If you’re familiar with old-school beauty YouTube, you’ll remember the way people used to go crazy over limited-edition MAC collections. As new collections launched, more and more videos would pop up in my feed of hauls and tutorials about the products they came out with. People would go to three different MAC counters to find every blush or Mineralize Skinfinish. But the first collection that truly caught my eye was Hello Kitty. That collection was all anyone on YouTube could talk about for a month. So, I babysat for my aunt, and she drove me to the closest MAC counter 45 minutes away from my town. And whaddya know, I still have that MAC x Hello Kitty Tinted Lip Conditioner tucked away for the mems.
Those MAC collections were a sporadic back in the day, but the beauty industry is ever-changing now. As much as I love trying new things, it can be a little exhausting to keep up with the new releases, especially with how fast they’re hitting the market. I’ve almost begun to expect my favorite brands to release something new every other week. We can’t try everything, so we typically base our purchases off one thing: hype.
Products get reviewed once, and it seems like a chain reaction of other people reviewing and trying the same thing. After a while, it seems like everyone is obsessed with that one product. But are they actually as acclaimed as they seem to be? Our editors test beauty products pretty much non-stop (what can I say, we do it for the people), and all have a pretty good handle on what works for us and what doesn’t. We put these viral beauty products to the test, and here were our unfiltered thoughts.
For a long time, you couldn't get through a beauty routine without seeing this bad boy. Makeup artists, celebrities, beauty gurus, friends and family—everyone used this powder. So, I finally bought it (as well as the glow version!), and it's pretty good. If you're normal to oily or love the look of baked under eyes, this is definitely the best powder on the market, hands down. However, if you like a dewy look, I swear by the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder instead. It's the lightest-weight, most finely-milled powder I've ever touched; it glides over the skin just slightly setting it without getting rid of any glow. It's like magic, dude.
When I first got this mascara, I hid it in my room, afraid my mom would find out I bought something that said "sex" on it. (Ah, look at me now.) This mascara has a classic formula that stays on all day without flakes and makes my lashes look so voluminous. The cult-following surrounding this mascara is insane—I once read that it’s sold every 7.5 seconds! As much as I like this mascara, I don't ~love~ it because I've found mascaras that give me a much more dramatic look.
I cannot even count the amount of times I have written about Babyfacial for The Everygirl. I’ve purchased dozens of products based on claims from people that they’re “life-changing,” but this is one that actually is. This product has made a visible, lasting difference in my skin (which is something I never feel about any product). It literally is equivalent to getting consistent facials. It’s also worth noting that I have very, very, very sensitive skin, and this doesn’t irritate it whatsoever. I’ve been using it once a week for a year and I still am not out of it. The price tag seems high, but it’s worth its weight in gold—I promise.
I inherited green eyes, an extroverted personality, and a lip balm addiction from my mom, who has carried a balm or gloss in her purse for decades. I’ve been putting Vaseline on my lips before I even cared about beauty and skincare. I never thought anything would be moisturizing enough to replace Vaseline once and for all, until I decided to pull the trigger and order the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (I’m a sucker for Instagram trends). Not only is it incredibly hydrating, but I put it on at night and it stays on until morning. I also use it as a gloss when I go out (read: lasts forever), since it has a subtle pink tint that is just so pretty. This lip mask (you know it’s bougie when it’s a “mask” instead of a “balm”) is loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid, AKA it kicked my Vaseline’s ass.
By now everyone in our office probably knows that I’m a huge Kylie Cosmetics fan. My favorite product of her’s is definitely the Velvet Liquid Lipstick. I have two different nude shades (Savage and Bare) that I wear ALL the time. This formula is perfect if you’re looking for something long-wearing that is also comfortable—because I find that a lot of matte lipsticks are super drying, plus matte is less of a trend now. My favorite lip look is one of these with a gloss layered on top!
Listen, I am pale. Are you envisioning pale? OK I want you to dial that back eight shades. Think Casper. Think a sheet of printer paper. This is why I like to use gradual self-tanners to up my glow factor and generally appear more healthy than a poison victim on Law & Order. Most self-tanners turn really orange against my skin, which is why I was excited about the Isle of Paradise Tanning Water, since its color correcting and a spray formula seems like a breeze to use. I've used it a few times now doing the whole kit and caboodle—putting a towel down on the floor, using a tanning mit, buffing in circular motions, letting it dry on my skin before redressing, etc. And unfortunately, it's streaky as all hell. I've found that to minimize streaks, it's best to spray it from about a foot away and then immediately start buffing it into the skin. But it's still not as even as I would like for something that requires an entire extra step in my routine. Once I run out, I'm definitely trying the tanning drops instead so at least I can combine the step with moisturizer or else I'm spending all day buffing product into my skin and that's really cutting into my snacking time.
OK so an at-home chemical peel sounds a little dicey, but this is actually a miracle product. Which sounds like an exaggeration, but I can assure you, it is not. First off, it's less than $10. I mean, that is 9/10 of a miracle right there. It also seriously works. I use it about once a week or every other week when my skin is feeling extra oily or out of whack and I can truly feel the difference once I wash it off. Everything is smoother and a little less rough, texture-wise. This is a chemical peel, so a slight burning sensation is normal. I always only leave the mask on for 10 minutes or less as per the directions to avoid any adverse reaction and I don't use it directly after the shower or when my skin feels extra sensitive.
I’ve been using foundation since I first started developing hormonal breakouts—so I have tried a LOT of different variations. In my many years of research, I’ve come to discover that I prefer a light formula with highly-pigmented coverage (I have a lot of dark acne scarring). I was so excited to try Fenty because I had heard that’s exactly what it was: a silky consistency in a previously-unprecedented range of shades and buildability. While I can’t deny that it goes on beautifully and gives great coverage (and matched my skin perfectly!), it’s not my favorite. It feels a little too heavy for me, and I much prefer a great concealer paired with a tinted CC cream. If I ever find a foundation that dethrones that combo, you’ll be the first to know!