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.
Kelly Gallagher, senior social media editor
I've been a devout Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo user for over nine years now, but when a friend left her Virtue Full Shampoo and Full Conditioner at my house, it seemed like the right time to expand my hair-washing horizons. I've been really impressed by the volume this duo has given me, and the conditioner has left my hair feeling full and light and with so much texture that my co-workers kept complimenting it on a day when I had let it air-dry. I'm planning on trying the entire Full line, ASAP.
I've been on a mission to take better care of my skin in 2019, and therefore develop an easy-yet-effective skincare routine. My congested skin always feels like it could use a toner after washing at night, so I thought I'd give Hydropeptide's new Hydraflora Probiotic Essence a shot. I've been really impressed with its ability to leave my skin feeling clean without drying it out. Plus, I've noticed fewer breakouts and less dry spots since I started incorporating this into my nighttime skincare regimen.
Faith Xue, editorial director
It’s no secret I love makeup in stick form, mostly because I find the concept more hygienic and also because I’m lazy and like to apply things directly from the source. However, most of the stick skincare products I’ve tried have, quite frankly, underwhelmed me. But something made me want to try the new probiotic skincare brand We Are Wild, which boasts just three products: a cleanser, toner, and oil, all in stick form and all full of skin-balancing probiotics. Suffice to say, I’m now obsessed. The Solid Water is a toner that glides over your skin as smoothly as Tara Lipinski during her long program and makes it feel instantly hydrated, refreshed and cooled. You can use it as an actual toner, but I’ve been keeping it on my desk and using it over my makeup throughout the day as an added hydration boost. (It also moonlights as the perfect makeup primer.) I love the way my skin looks and feels after I apply it and that it's also just overall really enjoyable to use. It’s now one of my winter skincare staples. (And don’t skimp on the Solid Oil as well—it’s the perfect way to seal in the hydration and can be used on your body, too.) [Ed note: You can read more about the benefits of probiotic skincare here.]
This multi-use product from Pixi is another stick product I can’t stop swiping all over my face. You can use it as a primer, highlighter, lip balm, body hydrator—basically, anywhere you want the most delicious sheen to radiate off your skin. It’s made with a mix of gentle acids, hydrating oils, and vitamin d to help your skin glow more in the long run, too. I’ve been using it on my cheekbones for a dewy glow, as well as under my foundation to make it look lit-from-within.
Now that I have platinum hair, I wash my hair once a week at most. It’s a wonderful life in theory, except for the fact that I somehow need to make my hair look good when I wake up bleary-eyed every morning with bends and pillow-creases in my former waves. Enter: this between-washes spray from Tresemmé, which refreshes my hair whenever I need it and gives it new life. (Think of it like a face mist, but for your hair.) It adds just the right amount of moisture back into my hair so I can shake out any weird sleep dents and re-style it however I like. Plus, it gives my hair a nice post-shampoo smell, so I can rest assured it’s always smelling fresh.
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
Ever since I saw Kacey Musgraves with a wash of baby pink highlight sitting atop her cheekbones at the Grammys, I've dreamed of imparting the same fairy-tale glow. A quick stroll over to her makeup artist, Moani Lee's Instagram page, and I'd soon learn it was all thanks to Pat McGrath's Skin Fetish Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio in the shade Iridescent Pink. I got my hands on the palette, grabbed a fan brush, and dusted on the dreamy purple-pink hue with abandon. In artificial lighting, I felt like I wasn't getting enough, but as I stepped outside and caught a glimpse of the sun hitting my cheeks just right, all of my '70s disco queen makeup dreams came true. I'd bathe in this highlight if I could.
I have very hollow under-eyes, and puffiness runs in my family, so I've been in search of the perfect remedy to keep them looking as smooth and flat as possible for the longterm. Many derms have told me my best option is filler (ugh), but in terms of products, I'm told the most effective ingredient is retinol because of its ability to "thicken" the skin, firming the thin under-eye area. I've tried a few retinol creams, but most have actually left me looking puffier in the morning. Enter: Dr. Dennis Gross' Ferulic and Retinol Eye Serum. It's a super lightweight gel and has rendered my once sleepy eyes brighter, firmer, and sans puffiness. It's a time machine in a bottle.
Milk is an expert at creamy consistencies (pun very much so intended), and this new demi-matte lipstick is no exception. Upon first swipe, I was pretty shocked at how pigmented and smooth the color appeared on my lips. I also appreciated the subtle curve of the bullet which hugs the contour of the lips, making for a more precise application. As for longevity, the color lasted through lunch and frequent water breaks, so suffice to say, I'm quite sold on the formula.
Hallie Gould, senior editor
I fell in love with this formula when it first launched at Sephora and have been adding their new shades to my collection ever since. The brand calls it a "comfortable matte," which in execution means it’s packed with pigment and super hydrating ingredients to make certain it's both long-lasting and non-drying. The blend includes shea butter as well as coconut and grape seed oils to nourish and moisturize, plus bamboo-derived blurring powder to deliver a smooth, soft-focus effect. My newest favorite, Deuces, is a warm rosy nude—the perfect barely-there lip color. I apply it with my finger for a stained finish and it’s so, so good.
This foundation just launched and, trust, it is the air-brushing formula you’ve been waiting for. I usually stick to a dewier, sheer finish, but after giving this one a go, I was shocked by the flawless results. You only need the tiniest drop (less than a pea, I’d say) to cover your entire face. I used Tarte’s Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush ($34) instead of my usual Beautyblender ($20) to apply it, and it worked incredibly well. I was even, my skin looked bright, and it didn’t feel heavy. It’s matte but comfortable and covers like nothing I’ve used before. Plus, it’s infused with ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and squalene, so it’ll keep your skin moisturized for hours while you wear it. I was getting compliments left and right after applying, so that’s good enough for me.
As many of you probably already know, I’m a cleansing balm kind of gal. I’ve been using Eve Lom’s Cleansing Balm ($80) exclusively for years, as it melts off your makeup, smells like a spa, and keeps my skin in tip-top shape. I had all but given up trying to replace it when Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm ($60) came across my desk. It’s formulated without mineral oil and, instead, infused with rose and jasmine extracts, as well as vitamin E to brighten stressed out skin, rehydrate, rebalance, and remove every last trace of makeup. I apply it to dry skin before showering and watching it transform into a soft, milky lotion. I’m in love.
I have never really been into powder highlighters. Instead, I adore the wet, natural look of a cream or gel. But, if you’re going to make an exception, make it for Becca. The brand’s Shimmering Skin Perfector has a serious cult-following—and that certainly means something. Their newest shade is a limited edition offering (so scoop it up now) and it’s practically blinding. It’s a soft, peachy-pink with gold and silver pearls, giving your skin that ever-elusive candlelit glow. It’s easy to apply and subtle at first, but buildable depending on the look you’re going for, making it pretty much foolproof.
Pssst—did you miss our favorite products from January? Don't worry, we have you covered.