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.
Nudies Matte Lux Blush ($34)
For those with oily or combo skin, or those who just prefer a matte look, this new blush stick is dreamy, creamy goodness (I like to use it on my lips too). It’s vegan, gluten-free, comes in five flattering shades, from bright coral to warm rose, and is essentially foolproof—just draw it on and blend it in.
“We wanted to innovate the softest, most luxurious cream texture that your skin will fall in love with and still be easy and fast minimalist makeup for that coveted clean look,” says Taylor Frankel, cofounder and chief inspiration officer.
ILIA Liquid Powder Matte Eye Tint ($28, launching July 19)
Another foolproof product, this is the perfect eyeshadow for beginners who want a little color on their lids but don’t know where to start with multiple brushes, primers and the whole thing. The cream-to-powder formula (the same base at the brand’s best-selling Chromatic Eye Tint) blends so easily using just your fingertip: I like to lightly dab it on with my middle finger, starting at the middle of my lid and working to the inner and outer corners, building up with more product as I go if I want more. It’s super smooth and crease-resistant, and the eight shades are neutral, earthy and beautiful.
MAC Cosmetics Fix+ Stay Over Setting Spray ($33)
The brand’s uber-popular Fix+ spray now comes in a new alcohol-free setting spray format featuring longer-lasting wear—16 hours instead of 12—and uses a polymer dispersion technology for a fine-mist pump, which was a top request from Fix+ fans.
The formula also contains antioxidant-rich green tea and vitamin E to protect against environmental pollution and blue light, and cucumber fruit and chamomile extracts for a hydrating, smooth, transfer-resistant application on top of makeup. In consumer testing on 122 women, after one week of use, 92 percent said it helped their makeup look fresh all day and 94 percent said it helped their foundation stay color-true throughout the day.
Urban Decay Vice Lip Bond Glossy Liquid Lipstick ($25)
Recognize this beautiful face and those big, pillowy lips? That’s Euphoria’s Chloe Cherry, and the perfect person to bring this new liquid lipstick to life. Available in 12 shades—she’s wearing Unbreakable here—the vegan formula glides on like silk and maintains serious shine after it dries. The best way I can describe it is like those full-body latex suits Kim K. wears, but on your lips. And once it dries, it’s not going anywhere. The brand says it lasts up to 16 hours, and I believe it, though I have not worn it that long yet. It did last through lunch and about three bottles of water though, and I love the shade Text Em.
Before you apply it, shake it up for five seconds to activate the bi-phase formula. Then swipe it on and let it dry and set for a minute or so. And FYI, you will need an oil-based makeup remover to take it off when you’re ready.
ONE/SIZE Fantasize Ultimate Lifting & Lengthening Mascara ($25)
With the goal of giving lashes a fanned-out, “wind blown” effect, Patrick Starrr and the one ONE/SIZE team created a six-pointed fan brush and blackest-black formula that define and volumize every tiny hair with each swipe. It’s also sweat-proof and contains a flexible peptide gel that helps lift lashes up high and keep them there throughout the day.
And perhaps the best part, it’s infused with a trio of nourishing oils—coconut, argan and castor seed—that help strengthen and condition lashes as you wear the mascara. Who doesn’t love a good two-in-one?
R.E.M. BEAUTY Essential Drip Lip Oil ($16)
Available in four juicy shades—Pickin Petals (pictured here), Lavender Kiss, Mint Condition and Raspberry Drip—this nonsticky lip oil offers megawatt shine and a very sheer wash of color (they’re all four essentially clear). Two things I love: After the coconut oil–infused shine wears off, my lips still feel smooth and moisturized, not dry, and the cooling applicator is unique (the rollerball is inside the doe foot) and feels good when I apply it, especially on a hot day.
Maybelline New York Green Edition Superdrop Tinted Oil ($12)
Though this vegan face tint launched a couple months ago, it now comes in eight more shades, bringing the total to 16 to suit even more skin tones. I love this product for summertime because it’s so lightweight and lets natural skin show through, but also for those with dry skin, as it gives the prettiest sheen thanks to nourishing marula and jojoba oils. Shake it up good before using, and add more drops for more coverage.
And if you’re not familiar with Maybelline’s Green Edition, it means the formulas are vegan, clean and contain a minimum of 70-percent naturally derived ingredients, and the packaging includes a mix of new and recycled materials.
Rare Beauty Kind Words Matte Lip Liner ($15, launching July 7)
As a teenager/young adult, I remember my mom applying lip liner every day as part of her makeup routine and I thought she was crazy. It was pretty much considered a “mom” product back then. Fast-forward many years, and it’s one of my must-have beauty essentials (though I am a mom now too, the product type just generally skews younger now, with Gen Z also being big fans of lip liner). My purse has about five in it at all times—hey, you never know if one will break or melt or get lost under the seat in your car (this seems to happen a lot).
This formula is uber creamy, but also waterproof—it really does stay on—and comes in 10 shades. “Worthy,” which is described as a “muted mauve,” is my go-to for that “your lips but better” effect. Founder Selena Gomez and her team also created 10 matching matte lipsticks so you can easily create a full look.
ITEM Beauty Hey Hi Halo Highlighter ($18, launching July 20)
Addison Rae is introducing a new category to her lineup with this liquid highlighter that comes in three shades: Electric, a pink champagne; Bolt, a golden peach; and Zap, a golden bronze. We love the addition of skin-care ingredients, too: Australian lemon myrtle extract and glycerin controls oil production so oily skin can wear it without looking greasy; schisandra berry for a firming effect; and amino acids for keeping moisture levels balanced.
Shake it up and sweep it on with a brush Nam Vo style, or mix a little into your foundation to give your skin a dewy glow.
essie Gel Couture Matte Top Coat ($13)
Though it’s not makeup, I’m including nails this month because this product is so unexpected. Personally, I choose a gel manicure for not only its durability, but also its superior shine. However, I’ve recently learned there are also many people who want a mattified gel look, hence the demand for this new topcoat. According to the brand, it was inspired by “the timeless look of suede with a luxurious, soft matte finish.”
Though it doesn’t require curing with a UV lamp, in a consumer study, 91-percent of testers agreed it looked like gel polish, but it removes like regular nail polish, which is a big bonus.
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