As an editor, I feel very lucky that I have the chance to try out so many products on myself. I’ve always been a beauty enthusiast and would spend hours testing out all things skincare and makeup when I was growing up, so it’s no surprise that I landed at Allure earlier in my career. There, I was enamored by the beauty closet that stored buzzy new products and cult favorites for editors to experiment with firsthand. Now, at Who What Wear, I’ve continued to try out products across the beauty space.
After slathering on so many hyped-up products, I have to admit that I’m often underwhelmed with a lot of them. There are so many that don’t live up to their claims, so when I find ones that do, in fact, sculpt my cheekbones in a matter of minutes or make my lips look fuller, I get excited. Over the years, I’ve landed on some that I personally love and always recommend to my colleagues and friends. From the gentle at-home chemical peel I’ve been using since high school to the retinol I’m dedicated to for reducing fine lines to the hand soap with an intoxicating scent I’m addicted to, I’m highlighting the beauty products I can personally vouch for. Read on to see why they made the cut.
I won't stop talking about Augustinus Bader's face cream because it's just that good. More than any other face cream I've tried before, this one shows noticeable results when I use it. I've been using The Rich Cream since last fall and have seen my skin texture become more even as well as plumper and more hydrated. Plus, there's stem-cell research behind it to back up the claims.
I've used these peel pads from Dr. Dennis Gross since high school, but they've become even more essential now that I've been skipping facials and appointments with my dermatologist. The chemical exfoliant gives you a light, at-home peel to make your skin instantly brighter and more radiant.
I tend to skip stripping masks and instead gravitate toward enriching ones, which is exactly what this one is. After leaving this on for 10 minutes, my skin instantly feels plumper and more hydrated.
To be honest, I was a bit terrified of retinol after a dermatologist recommended a very aggressive one to combat some acne in high school. That being said, I quickly came to learn the benefits of a great retinol, and this version from Shani Darden has been a favorite since it launched. My sensitive skin can't handle more-aggressive formulas, so this gentle serum is exactly what it needs.
Most eye creams leave me a bit unimpressed, and many of them seem like moisturizers in smaller containers. This one, however, I used until I reached the very bottom of the jar. The gel-like formula leaves my under eyes hydrated and dewy without the weight of a heavy cream. Highly recommended.
I'll admit that this is a major investment. I'm skeptical of devices, and most leave me hugely disappointed. But I can tell you that this one is something different. Perhaps the beauty tool I use more than any other, the Ziip is a microcurrent tool that has a variety of treatments linked to an app that can do anything from minimizing blemishes to lifting your cheekbones in less than 10 minutes. I know that sounds like it wouldn't work, but it just does. I'm so obsessed with this device that I convinced my mom and sister to order one for themselves, and they can't stop telling me how much they love it.
While it seems that most people prefer body lotions over oils, I'm more of a body-oil person and can tell you that this version from Costa Brazil is a must. Not only does it have the most beautiful packaging and smell like vacation in a bottle, but it's also super hydrating and leaves you dewy for hours if applied while your skin is still damp after a shower. Plus, the brand has a focus on social good and partners with organizations like Conservation International that work to protect the planet.
If I'm ever looking to hydrate my skin, I immediately look to incorporate a great hyaluronic acid. While there are plenty across many price points, Dr. Barbara Sturm's ampoules rank among my top favorites. These single-dose treatments are like a super-charged way to not only improve moisture but to also fade fine lines and firm up the skin. This is definitely a favorite product I use before snapping a photo.
Since this pencil is a perfect match for my personal lip shade, I often use it to overdraw my lips and make them look fuller. What I love about it? It's matte and really doesn't budge for hours. If you're looking for a similar effect, Charlotte Tilbury has an array of shades, so you might find one that matches your own lip shade.
I love a great cheekbone highlight, and this powder version from Hourglass is a favorite I always come back to. I feel like it instantly makes my face look brighter and more sculpted.
One makeup item I'm never without? A great liquid eyeliner for a cat eye. Tom Ford's has a pen-style applicator (my favorite application method) and has two ends with thicker and thinner shapes for wider or more-defined strokes.
From a mascara, I want two things: super-long lashes and subtle volume. This always delivers on both.
To be honest, I hadn't used a straightener for about a decade before I recently leaned into sleeker hair. A previous fan of GHD's hair curler, I was eager to try its straightener, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It heats up insanely fast and is one of the most recommended hair tools I own. I will admit that I have pretty straight hair to begin with and just use it for touch-ups, so you might want to consult your friends with curly hair for their opinions.
Over the years, I've tried so many brands of shampoo, but Ouai always leaves me impressed. My fine hair is instantly lifted, clean (but not stripped), and just kind of has new life. After I recommended this to my sister recently, she told me it was the best shampoo she's ever tried.
This hair mask is definitely an investment, but it is also one of the most loved beauty products I've been using this year. I use this weekly, and not only has this restorative mask seriously hydrated my hair, but it has also prevented any split ends without me getting a haircut in upward of six months.
Here's a product I've used for as long as I can remember. I've owned a bottle of this volumizing spray for years, and it never seems to run out. It is something I spray on my roots every single time I dry my hair to add a subtle lift.
These silk scrunchies from Slip are a definite favorite. Not only am I a huge fan of the trend from a fashion perspective and wear them on repeat, but they're also a healthy-hair must. They're much more gentle on the hair and have been an essential for preventing breakage as I grow out some short layers I regret.
I grew up in Arizona where we were taught at a young age to take suncare very seriously. Now, I won't leave home without slathering myself in sunscreen. This moisturizer-infused sunscreen is my current favorite because it's lightweight and doesn't actually feel or smell like a typical sunscreen.
I find it impossible to reapply sunscreen as often as you're supposed to, especially when wearing makeup, so this portable setting powder has become essential for any time I leave the house.
Okay. You're now looped into how SPF-obsessive I am, but I also love a bit of a glow. While I shield myself from the sun, I love products from Tan-Luxe to achieve a natural-looking tan. This lotion is the easiest, most buildable product.
Speaking of Tan-Luxe, I'm also a huge fan of these sleep oil drops, which leave you waking up with a sun-kissed glow.
Portrait of a Lady has become my signature scent, and one spritz is all it takes to conjure amazing memories. I typically gravitate toward rich, spicy scents (which this is) and find this to be particularly addictive.
Byredo scents are just stunning, so it's zero surprise that the brand brings its impeccable level of craftsmanship to hand soaps. Every sink in my house has this "suede-scented" soap next to it, and right now, they're nearing empty, so I'll need to place a new order soon.
Is there anything better than reading a book with a candle burning in the room? If you agree, you'll want to make it this one, which has an incredible fragrance that combines the notes of rose and black currant.