Impressing Us Is Hard—42 Beauty Products That Knocked Our Damn Socks Off in Feb

Impressing Us Is Hard—42 Beauty Products That Knocked Our Damn Socks Off in Feb

By now, you’ve probably surmised that we test-drive 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 wish list–worthy. That said, due to the number of products we come in contact with, we’ve also transformed into the nitpickiest of beauty consumers. Within seconds, we can tell if a new hair oil is too heavy, and we’re quick to ignore a serum that yields disappointing results.

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 lovers (also known as 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 quickly fallen head over heels for.

For the most part, we’ll be covering buzzworthy launches, as those typically take up most of the action atop our product-filled desks, but we won’t dismiss new-to-us products, either. Sometimes, our best discoveries are found on a friend’s vanity or on someone’s face at the bar (true story). Ahead are the best beauty products we tried in February! Grab your game face and wallet—you’ll be needing both.

Guys, I wouldn’t recommend a $55 cleanser if I didn’t think it was the absolute bee’s knees and completely worth the investment. Weird as it may sound, I’m so picky with my cleansers and have only ever loved three—yes, three! This one (which just launched today) is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way. It has a satisfying, luxurious gel-to-foam formula that easily decongests and cleanses the skin without stripping or disrupting your precious skin barrier. The mix of cocamidopropyl betaine (a sulfate-free cleansing agent), murumuru butter, niacinamide, beetroot extract, and skin-plumping benefactor saccharide isomerate work with your skin’s chemistry to maintain an optimal pH and juicy moisture levels. My skin has never felt more “reborn” post-cleanse. On top of all that, it’s so freaking pretty—the formula itself looks pearlized, and the packaging is really chic. I also appreciate that it’s fragrance-free.

I probably own upwards of 200 lipsticks (this is not an exaggeration), and Sisley’s Phyto-Rouge Shine lippies are the ones I reach for the most often. That’s probably because they offer the best of all worlds: the shine of a gloss, the comfortable slip of a balm, and the pigment of a lipstick. Plus, they give you a delicious plumping effect thanks to the Hydrobooster complex. The shade Sheer Blossom was my go-to until this new color collab with celeb makeup artist Patrick Foley launched called Sheer Beverly Hills. It has that your-lips-but-better impact and has quickly become my daily lip uniform. 

If you hate being sick, I’d highly recommend buying Beekeeper’s Naturals new propolis and vitamin C liposomal packs. I have the type of immune system where someone sneezing a football field away from me will likely get me sick. I started incorporating these into my supplement routine after having an extremely rough fall (I, quite literally, could not get well—tonsilitis, strep throat, ear and lung infections, etc.) and have lived in terror of getting sick again ever since. I’ve taken a dose religiously every morning ever since the launch, and aside from a random attack of food poisoning, I have—knock on wood—stayed well! I’ve always been obsessed with the Beekeeper’s line, but this has to be my favorite formula yet. 

I’ve had so much Nutrafol FOMO over the years, desperately wanting the long and lush hair-thickening results everyone I see and talk to rave about, but I was unable to actually try the formula thanks to the addition of biotin, which makes me break out like crazy. So not only am I thrilled about the brand’s newest iteration because it’s vegan (in the last year or so, I’ve swerved to a predominantly plant-based diet) but also because it’s biotin-free! Suffice to say, I was so excited to get my hands on the new launch that I immediately put in a Sephora order fully knowing I had a shipment coming to me eventually from the brand as a press gift. That’s how antsy I am for my bleached, fine hair to reap its magical benefits.

I’ve been on a little bit of a bleaching bender and have been seeing my colorist more regularly than ever before in the past year or so. Even though I’m diligent about taking care of my hair (minimal heat-styling, lots of bond-building products, etc.) and my colorist prioritizes the integrity of my hair, bleach is bleach, and it will cause hair loss, breakage, and damage no matter what you do. I’ve felt a noticeable loss in thickness and manageability recently, and hue change could be in my foreseeable future, but for now, I’m doing my due diligence by incorporating high-quality supplements (see above) and banishing my hot tools. Thus, chic slicked styles have become my best friend, and this hair gel from Rahua is my ultimate PIC in said endeavor. Rahua has always been one of my favorite natural haircare brands, and this gel has impressed the hell out of me. It has flexible hold and styling power with a smooth, angel-soft result thanks to a green juice–inspired blend of aloe vera, cucumber, chlorophyll, and the brand’s symbiotic rainforest-grown antioxidants, which include guayusa, rahua, and sacha inchi. It’s fab, and you’ll love it!

I’ve been using and loving Rouleau’s products religiously for about a month now, and nothing has gotten me more compliments on my skin than when I use this toner! It has the texture of a serum but absorbs into the skin so nicely and works wonders for my dehydrated, sensitive, acne-prone skin. The glow is almost instant after I use it, and my skin stays hydrated literally all day after use. It’s the perfect winter toner for anyone struggling with dry or dehydrated skin.

I’m usually pretty skeptical about trying tinted moisturizers just because I’m more of a full-coverage kind of gal, but this one from Ami Colé really impressed me. I paired it with the brand’s concealer and absolutely loved the soft, natural finish it created on my skin. It also offered a pretty good amount of coverage considering it’s supposed to be more of a skin tint. It’s also just really creamy and easy to blend out.

I’m obsessed with this SPF primer from Naked Sundays! It literally does give you a serious glow right after you apply it, and it leaves absolutely no white cast. I always get a little bit nervous trying new sunscreens because my skin is super sensitive and acne prone, but this one didn’t break me out at all. I wear it by itself and use it as a makeup primer now, and it works fantastically both ways.

Dieux products are so heavenly. This serum calms my skin, leaves it so hydrated, and firms it right up with a hefty dose of peptides. I tried it recently along with the Auracle eye cream because my fellow beauty editor Katie Berohn told me how amazing they both are! She was right. They’re now winter staples for me considering how dry the weather has been lately.

This fragrance offers everything I’ve ever wanted in a perfume. It’s so light, fruity, delicious, and airy. It contains crisp notes of tangerine, freesia, lilies, rose, jasmine, and sandalwood, and I haven’t been able to stop spritzing it—even when I’m just sitting and working at home. If I were to have a signature scent, this would definitely be it.

Ever since I initially tested this out, it’s quickly become a go-to in my daily routine. I now have a different shade in every single one of my bags so that I can always have one on me. I love the sheer wash of color these lip balms impart, and I also love how hydrating they are. Especially in the winter, my lips get so dry, so having a product that both hydrates and adds color is big.

Armani’s newest scent is absolutely electrifying. It’s creamy, woodsy, and spicy, all in one. It just might be—dare I say—the new (slightly more affordable!) Santal 33.

I’ve always been a Balm Dotcom fan, and the newest version did not disappoint. It’s the same moisturizing formula I’ve always loved, but now, it’s completely vegan. My biggest qualm with Balm Dotcom has always been its packaging. I have never liked the tube situation because I find it so annoying to apply when I’m on the go—I don’t want to use my fingers to apply it when I’m on the subway! The new packaging makes it so much easier to use.

Every once in a while, I’m introduced to a product I should have tried a long time ago. This brow gel is one of those products. It conditions brows while it sweeps them into place, and the tint is just subtle enough to look incredibly natural without much fussing.

I guess I’m in my tinted-lip-balm era because I’ve been rotating between these and my Lawless lip balms. These ones pack on high-impact color, which is unique for a tinted lip balm.

Gourmand perfumes are so tricky. I hate when perfumes smell sickly sweet, and I also don’t want to smell too much like whatever food a fragrance is chasing. No one actually wants to walk around through everyday life smelling like a piece of cake. (Sorry if you do.) This is the ideal gourmand, in my opinion, because it captures the essence of one of those Italian sweets shops without being cloying. It’s like pistachio gelato, but with an almost menthol-y edge that keeps it interesting.

I have incredibly dry skin that’s prone to flaking, and in the winter, my normal night creams just don’t cut it. I’ve recently been topping my face cream with this face oil on days when I need an extra boost of moisture, and I’ve been waking up with plump, glowy, and moisturized skin.

Who knew a body wash could double as a spa experience? This exfoliating body wash from Tatcha makes my shower smell absolutely heavenly, and thanks to hinoki, it also makes me feel ultra relaxed and zen. The exfoliating beads are a nice addition, and my skin has felt impossibly soft ever since I started using it.

This cleanser contains antioxidant-rich cloudberry extract, PHAs, and encapsulated cellulose. Together, these ingredients cleanse, hydrate, and exfoliate my skin without causing any irritation. As someone who’s prone to redness, that’s pretty rare for me. I’ve been using it nonstop since I first tested it earlier this month.

At first glance, this is just an expensive moisturizer, but after using it, I can’t get enough. The lightweight formula hydrates my skin without pilling, leaving residue, or looking overly shiny. The formula is chock-full of antioxidants and peptides to brighten and repair the skin and prevent future signs of aging. I wrote a whole love letter to this brand earlier this month, and while I love all the products I’ve tried thus far, this one, in particular, has quickly become a mainstay in my daily skincare routine.

My cuticles have always been dry and super visible, which is why my favorite part of a manicure has historically been the cuticle-removal part. I’ve tried other cuticle oils and creams to no avail. This one soaks them in moisture and makes them look way less apparent than they would otherwise. I’ve been using it every night before bed, and I wake up in the morning with smooth, moisturized, and happy nails.

Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of amazing cream blushes; this one has to be my favorite. It’s highly pigmented and buildable, giving my skin the most radiant (yet natural-looking) flush of color. Kulfi celebrates South Asian beauty and does an amazing job of creating inclusive products that look good on all skin tones.

The hype is completely real about this thick and rich body moisturizer. I credit it with being the bodycare product that brought my dry skin back to life this winter. Not only does it give you all the hydration you could imagine without being sticky (it’s packed with seven moisturizing oils, shea butter, and glycerin), but it also leaves the most incredible shimmering sheen.

This one is another must-have product for anyone who suffers from dry skin once the cold weather hits. I began incorporating this serum into my bodycare routine a couple of weeks back and have been really happy with how hydrated and healthy my skin looks and feels. It also absorbs really quickly, leaving the skin soft to the touch.

I’ve been using this brow gel since last August, and it’s now my forever brow product. For a while, I’d been feeling like other tinted brow gels I owned were too dark and severe looking. It was also easy to accidentally go “out of the lines” and have to clean up the errant brown smudges. This brow gel is the antidote. As the name indicates, it’s a sheer tint, which means there’s more room for error with the application, and it creates a natural look that you can build on. The product’s creator—Kristie Streicher, who also happens to be L.A.’s most sought-after brow expert—compares the brow gel to sheer tights. To me, it feels like the more evolved tinted brow gel (no more severe brows!) that lets your brows be themselves, just subtly better.

This new launch from Dae is it! I’m in between hair appointments at the moment, and this is the only product keeping my blonde hair looking fresh and feeling hydrated. This is a must-buy for all my fellow blondies.

I’m always after the most natural-looking base, and this CCC cream has new holy-grail potential. It gives that “your skin but better” look and adds the most beautiful glow to my dull winter skin. I don’t rely on foundations to provide the level of sunscreen protection that my skin really needs, but having SPF 50 in this foundation is a welcomed bonus. My only note is that I would love to see a wider shade range.

This new launch from Current State has convinced me you don’t need to spend more than $20 on an eye cream. Rich with peptides and caffeine, it gives a luxurious feel and works well under my concealer. This is one of the first eye creams I’ve tried where my under-eyes look noticeably different post-application.

I recently added this skin illuminator to my skin-prep routine before applying makeup. It really plays into the underpainting trend that is everywhere on TikTok right now, and I love how it brings out an extra dose of glow. In the winter, I definitely need it. I’m also loving wearing it on days that I skip out on foundation for a light-coverage moment.

I’ve been raving about this product for over a year, but it just really never gets old. This past month, I’ve been loving it a little bit more than usual. My baking routine has become the highlight of my makeup routine these past few weeks, and I’ve really perfected the process. I’ve been applying it just above my jawline and on the side of my nose to emphasize my contour.

It’s very rare for me to run through an entire bottle of serum because I have so many that I like to play around with. However, I have been loving the StriVectin Super Shrink serum so much this month that I went through it like water. I’ve learned that the secret to a really amazing skincare routine is to use this product and follow it up with a hydrating serum—in my case, Hyaluronic Serum from Dr. Barbara Sturm and Lancer Ultra-Hydrating Serum. The result is the ultimate glow.

Another serum that I’ve been loving is Phloretin CF, which, in my opinion, is just like everyone’s favorite C E Ferulic but supercharged. I had it recommended to me by an esthetician at a facial as a way to upgrade my routine and have been obsessed ever since. The serum targets dark spots and is great for women with darker skin.

I’ve been highlighting my hair since I was 13, so you can imagine how many purple shampoos and conditioners I’ve tried. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover the Olaplex Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo. My hairstylist recommended it to me. She described it as intense and effective for combating brassiness—music to my ears—and I would have to agree. Plus, it’s just so pretty to look at in my shower.

If this ever gets discontinued, I will be writing a strongly worded letter to Natasha Denona herself. This is the eye and cheek palette of my dreams. I apply the shade Inner Corner all over my eyelids for an ultra-flattering sheen of what looks like tiny, glistening diamonds. The cream blush is like butter, and don’t even get me started on the champagne-colored highlighter.

Even on the darkest winter days, I never skip my face sunscreen, but body sunscreen… I need to work on that. I figured that this Coola sunscreen spray might incentivize me to apply SPF more often since I can easily spritz it on my legs, chest, and arms without the extra step of rubbing in a cream formula. I was right. Not only am I applying this more frequently, but I also love that it’s fragrance-free and has SPF 50.

I used to have so much fun with makeup, but over the years, I started going back to the basics. When I spotted this eyeliner, I couldn’t help but give it a try. To my surprise, It was easy to apply and left a beautiful cobalt pigment with little product needed. It didn’t add much time to my morning routine yet added a fun touch to my overall look. Plus, I couldn’t stop receiving compliments. If you’re on the lookout for an approachable way to spice up your makeup routine, give this $10 liner a try.

Glossier calls this a “puffer jacket” for your skin, and that is 100% correct. I have incredibly dry skin with my eczema flaring up in the wintertime. I go through tons of moisturizers, and this is one I’m going to continue purchasing when my skin is in need of some serious hydration. It is on the thicker side, so I would suggest using it only at nighttime if you have sensitive skin like me.

As of late, this chlorophyll water has been an exciting addition to my morning routine. The last time I heard about chlorophyll was in science class, but what I didn’t learn back then was that it has healing and detoxing benefits for the body. I squeeze a couple of dropperfuls into my glass of water and watch as the deep-green liquid dissolves. It has a mild earthy flavor that you barely taste, especially if you mix it with lemon. I know it’s doing so much good for my body, and it’s the perfect health-conscious way to start the day.

Simply put, this concealer has exceeded my expectations and confirmed my theory that Clinique is a highly reliable brand. It’s full coverage enough to brighten my under-eyes and blur imperfections, yet it’s lightweight and still has a natural finish. Plus, it has this cute built-in sponge that’s perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. There are 38 shades, so I recommend getting matched to find the perfect one for you.

Most teeth-whitening strips I’ve tried irritate my teeth and gums. But I struck gold when I found these. They only have eight enamel-safe ingredients that are gentle enough for my sensitive teeth but still give me the bright and sparkling pearly whites I want. I also love the minty fresh taste. Basically, these have made whitening my teeth not feel like a chore anymore.

This is the crème de la crème of lip balms. It goes on so silky smooth it’s unreal, and I’m still asking myself why it took me so long to try it. I love that it hydrates with natural emollients like shea and murumuru-seed butters and no unnecessary fillers. After I apply it, my lips are super soft and have a hint of mauve color since I went for Brown Sugar. It also tastes like sweet vanilla—yum! Needless to say, this will forever be a staple in my handbag.

This blush, bronzer, and skin tint hybrid is like no product I’ve ever tried before. I dab the peachy shade onto my cheeks and eyes, and it adds a natural warmth to the face–akin to that post-vacation glow. The formula also feels hydrating and blends out effortlessly thanks to ingredients like allantoin and hyaluronic acid. If you’re looking for a dewy, lit-from-within flush, look no further.

Next: 6 Editors Share Their #1 Product in Every Category, From Perfume to Mascara

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