As beauty editors, it takes a truly special product to make our heads spin with happiness. Sure, there are plenty of formulas that get the job done and deserve an all-around gold-star, but to truly make us froth at the mouth? Well, it goes beyond a hint of je ne sais quoi.
When we're considering a beauty product, we want it to push the envelope, and we look for something that we haven't seen before. We care less about cheeky names and eye-catching packaging, and more about what a product does for our skin, hair, or face—especially if it goes above and beyond anything else we've tried and the laundry list of other cult beauty products on the market. (We've tried them all, by the way.)
Which had us wondering: If we could curate our own list of cult beauty products and broadcast their majesty to the world, what would we choose? Interested to see which products make our stomachs flutter? Keep scrolling for the eight beauty products our editors love more than cult classics.
"I think I’ve gotten the entire Byrdie team hooked on this creamy, glow-giving, light-reflecting highlighter from indie brand Rituel de Fille (and to our new editors, let me know if you're interested, and I’ll shove it in your hands to try immediately). The shade selection is incredible, ranging from a purple-tinged holographic to a J.Lo glow–esque rosy-gold. Every time I wear this highlighter, I get compliments. And not to be vain, but it looks amazing in photos. I try any highlighter that comes my way and have yet to find one as multidimensional, blendable, and just all-around gorgeous.
If there’s any product that deserves a cult following, it’s this one." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"Powdery, super-pigmented highlighters have become a mainstay in the makeup bags of influencers and laypeople alike for years now, but we're making a shift toward sheerer, more dew-inducing creams that give you the look of healthy skin instead of unicorn cheekbones. A favorite at Byrdie, the Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizers are better than any cult favorite highlighter I've ever used. They blend seamlessly and magically make my skin look as though it's glowing from within instead of masked with an artificial glitter." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"3Lab's Aqua BB Cream without a doubt deserves some kind of medal. I had it on my desk and had no intention of trying it until one day the mood struck. Thank God it did. The cream is color-correcting but sheer, glowy but not greasy, and makes my skin look practically flawless every time I apply it. Usually, no one's ever heard of it when I mention what I'm wearing, so I'm making it my personal mission to bring anyone and everyone on board." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"It may be expensive, but this hydrating hair mask from David Mallett changed my life—or at least my hair. Since I have fine, super-light strands, I need serious moisture without the limp, greasy results that characterize so many of the heavy-duty conditioners on the market. I'll use this on my dry hair as an overnight treatment, or in the shower as a mid-week pick-me-up. (I usually try to leave it on for at least five minutes.) Either way, the results are silky and flawless, and I can't live without it." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"I think Grown Alchemist *does* already have a cult following on a brand scale, but the Aussie label's individual products fly more under the radar than they should. I have yet to meet a product from GA that I don't adore—they're all simply fantastic and the fact that they're all-natural is just an amazing bonus. I have to give a shoutout to the Hydra Repair Cream Masque ($69) in particular—no joke, it totally transformed my skin. My complexion is perpetually dry, no matter how many oils or treatments I use on a daily basis.
This cream is technically a leave-on mask, but I use it as a heavy moisturizer, and my skin has never looked better: dewy, lit-from-within, and gloriously hydrated for hours on end." — Victoria Hoff, wellness editor
"I feel like By Terry is such a well-kept secret: Those who are in the know are aware that By Terry is one of the best brands out there. When people ask me about my favorite mascara, they're surprised when I always say the By Terry Terrybly Mascara. It's made with a lash serum that will give you longer and stronger lashes while simultaneously giving them major volume. Plus, the color stays on and doesn't leave any residue on my skin when I blink (which happens a lot with the mascaras I try)." — Audrey Noble, associate editor
"Yes, I completely realize that this is blush isn't Orgasm, and while I also love and own that shade, I just happen to like this one better. I first discovered Seduction about two years ago and have been completely smitten ever since. Upon first glance, it looks intimidating, but I promise it delivers the prettiest wash of color—and it looks so natural. It's that true 'I just worked out' flush, which I literally can't replicate unless I take an overly exhausting spin class. And honestly, I'd rather just swipe this on, instead.
I've gotten so many compliments while wearing this, and I've applied it to many cheekbones pre–night out. My friends routinely request it, and they're always amazed how great it looks on every skin tone." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"I don't play games about my mascara. It's something that I rely on every single day, so I must keep a quality one in my corner at all times. I will admit that I have pretty high expectations, though. After a few swipes, I expect my lashes to look like falsies. I'd been hoarding Soap & Glory's Thick & Fast Mascara for a while, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I used it in a hurry and it made my lashes look magical. The wand is the perfect size and gives me the volume I'm looking for, no clumps in sight.
Working in beauty and all, I thought I was up to date with mascaras that actually live up to their name. I'm so happy I discovered this budget-friendly option that I can run to Target for whenever I need a quick re-up." — Maya Allen, assistant editor
"This is truly my desert island product. Not only does it smell amazing, deliver the perfect amount of pigment (think your lips but way, way better), and provide much-needed moisture, it's also free of any synthetics and chemicals, which, when it comes to my lips, I'm a stickler for. The hue is rosy and natural, and it even gives my mouth a plump and pillowy appearance that I'm beyond addicted to. I panic if I leave the house without it. I have yet to try the other shade (mostly because I'm so in love with this one), but you can bet it's next on my beauty hit list." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
Want more of the products we love? Here are 16 cult beauty products our editors shop on Amazon.