We Vetted Hundreds of Beauty Products in November—These 36 Really Hit the Spot

By now, you’ve probably surmised that we test-drive a lot of beauty products here at Who What Wear HQ. From nail polish and makeup to hair and skincare, we’re eyebrow deep in all things new, exciting, and wish list–worthy. That said, due to the number of products we come in contact with, we’ve also transformed into the nitpickiest of beauty consumers. Within seconds, we can tell if a new hair oil is too heavy, and we’re quick to ignore a serum that yields disappointing results.

The good news? We’re far more often impressed than unimpressed after trying out a new product, and usually, we simply can’t wait to spread the word to all of our fellow beauty lovers (also known as you!). Therefore, we’ve decided gushing over our latest fave products should become a monthly ritual, and every 30 days or so, you can expect a full report detailing the highlighters, hair wands, and overnight skincare saviors we’ve become quickly obsessed with.

For the most part, we’ll be covering buzzworthy launches (as those typically take up most of the action atop our product-filled desks), but we won’t dismiss new-to-us products, either. Sometimes, our best discoveries are found on a friend’s vanity or on someone’s face at the bar (true story). Ahead are the best beauty products we tried in November! Grab your game face and wallet—you’ll be needing both.

I truly can’t decide which of these aromatherapy mood mists I love most, so here I am telling you to invest in the whole dang lot. (That said, if I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be Earth—a lush, ultra grounding number featuring vanilla, lavender, sage, patchouli, frankincense, and myrrh.) If you’re someone who loves to bathe themselves—literally and figuratively—in beautiful energy, you need these reiki- and astrological element-inspired mists by your side. Spray them before you hop in bed, step into the shower, sit at your desk, slide into the car… anywhere! Now, I just need Tamerri Zamaih Ater-Ntonni (the brand’s founder and a certified astrologer, reiki energy healer, and beauty industry product development veteran) to create minis!

I love when two of my all-time favorite brands collaborate on something special, and this whimsical new candle from Tata Harper and Nette kind of feels like something I must have manifested. It smells exactly like the name suggests, like an ethereal walk into an enchanted forest, and even though it’s so popular that it’s currently sold out, word on the street is that it will be back in stock soon!

Luxurious things are my weakness (I’m a Taurus), so it’s really no surprise this beautiful new at-home manicure set from Tenoverten has gotten under my skin in the best way possible this season. Every elevated essential housed in the chic vegan leather case is clean and consciously crafted including The Cuticle Eraser, The Foundation (one-part base, one-part polish), The Shield, The Accelerator, The Rose Oil, The Buff Plus, The Rose Wipes, and The Eco File. 

I just tried this Luminizing Face Balm from Coastal Citizen, and I’m positively smitten. On the one hand, I want my skin to look like a poreless, radiant sunbeam, but on the other hand, so many products that make said promise leave my complexion looking like an uncontrollable oil spill. This smart formula offers the happy medium I’ve been waiting for. Use it as a hydration-locking moisturizer or a more believable alternative to your go-to highlighter, either way, you’ll look like you just walked out from a $500 facial.

I pretty much consider myself a Victoria Beckham Beauty devotee at this point (seriously, just try to pry the Bitten Lip Tint from my daily death grip, just try!), so I’m always excited when Posh announces a new addition to her eponymous line. Dare I say this new, aptly named cheeky blush stick is the best formula yet? In addition to the signature, super-sleek packaging, and coy shade names, the blush itself is downright dreamy. Knickers—a flattering melon hue—has quickly become my go-to for cultivating the look of perfectly flushed, sky-high cheekbones à la Beckham herself.

“I recently went into Skin Laundry for a laser facial and they used this on my skin afterward—it’s a new product of theirs you definitely don’t want to sleep on. It made my skin feel so buttery soft that I knew I had to snag a bottle for myself to take home. In addition to hyaluronic acid, it’s also packed with niacinamide—an ingredient I love for its ability to reduce oil and brighten the skin. This is key if you have acne-prone skin or tend to get oily like I do.”

“I adore this brand. They were kind enough to send through a few new things to try and I was not disappointed. The brand’s pre-wash is insane for thick, curly hair so I knew right away I would love their new balancing clay hair cleanser and conditioner. It smells amazing and doesn’t leave my hair overly dry like many other shampoos and conditioners can do to curls. The hydration they both provide is also long-lasting, something I very much appreciate in the winter. 

I’m a big believer in making even mundane parts of my life feel luxurious and ritualistic (I am a Taurus sun and moon, after all). For me, that means making all of my heavily used products feel special, and that includes hand soap. Grown Alchemist’s new scent is balanced and relaxing, making it the best addition to my bathroom that I could ask for. Plus, unlike most hand soaps, this one doesn’t dry out skin, which is extremely important to me as the temperatures continue to drop.

There is nothing I love more than limited edition holiday candles. I love all things Diptyque, and I live by their Baies candle, but something about this holiday scent has really turned my apartment into a wintertime oasis. White musk, mimosa, and honey blend together to create a soft scent that makes me feel like I’m living in a snowglobe. Did I mention that the packaging is to die for? Snag this candle before it runs out of stock, I promise you will not regret it. 

I started using this buzzy new serum about a month ago (I’ve been using it in the evening before moisturizer) and I’m honestly blown away. I’m just skimming the surface here, but it basically stimulates your skin cells with clinical-strength ingredients that plump your skin. It treats fine lines and wrinkles, redness, dullness, loss of elasticity, and a slew of other concerns. I swear that my lines are noticeably less pronounced and it’s kind of a miracle. It’s exclusive to Violet Grey (so you know it’s good—they never misstep) and it’s pricey, but I promise it’s worth it if you want your skin to age in reverse sans-injectables.

While winter brings the start of so many wonderful things, it can be stressful maintaining hydration for curly hair. After noticing my scalp and hair were drier than usual, I started using Cantu’s deep masque hair treatment; it couldn’t have been a better call. Since using it, it’s kept my hair hydrated, prevented excess frizz, and given my hair routine the much-needed reset. 

I live for a good brow moment, and lately, I can’t stop using Kevyn Auctions’ two-in-one gel and marker. Most gels can be too thick, but this formulation is perfect because it helps shape the brows without leaving a waxy feel. And I love that you can fill in any part of your brows with the brown marker, which looks more natural than other typical brow pencils. It’s rightfully earned a spot in my daily makeup routine.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about beauty tools that claim to help with under-eye bags—until I test drove these little Ice Dice cubes. First off, I love how easy they are to use; all you have to do is submerge them in hot or cold water based on what you’re looking for and then place them on your under eyes. The ritual itself is not only soothing, but it brought me back to life! 

While my philosophy on (my) hair has historically been if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, when I learned about this Persian-inspired hair oil—which spoke to my own cultural roots as in addition to the founder’s—I felt compelled to try it out. Since we’re here, you can probably guess that I’m very happy I did. It provides the perfect, under-the-radar hydration for my ends that lasts through my blow dry without making my hair feel oily or weighed down at all. Plus, it’s made from clean and natural ingredients and comes in a pretty, aesthetically pleasing bottle for my vanity so it’s really a win all around. 

Given the change in seasons, my skin has been surprisingly happy as of late. However, after a night out catching up with friends over greasy food and drinks, I was still surprised to discover a massive, painful pimple appear the next morning. Fortunately, I had a stash of Peace Out’s best-selling Salicylic Acid Acne Healing dots on hand. I don’t have any photo evidence, because ew gross, but trust me when I say the zit was gone after wearing one of these bad boys overnight. From now on, I’m stocking up so I can hand these out like candy. My sister has already taken a whole sheet from my stash!

Purple has been my favorite color for years, but it has always been a challenge to find products that don’t look like they’re straight out of the juniors’ department. This season, Olive & June has made the nail polish of my dreams: Lilac Shimmer. Not only does it match my iPhone and Airpods case, and fit in with the early ’00s nostalgia trend, but I have also gotten so many compliments on my nails—friends who know me well have pointed out that this color was practically made for me. So thank you, Olive & June! I’ve finally found my new favorite holiday nail polish

Shout out to Paula with Paul Mitchell for giving me the best blowout of my life. I’ve been super lazy about my hair lately (yes, I’m still air-drying in November), and pondering a major chop, but after experiencing Paul Mitchell’s new volumizing serum, I’ve changed my mind. I asked for ’90s super model hair, and this product absolutely delivered. My thick-but-fine hair has never felt bouncier. Not only did I get a ton of compliments (I actually posted this photo on Insta, so you know it’s legit), but also my hair stayed clean, weightless, and styled for the entire weekend. That’s a major win in my book!

I’ve been pretty hands-off with my eyebrows since a tweezer mishap in middle school, but I jumped at the opportunity for a brow consultation with Dani Vincent of the brand Kimiko. Dani is truly an artist (she works with celeb clients like the inimitable Sandra Oh), and miraculously took my eyebrows from passable to perfection with just three simple steps: Dani applied a brow tint, shaped my brows with tweezers and tiny scissors, and filled in a few patches with her magical brow pencil. Both my dad and boyfriend ask what I had done differently to my makeup, which means the transformation was subtle enough to look natural but big enough to make an impact. Just the kind of upgrade I needed! I use the “coffee” shade, which works on a variety of skintones and hair colors. Highly recommend. 

My skin is always dry, but it’s been even drier and flakier recently. I’ve used my tried-and-true products to soothe it, which have been helping, but I just started using this face mask from Kiehl’s and it works SO FAST. It does such a good job of soothing my skin and making it so much softer and free of the flakes. I normally use it back-to-back for two days and my skin is back to normal. After I rinse it off I make sure to slather on the moisturizer to lock everything in.

My coworker introduced me to this heavenly fragrance by Celuí earlier this year (or more like I demanded she tell me what perfume she was wearing when she walked by me at her home) and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s made up of all my favorite notes—jasmine, cedarwood, and oakmoss, to name a few. Trust me when I say you’ll be swimming in compliments with just one spray.

This oil-based pomade has the best texture ever. It’s made with plant fibers that help build volume and the perfect feathery brows. The mini brush is the real highlight here—it brushes, grooms, and tames brows to perfection and adds just the right amount of product. I’m totally obsessed. 

Once it starts getting cold, I have to be more diligent about exfoliating more regularly and using richer body products to keep my Keratosis Pilaris under controI.  I’m impressed by this set—it comes with a buffing bar, which is a physical exfoliant, a leave-on chemical exfoliant, and a daily maintenance lotion. I rarely see such fast results but when consistent with using this trio, my skin looks and feels great. 

I’m not a big lip gloss person, but have become totally smitten with this glossy number. It’s clear, hydrating, and doesn’t leave my lips sticky. Plus, it smells like mint, so it doesn’t get much better than that. 

I love this stuff! It’s a cooling gel eye serum that helps waken up the eye area.  It’s made with the same technology used in Meaningful Beauty’s Youth Activating Melon Serum, that helps smooth the look of fine lines. The metal applicator feels good on its own, but if you want an extra cooling effect, pop it in the fridge before using it—you’ll thank me. 

I might not be a lip gloss person but I am a lip balm hoarder. I always have at least 3 different options with me in my purse, and this is the most recent addition. It’s made with organic jojoba and organic prickly pear which helps sooth and condition lips. It also has a peppermint scent so whenever I apply some while out and about, my lips feel totally refreshed. 

This is the creamiest gel blush that melts right into skin. I use the applicator directly on my cheeks and then blend it in with my fingers. I’m telling you the natural flush of color it gives is amazing. I can’t get enough of the shade Peachy.

I’m always looking for new self tanners that I can use, especially during the winter. I’ve been loving this instant tanning spray. It really adds such a nice color to my skin and leaves it looking glowy and fresh. Bonus: It doesn’t smell, leave my skin feeling sticky, or stain my clothes. Since it washes off immedietly, it’s perfect for when you’re in a pinch and have something on the calendar that you want to dress up for.

I’ve used applicator bits before but never a blending brush like this. I spray sections of myself with the tanner above and then use this to blend the color in. It really makes application flawless—no streaks or splotchiness in sight. 

While I’m big on skincare, I’ve never been one to invest in any at-home beauty devices. I’d rather leave the use of fancy gadgets to the professionals during a facial, but I’ve made one exception. This Vanity Planet facial steamer is not only fun to use because it offers a spa-like experience at home, but it also adds serious hydration to my skin and allows products to absorb better. I’ve been using this a few times a week to combat the effects of colder weather and can’t say enough good things about it. I’ll be buying this device for holiday gifts too.

I’ve been doing a lot of pilates lately, which means I’m looking for any and all ways to relieve sore muscles. This CBD body oil from Equilibria does just that plus it smells really lovely. I use it everywhere but take extra care to massage it into specific muscles I worked during that day’s class.

I just took advantage of some Black Friday deals and went for a reorder of my favorite acne spot treatment. This one easily smoothes onto my skin and soothes away the bumps or irritation that I have. It’s kind of become my go-to travel buddy since that’s when I tend to find myself breaking out.

I haven’t left the house now in a few days without wearing this blush. It’s the perfect shade for fall and winter since it has more of a deeper vibe to it. I pair it with my favorite highlighter and I really don’t need much else before I walk out the door.

Limitless is right. I get so many compliments when I wear this mascara so it’s been my go-to this month. I’m a big mascara girl and have tried so many but what I love so much about this one is that it gives a more natural look than the others that I’ve tried. I’m all for natural beauty so loving this one right now.

After running around shooting for a story, I noticed our associate branded editor Aniyah still smelled amazing, so I had to ask which perfume she used. I bought it immediately, and it’s safe to say it’s my new favorite every day. Smells like a garden but in the sweetest and lightest way possible.

Gifting season is here and after receiving Merit’s new lip oil set, I wanted to gift it to everyone I knew. Not only is the clear shade my new go-to gloss (I apply it over everything) but I’ve been gravitating towards the more fall/winter shades more than I thought before! Marrakech is still my OG fave, but this set is excellent as well and would be a perfect gift this season! 

Can you tell I live for a good clean scent? I love Target’s body care (I’ve mentioned how I’ve stolen my husbands’s body wash before) but I saw this scent trending on TikTok and tried it out for myself. It leaves my skin nourished and smooth and just has this fresh scent that stays on your body long after you’ve stepped out of the shower.

I received a small bottle of this in an advent calendar and after two to three weeks of using it, I ended up buying a bottle on sale this past week. My skin gets extremely dry in the winter and most cleansers strip my skin but not this one. It leaves my skin feeling fresh even after one wash (I still double cleanse, but great to know that even after one cleanse it does a lot of work!) and has worked well with my other skincare products to diminish any hormonal blemishes that usually pop around the time of the month. I’m excited to keep using it in my routine! With the holiday tiredness I’ve been using mostly just this cleanser, CeraVe moisturizer, and Supergoop! SPF. The simple routine has been keeping my skin in check. Up next, see which beauty products we couldn’t stop talking about in October.

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