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 September! Grab your game face and wallet—you’ll be needing both.
It’s so, so rare that I try a new product and become so immediately and unequivocally obsessed, that I forget all others that came before. But this hot-off-the-press oil-free face primer did just that! Somehow, this ultra-clean formula from Credo’s in-house brand Exa does the unimaginable—it hydrates and feeds your skin with yummy ingredients like blue spirulina and prickly pear extract, while simultaneously absorbing excess oil, gripping onto makeup, and drying down to a flattering, soft-matte finish. I’ve never loved a primer this much, and it’s the missing link I’ve been waiting for to achieve incredible-looking skin/makeup that lasts all damn day or night. (This is huge coming from someone like me who wants a dewy and luminous glow but quickly veers greasy and shiny.) Fun fact: This primer can delightfully work like a setting powder—just layer it on top of your makeup to mattify any shine that’s happening without drying out your skin or lending a cakey finish.
Every beauty person on the planet right now is FTFO over Tower 28 Beauty’s latest product: a mascara that quite literally has a memory hold technology that memorizes the wave and curl of your natural lashes. 2022 going on 2032? Feels like it! I’d been very happy with a slew of new mascaras I’d been trying, so, despite my love for Tower 28, I was last to arrive at the party for this one, but I’m so so glad I eventually did. Length, curl, and doe-eyed definition are my top three pillars regarding my lashes, and this one delivers as a true triple threat. It’s humidity-proof so you don’t get sad, saggy lashes by midday if you live in a humid climate like I do (Santa Monica is basically a separate country from the rest of L.A.). It’s also vegan, water-resistant, and fortified with lash-strengthening ingredients like panthenol vitamin B5 and castor oil. (So yes, your lashes will still look like a million bucks even when you’re mascara-less!)
By now, you may or may not know that I absolutely can’t stand the feeling of most body products on my skin. Feeling like a lubed-up baby seal (especially before I crawl into bed at night) is more aggravating than nails on a chalkboard. But because I’m impossible, I still want my limbs so silky-smooth and deliriously hydrated that they glow and gleam. Is that asking for too much?! Usually, it is, but this new body serum mist from Chanel’s eco-responsible beauty branch, N°1 De Chanel, has managed to make the cut. First, I’m lazy AF, so I love how fast and efficient it is to apply the milky serum all over my body and re-up my skin’s moisture levels in about three minutes flat. While there’s no icky residue, it does leave behind soft and silky skin and a lingering scent that’s subtle but gorgeous. It’s been the perfect summer-to-fall antidote for my dry skin.
“I have really dry skin, and this is the exact time of year when it typically starts flaking. This moisturizing mask breathes new life into parched skin by making it feel plump and intensely hydrated. The best part is you can leave it on overnight for an extra boost of moisture.”
“I’m not usually one for body scrubs, but this is not your average body scrub. It has a triad of chemical, physical, and enzymatic exfoliation, and it turns into a rich lather as you smooth it onto your skin, doubling as a cleanser. Plus, it’s made with upcycled tulips—I can’t imagine a more luxe shower staple.”
“I’m nearly always in the market for a good bodywash, and Native’s phthalate-free, sulfate-free, and dye-free options do the trick. I’m obsessed with this dreamy fall scent, which makes my shower smell like a cabin escape.”
“As a Taurus sun and moon, I believe in indulging in the little luxuries as much as possible. This opulent body lotion is the perfect place to start if you’re in the market for a body lotion that feels like a treat every time you use it. With notes like cassis, saffron, violet leaf, rose, pepper, and amber, it’s tough to imagine a better sensorial body lotion experience.”
“I had the privilege of getting a blowout from the creator of Arkive, Adam Reed, to test the new products. I was blown away by how soft, shiny, and bouncy my hair was afterward. Also, as a major fragrance person, I give kudos to Reed for imparting every formula with fine fragrances—they smell so damn good.”
“Dior has remixed their iconic J’adore perfume. The new fragrance is alcohol-free and water-based, resulting in the most fresh-smelling soft floral. I’ll be honest—I typically steer clear of white floral fragrances (they tend to lean a bit powdery for my taste), but this blend of jasmine, magnolia, and neroli is just magnetic.”
“I’ve never found a product that makes me want to call it ‘magic in a bottle,’ but that’s what this Dieux serum is for me. I apply it nightly with the brand’s Instant Angel moisturizer and every morning I wake up with healthy and soft skin instead of the usual dry and irritated skin I was used to facing in the morning. I have extremely dry skin and am prone to the occasional hormonal breakouts, so I do get pretty frustrated with my skin at times. While a lot of other products fall short in drastic effects, this serum changed the game for me. I will definitely be repurchasing.”
“I’ll be honest—I’ve never been a lip liner girl. I’m always applying a gloss or lipstick in a rush. After seeing dozens of lip tutorials on TikTok, I decided it was time to give it a try. My lipstick is always coming off or smudging, so I think I needed a liner. I tested a few out, but this Rare Beauty option has been my favorite. It has a built-in sharpener, is creamy in texture, and applies like butter.”
“I have a very love-hate relationship with makeup. I love how it makes me feel but also am extremely sensitive and can get uncomfortable when something’s on my face, which is why I prioritize lightweight products. I only touch foundations when I utmost need to. Most of the time, I usually stick to just concealer, but this Saie Beauty tinted moisturizer has come in handy in evening out my skin tone for everyday use. It’s also mega hydrating, so I know I can continue using it into the colder months.”
“Celine’s fragrance collection is heavenly, and I’m loving the latest scent. The woodsy notes make it ideal for fall. And just look at that bottle—it’s like a work of art in and of itself.”
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different eye shadow looks. Wearing colorful outfits has been way more fun ever since I started matching my looks to eye shadow from this palette. My favorite example of this is when I copied Kate Moss’ iconic blue eye shadow look that she wore in the ’90s for a night out during fashion week.”
“I just dyed my hair to a daring shade of red, and to help keep it strong between root touchups, I’ve updated my hair care routine. One of the first items I ordered after reading many rave reviews was this serum from Kérastase. After applying it in small doses to my roots for just two weeks, I swear I noticed healthier hair, so I’m telling all of my friends about it.”
“Whenever I try a product from SkinCeuticals, I’m always impressed by how efficacious its formulas are. I told my esthetician during a recent facial that I was dealing with some dark spots and scarring, and she immediately prescribed me this serum. After taking it home with me, I was quite impressed. It’s better suited to my specific skin type, so it’s actually replaced my all-time favorite and one of its sister serums, C E Ferulic.”
“Another serum that has become a star player in my routine is this one from StriVectin. It specializes in minimizing pores, and I haven’t complained about mine since purchasing it. BHA is the superstar ingredient!”
“My co-worker gave me this lip pencil and I’ve been pretty much addicted to it ever since. For a no-makeup makeup look, I apply a super light layer followed by a clear gloss or balm.”
“I never really gave body oil a chance for no other reason than I didn’t really understand how it was any different than a lotion. I love to be proven wrong when it comes to beauty products, which was the case as soon as I tried this oil from Prima. It’s so luxurious and soaks into the skin in a way I’ve never experienced from a traditional body cream or lotion. This one smells decadent and isn’t greasy.”
“Whether you have a partner or not, you need this sexual wellness product. It’s oil-based and the addition of CBD oil gives it a 10/10 score from me.”
“I’m a huge fan of Gwen Stefani and GXVE Beauty so naturally, I was excited to hear that the brand would be dropping one of my favorite products—lip gloss! The shades are incredible and it isn’t too sticky. My fave shade has to be All My Love.”
“Mugler. Not sure how I went so long without trying this beautiful and intoxicating fragrance! I recently gave it a sniff to compare to the new version, Alien Goddess Intense, but I have to say that I prefer the original. It’s sweet without being too overpowering and makes me feel extra sophisticated.”
“This is such a great lightweight and hydrating beauty oil. I love how it makes my skin glow after using it, and it smells lovely!”
“I’ve been using this collagen-boosting overnight mask a few times a week and I’ve been waking up with glowing skin. Definitely will be using long-term.”
“I love that this is a natural alternative to retinol. My skin’s been extra sensitive lately, so I’ve been laying off products like retinol, but this face oil is super hydrating and contains plant-based ingredients that deliver retinol-like results. I’m loving it so far and can’t wait to see what kind of long-term results it delivers.”
“I’m honestly not usually a palette person, as I’m pretty picky about what colors I use on my face (I prefer neutral shades with a touch of shimmer), but this one really checks all my boxes. Each of the six shades is gorgeous, blendable, and complementary. There’s something for every need—from blurring powder to highlighter to blush to bronzer. I have the elephant palette but there are two others that are equally perfect.”
“I’ve always found microneedling to be slightly terrifying, so I’ve never attempted an in-office treatment, but these new at-home rollers are anything but scary. The tiny microneedles dissolve into your skin and after you’ve rolled it over your face for about 10 minutes, it’ll look like you just got an hour-long skin-brightening facial. I can’t wait to try all three of the formulas.”
“I just started using Chantecaille products this year, and I’ve been consistently impressed. Lip Chic is a product I’ve been wanting to try for a while, especially when I saw they released four new shades for fall. Each shade is perfect and like-your-lips-but-better, but I’m partial to this smoky rose shade. It’s buttery and slightly sheer but buildable, so great for every day. Plus, the tube couldn’t possibly be any chicer.”
Next: FYI—9 Genius Tips I Learned From Studying Hailey Bieber’s Makeup Routine