How Byrdie Tests Products

Byrdie Commerce Guideliens & Mission

Cristina Cianci / Byrdie

At Byrdie, it is our mission to help our readers make the best purchase decisions—it’s that simple. We exhaustively test and research a broad range of beauty, wellness, fitness, and fashion products with the ultimate goal of publishing honest reviews from editors and writers with subject-matter expertise. 

While we we do receive an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products we recommend, our recommendations are based on first-hand experience.

How Do We Test?

We believe in using the products we recommend just like you would, whether you’re kicking back with a face mask while watching Netflix, applying lipstick while you’re getting ready for a date, or throwing on a pair of leggings before a workout. That’s why we make it a priority to test products in real-life settings; we send products straight to our writers and editors so they can test them at home, and we also test products in our Manhattan testing facility, The Lab, where we can compare them side by side.

Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel
Byrdie / Hallie Gould

Before testing begins, our team conducts extensive research on products by interviewing experts (like dermatologists, trichologists, and dentists) for insights and evaluating user reviews. Based on those insights, we develop comprehensive testing methodologies that are unique to each product category. These methodologies call out certain aspects we're looking for (think: design, formula, application, and price) and also walk through our testing rubric that spells out certain tests we want to perform on products (like dropping flat irons or wearing eyeliner for a 12-hour day). After testing, each product is scored and those results are used to guide our product selection. The results are also displayed as an overall star rating on our articles.

We also gather qualitative data on the experience while testing these products, including what we liked about the product, if it was easy to use, if it worked as we expected, and if it was easy to clean. We editorialize our experience and combine our insights with the hard data to provide you with easy-to-understand reasons why we think these products are great—and what flaws you may expect, as well.

Fresh Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Mask
Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

From there, we compile our top products into lists and publish thorough standalone product reviews. Our recommended products run the gamut from budget to splurge-worthy, and we’re not loyal to any one specific retailer or brand. We make it a point to source recommendations from reliable companies who deliver exemplary customer service, so you can have a seamless shopping experience.

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. Therefore, we urge you to monitor any official announcements at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that may be related to the products you purchase.

We are committed to ensuring that our content reflects the diversity of our readers. This means showcasing brands and services owned by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other minority groups whenever possible and hiring more diverse writers, staff members, and experts. For more information, you can read our Diversity Pledge, as well as our complete list of Editorial Guidelines.

Flat irons

Byrdie / Phoebe Cheong

The Lab

The Lab is our product testing facility in Manhattan. It spans over 7,000 square feet and includes two test kitchens. Here, we can test everything from makeup products to hair tools, and beyond, side-by-side. We test products both individually and side by side to see how they stack up against each other. We make sure to get creative, too. For example, when testing flat irons in The Lab, we slid them off surfaces to see if they could withstand the inevitable fall off the bathroom counter; we used a meat thermometer to ensure that each one reached the correct maximum temperature, and we used a stopwatch to time the auto shut-off feature of each one to ensure it was accurate.

In short, we do what’s needed to make sure products are actually worth buying—and, during the testing process, our editors take detailed notes and our photographers and videographers capture it all. TL;DR: Our lab testing is an all-hands-on-deck approach to getting to the essence of what is the best buy for you and why.

Remington flat iron

Byrdie / Phoebe Cheong

Home Testing

Testing products in the home is also an important part of our process. With at-home testing, we’re able to vet how things like delivery and setup happen in a real-life setting, as well as how products hold up over time. Our at-home testers revisit products over months and years, measuring how durability and performance shift over time, if at all. To sum it up, the whole life cycle of a product is captured here. Similar to our testing in The Lab, we create methodologies for our at-home testing and we grade products on a variety of attributes specific to that product category. 

For example, when we tested drugstore eyeliners at home, our editor created a standardized methodology upon which to test each one. Every liner was rated on a 1-5 scale for pigment, dry time, staying power, and ease of removal; our editor noted how many coats it took to achieve an opaque look, utilized a stopwatch to measure how long each one took to dry without smudging, and wore each liner from dawn to dusk. She also tested two methods of removal with each liner—a micellar water and a cleansing balm—and judged each one based on how easily it came off the skin.

Coola Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops
Byrdie / Joline Buscemi 

Why You Should Trust Us

The product recommendations on Byrdie are purely editorial. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us products for editorial consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are our own. In some cases, we purchase products to test ourselves.

While we do receive an affiliate commission on a portion of the products we recommend, our recommendations are based on our personal first-hand experience.

Prior to publishing, we have our content fact-checked for accuracy and ask members of the Byrdie Beauty & Wellness Review Board—which is comprised of a team of dermatologists, dentists, dietitians, and more—to vet what’s written on the page.

Meet Us

byrdie associate commerce editorial director avery stone

Avery is a senior commerce editor at Dotdash Meredith who writes and edits pieces for Byrdie. She joined the company in September 2018.

Before Dotdash Meredith, Avery worked as a digital editor at DEPARTURES, a staff writer at For the Win, and a trends reporter at HuffPost.

Avery also covers culture, beauty, and music for outlets including ELLE, Refinery29, The Cut, NYLON, GQ, VICE, and more.

Read more
Avery Stone
Associate Commerce Editorial Director
Angela Trakoshis

Angela Trakoshis is Byrdie's beauty commerce review editor. She has previously written for Allure, Revelist, and more.

Read more
Angela Trakoshis
Beauty Commerce Review Editor
Erika Reals a contributing writer for Byrdie poses for a headshot.

Erika joined the Byrdie team in 2021 and has been with Dotdash Meredith since November 2020.

She received a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Her work has also been featured in Daily Mail, CollegeFashionista, and more.

Read more
Erika Reals
Associate Fashion Editor, Commerce
Alyssa Kingham Byrdie

Alyssa joined the Byrdie and Brides teams in 2020.

She received a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism from Central Connecticut State University.

Alyssa has previously written for local radio stations in the Greater Danbury Area.

Read more
Alyssa Kingham
Editorial Commerce Producer

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com