Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist Sir John Swears by These Five Makeup Essentials

I always say that beauty is a feeling,” notes celebrity makeup artist Sir John on his beauty philosophy. “The way we make people feel is a destination—you become a destination of energy when you can do that.” While the pro is most known for his work with Beyoncé—including her glam at the 2022 Oscars and her British Vogue cover—he has garnered quite a Rolodex of star clientele. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Serena Williams, Zendaya, and Naomi Campbell (who happened to be his first celebrity client), to name a few, have all sported his glam on endless magazine covers, music videos, and red carpets. Not to mention a slew of brand partnerships with L’Oréal, Barbie, and MAC.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #91 series on my blog.

And the sought-after makeup pro doesn’t have any plans on slowing down anytime soon. “One thing I know about life, especially at this big, grown age of mine, is that the finish line continues to get pushed back,” he continues. “There’s a Roman saying: never rely on past glory. Yesterday’s win is yesterday’s win. No matter what I did yesterday, that’s cool, but I’m really obsessed about what’s next.” Following two decades of experience, he’s adding another role to his ever-evolving resume: chief creative officer of Ctzn Cosmetics—driven by his commitment to building equity and diversity in the industry.

Founded in 2019 by a trio of sisters, the brand seeks to create products inclusive to people of color, inspired by their South Asian heritage. “I loved how authentically compelling they were when it came to what [they] want to champion for people who don’t always get invited to the party,” he says of his appointment. Sir John’s decision to join a promising up-and-coming brand, to him, is a reflection of the evolving beauty landscape.

He continues to say that he’s seen so many shifts in the industry throughout his career—noting specifically the emergence of men’s makeup. “I love the fact that we live in an era of exploration, where everyone can have a vehicle to make them feel better about who they see in the mirror,” he says. So, it’s clear Sir John is eager to create safer, more inclusive spaces and share the wealth of knowledge he’s learned—from normalizing Botox and filler to dishing his best makeup tips.

I love making the eyes look like different shapes with liners,” he explains. “Liners would be my favorite thing to do if I didn’t have any other makeup on me.” He’s particularly enjoying how people are playing with colored, whimsical liners on TikTok. “Also, my ultimate hack is making sure you set concealer with loose powder—never pressed powder. It’s too heavy under the eyes and drying.” Otherwise, he has a penchant for what he dubs invisible sculpting: “I love the way I sculpt and contour; you’re not supposed to see it but rather offer structure.” To do this, he will do a cream sculpt, then buff in a taupe or cooler colored tone to create dimension on the face.

Sir John’s approach to makeup has transformed in tandem with the industry and his clients. When asked if he thinks Beyoncé’s look has evolved over time, his response is “abso-fucking-lutely.” Though he admits she certainly knows what she wants, he has learned how to not only have conviction but consistently soak in new knowledge. His biggest advice? “Have faith in your eye, in your references you’re pulling. Where do you want to take this person?

With that, Sir John gave Vogue a sneak peek into his makeup kit—including his five must-have products.

1. Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

  • Key Benefits: “These are the best for sculpting,” says Sir John. “I sculpt and bronze with everything that looks like this. I’ll take a tiny bit on the back of my hand, and I’ll start to buff wherever I want that shadow.
  • More to Know: A lychee fruit extract-infused dual-ended contour and highlight stick to illuminate and shape the face.

2. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

  • Key Benefits: The Fenty Beauty Match Stix is another top pick of his for his signature sculpted contour. For a lasting lifted appearance, he sets the cream contour with a cool-toned powder to keep everything in place all day or night.
  • More to Know: A buildable cream-to-powder contour stick that delivers a matte finish.

3. REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

  • Key Benefits: “This is amazing,” says Sir John. “It literally resurfaces your skin immediately; even if you’re super sensitive, it’s not a problem. I’ve been using it for years.”
  • More to Know: An exfoliating mask powered by a blend of glycolic acid from pineapple extract, lactic acid from passion fruit, and papain from papaya to refine skin texture and improve radiance.

4. MAC Fluidline Eye Liner Gel

  • Key Benefits: “I love this because it doesn’t move, it doesn’t go anywhere,” says Sir John. He recounts etching a perfect cat eye while on Beyonce’s On The Run tour using this pot and MAC’s liner in Graphblack. “[The liner] didn’t move through two hours of cardio. They’re worth their weight in gold.”
  • More to Know: A waterproof, smudge-resistant gel pigment formulated for up to 16-hour wear.

5. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

  • Key Benefits: Sir John counts this NARS concealer as one of his favorites, along with its matte pot formula. Pro tip: just make sure the under-eye is properly hydrated before applying.
  • More to Know: A creamy concealer infused with balancing and light-diffusing powders, along with magnolia bark extract, grape seed extract, and vitamin E to hydrate, brighten, and correct.

VOGUE

The 13 Best Brow Gels Right Now

When you think of must-have beauty products, your brain will probably overlook eyebrow gel. However, if the latest innovative brow gel formulas are any indication, it might be time to change that. The truth is, eyebrows, and brow products, are severely underrated.

Eyebrows have the power to make a face by shaping, lengthening, and defining its features. Beyond the basics, filling and defining the brows can completely change and elevate a makeup look—much the way the right hairbrush, blow-dryer, or volumizing product is key to a bombshell blowout. You can’t have great hair without great hair products, and the same goes for eyebrows.

Whether you’re looking to tame, fluff, or simply keep your ’90s-inspired skinny brows in place, these products have your arches covered. Read on for the best eyebrow gels for all your grooming and glamming needs, according to Glamour editors.

Glossier Boy Brow

She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she’s been the moment since she first launched in 2015—she is Glossier’s Boy Brow. A legion of fans swear by her super-light but thickening formula, which delivers the softest and fluffiest brows. Just a couple swipes will make your brows look groomed and defined, never cartoonish. When I’m pressed for time or want to do a minimalist makeup look, this is my go-to. —Ariana Yaptangco, senior beauty editor

Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

My first experience with this eyebrow gel was testing it for the Glamour Beauty Awards earlier this year, and it’s stayed in my rotation ever since. I like how light the product texture feels—no greasy, clumpy sensations here. Instead I’m left with a perfectly subtle yet fluffy brow. —Anna Moeslin, deputy editor

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

I didn’t know I needed an eyebrow gel until I tried this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills. It holds my eyebrows in place and gives them a sleeker look. Sometimes I pair it with my Anastasia Brow Definer, but for the most part I’ll only use a few coats of this gel. It looks good regardless, and I will definitely be repurchasing once I run out! —Monique Wilson, editorial assistant

Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel

My go-to for hot summer days and special occasions, Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel is the Black + Decker of brow gels. Layer on a little too much, and you might end up leaving clumps of dried product behind (been there). But the tackiness is a godsend for arches that tend to fall throughout the day. Slicked on with a decisive hand, this gel will give you serious hold and definition. Plus, the dual-ended plastic applicator makes precision a cinch. —Hanna Lustig, staff writer

Tarte Big Ego Sketch & Set Brow Pencil & Tinted Gel

I’m obsessed with Tarte’s brow duo mainly because the gel side is pigmented enough to add some depth but not so much that I look as if I literally drew my brows in with a Sharpie. I’m also partial to eye products that are packaged in super-slim tubes, like this one, as they allow for greater control. Extra points for the inclusion of nourishing babassu oil, which leaves brows soft, never crunchy. —Perrie Samotin, digital director

Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color

I’ve always appreciated my eyebrows, but after I shaved my head, I realized how lucky I was to have the same bushy eyebrows my grandfather has. Since my brows were now the focal point of my face, I got very into keeping them perfectly plucked and in place. The Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color quickly became a regular in my beauty routine. I use the Primer side to keep any rogue hairs in place, while the pigmented side helps define my brows. The product is light enough to not make your eyebrows feel hard and allows for a more natural look. —Krystyna Chavez, senior social media editor

Refy Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel With Lamination Effect

I have naturally thick brows, and while I used to be ashamed of them, I show them off proudly now. This gel is unlike any other brow product I’ve used before. It sculpts my arches while maintaining a natural look thanks to the laminating effect. I took one look at brand founder Jess Hunt’s brows and knew this would be a game changer for me. —A.N.

L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Waterproof Topcoat  

Face sweat is my biggest enemy during the summertime—especially during the current heat wave. As a result, my makeup products have been given the impossible task of fighting off humidity and perspiration. This waterproof eyebrow topcoat from L’Oréal does not budge—ever. My brows stay in place from morning to night, no matter how much I sweat or how often I spritz cooling mist onto my face. —A.Y.

Nyx Professional Makeup The Brow Glue Clear Laminating Gel

I love a good drugstore find, and Nyx never disappoints me. With naturally curly hair comes naturally curly brows, so not every brow gel on the market can tame these bad boys. The Nyx brow glue keeps those brow ends down and straight with just a few swipes. I also love that I don’t have to worry about any sticky gel residue as the day passes. —Andrea Navarro, commerce writer

Benefit Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel

I’ve used Benefit’s Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel for as long as I can remember. It perfectly shapes, fluffs, and defines my brows without weighing them down—it’s not at all hard or crunchy. At this point I’m so attached that I don’t feel like my makeup look is done until it’s applied. It’s just that good! —Danielle Sinay, associate beauty editor

Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel

I have basically nothing in common with Hailey Bieber, except for the fact that we share a favorite eyebrow product. In her viral Lazy Makeup Routine” on TikTok, the only thing the model puts on her brows is Milk Makeup’s Kush Brow Gel—and same here, girl, same. The gel perfectly fluffs up arches and defines hairs for a soft-soap brow look without any residue. I use a dark brown and tend to heavy-up on areas that are a bit more sparse. It may be a “lazy” product for Mrs. Bieber, but it’s an everyday thing for me. —Shanna Shipin, contributing editor

Too Faced Fluff & Hold Laminating Brow Wax

I typically don’t use eyebrow gel (just an eyebrow pencil and spool for me!), but when I want to make sure my brows stay in place for when I’m doing a full face of makeup, the laminating liquid wax formula of TooFaced’s Fluff & Hold totally does the trick. Plus, the dual-sided brush applicator makes it super easy to get the full-brow look I want. —Jessica Radloff, senior West Coast editor

Makeup by Mario Master Hold Brow Gel

I’m a huge fan of celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s beauty line because you are able to see his years of industry work reflected in his products. The Master Hold Brow Gel is no different—the slim packaging makes it easy to control and navigate the curves of your brow, while the spool is big and fluffy to catch every hair. —A.Y.

GLAMOUR

Hilary Duff Is ‘Here for’ This Cherry Vanilla Lip-Plumping Gloss That’s Packed with Anti-Aging Benefits

From her Lizzie McGuire days to her recent nude photo shoot for Women’s Health, Hilary Duff has always served up inspiration. And to be frank, we’d try pretty much anything she stands by.

So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that we’re all for the Lawless Cherry Vanilla Lip Gloss she posted on one of her latest Instagram stories, in which her plump pout had a flawless cherry-red shine. Duff’s selfie showing off the gloss was captioned, “here for the cherry vanilla lip gloss” to show she’s a big fan.

Not only does the $25 product plump your lips and add a light red tint, but it also has anti-aging benefits from the hyaluronic acid and shea butter in its formula that provide hydration and a soothing sensation. Plus, over time, it can help alleviate irritation, increase lip volume by 40 percent, and decrease lines when used consistently, according to the brand. And you can never go wrong with an ultra-shiny finish to top off any makeup look.

Apply the product on its own for a glossy sheer tint, or add it on top of your favorite lipstick to give your lips a fuller and more vibrant look. To reap the anti-aging benefits, you can also wear it while you sleep.

Buy It! Lawless Forget The Filler Lip Plumper Line Smoothing Gloss in Cherry Vanilla, $25; sephora.com

Along with Duff, the popular lip product is a favorite of more than 66,000 Sephora shoppers. One five-star reviewer reported that their lips looked “twice as big” after experiencing the gloss’ “phenomenal plumping effect.” Another satisfied customer wrote that it “doesn’t burn or hurt like other lip plumpers” and they highlighted how much they enjoyed that it also adds pigment.

A plumping lip gloss with anti-aging benefits is enough to have us sold, and the fact that Duff and thousands of Sephora shoppers are fans too is just a huge bonus. The $25 purchase might be your new holy grail makeup item of the summer and beyond.

PEOPLE

Drugstore Makeup Dupes That Are Just As Good As Luxury

Drugstore makeup dupes are everywhere. If you’ve got your pulse on the beauty industry or scrolled any TikTok beauty threads lately, you’ve likely heard makeup lovers rave about cult favorites like Nars Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, or the Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb. And just in case you’re wondering, these makeup products are as good as they say. But stocking up on these high-end holy-grail finds can get expensive.

The good news: There are often drugstore products that do a comparable job at half the price—you just need to know which ones are the hidden gems. 

Foundation

Nars Light Reflecting Foundation gives you a natural finish. Although it’s a splurge, the flawless base layer and full coverage are well worth the price.

L’Oreal Infallible gives you a great matte finish. You might be worried that a foundation that holds this well will be heavy, but we find it to be breathable and lightweight. It goes on smoothly (and once you apply it, it’s there to stay for the long haul). 

Filter

Charlotte Tilbury has become one of the most popular beauty brands over the past few years, and the Flawless Filter is particularly famous on #beautytok. It provides sheer coverage, a beautiful glow, and it’s a great foundation for oily skin. 

According to TikTok’s Mikayla Nogueria (and other makeup influencers), E.L.F’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter is an exact dupe for the CT’s Flawless Filter. She says, “There is pretty much zero difference.” If you’re looking to save money on this step of your makeup routine but still want a glowy, sheer look with adaptable shade coverage, try the E.L.F. option.  

Concealer

Nars’s radiant creamy concealer seems like everyone’s go-to concealer, especially for dark circles. When shopping for a new concealer, my Sephora advisor pointed me into Nars territory. The product lives up to its name and is indeed creamy. It goes on easily and conceals for hours at a time without having to reapply. 

When it comes to drugstore products, Revlon is one of the best drugstore brands. Its Photo Ready Candid concealer is one of the best drugstore concealers because it provides long-lasting and brightening coverage. You can build it up or use it sparingly for light application, and similar to the Nars version, it has a creamy formula.

Blush

If you’re looking for a glowing, bright blush, look no further than Ilia’s multi-stick. It brightens cheeks with beautiful pink and red hues, and the shades can be layered depending on how many colors you’re looking for. The wide range of colors means there are options for many different skin tones. Bonus: You can use it as a lip tint or eyeshadow if you want.

Fan-favorite E.L.F makes a similar multi-stick that makes for a great blush. This blendable stick goes on easily for a shimmery finish, and the product is so creamy that it’s almost indistinguishable from its luxury sister. And, similarly to Ilia, this stick can be used for more than just blush.

Mascara

Lancôme’s Lash-Lifting and Volumizing Mascara helps you achieve that false-lash look with the swoop of a wand; it’s a high-end mascara that will help lift and lengthen your lashes. It stays on long and doesn’t smudge.  

A few months ago, I wandered into Ulta before a wedding, needing a great mascara—but I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. The Ulta advisor immediately brought me the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara and WOW—I was impressed. It’s been my go-to for dramatic, long lashes ever since. My lashes appear 10 times longer, and the formula goes on clump-free. I recently got my makeup done professionally and was delighted to see the makeup artist was using this product too.  

Eyebrows

Anastasia Strong Hold Brow Gel has grown in popularity as folks try to achieve the “clean girl aesthetic.” This brow gel does a great job of wisping brows up and making sure stray hairs stay in place.

When it comes to brow gel, the most important aspect is that eyebrows stay where they need to stay. The E.L.F. Cosmetics Brow Lift won a 2022 Health Beauty Award this year because it helps brows stay put all day long. The gel goes on smooth and clear and stays on all day. 

Eyeliner

Cult-favorite Stila eyeliner is a classic for a reason. This liquid liner stays put all day long and stays on through sweat, tears, rain—you name it. 

Maybelline’s budget-friendly eyeliner gives us a similarly thin tip and lasts for hours. The pen applicator makes it easy to do a super-thin line, or layer it for a thicker, more dramatic look.

Eyeshadow

Tarte’s Tartelette Eyeshadow Palette features both matte and shimmery neutral hues. With colors that look good on pretty much everyone, this palette is highly versatile. Meanwhile, Amazonian clay in the formula makes the shadows smooth without being chalky.

NYX’s eyeshadow palette features almost identical neutral colors for a fraction of the cost, and the blendable formula allows for easy application. And the 16 colors (Tarte only has 12!) make it easy to use this for everyday wear, a night out, and everything in between. 

Lip Gloss

One of the many gifts that Rihanna has blessed us with is Fenty Beauty, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer helps you achieve Riri’s glossy lip look in a single swipe. 

But I’ll be honest: Lip gloss is one of the places I look to save money in my makeup routine. I am usually reapplying it a few times throughout my day (after meals, after happy hour, you get it). Beauty By Artrice on TikTok let me in on a great secret: Revlon’s Super Lustrous The Gloss is an amazing, affordable version of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb. The shades are great, leave lips shiny, and don’t break the bank.

Lip Balm

Absolutely no other lip balm can touch La Mer The Lip Balm. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but if you have inherently dry skin, it’s so worth it. While you often have to reapply lip balm, this product is so moisturizing that you will find yourself using it sparingly. Its glossy finish is a nice cherry-on-top too. 

That said, Aquaphor lip balm never disappoints. This multipurpose balm is a classic because of its intense hydration powers. At just under $5 and available on Amazon, it’s a must-have for any person looking for softer, more moisturized lips.

Bronzer

While shopping at Sephora once, I asked a beauty advisor if they had a popular bronzer in stock; they did not, but she pointed me in the direction of Rose Inc and said that this would be the next viral product. I immediately bought it, and the purchase did not disappoint. I apply Solar Infuzion Moisturizing Cream Bronzer around the frame of my face and cheekbones, and it gives me the perfect bronzed look. It’s a cream bronzer rather than powder, and its creamy texture makes it easy to add layers or keep it simple. 

But Physicians Formula takes drugstore bronzer to a new level. The ingredient-conscious brand created a bronzer that is lightweight and buttery. Similar to Rose Inc, it’s easy to apply and leaves you looking like you just returned from that yacht trip in Mykonos.

Highlighter

Selena Gomez is one of the many celebrities that have recently come out with makeup lines, but she seems to have done something right: Rare Beauty continues rising in popularity and has become a favorite of makeup connoisseurs. The Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlighter provides a nice glow without being too shiny. Thanks to its applicator stick, it goes on smoothly and is a great finishing touch for any makeup routine.

Made with shimmering pearl pigments, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter offers a similar buildable glow. For a fraction of the price, it helps me shine in all the right places and complements any foundation and blush I pair it with.

Sunscreen

The most important part of any makeup routine? A high-quality sunscreen. Dermatologists and makeup artists agree that SPF is an essential step, and EltaMD’s formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends easily under makeup. (If you want skin care and makeup all in one, they have a tinted sunscreen version as well!)

Aveeno’s face SPF is just as refreshing and lightweight as EltaMD’s solution. This SPF is made with nourishing prebiotic oats to help you feel moisturized and protected under your makeup. It’s non-greasy (goodbye, oily skin!), hydrating, and will help you save a few bucks while protecting your skin.

SELF

Hundreds of Shoppers Are in Love With These Incredibly Luminous Blushes

When a blush is good, it’s like artwork. Blush is having a moment right now, and we love a good jewel design, especially now since RMS’s new blushes came out earlier this year.

After using the ReDimension Hydra Powder Blushes through the summer, I can attest they’re top quality. It’s a talc-free formula, that goes on as an easy wash of color, no matter the brush. My favorite thing is the way the shades’ mica catches the light, like a highlighter at 15 percent. I also love the fact that it uses buriti, sunflower, and organic jojoba oils.

Everyone has their personal favorite colors, but my go-tos are “hanky panky” and “maiden’s blush.” The former is a plum that immediately makes my skin look perky and awake; the latter is a warm terracotta that gives “golden hour,” like a warmer version of Nars’ Orgasm. Equally electrifying is that the refillable mirrored compact is 75 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, in accordance with California’s excellent PCR mandate.

Shop now: $30; credobeauty.com and sephora.com

Other people are just as satisfied. At Credo Beauty, all 411 of the blushes’ reviewers gave them a five-star rating; in its reviews, words like “stunning,” “glowy,” and “luminous” fly. As two people described, the color can go from a subtle, “sun-kissed glow” to a more dramatic shade; just using a little “lights up” one 68-year-old’s face, and the hues double as eyeshadow.

Essential to its success, a Sephora reviewer noted, is that the mica reads as “sheen, no glitter,” and I couldn’t have said it better. As someone who tried RMS’s previous powder blush, it’s easy to say the brand outdid itself with this refillable upgrade.

Try the RMS ReDimension Hydra Powder Blush for $30 at Credo Beauty and Sephora to level up your flush this season.

INSTYLE

The 7 Best Brow Pencils for Defined, Fuller-Looking Eyebrows

A lot can be said about eyebrows. For one, they frame your face, so they have the power to completely change the way you look. And, as the saying goes: Most eyebrows are sisters, not twins, so it’s rare for them to be symmetrical. Whether you have a few sparse patches that need filling in, are trying to make your brows look more even, or are simply looking to accentuate what you’ve got, the right brow product can make all the difference.

As far as brow products go, there’s a ton of options ranging from gels and pomades to powders and pencils. According to brow expert Joey Healy, if you want to lengthen the tail of your brows, create more of a peak in your arch, or fill in a sparse spot, the easiest, most effective choice is an eyebrow pencil. You may have guessed it — these handy, pigmented pencils work like actual pencils and can be used to draw, shape and define your eyebrows. “A pencil feels more familiar,” says Healy. “You can really direct the color in a concentrated way.”

There are so many different eyebrow pencils out there, making it hard to narrow down the best of the best. After keeping texture, ease of use, color payoff, and shade range top of mind, the editors determined the seven best brow pencils of 2022. Ultimately, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil was the most impressive, thanks to its non-drying, creamy texture and beginner-friendly shape.

Best Overall: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil

What We Love: The tip’s triangular shape is user friendly and makes defining your brows a seamless experience.

What We Don’t Love: We wish this formula was waterproof.

Anastasia Soare knows a thing or two about brows. Aside from being responsible for JLo’s snatched eyebrows, she also is the mastermind behind her eponymous brand, Anastasia Beverly Hills. We tested two brow pencils from the brand, but this one, which our tester calls “the gold standard of brow pencils,” reigned supreme. The slim, retractable pencil makes drawing soft, hairlike lines a cinch.

The pencil isn’t too thin, nor too fat and wasn’t heavy in my hands,” the tester says. The tip is triangular and “perfectly slanted” so you can’t mess up, regardless of whether you shade your brows in one swoop or cautiously make thin, hairlike strokes. Once you’ve penciled everything in, you can easily flip the product over and use the built-in spoolie to style your brows to perfection. And although the Brow Definer isn’t waterproof, our tester assures us that the pigment is long-lasting and doesn’t smudge.

Shades: 12 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Vitamin E, Hydrogenated castor oil

Best Value: e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil

What We Love: For under $5 you can shape, tame, and define brows with this dual- ended pencil.

What We Don’t Love: There are only five shades available.

The e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil is a dual-ended precision liner and spoolie duo that allows you to tame, shape, and define your brows in seconds. Between the price point (ahem, five dollars) and a creamy, smudge-proof formula, there’s a lot to love about this option. Ideal for filling in sparse areas, the eyebrow pencil goes on smooth and can be manipulated — with the help of the spoolie — to disguise the look of sparse areas. “I have thick brows, so I used it to fill in some gaps,” the tester shares. “It goes on heavier than other options I’ve tried, but it’s easy to use and it helped me achieve fuller-looking brows.” Aside from adding pigment, the formula also helps condition and promote brow growth over time thanks to a touch of nourishing grapeseed oil and vitamin E.

One thing our tester wishes she could change: The color range. “It only has five shades, so there isn’t much variety,” she says. “But, nonetheless, I would recommend this one, especially given the price.

Shades: 5 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E

Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer

What We Love: The thin-tipped brow pencil is retractable, so it’ll never dull after you use it.

What We Don’t Love: If you press too hard, the pencil can be too pigmented.

This drugstore find is a favorite for a reason: The pencil has a precise tip, a connecting spoolie, and comes in 10 blendable shades. The ultra-fine tip — which is 0.5 millimeters to be exact — is the ideal size for replicating the look of super tiny brow hairs. And, because it’s so thin, it’s lightweight and fits nicely in between your thumb and pointer finger. A soft spoolie on the other end also helps to seamlessly style brows and blend out the pigment after it’s been applied.

The most underrated feature, though, is that it’s retractable. Unlike other pencils that require a sharpener to keep the tip in pristine condition, all this needs is a quick twist to dispense more of the formula. Plus, once you’re done using it you can twist it back down to fend off bacteria and keep the tip in pristine condition.

The tester notes that the pencil can be too pigmented if you press too hard, so keep that in mind during application. “Thankfully, the pencil is really thin, so it’s easier to control and eliminate any excess pressure,” she says.

Shades: 10 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil

Best for Thick Brows: NYX Professional Makeup Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade

What We Love: It’s great for those with thick brows who are looking to fill in sparse areas.

What We Don’t Love: It’s pigmented and applies thick, so it’s not ideal for creating hairlike strokes.

If you have thick brows, you may not need a ton of help, but having a trusty brow pencil on hand to even out your brows is a total game changer. Not only is the Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade shockingly affordable, but it works like a charm to fill in the gaps between thick brow hairs — even Stacy Wodu, the makeup artist behind Zoë Kravitz’s fierce brows in The Batman, can confirm.

Professional makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell says that no matter the thickness of your brows, a creamy formula is key. “To achieve a natural-looking, fluffy brow, I turn to brow pencils that have a creamy consistency,” she explains. This option, according to our tester, is creamy and easy to blend, but stays put once it’s had a few minutes to set in. “It’s a better option for filling, rather than shaping,” she says. “One side is thick and one side is thin and angled, which gives you options. Just be careful which side you’re applying to different areas of the brow because the payoff can be different.” It’s not ideal for gently drawing hairlike strokes, but it’s highly effective for filling in and buffing out sparse areas.

While the shade range isn’t too extensive, the available shades are super pigmented. The line also includes a clear wax option, which is harder to come by.

Shades: 9 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Micro-crystalline wax, Castor oil

Best for Thin Brows: Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat Refillable Hair-Like Eyebrow Pencil

What We Love: This refillable pencil seamlessly mimics the look of real-life brow hairs.

What We Don’t Love: Some shoppers say the tip can fall out of the pencil.

If there’s one product on this list that outshines the others when it comes to drawing hairlike strokes, it’s this one from Charlotte Tilbury. The refillable pencil has a super precise tip that helps mimic the look of real-life brow hairs. “It’s a classic pencil shape, so it’s easy to grip and maneuver across your brows,” the tester explains. “The tip itself is pointed and angled so you can easily draw on tiny hairs.” The pencil is accompanied by an attached brow brush to assist with smoothing hairs into place both before and after application.

The formula contains carnauba wax, which gives stretch and elasticity to brow hairs, easy-to-glide micro-crystalline wax, and pure pigments to create natural-looking color without ashy undertones. “It goes on smooth and has a creamy yet sturdy texture,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag either, but rather glides in between brow hairs.” As for the pigment: It’s rich but not overwhelming. “You only have to apply each stroke once — you don’t need to layer it on,” she says.

Despite the fact that the tip retracts into the applicator when not in use, some shoppers have found that the tip can fall out. When this happens, it’s hard to use again.

Shades: 8 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Carnauba wax, Micro-crystalline wax, Pure pigments

Best Shade Range: Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil

What We Love: The ten blendable shades ensure a match for every brow color.

What We Don’t Love: It has a natural finish that can appear light if you don’t press hard enough.

As the name suggests, the Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil does quite a few things. The triangle-shaped tip is multipurpose: The thick side fills in bald spots, while the thin side helps sculpt and add feathered strokes that replicate brow hairs. The built-in spoolie brush then helps blend it all in for perfectly snatched brows.

The extensive shade range doesn’t go unnoticed, either. With a variety of colors including Honey Blonde, Taupe, Auburn, four different brown shades (Soft, Medium Chocolate, Medium, and Dark), Brown Black, Black, and Gray, there’s a match for everyone. Though pigmented, the finish can be lighter than expected. “The payoff is great for a natural look,” our tester says. “It shows very lightly on the skin, so you have to play around with it to get the finish you want.

In addition to having a deeper shade range than some of the other options on the list, there’s also conditioning benefits to consider as well. Shoppers have said that the pencil also increases brow volume over time. While our tester can’t speak to that just yet, the formula includes castor oil and panthenol provitamin B5, which the brand says helps brows reach their “full growth potential.”

Shades: 10 Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Castor oil, Panthenol pro vitamin B5

Best Waterproof: Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil

What We Love: The waterproof formula is excellent for triple digit temperatures, high humidity, and even unexpected rainstorms.

What We Don’t Love: The shade range, which skews darker, could be better and more inclusive of lighter options.

There’s nothing worse than having your brows come dripping down your face in 100-degree heat or during an unexpected rainshower. With the Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil, you can get sweaty or even dance in the rain and know that your brows will stay put. How? Well, the pencil’s pigment adheres to hairs and the skin between them. You do have some time during application to manipulate it, but once it dries down, it stays there until you intentionally remove it.

Thanks to the pencil’s geometric, ergonomic shape, the tester found it easy to hold. Despite the size, this small but mighty pencil seriously packs pigment. “It can be overly-pigmented if you are heavy handed with it, but it works really well,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag or skip, either.”

One thing we wish we could change is the shade range. After taking one look at the color options, you’ll notice that it skews dark, with the blonde hue looking more like an ashy brown.

Shades: 8 Waterproof: Yes | Ingredients: Hydrogenated castor oil


What to Keep in Mind 

Type of Tip 

To avoid breakage and achieve a more precise look, consider a retractable pencil with a fine tip. “Big chunky pencils or ones that need to be sharpened are a pain and can be inconsistent,” Healy says. “It’s easier to manipulate a pencil with a retractable tip.” And, according to Sewell, pencils with a slanted tip offer more versatility (think: filling in and drawing on hairs), which is one of the reasons why the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil claimed the Best Overall spot.

Finish 

When shopping for a brow pencil, consider the finish. Some options have shimmery sheen, and, although pretty, Healy says to avoid them. “For a more natural look, find something that is matte, as it mimics the look of real hair,” he says.

Shade 

Some brands don’t offer enough shades, and other brands offer too many, which makes things confusing. According to Healy, it’s best to match your brow pencil shade with your eyebrow color, not your hair color. “For example, a lot of blondes who are very blonde have darker brows,” he explains. “In this case, you’d match the brow pencil to the dark brow color instead of the golden blonde hair color.

INSTYLE

The 12 Drugstore Foundations That Look Like Filters

Here, find the 12 best drugstore foundations you can buy. Plus, keep reading for some more expert advice from makeup artists.

BEST FOR ENLARGED PORES Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

This foundation is a classic for all the right reasons. It dries down into a matte finish that blurs pores and lets the skin look healthy and natural. It’s a great option for oily skin, since it uses clay to absorb excess oils.

BEST FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN L’Oreal Makeup Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation

Normally, breakouts and makeup don’t go well together. But this foundation uses ingredients that won’t clog your pores. Plus, this foundation is super long-wearing, thanks to its oil-absorbing properties that make sweat and rain non-issues.

BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT FULL COVERAGE e.l.f. cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation

If you want a full coverage foundation that doesn’t look too cakey, this is a great option. The formula is incredibly lightweight, but will give you an even complexion that still looks natural.

BEST FOR DRY SKIN L’Oreal True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum Foundation

The latest TikTok viral product, this lightweight, serum foundation is ideal for anyone who wants to achieve glowing, hydrating skin without packing on too much product. This foundation uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin.

BEST FOR GLOWING SKIN Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation

For a full coverage foundation that still lets the skin look dewy and fresh, look no further. This foundation won’t clog your pores, but is so creamy and hydrating that it makes blending an absolute dream.

BEST FOR FINE LINES Covergirl Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation

This isn’t just a foundation, it’s a skincare product. Designed for aging skin, Olay and Covergirl collaborated to create this creamy foundation infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to make sure the skin is looking hydrated and glowing, with or without makeup.

BEST FOR SELFIES Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

This foundation was designed so that everyone’s skin can look camera-ready. Whether you’re on set of a photoshoot or taking a selfie on the way to work, this creamy, lightweight foundation will make sure you look your best.

BEST FOR OILY SKIN Revlon ColorStay Matte Finish Foundation

For oily skin types that are on the hunt for a long-wear, matte foundation, look no further. This product controls oils and creates an even complexion that is protected with SPF15.

BEST FOR BUILDABLE COVERAGE L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation

Looking for a foundation that blends in with your skin perfectly? Not only does this product contain no pore-clogging oils, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It layers beautifully, so you can create either a sheer finish look, or build up to full coverage if you so desire.

BEST FOR SMOOTH SKIN Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

If you want to feel poreless and smooth like a bay seal, this foundation can get the job done. It dries down to a satiny matte finish, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. Plus, for only $2, you can gift one to every person you’ve ever met.

BEST FOR FULL COVERAGE Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer

This foundation is so full coverage that you won’t even need to add concealer. And with over 40 shades, you can definitely find one that suits you. If you’re not a full coverage person, you can also use this product as a jumbo-sized concealer.

BEST FOR WRINKLES Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

Don’t be fooled by the tint, this product is more about the skin than it is about makeup. With retinol and SPF 2o, this product targets signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles to give your skin a youthful glow.


FAQs

What makes a great foundation?

Something that everyone can agree on is that they want their foundation to make their skin look its best and last as long as possible,” says Tricome. “You achieve great skin with a variety of finishes, whether that is more matte or more of a dewy finish. I think more dewy, glowy foundation finishes are currently more popular with consumers. Everyone is very into skin looking like skin and having a radiant finish as opposed to super matte.”

Are there any tricks to making foundation look its best?

Skin prep is the MVP here,” says Moore. “Freshly washed face with a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid daily works wonders. While applying foundation, I warm the foundation up on the back of my hand. I use a dampened Beautyblender so the foundation applies more smoothly.” Using a primer can also help, adds Tricome. “If you are using a primer, like skincare, you want to make sure it is fully settled into the skin and interacts well with your foundation. If you are using a water-based foundation, a silicone-based primer is not going to work in combination with that product.”

When buying a drugstore foundation, are there any tricks to shade match? 

Know your undertones, this can make all the difference when choose a shade,” says Moore. “Also, make sure you match your face and not your hand. If you can swatch on the side of your cheek or jawline this is best, but if you’re not able to, try holding the bottle to your face. And if you get it wrong you can always exchange for another shade!”

ELLE

These Are the 10 Best Eyeshadow Primers That Stay Smudge-Proof All Day Long

There’s nothing worse than spending the time and effort to perfect your eye makeup, only to notice that your glitter eyeshadow and concealer has worn off after only a few hours. Enter: eyeshadow primers. These handy cosmetics are specially-formulated to prevent eye makeup from creasing and fading — much like your favorite face primer does for foundation, powder, and blush. While these primers may sound like an unnecessary product, once you start using them, they’ll quickly become an essential step in your long wear makeup routine.

With so many eyeshadow primers available, finding the right one for your needs can feel overwhelming. So to help you out, makeup artists and editors have researched the best ones to make your smokey eye last all night without a single touch-up. When putting together this list, all paid close attention to each primer’s formula, lasting power, and ability to keep eyeshadow color vibrant. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion was a standout for its gentle formula and incredible lasting-power — it keeps eyeshadow in place and smudge-free for hours on end!

Ahead, find the best eyeshadow primers you can buy.

Top Picks 

Best Overall: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

What To Love: Prevents eyeshadow from budging for 24 hours.
Not So Much: It’s expensive.

This eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay is sure to become a staple in your makeup bag. The product claims to keep your eye makeup “vibrant and crease-free for 24-hours.” The wand makes it super easy to apply, and the rich formula blends smoothly and quickly onto the lids, leaving them prepped and ready for eyeshadow. It works on all sorts of eye shapes—from hooded to round—without transferring or pilling, and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. There are four different shades: two are transparent, one is matte, and one is shimmery. And while it is on the pricier side, a little of the product goes a long way and the long-lasting results are well worth the cost.

A Commerce Editorial Director, Laura Gurfein, is also a fan of this primer. She has used it for over three years and said, “This is the primer that made me believe in the power of primers. It doesn’t matter what eyeshadow I use (prestige/drugstore) or where my night goes — my shadow’s not even creasing a little bit until it’s doused in micellar water.”

Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4

Best Value: CoverGirl Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer

What To Love: The sticky finish allows eyeshadows to cling to the base.
Not So Much: The eyeshadow color dulls throughout the day.

If you’re looking for a high-quality eyeshadow primer that’s still budget-friendly, this CoverGirl option is your best bet. The neutral-tone primer dries clear, evens out any discoloration on the eyelids, and leaves a nice smooth base to apply eyeshadow on top of. It does feel a little tacky on your skin when you first apply, but it provides an excellent amount of grip for the eye makeup to attach to. It also dries pretty quickly, so you can still apply a smokey eye even in a rush.

Although all wish it would help keep the eyeshadow colors vibrant for longer, it’s a great affordable option that can hold its own against some of the more high-end primers when it comes to preventing creasing and smudging.

Size: 0.96 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Sensitive Skin: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

What To Love: It has nourishing, gentle ingredients, and is dermatologist-approved.
Not So Much: It could blend better.

This NARS option is one of the most popular eyeshadow primers around, and for good reason. It comes in five different shades, ranging from light to dark — so there’s an option for every skin tone. The best part is that it’s ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested as well as fragrance-free, so it’s a great option for people with sensitive skin and eyes. The formula even includes nourishing ingredients like deep sea and rice bran extract, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It will also increase pigment payoff and keep even the most dramatic looks in place all day or night, making it well worth the price tag.

Size: 0.26 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4

Best Waterproof: Too Faced Shadow Insurance

What To Love: It’s waterproof and has a smooth, matte finish.
Not So Much: It goes on a bit spotty.

The Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer has a fade-proof formula that is not only lightweight, but incredibly easy to apply and quick to dry. Instead of being tacky, the product dries with a matte finish that immediately smoothes out your skin tone and covers up any veins on the eyelids. It will also make the color of your eyeshadow bolder and more pigmented than ever before — plus, it stays that way all day long. If you want to make your eyeshadow really pop, you should definitely consider this primer. To top it off, the unique formula will even protect your skin from blue light damage and it’s waterproof, so your makeup look won’t budge even if you get caught in the rain or happen to shed some tears.

Size: 0.2 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best Lightweight: Ilia Natural Brightening Eye Primer

What To Love: It has all-natural, brightening ingredients.
Not So Much: It can burn a little and is not ideal for sensitive skin.

This clean eyeshadow primer uses natural ingredients and has a very lightweight formula, so it’s great for anyone that doesn’t like the feeling of a heavy product on their eyes. The formula boasts botanicals like rosehip oil, arnica, and jojoba, which brighten and depuff the lids. It also soaks up excess oil, so wave goodbye to greasy lids. The illuminating base for makeup can be worn on its own for a glowy boost and under shadow for a more finished look. It delivers in the lasting-power department as well and your eyeshadow will not budge.

Size: 0.14 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best for All Skin Tones: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer

What To Love: It’s specially designed for all skin tones and is very lightweight.
Not So Much: It can cause creasing.

Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty Beauty is all about inclusivity, and this eyeshadow primer is no different. The product has an invisible pink tone that is specially formulated to become invisible on all skin tones. The weightless, creamy formula also absorbs into the skin immediately upon application and offers an excellent amount of grip for eyeshadow. It boosts color vibrancy and locks in your smokey eye for 24 hours without a single smudge.

Size: 0.27 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Vibrancy: C’est Moi Visionary Gentle Non-Toxic Makeup Crayon

What To Love: It comes in tons of different shades and has a clean formula.
Not So Much: It can be difficult to remove.

This C’est Moi Makeup Crayon is made with clean ingredients like mica, carnauba wax, and daffodil. It’s also hypoallergenic and dermatologist-approved, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin types and it won’t cause any irritation. Even better, the brand itself is Environmental Working Group-vetted, and all of its products are made with recyclable materials and without animal testing. The crayon application method makes it easier than ever to apply and it comes in tons of colors, such as sapphire, ruby, and turquoise, making it a great base for a bold look.

This crayon is a beauty writer Rachel Nussbaum’s go-to eyeshadow primer because it’s the only product that prevents her eyelids from “eating eyeshadow like it’s candy.” She prefers to use the white version of the crayon called “Dove” to prep her lids, as “it goes on smoothly and accepts whatever shadow I layer on top, and then keeps it there all day long.”

Size: 0.06 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 12

Best for Concealer: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don’t Stray Primer

What To Love: It has anti-aging benefits and works on the undereye area.
Not So Much: It doesn’t do much for controlling oil.

If you notice that it’s not just your eyeshadow fading by the end of the day, but your under-eye concealer starts to lose its effect too, consider trying this long-lasting primer from Benefit. The dual-action formula can be applied to both the eyelids and the under-eye area, preventing eyeshadow color from fading and concealer from creasing. It melts into the skin effortlessly and dries with a matte finish. What’s more, it is also infused with sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin, along with vitamins C and E to help diminish signs of aging — meaning it’s effective as both a makeup and a skincare product.

Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Oily Lids: Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer

What To Love: It helps combat greasiness by soaking up excess oil.
Not So Much: It doesn’t come with a lot of product.

Excess oil is one of the main culprits behind eye makeup that fades or melts off throughout the day. So if you have oily eyelids, check out this primer from Bare Minerals — it’s specially formulated to prevent oil from ruining your eye makeup. When blended onto the lids, the creamy formula turns translucent and offers a nice smooth base for eyeshadow. Besides preventing any creasing from occurring, the primer also helps eyeshadow pigment stay intense and true-to-color all day long. All especially love that the product is oil- and fragrance-free, as well as allergy- and dermatologist-tested, so you don’t have to worry about irritation.

Size: 0.1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best Long-Lasting: Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot

What To Love: It doubles as a cream eyeshadow.
Not So Much: It can be hard to apply as it dries very quickly.

If you’re looking for an eyeshadow primer that will keep your eye makeup looking flawless all day and night without any retouches, check out this beloved primer by Mac. The multitasking product can be used as both a primer or a cream eyeshadow, and it’s dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-approved, so it can be used on all skin types. The primer is opaque when applied, which provides a solid base for brightly colored eyeshadows and some shades can even be used as a concealer. It comes in 15 different shades, ranging from everyday neutrals to vibrant pinks and sparkly golds.

The E-commerce Editorial Apprentice, Alyssa Brascia, is a huge fan of this product and recommends it to everyone.”This primer blends like a dream with either a brush or your fingertip and holds color in place all day with minimal to no creasing,” she said. “I’ve used this primer for years after my mom put me on it, and I’ve never looked back, even after trying others!

Size: 0.17 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 15

What to Keep in Mind 

Lasting Power 

The main purpose of using an eyeshadow primer is to make your eyeshadow last longer, so an effective primer shouldn’t budge for 12 to 24 hours. The consistency of the product can also play into its lasting-power. If a primer is more tacky, it can provide a ton of grip for the eyeshadow and keep the shadow in place longer, acting like a glue. No matter what the occasion is, how long you intend on wearing eye makeup, or how dramatic your eye look is, the goal is to avoid needing touch ups and a good primer will ensure this.

Color Payoff 

On top of keeping your eyeshadow in place and preventing creasing or smudging, a good eyeshadow primer will also maintain the color of your eyeshadow or make it pop even more. Look for a primer that will increase the vibrancy of your shadow and if you want even more pigmentation, many primers come in different shades that you can use as a colorful base.

Formula 

It’s always a win-win if a product can do more than one thing, and an eyeshadow primer with a good formula can not only extend the wear of eyeshadow, but it can also hydrate your eyelids, reduce puffiness, or even out your skin tone. A primer with nourishing ingredients or hydrating ingredients can aid in these beauty benefits, so pay attention to the ingredients label if you want the most bang for your buck.

INSTYLE

Rhode: Everything You Need to Know About Using Hailey Bieber’s Skincare Products

Our philosophy is making one of everything really good.” That’s what Hailey Bieber told PEOPLE about Rhode, the skincare brand she’s been teasing for months (and has been promoting very fashionably now that it’s available to buy). “What sets Rhode apart is we’re putting out a very curated, edited line of essentials.” 

Ahead of its June 15 launch, five PEOPLE writers tried out the model’s new line, incorporating its debut trio of products, which come bundled in The Rhode Kit, into their daily routines for an average of 10 days.

What to Know About Rhode

Buy It! The Rhode Kit, $95; rhodeskin.com

The Rhode lineup consists of three products: the Peptide Glazing Fluid, the Barrier Restore Cream, and the Peptide Lip Treatment. Key ingredients in the collection include peptides, which the brand says “visibly plump and reduce the look of fine lines“; niacinamide, which “nourishes, brightens, and improves skin’s overall texture“; and hyaluronic acid, which “locks in hydration.” You’ll also find moisturizing shea butter, softening marula oil, and supportive squalane.

The team definitely agreed on one thing: It looks very cool. “Clean and fresh, very Gen-Z in a cool way,” said Jenn Chan, commerce writer. “The packaging compels me to reach for it more than others because it does look so unique.” And speaking to Bieber’s intention to make her products “accessible and attainable for everyone,” commerce writer Claire Harmeyer noted, “The fonts are sophisticated and subtle and they don’t feel too fancy or inaccessible.”

Added Michelle Lee, style and beauty editorial assistant, “Aesthetically, I loved the matte gray packaging and the pastel colors when it came to differentiating the scented products. It felt very on brand for Hailey.

And speaking of scents, “the Barrier Restore Cream and Peptide Glazing Fluid don’t have scents,” senior commerce writer and strategist Alex Warner confirmed. “The cream is a richer white color, and the glazing fluid is more of a translucent white color. Both turn completely transparent within seconds of smoothing onto your skin.”

The scented Peptide Lip Treatments, obviously, have a smell, but I liked them,” said commerce writer Madison Yauger. “I didn’t notice the scents when I was wearing the products. The lip treatment comes out like a clear gel, kind of thick, but is easily spreadable across the lips.”

As for the line’s user-friendliness, “the directions are very straightforward and make it easy to figure out how to add the products to your regular routine,” said Warner.

Keep reading for more details on each product, and stick around for their final thoughts on Rhode at the very end.

Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid

Buy It! Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid, $29; rhodeskin.com

Alex: The Peptide Glazing Fluid is lightweight and smooth. I expected the peptide product to be more of a liquid-y serum, not a cream. It feels slightly tacky after first patting into the skin, but that goes away once it’s all dried. It comes in a small container with a pump and pull-off cap. The cap is definitely secure and was sometimes hard to pull off, but that was good for traveling so that product didn’t accidentally leak out anywhere. I enjoy that it dispenses a pea-sized amount, controlling how much you’re using.

Madison: The peptide serum feels more like a liquid-based cream because it’s so thin and can easily be dispersed between two fingers. My skin took on an immediate dewy glow and stayed hydrated throughout the day.”

Michelle: This glided on nicely and was easy to layer with my other products (after an essence and before my sunscreen). It left my skin feeling smooth, and the lightweight formula was great for my oily skin — I tend to gravitate toward gel-like and lighter consistencies. My skin absorbed this one quicker. I didn’t have any problem applying my makeup on top of this either.

But I didn’t like how clunky the packaging was compared to the lightness of the product. While the pump dispersed the right amount of moisturizer, the cap was hard to twist on and off.”

Claire: I was hoping to visually see that ‘dewy glow’ Hailey always plugs, and I can confirm my skin does look dewier after less than two weeks of use! I really think this gives my skin a supple glow immediately. I notice extra dewiness and glow every morning after I use it the night before. I really enjoy lathering it onto my face after cleansing, because it makes my skin feel super hydrated and look dewy.

One note: The cap was not extremely easy to get off. The first time I removed it, some of the product spilled out and was lost. You have to pump pretty hard to get enough product out of the nozzle. However, I like the unique shape of the bottle and slanted top.”

Rhode Barrier Restore Cream

Buy It! Rhode Barrier Restore Cream, $29; rhodeskin.com

Madison: The Barrier Restore Cream feels like a thicker cream, but it’s still pretty light. It applies easily and dries fast. But when I used it with the Peptide Glazing Fluid, my oily/combination skin tended to have that oily shine toward the end of the day. Toward the end of the trial period, I started just doing the Glazing Fluid in the morning, and then both the fluid and the barrier cream at night.”

Alex: This has a thick texture, but it blends out smoothly when I massaged it into my skin. It comes in a squeeze tube that’s easy to open and close, but it can be tricky since you could dispense too much product. It can be wasteful this way.

But I’m definitely going to keep using it!  I’ve been looking for a good, thick moisturizing cream that I can use in my a.m. and p.m. routine, and this one has been great for hydration. I love that it doesn’t leave my face feeling sticky.”

Michelle: The cream is heavier than the Peptide Glazing Fluid, but still easy to blend into the skin. While both left my skin feeling smooth on initial application and I noticed a slight evening of skin tone and brightness after, over time, I developed irritation that made my skin texture uneven (i.e. I had some small small breakouts), and my skin felt slightly dehydrated and tight after using the Barrier Restore Cream overnight.

Claire: The cream isn’t as moisturizing as I had hoped — it absorbs very quickly and leaves me feeling like I need a bit more to really lock in moisture… I needed to use more than the ‘1/2 finger length’ suggested in order for my entire face to feel hydrated. But I like that it advises to layer with the Peptide Glazing Fluid because it feels like a nice combination.

I don’t notice as much of a visual effect from this product, but my skin does feel extremely soft after using this.

Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment

Buy It! Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment, $16; rhodeskin.com

Jenn: I think the standout here is the Peptide Lip Treatment. I loved the consistency, the scent — the shiny, dewy effect is so pretty and unlike any of my other lip balms or treatments. The watermelon one is my favorite.

Madison: The Peptide Lip Treatment felt like a much thinner version of Aquaphor. It comes out like a clear gel, kind of thick, but is easily spreadable across the lips. It created the same glossy barrier on my lips, but it looked like a lip gloss and kept my lips hydrated for several hours after application.”

Alex: The Peptide Lip Treatments come in long, little squeeze tubes with an edge that makes applying it on lips seamless. They apply like a gloss and feel slightly sticky, but not in an uncomfortable way. It made my lips feel very smooth when I rubbed them together. I absolutely love the taste and smell of the watermelon — it reminds me of lip balms I used as a kid. I plan to apply it over some other pigmented lip colors for a glossy, hydrating finish.”

Michelle: These had a heavy feel similar to a gloss that lasted after hours of application, which I didn’t mind because it felt more hydrating. After applying, my lips felt moisturized, and I didn’t feel the need to reapply numerous times. I’d say the best packaging goes to the Peptide Lip Treatments: I loved how compact they were (great for on the go), and the applicator allows the product to go on smoothly.

I loved that even the scented lip treatments didn’t have an artificial, overpowering fragrance.  As someone with sensitive skin, I always try to shop fragrance-free products, so that element was great for me. I would use the lip treatments again because I loved the application, scents, and shine, which I feel would make a great lip gloss alternative — glossy and moisturizing at the same time!.”

Claire: These bottles are a nice size for keeping in your purse or on a bedside table. The squeezing applicator makes these lip balms easy to apply without getting your fingers messy.

This doesn’t feel too sticky on my lips, but instead is lightly moisturizing and feels high-end. It absorbs pretty slowly, which is nice because I don’t feel the need to reapply shortly after. My lips definitely look softer and juicier after using this! The lip treatments are nice overnight, because they do feel a tad bit sticky for about 20 minutes after applying.”

Their Final Thoughts on Rhode

This is a line for someone on the go who doesn’t have a ton of time to fuss with a super fancy regimen,” Chan deduced. “​​Really nice formulas, not too thick or gloppy. They apply easily and absorb right into the skin effortlessly.  The products feel simple and straightforward.” She also noted that her skin felt “noticeably fresh and radiant — I did a double take one morning.”

My skin has a slightly more radiant glow a few hours after applying, but isn’t overly dewy or greasy-looking, which is ideal, in my opinion,” added Warner. “I can definitely tell my skin feels smoother after applying immediately, but I haven’t noticed any really big improvements to my skin’s overall hydration after just two weeks.

Overall, I really liked these products,” said Yauger. “Even after a week, my skin feels smoother and generally more hydrated, which is promising (especially during summer!). I plan to continue using them to see what results look like in a month, and I’m excited to see what else Rhode releases in the future.

PEOPLE

The 11 Best Blushes, Bronzers, and Highlighters of 2022

Swiping on some bronzer can give you a natural glow that will lift your spirits any time of year. A hint of blush can do just enough to fool people into thinking you spent your afternoon on the beach. And don’t get me started on the wonders of highlighter: How could we create that dewy look without it?! Of course, it takes the right products to achieve these things—and browsing the list of 2022 Healthy Beauty Award winners is the best place to get inspiration for your next purchase.

Best Body Shimmer: Bali Body Body Highlighter

Meet the body highlighter for people who think they don’t like body highlighters. The lotion blends easily, and better yet, naturally into your skin.

Bonus points, per the experts: This highlighter contains dimethicone, which helps keep skin soft and supple.

One tester said: “The shimmer looks a little intense and intimidating when you first see it, but it blends out quickly and easily to a nice sheen. My favorite place to wear it is on my décolletage when I layer necklaces. It really makes the whole look pop!

Best Liquid Highlighter: Valentino V-Lighter Illuminating Face Primer and Highlighter with Hyaluronic Acid

If you’re a multitasker, then you’ll love this all-in-one primer, highlighter, and hydrator! Editors found a renewed love for doing their makeup thanks to this pick.

Bonus points, per the experts: This product contains hyaluronic acid, which is loved by dermatologists because it’s a great moisturizer for all skin types—even those that are acne-prone!

One tester said: “This product is magic, and I want to do my makeup just so that I have an excuse to wear this more often. I largely used it as a highlighter on top of makeup, but you can also use it as a glowy primer too. It goes on so beautifully and basically always makes you look like you are standing in front of a ring light.

Best Stick Highlighter: Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Highlighter

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S (yes, Fergie style) is how you will feel after trying this stick highlighter, according to editors. It contains a bit of glitter, so they say it’s best used in the evening. But hey, if you love it so much that you want to wear it any time of the day, I fully support you.

Bonus points, per the experts: Made with dimethicone, this highlighter moisturizes too.

One tester said: “I’ve never used a stick highlighter, and the product from Anastasia Beverly Hills was a good place to start! Although it is a cream stick, it feels very smooth and dry—it doesn’t go on wet or messy at all. I really love the soft applicator/brush on the other side of the stick because it applies the highlighter so well!

Best Powder Highlighter: LYS Beauty Aim High Pressed Highlighter Powder

Editors loved this powder highlighter because it’s easy to use and looks really natural, never caking on skin. Just be sure to apply it lightly at first, as the formula is very pigmented.

Bonus points, per the experts: This highlighter is excellent for anyone with dull skin, thanks to ingredients like niacinamide, which brightens, and hyaluronic acid, which hydrates.

One tester said: “The colors are really nice, and I think this is a good product for people who like powder highlighters.”

Best Liquid Blush: Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops for Cheeks

Reviewers couldn’t stop talking about this blush’s wide range of colors that fit a variety of skin tones. Even better, Flower Beauty makes high-quality products that are super affordable—and one tube will last you a while.

Bonus points, per the experts: This blush contains dimethicone, which helps keep your skin from getting dry.

One tester said: “The eight colors in the range are all gorgeous. The gel-cream formula blends effortlessly and gives your skin a flush of color and a hint of glow that looks natural and radiant. I especially love the Bitten shade, which is a stunning berry hue that brightens up your cheeks without being overpowering.”

Best Powder Blush: RMS Beauty “Re” Dimension Hydra Powder Blush

This blush provides a nice glow without shimmer, creating a bright and rosy complexion. In fact, editors and reviewers said it’s the perfect blush for the “no-makeup” look.

Bonus points, per the experts: This plus contains squalene, a great moisturizing ingredient for all skin types.

One tester said: “I really loved this blush! It’s a powder-cream hybrid, which was perfect for someone like me who historically enjoys creams, but gets frustrated at their lack of longevity. I can tell it blends really well, because even when I applied too much, the formula still settled into my skin naturally.”

Best Cream Blush: Keys Soulcare Sheer Flush Cheek Tint

This tint gives you a natural, flushed look. Plus, it’s so creamy, the formula feels almost like a light moisturizer, according to editors.

Bonus points, per the experts: The jojoba seed oil in this product absorbs quickly and is suitable for people with acne-prone skin.

One tester said: “I can apply this with my finger, so it gets points for ease of use. The color I’m trying is very natural, so it looks like I’m blushing—which is exactly what you want from cheek tint!

Best Balm Cream Bronzer: Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer

Editors couldn’t stop raving about how natural this bronzer looks. The best part? It blends beautifully, so you don’t have to worry about streaks. It comes in four shades, the second-darkest shown above, so it’s suitable for a variety of skin types and colors. 

Bonus points, per the experts: This cream bronzer is loaded with beauty-boosting ingredients like oatmeal, which soothes irritated skin, and grapeseed oil, a natural astringent.

One tester said: “Once I figured out that I really had to warm this bronzer up with my brush before applying, the formula moved onto my skin really nicely—and also lasted for so long! It’s perfect for people who want a drier formula that doesn’t feel liquidy at all—but it’s not powdery or cakey either. It’s truly a second skin.

Best Powder Bronzer: EM Cosmetics

This sculpting bronzer lives up to its name. You’ll only need a few swipes to contour your cheekbones to new heights. And the streamlined compact is easy to carry in your purse or makeup bag, which is always a plus.

Bonus points, per the experts: This cream bronzer contains shea butter, which helps moisturize skin.

One tester said: “This was very creamy and blends super easily—a little goes a long way! Although I have very fair skin, I was able to use it while still matching my natural skin tone.”

Best Multi Palette: Ace Beauté Glow Essentials Highlighter Palette

This palette includes six unique shades—perfect for a blushed or more contoured look—so I’m confident it will quickly become a staple in your makeup bag. Reviewers liked that the highlighter goes on smoothly and mixes well with moisturizer. It’s also super versatile, allowing you to play around to accent your nose, cheeks, undereye area, and more, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Bonus points, per the experts: This palette contains dimethicone, which helps keep skin moisturized.

One tester said: “I was excited to try this palette because of the different shades. I really love using a highlighter whenever I leave the house because it gives a natural glow without putting a ton of makeup on my skin. This product is especially great for summer when I don’t want to wear foundation, but still want to look a little more polished.”

Best Lip-and-Cheek Stick: Jones Road Lip and Cheek Stain

Cheeks on point? Check. Lip game poppin’? Check. This lip and cheek stain helps save space in your makeup bag when traveling and is ideal for people who hate using a lot of products.

One tester said: “My lips feel great after application as this product is very moisturizing! I tried using both my finger and a makeup sponge to blend in the stain on my cheeks and both worked great. Simplicity is the name of the game here and anything to make life easier is great in my book!”

SELF