The rush that comes with the start of the year (and the end of any kind of holiday break) can be looked at in two ways: It can be either a moment of high-stress or an opportunity to reset and conquer. The Byrdie family chose the latter. This month, we leaned on products that helped us rejuvenate and relax our minds and bodies. We tried calming fragrances and candles, extra-comfortable attire (including a robe that one editor likened to a duvet she could walk in), and updated formulas and gadgets that improve our daily routines. We test-drove makeup picks that coddled our complexions and played with hair accessories that just brought us joy—and we put the best ones in one place for you. Ahead, check out our beauty and wellness picks for January.
Jesa Marie Calaor, editor
Maison Margiela’s ability to bottle scent memories à la its Replica fragrances is unmatched. Bubble Bath is yet another example of this. Spritz it on and the floral and powdery notes will transport you to your most relaxed mental space. Maybe it’s a bubble bath or perhaps it’s in between freshly washed sheets. Regardless, the airy fragrance will make you feel like you're in your happiest dream.
The slip, scent, and ability to totally transform my waves for the better has not changed with Pantene’s revamped version of the Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner. I loved and raved about the original formula and this one is even better. It contains more of the "good stuff” like antioxidants and strengthening lipids, and its creamy formula leaves my hair softer, shinier, and more resilient. Best part: it has a clean scent that lingers long after I’ve styled my hair.
On days I skip my morning workout, I look to a matcha latte to wake me up. Golde’s Pure Matcha has been my go-to lately. It’s exactly as the name says—matcha with no added ingredients—and it energizes me without causing jitters or stomach aches (which I have been getting from coffee recently). One teaspoon in hot water poured over some oat milk has been keeping me focused during even my busiest days.
Eden Stuart, associate editor
When I was home over the winter break, I got my hair done by my mom's go-to stylist. While she was creating my Bantu knots (which came out fantastic, by the way), I noticed she was adding a bit of mousse to each twist. I decided to add that step to my own twist-out routine using The Doux's Mousse Def. Let me just say—what a game changer! Paired with the brand's Twist Curl Cream, I got the longest, smoothest twists I've ever been able to achieve without the help of a stylist. I also used Mousse Def before blow-drying (it's a real multi-hyphenate) and the results were top-notch. I honestly haven't tried a single product from the brand I haven't enjoyed, and I recommend it to naturals everywhere.
This product is the very definition of "new to me:" First released in 1992, it's massively popular in East Asia. It's so popular, in fact, that the brand waited 30 years to reformulate. (You can't rush perfection, as they say.) I got a chance to try the reformulated serum, and I can confirm it was worth the wait. The formulation is super elegant and smooth; and over the last few weeks I've been using it, I've seen real results. My skin is looking clearer and more radiant—so much so that when my cousin video chatted me to show me his new baby, the first thing he said was, "Wow, your skin looks incredible!" I'll definitely be keeping this one on my shelf.
Holly Rhue, senior editor
Lately, my skin has been a delightful combination of dry and acne-prone. I've learned that this is the only clay mask I can use, and I'm absolutely obsessed with it. It leaves my skin with this cool, deep clean feeling, dries out any lingering breakouts, and doesn't dry down to a cracky, flakey texture that strips my skin of all its moisture. The icy-blue color is also a plus for Instagram.
Dare I say this is the best-smelling candle I have ever laid my nose on? If you love clean, linen and cotton-inspired scents then this one will floor you. It's one of those candles that floods the room right when you open the box—you don't even have to light it. A part of the brand's spa collection of scents, it's one of the most chill, relaxing candles I've ever smelled.
I can never have enough leggings that actually stay up, and these by Vertical Activewear—a brand designed specifically for dance cardio—are a staple in my rotation. I can get through a full hour-long dance or boxing workout without so much as tugging at the waistband.
Hallie Gould, editorial director
The second I saw this palette, I knew it'd become a mainstay in my makeup arsenal. The brilliance is in the texture—the cheek-and-lip formula looks and feels like a butter balm—as it's brimming with jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to keep your skin dewy and glowing. That said, it's incredibly lightweight and easy to blend. The four different shades melt into the skin and are entirely buildable (i.e. you can add a subtle flush or a more saturated color to your lips, checks, and eyes either separately or all at once). It's rich, beautiful, and incredibly versatile.
Olivia Hancock, editor
I've been a fan of Flamingo razors for a while, but the brand recently updated them. They now come with a water-activated 360° comfort system and pivoting hinge, both of which allow for a smoother shave. Plus, the handles have been reengineered with 35 percent recycled plastics (we love sustainability). Any time I want to shave, I reach for this razor because it makes shaving an effortless and irritation-free experience.
When my skin feels dry and sensitive, I turn to the Farmacy Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Face Mask. It's infused with the brand's unique honey blend, which helps to moisturize and soften your skin. It's always a treat to use this mask because it heats up as you massage it across your face, making you feel like you're at a luxurious spa. After leaving it on for 15 minutes and rinsing it off, I'm left with skin that looks and feels hydrated.
Hair gels and I have had a complicated relationship over the years. My curls prefer lightweight styling products, and many gels that I've tried in the past weigh my hair down. However, the Tropical Roots Defining Curl Jelly from Bronner Brothers is a true gem. It enhances definition, hydrates my hair (thanks to ingredients like coconut water), and doesn't leave behind any sticky residue.
Cristina Cianci, visual editor
A longtime fan of Ceremonia, I recently treated myself to the Candle de Ceremonia and have it burning behind my computer as I type this. It smells incredible, as all Ceremonia products do. With its signature scent of South American tonka beans, lemon zest, violet, black tea, vetiver, and brown sugar, it's sure to invoke comfort and serenity in your home.
After falling in love with the Shaz & Kiks Scalp + Hair Prewash, I've recently started using the brand's With Love, India Moringa Oil to help balance out my scalp in between wash days. Harvested in Tamil Nadu, India, it's packed with nourishing and soothing ingredients like eucalyptus, sage, vetiver, and of course, moringa. It helps to moisturize and rebuild damaged hair by stimulating blood circulation and new growth.
Araziel Jackson, assistant social media editor
I've been on the hunt for the perfect detangling conditioner for quite some time, and I think I've found it. Patience is key with this conditioner—typically I apply a generous amount to my 4b/4c hair, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and let the water-activated formula work its magic. Upon washing it out, my curls instantly feel soft and hydrated, which is essential for winter. The added slip makes finger detangling and overall styling super easy.
This has been my go-to lip balm for a while now. I typically feel tinted lip balms can be sticky or not very moisturizing, but Make's Serum Balm is perfect for those dry winter days. It has skin-loving ingredients like avocado oil and jojoba wax that hydrate for a smooth finish. The nude shade, properly named Nude Nova, is by far my favorite. As someone who typically goes with a clear lip, the nude is subtle enough to wear with my everyday look.
Star Donaldson, senior social media editor
I’m a sheer/natural lipstick kind of girl, and this new Chanel Rouge Coco Baume formulation is made for me. It's hydrating and feels like a luxe serum on the lips, but it also adds a sheer tint of buildable color. I’ve been wearing this out for the past few weeks, and it’s stood up to the Brooklyn winter weather and doesn’t get messy under my KN95 mask. It’s one of the lipsticks that you want to keep in your bag at all times because it's a subtle neutral shade that goes with anything.
In my opinion, very few highlighters actually give a natural color payoff. The R.E.M. Beauty Interstellar Highlighter Topper is one of those rare formulations that blends naturally into your skin/makeup for a fresh-looking glow. I typically use a small fan brush to apply it to the high points of my face. I've tested it both using just a little and using a generous amount of product, and the highlight never looks overdone. It has reignited my love for highlighters.
I recently figured out how to twist my 4a/4b hair into a claw clip, and I’ve never looked back. I'm obsessed with this throwback hairstyle and am super excited that I can now do it on my hair type. I’m always on the lookout for cute claw clips that will add something to my look, and when I found this one from Chunks at a local shop in Brooklyn, I had to have it. It’s sturdy, easy to get a grip on, and stays in place all day. I typically use this clip to secure a half-up-half-down look because it’s not quite big enough to fit all of my hair, but I'm still in love with the design, and it’s a plus to support a small Asian-owned business.
Madeline Hirsch, news director
It’s moisturizer season again (ugh). With cold temps and radiator air circulating, it’s absolutely imperative (truly, I cannot stress this enough) that I have a moisturizer within reach at all times. This year, my new favorite is the reparative cream from Eighth Day. It’s highly absorptive (I don’t love it when a product feels like it’s just sitting there) and locks in all the hydration I’ll ever need. Because dry, scaly skin is just not it.
Behold, the latest and greatest in eyeliner technology: Freck Beauty's Lashrocket. This sleek little number is highly pigmented, transfer-proof, and (here’s the kicker) multi-use. Yes, that’s right: Your eyeliner can deliver more than just drama. Infused with a lash conditioning serum to give you longer, fuller lashes, this baby is built for speed and longevity.
Aimee Simeon, senior beauty editor
The Maybelline Lifter Gloss in Stone is one of my daily go-to colors for a “my lips but better” vibe, so I was excited to try the bronzed colors when they hit my desk. Like the other Lifter formulas, these are buttery, hydrated, and very pigmented—seriously, if you’re in the market for color payoff, you’ll love this. I’ve been dabbling on the shade Copper and mixing it with Sun on days when I want a touch more color without layering lipsticks, and the combination has quickly become a favorite.
Dressing up for me now consists of making sure my sweatshirt and sweatpants match my house slippers. In other words, the loungewear bug has me in a permanent chokehold. Nothing makes me happier than logging into a Zoom call, camera-ready and cozy with a cute robe and a cup of coffee. Call me unprofessional, but at least I’m comfortable.
So when I caught wind of Casper’s new Snoozewear collection (which includes a blanket robe, slippers, and a sleep mask), I was intrigued. The robe, which I like to think of as a wearable duvet, is equally cute and comfortable and makes staying wrapped up in bed all day more possible now than ever before. It also comes in cute, wearable colors and looks similar to the on-trend quilted puffers that’ll still make you feel “together,” even when you’re vegging out around the house.
Jasmine Phillips, social media editor
The Beauty Light Wand highlighter is a hot topic on TikTok, so when I got a chance to try this sold-out product, I was thrilled. Most of the trendy TikTok products live up to the hype, but Charlotte Tilbury truly outdid herself with this one. It’s a gorgeous rosy highlight that gives an instant glow. The cushion pad makes application a mess-free breeze, and the formula leaves a radiant finish. The Pinkgasm shade might be sold out until further notice, but there are a few other shades in stock that I’m sure are just as great.
I had a random breakout a few months ago that left dark marks on the side of my face. My usual skincare lineup wasn’t helping fade them, so I knew it was time to turn to something a bit stronger. After seeing a bunch of before and after photos on Instagram and countless five-star reviews, I knew I had to give Faded a try. It’s been almost two months since I’ve started using this product, and my skin is almost fully clear of those acne marks. It's packed with azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, and more powerhouse ingredients to fade scars while balancing and smoothing skin. I highly recommend it.
Karli Bendlin, senior editor
From the mega-viral Flawless Filter to the sold-out Beauty Light Wands, 2021 was indisputably the year of Charlotte Tilbury. As for 2022, the brand is already off to a hot start with the launch of their new Beautiful Skin Liquid Foundation ($44), a hyaluronic acid-infused formula that promises to hydrate, plump, and blur pores. My favorite part about this product is that it feels like a tinted moisturizer but offers the coverage of a foundation. It has a light-as-air finish, blends in seamlessly, and leaves a noticeable glow behind. Charlotte Tilbury has done it again.
I always keep a heavy duty lip product on hand during the winter since my lips get so dry, and this one from Tatcha has been my go-to this season. The limited edition version of the brand's bestselling lip mask offers all the hydrating benefits of the original formula, along with a subtle red tint. It's infused with nourishing ingredients like squalane, Japanese peach extract, and camellia oil to give your lips an intense dose of moisture while leaving behind a soft rosy hue. I like to apply a tiny amount in the morning to give my lips a hint of color before Zoom meetings, and a thick layer at night to soak in all of the hydrating benefits while I sleep.