Launch List: The Best Makeup Launching in May

Launch List: The Best Makeup Launching in May featured image

Hundreds of products come across our 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 makeup products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now. 

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Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer ($56)

The makeup mogul’s first-ever cream bronzer does not disappoint if you want sun-kissed skin without the UV damage this summer. Available in four super-pigmented shades—Fair, Medium, Tan and Deep—the formula is buildable, blendable (it contains an elastomer polymer to help it easily glide and stretch over skin) and hydrating thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid.

Other impressive notes: It’s sweat-proof and humidity-proof, lasts for up to 16 hours—it’s perfect for beach days—and in clinical testing, 93 percent of users said their skin felt intensely hydrated, which isn’t a benefit you get with most bronzers. One sold every 30 seconds on launch day, and they continue to quickly sell out, so get your hands on this beachy bronzer as soon as you can!

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Grande Cosmetics GrandeLINER Liquid Eyeliner with Lash Enhancing Serum ($40)

We’re all looking for ways to save time in our beauty routines nowadays, and this new double-duty eyeliner seamlessly blends two steps—and two formulas—for the woman on the go. The ultra-black liquid liner is infused with Grande’s best-selling lash serum—it’s the top lash serum at Sephora—so you get the best of both worlds in one quick swipe, and it won’t flake, fade or budge for up to 12 hours of wear. Alicia Grande, you’ve done it again!

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Sunnies Face Fluffmatte ($16)

Born out of the Philippines, this Filipina-beloved brand is now finally available stateside, and this lipstick is the product that propelled it into cult-favorite status. Its unique silk structure technology gives it a weightless feel and nondrying, matte finish—it literally glides on like butter—so lips stay swathed in high-impact color but also comfortable. The 15 swoon-worthy shades flatter all skin tones, which is something that’s incredibly important to the brand, which formulates with Asia’s rich array of skin tones in mind. And who doesn’t love the chic, minimalist packaging too?

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Honest Beauty Fresh Flex Concealer ($22)

Whether the goal is masking dark under-eye circles or evening skin tone (I personally can’t live without concealer to cover the redness around my nose), this medium-coverage formula creates a second-skin finish that’s compatible with all skin types. Each of the 16 shades complement any skin undertone and the skin care–infused formula won’t settle into fine lines, as two types of hyaluronic acid, shea butter, niacinamide and vitamin E give it a flexible, nourishing texture. “I love how this makes my skin look naturally flawless—no foundation needed,” says founder Jessica Alba.

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Sigma Beauty Individual Blush, Bronzer & Highlighters ($35 each)

We can now finally get Sigma’s gorgeous, buttery soft, longwear powder formulas in individual shades rather than palettes. “We listened to our clients,” says Dr. Simone Xavier, cofounder and chief creative officer of Sigma Beauty. “We identified an increasing attraction to individual shades compared to large palettes. For many years, Sigma has offered versatile and inclusive six-shade palettes for blush, highlight and contour. From these palettes, we picked an assortment of our ‘holy grail’ shades and created new favorites for this collection of blushes, bronzers and highlighters. Our clients are now able to customize their makeup kit by selecting shades for their specific skin tone and undertone.”

There are four matte bronzers—light, medium, dark and deep—six blushes with matte and metallic finishes (Tiger Lily, a shimmery peachy-gold, is my personal favorite), and six highlighters. I also love and really appreciate the addition of the mirror inside each compact, as I’m not seeing this as much any more!

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Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skincare Powder ($75)

The name says it all: The benefits of a skin-care cream—it contains vitamin C, probiotics and minerals—with the makeup-setting and shine-squashing power of a translucent powder. Pores look smaller and skin tones look more even—it comes in four shades and clear—but skin’s natural radiance stays intact. It also shields against blue light and environmental aggressors and the gold compact is to die for—what more could you want?

“I didn’t want to launch just any powder,” says founder and celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman of the micro-milled formula. “It had to do more. It had to deliver more. It had to be lighter than air and actually refine the texture of your skin over time.”

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Victoria Beckham Beauty Instant Brightening Waterline Pencil ($28)

One of many celebrity makeup artists’ best-kept secrets? Apply a white (or light) eyeliner on the waterline to make eyes look bigger and brighter. This matte, eight hour–wear pencil does just that with a neutral beige shade, which is a lot more natural-looking than stark white and flatters all skin tones. It’s also been ophthalmologist-tested, dermatologist-tested and won’t irritate your eyes if you wear contacts like I do.         

“I distinctly remember the first time a makeup artist used a nude pencil along my waterline,” Beckham says. “I was preparing for the 2015 British Fashion Awards. I looked instantly polished and like I’d had eight hours sleep (far from it!). I’ve been searching for the perfect clean waterline pencil ever since. Now, I’ve created it.” 

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Keys Soulcare Sheer Flush Cheek Tint ($22)

Known for her minimalist approach to beauty, Alicia Keys nailed it with this creamy, blendable blush that was inspired by the way skin looks when it’s naturally flushed. Eight shades suit every preference—I’m partial to Powerful, a raspberry-red hue, for summertime—and the vegan formula is buildable so you can go more subdued or more dramatic. The addition of sunflower seed and safflower oils also give it hydrating benefits, so it’s great for dry skin, too, and you can also use it on your lips.

Still Life of Sheer Flush Cheek Tint in all shades
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Saie Hydrabeam ($26)

We have a feeling this will be one of the best-selling concealers of the year, and the hundreds of five-star reviews (so far; it just launched) prove it. Available in nine shades, the whipped-gel formula somehow feels like an eye cream as it glides over dark circles—it’s that silky. The secret lies in the supremely hydrating ingredient base of squalane, glycerin, and cucumber and tomato extracts. This also allows it to blend seamlessly without creasing or settling into (and exaggerating fine lines).

It’s also been clinically tested (not many concealers are) on 33 women ages 18 to 45 over four weeks, and the results match our sentiments to a tee: 91 percent of users agreed it brightened and illuminated the eye area over time, as well as made it feel moisturized and hydrated.


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REFY Skin Finish ($32)

On the hunt for a foolproof finishing powder, founder Jess Hunt worked on developing this product for more than a year. The result: a translucent, water-based powder that locks makeup in place with a pore-blurring, oil-absorbing effect, but lets skin’s natural beauty shine through rather than over-mattifying or caking like the banana powder trends of years past.

It comes in two universal shades: Choose 01 if you have yellow or warm undertones in your skin, and 02 if you have pink or cool undertones. “I know how hard it is to find a product that leaves your skin looking and feeling like skin while setting makeup in place, and we’ve worked so hard to perfect the formula to make sure it’s absolutely perfect,” says Hunt.  

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RÓEN Eyes on Me Eyeshadow Palette ($46)

A gorgeous palette for creating a summer smoky eye—swap those heavy blacks and grays for terracottas and golds that will make your eyes glow. Included in the quad: Flash (sparkly rose gold powder), Polaroid (matte copper powder), Filter (creamy pale rose gold) and Selfie (creamy burnt orange)—the latter two have the most dreamy silky texture.

Pro tips: For more pigment, apply directly to your lids with your fingertips, and for a more natural wash of color, apply with an eyeshadow brush. Click here to watch a tutorial.

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