In a world where
a single click pulls up millions of lipsticks, eye creams, and shampoos (on Google alone, the numbers before those zeros read 67, 18.5, and 60, respectively), landing on the "best" beauty product of the moment can feel a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. The most exciting launches to hit our desks so far this year, however, are a lot easier to spot.
We may only be 36 days into 2018, but the future is looking bright. The new year is already ripe with lip balms that belong at the MoMA, moisturizers that knock 20 minutes off your skin routine, breakout-busting cleansers, and more. Ahead,
break down exactly what you should be buying right now — because the only thing you'll be getting from all that online scrolling is carpal tunnel.
Refinery29 beauty editors
"It's been approximately 13 months, two weeks, and 19 hours since
Differin's game-changing acne gel
graced my skin with its magic — but, um, who's counting? — and it's been clearer, brighter, and better off ever since. Now the brand is back with a 5% benzoyl peroxide deep cleanser that somehow manages to ward off breakouts without freaking out my overreactive, sensitive skin. Let's try to see David Blaine do
." - Kelsey Castañon, beauty news editor
Daily Deep Cleanser, $11.99, available at
"This foundation may have only just launched, but the lightweight formula has quickly become my favorite. For the first time in what feels like forever, I'm back to applying my foundation with a brush and it somehow manages to still look like my skin. When I'm not going for a fuller coverage, weekend look, this is what I reach for." - Sam Sasso, beauty assistant
Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15, $46, available at
"All praise is due to Pat McGrath, the fairy godmother of makeup, for coming out with the chicest chapstick I've. Ever. Seen. The limited-edition Lip Fetish Lip Balm looks just like her MatteTrance line, except the bullet is white. And like her lipsticks, the formula goes on as smooth as butter and keeps my lips kissable all day (and night) long." - Khalea Underwood, beauty writer
Lip Fetish Lip Balm, $38, available at
"If my hair routine is best described as wash and go, then my skin-care regimen is the exact opposite. It's more like wash, apply leave-on the exfoliating liquid, wait five minutes, apply vitamin C serum, wait two minutes, apply oil, wait five minutes, apply sunscreen, wait for however long it takes to sink in before I can put on makeup, then go, 15 minutes later than I should have — and that's just in the mornings. But ever since I
started using this nutrient-packed moisturizer
, not only have I shaved about 20 minutes off my routine, but my skin has looked clearer and felt smoother than it has in years. I’ve never really been a 'less is more' kind of person, but this might just be as close as I’ll ever get." - Rachel Krause, beauty writer
Protini Polypeptide Cream, $68, available at
"In true Not Your Mother's fashion, the first thing you'll notice about this shampoo is how large it is — which makes the low price tag that much better. (I'm a big fan of its
Clean Freak Dry Shampoo
because it works and lasts forever!) As you might expect from the name, it smells like a tropical drink in the best way, and made my medium weight, slightly frizzy, straight hair air dry smooth overnight." - Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor
Not Your Mother's
Naturals Coconut Milk & African Marula Tree Oil High Moisture Shampoo, $8.99, available at
"As soon as I tested this mask on the back of my hand at the launch event, I cancelled my evening plans and went straight home to put this stuff all over my face. After one use, my skin looked significantly brighter and clearer. I honestly wish you were supposed to leave it on for longer than five minutes; the smooth texture and heavenly scent is worthy of an hours-long
binge." - Cat Quinn, beauty director
Lotus Preserve Rescue Mask, $62, available at
"I already own more lipsticks than anyone would actually need in a lifetime, but after I tried these from Laura Mercier, I immediately added five more to my collection. These twist-up formulas go on super matte, but they won't dry out your lips and are ridiculously easy to apply sans lip liner." - Mi Anne Chan, beauty writer
Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Dominate, $28, available at
"To call any razor 'innovative' feels a bit disingenuous, but Schick's latest launch is about as close as this category gets to the word. The cool factor is all in the upward-facing and downward-facing blades, which work simultaneously so you can get the same smooth-as-ever shave as you would going back and forth (then back and forth) on the skin — only with a single pass of the razor. Anything to skip a
painful waxing appointment
, am I right?" - Castañon
Intuition f.a.b. Razor, $7.99, available at
"Up until this year, I was convinced brow gels were a total hoax. No matter how many I tried, only a select few would actually make my brows look truly fuller than they did before — until I met this fiber gel. The wand is dual purpose, so you can get that Lucy Hale effect with just a few swipes. The trick: Use the longer bristles to backcomb your brows and fill in any sparse areas with pigment. Then, finish by brushing the shorter side across all the hair to hold it in place." - Sasso
Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $28, available at
"I'm the type of person who layers lip gloss on top of lip balm every single day. I love the look of glossy nude lips, but I'm not willing to skip on moisture. This formula goes on like a pink gloss and transforms into a shiny balm within minutes — blending both my needs into one tube. The kicker? It's infused with honey, goji berry, and hyaluronic acid, so it's been a miracle worker for my dry winter lips." - Jen Anderson, lifestyle writer
Lip Service Gloss-To-Balm Treatment, $15, available at
"I spent my winter vacation in L.A., and came back to the Bomb Cyclone in New York City. My skin did not react well to the change, and soon I had dry patches all around my nose, temples, and lips. After trying (and washing off) every moisturizer in my arsenal, this is the only one that didn't burn my face and softened the dry areas overnight. It's definitely a little thicker than my usual go-to, but it's perfect for when my skin needs an extra hit of hydration." — Quinn
Dermaseries Dry Skin Relief Face Cream SPF 15, $10.99, available at
"This brand-new moisturizer from the treatment-focused brand Glamglow might smell like SweeTARTS, but there's nothing juvenile about the results. The rich, airy texture goes on smoothly and immediately sinks into skin to provide a soft layer of hydration. I've been using it for a week and found that it's perfect for after a mask — which makes sense, given the brand behind the formula. Does it last for 72 hours like the package suggests? I have no idea, but I'll let you know the next time I go three days without washing my face. (So, never...)" — Lebsack
Waterburst Hydrated Glow Moisturizer, $49, available at
"It's hard to peel me away from my handy tube of Aquaphor in winter, but if there were ever a lip balm to do it, it's this one. Packed with all the good stuff you want right now, like hydrating butters, oils, and antioxidants, but with a delectably sweet honey scent, I may just make it my permanent substitute.
." — Castañon
Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm, $10, available at
appearance by Mi-Anne Chan.
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appearance by Mi-Anne Chan.