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.
The brand’s cult-classic Premium BB—one of the first BB creams introduced to the U.S. in 2012, just got a makeover. With new packaging and four flexible shades instead of three to suit even more skin tones, it’s the ultimate multitasker for the girl on the go (though men can definitely use it too, and many do!). Though I prefer a separate moisturizer underneath when my skin is really dry (especially in the winter), for some skin types, this can replace your moisturizer (it contains glycerin and niacinamide), foundation and sunscreen (it contains SPF 40).
The texture is creamy, the finish is natural and a little goes a long way. If you have oily skin, you might get a little midday shine, so a little dab of translucent powder on top in your T-zone may be helpful. I like to apply it with a brush, but you can just as easily use your fingers and it blends really well.
Leave to the brow genius herself, CEO and founder Anastasia Soare, to launch a brow serum that as pretty as it is effective. Six key ingredients round out the vegan formula: multiple peptides, red clover extract, Korean red ginseng and biotin make brow hairs look fuller, thicker and protect against breakage; castor oil conditions hairs; and panthenol softens hairs that have a coarser texture so they lay smooth.
In a 12-week user perception study of 112 women, 86 percent said their brows no longer looked sparse; 88 percent said their brows appeared fuller; and 90 percent said brow makeup was easier to apply.
“Just like how we prep our skin, we can prep our brows for our most beautiful brows yet,” says Soare. “This is an enriched brow serum that noticeably improves hair texture and manageability and encourages the appearance of fuller brows. It dries clear with no flakes, stiffness or stickiness. Apply it every day in the morning and at night, using short, hair-like strokes, working in the direction of the hair growth. In the morning, let it dry one to two minutes before styling brows with other products.”
Nail the “no-makeup makeup” look with this new skin tint that feels like you have nothing on, but allows your skin to look even-toned and healthy. It’s the perfect sheer-to-light base when I’m working from home and want to look put together for Zoom meetings. It’s a great option for those who are redness-prone because it contains tiger grass, an Asian botanical antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid give it hydrating properties to make fine lines look less visible, and a medley of oils—squalane, vitamin E, safflower and avocado—lock the hydration in.
It comes in 10 flexible shades with a variety of undertones, from Shade 1: Fair with Neutral Peach Undertones to Shade 10: Rich-Deep with Neutral Undertones. Give it a good shake before using, and blend it in with a brush, your fingers or a sponge.
Remember when tiny, skinny mascara brushes were popular? You don’t see them as much nowadays, but they were so smart for coating your lower lashes without making a mess. Let’s face it, when I use a regular-size mascara brush, I get something on my skin every time. This dual-ended, sweat-proof mascara gives you a skinny brush on one end and a fat one on the other, so you can easily lift and volumize with no clumps or flakes. It’s also infused with a berry complex for thicker-looking lashes, and it lasts 24 hours.
“The PROFESSIONALL Mascara is the ultimate lash tool in wardrobing your lashes,” says Eddie Duyos, makeup artist and senior manager of pro education and artistry for MAKE UP FOR EVER. “You can use Step 1 and Step 2 individually or together depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. I like to use Step 1 alone, especially on longer, fuller lashes to define them and give just enough drama that will enhance the natural volume of the lashes. Use Step 2 on its own if you have finer lashes and want to achieve the right amount of volume to pop the eyes.
When you’re feeling like you want the ultimate volume and definition in your lashes, apply Step 1 as a base coat to your top and bottom lashes. Then layer Step 2 on the top lashes and focus most of the application on the outer corners to really pump up the volume and lift the eyes upwards.”
Zendaya’s skin in the campaign for this foundation is enough to make me want to buy it! It’s glowing and flawless. Some credit goes to her skin-care routine—I know she puts in the effort—but this new foundation formula also deserves the love. With a whopping 82-percent skin-care ingredients as its base (hyaluronic and mandelic acids) and zero oil, it keeps skin hydrated for 24 hours as it imparts medium-coverage color, SPF 27 and a healthy glow.
There are 30 transfer-resistant shades with different undertones and the formula suits all skin types, even the most sensitive—it feels really comfortable on. You can build it up, too, if you need more coverage. In a three-week consumer study with 107 women, 9 out of 10 said their skin tone looked more even without the foundation on. Makeup and skin care in one step!
I remember when Gimme Brow launched in 2016, before anyone knew what fiber gels were, and now the brand its prized franchise with an offering in the volumizing category. “Over 75 percent of new brow product users gravitate toward pencils—it’s a very familiar thing,” says Benefit’s global brow expert Jared Bailey. “We blended finely milled powder with a mix of cotton silk tree fibers, and weighted and balanced them to give the right amount of fiber and powder payoff. The pencil gives shape and definition, but also that 3-D quality that’s so important for creating believably natural-looking brows.”
You can apply it classically, sketching over your brow, or Bailey says you can “go where your brow is the least dense, and ruffle the pencil underneath your brow hairs and work it toward the inner corners. The oils in your skin attract the powder like a magnet. There are no other brow pencils with fibers on the market.” Another pro tip I’ve learned over the years that Bailey is also a fan of: Brush your brow hairs up with a spoolie (there’s one included on the opposite end of the pencil) first before penciling in so you can identify where the sparse spots are and only add where it’s needed.
“It’s also 12-hour waterproof, transfer-proof and smudge-proof—we’re never gonna launch a brow product you have to reapply at lunch time,” adds Bailey.
Dior has relaunched a couple different products in its Forever collection so far this year, and now comes its beloved compact powder foundation. Available in 16 shades, this new version still has the sponge we all love—velvety on one side and spongey on the other; press it into your skin rather than rubbing it on—but the upgraded formula has a 24-hour long-wear claim and is heat- and humidity-proof.
Created by Dior’s creative director and makeup mastermind Peter Philips—he did two years of testing to reach these goals—the powder feels buttery in the compact and feather-light on the skin, giving matte coverage. The packaging is also revised with a more sustainable approach, as it’s refillable and free of plastic laminates and magnets to improve recyclability.
When I heard Too Faced was launching a new concealer, my first thought was why, because how can you top the Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer that has become a holy grail for so many? BUT, I realized not everyone wants or needs a full-coverage formula like that one—it doubles as foundation for me—and this new launch is very different.
First, the texture is lighter, with a serum-like consistency that feels more flexible on my skin (it contains squalane, aloe, argan oil, hyaluronic acid and coconut water), and it’s medium coverage, not full. Second, it lasts for 24 hours versus 12, and it’s waterproof and sweat-resistant, making it a perfect pick for humid summer weather and beach days. And lastly, it comes in 18 shades rather than 35. I spoke to Elyse Reneau, executive director of global beauty for Too Faced, and she said “the 18 shades are completely inclusive because the formula is so flexible.”
“You can put it anywhere you want to add light,” Reneau adds, noting that she loves the concealer’s pointed doe-foot applicator. “I love using it at the temples to add volume, highlighting the top of the nose and Cupid’s bow, and adding strategic, ethereal, beautiful light to the face. If you’re wondering which shade to get, we also have really cool shade-matching tools on our site.”
Since the pandemic, I can count the number of times I’ve worn eyeshadow on two hands, but when I do apply it, I always wear under-eye masks to prevent fallout on my skin and I use both ends of at least two cotton swabs. This kit makes the process so much more eco-friendly with reusable eye “shields” that also act like masks if you apply eye cream underneath and let it sink it while you do your eyeshadow, and swabs.
I like to dab the swabs in micellar water before using so they don’t tug on my skin (like I would a cotton swab) and they make for the perfect tool to define winged liner, clean up edges and mishaps, and cut your crease. Just rinse with makeup brush cleaner or soap and water after use, and nothing ends up in the trash.
Though not a new product, this news is worth including because technically it’s a new stick. Since its launch in early 2021, Merit’s creamy foundation-concealer hybrid has become its best-selling product, but fans wanted more: more product. Based on customer feedback, the brand has re-engineered the complexion perfecter’s design to include 1.7 times more product, but the price stays the same. Who doesn’t love that?
The sleek, beautiful packaging got an upgrade too: Merit improved its “internal mechanisms to prevent bullet fallout and made it easier to tell which end to open.” (This is something that definitely bugged me about the OG—I always chose the wrong end!) Regardless, I’ve been a superfan of this stick since the get-go—it also won our 2021 NewBeauty Award—and I’m even more excited for everyone to get their hands on this newbie.
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