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- The year may be winding down, but new beauty launches aren’t.
- POPSUGAR editors have already found some of the best new hair, makeup, skin, fragrance, and body products for the month.
- Shop our favorite December beauty-product picks ahead.
Even though the start of fall feels like just yesterday, in a blink, it’s already December. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it’s time to start (and for some, wrap up) your holiday shopping. Checking off every name from your list can be daunting, but the latest launches from some of your favorite brands make it a whole lot easier.
Month after month, brands have impressed us with new innovations across the hair, makeup, skin, nail, and body categories, and they certainly didn’t take the month of December off. From new skin-care tools to festive makeup palettes that have us audibly gasping with every pigmented swipe, our editors have found no shortage of exciting beauty products to test — and rave about — this month. On this list, not only will you find serums, candles, lip liners, perfumes, and more, but you also may just find the perfect beauty gift for someone on your list.
Keep reading to dive into the beauty products our editors are loving for December.
“The formula of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Face Palette ($85) is simply top of the line. Pick this up immediately if you want to look bronzed, blushed, and glowing, all without looking like you’re wearing any powders at all.” — Ariel Baker, assistant editor, beauty
“Admittedly, I’m not a big foundation person, so when I say the YSL Beauty All Hours Luminous Matte Foundation 24H Longwear SPF 30 ($56) is so, so good, you know I’m telling the truth. The reason this product makes the cut in my beauty routine is because of its natural, glowy finish. It smooths your skin, giving you a flawless complexion without looking like you actually have any base makeup on. It’s also super comfortable to wear.” — Jessica Harrington, editor, beauty
“I’m not sure about you, but holiday parties have been in full swing for me since mid-November and show no signs of slowing down. From formal family dinner parties to secret Santa gift exchanges with friends, the vibe of each gathering has been totally different. That being said, the Kevyn Aucoin Contour Eyeshadow Palette ($36) in CE Medium has helped me create a look for every type of party. I love that the golden, coppery shades are both buildable and gorgeous on their own. I’ve been able to do a subtle shine as well as a proper warm smoky eye with ease.” — Aviel Kanter, director, branded content
“The new Simihaze Velvet Blur Matte Lip Balm ($36) shades personify fall in a color palette. The color ‘Chai,’ in particular, is the perfect mix of red and brown that I haven’t stopped wearing.” — AB
“I love products that do double duty, and the Typology Serum Mascara ($26) does exactly that. It’s a serum-infused mascara that has ingredients like castor oil and pea peptides, so I can lengthen my lashes and strengthen them at the same time. Just a few swipes leave me with bold-looking eyelashes that don’t flake throughout the day.” — Renee Rodriguez, staff writer and social producer
“My boyfriend probably thinks the name of the Huda Beauty Empowered Eyeshadow Palette ($67) is ‘oh wow,’ because I utter that phrase whenever I use it. Not only is the color story beautiful, but the different textures are also a delight to the senses. The payoff is next level, and the shadows have very minimal fallout. I can’t rave about it enough.” — AB
“I’m a huge fan of Victoria Beckham Beauty products. The brand can best be described as elevated and high quality yet approachable. Recently, I got my hands on the Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin Kajal Liner ($26) in ‘Olive,’ a shimmery green hue, and I immediately found myself planning holiday makeup looks around it. The formula is smooth and creamy, making the liner easy to apply with a gentle flick. You can create sharp lines with it or use the included brush on the end to smudge it out.” — JH
“Blush is basically my love language at this point, and the Patrick Ta Major Headlines Blush & Highlighter Palette Vol II ($58) has delivered once again. This year’s iteration of the palette features a glossy highlighter that can be used by itself or layered to give the other colors in the palette some additional glow. I couldn’t love this palette more if I tried.” — AB
“If the dictionary came with pictures that best describe each word, this Dior Rouge Dior Clutch and Lipstick Holder: Limited Edition ($240) would be under ‘chic.’ It comes with not only the cutest black clutch — which, if I do say so myself, would come in handy for any holiday parties this month — but also four lipstick shades that would complement any outfit.”— Kelsey Castañon, beauty director
“I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup, but I absolutely can’t live without lip products. I recently tested the Tower 28 Beauty OneLiner Multi-Liner ($15) and completely fell in love. My favorite shade is ‘Draw Me,’ which Hailey Bieber is also a fan of. I adore the chocolate-brown shade and how well it matches my skin tone.” — RR
“I’m very skeptical whenever a brand claims that one blush color can work for all skin tones, so when I came across the Tarte Amazonian Clay Skintuitive Blush ($30), I wasn’t expecting much. You can imagine my surprise when this bright-pink blush not only showed up on my skin but also somehow morphed into a shade that looked incredible on me. This is because it includes a PH-adjusting formula that makes the blush look fantastic with help from your body chemistry. This has easily become one of my go-to blush options when I want to look awake and refreshed.” — AB
“When I was younger, I used to try to cram as many different eyeshadow shades as possible onto my lids. But now, I find myself using one to two colors max for a more minimal look. For that reason, the Rose Inc. Satin & Shimmer Duet Powder & Cream Eyeshadow ($30) fits perfectly into my makeup routine. I love that the tiny compact contains a matte and a shimmery shade, and it’s refillable.” — JH
“The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Highlighting Duo ($89) is for people who thought they were over powder highlighters but secretly still have a love for them. It looks borderline wet on the skin and leaves no discernible shimmer behind. It can’t be described as anything other than sophisticated, so if you need a highlighter that will bring you from a work meeting to dinner with friends, you can’t go wrong with this one. My favorite shade is ‘Peachlight.'” — AB
“I’ve tried my fair share of lash primers over the years but never one that’s tinted. The Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Serum Infused Lash Primer ($10) is designed to be layered under another mascara to help lengthen and thicken your eyelashes for a super-impactful look, but I’ve also been enjoying using it alone for a natural, no-makeup makeup look.” — JH
“The Makeup by Mario Ethereal Eyes Eyeshadow Palette ($68) is for neutral-eyeshadow-lovers who still want a bit of glam in their makeup looks. A swipe of one of the neutral shades all over my lids, topped by one of the glossy shimmers, makes it look like I tried much harder with my makeup than I really did.” — AB
“You couldn’t turn the aisle at Sephora without running into a celebrity skin-care line this year, but the one that lived up to the hype for me was Bieber’s Rhode Beauty. The lip treatment, in particular, was a clear favorite among the beauty team, with each editor loving a different scent. Luckily with the gift-friendly Rhode Lip Peptide Trio ($48), you don’t have to choose: it comes equipped with Unscented, Watermelon, and Salted Caramel.” — Kelsey Castañon, beauty director
“Ellis Brooklyn operates primarily in the fragrance and body-care spaces, but the Satisfying Skin Caring Moisturizer ($115) is proof it can rock skin care, too. This has a bouncy, whipped texture that coats your skin in hydration and layers beautifully under other products.” — JH
“Barneys New York (yes, that Barneys) has come back into the limelight after going out of business a few years back with a beauty line made with the principles of Korean beauty. I was a bit skeptical about this launch, but I have to say, the entire line is passing all my tests with flying colors. It was hard for me to choose between the Barneys New York Beauty Glocela Water Essence ($108) and the Light Gel Cream, but the Water Essence won out. It’s such a standout for me because of how truly juicy it made my skin feel. It’s a little more viscous than your typical essence, but I’m here for it. After using it consistently after cleansing, I can see a serious plump in my skin that wasn’t there before.” — AK
“I’ve had my fair share of facial cleansing brushes, but Nu Skin’s AgeLOC LumiSpa iO ($199, originally $250) stands out because it’s actually not a brush. The head uses a silicone attachment that deeply cleanses the face. It’s also extremely easy to clean, which was always my biggest issue with my previous cleansing-brush devices. The only time the LumiSpa iO has left my bathroom has been when I pack it with me to go on trips. It’s that good.” — AB
“Even though my skin flares up even just looking at the inside of an airplane or the winter weather report, the Drunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial Brightening Mask ($68) didn’t cause any irritation — even despite the formula’s heavy-hitting dose of azaleic and salicylic acids. What it did do, however, was reduce all the other things I experience: redness, sunspots, and the slight hormonal breakout here and then. I found it layered nicely under all my skin-care treatments at night, but I also used it in the a.m., since it had a surprising mattifying effect that made it the perfect makeup primer underneath foundation.” — KC
“My skin tends to be on the dry side, which means I have to work extra hard to get it to look dewy. Even the glowiest serums get absorbed in seconds. But Kosas Plump + Juicy Vegan Collagen + Probiotic Spray-On Serum ($48) is different. Because it’s a spray, it’s easy to reapply throughout the day (I even mist it over makeup), and it improves moisture levels and firmness and even reduces irritation. It’s glass skin in a bottle — even if you have dry skin like me.” — Dawn Davis, executive director, beauty and agency services
“I’m fortunate enough to rarely get a breakout, but this month, the skin-care gods tested me by bestowing not one but two pimples on my chin within two weeks. When that happened, I immediately reached for the Murad Deep Relief Acne Treatment With Salicylic Acid ($44). It’s a spot treatment that’s gentle yet effective at targeting acne-causing bacteria under the skin. Depending on the size and how deep a pimple is, I can put this on and wake up to see it significantly smaller by morning.” — JH
“I absolutely love my NuFace, but it can admittedly take up quite a bit of space in my toiletry bag when traveling. With the holidays coming and my travel plans ramping up, the NuFace Mini+ Starter Kit ($184, originally $245) is the perfect way to keep up with my routine without the bulk.” — AB
“The texture of the Fig. 1 Vitamin C Eye Cream ($34) is a dream. It’s silky, thick, and ultrahydrating, making it a must have in my winter skin-care routine. I apply it every morning on top of my vitamin C serum, and it leaves my skin looking dewy and feeling comfortable.” — JH
“I don’t think it clicked exactly how much I enjoyed using the Augustinus Bader The Light Cream ($175) until I was desperately pressing the pump and no product was coming out. This moisturizer is lightweight, sinks into the skin like a drink of water, doesn’t break me out, and doesn’t pill when used in conjunction with the rest of the items in my extensive nighttime routine. Now that winter is basically at my doorstep, I’ve decided to move over to thicker moisturizers, but this is a fantastic option for year-round use if you prefer a watery texture.” — AB
“Give me all of the brightening masks. The Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($13, originally $16) recently arrived at my door and quickly made its way into my weekly masking regimen. It’s formulated with vitamin C to brighten skin tone and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate away dead skin cells and congestion, leaving me with truly radiant skin.” — JH
“I have never met a hair accessory more suited for the holiday season than the Balmain Hair Couture Puffed Leather Headband ($580) — it’s chic and festive, and it comes in my favorite color that happens to go with every outfit (black). Plus, the 18-karat gold-plated ‘B’ logo will let people know you’re fancy without being over the top.” — KC
“Most hair masks are basically conditioners you leave on longer, am I right? Well, the L’Oréal Paris Hair Mask Sulfate Free Simply Clean Elastic Fiber Masque ($13) is a completely different experience. It contains fibers that activate when you rub your hands together, making it fun to apply — and these fibers help wrap every strand of hair with moisturizing ingredients and rosemary essential oil.” — DD
“I recently started using the Epres Bond Repair Treatment ($48), and it’s changed my hair for the better. Every time I use the product, it leaves my hair silky smooth and practically frizz free. It was developed by one of the founders of Olaplex, and after using it religiously for over a month, I think it’s safe to say this treatment is a definite winner.” — RR
“My hair has been feeling a little out of sorts lately — namely dry and kind of lifeless. The Saltair Moisture Bound Hydrating Shampoo ($12) and Saltair Moisture Bound Hydrating Conditioner ($12) have turned it around completely. The shampoo is formulated with a blend of monoi, pequi, and abyssinian oils, while the conditioner uses monoi, squalane, and hydrolyzed rice protein. These ingredients have made my hair feel absurdly silky and shiny without being weighed down. And you really can’t beat that price.” — AK
“This fall, I’m all about the Coco & Eve Glow Figure Body Moisture Whip ($37). The grape undertone reminds me of a scent from childhood, and it makes my skin feel so hydrated and refreshed. It will be my go-to for quite some time.” — Jada Gomez, executive editor, entertainment and style
“Flamingo Estate’s Euphoria collection is absolutely gorgeous. Beyond the incredible fragrance of bergamot, peppercorn, and damask rose, the products themselves actually work. The holiday-ready Flamingo Estate Euphoria Set ($182) contains some of the best items in the lineup: the body lotion, candle, and body scrub. All three of these products I use on a daily basis, and they have become essentials in my routine — no doubt the set would make for a well-received gift.” — AK
“There’s something about the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist scent that’s so nostalgic to me. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of my early days as a beauty editor — when someone I worked with kept a bottle of the perfume next to her desk — but either way, it smells so cozy and home-y to me. Now, the brand launched another offshoot of the fragrance with its Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Aluminum-Free Deodorant ($30), which is the same as the original deodorant only sans aluminum. Luckily, it works just as well.” — KC
“The Outset recently launched its Ultralight Moisture-Boosting Oil ($44, launching 12/1), and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I first got my hands on it. It’s a multiuse face and body oil that is hydrating enough to keep my skin moisturized all day. Even though I have sensitive skin, it doesn’t break me out, so it’s earned a permanent spot in my beauty routine.” — RR
“Never in my life could I imagine saying that something with Barbie branding smells chic. When I got this Nette x @BarbieStyle A Malibu Holiday Scented Candle ($82), I was expecting something sickly sweet and perhaps even artificial smelling — to say I was very pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The candle is meant to evoke all my favorite things about living in Los Angeles: sun on skin, salty breeze, milky sky, and a roaring sea. It does this perfectly with a combination of floral and musk. Coconut water, star jasmine, and sunny musk come together for what I can only call an exquisite scent.” — AK
“The Phlur Somebody Wood Eau de Parfum ($96) is decadent and spicy without being overbearingly strong. Amber, musk, and sandalwood are some of the key notes in this fragrance, so if you’re a fan of smelling sweet but not necessarily a gourmand-lover, this one’s for you.” — AB
“While I’d much prefer to spend the upcoming holidays sipping piña coladas on a white sand beach in the Caribbean, I’ll have to settle for the next best thing: this Vacation Limited Edition Luxury Scented Candle ($42). Modeled after its bestselling fragrance, which is truly a tropical getaway in bottle form, this candle will send PTO vibes wafting through your entire home.” — KC
“Meditation and relaxation are crucial for my beauty routine. Saje’s Aroma Light Celebration Electric Diffuser ($42) is such a dreamy addition to my nightstand. The twinkling lights and lavender oil create a perfect scene for sweet dreams.” — JG
“I have very reasonable expectations for my holiday candles: they must smell like I just stuck my head into a real-life Christmas tree. If the name of the D.S. & Durga Portable Xmas Tree Candle ($65) doesn’t immediately tip you off, allow me to assure you, this candle fits the bill. With top notes of rich balsam and middle notes of clover and spruce, if you close your eyes after lighting it, you can totally imagine a tree standing in the corner of your living room. Whether you’re team real tree or fake, it’s a must for the holidays.” — JH
“I love a unisex fragrance that’s on the smokier side, and the Leland Francis Stoner Eau de Parfum ($98) hits the nail on the head. It’s very sexy and sensual to me; the top is my most favorite floral fragrance (neroli), the middle is my number one favorite scent (palo santo), and the base has that perfect earthy resin (woodsmoke). As a plus, Leland Francis is known for producing small-batch fragrances that are vegan, cruelty free, and without any synthetic ingredients. I’ll be wearing this every day throughout the fall and winter.” — AK
“The Kayali Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli Eau de Parfum ($100) is likely Vanilla 28‘s ($85) richer, more established older sister. Notes like sugared patchouli, royal oud, and musk help elevate the scent compared to the original. This not only makes the scent stronger but also makes it perfect for special occasions, like nights out with friends.” — AB
“The Zoya Nail Polish in “Ryder” ($12) is the perfect reddish-brown shade for fall and winter, but I love more about it than just that. The brush makes the color super easy to apply with little to no errors, and the formula lasts for over a week without chipping, which is almost unheard of with DIY manicures.” — JH
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