20 Secretly Amazing Beauty Products We Never Talk About

Secretly Amazing Beauty Products


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.

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 under-eye powders to $8 lipsticks, keep scrolling to discover 20 under-the-radar beauty products Byrdie editors love.

Leah Wyar, SVP and general manager

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for Under Eyes

Secret Brightening Powder for Under Eyes
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for Under Eyes $28.00

Years ago, a makeup artist whipped this out of her kit and, using a fluffy brush, tapped this on as a final touch. I couldn't believe the before-and-after...it was like my dark circles, still slightly visible under concealer, disappeared with the weightless veil (and did not settle into my fine lines). It's also incredible for taming down the shine on other areas of the face, so think of it as a general setting powder that just happens to be perfect under the eyes.

Faith Xue, editorial director

Tonya Crooks Arches & Halo Brow Mousse Tinted Microfiber

Arches & Halo Brow Mousse Tinted Microfiber
Tonya Crooks Arches & Halo Brow Mousse Tinted Microfiber $13.00

My microblading is fading before my eyes, and my brows are reverting to their hairless state, but this brow mousse allows me to fake fuller brows in just a few swipes. It's made with a light-as-air mousse texture that contains tiny microfibers that cling to your brows and build them out for a soft, fluffy, natural effect. A few swipes and I've convinced people I have naturally-thick brows again.

Biophile Bioshroom Rejuvenating Serum

Bioshroom Rejuvenating Serum
Biophile Bioshroom Rejuvenating Serum $148.00

I've been obsessed with mushrooms for their health benefits for a while now, but I've never been blown away by their use in skincare until now. Biophile's serum contains their signature "Shroom Broth," made with three potent, antioxidant-filled mushrooms that have been bio-processed to create amplify its antioxidant, microbiome-balancing abilities, plus vitamin c, niacinamide, and peptides to plump and brighten the skin. I've been dealing with a serious case of adult acne and breakouts for the past few months, and this is the only serum that helped clear up my skin in just a few days—in fact, I saw fewer bumps and breakouts after just one use. It's now an essential part of my nightly routine. 

Payot Ultra Nourishing Melt-In Care

Ultra Nourishing Melt-In Care
Payot Ultra Nourishing Melt-In Care $42.00

I've tried every bodycare product under the sun and have never encountered a texture like this--it's velvety, but a balm, but also whipped. Unlike other body balms that feel heavy, this one feels light-as-air and melts on contact. I love scooping this out and massaging it into my body post-shower, then sealing it in with body oil. It's my favorite part of my nightly ritual, and the light scent instantly puts me in a relaxed state of mind.

Kathryn Vandervalk, editorial and strategy director

Supergoop Shimmershade SPF 30

Supergoop Shimmershade SPF 30 $24.00

Everyone raves about Supergoop's sunscreen, but their cream eyeshadow is my all-time favorite. It comes in four illuminating shades, but the bronze Sunset is my go-to. It's one quick swipe of color, light enough for daytime wear but dramatic enough for an evening out, and of course, there's the added sun protection. Other cream eyeshadows crease on my oily lids, and I have to worry about primers, brushes, and touch-ups, but this one goes on with a tap of your finger and stays put.

Colourpop Lux Lipstick

Lux Lipstick
Colourpop Lux Lipstick $8.00

Colourpop is famous for its super matte, super long-lasting liquid lipsticks, but it's their other formulas that I reach for over and over. Their Lux Lipstick is comparable to Charlotte Tilbury's (a Byrdie team favorite), but at $8, it's only a quarter of the price. The gold bullet cases are sleek and durable, the formula rich and creamy. LA Lady is my favorite terracotta nude, and it's a close dupe for Fenty's Mademoiselle Lipstick in Spanked. In terms of liquid formulas, Colourpop's lesser-known Ultra Blotted Lip is less drying and more forgiving than their true mattes. Cherry on Top gives me a popsicle pop of color, and Zuma is the longest-lasting nude in my collection. Before I was a beauty editor, these were affordable must-haves in my collection.

Hallie Gould, senior editor

Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen

Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen
Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen $34.00

I love this sunscreen so much. The only reason I haven't talked about it is because, while highly important, sunscreen isn't always the most interesting product to discuss. That ends here! Skinceuticals' Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen is a blend of all my favorite things: a serum-y texture, slight tint, and an SPF of 50. It's also especially important now that I'm using my first-ever retinol (Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3) and my skin is more photosensitive than usual (yes, even in winter). I apply it each morning after my skincare routine and it offers a tiny bit of sheer coverage and a ton of glow. 

Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask

Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask
Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask $26.00

I'm a lip balm fanatic—I have a tube in just about every bag, pocket, and drawer in my house. This one is by far the best I've ever tried. It's like a warm, cushion-y hug for your lips. It's a mix of deeply hydrating ingredients like mango butter and hyaluronic acid, as well as papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate. It's basically a lip facial in just a few swipes. I wear it all day and especially to bed to keep my lips in good shape.

Holly Rhue, editor

Bread Bread-Puff

Bread Bread-Puff $16.00

Bread Beauty Supply's Puff isn't exactly their hero product, but it is supremely underrated. I have type 2C waves—they're thick and frizz easily—so I always sleep with my hair in a loose top knot to avoid tangles and protect my definition. With that being said, every single scrunchie I've tried leaves a dent in my hair when I wake up (even pricey silk ones). This is the first ever scrunchie that survives my tossing and turning, and also leaves my hair creaseless in the morning. Don't sleep on it (but also, do sleep on it, because it will save you from resetting your curls every morning). 

Flawless Finishing Touch

Finishing Touch
Flawless Finishing Touch $20.00

I genuinely don't know how this product isn't more famous. For those that remove their facial hair, it's a game-changer. I use it once a week to remove my peach fuzz—it's completely painless and takes me no more than 30 seconds. (And no, it doesn't make my hair grow back thicker or darker.) It leaves me with smooth, baby seal skin, sans the deep level of exfoliation that comes with dermaplaning, which is something I wouldn't want to put my skin through every week. I can't recommend it enough, and there's a larger version of the device for your body, too (if shaving your body is your jam). 

Dove Exfoliating Body Polish

Exfoliating Body Polish
Dove Exfoliating Body Polish $6.00

Fine, we all know about Dove. But if you haven't tried the Exfoliating Body Polish, you are seriously missing out. I am truly, madly, deeply in love with this little jar of crushed macadamia and rice milk. A $6 jar lasts forever, polishes the rougher areas of my skin (like elbows and knees) to buttery softness, and leaves the subtlest touch of sweetness on the skin. Shower with it, take a bath with it, sleep with it for all I care—I just know you need this in your life!

Olivia Hancock, associate editor

Afro Sheen Texture Flexing Foam

Texture Flexing Foam
Afro Sheen Texture Flexing Foam $9.00

I love using foamy, mousse-like products to refresh my curls. And this one from Afro Sheen works beautifully on my hair. Raking a few pumps of the product through my curls always leaves them defined, conditioned, and full of shine. The Texture Flexing Foam is able to work its magic thanks to a potent blend of hair-loving ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Try it out during your next wash day and your hair will thank you.

Curls Dynasty Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In

Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In
Curls Dynasty Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In $16.00

As someone whose hair is prone to dryness and tangles, a leave-in conditioner is one of those products I can't forego. I've tried an unbelievable amount of leave-in conditioners over the years, but there are just a handful that have garnered a five-star review from me. The Curls Dynasty Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In is one of them. After applying a generous amount of the cream to my damp hair, I'm left with curls that are beyond bouncy, hydrated, and soft. Add this to your routine ASAP.

Lindsey Metrus, senior editor

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

Clean Freak Dry Shampoo
Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo $7.00

I rely quite heavily on dry shampoo, especially during this extended time at home when I can't bring myself to wash my hair for yet another day of Zoom calls. Lately, I keep turning to this formula, which I discovered in a drugstore travel aisle while on a trip many moons ago. I needed a small can that would fit in my carry on and grabbed Clean Freak at random, and serendipitously, it turned out to be one of my favorite dry shampoos ever. It leaves behind zero white cast, gives tons of volume, and doesn't leave my hair feeling super dry and chalky like some formulas do. And for $7, you can't beat it.

Lenor Greyl Shampoo Creme Moelle

Shampoo Creme Moelle
Lenor Greyl Shampoo Creme Moelle $51.00

I got my hair colored a few months back, and after over a year of not dyeing my strands, I forgot just how much havoc bleach imparts on my hair. I'd hit a breaking point with my dull, lackluster hair (literally—my ends were breaking off before my eyes) until trying this smoothing shampoo. I'm a longtime fan of the brand, so I expected great things, but I didn't predict that it would make my hair feel like absolute silk. I couldn't stop running my hands through my strands after just one wash, and what's even more exciting is that I didn't even need conditioner—the shampoo alone is nourishing and softening enough that it serves as a wash, conditioner, and detangler all in one. I'm obsessed.

Star Donaldson, social media editor

Dominique Cosmetics Electric Soul Beautiful Mess Liquid Eyeshadow

Electric Soul Beautiful Mess Liquid Eyeshadow
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Soul Beautiful Mess Liquid Eyeshadow $20.00

I am HUGELY into a statement eye look and love when a product can make a big impact very easily. This Dominique Cosmetics liquid eyeshadow is a total show-stopper in one swipe. I've used it to elevate a basic cat-eye or even all over my entire lid. It is a product I've been asked about a lot in person, and it definitely deserves online praise too!

Eden Stuart, associate editor

Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion

Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion
Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion $4.00

Like many people of color, where I’m oily, I’m very oily; but the parts of my body that are dry are bone dry. So while I’d never put cocoa butter anywhere near my face, it is one of my favorite ingredients in a body lotion. This lotion doesn’t just hydrate my majorly parched skin; it also gives me a radiant glow for legs right out of the Rockettes kickline. And the best part? It does all of this at under $8 a bottle. 

Glee Face Wax Hair Removal Strips

Face Wax Hair Removal Strips
Glee Face Wax Hair Removal Strips $9.00

Millennial and Gen Z-friendly hair removal has become a big business in the last few years, and plenty of great brands have popped up. I picked up this particular brand a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised when it was able to live up to a claim that, in my experiences, is a hard one for wax strips to meet: no heating up required. They’re great for fast, low-pain removal of mustache and chin hairs, with minimal mess and no discernable scent.

Avery Stone, commerce editor

Spotlight Oral Care Dental Teeth Whitening Strips

Dental Teeth Whitening Strips
Spotlight Oral Care Dental Teeth Whitening Strips $50.00

Until recently, whenever I thought about teeth whitening strips, my mind never went beyond the OG fan-favorite Crest Whitestrips. That is, until I met these strips from Spotlight Oral Care. Don't get me wrong: I've used Crest's version before, and they were very effective, but I have sensitive gums, which is where these were a game-changer. In addition to 14 days worth of strips, they come with a pen to dispense soothing vitamin E oil onto your gums post-application. And, yes, the strips themselves are effective. They significantly lightened some pesky coffee stains in just two weeks. Plus, the brand is founded by two dentists (who also happen to be sisters), so you know you're in especially good hands.

Cristina Cianci, visual editor

e.l.f. Pro Eyelash Curler

Pro Eyelash Curler
e.l.f. Pro Eyelash Curler $4.00

In 2021, I'm bravely diving back into the world of eyelash curlers. I naturally have very long but very stick-straight lashes. I took a 10-year hiatus after a mishap left me with chopped off lashes on one eye. But, I recently decided to give the tool another go. It's been pretty satisfying to see how much this eyelash curler makes me look awake, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed. 

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