Byrdie Verified: Our Product Testing Seal of Approval

Byrdie Commerce Guideliens & Mission

Cristina Cianci / Byrdie

At Byrdie, it’s our mission to help our readers find the best products to buy—it’s that simple. We rigorously research and test a broad range of beauty, wellness, fitness, and fashion products, both in our lab and at home. Our goal is to give readers honest, straightforward reviews from editors and writers who are experts in their field. While we do receive a commission on some, but not all, of the products we recommend, our recommendations are based on first-hand experience.

In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust—all day, every day.

How does Byrdie Verified test and review products?

We believe in using the products we recommend just like you would—which is why we make it a priority to test products in real-life settings, from hot, summer days (does that foundation last through eight hours of wear?) to workout classes (do those leggings really stay up while you squat?). We send products straight to our writers and editors so they can test them at home, and we also test products in our Manhattan testing facility, The Lab, where we can compare them side by side.

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Byrdie / Hallie Gould

First, we figure out what to test.

Of the millions of beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness products out there, how do we decide what to test in the first place? Before testing begins, our team conducts extensive research on products by interviewing experts (from dermatologists and trichologists to dentists and personal trainers) for insights, as well as evaluating user reviews and manufacturer data. We marry this information with current search trends to understand what kinds of questions people are really asking about these products, and to get insights into how they’re using them.

Additionally, we are committed to ensuring that our content reflects the diversity of our readers. This means covering brands and services that are BIPOC-owned (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), as well as hiring a diverse group of writers, staff members, and experts who are capable of testing and speaking about different products based on their background. For more information, you can read our Diversity Pledge, as well as our complete list of Editorial Guidelines.

Foundation

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Then we decide on the most important testing factors.

Based on that research, we develop comprehensive testing plans that are unique to each product category. These methodologies are designed to focus on what our readers really want to know (think: design, formula, application, and price) and also replicate the kind of tests that replicate real-world use (like giving a deodorant the dark-shirt test or wearing eyeliner for a 12-hour day).

We also tell our testers to elaborate on their experiences testing each product, including what they liked (and didn’t like!), if it was easy to use, if it worked as they expected, and if it was easy to clean. Our goal is to use every product as our readers would, and then share the good and bad with readers to make a decision on whether a product is worth your hard-earned money. With a combination of lab and real world testing, we’ll give you the information you won’t get from a brand or retailer.

Flat irons

Byrdie / Phoebe Cheong

After that, we’re ready to get to work in The Lab.

The Lab is our 10,000-square-foot product testing facility in Manhattan. Here, we test everything from makeup products to hair tools and beyond. We test products both individually and side by side to see how they stack up against each other. We make sure to get creative, too. For example, when testing flat irons in The Lab, we dropped them onto the ground to test their durability; we used a meat thermometer to ensure that each one reached the correct maximum temperature, and we used a stopwatch to time the auto shut-off feature of each one to ensure it was accurate.

In short, we do what’s needed to make sure products are actually worth buying—and, during the testing process, our editors take detailed notes while our photographers and videographers capture it all so we can share with you what products are really like. TL;DR: Our lab testing is a true hands-on approach to helping you decide which product will be the best for your needs.

Remington flat iron

Byrdie / Phoebe Cheong

We test products at home, too.

Testing products in the home is also an important part of our process. With this real world testing, we’re able to vet things in a more personal setting, as well as see how each one holds up over time. Our at-home testers revisit products over months and years, measuring how durable they really are. Similar to our testing in The Lab, we create methodologies for our at-home testing and we grade products on a variety of attributes designed to replicate how our readers will actually use them. 

For example, when we tested drugstore eyeliners at home, our editor created a standardized methodology to test each one. Every liner was rated on a 1-5 scale for pigment, dry time, staying power, and ease of removal. Our editor noted how many coats it took to achieve an opaque look, utilized a stopwatch to measure how long each one took to dry without smudging, and wore each liner from dawn to dusk. She also tested two methods of removal with each liner—a micellar water and a cleansing balm—and judged each one based on how easily it came off the skin.

Coola Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi 

Finally, we deliver our findings to you.

From there, after testing in the lab or at home, we editorialize our testers’ experience and combine their insights with the hard data from our tests to provide you with easy-to-understand reasons we think these products are great (and just as importantly, what flaws you could expect). Those results are used to guide our product selections.

Our recommended products run the gamut from budget to splurge-worthy, and we’re not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. We source recommendations from reliable companies who deliver exemplary customer service, so you can have a seamless shopping experience. 

Additionally, all of our content is fact-checked for accuracy by our editors, and we ask members of the Byrdie Beauty & Wellness Review Board—which is composed of a team of dermatologists, dentists, dietitians, and more—to vet every word on the page.

Why You Should Trust Us

The product recommendations on Byrdie are completely unbiased. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are our own. In some cases, we purchase products to test ourselves. While we do receive an affiliate commission on a portion of the products we recommend, our recommendations are based on our personal first-hand experience—each product we recommend must earn the Byrdie Verified seal fair and square.

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. Therefore, we urge you to monitor any official announcements at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that may be related to the products you purchase.

Meet Us

Bronwyn Barnes

Bronwyn joined the Byrdie team in 2021. She is a professional storyteller and digital pioneer with 20 years of experience in print, digital and social media. She has experience in writing and editing for various publications, including People, Travel + Leisure, CNN Underscored, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly.

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Bronwyn Barnes
VP of Commerce
Jessica Mahgereftah

Jessica joined the team in May 2019. She is a seasoned writer and editor, with a career in digital media that spans over seven years. The bulk of her experience lies in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content. Before joining Dotdash Meredith, she was the senior editor of L’Oréal’s Skincare.com where she covered all things beauty. Prior to that, she worked on the digital team at DuJour writing beauty, fashion, culture, and lifestyle content.  She received her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from New York University.

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Jessica Mahgerefteh
Director of Commerce, Beauty & Style
byrdie associate commerce editorial director avery stone

Avery is a senior commerce editor at Dotdash Meredith who writes and edits pieces for Byrdie. She joined the company in September 2018.

Before Dotdash Meredith, Avery worked as a digital editor at DEPARTURES, a staff writer at For the Win, and a trends reporter at HuffPost.

Avery also covers culture, beauty, and music for outlets including ELLE, Refinery29, The Cut, NYLON, GQ, VICE, and more.

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Avery Stone
Associate Commerce Editorial Director
Dominique Hodby

Dominique joined the Byrdie team in 2022.

She has written for brands like ESSENCE, WWD, PureWow, Black Enterprise, and more.

She received a B.A. in Print/Online Journalism from Howard University. 

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Dominique Hobdy
Senior Commerce Editor
Jill Di Donato

Jill is a Senior Commerce Editor, with years of experience covering fragrance, beauty, and lifestyle. 

Prior to joining Byrdie, she was the founding fashion and beauty editor at Culture Trip, a columnist at Huff Post, and published the novel Beautiful Garbage, about beauty-obsessed 1980s party girls.

Jill has written for The Los Angeles Times, Refinery 29, NYLON, Milk Media, VICE, Salon, Bustle, Modern Luxury, Autre, and Angeleno. 

Prior to becoming an editor, she was a contributing writer for Byrdie, where she covered the wellness and fragrance spaces. 

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Jill DiDonato
Senior Commerce Editor
Erika Reals a contributing writer for Byrdie poses for a headshot.

Erika joined the Byrdie team in 2021 and has been with Dotdash Meredith since November 2020.

She received a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Her work has also been featured in Daily Mail, CollegeFashionista, and more.

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Erika Reals
Associate Fashion Editor, Commerce
Alyssa Kingham Headshot

Alyssa joined the Byrdie team in 2020.

She received a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism from Central Connecticut State University.

Alyssa has previously written for local radio stations in the Greater Danbury Area.

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Alyssa Kingham
Production Manager
Alyssa Kaplan

Alyssa has been the Commerce Writer for Byrdie since August 2022 where she covers shopping and product content in the beauty and lifestyle categories. 

She holds a BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology 

Her work has appeared on makeup.com, skincare.com, POPSUGAR, and L’Oréal Paris Beauty Magazine. 

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Alyssa Kaplan
Commerce Writer

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com