I’ve Tried Hundreds of Beauty Products This Year—I Use These 30 the Most

Most Wanted is a weekly series in which one editor, staffer, or influencer shares their top 30 must-haves or current wish-list items.

I try hundreds if not thousands of beauty products a year. They’re often new launches, and most of the time, they’re at least new to me. Occasionally, I’ll rediscover old favorites and question why I stopped using them. For example, I’m currently kicking myself for forgetting about the MAC Strobe Cream ($36), but that’s a story for another time. Testing products is one of the best things about my job. While I’ll always have my core makeup and skincare essentials, little excites me as much as finding something extra shiny, new, and special. For me, a product earns the “extra special” title once I start regularly inviting it out of my beauty closet. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m taking it for a spin every day, but we’re definitely hanging at least a few times a week. And now that we’re about eight months into 2022, I can confidently say that the 30 beauty products below have been keeping me really busy. Keep scrolling for the the products I’ve been using the most this year.

Not to be dramatic, but I can’t live without this. The formula is suitable for sensitive eyes (a huge win for me), but the wand is the real showstopper. Think of it as the Gumby of mascara wands: It’s flexible and can bend in every possible way to coat each lash from root to tip. I’m telling you this stuff gave me the longest lashes of my life—the ’60s doe eyes of my dreams. I’m smitten.

I used to use the original Strobe Cream when I was in high school, but for whatever reason, I stopped. I’ve never used it in Peach Lite, so technically, the shade is new to me. This stuff is as good as I remember. If your skin is feeling blah, it’s the ultimate quick fix. It offers a hefty dose of botanicals including green tea, which will give your complexion a seriously radiant glow in minutes. I’m always so shocked by its wizardry. I do my normal skincare routine, and before I start my makeup, I’ll apply a bit of this to my face and let it sit for a few minutes before finishing my makeup. It’s a total game-changer.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything that’ll help me reap the benefits of a salon treatment in the comfort of my home. I’ve been using this facial steamer a few times a week to help clear my pores after I get out of the shower. Aside from feeling like a luxurious treat, it stimulates circulation and helps my skincare products absorb better.

I’m low-key obsessed with this tinted lip balm. It’s creamy, made with honey, and enhances your natural lip color. It’s very subtle, but the formula has serious moisturizing powers.

I mostly use brow gels, but this pencil has me changing my ways. Aside from the fact that it’s super pigmented, I love how thin the pencil is. The ultra-fine tip makes it easy to fill in any sparse spots in a natural way.

This is a seriously shiny and plumping gloss that not only helps smooth lines but also makes lips feel pillowy soft. It comes in many swoon-worthy shades, but I have a soft spot for George, a warm-honey nude that’s rich and satisfying. The best part? The formula delivers instant and long-term benefits. Use it regularly, and the gloss is shown to visibly increase lip volume and decrease lines over time.

I don’t change up my cleanser too often, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this lightweight number. It has a really nice lather and does a good job of removing my makeup while leaving my skin soft and supple.

I’m totally smitten with this lip gloss in Pistachio—it’s perfect. It’s the ultimate semi-sheer pink that applies super smoothly and leaves my lips feeling (and looking) extra juicy.

I’m a sucker for good branding, but Vacation actually has super-legit products. I’m a full-blown stan. I have a lot of the brand’s SPF products, but it just released the classic formula in a spray, and it’s everything you could want in a sunscreen. It’s lightweight and made with coconut oil, aloe vera, and banana extract, so it smells insanely good. Plus, it’s truly transparent.

This is inspired by the cult-favorite Double Serum, which is a must-try if you haven’t already. This formula is honestly heaven. It’s full of ingredients like turmeric, which is great for reducing inflammation, and organic wild chervil. It also protects against blue light (a huge plus given that I’m staring at a computer most of the day). And Clarins is known for having unique application methods that focus on lymphatic drainage, so every time I use it, I feel like I’m taking extra-good care of myself (and my skin).

I haven’t met a SkinCeuticals product I don’t like, so I’m not surprised that I’m obsessed with this one. It’s a lightweight moisturizer that uses next-generation brightening technology to help improve dullness, rough texture, and redness without causing inflammation. As someone who has a naturally rosy complexion, I’ve noticed that my skin not only looks brighter but also more even after using it.

I love everything about this super-lightweight and very buildable lip stain. For $6, it’s worth adding multiple tubes to your collection.

This is the blush that converted me into a blush person. The formula is very pigmented, so I suggest applying a small amount to the back of your hand and using a brush on your cheeks. (Trust me. I learned this the hard way.) It can take a minute to blend out, but it’s worth it. Just wait to see the magic that happens. The formula is creamy, buildable, and adds the best flush of color.

I’m truly obsessed with this. It’s one of my absolute favorites I’ve tried this year. The star ingredient is viniferine, which a lot of people aren’t familiar with. It’s about 60% more effective at brightening your complexion than vitamin C. 60%! You’ll notice a visible difference in your skin within two weeks of using it. I promise.

I’m very into this medium-coverage concealer because its skincare base is made with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and caffeine that hydrates, visibly plumps, and gives a smooth, radiant finish. Plus, it doesn’t crease under my eyes unlike a lot of formulas.

I’m a pushover when it comes to face masks, but especially clay-based masks. This one currently has my attention, mostly because it’s a powerful pore vacuum. Every time I use it, I’m pleasantly surprised to see how much dirt and oil it’s able to suck out. It’s equally alarming and satisfying—therapy for the skin.

This is my not-so-secret secret for giving my skin an effortless glow. Mix this with your skin tints, primers, or body products, or wear it on its own. It all looks good.

I love all my Nécessaire products, and this serum is no exception. It’s made with two of my favorite ingredients: niacinamide, which helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, and rose water to soothe and nourish skin. Let’s just say I notice when I don’t use it!

I rarely wear foundation, so you know the formula has to be good when I do. This is an oil-free gel concoction that’s lightweight—it’s composed of 60% water—and made with reflective, circular micro-pigments that provide medium-to-full coverage and a seriously flawless finish. It goes on smoothly and, most importantly, leaves my skin looking like skin. Fun fact: It was one of the most used products on the season-two set of Euphoria.

This brightening moisturizer feels like pure luxury. It’s rich and creamy, but once it’s on your skin, it feels as light as a cloud. It’s full of high-grade ingredients like peptides, ceramides, and snow mushroom to help restore and protect skin, and it uses smart-melanin technology to prevent the appearance of dark spots and melasma.

This is a tanning mist infused with top-of-the-line tanning agents that will give your skin its best golden glow yet. Technically, you can use it on your body (the brand has a buffing brush for even application), but I’ve only used it on my face, neck, and décolleté. It’s perfect to spritz on for some added radiance.

Nothing compares to a good skin tool, and this one takes the cake. The size and angle of the balls help them grip your face in a way that actually feels like it’s lifting and sculpting your face.

My hopes were high for this tool because I’m a huge stan of the brand’s facial toning device, and so far, it hasn’t disappointed me! The device comes with four treatment spheres that use micro-4 technology to improve the appearance of cellulite and sagging skin via micro-current waves. It’s supposed to stimulate ATP production, which helps create collagen and elastin, and energize muscles for a more sculpted and lifted look. Surprisingly, I love the new routine I’ve created with this: I’ve been using it on my body for five minutes each night and find that it’s such a nice way to unwind at the end of the day. 

I’m obsessed with this mask. The extreme tightening gets more uncomfortable as time goes on, but the benefits outweigh the discomfort. It’s made with patented CO2 OctoLift that’s designed to fight common skin concerns with age-defying technology. Not only does it smooth, correct, and brighten, but it tightens, lifts, firms, and detoxifies. The post-mask glow is real.

For anyone intimidated by liquid eyeliner, this stuff is basically foolproof. The flex brush molds to the shape of your eye, and the custom hexagonal grip offers a lot of control, so it’s really hard to mess up. And this is coming from someone who always messes up her eye makeup! Also, this might be an unpopular opinion, but brown liner is better than black. It’s softer and doesn’t feel as harsh.

I’m probably the least talented person when it comes to hair. I’m a no-fuss, air-dry kind of girl, so it was a big step for me to try out a hair wax stick. But honestly, I’m here for it. Not that I have many others to compare it to, but this one gets the job done. I love being able to pull my hair back into a low pony and use this on the edges of my hair to slick it back in a way that looks intentional.

This is nothing revolutionary, just a really solid, clear brow gel that I’m currently vibing with. I love how the spoolie creates a laminated-brow effect, which is especially handy when my brow appointment is weeks off.

Okay, whoa. I was so not expecting to love this as much as I do! The color looks way more intimidating in its packaging than it does on your skin. Shagged is a bright berry with cool undertones and just complements my skin tone so nicely. It feels like a balm in that it’s super creamy and lightweight. I’ve been using it straight from the compact. I use my ring finger and dab it onto the apples of my cheeks, and that’s it. I always get compliments whenever I’m wearing it. She’s a keeper.

This lip serum is so emollient. It feels amazing on your lips and has the most subtle, cooling sensation. You need it in every color.

This is great for soothing acne and calming redness, and you can use it in place of your toner or as needed throughout the day. Some people like coffee at 3 p.m. I like spritzing my face.

Next: I’m a Beauty Editor—30 Must-Have Items I’m Already Eying for Fall

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