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, pre-quarantine story). Ahead, the best beauty products we tried in July! Grab your game face and wallet. You'll be needing both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Makeup artist Patrick Ta just launched a slew of new beauty products, and to be honest, I've been so impressed with them all. (This lip-softening masque is also a game-changer!) That said, I have to say that this hydrating fine mist has been one of my favorite new beauty additions this month. The mist itself is so fine and refreshing—you don't feel like you just doused your face with a kiddie sprinkler—and the finish is so dewy and luxurious. It's filled with amazing ingredients like rosehip seed oil, black tea ferment, and witch hazel extract, and I've been spritzing it whenever my complexion needs a pick-me-up.
I'm always trying new acne-geared skincare products, and while most fall flat (or rather, fail to flatten my breakouts) this natural deep-green spot treatment from Naturopathic totally wowed me. Including this formula, there are legitimately only four acne spot treatments that have ever done anything to calm or pump the brakes on bourgeoning bumps for me. This one is a wee bit intense-looking due to its color (the green comes from skin-brightening chlorophyll!) but you essentially apply it like a peel-off mask over any bumps. Make sure you let it dry thoroughly, and then the next morning, peel it off. Like magic, pimples are either gone, deflated, or at the very least, much less angry.
I'm nail-obsessed and attempting to keep my nails in tip-top, strong shape has always been of utmost importance to me. So my infatuation with Butter London's latest nail treatment launch is probably not surprising. With two different color options (Victoria Plum is more purple, the Strawberry Rhubarb is pinker), the finish of the formula is so shiny and jelly-like, extremely buildable (I've been wearing three coats!) and also gives your nails a potent dose of TLC. Like all Butter London products, the polish is 10-Free, and the strategic mix of vitamin E, tea tree oil, hydrolyzed keratin and calcium, diamond powder, and bamboo extract rejuvenate the appearance of nails by repairing existing damage and fortifying them with added strength long-term, too.
I used to be so all or nothing when it came to makeup. Either I'd be 100% bare-faced or I'd be 100% made up. That said, 2020 has definitely marked a shift, and since I've been spending almost all of my time at home, I've been perfecting my less-is-more approach to product. And, let me tell you, this new luminous tinted moisturizer from CoverFX has been one of the best complexion-enhancing formulas I've tried while at home. It features an innovative prebiotic- and probiotic-enriched formula which helps plump and blur fine lines while also improving skin clarity and overall skin health. Plus, the application options are endless. The brand's new Custom Application Brush ($39) is by far the coolest complexion brush I've ever used—it features three "wells" within the brush head where you add your product before buffing it into your skin.
You can use the tinted moisturizer in all three or you can mix and match with two additional formulas (like SPF, foundation, liquid highlighter, etc). This formula is also great pre-foundation used like a primer or simply on its own as a tinted moisturizer. It's totally fool-proof and great for achieving a five-minute face.
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
I don't know if it's the new moon in Leo or if I'm just getting overly confident with colorful makeup since I'm spending more time at home, but I'm in love with these smooth, vibrantly hued eyeliners. They glide so smoothly onto the skin and the color payoff is unreal. I like to smudge them out for a blurry wash along my lash line, but they do dry down firmly enough to execute the perfect colorful cat-eye, too. I've been loving the sunshine-colored shade Cosmic Yellow lately, but every single option, from the vivid blues to the shimmery metallics, are equally satisfying
I know Chanel's famed Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream Les Beiges ($50) is beloved by everyone and their mother when it comes to glowy makeup, but we also need to give some credit to this sheer highlighting fluid. Instead of a paste, this one is a super lightweight fluid that you can tap into the high points of the face, the cupid's bow, and anywhere else on your face or body that needs a little extra hit of glowy goodness. Unlike the bronzing cream, the finish is a lot dewier. I haven't been wearing foundation all that often, but I can only imagine that mixing a couple of drops of this stuff into my favorite foundation (I'm currently loving the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation $44 and the Fenty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation $35) would yield the dreamiest results.)
I'm a big fan of body oils and can suss out almost instantly whether or not an oil has the capacity to keep my skin soft and supple all day long. This luxe oil does. It's the softest, most lovely blend of marula and grapeseed oils combined with green rooibos tea extract and honeybush extract. I love smoothing it over damp skin right out of the shower before gently patting off any excess moisture and then letting my body air-dry before getting dressed. This stuff is pricey so I don't use it every single day, but every time I do, it's such a treat.
I've been on a natural deodorant journey on and off for years now. I've tried at least a dozen different kinds—from aluminum-free sticks to pastes to wipes (yes, wipes!), and everything in-between. After all this time, I've learned to get more comfortable with a little moisture in my pits, but I truly cannot handle not smelling fresh.
I've been using the deodorant for a couple of weeks now, which is about the period of time it typically takes to determine how my body reacts to a formula and so far, I'm really pleased. I wore this deodorant to the beach and it didn't hold up all that great, but even chemical-filled deodorants have a tough time when put up against the summer sun. I haven't noticed a decrease in the growth of armpit hair yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing if this stuff actually lives up to that claim, too.
Hi, my name is Courtney, and I'm a body exfoliation addict. I have more scrubs and exfoliators in my shower than I can even count at this point. (Okay, that was dramatic—there are seven of them… for now.) This particular scrub is one I wouldn't normally be drawn to, because I'm wary of anything that could potentially smell overly sweet. That's not an issue here! I've been using this scrub to shave my legs lately and it's just perfect. I'll buff the brown sugar mixture into my skin, rinse away any granules, and then use the remaining oil that's left as the slip I need to shave. I'm in love!
My lips are never not slathered in some sort of balm, so when I heard Patrick Ta had one in the works I was super excited to try it out. This lip treatment is so nice! It's slightly minty and imparts a tingly, cooling sensation on application. It's so soft and hydrating without making my lips feel greasy or overly sticky. While it's meant to be worn overnight as a conditioning lip mask, I like to dab this stuff on in the morning to keep my lips coated all day long. I haven't tried it under lipstick yet, but I'm hoping it will serve as a good base layer.
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
I love tinted lip balms and have a collection of them that borders on excessive. I love the one-two punch of moisturizing my often-dry lips and adding a hint of color that helps perk up my face when I'm wearing minimal makeup. This one by Doubledown Cosmetics has officially become one of my new favorites. It actually lasts, which is quite hard to find in a lip balm, and the color I'm wearing here, The Punk, offers a subtle pink shimmer that's low-key and super pretty. I can't wait to try their other shade, The Future, which is a gorgeous red. As an extra bonus, the products are all-natural and cruelty-free.
I am a stomach sleeper, and despite the knowledge that sleeping with my face smooshed into my pillow is bad for wrinkles on my chest and face, I am resistant to changing my ways. Enter Night's 2-Way Beauty Pillow, which is designed to support better beauty sleep, no matter if you're a naughty stomach sleeper or not. It has a side specifically for stomach sleepers, and the opposite side is designed for spinal alignment of side or back sleeping.
In a time when anxieties are high and a decent night's sleep can be harder to come by, I can say this pillow has actually helped me get a higher quality of sleep. The pillow also comes in a silk case to protect your hair and prevent creases while you sleep. In a word, I'm obsessed.
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
I've been in the market for a new daily face cleanser and decided to try Fresh's Soy Face Cleanser based on reviews I saw online. This might be my new go-to! It's so gentle, which is much needed especially when my skin is feeling especially dry. It's also hardworking because it left my face clean and makeup-free. I would say that if you're wearing a lot more product (foundation, eyeliner, shadow, etc.), you'll probably need to use a makeup remover in addition, but if you're just wearing mascara and a little bit of concealer, it gets the job done. I use it in the morning and at night.
Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy
This small and mighty little guy is my new best friend. I carry it wherever I go (admittedly, not many places), including my back yard, walks around the neighborhood, and the pool. It is unlike any sunscreen product I have ever used before: super light, hydrating, and pleasant gel texture. Bonus points for packing major SPF power and not tasting terrible when it inevitably gets in my mouth.
It seems strange to be super into a toner, but this product is the first in its category to really win me over. I got a sample size in the Dermstore Skin Essentials Kit and have been using it religiously ever since. My skin looks and feels so much better (less oily, irritated, and more even texture) that I will definitely be purchasing the full-size bottle once this runs out.
Speaking of sets, a thoughtful friend sent me a Tatcha Skincare set for my birthday. While I love all of the products, The Water Cream has been a standout. It is both lightweight and super hydrating, with a delicate scent. I apply it as the final step in my routine before bed, and my skin always wakes up happy, even on days that I don't. I am about to run out of the mini, so I will be buying the standard size to get me through the rest of the summer and into fall.
I love nail polish, and despite my collection of colors, I am the worst at at-home manicures. It's not that I lack the skills or finesse, but rather the patience. No matter how "careful" I am, my nails never dry without serious dents, dings, or imperfections. Allured by the promise of its 45-second dry time, I was happy to give this new Nails Inc formula ago, and wow, does it deliver. I am currently wearing a summery shade called Keeping it Real in Kensington on my fingers and toes, and yes, the dry time is 100% accurate. Flawless application and no nicks in sight!
Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
These are the first products I've tried from buzzy clean skincare brand Farmacy and I'm impressed. The Honeymoon Glow Resurfacing Serum ($58) is an AHA/BHA exfoliating serum that I've been using a few times a week. I have dry skin that can have trouble tolerating powerful acids, but this one has Hyaluronic Acid and honey, so my skin doesn't get red and flaky. (Disclaimer: I usually apply a bit of face oil on top for even more moisture.) The Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask ($56) is a super hydrating mask that's suitable for all skin types. It warms up when you massage it in and leaves you with the softest glowy skin when you wash it off.
Speaking of honey, I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that Gisou makes the best-smelling hair products I've ever encountered. The scent is heavenly and subtle. I've been using the hair wash, conditioner, hair oil, and hair perfume, and I see a noticeable difference in shine and smoothness (even in 100% humidity) when I use it. I can't wait to see what other products are in the Gisou pipeline.
I'll gladly try anything with the words "Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk" in them. The latest in the popular line is two multiuse cream colors that I've been using daily since they arrived on my doorstep. In the pan, they look a little intense but they're actually very sheer and dewy. They don't really dry down, which is my preference in a cream blush, as it makes it act as a highlighter too. On the lips, they leave the prettiest like-your-lips-but-better shiny stain. Highly recommended if you're looking for a new fool-proof product for summer.
Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Audience Engagement Editor
Okay, normally, I don't love to cheat on my signature nude gloss from Fenty because I find colored glosses can be obtrusive and more effort than I'd like to extend. However, I'm currently obsessed with Tower28's Shine on Lip Jelly in the color Fear Less. I was dubious about a purple gloss, but it actually came out a bit more pink/nude on my lips than I expected, and it's slowly become my go-to gloss to put on before any zoom call.
Since I've been experimenting more in quarantine with a makeup routine, I've realized that makeup wipe removers aren't it, and so I began the search for a cleanser that can remove makeup without irritating my eczema-prone skin. So far, I've been loving Herbivore's Creamy Jelly Cleanser. Beyond being pink, which is a millennial's dream, I love how easily it removes mascara and highlighter and it didn't leave my skin dry, or itchy as other removers do. For anyone searching for a clean cleanser, this is a must-try.
Candice Aman, Social Media Editor
Far be it from me to think that a good hairbrush can make all the difference, but the right tool can truly feel like a game-changer. I recently retired a hairbrush that I’ve held on for years and picked this one up from Crown Affair. The bristles magically detangle my hair while keeping it super silky and smooth. Next up on my list of things that are long-overdue: a haircut!
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.