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 (also known as 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 March! Grab your game face and wallet. You’ll be needing both.
In very, very exciting beauty launch news, Kosas (one of my all-time favorite clean makeup brands!) just launched three epic new brow products called Brow Team. First, there’s Brow Pop ($22), a dual-action defining pencil; Air Brow in Clear ($22), a lifting treatment gel; and Air Brow in Tinted ($22), a volumizing treatment gel. I’m a pencil girl through and through, so Brow Pop has been my jam ever since it landed on my doorstep. This pencil delivers the perfect amount of pigment, and the shape of the tip is great for definition, shading, and filling in your brows whichever way tickles your fancy. Plus, Kosas, per usual, took its pencil to the way next level by infusing it with hair growth-promoting ingredients like castor oil and panthenol provitamin B5. Oh, and is it just me, or does the adorable packaging give off Lisa Frank/Jelly Roll pen vibes?! Super into it.
I know terms like “holy grail” and “cult favorite” are thrown around a lot in the editorial world, but if any brand deserves said titles, it’s the beloved French label Biologique Recherche. (In fact, its products are so covetable, and a tad top-secret that you have tolog into Shop Rescue Spa’s website for pricing.) Anyway, by far the most iconic product from the brand is its Lotion P50. Take a scroll around the internet, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a celebrity or who’s who in the fashion or beauty industry who doesn’t swear by the stuff for smooth, baby-soft skin. Now here I am with a major plot twist: I happen to think their face creams are where the real magic is at. As proof, I recently got a horrible sunburn while on a weekend getaway, and I swear the brand’s newly reformulated Crème Verte Espoir A.R. transformed my charred, flaking skin overnight. In a matter of days, my skin was smooth, plump, dewy, and back to its normal color range. It’s magic, I tell you! I’ve been using it every other night or so, and unlike other thick, ultra-luxe face creams, it hasn’t caused any congestion or excess oiliness. Reducing redness is its superpower, and while I don’t suffer from Rosacea, it’s an excellent treatment option if you do. Editor’s note: Pricing for all Biologique Recherche products is available when you log into Shop Rescue Spa’s website.
What can I say? There have just been so many exciting beauty launches this month! If you’re not familiar with French makeup artist Violette, her brand new makeup line (which has been three years in the making!) is the perfect introduction. Over the years, she’s advised and collaborated with some of the biggest brands in the industry (think Dior and Estée Lauder to name a few), and the fact that she has her own line of products has fans and beauty editors everywhere chomping at the bit. I’m still in the process of making my way through the entire roster, but so far, this roll-on perfume oil has my heart. It’s heavy on the musk and vetiver but is light and breezy enough to become your go-to summer scent. Plus, the beautiful bottle is the perfect tiny size to throw in your bag and go.
FYI, If you haven’t tried Laneige’s best-selling Lip Sleeping Mask ($22), you’re seriously missing out. That said, the brand’s newest launch might be even better. This Lip Treatment Balm isn’t only the cutest damn balm on the market, but in my opinion, it’s also one of the most effective. It provides lots of shine and a subtle hint of pearlescent shimmer (this is a Lil Mama “Lip Goss” level balm, guys), but it also does good on dry, chapped lips by boosting hydration and fullness so you’re left with a moisturized, plumper looking pout. One of the main ingredients is coconut oil, which can break you out if you’re prone to congestion, but so far, I haven’t had any issues.
It’s like M-61 can read my mind or something. I’ve been in a hot and heavy relationship with the brand’s PowerGlow Peel ($66) and PowerGlow Peel Gradual Tan ($68) for years, and the fact that the brand just came out with a version of the latter for the entire body has me running for my bikini, sunnies, and sunblock. I like to keep my glow up all year round, but there’s something about spring and summer that ups the anty. Whether you’re new to self-tanning or you’re practically pro, you’ll love how fool-proof and easy-to-use these handy little towelettes are. They contain key exfoliating ingredients like glycolic and salicylic acids to remove dead cells (bye, sweat-induced body breakouts!), while antioxidants in the form of bilberry extract and soothing lavender and chamomile keep skin happy and calm whilst your tan gradually builds upon each application.
This is the one product that finally made me stop missing my professional blowout appointments. To be honest, I’ve never tried a product from Oribe that wasn’t fabulous, but I feel like it’s outdone itself with this user-friendly blowout cream. The product is enriched with unique skincare technology to lend a helping hand to your strands in the health and repair departments, but it also delivers weightless body, shine, and bounce to your at-home blowout. It smells amazing and it doesn’t leave behind any icky residue (my absolute biggest pet peeves when it comes to blowout creams and volumizing mousses). It’s great for all hair types, from thick to fine, and it will even protect your strands from heat and UV rays.
I grew up in the ’90s, so clay masks formulated to suck the life out of your face were a mainstay in my routine until, well, pretty recently. That taught, itchy, and frankly, uncomfortable, feeling of a harsh clay mask is actually so satisfying to me, but I decided that attempting to such every last ounce of oil out of my skin isn’t the move. That’s why I’ve been so happy to see the uptick in gentler clay masks making their way to market more recently, and this one from Mara is just lovely. It’s a potent mixture of kaolin, sea, and bentonite clays, along with ethically sourced honey, volcanic ash, and Mara’s proprietary algae blend that soothes and comforts the skin as it draws impurities out. I’m loving it so far.
Hand sanitizer isn’t selling out in seconds like it was earlier in the year, but it’s still a must-have in my life. It’s not my favorite thing, though, since it dries out my poor hands, which are already eczema-prone. But this new one from Prima is so gentle yet totally effective with 62% ethyl alcohol. It also has a pleasant minty scent and is loaded with hemp CBD, ceramide NG, and quinoa extract to moisturize and aid in barrier protection. My favorite thing about it is the spray nozzle that allows me to coat my hands quickly, easily, and without the risk of too much or not enough product plopping out like with gel sanitizers.
Okay, apparently nostalgia has gotten the best of me recently because this one is another callback to my childhood. This Ciny lipgloss is life! Seriously, everything about it sparks joy. I love the packaging (it reminds me of the lipglosses I coveted, but that my mom wouldn’t let me have until I was a pre-teen) and I love the glossy sheen it leaves on my lips. The shade Pink Lemonade is milky and soft and the perfect topper to tap in the middle of your lips on top of a nude lipstick.
I’m careful about exfoliating. In fact, I’d call myself overly cautious, because I once obliterated my skin barrier trying to clear marks left over from a bout of hormonal acne in my early twenties, and I never want to be in that place again! That said, I didn’t hesitate in trying this new resurfacing serum for a second! I was intrigued by its inclusion of skin-strengthening and plumping signal peptides and amino acids in addition to 10% lactic acid, which is known as one of the gentler AHAs since its able to moisturize the skin in addition to exfoliating it. I can’t speak to results just yet, but I will say that I’ve also been applying this stuff to the backs of my hands a couple of nights a week and they are already visibly smoother!
As much as I love the ritual of putting on a makeup look, most of the time, I’ll usually just opt for the easiest possible beauty option: a one-swipe eye shadow color, a tinted lip balm, and this hybrid blush and highlighter that checks all my boxes. Created by celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, this genius Blighlighter is like the two-for-one deal I’ve been searching for my entire life. A single product that delivers the prettiest flush and that lit from within glow? I’m sold.
It’s taken me well over a year into this pandemic (and the anticipation of returning back to a post-vaccine “normal” life) to finally start prioritizing nail care again. This treatment oil makes it so fool-proof for me to get my nails back into tip-top shape and primed for all the spring-themed manicures I’m about to try. To go along with this treatment, I also love using Sparitual’s Cuticle Oil and Nail Strengthener, which are made from natural ingredients so that I’m really set to have the best and healthiest nails of my life.
Even though beauty editors and insiders have been singing the praises of Vintner’s Daughter for years, I hadn’t tried the holy-grail face serum until recently. Let me tell you, I get the hype. It makes my skin feel so, so soft and gives me this unreal glow that makes it seem like I’m well-rested when I’m far from it! I’m talking like a vacation-like glow here, even when I’ve barely left my house in 2020 and 2021. Before I apply the serum, I gently pat its sister product, the Active Treatment Essence, into my skin. It does a little micro-exfoliating, brightening, and hydrating magic and is supposed to prep your skin for the serum so you get all of the good-for-you botanical ingredients.
I’ve been using just those two products as part of my nighttime routine after cleansing and it just feels really streamlined and very liberating to pare everything down. Plus, the pat-and-press method that you’re supposed to use when applying the products feels like a very soothing ritual. My skin definitely feels much softer, brighter, healthier, and more even.
True story: I used to actively try and avoid nude lip shades for fear of looking too washed out. Of course, when I got the chance to try the lipstick, liner, and gloss that’s part of Charlotte Tilbury’s iconic Pillow Talk Lip Kit, I finally saw the light. The color offers the perfect flush while looking seamless with any makeup (or non-makeup) look and I can’t help but reach for the lipstick on the daily now. While all three products are meant to be worn together, it’s the liner and lipstick I find myself using most often. I really like how the liner blends in so I don’t get those obvious overlined lips by the end of the day when everything fades. The lipstick itself, although matte, has a really nice creamy finish that makes it really comfortable and weightless to wear.
After hearing my beauty editor colleagues rave about the body products from Mutha, my ears perked up when I heard they were coming out with a face serum. Right off the bat, I was impressed with the sleek bottle that felt like a luxurious addition to my medicine cabinet. As for what’s inside, it’s a milky formula that the brand says uses a specific form of vitamin C, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, which is clinically proven to absorb into the skin 50 times more effectively than other forms of the ingredient. I’ve been using it every morning for two solid weeks and the most noticeable difference has definitely been my skin’s texture which looks visibly smoother and more even. The formula feels nice and hydrating as well, which is a far cry from some of the stickier vitamin C serums I’ve tried in the past.
Do you like your skin to feel as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom, yes or yes? Normally I steer clear of sheet masks but this two-step mask deserves all the hype. The first step is a resurfacing serum that gently exfoliates and then after a minute or two once that sinks into your skin, you apply the second step which is a “milk bath” sheet mask that hydrates with properties like sesame milk. A lot of skincare products I’ve tried take time to see results from, but I was pleasantly surprised to notice how soft and supple my complexion looked and felt immediately after using this. Needless to say, I’ll be stocking up.
This past month was all about building a better skincare routine, which is why I wanted to give Then I Met You’s cleansing balm a spin. I must admit that I was a little dubious when it came to this balm—not just because the formula contains sea buckthorn oil which gives it its signature yellow color. Still, as someone who’s learning about what products work best for their skin type, I always assumed oil-based cleansers would worsen my acne-prone and eczema-prone skin. Not to mention, I am not a fan of hype around products, but after using this cleanser for four weeks, this cleansing balm has earned a mainstay in my skincare routine. I not only saw my outbreaks diminish, but my skin’s natural glow began to bounce back. I highly recommend you test this cleanser balm out if you’re looking to reboot your skincare routine.
In addition to testing out new cleansing balms that scared me this month, I decided to address my fear around micro-peels. For readers with sensitive skin or Sex and the City fans that can’t get Samantha Jones’s iconic peel-gone-wrong moment out of their head, approaching peels can be terrifying. But after getting some expert tips from Nudestix co-founder Taylor Frankel, I gave the brand’s new Lemon-Aid Detox Glow Micro-Peel a test drive, and I am so glad I did. It was not only not as scary as I thought it would be, but it was also effortless to inject into my Sunday deep skincare routine, and I found that my skin was so clear and dewy after I didn’t know what to do with myself. For anyone who has been afraid of peels, consider this your training-wheels product. I recommend you use your favorite cleanser first, dry your face, and then apply this in circles (or with an exfoliating wand) to reap the benefits. I promise that if you can get past your fear and the shock of seeing your own dead skin, this will be your new favorite skincare product.
In addition to testing out Nudestix’s micro-peel, I gave Vanity Planet’s exfoliation and lifting wand a test drive. I have to preface this by saying that I’ve really never used tools around my face unless you count hand-held facial massagers as such. So there was a bit of trepidation when it came to even turn on the wand, but I’ll say once I got over it, it’s super easy to use—for beginners or skincare pros. I found it made the process of doing a micro-peel at home way easier, and for anyone that’s missing the spa, this is a no-fuss tool that will bring the facial experience into your at-home skincare routine.
I’ve been testing quite a few moisturizers as of late but have found that they either leave my skin drier than before as they’re not as hydrating or the waxes within them cause my pores to clog and creates outbreaks. After testing a few different moisturizers, I decided to pivot to testing out cremés and am so grateful I did because it led me to Peach & Lily’s Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream. First off, I’m obsessed with the formula because after I’ve washed my face and applied it, I never have to re-moisturize during the day, it smells divine, and after four weeks of use, my skin has been dewier.
It goes without saying there’s a lot of hype around Olpalex’s products, but when I heard they were releasing their first-ever hair mask, I knew I had to get my hands on it. As someone with 3B/3C, low-porosity, normal elasticity curls, I’ve tested my fair share of hair masks and was a bit dubious about this one because you’re not meant to cake it on like other masks, but boy, was I wrong. After using it for a month, I feel like my hair has not only grown (which was proven when a friend Facetimed me and was astonished by my hair), but I’ve also noticed that my curl’s definition has increased. They’re now bouncier than before, and they’re retaining more moisture, which is a dream for someone who has long suffered to keep her hair moisturized. Yet again, the Olaplex hype is backed all the way up.
I am obsessed with quite a few products from the Black-owned hair care brand Curls Dynasty. But after testing their Bye Bye Breakage overnight treatment mask over the past month, this is my hero product from the brand. For anyone with curly hair, you know the feeling when you wake up the next morning, and not only has your helmet of salvation (aka hair wrap) fallen off, but through night-tussling, it looks as if your hair is drier than before your nighttime routine—it’s one of the top ten most annoying curly haircare woes. But this product is meant to solve that (and it does). Before going to bed, or even before braiding my hair, I applied this product for about a month, and never have I felt like my hair is healthier than it is right now. When I used this product, my hair was not only easy to detangle, and it retained moisture, but my hair stopped shedding (in fact, it was after forgetting to use it for a few days that I noticed how quickly my hair began shedding again). I swear if you test nothing else this month, please make it this overnight treatment; your hair will thank you.
Long before quarantine, I was the girl that was at the nail salon at least once a week. So it’s safe to say embracing DIY manicures has been challenging, but I will say Ciate London’s cheat sheet stickers made me feel like I finally graduated into an almost professional-looking at-home manicure. They’re super easy to use; I just applied them after waiting for my polish to dry and then added a top coat to ensure they didn’t fall off. And they ended up lasting about a week, which was pretty impressive, and every time I looked down at them, I couldn’t help but smile. I will for sure be using these stickers well into the future.
I’ve been on a natural-deodorant test-run for quite some time, and I can tell you that it’s not only hard to find a deodorant that actually works, but being that I have sensitive skin, products can cause eczema flare-ups even if they’re “natural”. And while, last month I tested out Curie’s Clay Pit Mask, which helped de-clog my armpits and stops the frequent flare-ups, it wasn’t until I test-drove Hume’s natural-deodorant that I finally could stop having to detox my armpits every week. I love about this deodorant because it’s all-natural, but I never once since using it over the past month have had skin irritation or funky smelling days—which is huge in my book has made this deodorant a mainstay in my routine.
Working with my curly hair is an ongoing saga, but I think this cream makes the journey a bit more pleasant. It helps define my curls, lessen my frizz, and make my hair feel more moisturized. I also liked how my hair looked the following two days after using this product, which is always a good sign since I don’t wash my hair all that often.
I’m already a huge fan of Moroccanoil’s classic treatment, so I was optimistic about the brand’s new launch. As I’ve written about before, I have a dry, itchy scalp that needs a lot of TLC. This scalp treatment feels very soothing and reduces flakiness without making my scalp feel grimy whatsoever.
Tower 28 just came out with three new shades of their epic cream blushes and I’ve been wearing them constantly. At first glance, they seemed a little vibrant for my fair skin but they blend so beautifully and miraculously stay on all day and night. Perfect texture, perfect amount of pigment. They’ll be my go-tos this summer (especially the peachy Rush Hour shade) and beyond.
I’m such a fan of Byredo’s latest fragrance. Mixed Emotions is a scent that works beautifully day or night, year-round. As per usual with Byredo, it’s such a unique scent that it’s difficult to describe, but after the initial spritz, I picked up on the blackcurrant and tea, which balances out the floralness of the violet. As it dries down, a subtle woodsiness develops, which lingers throughout the day. Expect compliments.
I find good pressed powders to be kind of hard to come by, but I knew Kosas would nail it (as it always does). This provides the perfect amount of coverage and shine control, while still letting your skin show through. It’s much more natural and beautiful than all the matte powders on the market, leaving a luminous glow as opposed to a dull mask on the skin.
I’ve yet to meet a Summer Fridays product I don’t love, this being no exception. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly, and best of all, it leaves the loveliest scent of coconut. My sheets even smell faintly of it the next day, which is such a treat.
Spring is (finally) in the air on the east coast, which has me focused on getting my skin ready to spend time in the beautiful outdoors. With that in mind, I have been treating my face to regular before-bed treatments with my Sola Wave skincare wand. I use it after washing my face and pair it with a simple hyaluronic acid serum. This USB-chargeable tool includes red light therapy, microcurrents, gentle warmth, and vibrating massage to help reduce signs of aging and improve overall skin health. It’s a great way to wind down. I follow up with a few minutes of massage with my trusty Gua Sha tool and rose oil to lock in that moisture before bed.
In addition to hand sanitizer and chapstick, I’ve been keeping a travel-sized bottle of rose water spray on hand. Just a few spritzes will refresh my face after prolonged mask-wearing, plus it smells lovely—a nice bonus since it’s hard to smell real flowers through a mask!
Let’s be honest: I haven’t felt the need to put on a full face of makeup in a very long time. But, I have been loving the minimalist beauty line, Merit, for when I want to put my best Zoom face forward. While all the products are truly remarkable, I will definitely be keeping the subtle, moisturizing highlighter in rotation throughout the summer.
Finally, as a lover of all things aromatherapy, I was excited to try Saje’s new mindfulness edition of its Pocket Farmacy. With five roll-on and diffuser-friendly oils, it’s easy to pick the right scent to set your intention for the day. Lately, I’ve been favoring the Confidence blend which includes ginger, palmarosa, juniper, cypress, pine, lime, and cedarwood.
This is my new go-to for cleansing. I stick this mist in my bag and use it whenever I need to refresh my hands.
I recently picked this up at my favorite beauty boutique, Arch Apothecary, in Madison, Wisconsin. Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve used Oribe shampoo. I’m obsessed.
For anyone not initiated into the Josh Rosebrook sunscreen club yet, it’s super high quality, glides on easily, and the tinted version evens out my skin while still looking very natural. I honestly can’t think of anything else I would want in a sunscreen. Sure, it could be more affordable, but I’m willing to spend for high quality when it comes to sunscreen. I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since I switched over to a non-toxic beauty routine, which is why I was jazzed to hear they updated their bottle to something called “airless glass.” The new packaging helps extends the shelf life, keeping the ingredients effective for longer. I don’t have to tell you that efficacy with sunscreen is super important! The new packaging also helps minimize waste so you can get the last drop. As someone who has resorted to hacking open tubes and bottles when I know there’s more product hiding in there, I am thankful to be saved from myself.
I’d heard and read so many amazing things about this serum, I honestly was skeptical it would live up to the hype. But all I can say is wow, just wow. It instantly gives my skin a glassy finish, thanks to the molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, but it’s also chock full of other good-for-skin ingredients like vitamin B5 and vitamin B3. I realize the $245 price tag is steep, but I’m telling you this is an investment that’s worth making IMHO.
I’m a sucker for any sort of face tool or gadget and these don’t disappoint. I’ve been popping them in my freezer for an hour before using them, mostly on the weekends when I have more “me time”. They’re made with a special borosilicate glass and when massaged over your face they not only increase blood circulation, but they also help reduce under-eye darkness and puffiness, and firm up the skin. I generally use them on a clean face, but the brand says you can massage in serums, creams, and moisturizers to improve their effectiveness.
This is Venn’s latest launch and it’s made with the brand’s proprietary combination of probiotics and prebiotics to help balance and revitalize the skin. It also uses free-radical-fighting antioxidants like Niacinamide which is a huge plus in my book. Whenever I feel like I need a pick-me-up I spritz some on my face and I instantly feel refreshed.
Holy moly, this stuff is no joke. I live for Merit’s Brow 1980 ($24) to fill in my brows, but this wax let’s me seriously shape and groom them into place and they truly stay put all damn day. I’m so obsessed with it, people have been complimenting me on my brows ever since I started using it. My one tip Is to buy disposable spoolies for application because of how thick the pomade is.
Honestly, I’ve never been a huge lip gloss or plump person, but this has totally changed my mind. It’s made with an innovative peptide complex consisting of hyaluronate, niacin, ceramides, and palmitoyl tripeptide, all of which help hydrate and visibly plump lips. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with the results because it actually truly works. I love how lightweight the formula feels and that my lips always feel super hydrated and look surprisingly full after using it. Up next, My Mom is 46 Years Older Than Me, But We Both Use These 10 Skincare Products