This is it, reader: the home stretch. You officially have two months left to accomplish anything you had on your bucket list for this year — and this decade. Don’t let this intimidate you; see these remaining 61 days as an opportunity for growth. One category nearly all of us can always improve in is self-care, especially this time of year. Despite your lengthy holiday season to-do lists, allow yourself to slow down, take a deep breath, and do something for yourself in addition to all that you do for others.
We fully endorse trying things like talk therapy, yoga sessions, or learning to meditate (these all go a long way in helping you stay zen when Black Friday shopping). However, you can also allow beauty, skin, and hair care products to be a part of your new routine. Drop in a few modernized bath beads the next time you’re in a tub to enhance the experience (and soften your skin). Pamper processed or parched strands with a simple hot oil treatment. Basically, make every day feel like a spa day — even if you can only do so for 10 minutes. Keep reading for all that and more new beauty launches, courtesy of our editors.
Who: Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director
What: Victoria Beckham® Bitten Lip TintTM ($34)
Why: After attending a beauty editor event to hear Victoria Beckham herself describe her first-ever lip product in her recently launched cosmetics line, I became an instant fan. Then, I actually tried the lip stain and used it everyday straight for a week. Beckham’s passion for creating makeup, inspired by her fashion line and lifestyle, led her to dream up this universal neutral lip stain made of vegan ingredients. (Two of those ingredients are hydrating superstars hyaluronic acid and squalane.) Using the doe-foot applicator, it’s easy to slide the serum-y color over your pout before it bleeds onto lips and dries down to a smooth stain. The rosey-nude shade is a bit darker than I anticipated, kind of like “your lips but better” — though, two shades deeper. Consider it a posh nod to a certain someone’s ‘90s style. Beckham also launched six lip liners to go with the stain, making the set the chicest lip kit on the market.
What: Kevyn Aucoin® Foundation Balm ($52)
Why: We normally associate foundation with two textures: lotion or powder. This innovative balm breaks the mold and is worth giving a try. It’s easy (and also not messy!) to apply if you use the buffing brush that’s sold with it. A little goes a long way, so rely on the brush and even the warmth of your fingers to blend it in. The coverage is matte, yet silky and not drying. That said, I find it looks best layered over a face oil or serum (for the best of both worlds, try Glossier’s® new Futuredew). Plus, it offers the hydrating and barrier benefits of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and avocado oil.
Why: Hello puffy third-trimester face! If you’ve been reading our monthly editor’s picks, then you’ve been following my beauty pregnancy journey. During the homestretch, this contouring stick has been my daily go-to for creating the illusion of a slimmer face. I run the deeper shade around my temples, along the hollows of my cheeks (trick: suck in your cheeks to find them), and outlining my jaw. Then, I blend like crazy with a brush. I love this color since it falls between bronzer and blush on my medium complexion. The glossy highlighter gets dabbed on the tops of my cheeks for a “glass skin” finish.
Why: I was always unenthused by color-correcting concealers — too much work, too many layers — until I discovered this one from Charlotte Tilbury. It’s truly effortless to use. I just smudge a bit of the fair shade under my eye, and the buttery cream easily blends — masking any darkness along the way. I usually follow with the Magic Away Liquid Concealer® Wand to add a brightening sheen on top. That said, the compact is the one makeup piece that has been living in my bag for afternoon touch-ups.
What: NecessaireTM Body Serum ($45)
Why: This Instagram®-beloved indie brand is not just worth buying for the photo op — it’s actually a solid pick for nourishing the skin on your body as the temperatures begin to dip. I’ve been using the original unscented shower gel and body lotion since my first trimester (because nausea and fragrance do not go well together!). And since this body serum launched, I’ve added it to my post-shower regimen. It feels cooling and soothing, which is perfect for my overheated body (I’m cooking a little human in there!). And it provided an extra layer before applying a buttery moisturizer on top. Plus, like face serums, it absorbs quickly; so if you’re in a rush to get dressed, just use this. The skincare benefits come courtesy of nourishing hyaluronic acid, ceramide NP, and vitamins B3 and B5.
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Senior Visuals Editor
What: FurTM Nourishing and Calming Bath Drops ($34)
Why: I was browsing the internet not too long ago when I came across the term "bathfluencers" — people who document all their decadent bathing experiences on social media. And honestly, I’ve never felt more understood. Anytime a new product launches in this category, you better believe I’m trying it and recording bathtime on my Instagram stories. These pretty honey-colored beads remind me of the ones my mom used to add to my tub as a kid, but these are the elevated, modern, and vegan version. Containing Fur's signature Fur Oil® alongside a blend of softening oils, I throw a handful in my tub’s warm water and get ready for some seriously smooth skin.
What: Dr. OrganicTM Rose Restoring Facial Serum ($19)
Why: I am a big fan of anything rose-scented, which drew me to this all natural serum automatically. I didn’t think I’d love it for much else, but when I smoothed it on after toning, and before moisturizing, my skin instantly softened and looked completely dewy and supple. I read the ingredients and realized I had all the polypeptides, phospholipids, ceramides, antioxidants, and natural oils like passionflower and calendula to thank for my fresh glow.
Why: I’m oily all the time, day and night — no matter the season. These travel-sized blotting papers are perfect to pat onto my skin, leaving behind the refreshing feel of peppermint. Even better, there are 100 sheets in this tiny pack. That’s 100 times I will be saved from looking like I swam in a pool of oil, all without messing up my makeup. Really lovely bonus: A portion of proceeds from this purchase on boscia.com will go to the organization No Girl Left Behind℠, which educates and empowers girls and young women across the globe.
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
What: Sunday Riley® IceTM Ceramide Moisturizing Cream ($65)
Why: When this ultra-rich, ceramide-packed moisturizer crossed my desk, I wasn’t convinced I’d love it. I’m not a huge fan of heavy formulas, and the texture of this product is so thick, it’s close to a balm. However, I needn’t have worried: a gentle facial massage makes this cream melt into skin, leaving behind a delectable cherry-almond scent, intense hydration that lasts all day, and no greasy residue. I’ll be relying on it all winter to keep dry, flaky skin at bay.
Why: Over the past few years, I’ve found that it’s nigh impossible for me to consistently get a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t matter how low my stress levels are or how comfy my bed is — I can’t fall asleep, wake up sporadically throughout the evening, or rise far earlier than I’d like. And, of course, it’s taking a toll on my skin. I often examine my skin in the a.m. to find that my forehead wrinkles appear deeper and more pronounced than on the rare mornings after I slept well. Happily, this new supplement from HUM has me covered on both the skincare and sleep front. It contains valerian root, passion flower, and hops to help lull me off to dreamland (and keep me there until my alarm goes off), while ceramides, CoQ10, and ferulic acid help hydrate, protect, and brighten my skin from the inside out.
What: Clarins® x The Kooples® Lip Comfort Oil ($26 each)
Why: This lip duo is the beauty and fashion collaboration I didn’t know I needed. I was already a fan of Clarins lip oils, from the sweet smell and cushy doefoot applicator to the nourishing, glossy formulas, but the Kooples’ take on the product took my ardor to the next level. While the dark and light stone shades look intimidatingly pigmented and exceedingly sparkly in the tube, that’s not the case when you apply them to lips. The hues actually shift with your pH levels: on me, the dark stone formula looks like a moody, sophisticated berry, while the light stone appears as a delicate baby pink.
Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor
What: Rodial® CBD Sleep Drops ($98)
Why: If you’ve been hesitant to try CBD before, these CBD Sleep Drops are the product that will turn you into an enthusiast. These milky skincare drops have none of the telltale herbaceous smell that often accompanies CBD products, instead smelling of luxury in a way that only Rodial can. The formula is infused with inflammation-soothing CBD and skin elasticity-boosting collagen. You only need to apply a few drops of this concentrated booster serum nightly to see healthier, firmer skin by morning.
What: Alpha-HTM Liquid GoldTM ($60)
Why: Alpha-H has been a cult-favorite brand in Australia for over 20 years, but only recently launched in the U.S. on Sephora.com. As soon as I could, I had to snap up the brand’s bestelling product to finally try it for myself. Liquid Gold — a low pH, glycolic acid-infused tonic that gently resurfaces the skin — is an overnight treatment that couldn’t be easier to use —or more effective. After a few swipes with a soaked cotton pad before bed (followed by my usual moisturizer, since my skin is dry), I wake up with skin that’s softer and smoother with a noticeable glow.
Why: Now that the temperature has dropped, I’m on a mission to infuse my skin with as much hydration as possible, as often as possible. I’ve been keeping this new Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer at my office desk, diligently smoothing it onto my cheeks and forehead throughout the day. The unique, whipped texture is seriously unlike anything I’ve ever used: as you blend out the featherweight formula, the electrolyte-infused moisturizer feels like a cloudburst on your face, leaving behind weightless hydration and plump, dewy skin.
Why: If you can’t get into the atelier for a Hollywood EGF FacialTM with Georgia Louise, this easy-to-use, at-home kit is the next best thing. The kit is pricey at $395, but the refillable serum ($160) and microneedling tip packs ($39 for 10) mean that the cost per use is actually quite affordable with consistent usage. When you factor in the undeniably bright, smooth, firm, glowing results that accompany weekly treatments, you’ll consider it the best money you’ve ever spent on your skin.
Why: This sexy red and black canister is my secret weapon for feeling refreshed en route to an unexpected happy hour. The compact size makes it perfect to keep at your office desk or stashed in a purse, ready to pull out whenever your senses (and hair) need a boost. The scent itself — a warm blend of juniper berries, black pepper, violet, and black amber — was inspired by a photograph taken by Inez & Vinoodh in 1996; the limited-edition packaging was also designed in collaboration with the iconic photography duo.
Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor
Why: I already feel like winter has arrived in NYC, which means my fine hair is already in need of some TLC. Instead of reaching for one of my favorite nourishing hair masks this time of year, I decided to try out the new Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Hot Oil Concentrate on my dull strands. I have only had a hot oil treatment in a hair salon, so I was excited to give this easy, at-home treatment a go. The process was simple: place the tube under hot water for a minute, apply to your dry tresses, and let the six-oil blend soak into your parched scalp and ends for one to two minutes. I followed up with a few dollops of Joico® Blonde Life® Shampoo and Conditioner to seal it all in. Right after my shower, my hair already felt silky smooth and extremely nourished — even before blow drying! Needless to say, this winter I will be skipping out on some salon time (and money!) and giving myself this luxe hot oil treatment right in the comfort of my own home.
What: Birkenstock® Regenerating Oil Face and Body ($75)
Why: Two of my favorite things are now packed in a chic, corkscrew skincare bottle: a fruity aroma and luxurious skincare oil. The new Birkenstock Regenerating Oil Face and Body contains not only the scents I love (prickly pear included!), but also the much-needed hydration my skin is craving this winter. This formula is jam-packed with the brand’s signature nourishing cork oak extract and rich antioxidants, delivering a pampering experience to decolletage and face. In the morning, after cleansing with warm water, I use three to four drops and let the sweet scent soak into my skin. I’m left feeling refreshed, supple, and not at all greasy — which many oils are unable to do!
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
What: Dior® Backstage Highlighter Face & Body Glow ($38)
Why: Lately, I’ve wanted a lit-from-within glow — but haven’t been sleeping enough to achieve one naturally. A single drop of this luminescent formula does the trick. The universal golden shade is ultra buildable and can be applied directly to skin, yet I opt to mix it into my foundation for an all-over radiance. The liquid blends seamlessly into any of my go-to foundation formulas, and leaves a noticeable glow — not glitter — behind.
Why: Rarely do I finish a jar of skincare — let alone an entire set — but this glow-inducing trio was too good to stop once I started. Before I knew it, I was hitting the bottom of the jars. My skin has been particularly luminous as of late, and I’ve yet to experience the telltale redness, dryness, and/or tightness that usually plagues me in the winter.
These products are free from artificial fragrance (a sensitizing culprit for certain skin types), harsh chemicals, or anything that might induce dryness. Instead, they’re brimming with soothing milk protein (sounds weird, but there has to be something to it), and squalane — a known hydrating superhero. Layered atop one another, they leave skin looking positively glassy.
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
What: La Prairie® Skin Caviar® Eye Lift Serum ($480)
Why: I’ve always had genetic eye bags, accentuated by chronic lack of sleep. However, with age, they’ve continued to appear heavier and puffier. Despite the hefty price tag, La Prairie has become a brand I can trust. That’s why when they recently launched their latest “Eye Lift” product, I knew I had to give it a try. And, I’m glad I did.
The dual formulation is equal parts their iconic caviar beads and a gel-cream emulsion, which blend the moment you pump in order to provide maximum potency. In addition to smoothing fine lines and crow’s feet, this power duo treats the entire eye area, tightening skin from eye bags and lids to just underneath your eyebrows. After using it for about a month, the skin around my eyes is more taught, making me look less tired, even on my most sleep-deprived days.
What: Eraclea 360°/365® Revitalize EGF SerumTM ($225)
Why: When I first learned of the Nobel Prize®-winning discovery of epidermal growth factor (EGF), I was instantly intrigued. EGF is made up of small proteins, which basically send a message to your cells, giving them permission to grow. This communication, in turn, spurs healing and skin rejuvenation. While there are many organic EGF products on the market, the EGF in Eraclea’s serum is synthetic — carefully calibrated to improve the appearance of fine lines, photo-aging, tone, and texture. Bonus points for coming with a dermal roller, which also stimulates the skin’s healing process, while ensuring the cell-nurturing formula is absorbed as effectively as possible.
[Editor’s note: If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a rolling tool.]
Some complimentary products were provided to the authors for the purpose of writing this article.
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