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.
Laura Mercier Real Flawless Weightless Perfecting Foundation ($48)
The brand’s first complexion launch in five years, this foundation is one of the best I’ve tried in months. A little goes a long way, and it lets your skin’s natural beauty shine through while balancing uneven tone, masking dullness and providing hydration. The medium coverage is so weightless and comfortable on my skin, and the “your skin but better” finish is gorgeous. My favorite application is on top of face oil—blending it in with a foundation brush—but it’s also beautiful without.
“Foundation needs to deliver a flawless finish with a lightweight feel,” says Laura Mercier herself. “It should never be opaque, but bring liveliness to the skin with a hidden glow.” Plus, it’s fragrance-free, it contains antioxidants for the added bonus of skin protection, and it comes in 30 shades.
Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed ($25)
The next newcomer in Myricks’ Yummy family, this balm-to-powder works on both the lips and cheeks, and gives skin a natural matte finish with as much color as you want depending on how much you use. Swedish Upsalite technology provides the bonus of oil control and pore-blurring, but in a comfortable, hydrating way.
The six shades, from hot pink to golden peach, offer something for every skin tone. Quinta Brunson looked stunning wearing the shade Dancing Queen (a vivid plum) to the NAACP Image Awards this month.
Maybelline New York Falsies Surreal Extensions Mascara ($10)
I remember when Maybelline first launched its Falsies franchise in 2010—I was hooked on the va-va-voom lashes I got from whatever was inside that bright purple tube. Fast-forward to today, and there’s a new formula joining the bunch, which delivers “surreal impact” with major volume and a 36-percent increase in lash length.
This is thanks to the brand’s Hybrid Fiber technology, which includes a mix of fibers of different sizes (up to 3 millimeters) that grip onto lashes and give them that extension look. It also wears for 24 hours without flaking due to the argan oil–infused formula. I love the packaging too—it feels very current, but also somehow a little retro.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wand ($42)
If you tuned in to the Grammys last night, you saw this new blush make its proper debut into the world on the gorgeous faces of Lizzo, Kacey Musgraves and Doja Cat. The liquid blush comes in four shades: classic rosy Pillow Talk, pink Pillow Talk Pop, nude-peach Pillow Talk Peach Pop, and cherry Pillow Talk Dream Pop. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the OG Pillow Talk Lip Cheat launched!
Inspired by Tilbury’s Beauty Light Wands, these feature the same cushion applicator but have a new texture that dries down like a matte cream blush with a blurring finish. You can build up the intensity of the pigment to your liking, too. For me, a little goes a long way.
Live Tinted Hueliner Longwearing Pencil Liner ($20)
“This is an all-day wear, beautiful precision liner that has a beautiful glide onto the eye,” says founder and CEO Deepica Mutyala. “It’s waterproof—you wanted something that would stay—and really great for the waterline [it’s also dermatologist-tested to be safe for that area], and a cat-eye.
It’s a product that I made to honor my family because kajal is something that has been a part of South Asian culture for my mom and her mom and her mom’s mom. It was also the first product my mom used on me. She would put a black dot behind my ear as a kid to rid me of the evil eye. You guys have no idea how long we’ve been working on this, down to the detail of the cap so you know what color it is, because maybe there are going to be more shades in the future.” Right now it’s available in black, and pigment is beautifully rich—it really does glide on so nicely and silky without tugging.
Lawless Forget The Filler Lip-Plumping Line-Smoothing Tinted Balm Stick ($26)
An exciting addition to the brand’s cult-favorite Forget The Filler franchise, this lip treatment contains the same plumping MAXI-LIP ingredient that is used in the best-selling Lip Mask (one is sold every five minutes, and if you haven’t tried the Cherry Vanilla flavor, hurry up!).
Warm it between your hands for a sec before applying it so it “melts” (just barely) into that signature cushiony texture that feels so good on your lips. It comes in six shades—I love Posey—and you can use it by itself or layer it over lipstick. Plus, to celebrate the launch, the brand is donating 10 percent of all Lip Balm Stick sales made through lawlessbeauty.com to Project Glimmer, an organization which focuses on building female confidence, and giving underprivileged women tools to achieve career dreams.
KVD Beauty Good Apple Full-Coverage Transfer-Proof Serum Foundation ($42)
These days, it seems like every brand is on the hunt for that perfect foundation formula that delivers the right amount of coverage while making the person wearing it look and feel like they have nothing on their skin. That was the goal with this new launch, which employs ultra-concentrated flexible elastomer pigments to provide full coverage and pore-blurring benefits with minimum weight.
The brand’s signature apple extract makes an appearance in this formula too, lending antioxidant properties, and the addition of quince leaf cuts back on excess shine, so it’s great for combo and oily skin types. It comes in 40 shades, and KVD Beauty recommends applying it with a sponge—one to two pumps at most. To find your perfect shade, try this one on in-store first and let it dry down before buying because it tends to oxidize a bit darker after applying.
Exa All Smiles Universal Glow Lip Oil ($15)
Formulated to meet Credo’s rigorous Clean Standard, this 98-percent naturally derived lip oil uses vanillyl butyl ether to boost circulation to the lips for a slight plumping effect. It imparts a bit of a warming sensation but it’s really gentle, unlike some other plumpers that make you feel like you just rubbed cayenne pepper on your lips. Plant oils nourish the lips simultaneously, which means they don’t get dry five minutes after you apply it.
It comes in four sheer shades for a little hint of color on their own or to give lipstick that extra oomph and shine: Dreamer is transparent and iridescent; Lover is raspberry pink; Optimist is cherry red; and Seeker is a plum hue.
Typology Paris Mattifying Loose Powder with 1% Zinc PCA ($27)
If you have oily or combination skin and tend to get a bit too shiny for your liking in the middle of the day, keep this talc-free, French-made powder in your purse (or at your desk). Zinc PCA sops up excess oil to create a matte finish, but it doesn’t look flat because the hyaluronic acid in the powder helps keep skin hydrated. PCA (L-pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) helps the zinc absorb better and supports hydration.
It’s vegan, naturally derived and translucent, so it works on all skin tones. It won’t clog pores either because it’s noncomedogenic.
Estée Lauder Double Wear 24H Stay-in-Place Lip Liner ($30)
From dusty pink to rich brown, there’s a match for every skin tone among the 14 shades of this silky lip liner. The formula is made with moisturizing jojoba oil to keep lips comfortable and add to the glide-ability. The pencil tip is very precise, making it easy to outline, and the other end of the pencil houses a lip brush for blending before lipstick application.
It’s transfer-resistant, so it won’t come off on your coffee cup, and it’s designed to last 24 hours without fading. When it comes time for sharpening, because the formula is infused with oil, the brand says it’s important to use a clean pencil sharpener with a sharp blade. They recommend cleaning your sharpener with a cotton swab to remove excess product each time.