We get really excited this time of the month, pausing to reflect on the best products we've tried in the past 30 days or so (which is both incredibly fun and incredibly difficult). 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.
Right here, right now, we're talking makeup. Behold the 15 best makeup products Team Byrdie tried and quickly fell head over heels for during the month of November. Oh, and they just might be some of our favorites thus far in 2018. Keep scrolling for the lipsticks, luminizers, and glittery eye shadows (so festive!) we couldn't stop swiping.
"Pat's original balm has saved my lips from many a dry desert day (it was in my backpack all of Coachella this year), so I had high hopes when I heard she was launching tinted version. Suffice to say, Pat did not disappoint. This balm is a dark cherry hue and gives my (dry, colorless) lips a juicy tint of color. I love that the sheen isn't too glossy and that the color is buildable. I do one swipe for a barely there tint and layer it on if I want more color payoff. It's officially my go-to winter lip balm."
"I love anything in stick form and am so impressed by Burt's Bees' new stick highlighters and blushes. They each have a clear moisturizing 'core' in the middle, so they go on incredibly hydrating and blend really easily. The blush in Blush Bay is the perfect rosy pink with cool undertones, and it looks just as good on the cheeks as it does on my lips. The highlighter adds the prettiest dewy sheen on my cheekbones. It has just the slightest pearly hue but mostly just makes your skin look lit-from-within.
Plus, they're friendly on the wallet!"
"This matte lipstick is appropriately named because it's now become my holy-grail red lipstick. I had high expectations when I heard that my friend, vlogger, and makeup guru extraordinaire Sona Gasparian had launched her own line of makeup. Sure enough, everything I've tried has blown me away in terms of quality and color payoff. This lipstick is not only the perfect shade of red—not too warm, not too cool, and so flattering that every time I wear it people ask (or DM) me for the shade—but the formula doesn't feel drying at all either.
Unlike other matte lipsticks which can make your lips feel like they're coated in a thick layer of paint, this lipstick feels like air when you apply. It doesn't sink into your lip lines and you barely feel the weightless formula once it's dried down. I've been shying away from red lipstick for awhile, but now will be wearing it much more often, all thanks to this one product. Thanks, Sona!"
"I just tried this sheer, glowy, pink lip balm, and I'm officially in love. Housed in Tom Ford's iconic white-and-gold packaging, the universally flattering, buttery formula (this shade is called Glimmer) infuses your lips with hyaluronic acid and a burst of translucent tint each time you swipe it across your lips. It's made to react with the pH of your skin, creating a customized color based on your natural undertones. I keep it with me everywhere I go."
"This is by no means a new product. It's been a favorite of mine for years, but I had given up applying it daily as new formulas popped up over the last few months. I tried it again recently, though, and wearing it feels (and looks) better than ever. It's just enough coverage without any of the annoying cakey stuff, and it imparts this incredible dewiness to your skin instantly. The formula is enriched with rose water for long-lasting hydration, soothes your skin with lavender oil, and provides shockingly lightweight color-correcting coverage (that even has an SPF of 40).
It glides on so easily, looks glowy all day long, and covers any redness or lingering discoloration."
"Make's best-selling Marine Salve now comes in tinted form. I love how hydrating and healing the balm is on my lips, and the shade Bex is a pretty dusty rose that offers just the slightest amount of color. I also like it for my cheeks on days when I'm not wearing any foundation for a bit of glow and rosy hue."
"I recently raved about Beekman 1802's products and my trip to its HQ with HSN, and the love fest continues with this tinted lip balm. I'm a sucker for a good hydrating balm that offers just the right amount of color (with supreme staying power, of course), and this balm does just that. Plus, it comes packaged in an adorable tube, which makes it the ideal stocking stuffer."
"New makeup line Able Cosmetics continues to impress me with its cleverly designed products, which feature a high-quality formula on one end and a handy tool for application on the other. Its just-launched mess-proof mascara offers a buildable, flake-free formula with a little built-in shield on the other end of the tube so you can apply your mascara without getting product all over your lids. Genius."
"When it comes to highlighters, I always invariably opt for a cream formula that makes my face look like a slick glazed donut. (No sparkly powders, please!) At the recommendation of my roommate and fellow Byrdie editor, Erin, I am newly in love with Kora's rose-quartz highlighter, which comes in a little pot filled with organic noni fruit extract, coconut oil, rose-hip oil, and real rose-quartz powder, which I apply to the tops of my cheekbones for a subtle pink dewy glow."
"I'm devoted to Stila's Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadows ($24). I love adding a touch of sparkle to set off my glam before a fun night out. It makes me feel like the fierce, grown woman I aspire to be. So anything that comes close to it instantly catches my eye. This $8 drugstore dupe is its runner-up for a fraction of the price. I gravitate toward glitter you can apply with a doe-foot applicator because it's non-fussy, fast, and easy. I tapped a bit of the golden bronze shade on the inner corners of my eye, and boom, the sparkle was lit!
I paid attention to it throughout the night and not once did the glitter fall or move. This passed my test with flying colors."
"I'm a bright, vivid, matte lipstick kind of girl. I love bold, highly pigmented shades that show up in one swipe. I shocked myself when I took a liking to these creamy, sheer mattes recently released from Glossier. These hydrating bullets are ideal for an everyday shade that requires extremely minimal upkeep. It feels like a balm, which I'm never not reaching for in colder months, with a convenient dose of color. I also love that this shade is buildable, allowing me to control how low-key or bright I want it to look.
This berry shade has remained in my bag since I gave each color in the collection a try, and that says a lot."
"Like Maya, historically, if I'm wearing glitter atop my eyelids, it's at the sparkling hands of Stila's cult-loved liquid eye shadows. That said, I've indulged a longtime lust for Lemonhead.LA's collection of Glitter for Adults, and I'm thrilled to say this stunning rose-gold collaboration with Violet Grey made my longtime wait more than worth it. The color is pristine—an eye-catching white gold with iridescent hints of blush and rose. Take it from someone who doesn't wear glitter all that often: This star-studded glittery balm feels surprisingly wearable.
I wore it out for dinner one night in L.A. recently and got so many compliments. I'm not sure how it manages to look so low-key glamorous (it is glitter after all), but it does. I'm obsessed."
"Take a look into any of my bags on any given day, and you'll discover at least one Kosås lipstick. But more likely two. (ICYWW, Rosewater and Stardust were my all-time favorites—up until now, at least.) So when I was sent the brand's new limited-edition shade Phoenix, it was like Christmas came early at Byrdie HQ.
"I've always been more of a blue-red kind of gal (blame it on my infatuation with Old Hollywood), but this chicly rusted version of a true fiery red has become my newest lip addiction. Like all of the Kosås lipsticks, it leaves behind a low-maintenance velvety-matte finish—perfect for that blotted, prettily worn-in vibe—and never ever dehydrates my lips. Plus, I just love the symbolism and meaning behind the name, Phoenix, reminding us that no matter what we may leave behind, we can light the flame, let it burn, and rise again to kiss the sun.
(Or so the Kosås website says.)"
"Crop Natural is one of my favorite skincare and makeup brands. (For proof, check out how I, along with Byrdie's assistant editor Erin, created two makeup looks using Crop Natural products exclusively.) So when I heard a new mascara was launching, I waited (im)patiently to swipe it on my lashes. It didn't disappoint. I like how the formula isn't runny or wet, unlike other mascaras on the market, since it allows me to wiggle the brush into my lash line to achieve density and volume without smearing it all over my eyelids.
Sure, it doesn't make my lashes feel as plush or soft as my old go-to (Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara), but it deposits so much inky color at the root of my lashes that I'm able to skip eyeliner if I feel so inclined. My eyes look sharp and defined without it. That's a win."