I don't know, man. There's something about the winter that makes me less excited about acquiring and testing new beauty products. I think it's because all I want to do when it gets cold outside is wear a humongous body scarf and wear an endless series of sheet masks to inject moisture into my skin after one too many frigid commutes. That considered, believe me when I say that the fact that the products on this list excite me, they really, really excite me.
Admittedly, the February 2018 launches I'm jazzed about are mostly skin care — after all, the winter seems like a really important time to take your skin care routinely more seriously. There are entire collections to consider below, as well as a dreamy new fragrance, a mascara that will take your lashes to new heights, a highlighter palette that will transform you into the winter ice queen you were born to be, and a blush palette that will actually make you want to use every single color.
Deep winter is (at least for me) a little bit bleaker in terms of beauty, but these products are enough to get me excited — at least excited enough to keep my (very well-moisturized) head up until spring.
AVYA Skin Care
AVYA Skincare might look like any other luxury skin care line, but the collection targets what it describes as one of the most under-appreicated determinants of skin health: Melanin. The line has five products: A day moisturizer, night moisturizer, brightening Vitamin C serum, a caffeinated eye cream, and a gentle cleanser, all designed to work together to address skin care challenges (hyperpigmentation, for example) for women with varying levels of melanin. In other words, if you're a woman of color with pigmentation issues or melasma, you're going to want to check this line out.
Memebox I Dew Care Sugar Kitten & Space Kitten Masks
Consider these products the only two Kittens I'll allow within a 50 mile radius of my bathroom/apartment/life (I'm a dog person, really). The I Dew Care Sugar Kitten Mask is hydrating mask in holographic peel-off form, infused with real ruby and pearl powder — the inclusion of those ingredients causes the mask to start off a shimmering emerald and color change to holographic pink. Space Kitten has got charcoal, diamond powder, and topaz — it's one of those black peel-off masks but it's also got a ton of blue glitter in it. Blue glitter. This formula exfoliates skin and leaves it noticeably brighter — and both these masks are truly fun to use, and smell seriously incredible.
Dr. Loretta Skin Unexposed Collection
Dr. Loretta Skin Unexposed Collection, $35-$215, drloretta.com
Created by The Art of Shaving co-founder Myriam Zaoui, and her dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, the Dr. Loretta skin care line strikes the ideal balance of clinical and natural. Formulated with essential oils, botanicals, and first-to-market medical-grade actives, the products in the line forego the use of artificial dyes, fragrances, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, alcohol and more. The standout products are the Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser, which feels incredible on the skin; and the Intense Replenishing Serum, which works wonders on parched wintertime skin.
Benefit BadGal Bang Mascara
Everyone loves a buzzy mascara launch, and Benefit's BadGal Bang Mascara was one of the buzziest in February 2018. The "gravity-defying" formula isn't just talk, either: The mascara was formulated with aero-particles, a super light material used in the manufacturing of satellites and spacesuits. The idea is that BadGal Bang gives you sky-high lashes without feeling clumpy or heavy — and once you get the hang of the wand, it really works.
BECCA Ocean Jewels Collection
BECCA Ocean Jewels Collection, $35-$46, sephora.com
I've never met a BECCA highlighter I didn't like, and their new Ocean Jewels Collection is just so damn pretty. The collection includes and eye palette with seven new, limited-edition eyeshadows, a highlighter palette with five new limited-edition shades, and BECCA's new Liptuitive Glow Gloss, which reacts to the natural chemistry of your lips to develop into the perfect shade.
Proenza Schouler Arizona Eau de Parfum
There's something about the branding and packaging of Proenza Schouler's first fragrance, Arizona, that is so. damn. millennial. Blush pink, black, white, and super minimal, the box alone is Instagramable enough to make me suspicious of the fragrance itself. Luckily, the beauty of Arizona extends far beyond the packaging. The floral scent includes white cactus flower (according to the brand, it's never been used before in perfumery) combined with orris. The result is the olfactory equivalent of a hazy, dusty summer day where you could definitely go on an adventure — or do nothing at all.
PIXI by Petra Rose Tonic
I am full-blown stan for the original PIXI by Petra Glow Tonic, a liquid exfoliator that works works wonders on skin texture and vibrancy. My one complaint, though, is that it's a bit too harsh to use every day. Enter Rose Tonic, an alternative formulation to this amazing exfoliator, designed for sensitive skin.
Elemis Superfood Skin Care Range
I love a food-as-skin care moment, and Elemis' new vegan Superfood Skin Care Range doesn't disappoint. The line promises to "feed your complexion from the outside in with the pure power of concentrated superfoods, for optimal skin health." What this means is that the products harness all the good stuff in superfoods — anti-oxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and more — to improve your overall skin health. The range also includes an interesting pre-biotic in its formulas. Just like a pro-biotic that you take orally, the pre-biotic in the Elemis range claims to balance your microflora — only instead of in your stomach, it works on the surface of your skin.
Yes To Mask Sticks
Yes To has so many products, it's hard to keep track — in February 2018 alone, they released a ton of them. None stick out as much as the Yes To Mask Sticks, which come in two formulations: Yes To Tomatoes Charcoal Mask Stick (to detox those clogged pores), and the Yes To Graperfruit Snapmask Stick (which brightens the skin). Neither are the strongest formula of their kind on the market, but they are effective and priced perfectly for someone who wants to try a new mask but isn't sure what to choose. The fact that the mask comes in stick form makes it super easy to apply — and you don't even have to get your hands dirty to do it.
PUR Cosmetics Blush Book
I don't generally get excited about a blush palette, as the range of colors within are usually too all over the map for one person to use all of them regularly. Not so with the new PUR Cosmetics 4-In-1 Blush Book,. It has nice variety of shades, all of which are super versatile. In other words, you won't use one of the colors and leave the rest hanging — instead, you'll want to switch between them all.