Editors' Picks: The Beauty and Wellness Products that Got Us Through August

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021

Byrdie Editors/Design by Tiana Crispino

If you look closely at your calendar, you’ll find that there are 92 days of summer, making it the longest season of the year. Somehow, we've landed at the tail-end of it—and the Byrdie team has proven to be divided when it comes to our go-to products. Some are holding onto the warmer months with vivid makeup picks, refreshing skincare, and fragrances reminiscent of the laziest (read: the best) summer days, while others are using the moment to reset their beauty and wellness routines for the rest of the year.

What brings us together, however, is the sentiment that we’re loving what’s making us feel good right here and now. Ahead, see our editors’ picks for August—products that are helping us enjoy this moment, no matter what it means to us.

Jesa Marie Calaor, Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Jesa Marie Calaor

Jesa Marie Calaor/Design by Tiana Crispino

Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber Eau de Parfum

Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber Eau de Parfum
Ellis Brooklyn Super Amber Eau de Parfum $105
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“Sexy” isn’t a word I’d normally use to describe my go-to scents. They’re usually clean, fresh, and a little floral. This one is the exception. Super Amber blends together notes of amber (duh), cedar, and musk to create a scent that's both warm and sensual. It melts with your body’s natural scent, like a second skin that has a hint of spice.

Even better is founder Bee Shapiro’s goals for the fragrance. "I wanted to push the boundaries of fragrance,” she says, explaining that she wanted to create one that is free of allergens and meets the highest sustainability standards. “Super Amber took two years to develop and much of the early development was trying out what was even possible.”

Les Mills Smartbar Weight Set

Les Mills Smartbar Weight Set
Les Mills Smartbar Weight Set $429
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I discovered my love of Les Mills Bodypump, a tempo-based weight training workout, when I was in college. Its use of low weights and high reps, punchy music, and motivating instructors (who are, by the way, very vigilant about everyone having proper form) made me feel powerful each time I left the class—so much so, I continued it long after I graduated. I count on it to keep me in shape and help build lean muscle, even on days when I’m extra busy. (It’s, at most, 55 minutes, and I fit it in before my workday.) Deep into 2020, when studios were shut down and people leaned on at-home workouts, I turned to the brand’s virtual classes. It’s been transformative to both my body and mind, giving me some semblance of normality during an uncertain year. 

The brand’s Smartbar is the key to seamless transitions between sets when taking the virtual classes. The brilliant design allows the plates to slide and secure into place, so you don’t have to waste time clipping in the way you would with the typical barbell.

Jasmine Phillips, Social Media Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Jasmine Phillips

Jasmine Phillips/Design by Tiana Crispino

Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser

Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser
Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser $26
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I’ve never put too much thought into cleansers—I just always wanted something that would clean my face so I can go on with the rest of my day. Biossance’s Squalane and Amino All Gentle Cleanser has changed my outlook and gets the job done every single time. The foaming gel removes makeup, deeply cleanses skin without stripping it, and has a spa-like scent that makes my morning routine feel a bit more luxurious.

Clean Skin Club Clean Towels XL

Clean Skin Club Clean Towels XL
Clean Skin Club Clean Towels XL $15
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Growing up, I had a habit of drying off my face with the same towel that I would use on my body. I learned (the hard way) that towels harbor bacteria and germs, which was the reason why I kept getting random breakouts on my face. Not only do I use these single-use super soft towels to dry my face, I also use them to wash my face, remove makeup, and take off face masks. They're also 100% biodegradable, so you don't need to stress about the single-use factor.

Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil

Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil
Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil $20
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I’ve been really into lip oils lately, and Ami Colé’s Lip Treatment Oil checks all the boxes when it comes to having everything I look for in a product. It has a shiny but non-sticky finish, nourishes my lips, and is long-lasting. I typically have to reapply other formulas over and over again, but I was truly shocked and amazed that this lip oil lasted for hours. 10/10 would recommend to anyone who is obsessed with lip glosses and wants something with long-lasting hydration and tint that complements their complexion.

Holly Rhue, Senior Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Holly Rhue

Holly Rhue/Design by Tiana Crispino

Agency Skincare Cloud Care Cream Oil Cleanser

Agency Skincare Cloud Care Duo
Agency Skincare Cloud Care Duo $14/month
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I personally don't enjoy the feeling of a heavy, oily cleansing balm at the end of the day, but I do still need a gentle first cleanse that's powerful enough to remove all of my sunscreen and makeup. The Agency Skincare Cloud Care Cream Oil Cleanser is just that. It goes on like a creamy cleanser, then transforms into a lightweight, oily foam that dissolves makeup, sweat, SPF, and debris from the day. I love that it comes in a squeeze-out tube rather than the messy jar and spatula (that I always lose) common with traditional, heavier cleansing balms.

Ilia Fullest Volumizing Mascara

Ilia Fullest Volumizing Mascara
Ilia Fullest Volumizing Mascara $28
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I'm big on lashes, and while everyone was raving about Ilia's Limitless Lash Mascara, I just couldn't get on board at first. It's a subtle, lengthening formula that produces a really lovely natural result, but my personal preference is big, fluffy lashes that steal the show, so this new, volumizing version of the formula is absolutely perfect for me. The product lifts and fans every single lash—it definitely gives me that "push-up bra" effect.

Olivia Hancock, Associate Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Olivia Hancock

Olivia Hancock/Design by Tiana Crispino

Forvr Mood Grown Folks Business Candle

Forvr Mood Grown Folks Business Candle
Forvr Mood Grown Folks Business Candle $38
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I’ve become a candle fanatic over the last year. My coffee table is full of them, but Grown Folks Business from Forvr Mood is my favorite right now. It smells like notes of white clove, patchouli, vetiver, and amber and makes my room feel warm and cozy every time I burn it.

Mara Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum

Mara Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum
Mara Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum $52
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I’m serious about my sunscreen application. I’ve become that person who reminds my friends and family to wear (and reapply) sunscreen. Mara’s Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum is the newest SPF product I’ve become acquainted with, and it’s quickly become a daily essential. The first-to-market sunscreen face oil is infused with the brand’s algae and zinc formula, which protects against UV damage. It also hydrates with blue sea kale, hemp seed, and moringa. My skin always looks dewy and radiant after slathering this on.

Starface Hydro-Stars

Starface Hydro-Stars
Starface Hydro-Stars $15
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I’ve been breaking out more than usual lately, and Starface's Hydro-Stars pimple patches have become my new BFFs. The hydrocolloid spot treatment lives up to its claims of absorbing fluid and reducing inflammation. I’ll pop one on before bed, and when I wake up, my pimple is either completely gone or has dramatically decreased in size. I’ve also turned my mom into a Starface believer, and she now keeps a stash in her bathroom.

Lindsey Metrus, Editorial Project Director

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Lindsey Metrus

Lindsey Metrus/Design by Tiana Crispino

Byredo Blanche Collector's Edition

Byredo Blanche Collector's Edition Eau de Parfum
Byredo Blanche Collector's Edition Eau de Parfum $290
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A longtime staple in the Byredo catalog, Blanche recently got a facelift with a special edition, white-capped bottle. I'd never tried the scent prior to this summer, but it's since become my daily fragrance. It encapsulates the smell of a worn T-shirt, like snuggling up to your partner on a lazy weekend. I love the second-skin nature of the fragrance and how it's capable of smelling slightly salty on top of its sweet peony and violet notes.

Oná All Eyes on Me Illuminating Eye Gels

Oná All Eyes on Me Illuminating Eye Gels
Oná All Eyes on Me Illuminating Eye Gels $30
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I love a pair of sturdy eye patches to help soothe puffiness and hydrate my thin under-eye skin. These iridescent gels stay put through any light activity—yoga, housework, a stressful work day, you name it. I pop them on when my eyes could use a little extra love, and instantly feel soothed and refreshed thanks to hydrating and de-puffing cucumber and algae, as well as arnica to ease dark circles.

Eden Stuart, Associate Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Eden Stuart

Eden Stuart/Design by Tiana Crispino

Athr Beauty Moonlight Crystal Gemstone Palette

Athr Beauty Moonlight Crystal Gemstone Palette
Athr Beauty Moonlight Crystal Gemstone Palette $58
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As someone who prides herself on having her 10-minute face down pat, I don't actually use all that much eyeshadow; it often just feels too time-consuming. When I do use a palette, I need it to be chock full of shades that look good individually or layered with just one other color, and this one is just that. The vivid blues and purples are so stunning on their own—all you need to do is swipe a shade or two onto your lids, and you've made a statement. I like using a lighter shade as a base, then topping it off with a slightly deeper tone and channeling my inner Kali Uchis.

Real Techniques Miracle Airblend Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Airblend Sponge
Real Techniques Miracle Airblend Sponge $7
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Let me tell you—when this sponge hit my doorstep, I was skeptical. A makeup sponge you don't need to wet? Surely, that had to defy the laws of makeup physics. Turns out it does not, as this sponge—with a unique texture that uses memory foam technology—is absolutely perfect for creating a medium- to full-coverage base. I actually prefer using it with a lightly dewy foundation, yielding a more satin finish.

Leah Wyar, Senior Vice President and General Manager

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Leah Wyar

Leah Wyar/Design by Tiana Crispino

Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies $19
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I'm on a full fall wellness reset, which includes loads more water, better food choices, and supplements. Truth is, I know a shot of gut-friendly apple cider vinegar would be a good addition, but I overdid it on a clean-eating cleanse a few years back, and now I can't even stomach the smell. A trusted Byrdie source (outing you, Lindsey Metrus) suggested these as an alternative, and I'm loving them. They taste great and while each has one gram of sugar, I used to add honey to the real stuff anyway (and it still didn't go down smooth). A great new-season addition, IMO.

Odele Moisturizing Body Wash
Odele Moisturizing Body Wash $9
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I've raved about Odele hair products for years and am now a fan of their sulfate-free body washes, too. I'm loving the clarifying formula, made with tea tree and exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids, for days when I break a sweat outside, and the moisturizing version for an everyday lather. Both are generously-sized, free of sulfates, and scented with natural mint and bergamot (Clarifying) or grapefruit and orange (Moisturizing).

Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial and Strategy Director

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Kathryn Vandervalk

Kathryn Vandervalk/Design by Tiana Crispino

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder/Light Catcher
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Light Catcher $39
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Laura Mercier's new formula for its cult classic setting powder is designed to give you a major glow. While most setting powders take you from dewy to matte, the Light Catcher lives up to its name—after application, my skin looks immediately more luminous and hydrated. The pearlescent blurring effects, lack of flashback, and pore-minimizing properties make this perfect for photos, whether it's selfies or wedding makeup.

Beauty & the Broth Organic Chicken Bone Broth Concentrate

Beauty & the Broth Organic Chicken Bone Broth Concentrate
Beauty & the Broth Organic Chicken Bone Broth Concentrate $65
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When I was a kid, I loved warming up a can of broth and drinking it for fun. It's just my luck that, as an adult, this would become a wellness trend. Beauty & the Broth takes the canned stuff from my childhood to a whole new level. The broth is rich, slow-simmered to release the bones' flavors and nutrients. My favorite is the chicken broth, which contains glycine for gut health and collagen for wrinkle prevention. The concentrate form means you can thin it out as much as you please (and use it in recipes), but personally, I like a small, potent cup as a light lunch or mid-afternoon snack.

Aimee Simeon, Senior Beauty Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Aimee Simeon

Aimee Simeon/Design by Tiana Crispino

Conair Curl Collective Coily Hair Comb

Conair Curl Collective Coily Hair Comb
Conair Curl Collective Coily Hair Comb $5
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Tools are equally important as products in my hair routine. This wide-tooth comb has been a godsend for my tender scalp and Type 4 curls. It’s sturdy, detangles my hair super easily, and hasn’t snapped in half on even my most tangled days, which—if you have natural hair, you know—doesn’t always happen.

Palette by Pak The Original High Fiver

Palette by Pak The Original High Fiver
Palette by Pak The Original High Fiver $39
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I’ve been on a somewhat diligent skincare regimen that involves a handful of full-sized products. Between a few local staycations and spending time away from home, this container set has allowed me to pack my current routine without lugging around pounds of product, and my shoulders are eternally grateful.

Keys Soulcare Promise Serum with Niacinamide

Keys Soulcare Promise Serum with Niacinamide
Keys Soulcare Promise Serum with Niacinamide $25
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Celebrity facialist Georgia Louise massaged a generous drop of this new Keys Soulcare serum into my skin, and I haven’t been the same since. Before my appointment with Louise, she told me my skin was visibly dry and stressed. After using this, I felt instantly hydrated, plumped, and relaxed. It’s lightweight and luxurious—just how a good serum should be. It’s been a regular part of my rotation since then, and I can’t wait to see how my skin improves over time.

Karli Bendlin, Senior Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Karli Bendlin

Karli Bendlin/Design by Tiana Crispino

Glossier Solar Paint

Glossier Solar Paint
Glossier Solar Paint $20
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Glossier's Solar Paint might be my favorite new beauty product of the entire year. The gel cream formula gives the most natural-looking glow and actually makes my cheekbones look chiseled. I've been applying it almost daily, but I'm especially looking forward to using it this fall to maintain a sun-kissed glow when the last of my slight summer tan fades away.

Topicals Like Butter Hydrating & Soothing Mist

Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mist
Topicals Like Butter Hydrating & Soothing Mist $28
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As someone who is extremely lazy when it comes to body care, this new spray from Topicals has been a godsend. The brand describes it as an "advanced version of aloe vera gel in mist form," and I can attest that it's a game changer for post-sun skin. It gave me instant relief when I recently made the amateur mistake of forgetting to apply sunscreen to the tops of my feet. Even when I'm not experiencing a painful sunburn, I've been continually reaching for this spray for a dose of green tea-scented moisture.

Hallie Gould, Associate Editorial Director

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Hallie Gould

Hallie Gould/Design by Tiana Crispino

Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm

Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm in Golden Hour
Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm in Golden Hour $20
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I've never been a blush person. I have a naturally flushed complexion and never really wanted to add to that. That said, this formula has completely changed my mind. It's balmy, creamy, buildable, and an absolute joy to apply. The shade, Golden Hour, is a coral-orange that makes my pale skin look sun-kissed and radiant. I love to add it to my cheeks and lids (I use the Spectrum x Katie Jane Hughes Brush in 04) for an easy, quick, natural-looking accessory to my usual makeup.

Topicals Like Butter Hydrating & Soothing Mist

Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mist
Topicals Like Butter Hydrating & Soothing Mist $28
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I love face mist. Funnily enough, I originally used this product as such. Then, I realized it was specifically made for your body. That said, I'd go so far as to say it's amazing either way. It's formulated to help soothe sunburns, heat rash, chafing (necessary), and dry skin—which basically covers every annoying ailment the summer weather brings.

It's so, so lovely on the skin. After applying, my body feels properly hydrated and any lingering irritation is totally gone. It's made with green tea extract, allantoin, centella asiatica (my absolute fave), and ginseng root. Together, the mixture is anti-inflammatory, fortifying, and it reduces itching and swelling. Aside from all that, it feels absolutely incredible and smells like green tea. Don't sleep on this one.

Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum

Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum
Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum $69
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I'm always game to try a new anti-aging formula. It's both a personal obsession and an occupational hazard, I suppose. Clinique's Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum is meant to boost collagen production, hydrate, and resurface with a potent retinoid, hyaluronic acid concentrate, and a proprietary blend of peptides. It has a milky texture that feels lovely to apply, and this is one of those products that yields real, visible results with continued use. In fact, the brand has clinical testing results to prove it. After just 10 days, most participants noticed wrinkles looked softer, and skin felt smoother and more plump. I'm on week three and I can back up those findings personally.

Star Donaldson, Senior Social Media Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Star Donaldson

Star Donaldson/Design by Tiana Crispino

Lawless The One & Done Volumizing Mascara

Lawless The One & Done Volumizing Mascara
Lawless The One & Done Volumizing Mascara $25
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I cannot stop talking about this mascara. It really does everything that it claims: It adds volume, lengthens, and is really, really buildable. I'm normally heavy-handed with mascara, and this formula can fully dry on my lashes and allow me to apply another coat with ease. It's shocking.

I think my favorite part, though, is that my lashes actually hold a curl with it. I have relatively straight lashes and usually, after an hour or so of wearing mascara, they fall back to their resting position. With this formula, I can truly wear it all day and night and still look wide-eyed with long, curled lashes. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s also made without silicones and is vegan.

Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser

Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser
Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser $76
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I’ve only been using this cleanser for a few weeks, but I can honestly say it has changed my skin so much in that time that it's unbelievable. I have acne-prone skin, and I’ve been dealing with breakouts on my jawline and cheek area since last year. I haven't been able to settle on a cleanser that really helps my situation until now. This cleanser is formulated with AHAs and BHAs, as well as natural ingredients like willow bark extract and calendula sourced from Harper’s farm. It’s naturally fragrant, cooling, and lathers up when cleansing. The real secret is to use it on dry skin and massage it in for a minute. I’ve kept it on in the shower for two minutes or so to work like a clarifying mask, as well. I actually am obsessed.

Pat McGrath Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream

Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Huetopian Dream
Pat McGrath Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream $125
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Bold eye looks are my thing, and this palette delivers everything and more with just a couple of swipes. The palette has range—it hosts staple earthy tones, golden hues, and purple shimmery shades. But what’s really special about these hues is that every color has a true dimension. I’ve been getting pretty steady compliments when I wear these shades, but people are always surprised that I’m just wearing one color at a time. This is the perfect palette to take with you on a vacation or to just have on your vanity to transition from light day looks to fun, playful nighttime moments.

Madeline Hirsch, Senior News Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks August 2021 Madeline Hirsch

Madeline Hirsch/Design by Tiana Crispino

Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Lipstick in Super Fabulous
Charlotte Tilbury Super Nudes Lipstick in Super Fabulous $34
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Charlotte Tilbury is one of the all-time greats, and her latest SuperNudes collection is no exception. Inspired by '90s makeup made famous by the era's supermodels (that alone hooked me), the line features a stellar face palette and several other outstanding additions (you can read about them here). Notably, the lipstick in Super Fabulous has become my new signature. A romantic shade of dusty rose just feels right as I mourn the impending loss of summer.

Benefit PowMade Brow Pomade

Benefit PowMade Brow Pomade
Benefit PowMade Brow Pomade $20
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The latest from Benefit has officially made me a brow pomade convert. The formula has a delicious, creamy feel, but doesn’t go anywhere even in the sweaty final days of summer (this is some powerful, long-lasting stuff). Also, the packaging and hybrid spoolie brush (sold separately) deliver a delicate, precise amount of product for a subtle brow look. There’s even a little ridge on the packaging to wipe off any excess pomade.

Eve Milan Gentle Cleansing Gel

Eve Milan Gentle Cleansing Gel
Eve Milan Gentle Cleansing Gel $25
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When it comes to face wash, I go by feel. Something magical happens when your face meets a new cleanser and they just get each other, and my oily/combination skin and Eve Milan are pretty much best friends. This gentle gel balances the oils in my face, leaving my skin feeling supple and bouncy. Plus, its rich, velvety lather is a luxurious way to start and end your day.

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