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As 2022 comes to a close, we’re eager to reflect on the year in more ways than one. From fashion’s best-sellers to trending TikTok products, the last 12 months proved that the shopping marketplace is more robust than ever, especially in beauty. There was a slew of celebrity skin-care launches and luxe beauty salves from the most beloved fashion houses. On the other hand, we saw contemporary, minimalist-forward brands create buzz, creating formulas that blur the lines between makeup and skin care. Not to mention even more innovations with clean, sustainable approaches to cosmetics that continue to reimagine our regimens. That said, with so much buzz, paring down the year’s best beauty products has been no easy feat.
Some items are noteworthy for the lasting impact they leave on our ever-evolving marketplace, while others are special simply because they make us feel good. We’ve asked Vogue editors to detail the beauty finds (both new or old!) that were truly game-changing for them this year. From high-tech gadgets to newfound signature scents, read on to discover our picks.
Celia Ellenberg, beauty director
It’s nearly impossible for me to provide a truncated list of the game-changing beauty products I tried this year—so much so we launched an entire live-shopping series at the beginning of the year through our Vogue Club membership platform so I could break down the best launches every month, in real-time. (Not a Vogue Club member yet? Click here to join!) But for the sake of one-click shopping, I’m going with Clé de Peau’s Eyebrow Gel. It launched in the Spring, and much like everything from the Japanese cosmetics brand, its nuanced formula manages to make an impact without ever being overpowering. So the “sheer black” shade is, in fact, sheer, providing just enough of a pigment bump to keep you on the right side of Instagram brows.
Lauren Valenti, senior beauty editor
I was already a convert of The Rich Cream, so I was eager to try the brand’s more targeted eye treatment. It’s formulated with the TFC8 or Trigger Factor Complex to activate the body’s stem cells and support cellular renewal with other antioxidant-packed ingredients, including seaweed and pennywort. The lightweight gel-cream formula glides on and sinks in immediately, supplying instant hydration and suppleness. It’s a true luxury to apply while giving me the boost I need daily and setting the stage for the long-term results I desire, like stimulating collagen production and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. When I travel especially, I’ve come to rely on the Japanese wellness brand Shikohin’s easy-to-travel-with gua sha tool for a quick and lifting gua sha massage. But releasing tension doesn’t end there. Then comes some body reflexology by way of the small, sculptural Tsubo-Oshi rollers, which kneads away at pressure points to ease tension and promote blood flow. The combination leaves me looking and feeling like I’m fresh off of a lymphatic drainage massage.
My hair is never happier than after I’ve deep double cleansed upside down (yes, really) with cult scalp care brand Act + Acre’s Cold Processed Cleanse Shampoo. It gets the job done to banish build-up and purify while leaving my scalp clean, balanced, and moisturized. And because I use a lot of shampoo to thoroughly wash my dense mane of curls, I appreciate the jumbo size option.
When I want to reset the dry skin on my body at home, I turn to the one-two punch of Esker’s body oil and exfoliating treatment. A modern interpretation of the ancient Greek and Roman bathhouse strigil tool, this crescent-shaped wood tool features a blunt colloidal silver blade that gently buffs (yes, even for KP sufferers like myself) away dirt, dead skin, and other such debris to reveal decidedly smoother and softer skin. It’s incredibly satisfying.
Kiana Murden, beauty commerce writer
Though this was not my first year playing with the Dyson Airwrap, it was when finally mastered the interchangeable hair tool. Whether it’s effortless curls through its airflow barrels or a silky blowout starting with its round brush attachment, the Airwrap seemingly does it all. Speaking of hair, Kosas’s dual-action serum was the first potion that actually grew my eyelashes and brows. Because its two-in-one, I’m much more likely to apply it daily. I am quite religious with my routines, to put it lightly. Similarly, aromatherapy is how I stay grounded. Need I not say more about the stress-calming, mood-boosting powers of fragrance? I adore Alo Yoga’s essential oil set. I tap the oils on my wrists and temples morning and night without fail, and oftentimes, add a few drops into my diffuser. Otherwise, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with my revamped body-care regimen; smooth, baby-soft skin is an absolute must for me. Of the products that have made the biggest difference is Sunday Riley’s body scrub. Powered by salicylic acid and charcoal, this gently buffs away dry, dead skin revealing a glowing, clarified complexion—especially when shaving. Will be buying on repeat!
Arden Fanning, contributor
I had two beauty revelations in 2022 about a flower I’ve apparently underestimated:
First, after seeing Peter Philips’s take on glowing skin at Dior’s Musée Rodin couture show in Paris, I signed an NDA and sat at the College de France Scientific Conference, where a team revealed years of research behind the new Prestige La Crème. Thanks to the Rose de Granville, it has the ability to actually reverse, not just prevent aging. I found discussions of the technology’s possibilities thrilling, and now that the cream has been released to the world, it’s no secret.
Then, narrowing down a Brooklyn-wedding-day fragrance for Texan-family-favorite Ashley Echols (worth considering since olfactory experiences are stored as long-term memories, y’all), I dropped the Liis discovery set into a dozen-ish options from different brands. Sans guidance, Ashley picked my top choice, Rose Struck, for her ‘subtle, special’ celebratory scent. Neither of us thought we even liked rose perfumes, and since she only tested miniature vials, the full-size flacon’s chicness couldn’t sway the results.
Elise Taylor, senior living writer
I have extremely sensitive skin, and Dr. Barbara Sturm’s gentle eye cream has been a life savior. It moisturizes without being irritating—brightening up your dark undereye circles in the process.
Clarissa Schmidt, commerce producer
This year, I fell in love with Living Proof’s Full shampoo and conditioner set (and have been raving about them ever since!). For a one-and-done voluminous look, it really doesn’t get any better than this—my hair looks and smells incredible with every wash. I also had been on the hunt for an ice roller that aimed to wake up, depuff, and contour my face post-wash. I read contributor Zoe Ruffner’s review about Stacked Skincare, and considered myself sold. I love the simplicity of this tool, but love it even more for its big results.
Chioma Nnadi, editor of Vogue.com
As someone who suffers from hyperpigmentation, I’m always looking for new ways to help even out my skin tone. As a Black dermatologist, Rosemary Ingleton is particularly tuned into the sensitivities of melanated skin. Her gentle skin-brightening products have become my go-to. Now that I’ve given up synthetic fragrances for good, finding products that are clean and smell great can be a challenge. Lucky for me, Costa Brazil’s Kaya oil does both. At this time of year, my skin feels like it’s chronically dry. And yet somehow, Tammy Fender’s Plant Milk gives me a dewy, hydrated look even in the middle of winter. Seriously the best moisturizer I’ve ever used. I like to layer oil over my moisturizer before bedtime to supercharge my skin overnight. Seabuckthorn oil is full of natural fatty acids that do the job. Plus, this blend contains a combination of vetiver, lavender, and grapefruit, so it smells divine too. Really no surprise that it’s called Best Skin Ever.
Nicole Phelps, global director of Vogue Runway
Ever since a friend treated me to a bottle of Kaya Jungle Firming Body Oil, I’ve been obsessed with Costa Brazil’s fragrance. I spray the Aroma de Parfum on every morning, keep the Aroma in Oil roller bottle in my purse, and have two Vela candles at home, one on each side of my bed. Obsessed!
Liana Satenstein, senior fashion writer
I love this Superscreen Daily Moisturizer by Supergoop! I’m crazy about sunscreen and reapply…and reapply. Rain or shine. Supergoop!’s is light and hydrating, so I’m a fan. I’m addicted to FaceGym’s debloat and depuff facial massage. It’s like little angels draining your lymph nodes and unearthing your cheekbones. I don’t do facials, so this is my go-to treat. I look like a glistening supermodel after every session. I’ve been a Garnier and V05 girl FOREVER. Don’t worry, I still love my drugstore brands, but I have to say, after a really damaging, dry bout with my hair, I tried DryBar’s Agua Fresca Hydrating shampoo and it soothed my hair.
Mai Morsch, associate market editor
I always thought cleanser was the skincare product that mattered least; that is until I tried this cleansing duo from Caudalíe. First, I apply the Gentle Cleansing Almond Milk with a cotton pad to remove any makeup and then I follow with their Gentle Foaming Cleanser. My skin is normally prone to dryness and redness, but these cleansers have given me the best skin of my life (and they smell incredible!).
Irene Kim, production and editorial coordinator
I had previously said in another Vogue Beauty article that I wasn’t much of a fan of the Gisou hair oil, but after my bottle broke and I stopped using it, I realized how much this hair oil actually did for my hair. My hair has been super knotty lately, and I find it has significantly less shine than it did this summer (when I was using the hair oil) even after using hair masks and leave-in conditioners. I will be asking for the hair oil again this Christmas so my hair can go back to being shiny and knot-free again.
Kylee McGuigan, associate commerce producer
For nearly my entire early adult life, I’ve struggled with hormonal acne (the worst!). I’ve run the gamut of cleansers, gels, and creams that were prescribed to me in high school, and thought I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel during college when my breakouts finally subsided. But, earlier this year, I had the craziest flare-up that I couldn’t shake, and my go-to products weren’t doing the trick. Finally, my aunt recommended I use Jan Marini products that her esthetician had given her; the C-esta Cleansing Gel and Age Intervention Duality were proven to fight acne, so I gave them a try. When I say that my skin hasn’t looked more clear, smooth, and spotless in the last six or so months, I’m not kidding. The cleanser and cream duo have saved my skin—and routine—immensely, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I am one who believes in investing in holy grail products, so these will be on my radar for all of 2023 as well.
Laia Garcia-Furtado, senior fashion news editor
I had a baby in January and spent the whole year dealing with hormonal skin that seemingly had a mind of its own. I’d been using Tata Harper’s Clarifying Cleanser for like four years, but on a long weekend trip to California, I ended up taking a sample of the Regenerating Cleanser because I wasn’t checking a bag. In those four days, I saw an immediate improvement in the texture of my skin, and as soon as I got back to New York, I made the switch and bought the full size. My skin may not be exactly where it was in my pre-pregnancy days, but after two months, it’s the best it’s ever been.
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, associate fashion editor
Having thicker hair undeniably has its perks. But when it comes to a blowout, drying my hair is certainly not the easiest of feats. 2022 has been a year of fewer days standing in the mirror for hours navigating the brush and blow dryer technique thanks to this two-in-one tool. More affordable and easy to use, this product is perfect for even the greatest self-proclaimed “hair-illiterate” professionals like myself.
Lucy Dolan-Zalaznick, creative development senior associate
If, like me, you can’t be bothered to get to the nail salon every week but enjoy the look, these gel nail stickers are for you. The nail stickers are custom printed to the shape of your nails, and have upped my nail game this year without having to leave the house (or learn how to give myself a manicure). Trust me when I tell you that choosing between the colors and prints will be the most difficult part of the process. I’ve been bleaching my hair from dark brown to platinum blonde for five years, and I can confidently say I’ve found the secret to hair growth: treat your hair like a plant and water it. Every time I shower, I religiously spray down my hair with the Bumble and Bumble Hair Primer and I have the midriff length hair to prove there’s a method to my madness. Leave-in conditioners are too heavy for my hair, so this lighter spray from Bumble and Bumble was the perfect discovery. Don’t have bleached hair? This product was originally intended to protect your hair from heat damage, so if you blow dry, straighten, or curl, this is a must-have, too.
Taylor Lashley, social media manager
Although these under-eye masks were released towards the end of this year, they have already done wonders for my skin-care routine. I throw them on in the morning when I’m making my coffee before an early meeting and toss them in my bag when I’m traveling to use after a long flight. After 10 to 15 minutes, I look visibly more awake, even if I’m running on negative hours of sleep. I can also confidently say that Rhode’s peptide lip treatment is the best lip product that I have purchased in 2022. I’m currently making my way through my third tube and whether I layer it over a lip liner or wear it by itself, it always gets the job done. I’m a gloss girl through and through so I love that this product has the finish of a gloss while also hydrating my lips.
Madeline Fass, fashion market editor
I’ve tried tons of hair products, oils, creams, gels, but this one is by far the best!
Emma Specter, culture writer
Everyday Oil has changed my skin, and thus, my life! It’s made in a tiny town in North Carolina called Black Mountain, which happens to be the home of my all-time favorite coffee shop (shoutout to Dripolator), and the randomness of that coincidence delights me. Even if it didn’t, though, I would be in this product’s thrall; it keeps my skin hydrated and glowing throughout the dry doldrums of winter, and the process of smushing it onto my face to cleanse my makeup off feels vaguely like self-care.