By now, you’ve probably surmised that we receive, test-drive, and review 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, yes, wish list–worthy. That said, due to the number of products we come in contact with on a daily basis, we’ve also transformed into the nitpickiest beauty consumers. Within seconds, we can tell if a new hair oil is too heavy and greasy, and we’re quick to ignore a serum or foundation that yields disappointing results (no matter how many hype emails it has sitting in our inboxes—sorry!).
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 (aka 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 new and buzz-worthy launches (as those typically take up most of the action atop our product-filled desks), but we won’t dismiss the new-to-us products, either. Because hey, sometimes our best discoveries are found on an old friend’s vanity or on someone’s face at the bar—true story. Ahead, the 22 best beauty products we tried in May! Grab your game face and wallet. You’ll be needing both.
Meet the brand-new sister formula to Tatcha’s iconic Luminous Dewy Skin Mist—a product I’ve always wanted to love, but in all honesty, isn’t the best for my quick-to-grease-itself complexion. This one is oil-free and formulated with other stealthy ingredients (like Okinawa clay) that keeps my skin satiny and radiant, but not wet and overly dewy. I spritz it on my Beautyblender before applying my foundation and will also spritz it on my face throughout the day whenever I need a reset.
I’m annoyingly picky when it comes to bronzer, but I can honestly say this is the most flattering compact I’ve tried in a while. It’s that time of year when I want to warm up my complexion with some color and shimmer, but I never want it to look obvious or, ugh, sparkly. This new luminizing pick is the perfect compromise—it imparts a touch of color that immediately gives my face a much-needed pick-me-up and just a light dose of glimmer that doesn’t look tacky. Instead, it catches the light in a super-pretty way. I’m hooked.
Kaja has been a big hit within the beauty industry the past year or so, and the brand is known for its adorable (I repeat, adorable) packaging ideas with Korean inspiration. I’m pretty obsessed with the whole line and quite possibly purchased the entire Kaja end cap at Sephora recently, but the brand’s new crystal-inspired eye pigments are my current favorite. I have a thing for a creamy, glistening eye (caught it from my roomie-beauty-editor-co-worker, Amanda Montell) and these are some of the best I’ve tried. They’re foolproof to apply, last all day and night, and are just insanely pretty. I love that you get maximum impact with even a thin layer so you don’t have to keep layering (and wasting!) precious product.
This might be a controversial statement, but my vote is in, and Huda’s new sparkling body potion might be my favorite on the market. (That’s a tough bracket of competition if you catch my drift.) It applies like velvet, doesn’t streak, stays put through sweat and swim (yes, really), and also has the benefit of making your skin look like it’s been touched by some sort of angel.
Celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes recently did my makeup and one of her secret weapons for making my admittedly dull skin look fresh and glowy was this brand new mist from Elemis. (Also, can you tell I’m on a mist kick this month?) That said, this isn’t your average rose-infused mist. It’s actually more of a serum that applies like mist to boost hydration, set and refresh makeup, and impart a subtle radiance. Oh, and it smells amazing.
I am not a gloss person, but this new crystal-infused formula from cult-loved Aussie brand Cosmedix has been my go-to formula all month long. (For context, I have about 10 lip products in all of my bags at one time, so the fact that this is my favorite child right now is telling.) Inspired by the brand’s best-selling Opti Crystal Eye Serum, Lumi Crystal seals in moisture so well that I don’t have to put anything else on my lips for the rest of the day, and I’m also convinced it makes my lips look fuller, softer, and more pillowy. The glossy payoff is also next level and only minorly sticky.
I’ve been a devout fan, lover, and user, of Renée Rouleau’s skincare line ever since I stepped foot in L.A. as a beauty editor. To be completely honest, her products are some of the only formulas I’ve seen legitimate results with, and she’s singlehandedly helped transform my skin and control my stubborn cycle of breakouts. (Thanks, Renée!) And, in super-exciting news, she just launched a new game-changing skin kit featuring two of her most-loved cult items (the Triple Berry Smoothing Peel and Rapid Response Detox Masque) in addition to two new products—a toner and cleanser designed to keep occasional but still annoying acne at bay. “It’s travel-sized (so convenient, duh!) but also the perfect option for those who don’t fight pimples consistently, but are riddled with once-in-awhile adult acne. Consider this four-piece set your new emergency clear skin kit!
Since my pores clog and pimple like it’s their sole purpose in life, regular exfoliation for me is key. Not only is this turquoise mint-infused mask from Maya Chia absolutely the prettiest beauty product I’ve ever seen (seriously, stare at it too long and you’ll be hypnotized), it’s one of the best exfoliating products I’ve used maybe ever. It’s a bit intense and not for the faint of heart if you don’t like any discomfort, but the strategic blend of natural enzymes and acids work cohesively to resurface, brighten, and boost your face with pigmentation-free brightness. After the initial semi-uncomfortable rush of coolness and tingle, my skin is left insanely soft, smooth, and congestion-free post-application. I’ve been using it about once a week and have noticed significant improvements in my skin’s bad behavior.
I’m a little bit of a skeptic when it comes to CBD-infused makeup and skincare, but after trying these really, really gorgeous glosses from the very chic brand Saint Jane, I’m smitten. Not only are the glosses sparkly (but not overly so), the colors also melt easily into your natural lip color—enhancing but not obtrusively adding too much color—and boost health and hydration with antioxidants, botanical oils, and 50 mg of CBD. They’re so smooth, not sticky, and they’re also clean, all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. Basically, they’re the gloss and non-gloss lovers dream. (And I typically consider myself the latter!) For a super-plump look (’cause that’s what I’m into), I’ve been applying it right after Buxom’s Powerplump Lip Balm ($18). It’s fab. “Real talk, a lot of CBD cosmetics brands on the market right now are hype/trash, but this luxurious, top-quality brand is an exception. This is a plumping, shiny, non-sticky gloss so chicly packaged and comfortable/calming on the lips that even the most committed of gloss haters will love it.” — Amanda Montell
“I’m a brow gel freak and have become pretty selective with my faves. Like, why is it so hard to find a formula/brush situation that makes your arches look full and feathered but not a total sloppy mess? If you’re bestowed with already decently full brows, you will LOVE Dior’s new formula, which makes mine look so delightfully bushy but still natural and soft—without getting product all over my face.”
“This 100% natural, organic, and cruelty-free lipstick feels like butter, tastes like mint, has SPF, and is infused with magical rose quartz? Um, yes. This has become a purse staple.”
“One more brow pick. I was DECEASED over how upsettingly good my brows looked after a recent shaping/fill-in sesh with Benefit’s resident brow guru Jared Bailey. His secret? On me, he used their skinny pencil with light-handed, hair-like strokes in their freaking GRAY color, which sounds insane, but paired with the cool undertones of my blonde hair, it WORKED. This product comes in 10 shades, which is absurd for a brow pencil and has a really easy-to-use tip and formula. I stan.”
“Makeup artist Nikki DeRoest, who regularly works with celebs like Bella Hadid and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, recently launched clean beauty brand Róen, and I can’t stop using this eye shadow palette for the perfect shimmery summer glow.”
“I add this vitamin C powder to serums, moisturizers, and sunscreen to supercharge them with brightening power. It’s an extra step that surprisingly brings joy to my beauty routine. The powder mixes in really easily and makes me feel like I’m concocting a more potent skincare regimen.”
“I’ve been wanting to get into dry brushing forever, and it turns out I just needed a pretty enough one to really commit. The Now’s version is sleek and effective, and I can’t picture my shower routine without it.”
“I’d heard good things about this lip oil but was a bit skeptical that it wouldn’t be as good as the brand’s Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm. Now I get it though—it’s lightweight but stays on for hours and provides the prettiest glow.”
“I always strive for beachy hair, and many of the sea sprays I’ve tried are either drying or ineffective, but Verb’s gives my hair the perfect amount of wavy texture without it feeling sticky or stiff.”
“I don’t know if a tropical vacation is in the cards for me this summer, but at least I can wear this delightful scent and pretend.”
“This balm takes a while to apply and work into your skin, but if you’re willing to put the effort in, the results are amazing.”
“I have been on the hunt for a new gentle cleanser to use in the morning, and this one from Caudalie is just perfect. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. I particularly love using it in the morning as a way to start my a.m. skincare routine.”
“In case you haven’t heard, we launched a (really cute) skincare line, and above all the serums and moisturizers, it’s actually the body oil I’ve been loving the most. It smells so good and using it post-shower is such a luxurious step in my routine.”
“I’m constantly on the lookout for new products that will help with my ongoing battle to keep breakouts at bay. I just added this to my skincare arsenal and was impressed by how effective it was, almost immediately. It shrinks the look of my pores without completely stripping my skin of moisture. Win-win!” Next up: The 24 Best New Beauty Products Our Editors Tried—and Loved—In April