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
"I am an equal opportunity oil-er… seriously, I try them all! Recently, I had a facial with Tammy, a legend in the beauty biz, known for her holistic—and borderline spiritual—approach to skin beautifying, and she sent me home with this. Technically a serum, but an oil at heart, it reads like a juice bar: sunflower, apricot, tomato and carrot. I have used it morning and night for two weeks because it gives me that just-facialed glow every time. Plus it’s the perfect makeup base: not sticky but holds color to your skin all day.
I swear I never get that bare-faced-at-4pm look anymore.
Olivia Hancock, editorial intern
"Anytime I do my makeup, I reach for red lipstick. (My go-to is a MAC Cremesheen lipstick in the shade Brave Red.) But, I am always jumping at the opportunity to test new lippies. Uoma Beauty's products have been on my must-try list since I caught wind of their Badass Icon lipstick line, which pays homage to iconic Black women like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. Of course, I instantly gravitated towards Sade, a bright poppy red shade inspired by the "Smooth Operator" singer. After swiping the matte lip color on, I was impressed with how pigmented the lipstick was and how silky smooth my lips felt.
The lippies are infused with wild mango butter, so you don't have to worry about dealing with the dry feeling that comes with some matte lipsticks. All in all, Uoma Beauty has made a fan out of me and I am excited to rock other shades from the Badass collection."
"Recently, I've been keeping a few different mascaras in rotation. But lately, I've been wearing this one from Laura Mercier a bit more than my other lash products. Why? It helps me achieve the natural, fluttery lash that I love. First, the Caviar Care Complex works to hydrate lashes. Then, the perfectly designed helix-shaped wand coats your lashes with intense black pigment. After applying the mascara, my lashes instantly appeared thicker and more volumized. Plus, I wasn't left with dry, flaky lashes even hours after my initial application.
This mascara is the truth."
Faith Xue, editorial director - creative
"This moisturizer looks like a normal, thick (slightly gloppy) white moisturizer, but when you massage it into your skin, it actually melts into a water-serum. I did not know this the first time I used it and was very confused—but now I'm addicted to using this every morning. It leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated, and it's become a new favorite part of my morning skincare routine."
"Bronty is my new favorite face mist brand. The chicly-packaged line was created by two ex-Victoria's Secret beauty execs who wanted to create mists to give you a midday pick-me-up and make your skin glow a little more in the process. All of them smell amazing (my favorite is the coconut-infused Refresh), and they're all made with hyaluronic acid to plump up your skin, kakadu plum to brighten, and aloe vera to soothe. I have one in my bag at all times and using them throughout the day is an instant mood-boost."
Star Donaldson, associate social media editor
"As a curly girl dealing with this damp and humid New York weather, I’ve been working hard to maintain my curls between co-washes. During a routine trip to Sephora, I stumbled across the Instant De-Frizzer by Living Proof and decided to give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. The spray smells amazing and instantly laid my frizz to rest without weighing down my curls. Best of, all it’s conditioning, which softens and smooths hair to give it added shine."
"When I decided to make the switch from a chemical deodorant to a natural variation, I went on the hunt to find one that was right for me. After trying a few that didn’t work, a friend recommended Schmidt’s, and now I’m happy to call it my go-to deo. This aluminum-free deodorant keeps me dry and smelling great with a tangy citrus scent that actually lasts all day long. It does have a grainy texture (which varies because it's naturally made) that took some time to get used to as it was pretty rough on my underarm skin.
But after a couple of days of use, it didn’t bother me, and now I appreciate the added bonus of exfoliation."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"I am a sucker for anything cooling, tightening, and de-puffing—and this new eye gel from Farmaesthetics does all those things in spades. The texture is serum-y and cold, so it applies like a dream and absorbs really quickly (there's no stickiness leftover, either). The hero ingredients are arnica, caffeine, and cucumber to soothe and perk-up your under-eyes in just a few seconds. I've been applying it in the morning (and throughout the day whenever I hit a slump). Just gently pat it along your eye contour and let it get to work.
"There are so many sparkly body products on the market right now—so much so that I could highlight every inch of my body for months before running out. That said, there aren't very many options that add glow in a more subtle way (no shimmer, no glitter). Goop's luminizer does just that. The formula includes light-reflecting minerals that impart a soft, hydrated glow. I apply it along my legs, shoulders, and collarbone for barely-there dew. I'm coining it now: This product does for the body what RMS's Living Luminizer does for the face."
"I am absolutely in love with this orange-y shade. It's matte (but still somehow super comfortable, hydrating, and softening) and offers up the best just-bitten summer lip look. It's fun and fresh-looking, easy to apply, and, according to the brand's PR, the shade was inspired by '70s porn stars. I love a shade with a saucy backstory."
Lindsey Metrus Malhado, senior editor
"Ever since I started dying my hair again, it's become significantly drier. And—fun fact—when your hair is dry and weak, humidity is more easily infiltrated, making for that poofy, frizzy summer hair I try so earnestly to avoid. I know that in order to cut down on that Monica-Geller-in-Barbados hair, I need to deeply hydrate my strands, but sometimes even a heavy conditioner doesn't cut it. So when Rahua (my favorite haircare brand that also happens to be natural) sent me its latest launch, a hydrating conditioner spray that also promises to detangle my straw-like post-shower hair, I couldn't test it out fast enough.
"After a few sprays on damp hair, I was able to run my fingers through my strands without getting tangled, and the texture was noticeably softer and silkier. (It also smells like strawberry shortcake, which is a total delight.) I've noticed that my hair has gotten significantly less frizzy on days when the humidity rate is well above 70%, and the overall feel is so much smoother than if I hadn't spritzed it."
"I'm incredibly loyal to my favorite mascaras—I have short, stubby lashes that need something a bit goopy to help plump, lift, and separate them, so if the formula is too thin or the brush is too fluffy, I'm no longer interested. That wasn't the case with this new launch from CoverGirl, though. It's a rather simple tube with a slightly hourglass-shaped brush, and the formula is just thick enough that my lashes look significantly more robust and fluttery. I like to let the formula dry a bit until it's tacky to the touch before applying another layer, and the end result is always a new set of long, voluminous lashes."
Elspeth Velten, editorial director - growth
"After a nonstop day of meetings, smog, and the subway, a double cleanse during my evening shower feels luxurious. I’ve been enjoying this particular set from the founders of Soko Glam—the first step balm comes with the actual texture and aroma of the best citrus gelato ever, and melts away my makeup without leaving my skin feeling stripped. The following gel also might as well be edible (licorice root, green tea and fermented rice sounds like a great cocktail to me)—instead, it brings an invigorating tingle and washes away leaving things feeling just the right side of squeaky."
"Don’t ever rely on me to have a tube of toothpaste packed in my suitcase—for some reason it’s the number one item I regularly neglect to bring on trips, probably because I always carry on and never have a small enough tube on hand. And now I’ll never need one. Bite’s little mint-like bits foam up after a quick chew—like, they really foam up. Just add your toothbrush and some water and you’re in business. This toothpaste is all natural, vegan and cruelty free, and, to my biggest delight, plastic free.
It doesn’t taste as good as your regular paste, but honestly that makes me feel even better about it."
"This is my liner of Summer 2019. The twist-up delivery adds zero fuss to my morning routine, and the slim profile of the liner lets me get super specific about exactly where I want to add a pop of baby blue (everywhere). This doesn’t transfer to my upper lids through the day and is still in tact by the time I get home after post-work plans, by which time my eye shadow’s often been creased for hours."