Black Beauty Editors Share Their Beauty Must-Haves
Marta Skovro

New cosmetic products are produced every day, which can be daunting for many beauty fans. Editors, thankfully, exist. Editors have the exciting but difficult task of sorting through the plethora of beauty items that arrive on their desks in order to find the one that we’ve all been looking for. As an editor, they believe it is their responsibility to use their platform to present the most cutting-edge items that will make our lives easier.

With the approach of warmer weather comes a slew of new products, including intriguing scents, hydrating skincare, and amazing beauty packages to help us kick off the Spring season with all we need in our beauty bags, especially while on vacation. 

We asked our favorite beauty and fashion editors to share their must-have items. Check out which products they say have revolutionized their routines and now reside in their makeup bags.

Asia Milia Ware, Fashion and Beauty Jr. Writer, The CUT

“54Thrones’ African Beauty Butter is a holy grail for the colder months, my hands never go dry because I keep this stashed in my bag. Next, I love always smelling good so I carry travel-size fragrances wherever I go. Kay Ali has become a favorite of mine this year, especially Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper. It gets me compliments all night long. My favorite lip oil is Ami Colé’s Lip Treatment Oil. It doubles as the perfect nude gloss and a lip treatment. There’s not a day you can catch me without it.

“My edges must stay laid at all times and Ebin’s 24 Hour Edge Tamer is a non-residue leaving paste that allows every swoop to stay in place. And finally, a good skin refresher is always necessary and the Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer does the job for me. I love dewy skin and Laneige’s mist gives me the dewiness I desire and the hydration that my skin needs.”

Ty Gaskins, Style Editor, Grazia USA

“The Instant FIRMx Eye Temporary Eye Tightener from Peter Thomas Roth Skincare is my favorite undereye treatment hands down. One of my secrets to glowy skin year-round is Dr. Sturm’s Glow Drops. A couple of drops in the morning and midday helps to keep me looking revived and fresh. Number two of my glowy skin secret is the Innisfree Dewy Glow Mist, I use this after my morning routine just to top everything off. The ingredients include niacinamide to subdue excessive shine, yet still, achieve a dewy look.

“I wear SPF year-round (as everyone should). Typology is my favorite go-to not only for its amazing packaging but the lightweight texture and no white cast that dulls out POC. SPF30 Face Sunscreen is enriched with Aloe Vera which relieves the feeling of heavy cream on your face and keeps you cool in the warmer months. Skincare doesn’t stop at the face, especially in the wintertime, keeping my hands moisturized is just as important as my face routine. I love Chanel’s Le Lift La Crème Main, it keeps my hands smooth, even, and hydrated ready to brave the NYC frigid weather.”

Kiana Murden, Beauty Commerce Writer, VOGUE

“The KISS Felt Tip Glue Liner Lash Adhesive was truly love at first use. Ever since I’ve tried this liner I have been hooked. It’s so easy to use and helps lashes stay in place for hours. I keep this in my bag at all times. It’s always important to have a good lip gloss on hand. I’ve been loving Merit’s Tinted Lip Oil because it is formulated with shea butter and jojoba oil to keep my lifts soft and nourished. Even more, Bel Air is the perfect sheer, golden gloss. Concealer is certainly the most important part of my makeup routine, so when I have a long day ahead I make sure to keep something on hand for undereye and dark spot touch-ups. The One/Size Turn Up The Base Concealer blends seamlessly no matter when I’m applying. 

“Dry skin is my pet peeve, so I refuse to not have lotion on hand. The EOS Shea Butter Hand Cream is really moisturizing without leaving your hands with greasy residue. Touchland’s Power Mist is definitely my favorite hand sanitizer at the moment. The fragrances are supreme. The added mist application and non-drying formula make it that much more impressive.”

Kayla A. Greaves, Executive Beauty Editor, InStyle

“The Status Stick from Dibs can be used on pretty much any part of the body to add some shimmer. Aside from applying it to my cheeks as a traditional highlighter, I love swiping just a smidge along my clavicle bones, then using a touch of lotion to mix it in. Let me be honest here: I like every single product from the Ami Colé line, but I’ve most recently fallen in love with the brand’s Amplifying Mascara. It gives me definition, volume, length—basically everything I want, all while offering a clean formula and nourishing ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil to condition lashes.

“I won’t sit here and pretend like I have deep wrinkles (so please keep that in mind as you read this), but there are a few fine lines here and there that are noticeable to me. And thanks to the Targeted Wrinkle Corrector from Murad, I can (temporarily) get rid of them instantly, while squalane, hyaluronic acid, and acetyl hexapeptide-8- rich formula help to reduce the appearance of these lines over time. Caudalie was really showing out when they were formulating Premier Cru Anti-Aging Cream Moisturizer. Developed in partnership with Harvard University, this moisturizer uses TET8™ technology to tackle eight signs of aging, including reducing the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines, firming and plumping the skin, increasing elasticity, brightening dark spots, and enhancing radiance. Plus, it’s not too light or not too heavy, so it’s great to use year-round, in any climate.”

Shelton Boyd-Griffith, Fashion + Culture Writer

“Ok, Ami Colé’s Lip Treatment Oil is honestly one of my holy grails—trust me, believe the hype. It moisturizes and nourishes my lips, the gloss is not too shiny or sticky, it’s vegan and I honestly can’t ever leave the house without it. The Aloe Rose Refreshing Face Mist from Buttah Skin gives my skin the hydration it needs and adds a nice dewy glow.

I spitz it every time I need a little refresh. I swear by Le Labo—use the hand soap, have a candle, etc.—and the Hinoki Hand Pomade delivers just the same. It’s creamy yet not oily or greasy and gets my hands together, especially for the dry NYC winter weather. I’m a fan of very smoky, tobacco-based yet at the same time, sweet scents, and Replica’s Margiela Jazz Club is everything I need all in one. It’s become my signature scent!”

Bianca Lambert, Beauty Writer 

“Ok, I know the Noble Panacea Rejuvenation Night Balm is truly a splurge, but it’s a product that lives up to its hype. It’s a very active balm with retinol and lactic acid working together, but it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. In fact, I’m noticing I have fewer breakouts, and my skin tone is starting to slowly even out. I have hyperpigmentation, but I don’t love wearing foundation. The Radiant Creamy Concealer from NARS is truly amazing at blending in my dark spots and providing excellent coverage. I place it on the areas where I need it, let it dry down, blend it out, add a touch of Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, and I’m out the door. 

“I’ve never been very good at using brow pencils on my brows. I always overdo it. So, Boy Brow from Glossier helps me make my brows look like I put in some effort with a few swipes. A red lip makes me feel instantly put together. I love the color and consistency of the MatteTrance Lipstick (in Elson) formula from Pat McGrath Labs. I can apply this, and it stays put for hours without needing a touch-up.”

Sumiko Wilson, Beauty Fellow, COVETEUR 

“I’m admittedly way more invested in my skincare routine than my beauty regimen, so knowing that the Revealer Concealer from Kosas is equal parts makeup and skincare makes it a personal fave—caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and squalene? Yes, please.

“I’m a crier (and I own it!) so waterproof is a non-negotiable for mascaras. Caliray’s Come Hell Or High Water Mascara stays put when I get misty-eyed but it’s not a nightmare to remove other waterproof mascaras can be. I’m also obsessed with the wand. When I first saw the thin brush I was a bit skeptical because I tend to think that the bigger the brush, the better the length payoff. But this wasn’t the case here—the skinny wand lets you get a good grip on your inner corner and bottom lashes. True story: When I tried this for the first time I postponed my lash extension fill. Anastasia Beverly Hills has the brow wax of my dreams. My biggest gripe with my brow gels of yore is that the hold never gave what it was supposed to give. Brow Freeze Styling Wax keeps my brows in place for the long haul and leaves them with a clean, lifted look that reminds me of a fresh brow lamination.”

Maya Allen, Beauty Director

“Since red lipstick is unequivocally my signature shade, I’m very particular. The InStyle Badass Lipstick in Rebel Rouser blue-based hue compliments my skin tone so beautifully. It’s bright enough for an extra pop that’s guaranteed to garner compliments. And the matte texture is non-drying and comfortable, making it ideal for all-day wear. The #1 factor in skincare for me is trust. I’ve been an avid user of  Dr. Barbara Sturm products, specifically her darker skin tones line for years. So when she dropped The Good C Serum it was like magic to my ears. I’m constantly battling hyperpigmentation and dark spots and I’ve seen a noticeable difference after incorporating this product into my routine. Yes, it’s a pretty penny but you’re worth the investment.

“When I met with Ami Colé’s founder, the brilliant Diarrha N’Diaye, to celebrate the launch of her new line, there was no question that she created something special. When it comes to melanin-rich skin, she just gets it. The Skin-Enhancing Tint blesses my complexion with a barely-there feel that offers just enough coverage for an I-woke-up-like-this glow. I reach for this breathable, flexible formula on days when I want a little extra love for my skin.

** Editor’s Note: This story/interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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