We get really excited this time of the month, taking a pause to reflect on the best products we've tried in the past 30 days. (Which is both incredibly fun and incredibly difficult.) But we have a fun surprise up our sleeves: Whereas before we dedicated one lone "best-of" post to every kind of beauty product—from hair products to makeup to skincare—we've decided to split up our favorite categories each month to provide specific insight into what we've been loving, trying, and recommending to everyone we know.
And right here, right now, we're talking makeup. Behold the 16 best beauty products Team Byrdie tried and quickly fell head over heels for during the month of May. Keep scrolling for the lipsticks, luminizers, and concealers we can't stop swiping.
"It's hard to pick which product from this collection I love the most, but this highlighter squeezes in at the top spot. It gives that prettiest dewy-but-not-greasy sheen anywhere you tap it, aka basically makes you look like a Glossier model. It has just the slightest pearly shimmer, and feels nice as as lip balm too. Counting on this to make my skin look glowy and hydrated this summer (even if it isn't)."
"Burt's Bees always impresses me with its makeup offerings, and more importantly, I love that the products are free of harmful ingredients. I'm obsessed with the brand's newest makeup launch: liquid lipsticks that are super-pigmented, come in the most flattering colors (it's been hard to pick a fave, but currently I'm into the cool pink shade Blush Bay), and feel hydrating. Unlike other liquid lipsticks, they're not matte—instead they're creamy and velvety. Someone complimented me when I was wearing Coral Cove a few days ago, and when I told her it was Burt's Bees, she was surprised because the color was 'so pigmented'—but honestly, she shouldn't have been.
Killing it, Burt's Bees!"
"Koh Gen Do updated its iconic Aqua Foundation formula to be both lighter in weight and fuller in coverage back in April, and I finally got my hands on it this month. The liquid texture feels so weightless you think it's going to look sheer, but one little pat of the stuff was enough to camouflage the stress-induced redness I've been dealing with all month."
"I discovered this adorably packaged powder blush compact by Shiseido's Japanese drugstore brand while on a trip to Tokyo in mid-May and was instantly smitten not only by the Polly Pocket–esque case but by the range of pretty shades, the intense color payoff, and the surprisingly high quality of the included applicator puff. I've been using it almost every day and am still a big fan."
"Bouncy, gel highlighters have had quite the come-up this season, and now I understand why. The cooling jelly effect is refreshing, dewy, and perfect for summer. This one offers a golden shimmer and a texture that makes for foolproof application. I put it on my lids, cheeks, brow bone, and Cupid's bow for an allover glow that never dries down."
"Charlotte Tilbury's newest lip gloss is called the Collagen Lip Bath, and there's certainly no moniker for gloss more beguiling than that. Mustard sprout extract hydrates, plumps, and enhances lip volume to define the contours of your lips and create a fuller appearance, while a blend of coconut oil and peppermint extract nourish, soften, and create a cool, fresh feeling directly after you apply. Then the pearlescent pigments come into play, offering a milky pink sheen that reflects light, making your lips look fuller, wider, and IMHO, certainly more enticing."
"When it comes to makeup, highlighters are my weakness. That being said, it's rare I actually find one that can even come close to my O.G. pick I've been obsessed with since high school. However, thanks to this brand new launch from Cover FX, it might have finally found a worthy opponent. It's highly pigmented (I don't shy away from shimmer), and I like that I actually get what I came for with this palette. All three colors are incredibly flattering, can be worn on their own or even mixed and matched, and last the entire day.
Right now I'm especially into wearing a little bit of the rose gold on the tops of my cheekbones, in the crease of my eye, and as a finishing touch atop my lips and Cupid's bow."
"So I realize that technically these are designed to be eye shadow primers, but considering I have a less-is-more approach when it comes to eye shadow (as in I hardly ever wear it), I've been using these creamy sticks from Sigma instead. I'm obsessed with all three colors (hence why you see the full color line above) but feel especially partial to Bubbly on the right, which has just enough color and shimmer to make my eyes look just a tad more elevated than they would on their own."
"I'm obsessed with my favorite Revlon Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick, but after trying this It Cosmetics variation for a story recently, I've started to cheat on it a bit. It melts to the touch and is a bit dewier than the Revlon offering, so on days when I want a wetter look, I turn to this magic blend of peptides, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen for a quick (yet major) pick-me-up."
"Huda took her cult-favorite Rose Gold palette and remastered it to be less glittery and more finely milled for less fallout while still maintaining intense pops of color. The rust, rose, and bronze shades make for the perfect summer palette—I can't wait to give it plenty of face time in the coming months."
"The absolute worst thing is when a makeup product falsely claims to be sheer and work for all skin tones—fake news at its finest. This blur stick is truly transparent and looks amazing on my dark skin tone. I keep it at my desk when I need to swipe on something fast that'll make me feel put together. The brand advertises it as a mattifying primer that blurs imperfections pre-foundation, but I like wearing this alone. Its light-as-a-feather coverage evens out my hyperpigmentation and leaves behind this subtle golden glow."
"I'm a concealer fanatic—it's the one thing that wakes up my face and gives me a no-makeup-makeup glow. I was initially impressed by the massive shade range offered in this line, which is not surprising for BareMinerals because the brand has always done well in the inclusivity department. I'm obsessed with how compact this mini stick is, and also how big of a difference it makes on my face. The formula is super creamy and full coverage, so I dab it right on top of my dark spots and underneath my eyes.
The warmth of my ring finger works just fine when applying it."
"I'm not typically a bronzer person—it just seems like an annoying extra step in my pared-down routine. But when I went on a trip to Mexico a few weeks ago, I was itching for a '70s-inspired glow, and my lovely colleague Faith immediately recommended Make's newest bronzer. I'm already obsessed with two shades: Marfa and Joshua Tree. They both make for a really beautiful, natural-looking glow—the undertones are warm and there's a light shimmer, so it really looks like you've just gotten back from a long, restful vacation on some tropical island.
I'll be wearing them all summer."
"It's RARE that I ever deviate from my beloved RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover Up—most foundations and concealers dry out my skin, so that they're caking off in a matter of hours. But I'm such a fan of Rituel de Fille's products in general that I knew its newest Conceal & Cover was worth a shot. Fast-forward two weeks, and it's now a permanent staple in my daily makeup routine. Whereas I think I'll keep using my RMS as a spot concealer, I'm loving the finish of Rituel de Fille's product as a sheer coverage foundation.
I just blend it on with my beauty blender, and the demi-matte finish makes my skin look smooth and grease-free without ever feeling dry or overly airbrushed. It still looks like my skin, which is key."
"Isadora is Sweden's number one most popular makeup brand. It just recently made its way stateside, and I was lucky enough to test out a few of the brand's top-selling products, including the Blush & Glow Draping Wheel ($25) and the Grand Volume Lash Styler ($18). I loved both, but the latter really surprised me. It takes one swipe (literally—just one) to majorly boost the volume and density of my lashes. If I swipe on more than one coat, it looks like I'm wearing falsies. Seriously, it's that intense.
The glossy jet-black finish doesn't hurt either."
"The Urban Decay Beached Palette is everything I ever hoped for in regards to summer eye makeup. The eight pressed powder shadows are soft, silky, and super-pigmented. Plus the shades are on point, ranging from sandy neutrals to bold blues, browns, and reds. My favorite one has to be Double Dip, an iridescent turquoise color that brings back '80s vibes in the best way. It's inspired me to step out of my makeup comfort zone."
For more of our favorite products, check out all of our favorites from 2017. (It was such a hard decision.)
Opening Image: Mango