These Essential 12 Beauty Products Just Got Insanely Cool Makeovers
One of the most fun things about beauty is that it's always changing. Just when you think something can't possibly get better, along comes some weird, wild, wonderful new way to get your pretty on. And we're currently experiencing a boom in innovation. New formulas, ingredients, and textures mean it's never been a more exhilarating time to be a beauty-lover.
Whether it makes your life easier, gives you a new perspective on a product you've never considered, or just makes you wonder how the heck they did that, these are the best new products you need to know. Prepare to be amazed.
The New Skin Brightener
Vitamin C is indisputably one of the best skin-brightening ingredients around. It’s also notoriously finicky — tricky to stabilize, harder to keep at its most potent. Which is why this powder vitamin C from Malibu-based beauty line Osea is so revolutionary. Enriched with healthy bacteria-promoting probiotics, it combines vitamin-C-rich fermented pomegranate enzymes along with organic and bamboo powders infused with seaweed to gently exfoliate your face. Just add a few drops of water to create a creamy paste that buffs your skin into luminous perfection. Because it has no water of its own in it, there’s no need for preservatives, and it remains fresh every single time you use it.
The New Beach-Hair Texturizer
For those with straight and slightly wavy hair, Summer means right-out-of-the-ocean texture. Salt sprays have always been the gold standard for beach-babe strands, but they come with a major downfall: they make your hair feel dried out and straw-like. Enter this contradiction of a cream from the hip Austin brand. It balances out the salt that causes dryness with seaweed, kelp, and green tea extracts that protect, restore, and hydrate hair. It also has a touch of cleansing power by sucking up excess oil from your scalp. And, because it’s a cream and not a spray, it evenly coats the hair and creates both volume and flexibility with zero heaviness or roughness. Let’s see the ocean water try and do that.
VERB Sea Texture Cream ($14)
The New Highlighter
Just when you thought highlighters had jumped the shark (we’re talking to you, unicorn highlighters), along comes this sunlit halo of a luminizer. The Marc Jacobs gel-cream formula applies like a dream, slipping silkily across your skin and can be used in myriad ways. Mix it in with your favorite foundation for a you-but-better complexion. Apply it on cheekbones and cupid’s bow for an angelic glow, or simply apply to your bare skin and watch as the golden-peach shade turns you into a tropical-dwelling goddess. But what makes this highlighter really special is its skin-healthy benefits. There are a whopping five forms of coconut mixed in the formula as well as a shot of provitamin B5 to infuse skin with moisture and plump it up. Also, it smells really, really, ridiculously good.
The New Keratin
If your only experience with keratin is some dicey straightening treatments, we’re here to tell you there’s so much more to this hair-care essential. The latest keratin product to hit the market is one of (if not THE) most scientifically advanced to date. Virtue is a new haircare line that uses a regenerative version of keratin called Alpha Keratin 60ku. A military research lab that specialized in regenerative medicine for soldiers suffering from traumatic battlefield injuries discovered a way to extract a pure, extrapowerful form of the protein that had remarkable healing effects. Which means when put into a haircare product it immediately repairs and protects your strands, restoring them to their healthiest, smoothest, most hydrated best. Our favorite is this frizz-fighting cream, which knocks out frizz and guards against pesky, hairstyle-ruining humidity.
The New Body Bronzer
Adding a touch of golden color to your body is a great way to warm up your skin tone and hide imperfections like bruises, spider veins, and unevenness. This Works’ updated version of its Perfect Legs product does all of that with the addition of SPF 30. Spray the convenient, travel-size spray onto legs (or any part of your body, really), massage in, and admire your new sun-kissed glow. The formula not only contains UVA and UVB sun filters, but it’s also infused with hyaluronic acid and shea butter for essential hydration, as well as vitamins E & C to smooth dry skin and brighten up your skin tone.
The New Lip Stain
Love lip stains for their intense color payoff but loathe how dry and flaky they make your lips? Right there with you, sister. Which is why Lancôme’s Matte Shaker product has us jumping for joy — it’s mix of color pigments and vitamin E results in an ultrathin texture that hugs your lips and imparts a bold coat of color that feels lighter than air on your mouth. If that wasn’t good enough, it also features a nifty cushion applicator that lets you precisely coat your lips in one quick and easy swipe. Plus, the shake-to-activate formula is kind of fun to play with.
The New Styling Cream
Anyone with a blow dryer knows just how important a styling cream is. They also know that not all creams are created equal. Those with fine hair need something that tames their flyaways, adds shape, and creates hold but doesn’t leave your ‘do all heavy and limp. Of course, megastar stylist Oribe holds the key to that particular coif conundrum. The brand's new Featherbalm is formulated for those with fine and medium hair and does everything from repair damaged strands and hydrate to weightlessly help you mold your hair into beautiful styles. And, even if you aren’t a fan of heat styling — or just lack the ambition to pick up a blow dryer when it’s 90 out — this overachiever also works as a touchable texturizer or a finisher for air-dried hair.
The New Gel Manicure
Gel manicures are an oddly polarizing topic amongst beauty-lovers. Some people hail them as a conqueror of chipped polish, while others fear them as the destroyer of nails. Their long-lasting appeal is clear, but it’s the acetone soaking removal process that causes the nail drama. This professional base coat from Orly marries the shine and longevity of a traditional gel, but eliminates the damage thanks to a peel-off formula that cuts the acetone-soaking timing in half. Wrap your nails in foil, remove five minutes later, and watch the gel release itself from the nails. Magic! And, less time equals less damage and helps you get in and out the door that much faster. The base itself is formulated with vitamins A, E, and B5 that promote healthy nails and minimize splitting and breaking.
Orly GelFx Easy-Off Basecoat (available only in Orly salons)
The New Cleanser
Ok, if we’re going to nitpick this technically isn’t new. It is however new to the U.S., and thank goodness for that. This French secret to a flawless face was created in the 1950s and is a favorite of all of the fancy people, from Léa Seydoux to Karl Lagerfeld. Dab the milky fluid on a soft cotton pad, then swipe over your dry face to remove all traces of makeup, dirt, and oil. The refreshing feel of the cool liquid and delicate scent only enhances the velvety, clean feeling it leaves on your skin.
The New Sunscreen
Yes, yes we know: We’ve already badgered you endlessly about wearing sunscreen. We get the resistance, truly we do. The majority of sunscreens can feel heavy and, worst-case scenario, lead to breakouts. Not fun. Which is what makes Dr. Barbara Sturm's innovative SPF product so life-altering — it’s a serum that can turn any moisturizer into a sunscreen. Or, apply it straight to your face as you would any serum. In addition to UV filters, it also contains ingredients that help prevent and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We are on board with everything that is happening here.
The New Color Guard
In the past six months, one ingredient trend has pushed itself to the top of the heap: clay. You would be forgiven for thinking that we mean clay in skin care, but the reality is it’s clay in your hair products that is making such a splash this year. Everyone from Carol’s Daughter to L’Oréal and luxury brand Christophe Robin has launched products that feature clay, each that does something different — add volume, protect color, soften, cleanse without stripping oils. The one we can’t stop using is from rainforest-grown brand Rahua. Its Colorfull line uses a lilac clay that is rich in minerals and reduces brassiness in blonds and brunettes. It’s coupled with a proprietary mix of oils, including the brands signature rahua, which “pushes” the newly deposited color into the hair and seals it in place for longer-lasting, more vibrant color.
The New Body Hair Remover
At-home hair removal has come a long way from the days of Nair and single-blade razors. Case in point: laser hair removal. What started in the doctor’s office has moved into the homes with IPL (intense pulsed light) systems that promise to prevent future hair growth. No, this does not mean one treatment and suddenly your legs are forever free of stubble. It will, however, result in fewer hairs down the road (the brand claims participants in its study saw an average of 66 percent fewer hairs after 12 months). This particular device by LumaRx also boasts a Super Friends of skincare team of pros behind it — it was created by dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D. alongside top physicians, tech experts, engineers, and scientists. It does come with a hefty price tag, however; if you’ve looked into professional treatments, you know single treatments can range anywhere from $300 to $500. And, since you need multiple initial treatments and future touch-up treatments, you wind up spending a lot of dough. Having your own device means controlling when and where you get treatments and not having to worry about being a victim of sticker shock every time you get your bikini line zapped.