Our 2021 Beauty Capsule: The Essential Products to Own Before Everyone Else Does


(Image credit: @januaryjones)

There's a constant ebb and flow when it comes to the current standing of our favorite beauty products. As beauty editors, we're always testing and learning about the coolest new formulas, and I'm not sure if our skincare, makeup, or haircare routines have ever looked exactly the same two days in a row. Sure, we may not have a set-in-stone process or product protocol, but the manic way we swatch and slather does give us the freedom to discern the good from the bad and predict the holy grail and the forgettable (which is pretty darn fun!).

Twenty-twenty was a year of remarkable twists and turns, but as a silver lining, the number of truly amazing beauty innovations we vetted remained unwavering (more so than any other year, TBH). In fact, a number of said innovations are so great and are still so under the radar that we decided to shine a sparkling spotlight on them in preparation for 2021. 

From the crease-proof glitter eye shadow that's pure fodder for selfies and compliments to the wands, toners, and masks that lend themselves to unparalleled face glow, here lies our ultimate 2021 beauty capsule. Keep scrolling! These are the new and newish must-try products we love and can't wait for you to fall head over heels for in 2021.

The Retinol Serum-in-Cream

The Extensions in a Tube

The Facial Sculpting Wand

The Best-in-Class Body Exfoliator

The Perfume/Body Cream Hybrid

The Espresso Shot in an Eye Cream

The Toxin-Dissolving Cleanser

The Practically Bionic Hair Balm

The Dry Shampoo That Will Make Your Hair Grow

The Perfect-Match Lipstick

The "Make Amends" Split-End Repair

The Dewy Skin Serum

The Face Oil/Serum Hybrid

The Extraction Appointment in a Mask

The Best Organic Foundation We've Ever Tried 

The Best-in-Class Eyeliner Pencil

The Perfume so Good That It Comes With a Warning

The Next Biologique Recherche P50

The Body Oil for People Who Detest Body Oils

The Best Mask for Baby-Soft Skin

The Compliment-Getting Eye Glitter

The Highlighter for Your Highlighter

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.