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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 a bit overwhelmed by the mountain of bottles and tubes in our homes (especially now that we're spending just about every waking hour in our respective dwellings), 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.
Star Donaldson, social media editor
Gelo Handsoap in Lemon, Basil, and Geranium
"Making sustainable choices sometimes feels overwhelming to me, but Gelo has made it so easy. The bottles are totally reusable, sleek, and look good on my sink. I’ve used other re-fillable sustainable hand soaps before, but this is by far the most lux and hydrating formula made with essential oils. It’s nice to not have to sacrifice skincare for sustainability."
Thinx Hi-Waist Underwear
"I always wear a menstrual cup during my period, but at night and on heavy days I’m worried about leakage. Thinx really puts my mind at ease and keeps my white sheets white. They’re comfortable and secure-feeling but are also stylish with mesh detailing. Having these in my wardrobe makes my period way more comfortable."
Kaleidoscope Labs - Sleep
"All the stress of the world really hits me at night, but this Sleep supplement by Kaleidoscope labs helps me get some rest. It’s formulated with L-theanine and melatonin so I have this feeling of calm and relaxation before I doze off. It’s earned a permanent place on my bedside table."
Lashify - Curl Gossamer Lashes
"I’m not a big fake lash girl, but Lashify has totally changed my mind. These Curl Gossamer Lashes are extremely natural-looking, comfortable to wear, and there is absolutely no sticky mess during application. They are my secret weapon to making my eyes pop over my face mask."
Olivia Hancock, editorial intern
Absolute New York All-in-1 Cleansing Oil
"Playing around with makeup has become one of my favorite quarantine pastimes. But, I always dread having to take it off at night. To remove my makeup at the end of the day, I typically opt for a cleansing balm, but lately, I’ve been loving cleansing oils. Particularly, the Absolute New York All-In-1 Cleansing Oil ($10). It literally melts all of my makeup right off (even my waterproof mascara and matte lipstick that usually doesn’t like to budge). I soak a cotton pad with the lightweight cleansing oil and wipe it gently across my face to lift off all of the face and eye makeup I put on. It’s formulated with tangerine extract, which helps to balance oil production, strengthen the skin barrier, and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Another plus? The tangerine extract gives it a delicious citrus scent, like freshly-squeezed orange juice. After using the oil, I’m always obsessed with how clean my skin feels and how bright my face looks."
NFZD Beauty Infused Sheet Masks
"I’m skincare obsessed and I’m always trying new products on my face. I recently gave these serum sheet masks a go from NFZD Beauty and they truly make my skin glow. Its star ingredient is CBD, which is known to promote the reversal of skin damage and boost moisture. These sheet masks are also formulated with a blend of skin-loving ingredients including olive squalane, vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, ginger root, neem seed oil, and rosemary leaf. From refining the appearance of pores to addressing hyperpigmentation, this mask does it all. After letting it soak on my face for 20 minutes, my skin feels so plump and hydrated."
Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil
"Most oils tend to be too heavy for my hair, but my curls have been loving the hair oil from Bread Beauty Supply. It is made with the powerful super fruit ingredient Australian Kakadu Plum, which helps to maintain collagen and elastin levels in your scalp and hair and promote softness. Its ingredient list also boasts safflower oil, a lightweight ingredient that amps up shine and silkiness. I typically apply it to my hair in-between wash days to add hydration and shine, but it can also be applied to wet hair. What I love about Bread is that they aim to make 'lazy girl hair' an option for Black women too, making easy-to-use and effective products like the hair oil. They’re truly a brand this curly girl can stand behind."
Faith Xue, editorial director
Payot Pate Grise Jour
"This bamboo and cannabis sativa seed extract-infused gel moisturizer is my new go-to for sweaty summer mornings. French brand Payot has been around for 70 years and makes fun, affordable products targeted to specific skincare concerns. This moisturizer is an iteration of their OG face cream, and I love how quickly the velvety cream sinks in and leaves my skin feeling (and looking) refreshed. Plus, it's made with zinc and Chilean mint extract to help with maskne (which I've definitely been dealing with) and summer breakouts."
Fenty Skin Total Cleans'r Remove It All Cleanser
"Using this cleanser is a spiritual experience. Yes, I said it. I'm a cleanser fiend and test every one that comes my way, and this one from Rihanna smells like fruit loops and daiquiris and is now my favorite part of my evening skincare ritual. If you're sensitive to scent, it might be too much, but if you like your cleansing experience to be sensorial, I can't recommend this creamy number enough."
Omorovicza Silver Savior Mask
"The only way to describe this mask is 'magical.' It seems like an ordinary mask at first, but the whipped balm texture turns into a silvery sheen as you massage it into your skin. I love watching the transformation happen and the slight warming effect. Then, it works its magic by delivering colloidal silver, niacinamide, and salicylic acid deep into your skin to clear out blemishes and leave your skin looking brighter and firmer. I'm addicted to using this mask, especially any time I feel a breakout brewing, and love that it doesn't make my skin feel super dry and tight like clay masks do. Each time I use it, I see a noticeable difference in my dark spots, pores, and overall skin luminosity. It's the next best thing to going to a spa and getting a facial—trust me."
Kelly Gallagher, senior social media manager
Chanel Sheer Healthy Glow Highlighting Fluid
"This super sheer highlighter adds a bit of shimmer without feeling like too much. I use a beautyblender to get it right on my cheekbones and cupid's bow. It blends really well so you don't see any lines, and just makes my skin look like I'm glowing from within. I use the shade 'Pearly Glow;' if you have a deeper skin tone, try 'Sunkissed.'"
Everyday Humans Oh My Bod! Sunscreen
"I love this body sunscreen because it's hydrating like a lotion but still has SPF 50 in it to keep your skin protected from the sun. It doesn't have that typical coconut, beachy smell of sunscreen either, which makes it ideal for daily application. Because I've been quarantining in Colorado, sun protection and hydration have been essential for me. This product does both, and the fun packaging makes me want to keep it out on my vanity."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
Ayond Metamorph Cleansing Balm
"I am a cleansing balm devotee—I try dozens of cleansers with various textures and always find myself coming back to balms. My newest obsession? Ayond's Metamorph Cleansing Balm. It's nourishing and gentle, but effective, and transforms from balm to milk as you massage it in with water. The ingredients include babassu and copaiba oils for hydration, as well as sage and frankincense to reduce irritation. It's beautiful and I love it."
Leonor Greyl Soin Repigmentant Icy Blonde
"I haven't been able to get my hair colored in almost a year (I was due for an appointment before the pandemic and the rest is history), so at-home products have been especially helpful. This one, a nourishing conditioner made with 96 percent natural ingredients offers coloring pigments specifically for cool blondes. It nixes brassiness while infusing each strand with rice proteins and babassu butter to soften, strengthen, and condition."
Oui the People Featherweight Hydrating Body Gloss
"I can't stop slathering my body with this glossy, radiant formula. It's a delicious blend of squalane (derived from olives), rosehip, and avocado oil that is extraordinarily lightweight and ultra-hydrating. There's no scent (a huge plus for me) and it leaves behind an otherworldly glow. Bonus points if you use the brand's Sensitive Skin Razor because you'll look and feel like a soft, slippery, shimmery seal. It's that good."
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
Thinx Sleep Shorts in Black
"Thinx have been such a game changer for me. Tampons always felt like a hassle, so after learning about the comfort and ease of simply just wearing a pair of absorbent underwear, now the only time I ever wear a tampon is when I'm at the beach or a pool.
"Recently, the brand launched Sleep Shorts, a rather genius blend of both Thinx underwear and super cozy modal and elastane shorts. The panty line is thicker and more absorbent than a pair of usual Thinx (they hold 4 tampons' worth!), so you can sleep comfortably knowing you won't leak onto your sheets. They're perfect for the first night when your flow is the heaviest and all you want is comfort and peace of mind."
bareMinerals Strength and Length Serum Infused Mascara
"My lashes have always been a little… eh. They're not super long and a little sparse, so I always opt for super thick inky black mascaras that bulk them up and make them look more impressive than they really are. But lately in quarantine, I've been reaching for easy, low-maintenance products that give me a natural look that I can quickly throw on before a Zoom call, and this new mascara from bareMinerals has been a great addition to this new routine. It actually has a lash growth serum in it to help boost my flutters' health, and the formula itself is a bit lighter than my usual mascaras of choice, which makes for a more effortless vibe (and also makes washing it off at night easier). I've only recently started using it, but I'm interested to see if it actually helps my lashes grow longer."
Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner
"Salicylic acid is a pore-cleaning powerhouse, so for days when my skin is particularly congested, I use this BHA toner. (I usually get clogged pores between the eyebrows, which face mapping tells me is connected to drinking too much—this makes sense considering my wine intake during quarantine has sky rocketed.) On top of BHA, it's got papaya enzymes, which also help exfoliate and leave my skin looking clean and even. And while it's a pro at breaking down blackheads, this toner is super gentle and doesn't disrupt the overall state of my skin."
Holly Rhue, associate editor
The Feelist Staycation Detoxifying Salt Soak
"I moved over the weekend and wow, my muscles were so sore. My neck and lower back in particular felt so tight; it was uncomfortable to even turn my head from side to side. After unloading a majority of my boxes, I treated myself to a bath with half a jar of this CBD soak and within 30 minutes, I felt all of my muscles unclench at once. (For the record, CBD rarely has this effect on me.) Bonus: it smells like lavender and vanilla and the packaging is trés chic."
Augustinus Bader The Cream Cleansing Gel
"No one needs a $65 cleanser, but if you're looking to spoil yourself with a luxurious cleansing ritual, you should reach for this one. My skin is fairly reactive to heat, so after a workout, I'm red and hot all over. Cleansing the sweat away with this aloe- and cucumber-infused formula feels like hitting a reset button without making my skin feel dry or tight. I have to stop myself from washing my face five times a day because it feels that good."
Armani Beauty Neo Nude Foundation
"This foundation is one of the most versatile complexion products I've tried this year. You can apply a pea-sized amount for a skin tint, or build the coverage up to that of a foundation. The texture feels like a gel-cream moisturizer, which makes this product extraordinarily breathable. I apply it with my hands and find that it luminizes and evens out my skin tone without burying my beloved summer freckles. BTW, I've worn this product in 90 degree New York City weather and it doesn't transfer onto my mask like my other liquid complexion products do."
Did you miss last month's installment of our favorite products? No worries—we've got you covered.