Full disclosure: As editors, we get to try products for free sometimes. (And if you're a beauty editor, that turns out to be all the time.) It's certainly a perk, but it would also be quite hard to write beauty stories without actually trying the items being discussed. Even though we try new products often and may not necessarily need another sunscreen, for example, sometimes, we get so hooked on something that we feel inclined to go out and buy it. Other times, we'll buy something simply based on word of mouth or reviews.
Below, a handful of Who What Wear beauty and fashion editors divulged to me the products they use that are worthy of buying for themselves. I also included the ones I'm always replenishing myself and don't know what I'd do without.
Scroll to shop what could potentially be your new favourite beauty products.
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
"An old colleague of mine gave me this to try a few years ago, and I have been buying it ever since. I love this retinol formula because it doesn't aggravate my skin at all, and my skin is normally prone to dryness. The vitamin C brightens my face a bit, which is an added bonus. I also love that it's not too heavy of a night cream."
"Sometimes, I can't believe I pay £145 for a serum. Then, I remember how it makes my face smooth and glowy, and that soothes my financial guilt. You've probably heard about the merits of this serum on Who What Wear, so I won't repeat it all. All I'll say is that it does a good job of brightening the skin and smoothing any lines. And if you're worried about the price tag, it does last a long time because a little bit goes a long way—I normally have to restock after three to four months."
Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor
"There's just no competition here. By far, this is the best exfoliating body product I've ever laid my hands on, and when I accidentally left my bar in Arizona at my parents', I immediately made a 1:30 a.m. purchase the second I landed back in L.A. It's next-level talented at getting every last bit of self-tanner off, and even when I'm not self-tanning, it gives my skin a baby-soft exfoliation treatment sans irritation. It's one of my all-time favourite products from Glossier.
"This is a staple skincare product I began incorporating into my routine a couple of years ago after two different celebrity facialists (Shani Darden and Melanie Grant) recommended it to me, and it's done wonders for my skin. It's a hyaluronic acid serum, so it nourishes the complexion with lots of hydration, but it also helps even out skin tone and reduces redness. I'm hooked for life, and I think I'm on my fourth bottle now."
"This is the only vitamin C serum that hasn't made my skin freak out and burst into a fit of pimples. You can read a full review here, but essentially, it's a sister to the brand's iconic C E Ferulic serum specially geared toward people who veer oily and are prone to breakouts."
"I've gone on and on about this OG product from Olaplex for years, but truly, I can't imagine life—or my hair—without it. I apply it to wet strands once a week, and I try to let it marinate for at least an hour, but I'll leave it on for a whole day if possible. Because of said ritual, I only lose a couple of strands of hair post-wash as I comb out and detangle, which is a truly satisfying feeling that never gets old. I'll put it like so: If you're not using this, your hair is mad at you."
Hannah Almassi, Editor-in-Chief Who What Wear UK
"I'm really not one for a tanning product so the fact that I adore these drops and have used them every year for about four years in a row now… well, you know they must be good! Really subtle and buildable, I also find that they just suit my skin type and don't make me break out, unlike so many other products."
"After discovering through a facialist that I wasn't cleansing effectively enough (and that it was the root cause of a new wave of spots) I've been investing more in cleansers and my routine. I love Eve Lom's classic for a really thorough wash, and swear it is worth the hefty price tag as you use such a small amount each time. More recently, I was sent the Tangerine Cleanser from Rowse and it works very well in the evening, keeping my skin hydrated at night but without feeling heavy or greasy."
Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Senior Market Editor
"After hearing about it from everyone and their mother, I finally tried Ilia's Super Serum Skin Tint, and my only qualm is that I didn't buy it sooner. I don't wear anything on my skin often, so when I do, I like for it to feel super light (but still impactful), and this fits the bill and then some."
Sierra Mayhew, Associate Editor
"SPF is a must-have, of course, so I'm always reordering it on repeat. One of the only SPFs that I'm into these days is from Supergoop. Unseen is right—it leaves no white cast and never breaks me out. It works as the perfect base layer for the dewy makeup look I tend to follow it up with."
"I recently went viral on TikTok for declaring my love for Olaplex because pretty much every woman who saw it was in full agreement that it's the best haircare brand. So of course, I'm always reordering its products. While No.3 is my favourite and the first item to run dry, I have been loving No.6 lately as a part of my slick-back routine."
Joy Montgomery, Shopping Editor
"I had been wanting to try a vit C for ages, but I never knew which brand to try. Naturally, I turned to WWW's Beauty Editor at the time, Mica, who recommended Lumene as a starting point, which didn't cost a bomb. I was instantly hooked. It has such a nice light, non-sticky consistency which is lightly scented and absorbs super quickly. I layer it under my SPF every morning, and I've really noticed my skin looking brighter, especially when used in conjunction with hyaluronic acid at night. It's a real beauty staple."
"You know a product is good when you text a friend about it and she thinks it's just a marketing spam message. Whoops. Honestly, I couldn't live without La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo. When my skin was misbehaving a few years ago I used it every day and it helped calm down the problematic areas, and now I apply it the moment I feel a pimple emerging, or simply if I'm having a bad skin week. It works every time—it's particularly good for stopping under-the-skin spots in their track. Yes, I am an Effaclar Duo evangelist and I'm okay with it. #notspon."
"I had heard so many great things about Sunday Riley, and many of my fellow editors swear by its cult products for glowing skin. Last year I was kindly gifted a sample of the brand's Luna Sleeping Night Oil and I tentatively tested it out (the thought of retinol always scared me), but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it made a real difference to the low-level acne that had appeared on my cheeks. Fast forward to the present day and it has become a mainstay on my bathroom shelf. The consistency is light yet nourishing and a small amount goes a long way. I use it in the evening once a week - any more and my skin becomes a bit sensitive."
Katie Berohn, Associate Beauty Editor
"I wear this year-round, but in the summer, it's practically all I put on my face. Trying to wear face makeup in New York City humidity can be challenging, and Glowscreen basically makes my skin look like the best version of itself. I never get more compliments on my skin than when I'm just wearing Glowscreen. It makes you look sun-kissed and dewy. You can also use it under makeup as a grippy, glowy primer."
Maxine Eggenberger, Acting Assistant Editor
"Byredo is a brand I fell in love with when I first moved to London over a decade ago. I saved up what I could from my fashion assistant salary, took myself off to Liberty, and treated myself to a bottle of, actually, I can't remember which fragrance was my first, but that was it—I was hooked for life. I'm not cool enough to be on Byredo's press gifting list, but nothing gives me quite the same thrill as running low on my current bottle and contemplating which perfume to try next. I'm currently on Slow Dance—a delicious sweet fragrance—but next, I'm going to circle back to Mojave Ghost."
"Generally speaking, I'm never all that loyal to skincare products. Sure, I have a few moisturisers and cleansers in my rotation that I often come back to, but I'm always open to trying something new in the hope I stumble across a real gem. In fact, the one item in my skincare routine that's non-negotiable is Vichy's Liftactiv Serum. I've started to signs of ageing by way of fine lines across my forehead, but using this serum makes them almost disappear, and it's definitely made my skin firmer across the board. It's lightweight on the skin and not in the slightest bit tacky (my pet peeve), and you really don't need to use a lot to see results. I just pat two to three drops into cleansed skin and that's it!"
"As someone who's prepared to spend a chunk of their wages on beauty, people are always surprised at how laissez-faire I am when it comes to haircare. I'm lucky enough to have naturally resilient hair—it's strong and there's lots of it—so I never gave the products I was using too much thought. That was until I tried Olaplex's shampoo and conditioner for another Who What Wear feature. I'd had Olaplex treatments at my hairdresser in the past, and was always impressed by how healthy it looked afterwards. But then, that's how hair should look after the hairdresser, right? Well, I'm here to tell you the at-home products are just as good. The one thing my hair always lacked was dimension and shine but, after using my Olaplex combo, my friends started to comment on how shiny my hair looked. I'm prone to split ends, too, but I've noticed a dramatic improvement in that area also. Now, I'm officially a haircare snob."
"I know what you're thinking—who doesn't love Charlotte Tilbury? I digress, as much as I'd like to throw in a curveball for my final slot, I have to concede to the fact that I'm a Charlotte Tilbury obsessive. Most of my make-up bag is populated with CT products, but my ride or die is the Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria. Apparently, this shade was inspired by Victoria Beckham and is, in turn, slightly less saturated than its iconic sister shade, Pillow Talk. It's matte, but not too matte, and boasts velvety formula that enriches my lips instead of drying them out, which keeps me coming back for me. This is a lipstick I know I’ll wear for the rest of my life—nothing can surpass it."
Allyson Payer, Senior Editor
After an unfortunate incident with a too-strong retinol product, I started using this, and there has been zero redness or flakiness from it. I was so happy to find retinol my skin could actually tolerate, and the line-smoothing results have been very noticeable.
Blush is probably my favourite makeup product, so I've tried them all, but this is the blush I reach for over and over. It gives a nice rosy glow without being too pink. I'm even able to dust it across my forehead and bridge of my nose without looking like I have a sunburn.
I've been using this religiously for years. My eyebrows were never particularly thick, but as soon as I started using this, they were transformed. I've tried to find a cheaper alternative, but nothing else compares to RevitaBrow, sorry.
I've reordered this more times than I can count. It lasts for hours and leaves the prettiest glow. It's not technically a lip plumper, but it somehow makes them look plumper—I can't explain it. I've tried a few of the other shades, but the OG pink is my favourite.
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
"I am totally obsessed with this moisturiser and brand right now! I've been using this with the brand's Firming Bakuchiol Oil, and my skin has never looked better. It truly has all the things I look for in a skincare product: peptides, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It works almost instantly and leaves you with a super-bright complexion after just a few uses."
"I really love this new moisturiser from SkinCeuticals. If you have dark spots or acne-prone skin, it is a total game changer. It contains a few acids in it, which, I know, not everyone will love in a moisturiser, but it has really helped my dark spots and a particularly stubborn breakout around my chin. It's so smooth and also minimises your pores really nicely."
Eleanor Vousden, Beauty Editor Who What Wear UK
"This is everything and more that I seek in a concealer. The hydrating cream consistency comes in 24 shades and has a bouncy texture, gliding over fine lines and making it forgiving on pores, dryness and breakouts as well. And I haven’t even touched on how well it brightens the eyes yet! It manages to cover dark circles without looking heavy and has a luminous finish that stays looking freshly applied all day without creasing. It’s also highly pigmented, so you only need the tiniest amount, so it is kind to dark circles and your budget. I choose to apply this with a sponge to diffuse onto the skin."
"It takes a lot for a self-tanner to impress me and this is hands down my favourite. It’s not hard to see why it has gained icon status on TikTok. It gives skin a natural, unrivalled glow as the colour develops, but it even lends an instant sheen as it’s initially spritzed onto the skin—great for lacklustre shins that haven’t seen sunlight all winter. As it is clear, you’ll need to be thorough when blending. I like to spritz directly onto a tanning mitt and buff it into the skin to ensure I don’t miss any areas. While I don’t think you can ever completely avoid the biscuit smell with self-tanners, this formula is the most subtle that I’ve tried. I opt for the medium shade that develops into a believable glow after four hours and fades evenly after around seven days. I can’t survive summer without it."
Emily Dawes, Affiliate Editor Who What Wear UK
"This is another luxurious product for the skin that I think is really worth the cost since it's so effective. I only use it every few days when my skin is really needing a moisture boost, which means it lasts a long time, too. Cleansing my face with this before applying make-up for an event is my secret tip for a dewy, glowy finish."
Bobby Schuessler, Market Director
Kristen Nichols, Senior Editor
Anna LaPlaca, Editor
"I was gifted this shampoo-and-conditioner set a few years ago, and once I reached the bottom of both bottles, there was no question about whether I would repurchase them on my own dime. If you've ever tried Oribe products, you get it. The brand's signature scent is intoxicatingly good. Fragrance aside, this duo has left my hair shinier and healthier."
"I know Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk set is the real deal because anytime I whip out the lipstick or liner to reapply while I'm out, strangers go out of their way to gush about their love for the products. The colour offers the perfect flush and looks seamless whether I'm wearing minimal makeup or a full look. While all three products—liner, lipstick, and gloss—are meant to be worn together, it's the liner and lipstick I find myself using most often. I really like how the liner blends in so I don't get those obvious overlined lips by the end of the day when everything fades, and the lipstick itself, although matte, has a really creamy finish that makes it weightless and comfortable to wear."
Emma Spedding, Editor Who What Wear UK
Judith Jones, Senior Market Editor
"I am ridiculously devoted to this luxurious-feeling cleansing balm, which has elevated my cleansing routine to new heights. It's made of four aromatic oils that cleanse and remove makeup without stripping the skin. The muslin cloth it comes with is a game changer. It not only softens the skin and opens pores, but it also helps me slow down and take a deep breath while I hold the cloth over my face and neck for a few seconds. I love my cleansing ritual now thanks to this!"
Shannon Lawlor, Beauty Contributor
"I have said it once, but I'll say it again: This is the single best cleanser that you will ever use. It is suitable for all skin types (mine is oily and acneic) and removes the most stubborn of makeup without a glitch. I am possibly one of the biggest lovers of luxury beauty that I know, but this affordable, unassuming tin just can't be beaten."
"By Terry Baume de Rose is probably the best lip balm ever created. Truly. But this little guy is massively under-appreciated. It's the same cult formula but in a nourishing cream rather than a balm. I have gone through approximately 10 tubes of this and will continue to buy it for eternity. Not only does it soothe and nourish the driest of lips, it also leaves a subtle wash of rose. In fact, I've lost count of the amount of people that have asked me what lipstick I'm wearing after I've swiped this on."
"I own a truly staggering amount of perfumes. You see, every beauty editor tends to have a thing, and mine just so happens to be anything that smells great—whether it be body care or perfume. As a result of this, I get sent a lot of great smelling products to test and provide an honest review of. I would probably deem this fresh, but woody, fragrance from Acqua di Parma to be one of my most signature scents, however, I've never been sent a bottle in my career. And do you know what? I'm not mad about it. There's no amount of money I wouldn't part with to be enveloped by this hugely sentimental and totally exquisite scent. I buy it year in, year out, and it is easily one of my most cherished beauty products of all time."