Editors' Picks: The Beauty and Wellness Products That Got Us Through July

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021

Byrdie Editors/Design by Tiana Crispino

Mood-boosting sunshine and pressing repeat on summer jams (both present and past) are the hallmarks of July—but the month means even more to Team Byrdie. Being in peak summer means slathering ourselves with innovative sunscreen formulas, spritzing refreshing face mists, and sweeping on punchy makeup hues (that also, of course, last through scorching temperatures and humidity). Ahead, meet our editors' picks for July—the products that are bringing the heat this month.

Jesa Marie Calaor, Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July Jesa Marie Calaor

Jesa Marie Calaor/Design by Tiana Crispino

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+
Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ $29
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Dermatologists and beauty editors would agree that a cardinal rule of preventing fine lines and wrinkles is using sunscreen. (After all, anti-wrinkle formulas aren’t worth using if you aren’t doing anything to prevent damage.) This handy stick from Shiseido makes both applying and reapplying simple. Pop the cap off to reveal a transparent solid stick that glides across skin without squishing or leaving behind a slick, sticky mess. It's moisturizing, but not to the point that it will emulsify the makeup that’s on your face. That’s mineral oil and polymers in its formula at work, explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. She says that together, they “coat” your skin, which actually makes this sunscreen an effective primer, as well. 

 In this photo, I'm wearing a layer of this sunscreen as a primer (this is key for protection—don’t think you can just use it on top of makeup), followed by a full-coverage foundation, contouring products, and blush. Believe it or not, I had also applied this stick twice on top because my work station sits in front of floor to ceiling windows, and my full beauty look stayed intact. Sure, you can reach for a powder sunscreen for reapplication—but I love this option because of the dewy finish it leaves behind. It’s truly comfortable and eliminates any reason to not reach for the SPF.

Tula Skincare Hibiscus Lemonade Scrub

Tula Skincare So Refreshing Hibiscus Lemonade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub
Tula Skincare So Refreshing Hibiscus Lemonade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub $34
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My biggest skin concern is dullness, so when curating my product lineup, I look for ones that can enhance my natural glow. This scrub does exactly that. It’s a summery take on the brand’s OG Sugar Scrub that gently exfoliates with sugar and fruit enzymes, sloughing off dead skin, oils, and anything else that could be taking away from my natural radiance. Even better is its sweet citrus scent, which is reminiscent of Minute Maid pink lemonade—a summer staple in my home growing up.

Leah Wyar, Senior Vice President and General Manager

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Leah Wyar

Leah Wyar/Design by Tiana Crispino

Biography Petty Grudges Renew Drops

Biography Petty Grudges Renew Drops
Biography Petty Grudges Renew Drops $112
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Working from home this summer, I discovered how stress-reducing it can be to take a meeting or two outdoors. Sometimes the serotonin burst feels so good, I end up out there for the bulk of the afternoon. But despite my strict sunscreen and umbrella habits, signs of sneaky UV exposure—dryness, more pronounced fine lines, a ruddier tone, lots of spots—are showing up. Knowing that the most effective solutions (like retinol) can increase sun sensitivity, I’ve turned to this face oil. Its three key ingredients—texture-improving rosehip oil, anti-inflammatory evening primrose oil, and antioxidant rose geranium leaf oil—have really taken the edge off, and the fragrance is so beautiful. Let’s just say I’m applying it morning, (sometimes) noon, and night.

Gisou Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner

Gisou Honey-Infused Leave-In Conditioner
Gisou Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner $34
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I love a good leave-in conditioner. It truly makes a difference between wearing my hair down on a high humidity day or having to toss it into an elastic. The issue: Most are too heavy for my fine hair, which is why I’ve made this lightweight one my new go-to. Clean beauty fans will love that the cruelty-free formula is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. What’s in it? Baobab extract, argan oil, panthenol, and honey (which, fun fact, comes from the founder’s family bee garden).

Jones Road Miracle Balm

Jones Road Miracle Balm
Jones Road Miracle Balm $38
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You know that product that changes everything the second you apply it? The cherry on top that makes even a makeup-free face look a bit more polished than plain? This, for me, is that sundae topper, and I use it as much on sunscreen-only skin as I do on a “done” face. Here’s how it works: you “break the seal,” as creator and makeup genius Bobbi Brown describes—meaning, you scrape the surface of the solid balm—then warm up the lifted bit between your fingers and press it into parts that need a bit of light reflection. For me, that's the tops of my cheeks, temples, bridge of my nose, and bottom of my chin. Instantly, skin looks pretty, polished, and slightly more radiant. As Bobbi puts it, "it's all in the name."

Jasmine Phillips, Social Media Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Jasmine Phillips

Jasmine Phillips/Design by Tiana Crispino

Versed Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops

Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops
Versed Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops in Sheer Bronzed $18
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I typically avoid wearing foundation in the summer because it’s just way too hot, but I do still want to boost my skin's radiance. Enter: Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops. This serum-like formula not only gives me a lit-from-within glow, it makes my skin look smoother and more even in tone. The drops are amazing on their own but they definitely add a little extra pizzazz when worn with a tinted moisturizer. A little goes a long way.

Style Factor Edge Booster

Style Factor Edge Booster Citrine
Style Factor Edge Booster in Citrine $12
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Ever since I discovered Style Factor’s Edge Booster, I haven’t used another product on my edges. The silky pomade is made with natural argan oil to nourish and hydrate hair while providing a strong hold, minus the buildup. Other edge control formulas have been too oily, made my hair flake, or only worked for a few minutes, but Edge Booster does what it’s supposed to do.The summer heat doesn’t stand a chance.

Eden Stuart, Associate Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Eden Stuart

Eden Stuart/Design by Tiana Crispino

Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 $19
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I know, I know: Team Byrdie can barely let a month go by without telling you all about our love for Black Girl Sunscreen, but I just had to add my voice to the chorus. I’ve been getting consistent compliments on my glowing complexion (a big deal for someone who has a very complicated relationship with her skin), and the comments pretty much always come on the days when I’m wearing this sunscreen. Not only does it protect me from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but the mix of avocado, jojoba, and carrot juice leaves me with a lit-from-within canvas that makes it look like I just came back from a vacation at the Stunning Skin Resort and Spa (which is not a real place... but I’m thinking Black Girl Sunscreen should consider expanding).

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Love
Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Love $20
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As someone who is equally fond of maximalist makeup and a sun-kissed, low-key glow, the most important quality my blushes can have is a buildable formula. And to me, no product delivers on that point quite as well as Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. Whether I want to go with full on '80s draping or just enough color to add dimension, the shades in this range can deliver. While Grateful, a vibrant true red, will always be near and dear to my heart, the soft terracotta shade Love has become my go-to for a more natural blush look.

Sumiko Wilson, Editorial Intern

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Sumiko Wilson

Sumiko Wilson/Design by Tiana Crispino

1st Touch Down Edge Tamer Maximum Touch

1st Touch Down Edge Tamer Maximum Touch
1st Touch Down Edge Tamer Maximum Touch $7
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This has instantly become my new go-to for my edges. Since I incorporated 1st Touch Down’s smooth, wax-like edge tamer into my haircare routine, my swoops have never been more sleek. Plus, there’s no crusty cast that shows up at the end of the night. It lives up to its promise of making edges stay put all day and leaves behind a sweet, fruity scent—I won’t be sweating rising temps now that I know my edges can hold their own in the summer heat. Frizz? Don’t know her.

Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 $19
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I hate to admit it, but I’m pretty new to the sunscreen game. Last year, I would spend all day outside sans SPF. Now, I shudder at that thought. When my mom introduced me to Black Girl Sunscreen, I loved that it’s a Black-owned company and was wowed by the ingredients, which include skin-softening avocado and jojoba oils. I do miss the signature sunscreen scent that comes with some other products, but folks with sensitive skin will appreciate the fragrance-free formula.

Silicon Mix Intensive Hair Deep Treatment

Silicon Mix Intensive Hair Deep Treatment
Silicon Mix Intensive Hair Deep Treatment $19
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This is a true oldie but goodie. When I was wearing my sew-in, I couldn’t go a week without slathering this on. Any seasoned wig or weave wearer will know that sometimes extensions get a little dry and need some extra love: that’s where Silicon Mix’s Intensive Deep Treatment comes in. It’s not explicitly marketed towards wigs and weaves, but it can bring the most dehydrated extensions back to their softest state.

Madeline Hirsch, Senior News Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Madeline Hirsch

Madeline Hirsch/Design by Tiana Crispino

Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer

Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer
Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer $20
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I have super fair skin, so I prefer a more sheer bronzer, and this one from Tower 28 delivers exactly what I’m looking for. The formula has a bit of shine (which I love) and a lightweight, blendable formula that can build your glow based on your vibe. I use the shade Sun Coast for a bronzed goddess look—perfect for summer months and beyond.

Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil

Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil
Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil $29
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There's nothing I stand by more than a double-cleanse, especially in the summer months when I'm constantly reapplying sunscreen, The Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil has a top spot on my shelf right now. I use it at night before a hydrating face wash, and it effortlessly removes grime, makeup, and other excess oil without stripping my skin. After a long day, I look forward to its heavenly scent, which elevates my nighttime routine and gives a luxurious close to my day.

Treslúce Intenso Liner

Treslúce Intenso Liner in Dreamer
Treslúce Intenso Liner in Dreamer $12
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This month, the bright, bold eye looks I’ve seen on Team Byrdie have really inspired me to step up my color game. Fun shades of eyeliner are everywhere, but I’m especially loving this aqua pencil from Treslúce. The gorgeous blue-green shade brings out the yellow tones in my brown eyes, and the formula stays put for hours. I’m giving my black liquid liner a rest and having fun experimenting with new hues for the rest of this summer.

Olivia Hancock, Associate Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Olivia Hancock

Olivia Hancock/Design by Tiana Crispino

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Shawty
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Shawty $18 $7
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Fenty Beauty’s lip products have always been a hit with me, and I recently fell back in love with the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick for its lightweight, creamy feel and matte finish. My favorite shade from the range is Shawty, a warm chestnut hue. Plus, it’s ultra-pigmented: In just one swipe, my lips are painted with intense color.

Tula Skincare Antioxidant Water Purifying Toner Face Mist

Tula Skincare Antioxidant Water Purifying Toner Face Mist
Tula Skincare Antioxidant Water Purifying Toner Face Mist $36
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I always reach for a face mist throughout the day to refresh my skin, and this new release from Tula has quickly become my go-to. It’s infused with a blend of skin-loving ingredients, like witch hazel and cucumber water, that leave my complexion rejuvenated after every spritz.

Unsun Golden Angel Face and Body Highlighter SPF 15

Unsun Golden Angel Face + Body Highlighter SPF 15
Unsun Golden Angel Face and Body Highlighter SPF 15 $34
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I love using products that give me a natural, dewy glow. Lately, I’ve been using this face and body highlighter from Unsun to achieve that lit-from-within look. I’ve been applying the product on my bare skin, and I love how illuminated my skin looks post-application.

Hallie Gould, Associate Editorial Director

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Hallie Gould

Hallie Gould/Design by Tiana Crispino

About-Face Daytripper Matte Fluid Eye Paint

About-Face Daytripper Matte Fluid Eye Paint
About-Face Daytripper Matte Fluid Eye Paint in Replicant $24
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My summertime pièce de résistance: About-Face's Matte Fluide Eye Paint in Replicant. It's a super-pigmented liquid eyeshadow that's a breeze to apply and stays put all day and night. The shade is a vibrant aqua color, like a mix between crystal clear ocean water and Palm Springs pools. It certainly packs a punch.

Mented High Brow Pencil

Mented High Brow Pencil
Mented High Brow Pencil $15
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I can't stop using Mented's High Brow Pencil. I'm a brows gal, so likely I'll have them groomed and fluffed even if I'm wearing nothing else on my face. Usually, I use a tinted gel because it's easy and gets the job done. That is, until I tried this little pencil. I first read about it when one of our writers called it out in her most recent makeup piece (thank you so much, Sierra), and I haven't let it out of my sight since. The light-brown shade is the perfect ashy brown—not too red—and the precision tip allows for real, natural-looking strokes. It stays on for hours but comes off with a quick wash. I'm smitten.

Karli Bendlin, Senior Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Karli Bendlin

Karli Bendlin/Design by Tiana Crispino

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo $30
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As someone who prefers the look of freshly-washed hair, I've always considered dry shampoo something of a necessary evil. It helps me tolerate my second-day hair, but I'm hyper-aware of its presence on my scalp. However, Living Proof's new PhD Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo—an upgraded version of their cult-favorite original—has forced me to reconsider my stance. Not only does it make my day-old hair look freshly washed, but it actually makes it feel clean too. The new formula is designed to mimic the results of a traditional shampoo, and uses fast-absorbing powders to soak up the oil and sweat that causes hair to look greasy. Plus, it balances your sebum levels so you can wait even longer between washes, and it leaves absolutely no residue behind.

Ursa Major Forest Alchemy Eye Cream

Ursa Major Forest Alchemy Eye Cream
Ursa Major Forest Alchemy Eye Cream $54
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As any Ursa Major fan will tell you, the clean beauty brand rarely releases new products. It has high standards when it comes to new offerings, and products often spend years in development. So when a launch is finally announced, you know it's going to be good—and the new Forest Alchemy Eye Cream is no exception. After trying the all-in-one formula myself, I'm convinced it might just be one of the only eye products I'll ever need. The formula is packed with ingredients like white oak bark stem cells, which help to plump and re-densify thin skin, and tremella mushroom, which can absorb and retain 500 times its own water weight. The rich, thick consistency feels more like an eye mask than a cream, but it sinks into skin instantly and leaves it looking plump, smooth, and moisturized.

Skinergy Beauty AHA Skin Mist

Skinergy Beauty AHA Skin Mist
Skinergy Beauty AHA Skin Mist $36
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There's something so enticing about a face mist. A glow-including and makeup-refreshing elixir that works with just a few spritzes? I'll try any one that comes across my desk. Unfortunately, my rosacea-prone skin doesn't always agree with my obsession—even some of the most gentle formulas I've tried have caused irritation and stinging. This new offering from Skinergy Beauty, however, gives my skin a moisture and radiance boost with absolutely zero irritation. It's packed with AHAs like lactic and glycolic acid for gentle exfoliation, while ingredients like geranium and aloe soothe the skin and prevent redness—perfect for a midday pick-me-up.

Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial and Strategy Director

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Kathryn Vandervalk

Kathryn Vandervalk/Design by Tiana Crispino

Atticus Mineral Cleanser

Atticus Mineral Cleanser
Atticus Mineral Cleanser $16 $14
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I treat my adult acne with Differin, and most cleansers I've come across for oily skin are too harsh for me. They either contain more actives I don't need or strip my skin with sulfates. Atticus's Mineral Cleanser does neither. It has a gentle lather that makes my skin tingle in a good way and leaves me feeling fresh but not tight. The clay blends feel cool on my skin, making me feel ready to take on hot summer days.

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Walk of No Shame
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Walk of No Shame $32
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Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution Lipstick in Walk of Shame is my favorite of all time, so I was thrilled when they came out this month with a matching shade for their cult-favorite cream eyeshadow. The formula is thin like paint, easy to spread with a brush or your fingers. When I'm inside my apartment and want to make my eyes pop on Zoom, I pat it on for a sheer wash of color. When I wear it out, the trick is to dab it over a neutral powder eyeshadow for longer wear. I wore it to a wedding, and even my dad complimented me on the color.

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ $40
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I wore this CC cream in college when my acne was more noticeable, and I just resumed my love affair with it this month when I had to step in and help out with bridal party makeup at a friend's wedding. My friends rarely wear makeup and were nervous around foundation—this was the one I recommended they try. The natural-yet-buildable coverage, SPF 50, and long-lasting result can't be beat. I liked the way it looked so much on everyone that I'm now using it again for everyday wear. One of my (not makeup-informed) coworkers said, "What are you doing to your skin? It looks perfect." The ultimate compliment.

Aimee Simeon, Senior Beauty Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Aimee Simeon

Aimee Simeon/Design by Tiana Crispino

Pixi On The Glow Blush

Pixi On The Glow Blush
Pixi On The Glow Blush $22
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I was once the person who pulled out contour kits and blush palettes daily. (I was young and much less occupied then.) Now, my routine consists of anything I can apply and blend with a quick dab. This blush fits the bill and has been a favorite of mine lately—a quick swipe delivers a natural flush of color that's perfect for summertime. I love that it's also buildable so that you can go from sheer to punchy color payoff in just a few layers.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Highlighter

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Highlighter in Iced Out
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Highlighter in Iced Out $34
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This highlighter from Anastasia Beverly Hills also delivers an effortless glow in a compact stick. I've been using the shade Iced Out, a bronzy gold shimmer that melts into my skin like butter with the press of a finger—a must-have for golden hour drinks or just a quick pick-me-up for video calls.

Burt's Bees Squeezy Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Squeezy Tinted Lip Balm
Burt's Bees Squeezy Tinted Lip Balm $6
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I'm a sucker for a tinted lip balm that gives me just enough color and maximum moisture. I love this new Burt's Bees formula that gives me a natural wash of pigment and keeps my skin soft and hydrated. I keep this tube in my bag at all times to reapply throughout the day.

Holly Rhue, Senior Editor

Byrdie Editors' Picks July 2021 Holly Rhue

Holly Rhue/Design by Tiana Crispino

e.l.f. Big Mood Volumizing Mascara

elf Big Mood mascara
e.l.f. Big Mood Volumizing Mascara $7
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Please, let me put you on to this incredible new launch from e.l.f. Cosmetics. Colossal, fluffy lashes are my signature style—but so is saving money. Enter: the brand's new Big Mood Volumizing Mascara. This stuff is $7, but it performs like a prestige formula that's triple the price. The hourglass-shaped applicator is designed to saturate and lift each individual lash, transforming my short, straight, blonde lashes into a set that rivals falsies. Try it and be amazed (and since I know you're wondering, it comes off super easily with a little bit of micellar water at the end of the day).

Roam Loud Yanta Legging
Roam Loud Yanta Legging $50
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Roam Loud is quickly becoming one of my favorite athleisure brands. I waxed poetic about the Yanta Top last month, but this month I couldn't stop re-wearing the Yanta Leggings. They're stretchy, cozy, and actually stay up during my workouts. Wear them for whatever movement brings you joy, whether that's a HIIT class or a morning stroll to grab a cold brew.

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