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 January! Grab your game face and wallet because you'll need both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Director
"I'm not typically a cream or liquid blush girlie (I know, I know), but Merit's Flush Balm is the one, and I mean one that I've become unequivocally obsessed with. I own a lot of the shades at this point, but I only recently tried Stockholm, the prettiest baby pink, and now I can't make myself go back to any other blush."
"I've only heard rave reviews about dpHUE's Glossy Glaze ever since it's launch, so naturally, I was expecting to be underwhelmed when I finally tried it. (In my experience, buzzy formulas rarely live up to the hype.) That said, in a complete plot twist, the results were so much better than I had ever anticipated. Not only did it deliver the perfect subtle punch of color I was needing in between appointments with my colorist, but it also made my hair so incredibly shiny and soft. Not into the idea of a tint? They also have it in clear!"
"I've been staying with my family in Minnesota for the last two months, and therefore working my way through lots of *not new* products I've been sent the last couple of years that have been in storage at their house. On a whim, I tried out a few products from True Botanicals' body care line, and I immediately felt regret for sleeping on it so long. I also love the Pure Radiance Body Butter ($58), but this bum scrub (which I actually choose to use on literally every inch of my body), is next level. I don't typically like body scrubs because they can be coarse, gloopy, and dehydrating on my skin, but this one has a super fine grain and is enriched with luxe ingredients like moringa, coffee and safflower seed oils to keep everything soft and smooth. Plus, thanks to black willow bark (likened to nature's salicylic acid), it has extra blemish-banishing powers."
"Celebrity facialist Shani Darden has done it again. At this point, I rely on her skincare line almost exclusively to keep my complexion happy, and this brand new plumping serum is the latest add to my routine. It's now my go-to move after using my SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF ($182) in the morning, and dare I say, it makes my skin look borderline angelic. So bright! So dewy! So plump! And, best of all, it actually stays like that all day long."
"I might be a beauty editor, but I can be easily influenced to buy a random beauty product at the drop of a hat. Such is what happened when makeup artist Vanessa Nicole Stern used this cult-loved pencil in the shade Limitless Brown to create a "snatched" eye à la Camila Marrone and Kendall Jenner. All you have to do is use in on the inside of the inner corners of your eye (and then your outer corners), and voila. Not to be dramatic, but it's pretty life-changing, and I'll never *not* be doing this."
"For years, I've been searching for an adequate replacement to an old SPF-spiked moisturizer from Bliss that is now sadly discontinued, but quite literally the best effing thing you can put under makeup for a glowing, flawless finish. When I caught wind that it was going to be discontinued, I panic-bought about five tubes to see me through, but my stock is now seriously dwindling. So, when I kept hearing other editors sing this glowy moisturizer-SPF hybrid's praises (and realized that the ingredient makeup looked VERY similar to my old Bliss fave) I decided to give it a go and have been insanely impressed. It makes your skin look and feel so yummy, glowy, and hydrated, it has organic ingredients, it has SPF 50, and it's killer under makeup. I feel like I've finally found my needle-in-a-haystack replacement."
"I am obsessed with Truly and would stock the entire brand in my bathroom if I had the space. I love the Glazed Donut collection, in particular (the smell is heavenly), and this post-shave cream never fails to give me glowing, practically seal-like smooth skin with nary a bump or ingrown in site."
"This is so not a new product and is also one of the most iconic hair products to ever exist, but as someone who really despises the feel of any styling product in my hair, I'd never given it a fair shot. However, being that I naturally have fine, limp hair (and have needed a haircut for roughly three months), I've been in need of some major volumizing magic. I picked this up as a last ditch effort, and all I can say is wow. I curl my hair in sections, spraying this underneath towards the root after each (and then at the end all over with my hair flipped for good measure), and it quite literally makes me look like I have three times the amount of hair that I actually do."
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
"My esthetician recommended this serum to me because it's oil-free but still packs a punch in the hydration department. Spoiler alert: She was right! It contains five different weights of hyaluronic acid for a serious moisture boost, has a light gel consistency, and doesn't break me out. It's truly been a miracle product for me during these colder months when my skin tends to get more dehydrated."
"This New Zealand-based brand was a new find for me, but I'm totally obsessed with this body butter. It has a super light, clean, natural scent to it and it leaves my skin feeling so soft. The star ingredients include skin-repairing ceramides, niacinamide, squalane, glycerine, and hyaluronic acid. I honestly couldn't decide which one I loved more—this product or the brand's Vitamin C Body Oil. I use both sometimes and the dry patches on my legs have completely disappeared."
"I love that tinted lip oils are having a moment right now! This new one from Summer Fridays earns a gold star in my book. (I'm not alone—it's currently sold out in every shade at Sephora!) It leaves your lips so cushiony soft and provides just the right amount of color on the lips. There's also a shade for every occasion."
Natalie Gray Herder, Editor, Branded Content, Who What Wear
US Fashion, Beauty & Homes
"Meet the lip mask that blew every other lip product out of the water for me this winter. It contains these tiny hyaluronic acid spheres that dissolve upon application, leaving my lips soft and plump. I can't go anywhere without it now."
Kaitlyn McLintock, Associate Beauty Editor
"I'm usually pretty picky when it comes to cleansers, but this one was love at first sud. Its Greek yogurt-rich formula calms and cools my redness-prone skin while removing every last smudge of makeup with ease. Plus, it smells incredible."
"This primer is only $5, but it packs a punch. Check out my before-and-after pictures for proof. Every time I want big look-at-me lashes, I'm breaking this out."
"One of my favorite fragrance brands, Phlur, launched hair and body mists. All three smell amazing, but I have a special place in my heart for the mango-scented one. It's bright and juicy yet it still feels elevated and mature (so many other citrus scents miss the mark in this regard). I've been spritzing it non-stop."
"I know this eye cream isn't exactly cheap, but I've only been using it for a week, and I can already tell the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes are diminishing—not to mention my dark circles are less obvious. It's all thanks to the super high-tech formula that includes a hyaluronic acid complex, jasmine and Hawthorne flower extract, stabilized vitamin C, and niacinamide. It's my new obsession."
Emma Walsh, Associate Beauty Editor, Branded Content
"Sol de Janeiro just gets it. It’s difficult to pick a favorite product, but the brand new Delícia Drench Body Butter might be it for me. It smells so heavenly with notes of sugared violet, sweet vanilla orchid, and warm sandalwood. The dreamy whipped formula has hydrating bacuri butter and coconut oil, which has been a savior for my parched winter skin."
"When I received an email with "Drake’s Candle Company” the subject line, you know I’m clicking it right away. I had to test out his candles, and they’re obviously top tier. The scents are all discreetly luxurious and have this more musky, manly smell that I love. I’ve been burning Williamsburg Sleepover, which has notes of rose, amber, and musk. These candles are the perfect under-$50 gift."
"I’m the kind of person that needs to have my essentials with me at all times. This clear pouch keeps every single one of my must-haves (like lip balm, lotion, perfume, deodorant, and more) organized and accessible in my purse. I honestly don’t know how I lived without it before."
"If you want an affordable product that sparks joy, look no further. Native’s Girl Scouts collection is the nostalgic collaboration of my dreams. All of the scents are so yummy, but I’ve really been loving the Trefoils one. The shortbread scent smells like sweet vanilla, zesty lemon, and rich buttercream. The collection of body washes, lotions, deodorants, and hair products also come in Coconut Caramel, Thin Mints, Lemon, and Peanut Butter scents."
Emma Hughes, Associate Social Media Editor
"I’m finally diving into the world of scalp care, and this rosemary oil is seriously making me wish I had started sooner. Once a week, I’ll apply the oil along with a nourishing hair mask and let it sit for at least a few hours. My scalp (which can get dry and itchy during the winter months) already feels more soothed."
"My in-the-know beauty industry friend told me about this new toothpaste, and as someone who feels strangely passionate about oral care, I was intrigued. These toothpastes are fluoride-free and support enamel health; they come in unique and (may I say delicious) flavors; and the whitening version keeps my teeth looking bright.
"I repurchased this hair mask during my last salon visit, and let me just tell you, it has elevated my shower experience. My hair is especially fragile right now (thanks to color treatment and heat styling), and this mask makes it feel thick, soft, and luminous. Plus, it has an herbaceous, spa-like scent that lingers on my hair all day."
Eliza Huber, Editor
"I am obsessed with this product. I saw it first in a travel what's in your bag video on Taylor Hill's TikTok where she said it was a makeup artist's go-to product because it has so many different uses and lasts forever. And after trying it, I totally get it. I like to put it under my eyes at night in the winter to keep that notoriously dry area moisturized, but I also use it as hand cream and lip balm."
Caitie Schlisserman, Group Executive Director, Branded Content and Beauty
"I love a multi-use product—especially in a limited edition heart-shaped package—and this lip and cheek balm does not disappoint. I'm very into the color "hearts content", it's the perfect cool-pink that gives major Barbie vibes. I've been using it on my lips nonstop and have found that using my fingers (over a brush) to apply a little to the apples of my cheeks is the way to go."
"If you haven’t tried this yet, rush to Sephora to get yourself a bottle. The texture is unbelievably smooth and milky and provides insane hydration. My skin has been drinking it up! If you’re like me and get a little nervous trying skincare with such a milky texture, I promise you this won’t leave your skin feeling sticky at all. It’s been perfect for layering and I’ve been using it before applying my makeup."
"I love the winter but hate what it does to my hair. I usually let my hair air dry but occasionally I want to use a hot tool and this has really changed the game for me. It leaves my hair looking sleek and smooth and as if I've gotten a professional blowout. And this is coming from someone who is admittedly terrible at hair!"
"I'm a Brow Freeze wax stan but this has taken its place. I love that it's a gel-wax hybrid and still provides the hold I love but doesn't feel as drying as the wax formula."
"I'm very into this styling cream because it not only helps give me a sleek pulled-back hairstyle and helps tame frizziness, but it also enhances my wavy hair when I use it after the shower. Plus it smells delicious."
Michaela Bushkin, Fashion Director, Branded Content
Fashion, Beauty, Homes
"I went on a beach vacation earlier this month and since it's the middle of winter I arrived without any trace of glowiness to my skin. To make up for it, I used these illuminator drops on my face daily for a subtle, sunkissed look."
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.