Byrdie's Beauty Product Ratings Methodology

Why We Test & Review Products

Part of our mission at Byrdie is to provide you with thorough and unbiased information on beauty and wellness products that make you feel your best. These product recommendations are purely editorial. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are our own.

We do the heavy lifting by tapping into our wide network of experts to help recommend the best products on the market—and, in many cases, we test and review these products ourselves, too (or have our trusted contributors do so). The goal? To provide you with as much information as possible about each product so you can decide if it might work for your needs and budget.

Read on to learn more about how we rate and review the products we test.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Byrdie / Tembe Denton-Hurst

Skincare Products

Skincare products include any products that can be applied topically to the skin, from moisturizers and eye creams to lip masks and body scrubs. In addition to photographing and reviewing each product, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For example, for a vitamin C serum, those attributes would be ingredient quality, texture, absorbency, efficacy, and value.

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating a skincare product, reviewers should also consider if it's sustainable or if it's considered clean by Byrdie's standards.

Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar
Byrdie / Jenna Igneri 

Skincare Tools

Skincare tools include any beauty tool that targets skin concerns, like derma rollers, dermaplaning tools, jade rollers, or dry brushes. In addition to photographing and reviewing each skincare tool, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For example, for a derma roller, those attributes would be design, ease of use, efficacy, and value.

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating a skincare tool, reviewers should also consider if it has sustainable packaging or is recyclable.

Olaplex No. 5
 Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Hair Products

Hair products include any product that can be applied topically to the hair, from shampoos and conditioners to hair masks and scalp treatments. In addition to photographing and reviewing each hair product, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For example, for a hair mask, those attributes would ingredient quality, texture, scent, efficacy, and value.

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating a hair product, reviewers should also consider if its packaging is sustainable or if it's considered clean by Byrdie's standards.

T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer
Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Hair Tools

Hair tools include any beauty tool used on the hair, from hair dryers and flat irons to detangling brushes and diffusers. In addition to photographing and reviewing each hair tool, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For example, for a flat iron, those attributes would be design, ease of use, efficacy, and value.

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating a hair tool, reviewers should also consider if its packaging is sustainable.

Glossier Boy Brow
 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Makeup

Makeup includes a wide range of products from foundation and concealer to highlighter and mascara. In addition to photographing and reviewing each product, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. (For example, for foundation, those attributes would be ingredient quality, texture, coverage, longevity, ease of removal, and value.)

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating a makeup product, reviewers should also consider sustainability, inclusivity (does it come in shades that work for a wide range of skin tones?), and if it's considered clean by Byrdie's standards.

Crest 3D Whitestrips with Light
Byrdie / Jenna Igneri

Oral Care

Oral care products include any products that target the mouth or teeth, from teeth whitening strips to toothpaste. In addition to photographing and reviewing each product, we ask our writers to rate certain attributes of that product that are relevant to its particular category; writers would rate each attribute from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For example, for teeth whitening strips, those attributes would be design, ease of use, side effects (did it cause sensitivity?), efficacy, and value.

We also ask our writers to give each product an overall rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This rating is not an average of the attribute ratings. Instead, it is a rating that keeps those attributes in mind but represents a more holistic view of the product. (For example, if a product is both inexpensive and effective, its packaging may not matter as much in its overall rating.) When rating an oral care product, reviewers should consider factors like sustainability or if it's clean by Byrdie's standards.