13 Holy-Grail Beauty Products We Discovered Through Other Byrdie Editors
As editors, there's a constant stream of products coming across our desks. But often a co-worker will write about a product we've never tried or rave about an offering we wouldn't have otherwise considered. To be honest, I'm more likely to try a product that's been recommended to me by my deskmate than by anyone else. So to put all our favourites in one place (and direct you to the exact story in which we found them), I decided to hit up those very co-workers for the items they too found right here on Byrdie and fell in love with shortly after that.
Below, find our favourite products the other editors turned us on to and why we love them.
The BrowGal Skinny Eyebrow Pencil ($29)
"Anytime we do a roundup like this, I immediately think of The BrowGal's brow pencil, which was recommended to me by Byrdie's beauty director, Deven. When she wrote about it way back in 2014 and sang its praises, I knew there had to be something special about this unassuming product; Deven takes her brows very seriously, and I knew that any product that had her stamp of approval was one to be stolen—I mean, borrowed—right away. Sure enough, I immediately saw what all the fuss was about on the first try: It's indeed long-lasting, looks natural, and is the perfect waxy consistency to fill in hairlike strokes. It's now my holy-grail brow product. Thanks, Deven!"
"Byrdie's wellness editor, Victoria, wrote an ode to tuberose fragrances in spring 2016, and as a fellow fragrance nerd, I read through her picks thoroughly and took notes. One standout scent was Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower.
"This scent is one of the iconic perfumer's most loved, yet somehow my nose had never been blessed enough to smell it in person. Luckily Victoria called in the fragrance for her story, and thus I was greeted each day with a waft of sweet, intoxicating tuberose. I think the first time she wore the fragrance, I actually stood up from my desk and demanded to know what she wearing; apparently so did the rest of Team Byrdie.
"Yes, the main note is tuberose, but there's something more subversive and magnetic to it; the carnal part of the name feels accurate in that way. Last time I was in Los Angeles, I stole a spritz from Victoria's desk while she was away. Later that night, my ex told me I smelled just like I used to. See? Magnetic."
"Back in 2015, I asked Team Byrdie to share their nighttime routines. Victoria mentioned she owed her new nightly self-care/skincare ritual to Eve Lom's Cleanser. At the time, distracted and perfectly comfortable with my own boring cleansing routine, I paid no heed. She probably wrote and talked about this cleanser at least 100 times over the next two years. So much so that I started having a Pavlovian response: Whenever I heard someone say 'Eve Lom Cleansing Balm,' I would instantly picture Victoria (totally not creepy).
"I think it was a few months ago that I received a small tub of the cleanser in a skincare package and decided to take it home to see what all the fuss about. The minute I scooped out the buttery, fragrant balm, I saw the light: When I massaged it into my face and toweled it off, then stared at a makeup-free, pleasantly clean complexion, I was a goner. I am now the proud owner of a jumbo-size tub of this cleansing balm, which I plan on making last until my final breath (exactly how I will do this is yet to be determined). I do not lie when I say you will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. Victoria, my skin is forever in your debt."
Kevin Murphy Repair.Me.Wash ($43)
"Until recently, I had been using the same shampoo-and-conditioner duo for years. I was convinced it was the best thing for my hair… Until it wasn't. My hair breakage was quite significant, leaving me with inches gone and split ends aplenty. I read Faith's review of Kevin Murphy's Repair.Me line and decided to give it a shot. 'Cashmere soft' was never a way I'd described my hair before, but I figured a girl could dream.
"Upon contact, my hair felt better—it was soft and detangled, and it smelled of sandalwood. But how would it look? I'd been down this road before and never could really get behind another product. Spoiler: It looked great, but that's not the entire reason I continued to use it. Papain, an ingredient with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, smooths the surface of your hair and increases shine. Enzymes from pineapples (called bromelain) provide nutrition while bamboo leaf extract and green pea protein restore your hair shaft and intensely replenish. The results have only gotten better as I've continued to use it. Thanks, Faith."
"Okay, okay: I know I've compulsively written about this product a million times. But I'll tell you what—I tried to quit it and absolutely can't. Because of the price tag (sigh), I searched for a vitamin C serum that yielded remotely similar results. Guess what: There isn't one. This serum makes you prettier overnight. And I stand by that claim.
"I first read about it when Deven waxed poetic in a love note of sorts, explaining the benefits of this magical blend. She said of the serum, 'The blend of vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid is an anti-aging powerhouse. Alone, all three antioxidants are powerful skin-savers, but together, they boost the antioxidant activity of each other.
"The particular form of vitamin C used in CE Ferulic is the only form that prevents moisture loss in the skin. And it does so while it brightens dark spots and evens texture. The potent combination also boosts the power of your SPF fourfold. Which means it fights off sun damage while correcting existing damage.' Enough said, no?"
Sun Potion Mucuna Pruriens Powder ($55)
"This product replaced my Adderall. You can read more about my journey to find it here, but here's the gist: I mixed half a teaspoon of the powder into my morning coffee, and after sipping for about 20 minutes, I felt a palpable calm wash over me. It wasn't lethargy or laziness but, rather, a blissful, soothing energy that was difficult to pinpoint. As someone who often suffers from bouts of anxiety, this is not a pleasure I'm used to. As if by magic, my focus was restored, and I wrote some of my best work that day. I came across similar sentiments from Victoria in a piece she wrote about the brand. I'm skeptical by nature, so it took me over a year to actually try it. It's an unbelievable natural alternative to the prescription drugs I had taken for years."
The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% ($18)
"Still in search of the perfect retinol, I did a lot of research on Byrdie as well as about a million other sites. I was looking for something, anything that really worked (and wouldn't cost half my rent). Amanda wrote about a new brand, The Ordinary, that launched a collection of serums that promise the same ingredients as luxury products, with price tags as low as $10.
"Again, I was skeptical. How could it be possible that a $20 serum would work as well as one for almost $200? Intrigued and ready to disprove the claim, I tried the retinol option. Sure enough, it did exactly what Amanda said it would—reduce signs of aging without irritation. I'm officially a believer."
"Derma-rolling took the entire office by storm once Victoria revealed that running the spiky tool underneath her eyes helped erase her bags. Naturally I had to give it a try too, and the results have been unreal. After calling in the StackedSkincare Micro-Roller ($46), the fine line on my forehead has filled in, and my skin's overall texture has smoothed out tenfold.
"It works because it gently punctures the surface of the skin with tiny needles, which helps the skin produce more collagen and 'thicken' areas like sunken under-eyes and scars to fill them out—it's like Botox without the chemicals. Perforating the skin also helps serums to sink in deeper, so I've been getting more mileage out of my favourite formulas."
Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate ($90)
"When news editor Victoria first got her hands on this lip-plumping serum, she was instantly obsessed and made everyone in the office try it for themselves. Except me, because I refused. I thought the placebo effect was more at work than the formula, plus it smells like burnt tar, so I was thought, Eh, I'll pass.
"Then Victoria wrote about the stuff in detail on Byrdie, about its powerful plant extracts and ability to swell your lips twice the size for a few hours, and finally I was convinced. So I got my own bottle, and HOLY GODDESS OF LIPS was she correct. I still don't know exactly how to use this stuff in real life because the effects only last an hour or two, but augmenting your lips even temporarily feels like magic, and it's so very fun to play with."
Fenty Beauty by RIhanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Trophy Wife ($50)
"Byrdie Editorial Director Faith is dubbed my 'Fenty fairy godmother.' The moment she handed me Fenty's Trophy Wife highlighter—aka the highlighter of all highlighters because it's the exact shade Rihanna was wearing at her launch party—my excitement was out of control. I proceeded to be extremely extra and ask our lovely beauty editor Audrey to record footage of Faith dusting the golden powder on my cheekbones.
"It was one of those moments I had to 'gram because I felt like a chosen one lucky to have this coveted highlighter in my hands. Besides the hype, this stuff is actually insanely good. The way the light catches the ultra-metallic gold on my skin tone is unreal. When I'm wearing highlighter, I love an aggressive glow that a stranger can spot from a mile way. I don't believe in "natural every day makeup" like most people, if I want my highlighter to look extremely lit on a normal Tuesday at the office, I'll gladly glow-up with this gem. So, excuse me while I sweep this not-so-subtle highlighter on the high points of my face every day."
Assistant editor Audrey Noble agrees: "Whenever I need to take a selfie, I take the Fenty highlighter powder in Trophy Wife from Maya. I've been obsessed with it ever since I witnessed the killer highlight game backstage at FentyxPuma. It really elevates the quality of the selfie and when the light hits the spots I've applied it on, it's so pretty."
Tatcha Silk Lipstick in Kyoto Red ($70)
"I am not a lipstick person at all—I find 99.9% of all formulas to be messy, drying, and ultimately more trouble than they're worth. So it's a testament to the quality of Tatcha's Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick that it's one of the (very) select few I keep in rotation. I was first introduced to it by our features editor Amanda Montell when we swapped beauty routines a few months back. It really is as silky as the name advertises, and somehow manages to be velvety-matte while being immensely hydrating. It also stays put, and the hue is probably the most unbelievably flattering red I've ever tried."
"I've been devoted to the same lip balm since high school. And up until about a month ago, I never thought I would cheat on it. Except I did, and now I have a new favorite lip balm: Ogee's Sculpted Lip Oil ($28). It was recommended to me by Byrdie's beauty director, Deven Hopp, and it's pretty much the best thing I've ever done for my lips. Not only does one application last for virtually 24 hours and give my lips a full, hydrated look, it's also organic and infused with cold-pressed jojoba seed oil and peppermint. I put it on right before bed each night and typically, one generous swipe will last me through to the following night. Also, I'm a sucker for packaging, and I appreciate how perky the bright green and gold tube looks on my nightstand."
Allies Of Skin Bright Future Overnight Facial ($167)
"This was a bit of an indirect recommendation, but I'm going to count it anyways. A couple of weeks before I started my position at Byrdie, I read editorial director Faith Xue's review on the Allies of Skin Brightening Overnight Facial. Just like Faith, I have a soft spot for any packaged elixir that promises me prettier skin come tomorrow morning's alarm. I'm consistently plagued by dullness and dark circles (I blame my coffee addiction), and I was intrigued by her claim that the product had super-power brightening capabilities. Thus, I made sure to get my hands on the line as soon as possible. It has made all the difference in terms of the overall clarity (aka glow) of my skin."