No, it's not necessarily a secret that we beauty editors get a lot of free stuff. To provide a quick visual, our desks, vanities, cars and bathtubs could without doubt serves as prime real estate for an episode of Hoarders. While outwardly acknowledging our sky-high stashes has always felt a little uncouth (we never want to sound like we're bragging or being flippant), unboxing is, indeed, a huge part of our jobs, and we do strive to test and review every single compact and gadget that comes our way. If we love it, you'll hear about it. If we don't, we'll store it in the beauty closet for future photo shoots or donate it to friends, family members or causes like Beauty Banks.
That's all to say this: We receive enough products on a daily basis that, if we so desired, would never have to buy anything with our own money. But when we inevitably try something that inspires a head-over-heels, can't-live-without-it fixation (think Jack and Rose in Titanic), we happily spend our own salary on more of it so we can 1) hold onto our undying love for said products indefinitely (the bottles we receive aren't bottomless magic carpet bags, after all) and 2) help support our very favourite brands. So which beauty products do Byrdie editors actually spend their own money on? Keep scrolling for the 16 products perennially in our shopping carts.
"As far as brow groomers go, this is pretty ace. It adds a hint of colour to hairs, making brows appear fuller. The small brush grooms the brows into place, and the soft pomade holds them there."
"For a quick-and-easy smoky eye, this cream shadow is my go-to. The brush included is actually really good at blending the colour onto lids. It comes in plenty of shades, but I find Chocolate is the perfect shade if you want an eye look that can easily go from day to night."
"All too often, my skin descends into a flaky meltdown, and this moisturiser seems to be the only thing that will pull it from the hysteria. It's so buttery (but not greasy—there's a distinct difference), and it can get my skin back on track in just a couple of days."
"A good brow pencil is a complete non-negotiable for me, so I won't just wait for the next one to pass the Byrdie beauty desk. Nope, for the super-defined realistic look I'm after, it has to be Benefit's Precisely My Brow Pencil. Anything else and I'll be annoyed by the sight of my brows every time I look in the mirror."
"I'm a little late to the Invisible Shield party, but now I'm hooked. This daily sunscreen with SPF30 is a clear gel-like formula and doesn't make your foundation pile or flake, nor does it leave that horrible greasy residue sunscreen tends to leave. It's the perfect last step in your skincare routine, and it makes your skin look great under makeup. Sold."
"No other concealers manage to hide my dark circles, cover spots but not cake them, and brighten my complexion quite like this one. It's buildable, so you can play with how much coverage you want; I skipped foundation on holiday and just used this to cover any imperfections."
"I've been highlighting my hair—and battling the inevitable damage—for years, and I've tried my fair share of leave-in conditioners and detanglers (essentially the entire shelf at both Sephora and Ulta). This is the one that steals my heart and mends my ends again and again. I first discovered it a few years ago from celebrity hairstylist Tabitha Dueñas and was immediately smitten by how adeptly it navigated my ultra-blonde tangles and encouraged hydration (without imparting weight or grease)."
"I've been investing in this magical curling mascara since high school, and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon. It looks great on its own (think separation, curl, and super-black pigment), but I also really like layering it on top of my LashBlast to keep the curl intact all day long."
"From the fresh and pretty scent to the velvety way this bodywash lathers, I've officially fallen in love with this product and haven't wanted to use anything since discovering it among the aisles of Ulta. It cleanses and moisturizes, so my skin is never left feeling stripped or flaky immediately after toweling off. Plus it's one of the few formulas that haven't perturbed my sensitive skin."
"Simply put, I can't do my makeup without this powder, and like clockwork, I buy it twice per year. I realize there are two camps within the beauty word (those who love powder and those who, well, don't), but I fall in line with the latter. Not only does MAC's formula deliver a weightless finish without altering the color of my foundation and concealer, but it also staves off my previously inevitable under-eye and smile creases. Plus it imparts a little bit of a highlight (although it's in no way shimmery), which gives my makeup application a healthy dose of dimension."
"You get such a bang for your buck shopping French drugstore skincare brands, especially when you buy them in Europe, which is why I always let myself raid the drugstores when I go. This milky Avène cleanser is so gentle and hydrating; it keeps my skin moisturized and never irritated when I travel."
"Caudalíe's beauty elixir is another standby I'll always purchase when I'm abroad. I use this stuff for everything: as a refreshing face spray, a toner and a setting spray. It's pricey if you buy it at Sephora, so when I'm OOC, I always take advantage."
"We're blessed to be sent a ton of incredible beauty products on a daily basis (truly, you should see our office floor—you can barely see the carpet next to our desks), so I rarely have to purchase makeup or skincare products. But one product I run out of constantly and would rather not risk trying to replace with another brand is Nyx's Micro Brow Pencil. It's one of the few formulas that stays put, doesn't smudge and matches my brow color perfectly (I use shade Taupe), so I purchase it regularly at the drugstore. It's only $10, so I can't complain too much!"
"I religiously slather Aquaphor on my lips, cuticles and dry spots every single night before bed (and every morning before walking out the door). I had severe eczema as a child; to combat this, my mom and I got our hands on this richly moisturized ointment fast. Along with my prescription creams, I grew up massaging this silky formula all over my problem spots to soothe my skin. My inflamed eczema areas would instantly calm down and feel hydrated for hours. Thankfully I grew out of eczema, but I haven't been able to part ways with this magical stuff. It's my secret to dodging dryness by any means necessary."