Hundreds of products come across our editors’ desks every month, but not all of them deliver on their claims or live up to the hype. (Not everything that goes viral on TikTok is a miracle worker.) This is our exclusive curation of the best-in-class beauty products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.
If you’re not already a fan of one of the brand’s powder exfoliants, which continue to be best-sellers, you may prefer a liquid format instead, which is where this new launch comes into play. This formula combines 10 percent alphahydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic) with 0.5 percent betahydroxy acid (salicylic acid) and 4.5 percent polyhydroxy acid (gluconolactone) to help even out a blotchy skin tone, make large pores look smaller and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
You can use it daily, even in the morning, and it’s designed to exfoliate without stripping the skin or causing irritation. This is achievable thanks to the addition of barrier-strengthening ceramides, soothing red gardenia extract and hydrating sodium PCA. Just leave it on for one to three minutes and then rinse it off. Note: It did make my skin tingle a little bit the first few times I used it, but then it adjusted.
A mix of makeup and skin care, this vegan treatment uses a retinol derived from pink algae to very gently exfoliate the lips while also drenching the lips in a nonsticky, moisturizing gloss. Of course the formula features the brand’s signature argan oil, and the combination of that plus the botanical retinol is ideal for those wanting a multitasking product that also addresses fine lines around the border of the lips.
“Lips may be my favorite body part—I mean, we couldn’t smooch, sing, snack, or smile without them!—and I can’t stop thinking about these two facts,” says founder Josie Maran. “First: Like your fingerprints, your lips are totally unique…like, hold-up-in-a-court-of-law unique! And second: Our lips show the signs of aging as quickly as our eyes do. So, I went back to the drawing board to create a kiss-worthy formula that delivers a natural, one-shade-fits-all color, all while targeting the look of wrinkles and loss of firmness. Get ready for a pretty, plump, petal-soft pucker!”
A nighttime serum for dark spots (it’s also great for acne scars), this formula blends 15-percent acids—azelaic, glycolic, lactic and tranexamic—with antioxidant glutathione, which is great for skin brightening. If you’re wondering if all those actives make it too strong, the brand says it’s been clinically tested to be safe for sensitive skin. The formula does also contain hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing tiger grass and aloe, so this makes sense.
“There are no requirements for skin tone representation in clinical trials, which is why most products don’t work,” says the brand, which works with Harvard-trained dermatologists to develop its formulas. “We are raising skin-care standards by testing on diverse skin tones and types to create more effective products for more people, inspiring each of us to be proud of our skin.”
In an independent consumer testing panel of 30 participants ages 25 to 45, with Fitzpatrick skin tones 2 through 6, 86 percent agreed they noticed a more even skin tone after four weeks. Additionally, 83 percent agreed the serum visibly reduced their hyperpigmentation.
“Healthy hair starts at the root, and your strands are only as healthy as your scalp,” says the brand. “We’re bringing scalp care to your everyday hair-care ritual in a mild and gentle serum that’s easy to use. Whether you have scalp issues or not, you need to maintain the skin’s barrier to keep it protected.”
The formula delivers hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and tsubaki seed oil directly to the scalp to hydrate, soothe and moisturize. The addition of tea tree oil also helps reduce redness and flaking (it really helps on those dry, itchy spots I get at the nape of my neck). Though it’s not meant to help with hair growth, it does also contain caffeine to boost blood to the scalp and energize hair follicles, as well as anti-inflammatory peppermint oil to promote healthy strands.
I like that the applicator is a spray, so I can cover each area of concern without weighing my hair down or dispensing too much in one spot. It has a nice cooling effect too!
I’m a superfan of the brand’s Coconut Melt, which is essentially a solid body oil, but for those who want a more traditional, liquid body oil experience, this new one is the bee’s knees. It leans more toward a dry oil, meaning it will absorb quickly and gives the skin a really pretty sheen, but it feels almost more moisturizing than a body lotion or cream.
“I’ve tried so many body oils on the market and they either sit on the surface of my skin or they’re too heavy, too oily or too sticky,” says cofounder Kiana Cabell. “This one feels really rich and luxurious but absorbs into your skin so well. It contains a unique hyaluronic acid encapsulation process, so it’s hydrating and moisturizing. It also has 24-karat gold flakes in it that melt into your skin to reduce redness and make the skin look firmer. I love the warm, summery, beachy scent, too.”
Rewind to 2013 when beauty mogul Huda Kattan launched her first-ever product, false lashes. Now, 10 years later, she’s adding a mascara to her portfolio that allows her to ditch the falsies. “Just one dip of this mascara is enough to give both eyes instant, intense impact, no matter your technique,” says the founder. “My new 1 Coat WOW! rivals my false lashes and has a major WOW effect that I can’t live without!”
One reason it’s so good is its dual-shaped silicone brush, which holds the perfect amount of formula to coat and define lashes. It has both long and short bristles, so it lengthens and separates as it deposits jet-black mascara to really make the eyes pop. It curls, lengthens and volumizes in one quick step, and the brand says one dip into the tube is enough mascara for both eyes.
“Hyaluronic acid is a major factor in creating volume in our bodies,” says founder Jan Marini. “This is typically a large molecule that sits on the surface of the skin and doesn’t stay active for very long. But we also have some very tiny hyaluronic acid molecules that actually penetrate the skin, and one of these molecules is 50 times more hydrating. At 24 hours after application, there’s still five times as much in the skin, so it doesn’t dissipate. However, this doesn’t replace hyaluronic acid injectables.”
Marini explains that within the first 15 minutes of wearing this mask, it doubles skin’s hydration levels, increases skin’s natural moisturizing factors by 400 percent and strengthens the skin barrier. “It’s great for any skin type, it’s highly active and it’s tremendous for moisturizing. We also included three different peptides, so you’re also going to get a smoother skin texture, an increased appearance of firmness and elasticity, and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is something that gives you an initial result, but also a progressive one, especially if you combine it with the Hyla3D Serum and Cream.”
One other tip from Marini: “If you do some type of resurfacing treatment, like exfoliating pads, and then use this mask after that, it’s really exceptional.”
Everyone is skin streaming right now, so why not streamline your makeup routine too, with this gorgeous two-in-one lip and cheek product. It comes in 12 runway-inspired shades—nudes, reds, an orange, a plum and a pink—and the model shown here is wearing the pink, which is called Pink Is Punk. According to Valentino Beauty, this shade is the brand’s “unique, unself-conscious pink color by Valentino. The continuity of the iconic Pink PP collection as a manifestation of the unconscious and freedom from the need for realism.”
The formula is matte, yet moisturizing (thanks to peony extract) and there’s no fragrance. The applicator has a V-shaped tip so you can easily define your lips, and when you’re done, dab a few dots on each cheek and bend with your fingertips or a brush. The pigment is buildable, creates a pretty blurred effect and lasts up to 12 hours.
For those who love the fast results of a pimple patch, but don’t actually want to wear a patch on their skin all day (beauty editors can get away with them on Zoom meetings, but I’m not sure someone on Wall Street would say the same), this is the product to try.
According to the brand, “this first-to-market innovation creates a breathable seal that helps reduce pimple color in two hours, pimple size in 24 hours, and post-acne marks in four weeks.” The super concentrated formula contains 2-percent salicylic acid, 4-percent niacinamide and 0.2-percent licorice root, which treats blemishes while also creating an invisible shield on the skin to keep contaminants like dirt and oil out. This exclusive “liquid patch” technology dries quickly and layers nicely under sunscreen and/or makeup, so you can slip it right into your routine.
If you love the smell of tropical guava and coconut and you have curly hair, this curl cream may become your new best friend. Part of the brand’s popular Enchanted Island collection, this buttery, balm-like formula contains sustainably sourced African shea butter, earth clay, plant-based biotin, and the brand’s signature Rahua oil.
Apply it as a leave-in styling treatment, but note that it also contains reparative benefits (biotin helps strengthen weak hair). The butter adds just enough weight to curls of all types to give them a defined, controlled look, while also keeping them hydrated and frizz-free.
A sponge and a powder puff in one? Of course Real Techniques thought of that. This dual-sided tool lets you apply creams and liquid products with the orange sponge (the brand’s best-selling Miracle Complexion Sponge), and then you just flip it over to the soft, pink side and set them with powder. The pink side is actually made of a new plush fiber material that provides better pick up, hold and application of powder products.
The brand decided on what it calls “a unique two-point precision shape” because it allows you to cover hard-to-reach places like around the eyes and the hairline. The hot pink elastic finger band across the center can also be switched from side to side when you’re ready to swap.
Warm this new body oil in your hands and breathe in the aromatherapeutic benefits before applying it to your body. Neroli oil has an uplifting, energizing effect on the mind (not to mention, a zesty orange scent), so if you’re someone who showers in the morning, this is a great moisturizer to apply on damp skin when you get out. And because it’s a dry oil, it absorbs instantly.
The vitamin C in the formula helps brighten skin over time, and also provides antioxidant benefits, which make it great for layering under sunscreen if you’re heading to the beach. Babassu seed oil lends anti-inflammatory properties and helps smooth the skin as well. In the brand’s testing on 33 people, 100 percent agreed their skin felt silky-smooth and had a healthy glow after one week of using the oil; 97 percent agreed their skin felt deeply hydrated; and 93 percent agreed the oil was fast-absorbing.
The new sister to the brand’s OG peel—the second best-seller in the line—this formula was designed for those with sensitive skin. “A lot of people wrote to us asking if there was a version for sensitive skin coming because they didn’t want physical exfoliation, even though the skin-care industry has made great strides in mechanical exfoliants,” says brand founder Kendra Kolb Butler.
Butler describes this new version as “the same as original formula without the physical exfoliants bamboo powder and huckleberry paste. It’s super creamy and marshmallowy. Let it sit on dry skin for five minutes, and in that time, its eight acids are going to town to detach any dirt, debris, dead skin, and oil from the skin. We did extensive sensitive skin testing on this with a third party and no one had peeling, redness or irritation.”
The brand also added Aspen bark for hydration, colloidal oatmeal to calm and soothe, and botanical chamomile, which grows all over Butler’s property in Jackson Hole. “This peel makes the skin so smooth and bright,” she adds. “It’s gentle enough to use daily, but if not, you should aim for two to three times a week. You can’t do it once a month and expect to see the same results as our before-and-after images.”
The founder of Playa Beauty, Shelby Wild, has a new beauty brand under her belt called California Naturals, which just launched nationwide at Target, and all products are $10 or less. One of the seven new formulas that’s part of the debut (more are on their way) is this vegan and gluten-free gel body wash, which is infused with vitamin E and saw palmetto for smoother skin, as well as blue lotus flower, which lends a brightening effect.
It foams up into a dreamy lather and smells really nice too. Wild describes the scent as “a warm, woody, citrusy fragrance that transports you to the Golden State.” We love that the brand uses more than 90-percent naturally derived ingredients and its packaging is made from 100-percent recycled materials.
The newest launch in the brand’s Nu Colour cosmetics franchise, this serum lets you treat both your brows and lashes with one effective formula. The key ingredient is myristoyl pentapeptide-17, which Yoko Little, vice president of global product marketing for Nu Skin, says “was highly recommended by our scientists in Asia after seeing great data with our Asian demographics and their eyelashes looking thicker, denser and longer.”
Clinical studies were conducted over the course of 12 weeks with participants using it morning and night, and Little says the results were very exciting. “We have so many impressive before-and-after images from the trial [one of which you can see pictured here]. The serum works on the eyebrows, too, and it absorbs very quickly so you only need to wait a couple minutes before applying makeup on top.
Safety is also top of mind for us, especially with the most sensitive area around the eyes, so we made sure this formula was ophthalmologist-tested, non-irritating and free of prostaglandin.”
Leave it to the Beekman boys—founders Josh Kilmer and Dr. Brent Ridge—to create the first-ever face peel made with potato pulp. (If you know the brand, you know it’s also looking to ingredients from the farm for inspiration, but this is also a really fun collaboration with Mrs. Potato Head for the toy’s 70th anniversary.) This sensitive skin–friendly formula combines the potato extract with soothing goat milk, 15-percent glycolic acid, 10-percent lactic and lactobionic acid to give dull skin back its radiance.
You can use it two to three times a week, at night only, and you may get a bit of a tingly feeling like I did. If you do have sensitive skin, start with leaving it on for about five minutes—see how your skin reacts before upping the time. For anyone else, especially those who are comfortable with at-home peels, you can leave it on for up to 20 minutes before rinsing. In clinical testing, 91 percent of users said their skin was “instantly baby soft with no irritation.”
RŌZ MILK Hair Serum ($52)
This multitasking leave-in serum acts as a detangler, smoothing serum and styling cream in one, and can be used on all hair types and textures. It’s vegan and silicone-free, made with 98-percent natural ingredients, and has the nicest silky-milky texture that’s not the least bit sticky or greasy—on my fingers and in my hair. Apply it on towel-dried hair before air-drying or blow-drying.
“After spending 20 years working with various hair types and textures, I’ve come to recognize the most prevalent issue among my clients: dry or damaged hair, leading to a lack of shine and movement,” says founder and celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak. “I always recommended the use of moisturizing products, but it was challenging to find something that effectively hydrates without weighing down the hair, while being versatile for daily use and red-carpet events. That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce my new serum, formulated with clean and nourishing ingredients, that will leave your hair soft, polished and hydrated, without any unwanted heaviness.”
PCA SKIN Pro-Max Age Renewal ($219)
Dubbed an anti-aging serum for “next level lifting,” this new formula from derm-favorite PCA SKIN uses patent-pending Micro Growth Factor Technology (MGF) to lift and firm. As a matter of fact, in clinical trials, 60 percent of users saw an improvement in skin firmness and lift by 60 percent after 24 weeks of use. Additionally, 58 percent saw a visible increase in fullness and an improvement in plumping, and 40 percent saw a visible improvement in the appearance of their fine lines and wrinkles.
This is the result of two other key ingredients: organic kangaroo paw flower extract, which comes from an Australian flower and not from the animal; and a biopolymer matrix embedded with micro-algae. The serum feels super silky and absorbs quickly. It’s not greasy at all and layers well with other skin-care products.
Did you know that one of Garnier’s Micellar Waters is sold every two seconds? This is the latest addition to the cult-classic lineup, and introduces a new concept to the mix: peeling water. What does that mean exactly? Instead of just removing makeup and cleansing the skin with micellar technology, it also uses 1 percent polyhydroxy acid (PHA) and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin.
In clinical testing, it proved to even and smooth skin tone and texture while accelerating skin cell turnover in seven days. The formula is also fragrance-free, oil-free and alcohol-free, as well as ophthalmologist-tested to be safe for the eye area. I love to use it in the morning instead of doing a full cleanse, and sometimes at night too, to remove my makeup before using a cream or gel cleanser.
If you’re someone who is plagued by pesky flyaways like I am, you will love this quick little fix. It looks like a sunscreen or deodorant stick, but instead contains a waxy pomade that keeps hair smooth and polished wherever it’s applied. For me, that’s along my center part where I get a lot of baby hairs, especially after a fresh blowout, or around my hairline when it’s hot outside.
Going for the slicked-back bun look for a night out? You need this in your bag, especially if there’s humidity in the air. If you’re using it on your part, start with just a little bit, as too much could make your hair look greasy or matte. To help camouflage split ends, you can rub the stick onto your fingers and then use your fingers to seal the ends. This is also a good trick when you want that piecey texture, particularly on face-framing layers.