette on my face. I now stand corrected. This Bikini Bottom-inspired eye shadow palette is my new favorite thing, mostly because the colors are all so bright and pretty. Wumbo is the perfect matte hot pink (so hot right now) and Blue Lagoon and Bikini Bottom Blue are all you need for a Poolside Blue look. Honestly, I've been making my way through every shade in this palette and every time, someone has asked what's on my eyes.
Spongebob, ya did good."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"Tatcha always delivers really effective, sensorially-pleasing products, and their newest launch is no exception. The tiny jar is brimming with silk and Japanese white peony extracts to help strengthen your skin's barrier function and provide a protective veil of hydration where you need it most (it's certainly where I need it most, that is). Also included is the brand's proprietary trio of anti-aging goodness which helps reduce premature aging and water retention. And it's just so cushiony and cooling—it smooths, feels incredible to apply, and even looks great under makeup if that's your thing.
It's my new daily must-use."
"Of course La Prairie products are a luxury. Of course they're expensive. But, in this case, you get what you pay for. La Prairie recently launched their first-ever cleansing balm and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite formulas—and I don't say things like that all the time. It applies as a balm, emulsifies into an oil, and then with water becomes the silkiest, milkiest texture. That alone would be enough for me to love it. But the ingredients, a blend of shea butter, ginseng root extract, and sweet almond oil, offer a really effective cleansing experience, infusing moisture into your skin as it removes toxins, debris, and makeup."
"I've been into Dr. Barbara Sturm's products since they first launched (the Calming Serum is practically my religion at this point), so it's no surprise I fell for her most recent launch, the Hydrating Face Mist. The formula is enriched with hyaluronic acid, perslane, and lemon, aloe vera, and broccoli extracts for a truly deep surge of moisture. Many face mists can be drying, but that is not the case with this one. It's one of my very favorites and keeps my skin hydrated day in and day out (I keep it at my desk for that very reason)."
"There's two options, depending on your propensity for heat, and they're both the best lip-plumping formulas I've tried in a long time. The first, a cooling, super glossy blend of vitamin E and spearmint oil, is mild and offers a subtle plump. The other, its smoke-tinted counterpart, serves up a spicy, warming cinnamon oil-infused mix for shockingly real, visible results. Usually, I'll apply the clear product throughout the day and the sheer black for some nighttime fire."
Olivia Hancock, editorial intern
"I’m always trying new face masks. Applying them at night is one of the ways I love to de-stress and pamper my skin. Since my skin has been looking a bit dull lately, I decided to try out this fun, metallic gold mask from Rodan and Fields because of its claims of brightening skin and improving skin texture. It is formulated with brightening Retinal-MD Technology, glycolic acid, and turmeric extract, which work to exfoliate and brighten your skin. I incorporate it into my skincare regimen two to three times a week and have noticed a more radiant and even complexion.
I’m sold on this product and plan on trying Rodan and Fields’ other face masks ASAP."
"My everyday lip product of choice tends to be a sheer lip gloss. Think: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in FU$$Y ($18). But, this vibrant statement shade immediately caught my eye and convinced me to switch it up a bit. This lippie is part of L’Oréal’s new Parisian Sunset collection, a line inspired by the pink, purple, and coral nude hues of sunset and Paris. The lipstick is matte but felt comfortable and lightweight on my lips like a stain. The precision applicator made it easy to swipe the product on without having to do major cleanup afterward like I normally have to do with some liquid lipsticks.
It gave my lips a highly-pigmented, luminous color finish that I couldn’t stop admiring. It’s honestly the perfect summer lip color."
Kelly Gallagher, senior social media editor
"This face wash has been great for my super sensitive skin. With most face washes, my skin feels really dry and tight after washing, but with this, my skin feels healthy and hydrated, but also clean. This might be blasphemous, but I've been skipping my makeup remover because this face wash takes everything off so well—even eye makeup."
"'m embarrassed to say that at 28 years old, I'm finally starting to use an eye cream. As a beauty editor, I know I should have added this step to my routine years ago, but here I am. This one from Goldfaden MD has made a noticeable difference in the skin around my eyes—it's much more hydrated and looks generally healthier. The formula is also free of parabens, alcohol, silicone, and mineral oils, so I feel good about using it on such a delicate area."
"Okay, this is my new obsession. I've been using it every night for the last week and feel like my face is looking much more lifted and sculpted as a result. I know that I have to keep up the regular use to maintain results, but I've found the practice to be very relaxing each night. It really feels like I'm doing something for myself and the compliments I've been getting on my cheekbones don't hurt either."
"This candle has been on my vanity for a few weeks now and I'm obsessed with the summer fragrance. The packaging is also incredibly chic, which means I will definitely be repurposing the glass container into a makeup brush holder."
Elspeth Velten, editorial director, growth
"True to it's shade, this sparkle-heavy gloss made the perfect embellishment to my makeup-less face during a recent weekend spent hopping from beach to bar in Rockaway. The opaque silver slick was such a hit that sharing was inevitable (alcohol was involved, OK?) and now the tube is lost. If you're reading this and you have my lipgloss, 'fess up. Thanks!
"Fun fact: I'm an avid snorkeler, so reef-safe sunscreen is an easy sell for me. Everyday—and Aussie SPF brand that leads its marketing with the term NSFC (not suitable for corals)—recently sent me their Resting Beach Face SPF 30 serum and I'm already hooked (sorry for the fishing pun). The serum applies lightly, barely stings the eyes, is free of bad ingredients like oxybenzone, parabens and sulfates, and left my face burn-free. The antioxidant kale, spinach and seaweed combo almost even negates the fact that I spent my beach day eating a double cheeseburger at Rippers and sipping my group's nutcrackers, right?"
"This sustainable, silky serum is a delight to slap on between my toner and my makeup in the morning. Its herbal scent is basically an aromatherapy session that aids even the most brutal wakeup, and the formula leaves my skin plump (there's hyaluronic acid in there) and primed for even foundation application. Regardless of whether this product is actually brightening my brown spots (only time will tell), I ever want to run out of it."
"This vegan deodorant with bergamot, pink lemon, orange blossom and cardamom is the first natural deodorant that hasn't irritated my pits after prolonged use—probably because it's baking soda-free and super soft to apply. I haven't run into an urgent need to reapply throughout the day or even post-workout, and that's saying something."