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 September! Grab your game face and wallet because you'll need both.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Director
As someone who typically uses eye creams below the $50 mark, you know that if I'm recommending one that's over $200, it has to be really, really good. (AND now that I've tried Ourself's eye serum, I am slightly worried for the health of my bank account because I don't think I'll ever be able to use any other.) But this isn't your average eye product. The container is quite large, and a little goes a long way. I don't think any other eye cream I've tried has instantly plumped or hydrated my under-eye area—which is very prone to dark circles and dryness—quite like this one. The brand's HA+ Complex (which features both low and medium molecular weight hyaluronic acid), firming peptides, stabilized vitamin C and niacinamide, and more, work together to decrease the look of dark circles and any redness around the eye plus address visible signs of aging like crepiness, lines, wrinkles, and loss of volume around the eye. As someone who just turned 30 and is looking to do everything I can to naturally slow down the signs of aging, I'm hanging on to this one.
My deep love for +Lux Unfiltered's self-tanning products is no secret, so I've been super excited to see the brand expand into other skincare and makeup products. I usually don't love tinted lip tints, because I find that either deliver too much, or too little, pigment. But with this one, I feel like Goldilocks finding the perfect middle ground. I'm super obsessed with the shade Paloma—it's the ultimate nude that somehow looks good on my naturally reddish lips, and it's incredibly hydrating thanks to rosemary leaf extract and oils like jojoba and sunflower.
Even though this scent from D.S. & Durga is brand new, it feels really nostalgic for me. It's such a pure and velvety vanilla that it truly reminds me of baking cookies with my mom when I was little and obsessively inhaling the vanilla extract because it smelled so good. I don't think I could create a more perfect fragrance for fall and winter. In addition to vanilla absolute and green vanilla leaves, it contains top notes of Cabreuva, orchid, pink pepper, vines, cypress root, dark patchouli, and hay.
I'll be honest, initially (because I was not prepared) I thought this plumping lip gloss from the new brand Polite Society was a tad too hot to handle. This stuff is spicy with a capital S, and I don't think it's makeout-safe (tread carefully), but it makes your lips look so shiny and plump and juicy and fantastic that it's truly grown on me. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with it now. Eventually, you get used to the kick it has when you first apply, and now I almost don't even notice it. What's even more impressive is that it's a clean formula with ingredients like hydrating blueberry and then ginger root oil and capsicum for that major plumping effect.
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
I've been loving this blush since it dropped recently. Some cream formulas go on a bit too thick, and I end up looking like a clown, but this formula is perfect! You can start with a little and build up coverage. It provides the perfectly subtle wash of color to the cheeks, and the shades are gorgeous.
Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor
I know this fragrance may not be for everyone (our team is polarized!) but I love it. Maybe it's because I love the smell of saffron or because I can't resist a dark gourmand, but I think these notes work together so well on my skin. Whenever I wear it, I've gotten so many compliments, and it's been on repeat for the past month.
I typically wear Supergoop!'s Glow Screen, but lately, I've been subbing these in and mixing them with a non-illuminating sunscreen. These drops not only give your skin the prettiest glow, but they're also infused with niacinamide, which boosts your skin's radiance over time too.
I got a chance to talk to the founders of IS Clinical about this new retinol serum, and let me tell you, after meeting with them, I raced home immediately to put this on my face. It has a proprietary blend of bakuchiol and other actives that target fine lines and wrinkles and improve your overall complexion. I started subbing it in for my prescription retinol, and I definitely see a difference.
So yes, I do think this is obscenely expensive for a bodywash, but hear me out: It's a really good body wash. Not only does it help support the skin's barrier, but it lathers beautifully and makes me feel like I'm having a spa day in my shower. It also smells amazing—like eucalyptus, which adds to its overall mellowing effect. If you're looking for something to splurge on, this is it.
Kaitlyn McLintock, Associate Beauty Editor
This concealer is so flexible that it never creases or cracks on my dehydrated skin. In fact, it looks like a second skin. I've been wearing it every single day, and it's helped me disguise some travel-induced redness and irritation. I'm obsessed.
I've been traveling a lot lately, and my redness-prone skin is stressed. This mask is literally the only thing that makes it look and feel smooth, soft, and calm despite the circumstances. It's all thanks to its star ingredient, geothermal bioactive water from Iceland. I swear it's like a tall glass of water for dry skin. I know because I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since using it.
My hair has been so blah lately thanks to chemical processing, overuse of heat, and a basic lack of TLC on my part thanks to a busy schedule. This customizable mask is like an injection of moisture, bounce, and elasticity. I can't thank it enough for helping my otherwise sad strands.
Emma Walsh, Associate Beauty Editor, Branded Content
Victoria’s Secret always hits with the perfumes. I fell in love with this new launch, and it’s become my go-to for fall. It has top notes of raspberry, blackberry, and freesia, with a gourmand base of creamy dark cocoa. It’s the perfect balance of being decadent without being overly sweet.
A couple weeks back, my friends and I were talking about how we wanted a tinted version of the Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment. Hailey Bieber must have heard us because then she released these gorgeous lip tints. They have all the same moisturizing benefits of the original lip treatments but with a kiss of natural color. I love the shades Ribbon, which is a light ballet pink, and Raspberry Jelly, a berry magenta.
I love a multitasking product, so this two-in-one tint has been a must in my makeup routine recently. It adds a flush of color to my cheeks, lips, and nose, as well as this remarkable dewiness that I haven’t experienced with any other liquid blush. I knew it had to have some sort of special ingredient, and it turns out it has hyaluronic acid, which gets bonus points in my book. I keep reaching for the shade Heat Wave, a sheer bright pink.
Who doesn’t love these adorable flower clips? I recently bought this tropical-looking one and have been reaching for it nearly every day—it's just so pretty. The white and pink matches perfectly with basically everything in my closet, and the pearlescent finish adds a little extra something special.
One of my goals is to have beautifully painted nails all the time, but it’s difficult to justify the time and money going to a salon. My world was changed when I learned that Paintbox was releasing its own press-on nails. They’re the perfect shape, and the glue stays put—like, it lasted almost three weeks.
Eliza Huber, Editor
I've been using this hydrating peptide moisturizer day and night after serums and cannot say enough amazing things about it. It's so hydrating but not heavy at all like most facial creams I've tried. It also leaves the perfect glassy glow that's then made even more noticeable with the Summer Fridays SPF.
I've been on the hunt for a great SPF to put on in the a.m. before I run or work out and haven't been able to find one that doesn't clog my pores. That is, until I started using this Summer Fridays SPF. It leaves me with the nicest glow in the mornings even when I've slept terribly and works great underneath makeup.
Sierra Mayhew, Associate Editor
I stayed at Hero Beach Club for a work trip and found out there is a stack of wellness freebies in the rooms that you can try. I was pretty ecstatic to see a leave-in conditioner spray because I had spent the day in the ocean, and my hair needed as much hydration as it could get. I've been using it ever since to revitalize my hair in between washes and make sure it stays hydrated. Plus, it smells great.
When Hailey Bieber posted her at-home smoothie recipe on TikTok, I instantly stopped scrolling and took a closer look. My nutritionist had suggested that I try more protein powders, and I saw the brand that she was using on display. Since then, I've tried it for myself a few times, and it's one of the very few protein powders that I've tried that doesn't make my smoothie taste grainy, so naturally, I'm obsessed.
I won't name names, but there is a very viral lip product that has been ruling my skincare collection for years, but ever since I got my hands on this one from Farmacy I can't stop using it daily. It's much more hydrating, and I absolutely love the flavor. Doing this every night before bed has helped me maintain hydrated lips even during the winter, so I highly recommend.
I've tried quite a few hair extensions but nothing has ever been better than the quality that comes from Indique. Among the Black hair community, it has a stellar recommendation and is the go-to for many stylists I've worked with, so I obviously had to try it for myself. It's safe to say that I'm obsessed.
Natalie Gray Herder, Editor, Branded Content, Who What Wear
I haven’t used a hair detangler since I was a kid, and now I’m not sure why I ever stopped. I have long, fine hair, and this is exactly the kind of product I need post-shower. The scent isn’t overly sweet or strong, it detangles instantly, and it doesn’t leave any weird residue in my hair once dry.
I’m a total makeup minimalist, so the fact that I wear an eye shadow on the daily now is bewildering, to say the least. But that is the effect of Merit’s new solo shadows. I can easily apply the cream-to-powder formula with my finger, and it adds a subtle wash of color to my lids. It lasts all day and has yet to crease. A total 10/10 in my book.
Erin Fitzpatrick, Associate Director, Fashion News
Function of Beauty just launched a new line of shampoos and conditioners catered toward different hair types. I chose the ones for wavy hair, and I couldn't be more pleased. My hair can be a challenge because it's not uniform throughout—some parts are curly, others wavy, and still other parts of my hair are just kind of limp. This shampoo and conditioner helps my hair air-dry in a more reliable way and look more uniform. Plus, you can choose add-ons depending on what your specific hair needs, whether it's volumizing, frizz control, hydration, and more.
Caitie Schlisserman, Group Executive Director, Branded Content and Beauty
This creamy eye pencil was made for people like me. I live for products in stick form, and this one provides you with options! I used the chunky side over my entire lid and blended it in with a brush and used the skinnier side on my waterline. I'm always skeptical that eye products aren't going to last, but this actually stayed put all night and didn't irritate my eyes—a major win for my sensitive eyes. There are so many good shades, but I've been sticking to Chocolate Brown, which is warm and inviting and a great alternative to black.
I usually shy away from full-coverage products, but this provided the perfect amount of coverage for me. I only used a tiny amount under my eyes and used my ring finger to blend in. I was fully expecting for it to crease by the end of the day, but to my surprise, it didn’t. It really just brightened up my entire under-eye area without looking cakey.
Aside from the chic packaging, this bodywash really does prevent body breakouts. I tend to get hormonal breakouts on my chest, but since incorporating this into my shower routine, I haven't had any flare-ups. It's formulated with salicylic acid to target acne, glycerin to draw in moisture, and zinc PCA and niacinamide to help regulate sebum and minimize the look of hyperpigmentation caused by acne.
Technically I tried this last month, but I never shared it, and it's too good for me not to. In all honesty, I don't wear eye shadow all that often, but when I do, it's usually in stick form, and I always opt for warm shades because they make my hazel eyes pop. This is a more traditional palette than what I'm used to, but the outcome was equally as satisfying. I went for the shade Red Copper in a shimmer finish and added a dab of Pearly to the inner corners of my eyes. The shades are super pigmented and buttery, and my final look is a little messy and undone, just how I like it.