By now, you’ve probably surmised that we receive, test-drive, and review a lot of beauty products here at Who What Wear HQ. From nail polish and makeup to hair and skincare, we’re eyebrow-deep in all things new, exciting, and, yes, wish list–worthy. That said, due to the volume of products we come in contact with on a daily basis, we’ve also transformed into the nitpickiest beauty consumers. Within seconds, we can tell if a new hair oil is too heavy and greasy, and we’re quick to ignore a serum or foundation that yields disappointing results (no matter how many hype emails it has sitting in our inboxes—sorry!).
The good news? We’re far more often impressed than unimpressed after trying out a new product, and usually, we simply can’t wait to spread the word to all of our fellow beauty junkies (aka you). Therefore, we’ve decided gushing over our latest fave products should become a monthly ritual, and every 30 days or so, you can expect a full report detailing the highlighters, hair wands, and overnight skincare saviors we’ve become quickly addicted to.
For the most part, we’ll be covering new and buzz-worthy launches (as those typically take up most of the action atop our product-filled desks), but we won’t dismiss the new-to-us products, either. Because hey, sometimes our best discoveries are found on an old friend’s vanity or on someone’s face at the bar—true story. Ahead, the 25 best beauty products we tried in March! Grab your game face and wallet. You’ll be needing both.
“I’m not generally one to switch up my hair (or makeup) routine, but I recently borrowed my sister’s GHD wand to touch up my hair for a night out, and it was seriously next-level. It creates the perfect beachy waves that also last for days without flattening out. I’m sold.”
“I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to find an exfoliator that actually works and doesn’t irritate my skin. But this stuff has totally changed the game. The Jelly Peel exfoliates with soft, plant-based fibers that are able to lift and roll away dry, flaky skin and dirt. Not only does it leave my skin feeling totally nourished and hydrated, but also my face always feels super soft and fresh—perfect for makeup application! But arguably the best part is that it’s cruelty-free and free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and other harsh ingredients your skin could do without.”
“VDL is the beauty underground’s favorite currency at the moment. It’s Korea’s top-selling makeup brand, and when it finally released its three cult primers to the U.S. last year, people collectively FTFO. So imagine the excitement when it launched, wait for it, foundation. I’m the absolute pickiest when it comes to my base (which is why it took me a little longer than normal to try the bottle I was sent), but this formula is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s buildable, lightweight, and makes me look like I have flawless glass skin (a K-beauty signature).”
“I’m a bit of a lash fiend, and this brand-new duo from Marc Jacobs Beauty has been in my makeup bag constantly this past month. The mascara has been a best seller for a while, but the brand launched the primer as the ultimate prequel for ultra-long and velvety lashes.”
“I kid you not: The first time I swiped this brand-new glimmer stick from Nudestix (pre–big night out), I immediately texted my friend/co-worker/roomie, Amanda Montell, to tell her how impressed I was with the formula. (She wholeheartedly agreed.) You can put it anywhere on your face, and it won’t get sticky or crease (unlike so many gel highlighters), and it provides the prettiest sheen—not too much, not too little. I especially love dabbing it on my Cupid’s bow, eyelids, and the inner corners of my eyes.”
“So technically this was more of a wellness find, but since it’s helped me get back on track with my sleep schedule (and beauty sleep is real), I’m including! First of all, these chews taste amazing. If I weren’t afraid of ending up in a comatose state for three days straight, I’d eat the whole bag of mint-chocolate goodness in one sitting. But what I truly appreciate is that they’re one of the only melatonin supplements that have consistently worked for me. One chew sits at two milligrams of melatonin, which usually does the trick, but on nights when I need a little more aid falling asleep, I’ll take two (which is A-OK by the brand). L-tryptophan and vitamin B6 are also part of the recipe. I’m hooked!”
“Nothing made me happier this month (in beauty terms) than applying this ultra-glittery polish from nontoxic polish braid Aila. All of its colors are stunning, but there’s something so whimsical and summery about essentially wearing a disco ball on your fingertips.”
“I used to love bold, bright lips, but the past few months, I’ve been gravitating toward light pink, glimmery shades that enhance my natural lip color with iridescence. These new lippies from Smith & Cult are ridiculously pretty, and I already know this nude pink hue will be part of my makeup uniform all summer long.”
“I can’t get enough of Laura Mercier’s new Caviar Chrome Collection—the Caviar Chrome Veils, in particular. I pretty much never wear powder eye shadow and prefer the end result and mess-free application of liquid formulas like these. The colors in the new collection are so ethereal and non-aggressive, which is exactly my style. Plus, I appreciate how long-wearing and buildable they are.”
“I have more face mists than I know what to do with at home. Truth be told, I’ve kind of been ignoring them. (Call it childhood sprinkler syndrome, but I just don’t like things sprayed in my face.) However, when I ran out of my normal toner a couple of weeks ago and needed something gentle and more basic to refresh my face after cleansing, I reached for this rose elixir from Ranavat Botonics which I found buried in the back of my closet. Instead of spraying the formula directly on my face, I spritz it onto Renée Rouleau’s Toning Cloths ($16) and then give my face a quick swipe over.
“This product isn’t a new launch from the brand, but it’s new to me, and I’ve been loving it, so I thought I’d throw it in the ring this month. Ranavat creates super-high-quality and luxurious skincare, all inspired by India’s royal beauty rituals. Its rose tonic is created using USDA-certified-organic and steam-distilled rose petals, which is why I trust and prefer it over other rose face mists I’ve tried.”
“When Fenty Beauty first launched Body Lava last spring, pandemonium basically ensued. (Remember RiRi’s amazing application video on IG?) Not surprisingly, the Body Luminizer sold out on the quick and, sadly, wasn’t restocked. While it made a blip on our radar over the holidays with brief availability, for the most part, Lava lovers have been in desperate want.
“But good news! For a limited time only, the product is back. Right now, you can get the formula in the two original shades (Who Needs Clothes?!—my personal fave—and Brown Sugar) along with a brand-new hue addition, Trophy Wife, modeled after the brand’s iconic Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($34). This potion makes you look like a glimmering orb of an angel and automatically takes whatever you’re wearing—or not wearing—up about 10 octaves.”
“Almost every beauty editor in the industry swears by the magical brightening powers of Ole Henriksen’s cult-favorite Banana Bright Eye Crème ($38)—myself included. This month, the brand outdid itself by formulating a coordinating primer to match. There are only a few primers I’ve ever worn and loved, but this one has left me impressed. It has a great hit of glow-enhancing vitamin C and banana powder–inspired pigments intended to boost a dull complexion with both immediate and lasting brightness. You can wear it by itself on no-makeup days if you feel like your face needs a slight pick-me-up or underneath your makeup as you would a typical primer. I’ve been doing both all month long.”
“To be honest, I know hardly anything about beauty, but I know that this La Prairie cream leaves my skin feeling moisturized and blemish-free every time. I apply it at night after washing my face and applying serum. It’s the only product I’ve used recently that has given me consistent results of evening out my skin tone and deeply moisturizing. Plus, the smell is personally soothing, which is a nice bonus to my nightly routine.”
“I had heard nothing but rave reviews about the Augustinus Bader face cream, so decided to put it to the test myself. After months of using it, I now know why it has such a cult following. My skin has never felt more hydrated or dewy.”
“I have a serious thing for brightly colored, intensely pigmented cream eye shadows, perfectly positioning me to fall in love with this new release from Huda. The brand’s absurdly pigmented dual-ended liquid shadows offer a matte side and a sparkly side in fun shades like bubblegum pink, bright yellow, and minty green.”
“Nontoxic, unisex cosmetics brand Noto Botanics is one of my favorite sleeper-hit L.A. beauty companies, and its all-natural, aromatherapeutic, multi-use hair-and-body oil is my newest obsession. The scent is unmatched: smoky and soothing thanks to a combination of vetiver and lavender. I also love that 100% this product’s sales goes toward organizations the brand aligns with, like Planned Parenthood, LGBT Youth Center, and Women’s Center DTLA.”
“Caudalie’s newest night cream boasts glycolic acid, Viniferine, and hyaluronic acid—aka the perfect brightening, plumping recipe for my combination skin type. The texture is creamy and fast-absorbing. It has almost a perfect five-star rating on Sephora, which is totally deserved. You will see results from this product.”
“Color-protecting shampoos sometimes smell weird and dry my hair out, but this new one from R+Co does just the opposite. It leaves my highlighted hair looking bright and feeling soft thanks to ingredients like lychee extract, okra seed extract, and vitamin E. It also smells lovely: earthy and citrusy, like a lemon tree.”
“I’ve been using this rich overnight mask a few nights a week for the past couple weeks, and my skin has been so soft and glowy. The product goes on thick but sinks in quickly and feels so velvety on the skin. The formula, packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, makes you wake up looking plump and hydrated. Super-reasonable price point, too.”
“CBD extract combined with organic avocado, jojoba, and safflower oils makes for a fast-absorbing body oil that leaves skin super soft and glowy. I’m living for the clever rollerball tip, which makes for a mess-free application and works wonderfully if you want to do a little self-massage when your muscles are sore.”
“This is an intense price point for a body lotion, but if you have a birthday coming up, request the gift of absurdly soft, youthful skin by way of this decadent body cream. The formula contains shea butter, argan oil, and almond oil, plus something called DNA HP, a marine-sourced ingredient formulated by Nobel Prize–winning scientists which firms the skin and reduces the look of age spots.”
“I’ve been a fan of the OG ExfoliKate for so many years, so I was intrigued by this new liquid version of the holy-grail exfoliator. My skin is a little sensitive, so I’ve only been using it once a week overnight (and applying plenty of moisturizer on top), but so far, my skin seems to be especially bright and smooth in the days following use.”
“I really hope that Charlotte Tilbury makes this limited-edition glossy lipstick a permanent fixture in her line because I don’t think I can live without it. It’s shinier and lighter than the average lipstick, but it has staying power, and the colors are so flattering. So far, I’ve purchased Pillow Talk and Sexy Lips, and I’m considering stocking up in case they disappear for good.”
“I was running low on Moroccanoil recently and wanted to try something new, so I bought this on a whim based on the good reviews. I can confirm that the hype is real. It’s so lightweight, and it makes my hair so soft and smooth that it almost looks like I had a professional blowout. Plus, you can’t really beat that price for a hair oil of this quality.”
“I’ve been looking to upgrade my cleansing regimen for some time now, and I heard so many rave reviews about the Eve Lom cleanser. At first, I was a little hesitant about spending so much on a face wash (especially since I’ve been using a very affordable drugstore brand for quite some time now), but after I used it for just a few days, I can safely say it’s worth every single penny.
“I love how soft and luminous it leaves my skin, and it really feels like you’re getting a deep cleanse with the way you have to massage the balm into your skin and use the muslin cloth to rinse off. I haven’t been this excited about a skincare product in a long time! Bonus: It also comes in a cute little travel size.”