It seems like May just got here and somehow it's over — which means, yes, we're already halfway through 2021.
But hey, time going by quickly while we're (hopefully) at the tail end of a global pandemic certainly isn't a bad thing, so we're not complaining.
And since summer 2021 has been dubbed "Hot Girl Summer," we're here for all the products, new and old, that are going to get us prepped and ready for the warmer weather ahead.
Here, we share our top beauty product picks for May 2021. We hope you get your hands on them, too.
Kayla Greaves, Senior Beauty Editor
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
I recently took out my protective style after a few months, so you already know how that goes. My hair needed a thorough cleanse, but I also didn't want to dry out my curls. That's why I opted to use this cult-favorite clay mask that naturals (including myself) have sworn by for years. To use, I simply pour out a few spoonfuls of the dry powder into a plastic bowl, then pour in enough apple cider vinegar for it to form into a paste. Next, I apply it to my hair, section by section, from root to tip, and wait for it to dry. Once I rinse, my curls are clumped, and my hair is totally cleansed, but my strands still feel hydrated. Pro tip: make sure you're already in the shower as you're applying to mask, because things can get messy very quickly.
To shop: $8; target.com
Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 12.5% Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of those holy grail ingredients for a reason: it gets the job done, and this concentrate from Kiehl's is no exception. On top of 12.5% vitamin C, the formula also offers ascorbyl glucoside to help smooth out fine lines, along with hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin. The formula is so smooth, nourishing, and creamy and always leaves my skin glowing in the morning.
To shop: $70; sephora.com
Mizani Heat Screen Hair Protectant Spray
Yeah, I know I just took my braids out, but I'm putting in another set now because, honestly, I'm too tired to deal with a full weekly wash day. Anyways, to speed up my appointment, I always give myself a blowout beforehand, which means I need to use a good heat protectant before I hit my 'fro with the blowdryer and flat iron. Mizani's Heat Screen offers protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and doesn't feel sticky, clammy or weigh my hair down. It also smells fantastic. I simply spray it on in sections while my hair is wet, then start styling.
To shop: $22; sephora.com
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Erin Lukas, Beauty Editor
Victoria Beckham Beauty Matte Bronzing Brick
I've never been a huge bronzer fan – until I laid eyes on Victoria Beckham's ridiculously chic refillable sculpting palette. It only takes a light dusting of the powder to add a sun-kissed glow to my face (seriously, apply it with a light hand). Thanks to cocoa butter and moringa oil, the formula blends seamlessly into skin without leaving any chalky lines.
To shop: $58; victoriabeckhambeauty.com
Haus Laboratories The Edge Precision Brow Pencil
Despite the dizzying number of brow pencils on the market, it still can be tough to find a deep brunette shade with the right undertones. Ash Brown by Lady Gaga's Haus Labs is a perfect match for my cool-toned dark brown hair. The ultra-fine tip works amazing on tiny sparse spots that haven't grown back after a decade of waxing my brows in high school and college, and the formula does not melt or smudge — no matter how sweaty my forehead and bangs get.
To shop: $20; amazon.com
Circumference Daily Regenerative Gel Cleanser
Did you know food scraps make for some of the most luxurious skincare products? Me neither. Circumference sourced the olive leaf in this gel cleanser from Brightland Olive Oil's organic byproduct. Along with the upcycled hero ingredient, nourishing marula and moringa oils round out the deep-cleaning, yet hydrating formula. Whether I use it solo or as the second step in a double cleanse, it always leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh – never stripped.
To shop: $48; circumferencenyc.com