No, it's not necessarily a secret, and yes, it's naturally assumed, but as beauty editors, we get a lot of free stuff. To provide a quick visual, each of our desks, vanities, cars, and bathtubs could, without a doubt, serves as prime real estate for an episode of Hoarders. While outwardly acknowledging our sky-high stashes has always felt a little uncouth (we never want to sound like we're bragging or being flippant), unboxing is, indeed, a huge part of our jobs, and we do, for the most part, strive to test and review every single compact and gadget that comes our way. If we love it, you'll hear about it. If we don't, we'll store it in the beauty closet for future photoshoots, share it with friends and family members, or donate it to a local organization.
That's all to say this: We receive enough products daily that, if we so desired, would never have to buy anything with our own money. But, when we inevitably try something that inspires a head-over-heels, can't-live-without-it fixation, we happily spend our own paychecks on more of it firstly, so we can hold onto our undying love for said products indefinitely (the bottles we receive aren't bottomless magic carpet bags, after all); and secondly, to help support our very favorite brands. So, which beauty products do Byrdie editors actually spend money on? Here are the 16 products perennially in our shopping carts.
Araziel Jackson, assistant social media editor
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This is a new addition to my skincare routine (I know I'm super late to the game). I purchased a mini sample bottle to test out, and I will be repurchasing as soon as the sample is finished. This product leaves my normal to dry skin feeling hydrated and clean with just one wash.
Creme of Nature Coconut Milk Hydrating Curling Cream
This product is a staple in my 4B to 4C natural haircare routine. It has allowed me to achieve a "wash and go" with defined curls and moisturizes like no other leave-in creame I've ever used. Plus, it smells amazing.
Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend
This lightweight and non-greasy oil is another staple in my haircare routine. I use it to seal in my hair's moisture and apply it to my scalp when I am wearing a protective style. Plus, it's formulated with a majority of all-natural ingredients and no fillers.
Jasmine Phillips, social media editor
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
I just started incorporating vitamin C into my routine a few months ago, and my only regret is that I didn’t add it sooner. Hyper Skin Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum has not only lightened stubborn dark spots, but it has also given my skin a glow I’ve never had before. The formula is lightweight, packed with ingredients to prevent future breakouts, and is a daily staple in my morning routine.
CurlyMe Hair Headbang Wig
TikTok made me buy a lot of things but this might be the best and most useful purchase of all. This headband wig from CurlyMe Hair is perfect to rock in between wash days when I don’t feel like styling my hair for zoom meetings. It also serves as a protective style. It takes me less than five minutes to "install" the wig, style it, and go on about my day. It’s only been a month since my first purchase and I already have a new length and style on its way to my house right now.
Tiana Crispino, visual editor
Guava Rescue & Repair Kit
Ceremonia is a Latinx-owned haircare brand I recently discovered that has now officially become a staple in my everyday hair care routine. As a Latina, I am passionate about supporting Latinx women-owned businesses and am so glad I found Ceremonia because the products are great. Their products are made with quality ingredients native to Latinx countries and cultures that support the Latinx community.
Their newly released Guava Summer Collection is just another reason to check Ceremonia out, as the Guava Rescue & Repair Kit has already saved my hair on numerous occasions this summer! Not only does it smell amazing, but it brings your hair back to life after a day of swimming in the sun. It's the perfect summer hair care product.
Kathryn Vandervalk, editorial and strategy director
Golde Matcha Turmeric Latte Blend
This latte blend contains seven superfoods to support skin glow and gut health, but it's the jitter-free caffeine jolt that makes it a crucial part of my morning routine. I'm dependent on caffeine but also very sensitive to it—I can tolerate about a half cup of coffee at a time—and Golde's lattes are the perfect, tasty alternative. I love it so much that I've bought it as a gift three times, and I'll be forever re-stocking. A bag contains a month's worth of servings, and $30 for a month of matcha is a steal.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
I go through dry shampoo like it's water. Batiste does the job, and for the price, it can't be beaten. My oily scalp is no match for a few sprays. I feel like I've tried every dry shampoo on the market, and this is the one I keep going back to, simply because it's at every drugstore, and it soaks up grease like a sponge.
Madeline Hirsch, senior news editor
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
I've raved about the shade range before, but I'll say it again: nothing matches my skin like Fenty. My vanity is full of concealers and foundations that I'm testing, but I find myself coming back to this kit time after time. It reads neither yellow nor orange on my fair skin with neutral undertones—which frankly still feels revolutionary years after I first tried the product back in 2017. In short, this set has literally everything you'll ever need for medium-to-full coverage. Take my money, Rihanna!
Christophe Robin Purifying Scalp Scrub
I was initially moderately skeptical about this product. A scalp scrub that's life-changing enough to justify a $50 price tag? I had my doubts. But, after trying it out, I quickly understood the appeal, and now this scrub is a summer must-have. I use it weekly in warmer months and always order a refill when I run out.
Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director
Joah Brown Down to Me Precision Brow Pencil in Taupe
I firmly believe in applying the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory to a good brow product. I've been using this pencil for years now, and any time I go to use something new, I always come back to my old faithful, wondering why I ever strayed from such a reliable pencil. It's my perfect shade-match, doesn't budge even on the hottest of days, and its super-fine tip allows me to expertly fill in my brows without looking overdone.
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Tanning Mousse
I maintain that Jergens is the best sunless tanner on the market, bar none. The brand's OG gradual tanning lotion is bomb, but the mousse is the true prodigal child of the line. It provides the most even, realistic-looking tan that somehow manages to stay on and even increase in darkness after I've showered (?). It defies all logic, but I'm not questioning its powers, just reveling in the fact that it works so well at just $14 a bottle.
Armani Neo Nude Foundation
Neo Nude is one of those foundations that continues to get better as it melts into your skin. I constantly get complimented on the glowy freshness my complexion takes on after applying this makeup, even on Zoom calls. It's super lightweight, expertly blends, and actually works with my skin's oliness instead of against it.
Olivia Hancock, associate editor
The Lip Bar Liquid Matte Lipstick in Bawse Lady
Red lipstick is my favorite color to wear and I have collected dozens over the years. The Lip Bar's Bawse Lady is one of the best liquid matte lipsticks I've ever tried. It's ultra-comfortable to wear, super pigmented, and lasts all day.
Over the last year, I've been testing out different razors. The Flamingo Razor ($9) is among the best. It's crafted with five expertly engineered blades and a weighted ergonomic handle, which allows it to deliver the most effortless shaving experience. It easily glides across my body—from my legs to my bikini line—and leaves me with a close, smooth shave every time.