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Looking at the year in review can be done in a myriad of ways, but here at Reviewed, we’re reminiscing on 2022 through the lens of the best beauty products we tested. Beauty items of all shapes and sizes—and price points—blew us away this year, from a matte lipstick that’s not your run-of-the-mill lippie to a customizable hair tool that’s supposedly a dupe for the highly-coveted Dyson Airwrap. Keep reading to get some inspiration for your next beauty buy.
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1. This sweet-smelling body cream: Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti-Cream
Just as the flowers were beginning to bloom in the early days of spring, a body cream with an aroma just as potent as a patch of flowers arrived at my doorstep. The body cream in question, you may ask? It was the Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti-Cream. In addition to its self-described “fresh, fruity-floral scent,” the cream also earned my stamp of approval for its ability to hydrate my skin. After a week of using this cream, my dry, scaly legs became smooth as marble. Now that, my friends, is what I call magic.
2. This hydrating moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Not all heroes wear capes, and sometimes, they come in the form of a thick, cream-based face moisturizer. The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream took the spot as our hydrating hero of 2022 for a variety of reasons. Our tester, Brigitt Earley, was impressed by how its thick, “silky texture” glided “easily and evenly” across her face—not to mention that she felt the moisturizer’s hydrating effects as soon as it crossed paths with her skin. She was also happy to report that her skin continued to feel hydrated and soft for more than six hours.
3. This affordable face wash: Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
The ideal face wash feels like it’s cleaning your skin without stripping it of its moisture-preserving natural oils. Earley was also tasked with testing 12 of the most popular face washes this year, and she landed on the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser as the best overall pick. Her trial run with the face wash was “overwhelmingly positive,” as it was easy to dispense out of the bottle, left her skin feeling soft post-cleanse and took off all her makeup.
4. This tool that can make loose waves in seconds: Hot Tools Pro Art 24K Gold 3 Barrel Hair Waver
A tousled, wavy hairstyle, sometimes called beach waves, was all the rage at the beginning of 2022, and beauty enthusiasts flocked to find a hair waver to achieve the look on their own. Earley tested eight of the bestselling hair wavers on the market and found that the Hot Tools Pro Art 24K Gold 3 Barrel Hair Waver was the gold standard of them all. “A single clamp of a 3- to 4-inch section of hair held for less than 5 seconds delivered instant S-shaped waves that held steady all day long, even after a lengthy and brisk walk around the neighborhood—no hairspray needed,” she recalled of her testing experience.
5. This hairdryer that can create the perfect blowout: BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Dryer
Believe it or not, you don’t have to trek to your nearest hair salon to get a show-stopping blowout. According to beauty editor Jessica Kasparian, the key to the voluminous style lies in the tools you use, and the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Dryer can help you achieve the look within a matter of minutes. By her account, it took her 20 minutes to create a blowout, resulting in “voluminous, straight strands” that surpassed her expectations. Wielding the hair dryer turned out to be a walk in the park as well. “The weight felt evenly distributed in the barrel and handle, making the blow dryer easy to maneuver with no undue stress on the wrist,” she wrote.
6. This tropical-scented body oil: Ellis Brooklyn Salt Soothing Scented Body Oil
More often than not, body oils can feel greasy and slippery, but the Ellis Brooklyn Salt Soothing Scented Body Oil was anything but a slick mess. My skin instantly felt soft and hydrated after I slathered 10 drops on my arms and hands, and the sensation lasted about five to six hours. Aside from its hydrating capabilities, the best thing about this oil was its tropical-like smell made up of ylang ylang flower, Tahitian tiare flower, musk, sandalwood and more that immediately transported me to a beach on a far-away island. If you ask me, this oil makes for the perfect bedside hydrating companion in the dead of winter when you’re, erm, fighting the urge to go sleep at 4:30 P.M. because it’s dark and cold outside.
7. This fine line-minimizing skincare tool: SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand
We’re all here for a skincare tool that aims to improve the skin’s appearance, and the SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand does just that. After using the wand for five weeks, I saw a dramatic improvement in the skin on my under eyes and my forehead. The skin below my eyes was no longer in its perpetual state of puffiness, and the fine lines on the right side of my forehead were barely discernible to the naked eye—talk about a skin pick-me-up!
8. This serum that gives skin a dewy finish: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops
Those that are in the know about beauty have probably heard about glazed donut skin (and its manicure counterpart) at least a dozen times this year thanks to Hailey Bieber. The Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops can help you attain the model’s signature glowing skin. Our beauty editor bore witness to the serum’s “fresh, dewy” finish firsthand, noting that it made her skin appear “smooth, plump and hydrated with a noticeable sheen.” Furthermore, she says that it doubles as a makeup primer due to its tacky feel that can grip complexion products.
9. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
This year was all about glowing, dewy skin, and makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury came up with a solution to attaining the coveted look with the release of its Beautiful Skin Foundation. When our beauty editor took this foundation for a wear test, she noticed that it “seemed to get more luminous throughout the day,” and it barely budged in the 12 hours she wore it.
10. This lightweight lipstick: Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick
Filipina beauty brand Sunnies Face proved that matte lipsticks don’t have to be uncomfortable in the slightest with its stateside debut of their top-rated Fluffmatte Lipstick. When trying my hand at the shades “Milkshake” (mauve pink), “Girl Crush” (terracotta red) and “Nudist” (dark brown) before the brand’s May 2022 launch, I was most impressed by the fact that it didn’t stain my teeth or transfer onto food and drinks—what matte lipstick dreams are made of, in my opinion. It continued to blow me away with its bold color payoff and lightweight feel.
11. This liquid blush that gives you sun-kissed cheeks: Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Lip Blush and Cheek Tint
Faking summer-flushed cheeks and juicy red lips is 100% possible with the help of just one product: the Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Lip Blush and Cheek Tint. I understand why the viral TikTok sensation has resonated with beauty enthusiasts everywhere, given that it draped my cheeks in a bright color—”Playtint” (light pink) and “Floratint” (brick red) were my favorites. On top of that, the hues made my cheeks and lip look as if I was born with this extra hint of color, thanks in part to the tints’ “watercolor finish” that allowed my skin to show through.
12. This easy-to-blend mineral sunscreen: Summer Fridays SunDrops Face Sunscreen
Finding a good mineral sunscreen is like finding a needle in a haystack because most appear pasty on the skin and feel too thick to blend into the skin. However, the Summer Fridays SunDrops Face Sunscreen hits different because of “its lightweight, silky texture and the soft, supple feel that it left on my skin”—a stark contrast to the unforgiving formulas that dominate the market. It continued to sweep me off my feet when my makeup blended on top of it without a fuss.
13. This customizable hair tool: Shark FlexStyle Air Drying & Styling System
A dupe for a high-end product *cough, cough the Dyson Airwrap* is a serious claim to make, and the Shark FlexStyle Air Drying & Styling System seems to be a dead-ringer for the $600 option. Our beauty editor adjusted to using this new tool quickly and was able to attain what she calls loose, “tousled waves” (see her demonstrate the process on Reviewed’s beauty TikTok channel, @beautorial) within a matter of 30 minutes.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.