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 receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.
GXVE Beauty Can’t Stop Staring Mascara ($20)
Gwen Stefani’s lashes and lips are always perfection, and when she doesn’t have falsies on, we’re pretty sure she’s wearing this new addition to her collection. An ultra-black formula, it lifts, lengthens and separates lashes using a precision brush with staggered micro-bristles.
The vegan film-forming technology keeps everything in place all day so there’s no faking, transferring or smudging, and a mix of castor seed, argan oil and vitamin B condition and strengthen lashes while you wear it.
Hourglass Unlocked Satin Crème Lipstick ($38)
Brand-new from Hourglass, this creamy lipstick glides on so smooth and wear so comfortably thanks to the mix of vegan waxes, avocado oil, mango seed butter and argan oil. It comes in 21 shades—founder Carisa Janes told me her two favorites are Oasis and Lotus—which make up the most gorgeous collection of nudes, berries, pinks and reds.
One red is the brand’s iconic Red 0 shade, which is a 100-percent vegan red lipstick. “We developed a replacement for carmine, which is made from crushed female insects and is considered the industry standard for red pigments in lipstick,” Janes says. “Nearly 70,000 female insects are used to create one pound of the crimson dye traditionally used in cosmetics, so it was an incredible challenge to find a substitute that performed the same way. After intense research, we were able to replicate the same color impact with a vegan formula and I’m really proud of what it stands for.”
Caliray Surfproof Setting Spray ($35)
From brand founder and Cali surfer babe Wende Zomnir (she also founded Urban Decay) comes this long-lasting setting spray that she dubs “surfproof.” The beachy scent is something new and different for setting spray, which I love, and when I used it before a very wintery wedding last weekend, it made me crave summertime.
The formula also packs good-for-your-skin ingredients like glycerin, niacinamide, transdermal magnesium and prickly pear extract. I also very much appreciate that the mist is really fine—no big droplets!
Beautycounter Clean Swipe Hyaluronic Lip Balm ($22)
This is that “your lips but better” lip balm: You don’t get a ton of color with each swipe, but personally, that’s not what I want from my lip balm. (That’s what lipstick is for.) The hyaluronic acid, jojoba seed oil and avocado oil in this buttery formula make it incredibly moisturizing so you don’t have to reapply every five minutes like you do with many other balms.
There are three shades (two pinks and a berry) and one clear. I love Pinch, a rosy pink that accentuates my natural lip color and suits my fair skin tone. I also love that the packaging clicks shut so I know it’s closed tight and won’t become a mess in my bag.
tarte Sculpt Tape Contour ($35)
Three out of the five shades of this new creamy contour wand have sold out already, and you may have seen it all over TikTok lately. The cushion-tip applicator (typically reserved for concealer) makes it really easy to apply and the shades deliver the ideal mix of warmth and glow.
Dot the product onto your cheekbones, nose, hairline, jawline or wherever else you want to add definition and then blend it in with a brush—not the cushion tip (use that for application only). Diamond powder blends with mineral pigments to produce even color with a slight blurring effect, and shea butter provides some moisturizing benefit. Remember to twist and lock the cap after each use too!
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter ($48)
Celebrity makeup artist and brand founder Charlotte Tilbury says it best: “Darlings, I have always been obsessed with bottling light! As a makeup artist, I know that with clever light tricks you can highlight, smooth, blur, sculpt and lift to create the illusion of a more defined, more structured and even more flawless facial architecture.
“Now I have innovated a perfecting, pressed powder highlighter with light flex technology for a multidimensional glow. Infused with smoothing emollients for a soft-focus satin finish and glow glide texture, it illuminates and blurs the skin like Hollywood lights!“
Available in seven shades to suit every skin tone, you can use it on your cheeks, jawline, eyes, nose, brows and lips—whatever you want to enhance.
Cay Skin SPF 30 Isle Lip Balm ($14)
The brand’s fan-favorite, super hydrating Lip Balm now comes in two shades: Irie Rose (a warm, neutral pink) and Bad Gyal Berry (a true berry). They feature the same nourishing formula as the clear shade thanks to sea moss, aloe stem cells and vitamin E, as well as the same yummy sugary vanilla flavor.
“This is one of my favorite products in the entire line,” says Winnie Harlow, supermodel and brand founder. “It’s a hydrating, everyday, UV-protectant lip balm. I wanted it to protect against UV rays, but without that icky smell and taste you get with most lip balms that have SPF in them. It’s so long-lasting and nonsticky, and it gives you that glossy, shiny feel.”
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Natural Matte Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($37)
The brand’s beloved Complexion Rescue (the number-one skin-improving tinted moisturizer in the U.S. according to NPD Group) now comes in an oil-free, natural matte finish. A major customer request and a huge win for those with oily complexions, this new formula comes in the same 20 shades as the original (non-matte) version, and is clinically proven to keep oiliness at bay for up to 12 hours.
It’s also clinically proven to instantly reduce shine by 67 percent, as well as blur the look of imperfections, pores, blemishes and redness. The SPF 30–infused coverage is light at most (you can build it up from sheer), so don’t expect this to replace your foundation, but for the right person, it’s genius.
WELL People Expressionist Lengthening Mascara ($20)
Lengthening seems to be the new volumizing in 2023, as sky-high yet natural-looking lashes are on trend. This is your perfect everyday mascara, and it comes in both black and brown to suit all complexions and hair colors.
The lash-nourishing formula is powered by plant-based ingredients like jojoba oil, rice brand, castor seed wax and sunflower seed that keep lashes healthy and happy underneath however many coats you choose to apply (I like a lot!).
Dior Addict Lip Maximizer ($40)
It’s a new year, and the lip plumper we know and love now has a new formula, new shade range and new packaging. Available in 31 shades worldwide—a mix of big bolds and pretty neutrals—the iconic lippie now also comes in holographic and shimmer versions (the Holographic Lavender is gorgeous) so there are even more ways to get that pillowy pout and serious shine factor.
The formula is now made with 90-percent naturally derived ingredients and relies on cherry oil and hyaluronic acid to keep lips hydrated for hours. Don’t worry, you still get the same minty scent and smooth finish. I’m loving the new logo typography too!
Makeup by Mario SurrealSkin Foundation ($42)
Mario’s first-ever foundation does not disappoint. Available in 30 shades, it’s smooth-glide formula is buildable, luminous (but not too glowy) and feels super lightweight and breathable all day long. It also contains skin-care ingredients like vegan squalene and grapeseed oil to moisturize for 12 hours while also providing antioxidant protection.
“This is my complexion masterpiece,” says founder and celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedanovic. “I put my heart into this groundbreaking formula with the hope of not creating a barrier of foundation, but rather awakening the true, infinite beauty that lies within.”
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