Despite the catastrophic, historic, absolutely wonky year that was 2020, team Fashionista still found some time to test a lot (no, like a lot) of makeup, skin-care, fragrance, hair and wellness products. Perhaps it helped us escape the news cycle... or maybe we just had a whole lot of extra at-home time on our hands.
But here's the upside: We discovered quite a few products we really, truly love — and now we've compiled all 317 (!) of 'em here for you to peruse should you, too, have a whole lot of extra at-home time on your hands.
The year started on a high, hopeful note, with team Fashionista finding a handful of dreamy new favorite lip colors, a miraculously quick-drying nail polish and *lots* of intensive moisturizers (for hair, body and face).
Back in February — blissfully ignorant February! — we tried a face mask that gives us "angel" skin and a makeup brush that's the next best thing to having legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath herself on hand.
July got us acquainted with a remarkable aluminum-free deodorant that really works, a moisturizing hand sanitizer (in super-cute packaging!) and a handful of summery fragrances and candles that brought a bit of escapism to our lives.
In August, we tested an exfoliator that doesn't irritate, a lymphatic drainage tool that had several beauty editors (and our beauty director) hooked and a peppy nail polish color perfect for the dog days of summer.
For many, Nordstrom beauty counters are a haven for luxurious staple products. When direct deposit hits, you'll find us immediately transferring all of those funds directly into replenishing old favorites from the likes of Chanel, Lancome, and Giorgio Armani. But Nordstrom isn't just your chic aunt's department store anymore - you can also find new, upstart brands debuting on its shelves. Whether you're looking for skin care, hair care, makeup, and even wellness needs, Nordstrom truly has some unique and underrated finds. Need a good start? We found the 42 best Nordstrom beauty products you may have not tried yet, such as CDB-infused skin and body care and some seriously stunning makeup. - Additional reporting by Alaina Demopoulos Related: 2021 is Already Brimming With Skin-Care Products - Here Are Our 30 Favorites So Far
ANISA Beauty makes makeup and skincare brushes designed to elevate and simplify your beauty routines. All of its products, including its brush cleaners, are vegan, cruelty-free and responsibly made. What touches your face matters, so take charge of your skin with ANISA Beauty! Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
Valentine's Day is a celebration of the person that you care about, and if that person loves beauty products, boy, have we got the list for you. Between lipsticks wrapped in luxurious containers, shimmery eye shadow palettes, and seductive fragrances, we've got the ultimate beauty picks to shop for your valentine (and we won't judge if that person happens to be yourself). In fact, we think you'll either buy two of each or keep some to yourself (no judgment whatsoever!). Go ahead and spoil the beauty enthusiasts in your life. - Additional reporting by Jesa Calaor Related: 2021's Biggest Eye-Makeup Trends Took My Smize Game to the Next Level
Pinterest recently predicted that "skinimalism" - the happy medium between minimal makeup and your bare skin - would be one of 2021's top beauty trends, and considering more people have been paring back their beauty routines, we'd say the forecast is spot-on. To get in on the trend would mean finding a product that adds a hint of coverage while letting your real skin peek through. That's where "skin tints" come in. Of course, it doesn't have to be labeled that way on the bottle (although many brands have started releasing their own versions of the perfect skin tint). It can also come in the form of BB cream, a tinted moisturizer, or even your own concoction of foundation mixed with a serum or moisturizer. "As we're continuing to work from home, full-coverage foundation just isn't necessary." No matter the formula, makeup artists predict this will be the next wave of base makeup for the foreseeable future: "As we're continuing to work from home, full-coverage foundation just isn't necessary," makeup artist Cara Lovello told POPSUGAR. "If you have a Zoom call, try mixing your foundation with a primer to create your own tinted moisturizer." It's true that spending less time in public and social settings has inspired many people to take a break from heavier makeup and instead use lightweight options that enhance the skin while still looking natural. A tint is the perfect alternative if you want something double-duty that can hydrate but also lend a little coverage during your workday. To create your own, Lovello recommends using a primer with a skin-healthy formula like the Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer ($39). If DIY-ing products isn't your thing, head over here to check out some of our favorite skin tints on the market. - Additional reporting by Anvita Reddy
At the moment, we're not going lots of places, but we're still shopping for makeup. Makeup makes us happy; it's fun, it's playful, and at the end of the day, it's not for anyone else but us. Some of our priorities have shifted, meaning we're looking more for a gorgeous, glowy foundation or tinted moisturizer and a soft, creamy blush that's easy to apply. Plus, lots of lip products. If you're looking for some new makeup, all the great new products are at Sephora. But, are you surprised? Whether you're looking for the latest Fenty Beauty picks or the lip gloss you won't want to take off, these 17 products are what's new and now at Sephora. Plus, if you've been eyeing the soap brow trend, there's a product to help you achieve the look. Keep on reading to shop our picks. Related: Sephora Has All the Skin Care We're Searching For in 2021
The Ordinary has amassed millions of diehard fans worldwide since its launch in 2016, and for good reason. Whether you love the buzzy niacinamide serum or always stock up on the dermatologist-approved retinoid, there's no denying each and every product has a cult following — and it's all thanks to the proven results, Instagram-worthy dropper bottles, and, of course, the affordable price tags. After all, good skin shouldn't be a luxury.Considering the success of its skin care, it made sense for the brand to branch out into makeup with The Ordinary Colours. The Serum Foundation (which is super lightweight and breathable) and Coverage Foundation (which lends a more seamless finish) soon followed, but there was one product missing: concealer. Until now, that is.This week, The Ordinary added the High Coverage Formula Concealer to the Colours family, and Refinery29 UK's editors were among the very first people to try it ahead of the launch. Priced at $5.80, the concealers boast 36 shades which correspond to the foundation collection, making it easier to find your match, with 15 additional shades to come later this year."People who are already users of The Ordinary Colours Foundations will be able to match their concealer shade to their existing foundation shade," says Prudvi Kaka, chief scientific officer at Deciem. "As the formulation is slightly different for concealer, the shade may look different from the foundation before application but will match once applied to the skin. Our concealer shades have been created to be very slightly lighter than the foundation shades since our research pointed to this as preference."As the name suggests, the product is highly pigmented, so it's perfect for cloaking acne scars, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and other complexion concerns. "It's a highly moveable, flexible formula with a good amount of slip," says Prudvi. "We wanted to create a dual-purpose formula that could be used both to conceal blemishes and also in the under-eye area."There's a big focus on undertone, too. "Undertone is an important consideration to ensure that shades do not look flat on the skin," says Prudvi. "Our shades are divided into four categories: 1 for fair to lighter tones; 2 for medium tones; 3 for dark/deep tones; and 4 for deeper tones." A letter is also added to the shade code to identify the undertone. "P (pink) and R (red) indicate cool undertones," says Prudvi. "N indicates a neutral undertone and Y (yellow) indicates a warm undertone."The brand also looked at the pesky makeup mishap that is oxidization (when your makeup changes color throughout the day) to make sure every shade was perfect even after hours of wear. "We tested the shades across a large group of people, taking feedback over the course of a full day, to ensure that the undertones remained suitable throughout long wear of the formula," says Prudvi.Everything sounds great — but should you stockpile The Ordinary's new concealer before it inevitably sells out? Ahead, six R29 UK staffers share their honest thoughts.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor, Refinery29 UK"When it comes to skin care, The Ordinary is my go-to. In particular, I’m a big fan of their lactic acid and retinol serum, both of which keep my skin clear. I love makeup, but during the pandemic I’ve sidelined heavy foundation in favor of a swipe of concealer over my acne scars, so I jumped at the chance to be one of the first beauty editors to try this. It's non-comedogenic (so less likely to clog pores) and the texture is great. It’s really creamy and velvety, and blends so easily with fingers or a fluffy brush.I often struggle with concealer for my olive skin (they're often too pink or too orange) but this tucked away patches of hyperpigmentation and red acne scars and my faint dark circles really well and didn’t leave behind a chalky or powdery finish, like some highly pigmented concealers can. I tried shade 2.0 YG. It’s like a second skin. While it did eventually collect in my fine lines after hours of wear, in all honesty even the most luxury makeup does, so I can’t fault it there. I wish the tube was a bit bigger, though."The Ordinary Concealer in 2.0YG, $, available at Beauty BayAlicia Lansom, Editorial Assistant, Refinery29 UK"Annoyingly I have quite dry skin around my eyes, which means thick concealers like this tend to settle badly around my under-eyes. While The Ordinary Fluid Primer definitely helped create some slick, it still meant that I had creases and visible texture around my eyes after applying. Once I changed tack and used the product as a spot concealer I started seeing better results. In the end, I found the product was best used as a finishing concealer applied with a tiny precision brush (it worked great around my dark lip color). I would use it again in that capacity, but I need something more moisturizing for my dark circles."The Ordinary Concealer in 1.2Y, $, available at Cult BeautyJessica Morgan, Staff Writer, Refinery29 UK "The Ordinary's skin-care range has been a firm favorite of mine since its launch and has continued to lure me in with every newcomer. So when I heard that the brand was launching a concealer, I squealed with excitement because I love the foundation; it’s lightweight, not oily, and it lasts. When it comes to concealer, I quite like the dewy look and often reach for my Giorgio Armani concealer, which I mix with a bit of La Mer eye cream to ensure that the delicate skin under my eyes doesn't flake off by the end of the day. I was really pleased that I didn’t need to add eye cream to The Ordinary concealer because it had the right creamy consistency.I used shade 3.0 Y (medium dark with yellow undertones) for my eyes, bridge of my nose, and the pesky spot that appeared this month. 2.1 Y is a little lighter, so I dabbed a small amount over the 3.0 Y for a more brightened look. It didn’t feel cakey at all — it actually looked like I had just had under-eye trough filler, which I am seriously overdue for. If this concealer continues to fix my eye bags, it’ll save me having to get filler every few years! I had really high expectations for this concealer as I love the makeup line so much and it did not disappoint. For the cost and natural look that I always hope to achieve, you honestly can’t go wrong. My only gripe is that I wish the tube were bigger but I’ll definitely be buying these in bulk." The Ordinary Concealer in 3.0Y, $, available at Cult BeautyKristine Romano, Photo & Design Assistant, Refinery29 UK"I don’t often switch up my beauty products, especially if I’ve found something that works. I’ve been loyal to my Maybelline Eraser concealer for quite a few years now but I’ll admit I was very curious to try The Ordinary’s new concealer. I haven’t tried any of their makeup, but the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum has been part of my skin-care routine since I first tried it. The concealer tube is small but I found that a little goes a long way. It blended quite seamlessly with my sponge, covering up my dark circles and evening out areas where I experience some redness. It did struggle a bit around my nose (where my skin is more dry) but no more than my usual concealer."The Ordinary Concealer in 2.0N, $, available at Cult BeautyLaurene Mpia, Production Manager, Refinery29 UK"I actually don't own any of The Ordinary's skin-care products, even though I am well aware of their success. In terms of makeup, because I do not wear foundation, my concealer needs to be on point (I currently use the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer). So of course I was very excited to try the new The Ordinary concealer. The best tint for my skin is 3.2 N and I have to say, it was spot on. The texture is perfect: not too heavy, slightly velvety, and it highlighted my under-eyes when I applied it with a Beautyblender, as though I'd woken up with a fresh face. On top of that, it looks very natural. I am usually very picky when it comes to trying new products and I have been using the same skin care and following the same beauty routine for years. However, I am seriously considering adding this concealer to my routine, especially in the summer when I want something light on my face and want to look fresh."The Ordinary Concealer in 3.2N, $, available at Cult BeautySadhbh O’Sullivan, Health & Living Writer, Refinery29 UK"Like Jacqueline, I’m a big fan of The Ordinary’s skin care. I have PCOS and reckoned with cystic acne for the majority of my 20s. While The Ordinary didn’t stop the cystic acne itself, it’s helped majorly with my subclinical acne (Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%), texture (Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%), and redness (Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%). I haven’t had as much success with their makeup, though — I found the foundation didn’t work on my skin, which seems to respond well to BB cream only. I had high hopes for the concealer, though.I tried the high-coverage formula in the shade 2.0 N. I’m not much of a skin makeup wearer even in the pre-COVID days, so I’m always surprised by how thick skin makeup can be, but I didn’t mind the consistency. I didn’t have a clean brush so I blended it in with my fingers and found the shade match to be surprisingly good. I have lots of different pigments in my skin from scarring and hyperpigmentation so it can be hard to get a good match. I focused it mainly on my cheeks — my biggest site of scarring and redness — and found it fairly easy to blend. It didn’t completely cover my skin to make it look like I don’t have any scarring at all, but I actually prefer that. It just softened the effect and faded a particularly dark red spot into my skin.All in all, I like it and will use again. I think it’s a good concealer for 'problem' areas but not for pre-existing spots or dryness, as it did emphasize my skin texture in that sense."The Ordinary Concealer in 1.2P, $, available at Beauty BayLike what you see? 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As a beauty editor, I'm lucky enough to try hundreds of products, so I like to think I've nailed how to sort the good from the not so good. But when it comes to achieving skin I'm personally happy with, it isn't solely about the cleansers, moisturizers, and serums that line my #shelfie. I have combination skin, which is prone to oiliness (and subsequently the odd acne cluster), as well as drier patches exacerbated by winter weather. Over the years, I've discovered that it's the little tricks I've incorporated into my a.m. to p.m. routine which tend to keep my skin in check, and mostly they're quick, easy, and affordable.From avoiding cleansing in the shower to getting rid of my eye cream stash, click through to discover six tweaks that helped me uncover my best skin ever.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Ditching Eye CreamWhile eye creams are great at smoothing over dry skin and temporarily plumping out fine lines and wrinkles, in my experience, that's pretty much it. In fact, it's difficult to treat eye "bags" and dark circles with an eye cream. "If dark circles are due to a loss of facial fat underneath the eye, then no amount of topical eye cream will reduce the appearance of the shadow, which may develop," consultant dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto recently told Refinery29. "This is because treatments such as eye creams, balms, or lotions are unable to penetrate deep enough into the skin." That hasn't stopped beauty brands from launching countless luxury eye creams and thickly textured eye balms, but personally all they've ever done is leave me with puffy lids in the morning or clog my pores, leading to milia (tiny white bumps underneath the surface of the skin that resemble whiteheads). So I decided to cut eye cream from my skin-care routine to see if it would make a difference, and I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of completely overloading my skin and layering an eye cream under my face cream, I now simply apply my trusty moisturizer (currently the Humanrace Humidifying Cream) all over my lids, paying special attention to my under-eyes. Since doing so, I've had no trouble with puffiness or blocked pores and the skin around my eyes is still supple and soft. In other words, a good moisturizer is just as effective as eye cream. Look out for ingredients like ceramides (which repair dry, damaged skin) and hyaluronic acid for a hydrating boost. Of course, skin care is all about personal preference. For me, less is more, and that's definitely true for eye cream.Cutting Back On AcidsAlpha-hydroxy acids (or AHAs) are incredibly popular in skin care, especially glycolic and lactic acid. They exfoliate the surface of the skin, minimizing hyperpigmentation, unclogging pores, and smoothing uneven skin texture, and are loved by dermatologists and skin experts everywhere. But it's so easy to overdo it, leading to red, sore, and sensitized skin. Since laying off AHAs and swapping them for beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs, such as salicylic acid, which is a lot more gentle), my skin is a lot less red and reactive. BHAs are also better suited for nixing breakouts, specifically blackheads, as they exfoliate deep inside the pore to dislodge the oil and dirt that form them. I use Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant in the evening followed by moisturizer.If you don't want to give up AHAs just yet, try incorporating them into your routine via a cleanser, rather than a leave-on toner or serum. As you'll be rinsing the product off, it'll be a lot less harsh on skin.Not Cleansing In The ShowerIf, like me, you take scorching hot showers, you probably try and get away with washing your face with the same water without adjusting the temperature. As a lazy girl, I'm entirely guilty of this. But very hot water can disrupt your skin barrier, potentially leading to red, dry, and sometimes sore or sensitive skin.Up until now, I had experienced all of the above. Experts I've spoken to advise washing your face with slightly warm water, and it's a little easier to control the temperature of a bathroom sink tap. If you still want to wash your face in the shower, just remember to regulate your water in the shower when you go to cleanse your face. Honestly, your skin will thank you for it. Changing My Pillowcases FrequentlyI'd always wondered why more breakouts appeared on one side of my face in particular. Not many skin experts could give me a definitive answer, but this makes sense: Pillowcases are a breeding ground for dust, oil, and bacteria, so changing yours regularly is especially important if you sleep on your front or side. While I don't really have a preference for cotton, silk, or any other material, I make sure to throw my pillowcase in the wash at least every two days. This has had a real positive effect on lessening spots. Washing My Hair DifferentlyYes — my hair. Thick oils and nourishing masks and conditioners can transform dull, dry hair, but it might be a good idea to keep them away from your face and hairline. "Heavy conditioners can trap bacteria and block pores and this is why they are a culprit for forehead acne," Dr. Mahto recently told Refinery29. "Conditioner is designed to hydrate older, more brittle hair, and it often contains quite heavy ingredients such as petrolatum, jojoba oil, shea butter, or other oil-based products." The solution? Concentrate thick hair products to your mid-lengths to ends, and if you're using conditioner in the shower, wash your face last to remove any residue. Double Cleansing At NightIf you wear makeup and SPF every day, double cleansing in the evening should eradicate every last scrap. This can help reduce clogged pores (which eventually lead to breakouts) and means any skin care you apply on top will do a much better job of absorbing and working. Some like to use a micellar water followed by a cleanser that should be used on damp skin, or a cleansing balm followed by a foaming or gel formula, but you really don't have to use two separate products if you don't want to — just rinse and repeat.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?13 Skin-Care Swaps To Save Your Face This WinterA Week's Worth Of Skin Care With A Goop EditorThis Is The Right Way To Do A Face Peel At Home