Best Beauty Products of 2022
Updated: Jan 10
Let's talk beauty! Beauty products make lovely gifts for yourself and others, but the oversaturation of these products in the market can make shopping for them quite overwhelming. Whether you're at your local Sephora, shopping online at Ulta, or seeing beauty influencers share life-changing beauty trends on Instagram and TikTok- there is A LOT to choose from.
As a beauty writer, I am constantly talking to board-certified dermatologists and celebrity makeup artists about why and how some beauty products are better than others. I tested hundreds of products in 2022, and these stand above the rest. These beauty products are beginner-friendly (so they're great for beauty minimalists) and make a great addition to the shelves of beauty maximalists.
Let me start with skincare, as it's my first love, and if makeup is art, skincare is the secret behind the beautiful canvas you draw on. As I approach 40, I prefer quality over quantity and products that multitask, as you'll notice from my selection.
First, you need clean skin, and you don't need to spend a fortune on cleansers as you wash them off. I love La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Facial Cleanser because I can use it year-round, even when my skin feels more sensitive or dry in the winter. It's hydrating (glycerin), and support's the skin barrier (ceramides) without disrupting it, which is crucial. It's my one-stop shop to get rid of dirt, grime, sweat, and makeup.
Vitamin C Serum
If you're going to use one serum during the day, make it a Vitamin C serum, and my favorite is Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic 15% Firm & Bright Serum. It's the perfect composition of Vitamin C and lactic acid to help with hyperpigmentation to brighten skin. I like how it also helps with fine lines and skin elasticity; the liquid texture makes you glow instantly. It works really well under your moisturizer and sunscreen.
Everyone is talking about ceramides and their role in strengthening your skin barrier. Ceramides are lipids found naturally in your skin that make up a good percentage of your topmost skin layer and hold it together. Despite having oily skin, I have always loved richer moisturizers, which might not work best for those with acne-prone skin. Dr. Jart Ceramidin Skin Barrier Moisturizer is my go-to over Vitamin C and under sunscreen because it makes my skin look and feel healthy. It has five ceramides that help hold onto moisture as well as prevent moisture loss. I use it AM and PM.
Moisturizer with SPF
I have been faithful to CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 for almost a decade because it's a multitasking moisturizer with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, plus the bonus of sun protection. It's great for all skin types and perfect for warmer days though you might want a little extra hydration in the winter. It's an excellent pick for people who want moisturizer and sunscreen in one, though I do use an extra layer of sunscreen if I leave the house.
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from signs of aging and skin cancer. Having tried many sunscreens, I'd have to say my heart belongs to Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ because it goes on seamlessly and has a velvety finish without looking ashy. Fans of makeup will love this as it also works as a great primer.
Technically, it's a face cream and expensive, so I use the Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream with TFC8 Face Moisturizer as my eye cream after seeing dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss recommend it. This luxurious cream has a TFC8, a patented blend of skincare goodness that's been great to hydrate, nourish and protect the skin around my eyes before bed, and I am happy with the results.
Retinol is probably my favorite ingredient because it increases cell turnover and collagen production, making your skin look healthier and firmer. I have been using retinol for almost 20 years, and there are many good options. One of my favorites is RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum because it doesn't make my skin feel dry after using it. I also use Tretinoin gel 0.025%, more potent than OTC retinol serums prescribed by dermatologist Dr. Anisha Joshi. If you want prescription strength, check with your dermatologist to see what percentage is good for you. Make sure only to use retinol products at night.
Let's move on to makeup. For me, makeup is all about accentuating your features and having fun with them. I love makeup, and other than eyeliner, I didn't start wearing it till I was in college. I didn't get into face products until well into my late 20s, but I love trying holy grail products and discovering new ones.
I was a huge fan of IT Cosmetics and its CC creams, and now my favorite base is IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40. I love skincare/makeup hybrids like this one because it provides buildable coverage, sun protection, and a glowy finish. I wear the shade "Neutral Medium" (medium complexion with neutral peach undertones) as it works for me all year, even when my skin tone changes between summer and winter. Typically, I use my fingers but using a sponge has been transformative.
It's hard not to love the power of concealers, as they can help you look more awake and even out your complexion. I use Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Longwear Concealer in the shade Taffy (light medium with rosy undertones) because it's a great shade to neutralize dark circles. A little goes a long way in this; sometimes, I use a tiny bit to highlight the bridge of my nose.
I started wearing blush this year, and now it's an essential part of my makeup routine. Adding a little flush of color on your cheeks is the quickest way to look healthier and more put together without looking extra. I worship ALLEVEN Instant All-in-One Color Treatment in the shade "Rose"- a flattering shade of pink that works great for my skin tone. A few dots on my cheek, and I dab it up to meet the concealer. It looks natural and lasts for hours. Plus, you can use it on your eyes and lips too.
I have always loved highlighters, and I can't remember how long I have been using Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! Champagne Cream Highlighter. It's super-easy to use a stick highlighter with a sponge on the other end to make blending easy. An easy swipe on my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and cupid's bow, and I am done.
Eye makeup is my favorite, and I am a huge fan of smokey eyes, which is my go-to look. This year, during an eyebrow waxing incident, I lost a good chunk of my right eyebrow, and that's when Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer 3-in-1 Triangle Tip helped me immensely. You can fill in your brows and draw little hair-like shapes. I use the shade "Soft Brown" because I don't like dramatic brows though they are super in, and I keep my brow shape straighter than arched.
I finally gave in to Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in "Intense Black" after one of the beauty editors I worked with said it is the easiest eyeliner to draw the perfect cat eye. Plus, it's waterproof and great for drawing precise lines. It took some practice, but the fine tip is probably the best thing on the planet.
My lashes need serious help because they're short, thin, and straight, and my soulmate mascara is Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara. A few coats and my lashes look longer, curled, and thicker, so it's perfect. No other mascara has that magical effect on me.
I prefer lip tints for some color that lasts for hours, and I always carry a lip balm.
Last year, I discovered Wonderskin Wonder Blading Peel and Reveal Lip Stain Kit, which I use for lip color because it lasts 8 hours after eating and drinking without drying my lips. My favorite is the shade "Whimsical" – a natural-looking shade of brown-pink that's a bit darker than my natural lip color, so it looks like my lips but better.
*All pictures courtesy of brands, Amazon, Ulta and Sephora.