By now, you've probably surmised that we test-drive a lot of beauty products here at Who What Wear HQ. From nail polish and makeup to hair and skincare, we're eyebrow-deep in all things new, exciting, and, yes, wish list–worthy. That said, due to the number of products we come in contact with, we've also transformed into the nitpickiest of beauty consumers. Within seconds, we can tell if a new hair oil is too heavy, and we're quick to ignore a serum that yields disappointing results.
The good news? We're far more often impressed than unimpressed after trying out a new product, and usually, we simply can't wait to spread the word to all of our fellow beauty junkies (aka you). Therefore, we've decided gushing over our latest fave products should become a monthly ritual, and every 30 days or so, you can expect a full report detailing the highlighters, hair wands, and overnight skincare saviors we've become quickly addicted to.
For the most part, we'll be covering buzzworthy launches (as those typically take up most of the action atop our product-filled desks), but we won't dismiss new-to-us products, either. Because hey, sometimes our best discoveries are found on a friend's vanity or on someone's face at the bar—true story. Ahead, the best beauty products we tried in April! Grab your game face and wallet. You'll be needing both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
I'm honestly so sad and confused as to why I let this stellar combo sit unused at the bottom of my beauty collection for so long. That said, better late than never, and my parched, L.A.-based skin has been so happy with this butter-like skin balm. If you combine it with Mutha's equally beatiful oil (see below!), the effect is dynamite. Once a week, I apply the oil followed by this butter post-shower, and I don't have to reapply any kind of body moisturizer for the next six to seven days. It's just that effective at keeping your skin dewy, bright, and topped up with moisture.
Pre-quarantine, I'll admit that I was nervous to throw too many new hair products into my routine. I like what I like, and I've found it hard to find many products that keep my bleached hair healthy and hydrated without weighing down my fine, yet very long, strands. On a whim (and because I'm all about convenience), I tried out this new hair mask from Amika, and I can safely say it's one of the most magical products I've tried recently. I slathered it on my clean, wet hair post-shampoo and let it marinate for the 60 seconds the directions prescribed. After I rinsed it out, I couldn't believe how smooth, soft, shiny, and bouncy my hair was (so similar to the results I reap from pricey salon treatments). It's rare that a hair mask can so effortlessly tick every single one of those boxes for me, so this will be a new regular in my rotation.
As someone who is borderline obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury's iconic Magic Cream ($100), I was beyond excited about this brand-new launch. It's always a gamble when you're expectations are set impeccably high, but I can happily confirm this is a glow-inducing skin antidote worth investing in this season. It's basically overflowing with high-tech and amazing ingredients like Replexium (which discourages fine lines), golden vitamin C for candlelit brightness, and hydration powerhouse polyglutamic acid, which the brand reports is four times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid.
I can't get enough of the new, radiance-enhancing version of MAC's OG setting spray. Like its sisters, it keeps whatever amount of makeup I'm wearing looking freshly applied (even hours later in sweaty L.A.) but with a subtle dewiness that's glowy and not greasy. It's good for your skin too thanks to strategic ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and essential oils.
Summer can be a daunting time for those of us with oil- and acne-prone skin. It's important to feed our complexion with hydration, but so many creams and moisturizers are far too heavy or laden with sneaky, pore-clogging oils. This lightweight but ultra-hydrating formula from Belif has been saving my face. It delivers the juicy nourishment my skin craves but without the added (and common) side effect of congestion. Hooked!
I've finally found it—the hand cream of my dreams. Glossier's newest launch lives up to the hype. It smells intoxicatingly lovely (but not in stifling way), and it absorbs quickly, leaving behind the silkiest, velvet-soft finish. I've been applying it before bed each night and despite all of my recent handwashing, I don't have to reapply until the following night.
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
I'm a creature of habit when it comes to skincare, but one thing I'm always down to experiment with is a great hyaluronic acid. I've been a Moon Juice Plump Jelly Serum devotee for years, but I was recently introduced to this incredible Australian brand Mukti via the Beauty Heroes April Discovery and instantly fell in love with its all-natural formulations. It was truly love at first swipe of its heavenly HA serum, which is loaded with lush botanicals like seaweed and blue tansy. Not to mention it smells like a walk on the beach. Highly recommend!
I'm not wearing nearly as much makeup as I normally do right now, but on the days that I do take the time to put on a face, I find that it really lifts my mood. My go-to formula right now is Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint, Glossier Pro Tip Eyeliner, Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara, and a wash of this gorgeous new lip color from Lime Crime. It's like a lip balm and a lipstick in one, imparting silky hydration and super-vibrant color. I'll go for a single swipe when I want just a little something and layer on more for some extra drama when the mood strikes.
If you've never done one of these foot peels, now is the time to try it. After sitting with your feet in these acid-filled booties for sn hour, your feet shed like a snake for about a week. I was reminded after doing this Patchology peel a couple of weeks ago just how much shedding actually takes place. Spoiler alert: It's a lot. It's so gross yet so satisfying!
Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy
This cleanser is legit my quarantine beauty BFF. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also has an enjoyable texture that manages to not be sticky while maintaining the viscosity of the most elegant slime. I wet my face, then massage a quarter-size dollop of product into my skin to create a nice, bubbly lather. It's a nice "activity" skincare product to incorporate into my routine.
I also love any product that targets stress. While this definitely isn't a must-have, I have come to enjoy the relaxing scent as part of my shower-before-bed ritual. Made with shea butter, chamomile, and New Zealand manuka honey, this body conditioner works in-shower to soothe and refresh. Plus, all Kiwi Botanicals products are certified clean, which is definitely a priority now more than ever.
"Scalp" is one of those words that make me cringe (like "moist" or "delicious"—yuck). But this product has been a game changer for my thick-but-fine hair. I use it once a week to eliminate buildup from product and oil, and my hair is significantly cleaner, has more body, and is easier to detangle. If the idea of scalp care is off-putting at first to you too, think of it this way: Scalp care is skincare, too—what's not to like about that?
I gave this portable set of essential oils to my sister for the holidays, and she has been generous enough to share it with me during these stressful times. We both like to take a few deep breaths of the stress-release formula before bed for ultimate relaxation.
Last but not least, basically every beauty editor I know swears by this sleeping mask, and now I finally understand why. It is so comfortable, it doesn't bunch up or get tangled in my hair in the middle of the night, and it doesn't soak up all my night serums and moisturizers. While I've touted a perfectly good $10 sleeping mask in the past, this is a splurge that definitely adds an element of luxury to my bedtime routine.
Anna LaPlaca, Associate Editor
I won't even lie—I've been getting lazy with my skincare this month and have been pausing on a lot of the fancier products I used to use all the time beforehand. (Like, some days, I forget to even put moisturizer on, but that's a different story.) So if there's one product that has made the biggest difference for me lately, it's this resurfacing facial from Youth to the People. It's essentially a microdermabrasion treatment that uses active enzymes, micro-exfoliants, and caffeine for smoother and brighter skin. It's like a one-two punch that combines an exfoliating scrub and brightening elements, so it's perfect for my current approach to skincare of doing the most with the least number of products and steps.
Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Senior Market Editor
In an effort to move my skincare routine in a cleaner direction, I recently started using this cleanser from Versed, and I love it. It gives you that sense of clean afterword without drying out, and my skin has only improved since starting with it.
Another switch I made recently was to Playa's line of haircare. Mainly, I use the shampoo and scalp scrub—I don't condition that often—and again, I love how they leave my hair feeling so clean and light without that harsh scent (and ingredients) a lot of other shampoos contain.
Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
Whether you buy into the CBD craze or not, this is just a really good moisturizer. It's rich without feeling heavy. My skin can get really flaky and tight, which makes fine lines more visible. Since I started using this a few nights a week, the dry patches have diminished, and my skin looks less red and irritated. If it makes you feel any better, a lot of comparable face creams are double the price at least.
I love Róen Beauty's creamy eye shadows, and this palette may be the best one yet. The shades are so wearable, and although they're super shimmery, they're sheer enough to wear during the day, but they're buildable if you want more of a dramatic look. Either way, you'll get compliments from your friends on Zoom and FaceTime.
This bronzer is so dreamy. It may sound crazy to make a bronzer with shea butter and meadowfoam oil, but it goes on super smoothly and is so easy to blend, and it gives your skin a pretty glow as opposed to a chalky bronze mask. I like a really subtle bronzer if I'm going to wear it, so I went with the lightest shade, as I'm pretty fair. Luckily for me, it's tough to overdo this one.
This is my new favorite sunscreen by far. It has a sheer, glowy tint, so I usually skip foundation when I use it. It's definitely not the most matte sunscreen I've ever used, but if you want to embrace the glow, this is the product to do it with. Not only does it have a high SPF, but it's also filled with antioxidants and protects your skin from damaging blue light.
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
Of course, my skin has been on the fritz this month. Namely, it's been super dry. I had been battling these dry patches on the sides of my nose for all of quarantine and slathering my face in every cream and serum I had at home and exfoliating a couple of times a week, hoping something would stick. The product that really stood out was Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping serum. It's so lightweight and cooling. I've been putting one pump of the serum on in the mornings and at night before I put on my regular moisturizer and night cream, and it's made the dry patches disappear while also keeping the rest of my face super hydrated.
Kristen Nichols, Managing Editor
My skin recently started getting some patchy redness, so I've been trying out a few different products to bring it back to normal. My favorite find has been this complexion-calming gel from SkinCeuticals designed for sensitive skin like mine, which has been the thing to do the trick. Packed with anti-inflammatory botanicals extracts, it has an immediate soothing effect that builds over time. Plus, it helps to reduce brown spots and pigmentation, so I'll be watching to see how that changes my skin over time.
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
This color Mirage is like springtime in a bottle. I love that for a pastel lilac color, this one runs on the more sophisticated side. I also hadn't applied a Chanel polish for a while, and I forgot how easily it goes on, which helps hide the fact that I'm not a professional manicurist. Also a hot tip for taking a cute manicure pic: I raise my hand in the air for a good 30 seconds before snapping the shot. For anyone with a similar skin tone to mine, this trick lets the blood run out of my hand and makes my skin look even, removing any reddish tones or blotchy bits.