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By Marissa DeSantis
Forget about comparison, the real thief of joy is spending money on a new beauty product that doesn’t live up to expectations (kidding… kind of). And with a constant stream of new launches, it can be hard to decide just what will be the most useful to your own beauty routine.
To simplify your next “add to cart,” I’ve rounded up 10 new(ish) products across makeup, skincare, hair care, and nails that didn’t disappoint. From a tinted serum that actually gives you coverage to the standout products from celebrity beauty lines that don’t suck and a manicure kit so luxe you’ll want to do your nails at home, you can add these to your beauty wish list knowing that they’re really worth it.
I have been loyal to my IT Cosmetics CC Cream for years when it comes to my daily makeup base, but the Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum has recently taken its place. Where most tinted serums provide nonexistent coverage best suited for those with already perfected skin, Trinny London offers a buildable, medium coverage that neutralizes any redness from rosacea or blemishes. The real magic is that it still feels pretty weightless on the skin. Plus, it manages to pack in the good-for-skin ingredients of a serum, such as niacinamide, avocado extract, and chlorella vulgaris extract, a type of algae that helps to reduce excess oil and gives the tinted serum its soft matte finish.
Lip liner is one of my favorite makeup products, and even on days when I forgo lipstick, I always use a liner with a clear balm or gloss. Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic has created my favorite lip liner yet with his Makeup By Mario Ultra Suede Sculpting Lip Pencil (the mauve shade Lauren is my go-to). The pencil liner checks off every box, with a richly pigmented formula that glides over lips, no pressing down or dragging required.
It has a matte finish that wears comfortably throughout the day, and it stays in place whether you wear it on its own or as a sculpting color base for your lipstick. The dual-ended liner also comes with a lip brush on one side for blending as well as a separate sharpener to allow for precision lining with every use.
We may be seriously inundated with celebrity beauty lines, but when Jennifer Aniston announced the creation of her hair care brand, LolaVie, I couldn’t get my hands on its launch fast enough. The Glossing Detangler lives up to ‘The Rachel’ hair hype with a multitasking formula that smooths through tangles post-shower and protects hair from heat damage with a thermal shield.
Most impressively, the spray was light enough that it didn’t weigh down my fine hair or leave it looking greasy, and it adds the most incredible shine (thanks to lemon extract). My original bottle is still going strong after daily use for the past few months, but this is one product I will undoubtedly purchase myself once it runs out — it’s really that good.
Irene Forte’s luxury skincare line isn’t new, but it wasn’t until this past fall that you could purchase her science driven products in the US at Nordstrom. Forte, who is the heiress of Rocco Forte Hotels, sources her ingredients from the family’s organic farm at their Verdura Resort in Sicily and partnered with doctor Dr. Francesca Ferri (who has over 35 years of experience in the skincare industry) to create her products.
Like all of Forte’s products, the Pistachio Face Mask is free from common allergens and irritants like artificial colorants, essential oils, and parabens. The mask uses fatty acid and vitamin-rich oils like pistachio, avocado, olive, and pumpkin seed to give skin an instant softening boost in 10 minutes (or overnight if you’re looking for a more intense treatment).
Despite their being no real definition or FDA regulations around the word “clean” when it comes to cosmetics, generally, it means you’re looking for products without potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances and colorants. That leaves you with quite a few options when it comes to skincare and hair products. And it’s even true of more makeup products, until you get to the tricky business of mascara.
Kjaer Weis’s newest Im-Possible Mascara is the first certified organic mascara, and it’s actually pretty darn good. Inside the bold red tube is a formula that lengthens and volumizes using a mix of organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, natural preservatives, and lash-nourishing ingredients like raspberry fruit water, sunflower seed oil, and marula oil. The dual-use brush has a curved side for building more volume and a flat side that lets you reach every last lash, adding noticeable length. The mascara wears well throughout the day without smudging or flaking, and it’s also housed inside a refillable outer case (the inside tube and wand that you’re meant to clean and dispose of are made from recycled plastic and nylon).
I’m admittedly inconsistent when it comes to using beauty devices, mostly because they often come with complicated instructions or require too much effort (and, okay, partly because I’m just lazy). The SolaWave Skincare Wand With Blue Light Therapy is so simple to use that there’s no excuse not to keep up. The device itself is about the size of a lip gloss and it doesn’t require changing out attachments or adjusting settings — in fact, it doesn’t even have a power button, you just pinch the rotating top of the wand to start the device once it’s all charged up.
The blue light therapy helps with reducing breakouts and giving skin an overall glow (they also have a red light therapy wand to help with fine lines) when used consistently for several weeks. It only takes about five minutes each day, and the mini wand works in conjunction with a hydrating serum, lightly vibrating and warming up the skin as you move the device in upward and outward strokes.
You may already be familiar with Bio Ionic for their heat styling tools (which are a favorite among many celebrity hairstylists), but this past fall, the brand introduced styling products into their lineup. The High Speed Blow Dry Primer gets my top pick for cutting minutes off my dry time with just a few spritzes. The tropical-scented spray is lightweight, and it also serves as a heat protectant and moisturizing detangling spray because of ingredients like grape seed oil, red algae extract, and seaberry extract.
I’ve yet to meet a product from Victoria Beckham Beauty that I haven’t loved, and the Cheeky Posh Cream Blush Sticks are no exception (I have shades Major, a true pink, and Knickers, a light peach). The sticks are quite tiny, but the color payoff — to borrow a phrase from Victoria herself — is major, so a few dots are all you need. The color, which blends into the skin seamlessly and is completely buildable, really holds up throughout the day. And even though the formula has a creamy texture with multiple skin-softening ingredients like shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba esters, it feels weightless on the skin.
If you’re already familiar with the Baggage Claim Eye Masks from model Lindsay Ellingson’s Wander Beauty, you’re going to want to add these to your collection. (And if you haven’t yet tried them out, who can resist the Instagram-friendly rose gold foil?) With the same formula as the OG eye masks, the rose gold set features ingredients like camu camu extract, aloe leaf extract, jojoba seed oil, and hyaluronic acid to target dehydration, puffiness, and dark circles in just 15 minutes.
Tenoverten has long been one of my favorite nail salons in NYC (especially when I’ve needed to give my gel-ravaged nails a reprieve). Now, they’re bringing their cruelty-free and conscious products (aka free from eight potentially harmful chemicals) to the masses. The Manicure Kit is the perfect intro to the brand, bringing eight of Tenoverten’s essential treatment products and tools together in a gorgeous, pebbled leather traveling case.
Personal highlights include the nail-strengthening base coat, biodegradable, acetone-free nail polish remover wipes, and a roll-on cuticle treatment packed with nourishing ingredients like jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E. Available exclusively on the brand’s site at the moment, the kit will be joining more Tenoverten products at Target in early 2022.