At Byrdie, it's our job to test and report on the newest and best beauty products on the market. If we try something that changes our lives—even in the smallest way—we are quick to write about it so that you can stay ahead of the curve. (Click here to be the first to know what's new at Sephora right now.)
Still, each of us editors has a few beloved products that sit on the back burner, ones we've somehow never spoken about on Byrdie. It's not that we're trying to keep secrets—we've just never gotten the chance to plug them, simply because they haven't been the right fit or we've used them for so long that we've just forgotten to call them out.
But we thought it was high time to give these never-before-mentioned products their time in the spotlight. From obscure Japanese makeup brushes to the world's best toothpaste, keep scrolling to discover 15 under-the-radar beauty products Byrdie editors love!
"Like a trustworthy, reliable best friend, this unassuming curling iron has been with me through thick and thin (literally—it's saved me from too-thin layers and thick, blunt ends alike). I never talk about it, perhaps because it never begs for attention; it patiently waits in the wings, always ready to save my strands at a moment's notice. It's been with me for years, helping turn whatever state my hair is in into loose, natural-looking curls and waves.
"I bought it on Amazon in college (high school?) for less than $25 and since then have tried many flashier, newfangled alternatives. And guess what? None of them have compared. It's clamp-less, which pleases my extremely lazy self—all I have to do is grab a section of hair and twist it around the barrel. I hold it for a few seconds, let go, and repeat until no strand is left behind; then I shake everything out and spritz with a texturizing spray."
"This powder brush is expensive (like, embarrassingly expensive), which is why I've never talked about it before. But aside from my Beautyblender, it is literally the only face makeup brush I use. The brush is handcrafted in Japan and made from goat's hair, which is insanely soft and flexible, able to pick up even tiny amounts of product and distribute them on your face flawlessly. I apply every powder product imaginable with this: bronzer, blush, highlighter, pressed powder, loose powder, everything.
I even contour with it (my nose included)! I've used it every day for three years, and it's still going strong. Just think of it as the Mason Pearson of powder brushes."
"I suppose one of the reasons this product has never come up before is that I'm not entirely sure how to categorize it. It's a dry finishing spray that's sort of a hybrid between dry shampoo, instant volumizer, and hair spray. (Its key ingredient is tapioca starch, which gives hair a ton of body with just a few spritzes.)
"The other reason I've never talked about it is the scent: It's musky and earthy, and personally I'm obsessed with it. But it's also quite strong. That said, this stuff is definitely the sleeper hit of styling products in my arsenal. If you're into the smell of patchouli and love big, messy hair, I highly recommend it."
"It's actually weird that I don't talk about this eyeliner, because I use it every single day, even when I'm not wearing any other makeup. It has the perfect consistency: It's soft but precise, blends easily, and stays put. I always swipe it along my lower waterline and extend it just a tiny bit past the corner to touch the end of my upper lash line—doing so gives my downturned eyes a subtle lift.
"But my best-kept secret is that I actually use this liner to contour my lips. I literally just outline my lips (and a little bit of my Cupid's bow) and blend it in with a Q-tip. It took some practice to perfect, but it seriously makes my pout look naturally fuller."
"These cotton pads are EVERYTHING. They're like miniature clouds: ridiculously soft, and they hold so much liquid. I start every morning by soaking one in toner and using it to wipe away any overnight buildup on my skin. Come nighttime, I dip one in oil to remove stubborn eye makeup. They're seriously so versatile, and the unsung workhorses of my skincare routine."
"I just started using this at home, professional-strength peel from my most trusted woman in the industry—Renee Rouleau herself. So I have yet to sing its praises from the rooftops (or, you know, on the internet). It's packed with antioxidant goodness and smells (and looks) like jam. Truth be told, I've thought about tasting it once or twice. With the berries come fruit AHAs, BHAs, and enzymes to unclog your pores, fade post-breakout marks (my biggest goal in life right now), lift discoloration, and smooth every inch and line on your face.
It's pretty much a one-stop shop for all things amazing. I put it on for 10 minutes, wash it off, and very literally gawk at the bright dewy glow radiating from my skin."
"To be fair, I talked about this product in an interview with Julianne Hough, but I didn't know at the time that the lip balm was as life-changing as it actually is. When I saw the $60 price tag, I thought, Okay, I've GOT to try this and see if it's worth the cost, and trust me when I say it is. My lips get insanely chapped in the winter, and I've tried at least 8000 different formulas, but nothing has worked consistently well. This balm, however, makes my lips feel smooth as silk, completely rids them of flakes, and smells like a peppermint patty, to boot.
I wish it wasn't so pricey, but when you find something that works, you suck it up and fork over your cash."
Wow. It actually isn't until this very moment that I'm fully recognizing this is my first powder ever. Just like foundation, the quest to find a powder-based shade to enhance my dark skin has been far from easy. After a lot of trial and error, and enduring bad "professional" advice at department stores, I found the one. This finely milled powder blesses my skin with an airbrushed finish every time. It's so creamy and velvety and just all-around amazing. I have others, but I always go back to my OG powder every time.
A trick I use to keep my foundation looking fresh for hours is layering this on top of my foundation.
This will forever be my holy grail drugstore product. I have severely dry skin and have suffered from eczema for all of my childhood. This hearty ointment saved my stressed-out skin and still does to this day. I use it year-round, but appreciate it even more during colder months. I lather this on my lips every night and wake up with them feeling pillow-soft.
I discovered this unknown lip duo on the vanity of my co-worker's bathroom recently, and my lips pretty much haven't been the same since. The set consists of a mask and balm, although I upset the status quo and just rub the lightweight whipped texture of the mask into my lips as I would a balm (without wiping it off as your supposed to.) It sinks in easily and immediately plumps my pout. I kid you not—applying it every night before bed has legitimately changed the volume, contour, and overall hydration of my lips.
The "balm" is also amazing—I put it on before I head out the door each morning, and it's actually more of gloss, hence the quotation marks. It's formulated with 22 certified organic extracts, a patented tri-peptide system, hyaluronic filling spheres, seabuckthorn berry extract, and other moisturizers that help your lips reach their max fullness potential. I'm so addicted.
I've had this brush since college (literally, the exact one—I haven't replaced it) and I'm not sure if I would even know how to execute my go-to makeup routine without it. It's the perfect size (not too big and not too small) to both contour my cheekbones, temples, sides of my nose....and to dust my favorite powder highlighters around my lids, brow bones, and cupid's bow. It's truly my stealthy secret for perfect product placement, and whenever people see me using it, they ask what brush it is. (I've had people DM me on Instagram and friends IRL order it after trying it out for themselves.) It's a game-changer.
"I fortuitously stumbled upon a sample size of this all-natural product while on vacation. I had accidentally left my beloved Kiehl's facial cleanser at home (which, at the time, I thought was a nightmare for my combination skin). Thankfully, I reached for this as a temporary replacement. After one use, I was completely hooked. It takes just a couple of drops to transform into silky foam. Upon rinsing, my skin feels clean and soft—never stripped. The peppermint scent is invigorating in the morning and refreshing at night.
You can use it for a number of different things. I'm talking shampoo, body wash, even dish cleaner, but I use it exclusively for face wash. Honestly, after using it last year, I haven't looked back since."
"This perfume is the only one I've ever worn. Dark notes of amber, oakmoss, and tuberose are blended with lighter notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, and narcissus. The design house first released it in 1975 under the reign of creative director Karl Lagerfeld. My love for all things '70s paired with the fact that my mom wore this scent throughout my childhood make it super nostalgic for me. Seriously, it's amazing."
Next up, read about the products that changed Byrdie editors' skin for life.