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 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. Sometimes, our best discoveries are found on a friend's vanity or on someone's face at the bar (true pre-quarantine story). Ahead are the best beauty products we tried in November! Grab your game face and wallet. You'll be needing both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Let me just say that up until recently—as in, up until 2020—I was not an eye shadow girl. Neutral shades of pearl, pink, and gold were my go-to hues, and I probably wouldn't have touched a palette like this with a 10-foot pole. Alas, here we are, and here I am professing my love for a royal purple eye shadow palette complete with glitter. To be honest, I don't think I'd worn purple eye shadow since my elementary school dance recital days, so the fact that I went all-out like this for a makeup tutorial recently really speaks volumes to the uptick in my makeup creativity and bravery. (At the very least, 2020 has brought lots of growth in the "trying new things" arena.) Initial nervousness aside, however, I couldn't have been more thrilled with this makeup and the eye shadow, specifically. Not only are the colors stunning and so satisfyingly pigmented (the glitter, quite literally, elicited squeals of excitement as I applied), but I also love how strategically they're packaged with other colors and the budget-friendly price points. I can't wait to build my Juvia's Place wardrobe up even more in the New Year.
The first time I tried this new body cream from Sisley Paris, I was in Tucson (i.e. the dry-skin capital of the world) visiting my parents. And let me just tell you, it single-handedly reversed the scaly, tight, flaky lizard skin I'd been battling for weeks to no avail. I love the consistency—it's a balm, so it's almost one part oil, one part cream. The infusion of luscious ingredients like saffron flowers, shea butter, sugar, glycerin, and oils from macadamia and babassu smells amazing (but not too heavy or intense), and it leaves your skin silky and luminous without feeling tacky or greasy. It's my absolute favorite thing to slater all over my body post-shower right now.
ICYMI: Byredo makes makeup now, and it's pretty darn delectable. Not only is the packaging completely statement making, but the formulas themselves also hold their own. (You can read my full review on the collection here!) This month, the brand added powder eye shadows to the menu, and I'm so smitten. Per expectations, the five-pan compact the eye shadows are housed in is stunning—it looks like a 24K oyster you'd find at the bottom of a mermaid lagoon. And the shimmering hues inside are just as dreamy. I've been using Syren, a vibrant agenda of shadows that includes everything I need for a festive holiday season this year.
I always get tripped up about whether or not I should include candles in these roundups. They're kind of like beauty products, right? Regardless, here I am talking about my latest candlelit obsession, Lost Cherry by Tom Ford. The scent is controversial—you either love it or hate it, and I'm part of the latter team. I think it's especially addictive when it's burning. It's a rich and juicy yet creamy melding of black cherry accord, bitter almond, Griotte Sirup Scenttrek, Rose Absolute Orpur, Peru balsam, and Roasted Tonka Orpur that's a finishing touch for a cozy holiday night in.
I've been super pumped that, in the last six months or so, my stubborn cycle of hormonal breakouts has finally pumped the brakes and disappeared *almost* altogether. That said, even though I'm not experiencing the same frenzy of bumps and zits each month, I still have some acne scarring and lingering redness I'm trying to clear up. Nothing—I repeat, nothing—has worked so fast yet gently on my discoloration as this rollerball. It's pumped with all the most strategic ingredients to lighten and brighten acne marks, sun spots, and other types of discoloration (think niacinamide, vitamin C, glycolic acid, tranexamic, and antioxidant-rich gardenia extract, to name a few). It even has a handy color-correcting tint to it. After one to two days of partying with my worst spots, this lightning stick makes them virtually invisible. I'm honestly just wondering where it's been all of my life.
By now, you probably know that I'm a fiend for all things nails. It's really about the little things in life, and being able to glance down at my fingers or toes to see a fun new color or some sparkling accents is really such a day brightener for me. My latest obsession? These art deco–inspired nail stickers from JinSoon, which I most recently paired with one of my favorite nail colors, Yes Please ($8), from Olive and June.
My dad has the remarkable ability to fall asleep anytime, anywhere, no questions asked. I, however, did not inherit that talent. Instead, I'm very much like my mom, who rises at the crack of dawn regardless of how spotty and turbulent her night's rest was. Since I'm perpetually sleep-deprived, I'm always on the hunt to find the one. And by that I mean the one magical product that's going to ensure I fall asleep in 10 seconds flat and stay asleep until a respectable time of the morning. (There was a spell where 4 a.m. was my norm!) For years, I assumed that the aforementioned antidote would come in the form of a pill or tincture or chew, but as it turns out, it came to me in the form of a blanket. This weighted blanket has changed my life, and I am so obsessed that I don't even know where to start. The second I pull it over me, I feel a wave of serotonin hit me, and within a few minutes, my eyelids can't stay open. Then, when I do fall asleep, I quite literally don't move the entire night. It's that deep! There are tons of weighted blankets on the market, but I highly recommend Bearaby. All the materials the brand uses are natural, organic, and sourced ethically and sustainably. Plus, as someone who gets absurdly hot at night no matter what I'm wearing (or not wearing), I appreciate that the material is cooling and ridiculously soft and silky.
It's no secret that I'm a bonafide Rosie Huntington-Whiteley copycat (at least where her beauty routine is concerned), so when I found out that she was teaming up with her longtime esthetician Melanie Grant (who is truly blessed with magical hands, I might add) on an ultra-special towel, my interest was piqued. After I tried said towel, the interest became an addiction. Meet Resoré, a line of botanical, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and eco-friendly body and face towels that are the softest things you've ever felt and—wait for it—that actually fight the pore-clogging bacteria on your skin. (They also don't need to be washed as often as normal towels and washcloths.) Ever since I swapped in the face towel for my normal ratty ones, I swear my complexion is clearer, and at the very least, my nighttime wind-down routine is a whole lot more luxurious.
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
My hair is naturally pretty f-l-a-t and without a lot of volume or bounce. So when I heard all my co-workers were all trying and loving the Revlon hair dryer-meets-hot air brush tool, I made sure to snag one the second it went on sale. Because I am neither an octopus nor a professional hairstylist, I find it really difficult to give myself a blowout with just a regular hair dryer and a round brush. This tool is the solution to that. You just blow-dry your hair with your regular hair dryer to around 60% dry and then comb through your hair with this tool in sections. After air-drying for many months, it felt like a breath of fresh air to have smooth, volumized, and bouncy hair that I easily created at home. I can't recommend this tool enough!
Candice Aman, Social Media Editor
Taking a peek inside a social editor’s saved folder on Instagram is like getting a glimpse of the inner workings of their mind and everything they’re inspired by. Currently, mine is chock-full of pastoral landscapes, holiday self-care tips, and all the boldest and most beautiful makeup looks. While I’m light years away from the level of artistry of the industry professionals and influencers that I covet, their works have slowly but surely helped to coax me out of my neutral makeup bubble. Adding a simple swipe of this Freck eyeliner in Martian to my routine makes me so happy, even if no one sees me all day. I also love that this formula dries down instantly, so you can really take your makeup look to the next level by mastering intricate designs. Needless to say, I’m picking up the rest of the color range for the holidays.
I pay particularly close attention to my colleagues’ recommendations simply because they are the best. This brow wax, in particular, was recommended a number of times by several WWW editors, so naturally, I had to try it, too. Like any new product, this takes a little practice, some experimentation, and, most importantly, a can-do attitude. But the results of getting the fluffiest and most "laminated” looking brows are well, well worth it.
Yusra Siddiqui, Assistant Market Editor
I used to do winged eyeliner almost every day in high school (lord knows where that energy went!), but recently, I've fallen off the train a bit with pulling out all the stops when it comes to makeup. I've always been a fan of Selena Gomez, so I knew I had to try Rare Beauty, and this eyeliner delivered. I've struggled to get a perfect wing for months with any other product, but this one makes it so easy and long-lasting. It glides on smoothly, and it's easy to fix any little mistakes, which tend to happen when applying eyeliner. I actually look forward to putting on eye makeup with this.
I picked these up on my latest Target run, and they have been a lifesaver with maskne. I usually pop on one (or a few—the breakouts are real!) before I go to sleep, and when I wake up, the blemish is usually smaller in size and less inflamed. I don't know what I'd do without them. They're especially helpful when I'm running errands and no one can see them under my mask!
Bobby Schuessler, Senior Market Editor
This hand wash smells so heavenly and so does the balm (a great product to incorporate into my daily routine). The two actually can come as a set—a stellar gift idea if you ask me.
Judith Jones, Market Editor
I'm currently obsessed with Prima's Night Magic Intensive Facial Oil. My skin has been feeling particularly dry and dull this cold-weather season, and this CBD face oil has been keeping it intensely hydrated, soft, and bright. I layer on four to five drops on my face and neck after I cleanse and use my regular moisturizer on top of it. It's infused with all the good stuff—naturally occurring CBD, prickly pear, avocado, and kukui oils, and active botanicals—and leaves my skin glowing.
Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Community Engagement Editor
I rarely use foundation or concealer—I like to keep my makeup routine light. But I've been loving Nudestix's cream concealer in Nude 7 for when I want to spot conceal breakouts or little flare-ups. I find that most foundations and concealers leave me looking orange (finding the right shade is a never-ending journey), but Nudestix blends really well with my natural color.
I'm always interested to see how drugstore makeup comparatively holds up to high-end makeup, and I have to say XX Revolution blew it out of the park for me. I was particularly obsessed with its Crystalxx Eyeshadow Palette. First off, the palette's packaging is beautiful, and the shade range is a perfect mix of day-to-day smoky and nude shades. When I put it on, it applies really smoothly, and a little goes a long way. It's honestly a great affordable palette to gift or to test out for yourself when you're wanting to create a minimal yet impactful eye shadow look.
I'm also getting very into the universe of brow products, and I have enjoyed testing out XX Revolution's brow gel. For someone like me who doesn't wear a ton of makeup all the time and prefers a streamlined look, it's way easier to use than brow waxes because you apply it as you would mascara. For as low effort as it is to use, it makes a hell of an impact on your brows.
I was curious to test out Grown Alchemist's Age-Repair Lip Treatment—I've always considered myself lucky when it comes to lips, so I wasn't sure if it would actually make a difference. But after a month, my lips were far less likely to peel, and they were looking healthier and plumper.
The shift into winter always dries out my lips, but Clean & Pure's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm has made all the difference. It applies like butter melting on your skin, and it's so hydrating that it looks like I've applied a gloss even when I haven't.
If you're over those wretched tequila-smelling sanitizers, I highly recommend trying AeriaNYC's sanitizing sprays. My favorite sanitizer was its Afternoon Tea scent, which has sage and vanilla and reminded me of my father's own cologne—an added bonus.
Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
I just tried a few Summer Fridays products for the first time, and I'm a fan. In fact, I'm not sure what took me so long. I've been using this trio for a couple of weeks now, and my skin looks bright and clear with not a flake in sight.
My skin is usually pretty tight and dry by the end of November, but so far, it's been quite plump, which I credit in part to the Jet Lag Mask.
I've been using CC Me under sunscreen for instant brightness, and Overtime Mask (which might be my favorite of the three) is the gentle exfoliator I've been missing in my life.
I usually avoid dental products that aren't sold at Target, but I admittedly jumped at the chance to try vVardis, a new line of teeth-whitening products formulated by two Swiss dentists (and sisters). My first thought was, "Wow, this is pricey," but once I started using the products, my thought was, "Wow, my teeth have never been whiter." I've tried my share of whitening toothpaste and strips over the years, but none have been as gentle and effective as vVardis's minty assortment.
Caitie Schlisserman, Managing Editor, Branded Content
I've become a huge fan of Venn Skincare this year, and its latest product launch did not disappoint. It's basically a concentrated serum that brightens skin, improves skin elasticity and firmness, visibly reduces wrinkles, and minimizes pores. It has all the benefits of vitamin C without stability and oxidation issues, which can reduce a product's shelf life.
This year, I've gotten so self-conscious over the little horizontal lines on my neck. I swear it's all I can notice now in pictures or in Zoom meetings, so I finally decided to do something about it. I've only been using this for a few weeks, but so far, so good. I apply a little in the morning and evening in an upward motion, and it always absorbs really fast. I feel like my lines are already a bit softer, but I can't wait to see what a few more weeks of using it will do!
Natalie Cantell, Senior Director, Branded Content
This oil smells incredible—like "wear it as a fragrance" incredible. That's it. That should be the whole review. I'm a lover of anything that smells sort of smoky and sandalwood-y (Le Labo's Santal 33 scent and Lumira's Cuban Tobacco candles are faves of mine), and I'm already a devotee of Noto's Deep Serum and a lover of oils in general, so this has quickly become my new favorite thing. The scent is calming and sexy, and the oil (which, it turns out, is great for your hair as well as your skin) is light and nourishing and leaves me extremely glowy. Years ago, I was lucky enough to work with founder Gloria Noto as our MUA on a few shoots in L.A., and let me tell you, she's one very cool, very talented, and very good human. If you haven't yet fallen in love with all her vegan, multiuse pots and highlighter sticks, I urge you to also get busy on that front.
I already love YTTP's cult-fave Dream Mask and was therefore assured that I'd really love its new(ish) Dream Eye Cream. And I do. Its ingredients range from things I've long been convinced are crucial to great skin (like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid) to other things (like goji stem cells) that I'm newly sold on. I really don't know how to describe the texture of this stuff, but it's rich and kind of weird and amazing, and it leaves my skin so soft. That's all you should need to know. Also, unlike the Noto Rooted Oil I was hyping above, this ultra-rich eye cream is fragrance-free, which I love because it means my nighttime skin routine doesn't get complicated scentwise.
Up next, The Best Beauty Gifts You Can Buy for Someone, According to a Beauty Editor
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.