It's Our Job to Be Picky—These 35 Beauty Products Impressed Us Most in May
By now, you've probably surmised we test-drive a lot of beauty products here at Who What Wear. 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 become very nitpicky 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 can't wait to spread the word to all of our fellow beauty lovers (that's you!). Therefore, we've decided gushing over our latest fave products should become a monthly ritual. You can expect a full report every 30 days or so that details the highlighters, hair wands, and overnight skincare saviors we've fallen head over heels for.
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 story). Ahead are the best beauty products we tried in May! Grab your game face and wallet because you'll need both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Director
Anyone who knows me is in on the running joke that I don't sleep. Over the years, I have found certain lifestyle hacks and supplements that have helped, but the struggle is real and constant. So when I saw my co-worker Aniyah gush over Lemme's sleep gummies, I immediately got my hands on a bottle. I haven't met a Lemme launch I haven't loved, and these melatonin-spiked gummies are no exception. Not only are they made with clean ingredients and taste great, but they really work. For the first time in a long time, I can fall asleep quickly—I usually take them about an hour before I go to bed—and more often than not, I can sleep through the night. In addition to getting 5mg of melatonin, they're also dosed with 50mg of L-theanine, an amino acid I absolutely love for stress and anxiety, plus magnesium, lavender, chamomile, and elderberry. My bottle is near empty, and I have already ordered three new ones so I don't run out!
My nails have been a mess (read: practically peeling and flaking away before my eyes) ever since I went one year straight with extensions. I'm taking a break from extensions, press-ons, and even gel to get my natural nails back to their former length and resiliency. This polish works as a great base coat for your at-home manicures and is also infused with nourishing ingredients that act like a treatment. It's all I've had on my nails for weeks.
I never thought it would happen, but after years and years of bleaching my hair, I'm working with my colorist to slowly but surely go darker and return to a shade that's more similar to my natural dark blonde. My last few bleach and tones did a number on my strands, so I'm pulling out all the stops to get my hair back to where it used to be. Scalp care is of the utmost importance for long, healthy strands, and I've been obsessed with this duo from Ceremonia. It's not a new launch, but it's been a pivotal part of my May beauty regimen all the same, and I'm already noticing changes!
I love how chic a classic slicked-back style looks, and Crown Affair's new finishing gel is the product I've been waiting for to perfect my craft. It has a light yet buildable hold, which makes it incredibly versatile and superb for all hair types. If a gel is ever stiff, tacky, or sticky, I'll run away screaming, so the fact that this one is water-based with a luxe gel-cream texture makes it flexible and easy to work with. It has great ingredients like jojoba milk and Tsubaki-seed oil, and it's easy to brush out sans water or wash. To get the full effect, I recommend investing in the brand's dual-bristle brush made from ethically harvested boar bristles and high-quality nylon.
This is not the newest perfume from Ellis Brooklyn by any means, but with a fragrance collection that gets so large and, at times, out of hand, it's easy for bottles and launches to get lost in the chaos that is my apartment. I recently found this launch from last spring and breezily spritzed it on my wrist while I finished cleaning and organizing. Cut to an hour later, and I was practically out of breath over how it had developed on my skin. If you're looking for a quintessentially "summer" fragrance to wear this season, you're looking at it. It's the perfect balance between fruity and floral, and I guarantee the mix of fig, jasmine, and vanilla will make anyone around you trip all over themselves over how good you smell.
I absolutely love meal delivery programs. Even though I love to cook, my tiny L.A. apartment has a laughable amount of counter space, and I'm perpetually in a rush. However, I'm also a total snob when it comes to the quality of my food. Trying to eat clean while also trying to balance work and life and all of the things isn't always easy, so I couldn't have been more excited to recently test-drive Methodology's 5-Day Reset program (which is now available for nationwide shipping!) I'll put it this way: To call me obsessed would be an understatement. You can choose between vegan or meat/seafood-based meals, "standard" or "large" meal sizes depending on your nutrition needs, and you'll get five days (Monday through Friday) of the brand's organic ceremonial matcha, lunches, dinners, and yummy, high-quality snacks. The packaging is quite literally perfect, and the meals are insanely good—so good that you'll find yourself wondering how they can be so healthy and nutritious. I officially want to do the plan every week for the rest of my life.
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
"I love HoliFrog's new sunscreen because it's so lightweight and works great under makeup! It leaves absolutely no white cast and really hydrates your skin, too. I only wish is was SPF 45+ instead of 30!" — Hudson
"I love this new body cleanser from Cosmedix! It's packed with skincare ingredients like niacinamide to help with dark spots (perfect if you get those on your body, too), and it makes my skin feel so incredibly soft after." — Hudson
"I take a magnesium supplement already, but this one is perfect to take before bed. It helps me relax and get a better night's rest because it contains three bioavailable forms of magnesium plus L-Theanine to help restore cellular balance. The result is better sleep, improved cognitive function, and a calmer overall state. It also tastes delicious—a plus for any supplement as I'm sure you know some of them don't share that quality!" — Hudson
"I've been using this pre-cleanse from Dermalogica for a few weeks, and I love it. My skin is sensitive, delicate, and reactive, and this is the perfect thing to use to cleanse after a workout so I can remove dirt and grime without stripping my skin. It has a creamier texture and glides all over your face to remove mascara pretty well. Since my skin can be reactive, it's nice to have a makeup remover and cleanser with prebiotics that nourishes my skin's microbiome and keep it calm." — Hudson
Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor
"I am a big proponent of glowy sunscreens, and this one from Hawaiian Tropic has been on repeat lately. It gives skin the most subtle luminous glow, and it also smells divine—like the sunscreen of my youth." — Berohn
"I have been loving these Merit lip jellies. They give lips tons of shine, but they feel super hydrating and non-sticky. I love the super sheer colors." — Berohn
"Give me a tomato-scented anything, and I'm automatically there for it. This soap is infused with tomatoes from the Sorrento peninsula, which leaves hands feeling soft and not dried out like many other hand soaps. It also smells absolutely amazing—if you love tomatoes as I do, this might just become a staple in your bathroom." — Berohn
"I can't believe how well this gel keeps my eyebrows in place. It really does look like I got a brow lamination! The formula looks completely clear on eyebrows and doesn't flake at all. Every time I use it, my brows stay brushed up and do not move at all." — Berohn
"You've probably used retinol for your face, but using it on your body might be new territory. This one targets specific areas, so it's great to use anywhere on your body where you might be experiencing uneven texture. Since it also has AHA, it's like instant gratification. You'll wake up with baby-soft skin after the first use." — Berohn
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again—every lotion should come in spray form! It makes body hydration so easy. I love using this as a quick spritz on my legs before I leave my apartment if I'm wearing shorts or a skirt. It's so softening, and it also smells absolutely amazing—like being in an Italian bakery." — Berohn
"Okay, this is by no means a new product. Glossier Stretch Concealer used to be the only concealer I would wear, but I forgot about it for a few years while I tested more and more products. Now that I've found my way back, however, I've only been wearing this concealer for the past month. It's the only concealer I've ever used that looks like skin. It blends in seamlessly and has buildable coverage for every spot and discoloration. In the summer, I tend to wear barely any makeup, and this with some glowy sunscreen, brow gel, blush, and mascara, will be on repeat for me in the coming months." — Berohn
Kaitlyn McLintock, Associate Beauty Editor
"I was already obsessed with the brand's Exotic Pulp Body Lotion ($14), which has become a staple in my morning routine, but adding the body wash into the mix really brings it to the next level. Not only does it smell incredible—bright and uplifting like juicy grapefruit—but the slight, silky lather cleanses my skin without stripping it of moisture. Plus, good-for-skin ingredients like passionfruit oil, camu camu, vitamin C, and niacinamide brighten my skin and even out dark spots. I know it's good because my boyfriend keeps stealing it from me." — McLintock
"If the brand's Exotic Pulp Body Wash is the hero of my morning shower routine, then this is the hero of my nighttime routine. It has the most relaxing scent ever, with notes of cactus flowers, dewy leaves, and juicy pear. It's the best body wash to relax and unwind after a stressful day; I swear it makes me feel like a new woman. I also love the fact that it contains sea fennel, willowherb, and bamboo to naturally hydrate and calm the skin, while niacinamide and zinc PCA target uneven tone and texture." — McLintock
"I love nail art but hate spending the time and money to get it at a salon. These mani markers are the answer. They work like felt-tip pens, depositing bold color in precise lines so you can create whatever designs you want. They come in all different colors, but this pack is a good place to start. I love them so much that I plan to give them as gifts. I have a couple of friends' birthdays coming up, and I love knowing their presents are already covered." — McLintock
Maya Thomas, Assistant Beauty Editor
"I've been searching for an ultra-hydrating lip balm for a while, so I'm glad I stumbled into this one by Rose Inc. It uses superstar ingredients like rosehip fruit extract and squalane to restore moisture to the lips while adding visible bounce so they feel as healthy as they look. I've been tucking this one in my bag before heading out the door for extra assurance!" — Thomas
"As we head into warm weather, strawberry skin has been at the top of my list to get rid of. I've been using this exfoliating body serum two to three times a week for the past month and have noticed a huge change in the appearance of my skin. Where I used to see raised bumps and dry patches, I now see visibly bright and even-toned skin that's smooth and moisturized. Ingrowns and dark spots have also been disappearing! This is definitely a new favorite of mine." — Thomas
Emma Walsh, Associate Beauty Editor, Branded Content
"I've always been a tinted lip balm girl. Admittedly, the last time I used lip gloss was back in middle school. But my world was forever changed when I tried this gloss. It's not sticky whatsoever and is actually super moisturizing, thanks to the addition of rosehip oil. My lips feel pillowy soft, look plumper, and have a pretty pop of color." — Walsh
"Tower28 has countless gems, and this tinted sunscreen is one of them. Lucky for me, three new shades arrived just in time for summer, and I'm truly amazed at how the Montana shade blends so flawlessly into my skin. It's also formulated with zinc (my favorite skin-protecting ingredient) and is certified by the National Eczema Association—perfect if you have sensitive skin like me. Your complexion will be protected and glowing, which is my M.O. for summer." — Walsh
Caitie Schlisserman, Senior Beauty Director, Branded Content
"It feels like my collection of NARS products (specifically in the shade Orgasm) grows by the day. The latest to take over my routine is this deeply nourishing liquid formula. It's a skincare-infused blush that's lightweight and buildable. It adds s the prettiest rush of color to cheeks ever." — Schlisserman
"This highlighter is truly a sleeper hit. I'm not sure why it's not more widely talked about. The texture is similar to the SuperShock Shadows, and the superfine formula makes blending it a dream." — Schlisserman
"I wouldn't call this a lip oil, it feels more like a stain, but I'm very into it regardless. The jelly-like formula feels great on lips and leaves a perfect I-just-ate-a-popsicle tint." — Schlisserman
"I'm a face mist fiend and love that this one is infused with hyaluronic acid for added hydration throughout the day." — Schlisserman
"I love makeup that comes in pencil form. My only complaint is that some eye shadow sticks are too rough when applying them directly on your lids. But this is easily the creamiest, most blendable one I've tried (and I've tried a lot)! I've been using it as a shadow, but you can also use it as an eyeliner or even as a base for other shadows on top. There's also a built-in sharpener which many people probably miss!" — Schlisserman
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
"This new sunscreen blocks it all, including UVA & UVB rays, blue light, and environmental pollution. You can tell it's heavy-duty when you put it on, but it only takes a few seconds to rub in. It also is a 10/10 in the not greasy department. With my previous sunscreen, I had to use a bit of powder after to not look like a greaseball, and I'm more than happy to leave that behind. Plus, it doesn't have the harmful ingredients that haunt some of the most popular sunscreens. Instead, it has skincare ingredients like Elfdoc Flower and Lingonberry Stem Cells to promote skin elasticity and firmness. I only expect my sunscreen to do a good job blocking the sun, so the ingredient list was a pleasant surprise!" — Collings
Kristen Nichols, Associate Director, Special Projects
"The most talked-about thing from Sofia Richie Grainge's wedding other than her looks? Her wedding-day makeup. After spotting the bride wearing the perfect lip shade, I was curious to find out more and makeup artist Pati Dubroff confirmed that Grainge wore Chanel Coco Rouge Baume in 928 pink delight. As the name indicates, the dewy pink formula goes on like a light, hydrating lip balm but has a buildable color that is foolproof for everyday wear. Since the coverage is light, I've also played around by adding a neutral lip liner underneath for a more impactful effect. If you've been curious to try the viral Chanel lip balm, know that it now has a permanent place in my bag." — Nichols
"I consider The Super Hydrator from U Beauty to be the holy grail of moisturizers. The formula is somehow rich and moisturizing without being heavy or overpowering. It holds up as a moisturizer to wear at night but also works under makeup. It's really the hydrating lotion that does it all." — Nichols
Natalie Gray Herder, Associate Editor, Branded Content
"I'm not one to spend more than $30 on skincare, let alone on an oil cleanser. But trust me when I say this one is worth every penny. The experience of using it is so lovely—it feels nourishing, removes all my makeup, and doesn't irritate my eyes. My face somehow feels softer after use, which is exactly what my dry skin needs." — Gray Herder
"I've been a huge fan of Wander Beauty's under eye patches for years now, so when I saw they created an eye cream version, I knew I needed to give it a try. I love its whipped texture that sinks right into the skin and its subtle luminosity that makes me feel like I could skip concealer. Full disclosure, I could pass on the applicator portion, but it is a nice option for those who don't like to use their fingers to apply." — Gray Herder
"Would you believe me if I said I spent a whole week in Hawaii and didn't get burned? It couldn't have been done without this sunscreen oil. As much as I champion sun protection, I do like to get a bit of a tan on vacation—sue me! This product is the best of both worlds, not to mention it sinks into the skin like a dream. This oil and a very large sun hat will be in my beach tote all summer long." — Gray Herder