My affinity for beauty products dates long before my time as an editor. Back in high school, I struggled with problematic skin, so I was always on the hunt for products that would help with breakouts and makeup that would make me feel confident when dealing with them. I was also visiting my dermatologist on the regular to try new treatments and asked questions to investigate the science behind products I was using and how they were interacting with my skin. Since then, my skin has cleared up, but I still love testing and discovering beauty products that work for me.
Between events I’m attending as an editor, products I’m sent from upcoming launches, and trips to the store to test out buzzy items I want to get my hands on, I’m constantly trying out new beauty products. What that means is that my bathroom has become the testing grounds for upward of a hundred beauty items each month. Yep, I’m constantly experimenting with the newest face masks, eyeliners, and microcurrent tools designed to resculpt my cheekbones as well as serums and jars filled with creams that promise to reverse any skin damage I have—and so much more.
After all of the products I’ve tried out over the years, which ones are a part of my regular routine? Ahead, I'm highlighting 31 of the best everyday beauty products I’ve tested and personally vouch for. Whether they're luxury items or affordable pharmacy products I swear by, go on to see why of each them has a permanent place in my beauty routine.
The ultimate face cream
I've heard a lot of hype about this face cream over the last six months—A LOT—and was eager though somewhat skeptical to try it. But when Fiona Zanetti told me it was "literally a miracle in a bottle, I knew I had to put it to the test. After months of using it at night, I can attest that it truly is just as transformative as all of the testimonies I've read. My skin feels permanently hydrated with a dewy finish and an even texture.
An everyday moisturizing sunscreen
I'm very mindful about sun damage and I won't leave the house without wearing sunscreen. To be honest, though, I really hate the smell of most sunscreens and the weird finish they can often leave underneath makeup. This one from Supergoop goes on more like a moisturizer and less like a sunscreen, so it's part of my everyday morning routine.
A retinol for anti-aging
Shani Darden is a facialist to celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Laura Harrier, who all have incredible skin. I've been using her retinol for years and swear by it. Unlike other formulas I've tried, it doesn't leave my skin red or irritated but has all of the same anti-aging properties to diminish wrinkles, improve texture, and stimulate collagen.
A hydrating eye cream
This eye cream is a gel formula that is super-hydrating without being heavy.
The makeup remover every French girl owns
I first discovered this micellar water because I read it was a staple backstage at fashion shows for makeup artists and models. Ever since I first got my hands on it, it has been an everyday staple in my beauty product arsenal. It removes every trace of makeup without water, so it's great for home or travel. Truly one of my most-loved products. You used to only be able to get it at pharmacies in Europe, but now you can order it straight from Amazon.
A drugstore body wash that smells heavenly
This drugstore body wash find not only smells divine but is also ideal for sensitive skin.
The best body lotion ever
Biba is a master aesthetician who works with celebs like Emily Blunt and Emma Roberts. I was lucky enough to get a custom facial from her last year and walked out with seriously glowing skin—but also a bag of her newly launched body lotion to try out. I avoid heavy, greasy lotions at all costs, but this one just melts into your skin.
A dewy foundation
I wear this foundation nearly every single day. I love its lightweight formula that has great coverage and a glowy finish.
A foundation for events and photos
When I want a finished foundation look for events, I always use this stick foundation from Flesh. It looks a little thick and intimidating but evens out into a great coverage with a beauty blender.
The most perfect concealer
I've tried a million concealers, and there is a lot that I don't love about most of them. Whether they're cakey or crease or melt away after an hour, it has been a challenge to find one that I love. After years of testing different formulas, I finally found this one from Clé de Peau and recommend it to all of my friends.
A lightweight setting powder
La Mer may be best-known for its iconic face cream, but the brand's makeup is excellent, too. I personally love this pressed powder that launched last year.
A vacation tan in a jar
As I mentioned, I'm religious about applying sunscreen. I do like having a little color, though, so I apply Chanel's Tan de Soleil bronzer foundation with a brush or my fingers to achieve a sun-kissed glow.
I love a good highlight and swear by this NARS illuminator in the Copacabana shade. It has a creamy formula, so sometimes I'll mix it into my foundation for an all-over glow, or I'll use it on my cheekbones for a more defined highlight.
The tool I use every single day
I would be lost without my beauty blender. For the longest time, I didn't know how to properly use it (and later learned you have to get it wet for it to do its magic). It really does what it says: It's the ultimate tool to blend out beauty products like foundation, concealer, bronzer, or blush.
An eye shadow base
I've been using this eye shadow since high school. It's the perfect base to even out my lids.
A neutral eye shadow
I wear this during the day to add a little dimension to my eyes without wearing too much color.
Very precise liquid liner
I've tried countless liquid eyeliners and haven't loved most of them. This Charlotte Tilbury one is excellent, though. The formula is super-inky and the felt tip keeps its sharpness after many uses. It's perfect to achieve the cat eye I wear on the regular.
An ultra-precise drugstore brow pencil
This brow pencil from NYX is perfect for filling or shaping brows because it has a very thin point. It works just as well as more expensive products I've tried.
The only mascara I wear
This mascara is a cult classic for a reason. There are a few different formulas, but I love the "Blackout version that has a super-dark hue.
For curling lashes
I never used to curl my eyelashes, but then I tried this Shiseido tool and I've never stopped. It's amazing how much it opens up your eyes.
The perfect red lipstick
One of the best things about this lipstick is its versatility. You can smudge it on for lightly stained lips or add a few layers for a more saturated look. It has a matte finish but never feels dry, like many matte lipsticks tend to.
To moisturize lips
This moisturizing lip balm is in my bag at all times. The rose scent is divine.
The best pink lipstick
A volumizing shampoo
There was a lot of hype when celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin launched her brand Ouai, but the shampoo definitely lives up to add of the buzz. I use the conditioner as well.
A serious hair voluminzer
I spray this at my roots for an instant lift when blowdrying my hair.
A curling iron that holds curls
My hair notoriously doesn't hold curl. This curling iron form GHD is one of the only tools I've found that actually works and is easy to use. Countless friends have bought this after trying mine out.
A brush that combats tangles
I have the world's most tangly hair. I've tried countless detanglers and brushes to try to manage it, and the only thing that works is the brush from Sheila Stotts. It's truly magic.
A cult classic hairspray
This hairspray is simply the best. It isn't stiff or sticky and lasts all day. You can't go wrong with a classic.
The most heavenly candle
This candle from Byredo is supposed to mimic the scent of a library filled with old leather-bound books. I know, I know—that sounds kind of bizarre, but it is truly the most heavenly candle with a scent that is warm and velvety and always fills my apartment.
A perfume that's Old Hollywood in a bottle
YSL's Cinema perfume is one I've been wearing for over a decade. The scent reads as glamorous and elegant and is something I always spritz on before an evening out.
Deodorant that feels fancy and works really well
For years, I really hated the deodorant I was wearing. Some of them seemed to make me perspire more, others would leave marks on my clothes, and most had a scent I couldn't stand. Then, I discovered Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist after reading about it on Into the Gloss and I've been a dedicated fan ever since. It's truly amazing.
Next, see the 13 fashion brands I wear on repeat.
Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She covers seasonal runway reports, fashion trends, the luxury market, industry expert interviews, fall and spring issue features, on-the-rise brands, self-styled shopping stories on the best current buys, and columns including The Luxury List. She also contributes to podcast recordings, branded content initiatives, and social media takeovers. Kristen has worked with luxury brands including Prada, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her personal style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, and the CFDA. Prior to Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in Los Angeles.