It’s hard to pinpoint the one thing that makes a beauty product reach cult status. Is it the buzziness among editors, overwhelming approval, boundary-breaking formula, or eye-catching packaging? We like to think it’s a mix of all the above—and since very few products fulfill all of these requirements, we cling all the more closely to those that do. But though our shelves are lined with the makeup artist–approved tried-and-true (love you, Nars Orgasm), we also keep our eyes peeled for the up-and-comers—the NKOTB of beauty, if you will.
And as it turns out out, there are quite a few emerging products quickly gaining a following from real women, editors, and industry professionals alike. These young upstarts are sleekly packaged, are easy to use, and deliver real results—and we consider it our civic beauty to share them with you.
Ahead, you’ll meet the next generation of cult beauty products—products that by no means usurp their elders, but are making a name for themselves all on their own. All of these products are Byrdie-approved, and have been vetted by beauty editors and some of the top hairstylist and makeup artists in the industry. Now, let’s make some room in your makeup bag, shall we?
Keep scrolling for 17 beauty products primed for cult status!
W3ll People Bio Brightener Stick ($35)
You can read our full rave review here, but to sum it up, this glow-inducing, super-creamy formula is the highlighter you’ve always dreamed of. Swipe the wand above your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose for a subtle, angelic strobing effect. The natural, light-reflecting formula makes your skin look ethereal—never sparkly.
Garret Markenson Reverie Milk ($39)
Put down the argan oil—Garret Markenson’s Reverie Milk is the answer to your parched, dull strands (and the fact that Sephora knocked on the brand’s door and asked to carry the product practically secures its cult status). Made with natural, nourishing ingredients derived from coconuts, olives, and almonds, the lightweight, silicone-free formula penetrates deep into your hair shaft and leaves your mane silky-smooth without ever weighing it down.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185)
You may not have heard about this product yet, but we have a feeling you will very soon. Made with an infusion of 22 of the world’s most active organic botanicals (skin-balancing grape-seed oil being just one), this indie face oil from Vintner’s Daughter kicks all other face oils out of the water—ask any beauty editor, and she’ll agree. Warm it up in your palms and pat it into your skin before bed—in the morning, you’ll wake up with radiant, smooth, well-rested skin (we can attest). Plus, it works wonders for oily girls, too.
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick ($32)
We have to admit, we had a tough time deciding which Charlotte Tilbury product to include in this list, but we narrowed it down to her creamy, high-pigment lipstick. Why? The shade selection is on point (Stoned Rose is the universally flattering rosy taupe of Kylie Jenner fame, Bitch Perfect is every makeup artist’s favorite pinkish nude, and Night Crimson is the vampy blood red of your dreams), the formula is high pigment but never drying, and the finish has just the right amount of sheen that doesn’t veer into shiny.
Every woman needs one of these rose-gold bullets in her bag at all times.
Pixi Glow Tonic ($29)
This exfoliating toner has already reached cult status in the U.K., and it’s only a matter of time before it’s on every woman’s bathroom counter stateside. (Word to the wise: Snatch it up at your neighborhood Target sooner rather than later.) Alcohol-free and made with botanical ingredients like witch hazel and ginseng, this toner balances oil production and removes dead skin cells in one sweep. The 5% glycolic acid gives your skin a radiant glow, while aloe vera prevents any irritation.
Foreo Luna Mini ($139)
This futuristic-looking device is changing the way we cleanse and exfoliate. Gentle, hygienic (it’s made with antibacterial medical-grade silicone), and small enough to fit snugly in the palm of your hand, the gadget pulses as you glide it over your skin, removing debris and busting blackheads without tugging on your skin. Trust us, this is a game changer. (You can watch us unbox the Luna Mini and try it out in our video.)
RMS Lip2Cheek Tint ($36)
RMS’s popularity has steadily grown past the natural beauty realm and become a favorite of top makeup artists everywhere. The creamy, certified-organic Lip2Cheek Tint is a particular standout—the coconut oil base melts beautifully into the skin (and lips) for a slightly dewy, petal-like finish.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21)
This ultra-slim pencil is the brow pencil of the future. The twist-up tip fills in any gaps and allows you to create strokes that look like real brow hairs—plus, the waxy formula magically doesn’t smudge or smear in the summer heat. The spoolie on the end for brushing out your masterpiece is yet another plus.
Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler ($30)
There is a certain silver eyelash curler that practically every woman knows and loves—but makeup artist Troy Surratt’s sleek black curler wants to shake things up. You’ll find that the curler is less curved in his version, allowing for less pinching and more lifting. It immediately sold out after its initial launch at Barneys; since then, Sephora and Net-a-Porter have jumped at the opportunity to carry this makeup artist–approved product.
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($16)
If there was ever an eyeliner for even the most novice of eyeliner users, this is it. The felt tip is the perfect shape and size for an even, shake-free application, and the paraben-free, inky-black formula lasts and lasts.
Becca Cosmetics Backlight Priming Filter ($38)
Dewy, candlelit skin doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, which is why we predict Becca Cosmetics’ illuminating primer will soon grace every woman’s bathroom counter. Why? The pearly formula can be used alone to wake up tired skin, or under foundation for a blurring, light-reflecting effect. Plus, it won’t clog your pores or leave your skin greasy at the end of the day.
Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette ($46)
Now you can shape and sculpt your face like a true artist, thanks to Kat Von D’s much-loved contour-and-highlight palette. Featuring three different shades of contour and highlight, the palette makes it all so easy. Women love the mistake-proof, super-blendable powder formulas and the diverse range of shades.
Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Gloss ($22)
Think about everything you know about lip gloss—then forget it immediately. Urban Decay recently launched a line of glosses that defy all the stereotypes: moisturizing and never sticky, with the most gorgeous pigmented color payoff in a wide range of shades (Kinky is our current go-to nude). Lip gloss haters and lovers alike should give these a chance—they may just replace your old favorite.
Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion ($7)
Nivea revolutionized the way we moisturize with its in-shower, wash-off body lotion—and we (along with other beauty editors) haven’t looked back since. Slather it on at the end of your shower routine, then simply rinse off—it’s the laziest way to moisturize, and the end result is impressive (read: soft, silky skin).
Covergirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara ($6)
We recently revealed this as the most popular drugstore mascara on the Internet—and the stats don’t lie. The unique bristle promises 200% more volume with none of the clumps. Wiggle it at the base of your lashes and sweep up for a natural look—or, layer it on for extra drama.
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water ($7)
Who says cleansing your face needs to involve a faucet? We’ve recently been celebrating the genius that is micellar water—a gentle, effective cleansing water that works like a miniature sponge to mop up dirt and makeup while simultaneously hydrating your skin. Simple’s version promises to boost your skin’s hydration by 90% and is enriched with vitamins—plus, you can’t deny the wallet-friendly price tag.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation ($43)
It’s hard to make a good thing better—but Make Up For Ever did just that with its new Ultra HD foundation. Reworking the formula of its much-loved HD Foundation, the new version is more moisturizing (it’s made with hyaluronic spheres) and makes your skin look flawless even under the latest, pore-magnifying 4K lens.
Do you own any of these products? What are your predictions for the next cult cosmetic? Sound off below!