Sumptuous Scents, Nourishing Skincare, and More New September Launches Our Editors Love

September 2019 Spotlyte Editor's Picks

While “back to school” season hasn’t applied to many of us personally in many years (short of buying school supplies for others, that is), it still brings out a lot of powerful feelings. They can be anything from anxiety surrounding preparedness to excitement about shopping — and these both apply to the transition from summer to fall beauty. After the humidity tapers off, your skin will be thirsting for hydrating ingredients. You might want more foundation coverage after taking a summer-long break from heavier formulas. Plus, as temperatures drop, you can reach for the big (read: heady) guns in your fragrance arsenal. If you’re not feeling fully prepared, or need an excuse to shop (or both!), look no further: here, our editors share their favorite new beauty launches for September.

Who: Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director

What: Tatcha® The Silk PeonyTM Melting Eye Cream ($60)

Why: Now that I am pregnant, I’ve been looking for creams and lotions to help with wrinkles around my eyes. my crow’s feet. getting injectable wrinkle reducers to smooth my crow’s feet is a hard no-go. While creams and lotions are not comparable to the medical aesthetics treatment, they can be a different preggo-safe option to improve the look of wrinkles around my eyes. When I discovered this new Tatcha option, I was totally hooked from the first time I dipped my finger into the little pot. In all my years of beauty testing, I’ve honestly never tried a texture so creamy, balmy, and pillowy all at once. It genuinely feels amazing — soft and soothing — when I tap the formula under and around my eyes. Like its name suggests, it instantly melts into skin, smoothing every fine line in its path. I’ve often dabbed it onto my forehead for this same reason. And no, it doesn’t pill at all, making it perfect for under concealer.

Who: Lauren

What: Westman® Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlighter in Peau de SoleilTM ($75)

Why: Ever since celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman launched her own makeup line last year, I’ve been drawn to her well-edited collection. One of my all-time favorites is the original Super Loaded Tinted Highlighter in Peau De Pêche — which, as the name suggests — is a pearly peachy shade. The newest hue is a true warm bronze gold; and take my word, it’s stunning. What I love most about this product is the texture. It glides on skin like glass, leaving a smooth,  reflective sheen behind. It blends easily with both fingers and brushes, layers well under powders, and is multipurpose (eyes, cheeks, lips). If I can only toss one product in my bag for touch-ups, this often makes the cut. It’s no wonder the formula makes skin look glowy, as it contains benefiting ingredients such as hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich organic jojoba oil.

Who: Lauren

What: Mary Kay NaturallyTM Nourishing Oil ($48)

Why: Instead of glowing skin during my pregnancy — my face and body have been unusually dry. (The perk: my hair can now go four days without needing to be washed, thanks to a less-oily scalp.) I’ve been swapping out my beauty routine for more nourishing products, one being a face oil layered under a buttery moisturizer. My issues with many of the face oils on the market is that they either smell too fragrant or feel greasy. Since September is still pretty balmy in NYC, I sought something easily absorbent with a scent that wouldn’t trigger my sensitive nose. Just in time, I discovered Mary Kay’s® new Naturally line, which includes the brand’s first-ever nourishing oil. One hundred percent of the ingredients are derived from natural sources (it’s COSMOS® Natural certified by EcoCertTM), and the light formula features a lovely blend of sweet almond, olive, and sesame oils. As for the fragrance, it’s a subtle vanilla — which is comforting and feeds into my daily pregnancy craving for homemade cookies.

Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Senior Visuals Editor

What: Anastasia Beverly Hills® Setting Powder in Deep Peach ($36)

Why: I know that there are tons of benefits to having oily skin — I especially like that I’m less prone to fine lines. Be that as it may, I’m overly obsessed with making sure my t-zone is as shine-free as possible. This super fine setting powder from Anastasia Beverly Hills gives me the matte face of my dreams, plus provides a soft blurring effect. I’m extra pleased that I was able to choose between several shades besides the typical white-hued translucent variety.

Who: Joslyn 

What: Shiffa® Healing Balm ($106)

Why: I’m easily won over when a product includes the word “healing,” as my skin will take all the speedy recovery it can get. That said, this healing balm is pretty magical. It’s packed with stellar ingredients such as St. John’s Wort, which soothes itchiness and redness while plumping the skin, plus chamomile to calm and relieve irritation. At first, I was just using it on my face after a long, hard day battling the outside elements, but I quickly realized it can be put anywhere on the body that needs extra TLC. It’s working wonders on an unwelcome patch of eczema on my elbow.

Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor

What: Maison Margiela® ReplicaTM Whispers In the LibraryTM Eau de Toilette ($126)

Why: In this digital-focused age, it’s sadly become increasingly rare to read actual, physical books. While I try to exclusively read used paperbacks (I know, very particular), there are some moments that it’s just far more convenient to read Kindle® instead. For those times, I spritz on a bit of this fragrance, which is inspired by the Oxford℠ library. Notes of vanilla, sandalwood, tonka, and black pepper meld to create a surprisingly accurate olfactory representation of worn books on creaky old shelves in a sunlit reading room.

Who: Emily 

What: Urban Decay® ViceTM Lip Chemistry Lasting Glassy Lip Tint ($22)

Why: Lip staining glosses aren’t a new concept, but this one from Urban Decay turns the category on its head by introducing a fun characteristic — pH-induced color transformation. Unlike many color-changing formulas, which typically only come in a variation of pink, this collection contains 12 very different shades ranging from creamy peach to rich chocolate. Here’s how the product works: when you slick it on, you’ll see the exact hue in the tube on your lips. Wait a few minutes, and you’ll see the color evolve, because it’s adjusting to your natural body chemistry (hence the name). My favorite shade is LovechildTM, a rosy pink that transforms into a super flattering, warmer hue once I’ve applied it. The glossy finish just adds to the appeal.

Who: Emily 

What: Diptyque® Perfumed Brooch ($120)

Why: I’m not a big jewelry person — I wear the same rings daily, and rotate through maybe three or four necklaces at most, when I feel like it — but I knew I had to have this perfumed brooch from Diptyque. The precious filigree bird holds a secret behind it: a tiny compartment that houses a petite, scented ceramic tablet. Despite its diminutive size, this tablet impressively diffuses your Diptyque fragrance of choice while you wear the pin. It’s a super unique way to wear perfume, and is even ideal for scent-sensitive individuals: Once you’re tired of the fragrance, just take off the brooch — no scrubbing necessary.

Who: Julie Ricevuto, Senior Beauty Writer

What: Lancôme® IdoleTM Eau de Parfum ($59)

Why: I’m not sure what it is about fragrance, but a quick spritz of perfume always makes me feel like my day is off to a sophisticated start. Most recently, I’ve started using this one by Lancôme, and the scent has been dramatically improving my morning routine. Notes of pink peppercorn, rose, and jasmine transport me to a luscious garden with each inhale. Underlying notes of white musk add a richer feel to the fragrance. As a bonus, Lancôme now offers refill stations at their counters to refill empty bottles of perfume to promote sustainability among their customers. Considering I always feel guilty throwing away such beautiful perfume bottles, this added bonus is a huge draw for me. I’ve officially found my signature scent.

Who: Julie 

What: Nexxus® Clean & PureTM Nourishing Detox Conditioning Foam ($15)

Why: While a foaming conditioner simply felt wrong to me when I was first introduced to it (aren’t only shampoos supposed to foam?), I’m now a convert. This conditioning foam by Nexxus uses elastin proteins and marine minerals to replenish moisture in dry, damaged hair. Since my hair is rather fine, most conventional conditioners tend to weigh it down after use, but not this one. To use, simply apply it to your hair from root to tip after shampooing. Leave it in for three minutes, like you usually would, and rinse it out. Your hair will feel wonderfully soft and look as shiny as a new penny — trust me.

Who: Julie 

What: Philosophy® Ultimate Miracle Worker® Fix Facial Serum Roller: Uplift & Firm ($76)

Why: Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with contouring my face — but not with makeup. I have multiple beauty tools at home that promise to contour my cheekbones, and I’m always on the hunt for new ones to do the trick. My latest find is this facial roller by Philosophy. The stainless steel roller helps to sculpt the face as you run it along the contours of your skin (like a jade roller!). But unlike other tools, it also releases a serum infused with peptides to help firm the skin. Currently, I’m using this product every morning (which is usually when my face is the most puffy and fatigued), and I can honestly say I always see a difference. 

[Editor’s note: If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a roller tool.]

Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor

What: Dr. Jart+® Cicapair® Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream ($48)

Why: My eczema-prone skin is sensitive to seasonal changes, so I’ll be babying it this month with this calming, redness-reducing gel cream. The ultra-lightweight formula contains a powerful concentration of soothing Tiger Grass (8,000 times the amount previously included in products from the Cicapair line!), while balancing with a blend of pre- and probiotics. For now, I’ll be wearing this lightweight moisturizer alone. Once cool weather arrives, I plan to layer it under heavier moisturizers so I can reap the redness-reducing benefits all fall and winter long.

Who: Thia 

What: MAC® Cosmetics Love MeTM Lipstick in Laissez-FaireTM ($19)

Why: “It’s not hoarding if it’s MAC lipstick” might as well be tattooed across my forehead at this point. (I own dozens of the shimmering black bullets.) However, I somehow manage to always find room for another tube (or three). The brand’s latest lipstick line, Love Me, definitely deserves a spot in my beauty drawer. Because it’s infused with nourishing argan oil, this lightweight formula truly feels weightless on the lips, while imparting your pout with creamy, semi-opaque color. My two favorite shades are the greyish mid tone-pink Laissez-Faire (a perfect YLBB shade for me!) and As If I CareTM, a mauve-tinged deep pink that adds a sophisticated flush to my pout that’s equally appropriate for day or night.

Who: Thia

What: Omorovicza® Silver SkinTM Tonic ($85)

Why: I’ve been such a devoted fan of the Omorovicza Silver Skin Saviour mask ($95) since it came out last October, I was naturally delighted when I learned the brand’s colloidal silver-infused line had been expanded. While my skin drinks up the Silver Skin Lotion ($125) — a hydrating yet mattifying fluid — it’s this clarifying elixir that truly brings the glow. The tonic’s blend of brightening niacinamides, antibacterial colloidal silver, and debris-dissolving BHAs leaves my oft-hormonal acne-ridden jawline looking smoother and brighter in just a few days of swipes with this jasmine-citrus-scented skin tonic.

Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor

What: Sulwhasoo® Limited Edition First CareTMActivating Serum Inner Fullness ($105)

Why: When pressed to distill my personal aesthetic into a single sentence, I’d have to say “Classic with a twist,” which is just how I’d describe the earthy scent of this limited edition First CareTMActivating Serum. If you’ve used this fast-absorbing “booster” serum before, you’re familiar with its signature herbal fragrance; this ginseng and ginger update will captivate your skin and senses in a whole new way. I’ve been a longtime fan of the cult-favorite booster serum in all its iterations (especially the gorgeous gilded Lunar Year bottle I covered back in February), but this edition is my favorite to date. If you’re not as big on the grounded ginger-ginseng scent as I am, you’re in luck: there are three other limited edition fragrances (fruity, floral, forest) to choose from.

Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor

What: SelectTM Beyond Extensions®($349) 

Why: Let me start off by saying that I have eight pairs of clip-in hair extensions stowed away in my closet and one pair securely clipped to my head right now, so I’m no stranger to this category. Because my hair is extremely fine and regularly color-processed, I love adding some extensions to give it some much needed volume and length. The Select Clip-In Extensions by Beyond Extensions are made of remy hair, blend seamlessly, and have super-thin, lightweight wefts that don’t bulge, making them look super natural and feel incredibly comfortable.

Who: Madisen

What: Charlotte Tilbury® Airbrush FlawlessTM Foundation ($44)

Why: I just got my hands on the highly-anticipated Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation, and tested the new, creamy matte formula by putting three pumps on a medium-sized stippling brush and swirling it on. It covered my blemishes and evened out my complexion, yet my skin still felt like it could breathe. Naturally, I’m already a huge fan. Plus, not only does this foundation offer 16-hour wear, but it also claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time. I’m looking forward to seeing more airbrushed-looking skin in my future!

Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor

What: Maybelline® Super Stay® Full Coverage Under-Eye Concealer ($10)

Why: When it comes to covering my dark undereye circles, I’ve found that budget-friendly concealers can be hit or miss. So imagine my surprise when I discovered a formula under ten bucks could do the trick in a few swipes(!). Even with its ultra-high coverage and longwear (it lasts throughout the sweatiest of NYC subway commutes!), it still manages not to dry out or crack.

Who: Sophie 

What: TonyMoly® Cat’s PurrfectTM Day Cream ($20)

Why: Admittedly, I took this moisturizer home solely because I have a soft spot for cats. (Plus, I’ve been trying to improve my shelfie game.) But my superficial impetus was forgotten as soon as I actually tried the formula. Texturally, it’s both dense and lightweight; the surface is bouncy and as smooth as a pane of glass. But once you scoop into it, it’s watery and cloudlike. (Truly, it’s unlike any other moisturizer I’ve tried.) Every time I slather it on, I’m impressed by how dewy my skin looks. Once I actually looked up the ingredients, I learned that it’s spiked with silk amino acids and milk protein — both of which promote mega-soft skin without a greasy feel.

Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker 

What: Estee Lauder® Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate ($80)

Why: I became a fast fan of the cult-favorite Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex ($100), so I jumped on the opportunity to try its new “plus one” serum, Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate. It perfectly augments its predecessor, completely soothing my skin and dialing my rosacea back a few shades within an hour of applying it. I love that it slides on like silk and hydrates so intensely that it plumps fine lines in mere minutes, keeping them that way until the next time I wash it off. In fact, whether I use it as part of the duo or alone, it always boosts my skin’s radiance. Plus, my complexion feels so smooth that I’m somewhat addicted to rubbing the backs of my fingers across my cheeks.

Who: Cat 

What: Hair Rituel by Sisley® Paris Pre-Shampoo Purifying Mask ($95)

Why: Up until only recently, I was a daily hair-washer. I couldn’t stand how noticeably greasy my hair would look if I didn’t wash it every morning. Then, a few pretty awesome dry shampoos rolled across my desk and I became hooked; and the time saved in the shower became something I just couldn’t part with. But, despite my hair still looking decent by the time I got to two or three days without a wash, I could never seem to get comfortable with the feeling of built up talc and dead skin cells glued to my scalp. Plus, I never felt that I truly got rid of all the grime when I ultimately washed it. Now, I simply massage this clay-based mask onto my scalp and into my strands before I shampoo. It not only rids me of all the oil and debris, the natural extracts soothe, shine, and soften for extra lusciousness on those wash-free days.

Some complimentary products were provided to the authors for the purpose of writing this article.

Product prices may vary from the time this article was written.

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