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 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 November! Grab your game face and wallet. You'll be needing both.
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
"I like Glossier, but I'm not the kind of megafan who hops on the bandwagon of praise anytime it drops a new product. I like to do my due diligence before recommending anything (I mean, duh, that's my actual job), and although I can generally be certain that anything Glossier comes up with will be good, I'm more interested in products that are great. Enter Glossier's new Pro Tip liquid eyeliner. It's incredible. You're probably thinking what could be so special about plain black liquid eyeliner? I'm happy to explain!
"The ultra-fine tip dispenses such skinny, sharp lines that creating a super-chic, precise-looking cat-eye is a breeze. Any liquid eyeliner enthusiast is well aware of that annoying ink snag that can happen on your lid when the formula starts to dry down while you're still trying to apply, causing the brush tip to get stuck in the ink and sabotaging your attempts to draw straight lines. The ink is black black, and after two weeks of daily use, I've yet to experience any signs that it's running out or drying up in any way. Get it."
Caitie Schlisserman, Senior Beauty Editor, Branded Content
"Full disclosure: I’m probably the laziest person when it comes to hair. I swear I wasn’t always like this. I put my locks through so much when I was younger that now I don’t like to fuss with them too much. But that all changed when I was gifted with the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer. Not only is it ultra-fast-drying (the V9 digital motor and Air Multiplier™ technology amplify airflow to produce a controlled, high-velocity jet of air), but the intelligent heat control protects against extreme heat damage, so I don’t feel guilty about using it. I also love that it has three different attachments, including a diffuser, because my hair mood is always changing."
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Celebrity brow artist Stevi Christine is the only person I let near my brows—not only does she perform absolute magic with her tweezers (no wax!), but she also makes the only brow products I come back to again and again and again. I'm already hooked on her Detailed Eyebrow Definer in Light ($26), but when she used this unique sponge-tip applicator formula the last time I went in for a touch-up, I left forever changed.
Even though there are only two shades (although she spilled she has another middle-ground option in the works!), it has this cool, customized way of conforming to your individual hair color and skin tone—like magic. The application and finish are velvety soft and natural, and now I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to look at another brow product the same again. If I want more definition or deeper color, I'll go in with my Definer to add some extra oomph, but honestly, I haven't really needed to!
I am such a nail polish snob. And interestingly, I prefer doing my own nails from the comfort of my living room coffee table to getting them done at the salon. I have a few favorite polish brands, but in all honesty, I think Olive & June is THE polish (and topcoat!) to beat right now—in every way possible.
Not only does it offer the most stunning and universally flattering shades—my current fave is this new rose-gold debut—it also has the glossiest, most saturated and satisfying color payoff. The formulas are extremely chip-resistant, and even though I'm pretty hard on my nails, my at-home mani usually looks perfect for a full week—at least. (Pro tip: Follow founder and CEO Sarah Gibson Tuttle's advice and touch up with a clear topcoat every few days!)
Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a good picture of this (it's freezing, and I've been covered in sweaters and denim), but this new self-tan discovery impressed the hell out of me. And for context, I own and try literally hundreds of at-home bronzing products. (Take a peek at the above madness—and that's not even everything.) Mousse formulas are usually my go-to, simply because I think they ensure the most natural, seamless, and even finish, and waters—especially clear ones—frighten me.
I won't lie—while spritzing this onto my skin and spreading it with a mitt, I was nervous I'd wake up the next morning looking like an Oompa Loompa gone terribly wrong, but instead, I woke up impeccably bronze. There wasn't a streak or uneven inch of skin in sight; my skin was hydrated, supple, and glowy; and the color was almost unfathomably natural and perfect. Like, wow. I'm so excited I discovered this in time for the holiday season when I want my skin to be its glowiest. It also lasted a full week with zero touch-ups needed, and when it DID fade, the process was patch-free. I love the dark, but the brand also makes light and medium formulas.
I recently discovered this skin-transforming foundation/moisturizer/CC cream hybrid, and I'm honestly a little furious it took me this long to find it. I've been a longtime fan of the brand's cult-favorite CC+ Cream, but—drumroll—I think I like this formula even more.
I'm always in a hurry when I do my makeup, and this epic tube gives my skin a lit-from-within glow in seconds. I've layered highlighters, bronzers, and concealers over it, but honestly, I think it looks best alone—true witchcraft, I tell you! Plus, there are so many amazing ingredients hiding in the formula you're giving your skin of loving spoonful of TLC each and every time you wear it. I don't know about you, but my complexion is really craving that right about now.
Bobby Schuessler, Market Editor
"I just recently tested out this brand Hawthorne—and love. They essentially send you a box of all of the grooming essentials you need—tailored specifically for you after you take a quiz to go over your beauty habits. The products are all of high quality and smell amazing. It's the perfect gift idea, honestly."
Kristen Nichols, Managing Editor
"Truth be told, I've never owned an electric toothbrush even though I'm convinced I need to buy one every time I go to the dentist. To be honest, the hefty price tags have always been a deterrent as well as the precious counter space they take up. Recently, that all changed when I tried an electric toothbrush from Quip. It's certainly the chicest new tool I've added to my bathroom.
"At just $45, it's very affordable, and it's the same size as a regular toothbrush but has the added cool factor of a sleek, modern design. Plus, it uses batteries so it can be tucked inside a drawer rather than plugged into the wall and can easily be packed in a suitcase for travel. Now, I'm very happy that I finally own an electric toothbrush—even if it took me this long—because my teeth have never felt so clean."
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
"I've found most lip balms that do double duty as lip color aren't as truly moisturizing as a plain old untinted balm, but this one lives up to its moisturizing promise. It also has hyaluronic acid, so it will soothe dry lips in the moment and also work toward actually fixing the problem of chapped lips. I'm wearing the Pulse color, which is basically an enhanced version of my natural lip color; perfect for an everyday look."
"This was the year of the retinol for me. At 31, I decided it was finally time to jump on the bandwagon. Reducing fine lines, fading acne scars, boosting collagen, improving skin texture—retinol seemed like a godsend. Per my colleague's recommendation (who looks 15 years younger than she is), I got a prescription for adapalene 0.3% (the generic of Differin). This, it turns out, was a mistake. Everything was fine for a month or so. In fact, I saw a very noticeable difference from the product; my skin looked like it was reverse-aging. I introduced the product slowly, but my skin was in tatters after a couple of international flights (the dry air of planes is known to exacerbate the drying effects of retinol). It was flaking off so badly that I looked like I had a true skin disorder. It stayed that way for two weeks despite the fact that I stopped using the product immediately. I know you have to build up a tolerance to retinol, but prescription strength was a bit too aggressive for my skin, and from what I've read online, someone my age doesn't need a product that strong.
"After my skin had recovered, I conveniently got an email from Shani Darden's team about her newly packaged Retinol Reform. Darden was inspired to create the product as a 'gentle, yet effective alternative to other options on the market that were proving too harsh for my clients' skin.' And while I'm not lucky enough to be a client of Darden's yet (she counts Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen as clients), if it's good enough for her A-list clientele, I was more than down to try it.
"The first thing I noticed when trying the product was the lovely lotion-like texture that makes it super easy to spread onto your skin and leaves your face feeling truly moisturized. This was the exact opposite of adapalene, which was like a drying gel that left my skin feeling parched and sort of mask-like. Adapalene also had strict rules about not using more than pea size because it's so potent, and I feel very relieved about using a gentler formula that doesn't have so much potential for disaster. Adapalene also has methylparaben in it, and Retinol Reform is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and gluten. I've been using Retinol Reform for about a month so far without any peeling, and I can already see my skin changing for the better—more even tone and just overall more youthful-looking. Our managing editor, Kristen, who used to work at Allure for several years (aka has been exposed to the very best in beauty) has also been a longtime fan. If you're new to retinol like I am, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Retinol Reform as an effective yet gentle place to start."
"The buzz around Augustinus Bader products in the fashion world is at an all-time high. People who are very conscious of not giving out free endorsements because they get paid to give said endorsements (aka celebs and influencers) are basically doing gratis PR because they can't contain their excitement about the product. Kate Bosworth, Victoria Beckham, and heaps of other celebrities and influencers are obsessed. It feels like the new La Mer in that it's practically universally beloved and expensive to boot.
"Professor Bader himself also has a very impressive background in regenerative science. Needless to say, I was rather excited to get my hands on the brand's rich cream. After using the product for a couple of weeks, I finally understand the hype and why tons of girls in the Who What Wear office put aside money from their paychecks for this special cream. The ingredients apparently activate your own stem cells to go into repair mode, and while I don't understand the exact science behind that, I do know my skin has never looked tighter, glowier, or more youthful."
Allyson Payer, Fashion Editor
"I'm always game to try a new face oil, especially one that promises a nice glow! This oil is obviously very aesthetically pleasing, and it's filled with natural and organic ingredients plus the holy-grail brightening agent vitamin C. Of the face oils I've tried, this one isn't the oiliest. It sinks in nicely, and my skin felt instantly quenched. I've yet to use Cosmic Glow Oil in the morning (just at night), but I think it would work well into makeup since it isn't particularly greasy."
"When I first laid eyes on the Wet Lip Oil Gloss, Kosas's latest must-have product, I thought that the Fruit Juice shade looked quite bright, so I wasn't exactly sure how it would look on me. (I typically stick to nude lip shades.) But after trying it, I'm hooked. The consistency is a bit thick (in a good way) and pigmented for a gloss, but it applies easily. I found that blotting it gave the perfect wash of juicy shine. Bonus: It has staying power, unlike so many glosses out there."
"It's been in the back of my mind for quite some time that I needed to start using a neck cream since the thin skin in that area can certainly show age. Since I love all things Tatcha, its Ageless Revitalizing Neck Cream is the one I landed on. As expected, the cream is thick and luxurious, but it applies so smoothly, so you're not dragging on the skin in the least. I don't think my neck has ever felt softer."
"I love the effortless, slightly imperfect way French girlswear lip color, so Rouje's lip colors have long been on my radar. When I saw that they were releasing a liquid lip color (which is my favorite type of lip color), I had to try it. Le Rouje Velours' colors are broken down into reds, pinks, and nudes. (I went with Marie, which is described as a brownish red.) The consistency is incredibly creamy and smudges well (a must for the French) and has a good amount of pigment with a hint of sheerness. Since the bottles are ridiculously pretty, they'd also make great gifts. It's safe to say I want it in every color."
Judith Jones, Market Editor
"I'm a La Mer aficionado through and through. (I can't live without the Soft Cream.) I recently tried its Hydrating Sheet Mask (which contains a full ounce of the brand's treatment lotion and miracle broth, FYI!) and I'm completely hooked. It leaves my skin seriously hydrated and glowing (even if I just have it on for five minutes.)"
"A few years ago, I started investing in Eve Lom's Cleansing Balm. (It's seriously the best thing since sliced bread.) The brand recently released cleansing oil capsules, which are my go-to when traveling. I throw around six in a little baggie for a long weekend getaway, and it saves so much room in my carry-on! They leave my skin just as soft, supple, and hydrated as the balm."
Erin Fitzpatrick, Senior News Writer
"I love this Susanne Kaufmann cleanser. Previously, I had been using a very foamy cleanser from a different brand that I liked, but I realized that the foaminess was actually stripping my skin too much and leaving it unnecessarily tight after cleansing. On the other hand, as the name implies, this cleansing milk is so soothing and gentle. It has chamomile extract, which the brand says regenerates skin tissue, as well as other natural ingredients like rose-hip oil. Plus, I love that everything from Susanne Kaufmann is totally clean and nontoxic."
"Fleur & Bee is another clean beauty brand I've recently started to love. This rich face cream has so many amazing ingredients, including hydrating aloe and brightening vitamin B3. I actually prefer to use this cream on my neck and chest because my face doesn't need quite as thick of a moisturizer. Since it's $24, I don't feel guilty spreading it over large swaths of skin, and it truly feels so luxurious and smooth."
"I'm very loyal to Caudalie and have bought so many bottles of the Radiance Serum over the years. My newest obsession from the brand is this Instant Detox Mask, which I use when my skin is feeling very congested. I am prone to breakouts, and—knock on wood—this hasn't made me break out at all. My face feels so fresh and clean after this mask, and I always lather on moisturizer afterward. I probably only use it every other week, so it's really lasted me a long time."
Anna LaPLaca, Assistant Editor
"Lately, I've been trying to decrease the number of harsh acids in my routine and give my skin a break. After reading this great article our beauty editor Erin wrote, I learned that I should be avoiding any intense lasers, acids, or peels and promptly paused on my acid-based products—save for this one. Caudalie's Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Essence is a soothing and hydrating glycolic acid toner that lifts dark spots and evens out skin tone without sucking all the moisture from my skin like my other glycolic-based products tend to do. I swipe this on with a cotton pad in the morning before anything else, and it leaves my skin bright and glowy."
"As someone who's prone to breakouts, I pretty much avoid anything with the 'oil' in the name for fear of adding any more unnecessary oils to my skin, but I recently learned that the secret to battling oily-prone skin is, well, oil. Essentially, by using an oil-based cleanser, your skin can actually maintain a healthy pH balance, which most non-oil-based cleansers will strip away. The esthetician behind botanical skincare line Monastery pointed this out to me recently, and since then, I've swapped in her Rose Cleansing Oil and have never looked back. It's made with 1000 petals of rose bourbania from Reunion Island in the Indan Ocean and, yes, it's just as luxurious as it sounds."