The best beauty launches of 2016

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Photo: Stocksy/Danil Nevsky

This past year, we’ve done our fair share of face misting, oil cleansing, and body scrubbing to report back on the best clean beauty products hitting the shelves every single month.

After reviewing hundreds of beauty products (to the point of our medicine cabinets now needing to be Marie Kondo’d), several power player products stood out as superheroes for skin, hair, and body.

So that’s what we’re sharing with you now. Consider this your master list of beauty must-haves, 2016 edition.

These are the go-to beauty products we couldn’t stop talking about (and slathering on) this year, organized by category.

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Skin Care

Photo: Herbivore Botanicals
Photo: Herbivore Botanicals

Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil, $72

Your skin will drink up this rich mix of anti-inflammatory blue tansy (in gemstone blue, no less) and other nourishing oils that work wonders for acneic skin, redness, and dryness—use it in place of your moisturizer (or mix into your go-to cream) for that dewy glow-all-day look.

kypris cleanser
Photo: Kypris

Kypris Cleanser Concentrate, $64

A glow-bestowing cleanser that pulls more grime and makeup from your skin than a product this gentle should.

Photo: OY-L

OY-L Face Wash, $36

All the benefits of cleansing with Manuka honey, without the mess.

Photo: Root Science
Photo: Root Science

Root Science Polish Exfoliant, $60

This superfood cleanser scrubs away dull skin with micro grains, brightening turmeric, detoxifying clays, and organic botanicals that bring out your skin’s natural glow (plus it smells like heavenly hibiscus).

Beautycounter charcoal mask
Photo: BeautyCounter

BeautyCounter Purifying Charcoal Mask, $45

It’s like a juice cleanse in the form of a face mask, thanks to the purifying power duo of kaolin clay and charcoal. Clogged pores don’t stand a chance.

drunk elephant lala retro whipped cream
Photo: Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, $60

The light-as-air—but mighty—moisturizer that nourishes your thirsty skin with nourishing plant oils and the fluffiest texture.

tata harper moisturizer
Photo: Tata Harper

Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer, $105

Acne-prone clean beauty lovers, rejoice—this ultra-hydrating moisturizer calms redness and won’t cause pimples as it packs in nourishing vitamins and nutrients.

Photo: Youth to the People
Photo: Youth to the People

Youth To The People Serum, $62

This trendy brand has a serious skin-care cred (the founders’ grandmother was a big deal skin-care guru) and it shows in the no-nonsense combination of science-backed skin-rejuvenating vitamin C and peptides in a base of kale extract (antioxidants for the win) and hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture to the skin without feeling thick or clogging pores.

african botanics
Photo: African Botanics

African Botanics Resurrection Eye Cream, $95

Found! An eye cream that addresses dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines with solid ingredients like caffeine and arnica (they’re the Drano of your under-eye area), plus peptides, green tea, and plant oils like marula. It’s worth springing for—and hiding it lest your significant other discover it, too.

Photo: Goop
Photo: Goop

Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial, $125

Brighter, clearer skin without a facial appointment. That was the result we got using Gwyneth Paltrow’s formula for facial success. The one-two punch of this very effective, very tingly exfoliating mask is due to its gritty texture and its AHAs, meaning you’re covered in the cell turnover department.

cocovit coconut water mist
Photo: Cocovit

Cocovit Coconut Water Hydra-Mist, $25

A dry office/sweltering summer must-have for a calming, refreshing spritz of tropically-scented hydration. And it helps your skin absorb your skin-care serums and facial oils like a dream.


Body care

Photo: Nubian Heritage
Photo: Nubian Heritage

Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed Body Wash, $12

This body wash—which stars Arabian honey and black seed oil rich in antioxidants—is creamy and softening, doing the job of a hydrating moisturizer before I even leave the shower.

khus khus serum
Photo: Khus Khus

Khus Khus Kama Body Serum, $84

Applying this feels like slipping into a silk jumpsuit—it’s a total skin-soothing, body-quenching luxury, and the jasmine-sandalwood fragrance is intoxicating.

Photo: Honest Beauty
Photo: Honest Beauty

Honest Beauty Magic Balm, $18

Meet the year’s do-it-all product that you carry with you everywhere. It’s a salve on dry patches, fly-aways, ouch-y cuticles, acts like a highligher on cheekbones, blends eyeshadow for a luminous look, packs your lunch for the day… oh wait. It’s almost everything a busy woman wants in a multitasker, and a favorite of Honest founder Jessica Alba.

meow meow tweet deodorant stick
Photo: Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick, $22

The indie Brooklyn brand knocked it out of the park with their long-lasting (and moisturizing) deodorant that does the job without bothering even the most sensitive of skin types.

Photo: Frank Body
Photo: Frank Body

Frank Body Coconut Coffee Scrub, $23

Coffee grounds, the main ingredient, are so effective at clearing up acne (and backne, and anywhere-else acne)—plus, the scrub makes my skin feel super smooth, and the coffee smell almost wakes me up better than a cup of the real stuff.

skin owl bar
Photo: Skin Owl

Skin Owl Matcha Beauty Bar, $24

The antioxidant-fueled green tea improves cell regeneration (while fighting free radicals), and a load of moisturizing ingredients (like shea butter and olive oil) leave skin smooth without the tightness you find with conventional bars.



marie veronique
Photo: Marie Veronique

Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30, $48

This hydrating, blemish-hiding tinted moisturizer gives foundation some real competition—and it’s also sunscreen, so it’s basically the perfect all-day, everyday product.

rms beauty luminizer
Photo: RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty Magic Luminizer, $38

Getting glowy skin should never be a problem if you have one of these in your bag. It riffs on the the cult-fave RMS Luminizer by adding a hint of champagne pigment for a warmer tone radiance.

kjaer weis lipstick
Photo: Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Empower, $56

The bold, matte lipstick you’ve been looking for—made with certified organic ingredients and housed in a super-chic tube that’s refillable.

Photo: Juice Beauty
Photo: Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty Ultra-Natural Mascara, $22

The black (but not too black) pigment hits the spot for daytime-to-evening makeup perfection—and the hydrating ingredients (aloe, shea butter, and a mix of vegan waxes) mean it doesn’t flake.

Photo: W3ll People
Photo: W3ll People

W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer, $23

This magical cream de-puffs and brightens as it conceals with organic algae, coffee extract, and pomegranate (win-win). It’s from the stand-out brand behind the cult-favorite Expressionist mascara that we can’t get enough of.


Hair Care

rahua control cream
Photo: Rahua

Rahua Control Cream Curl Styler, $26

A savior for course hair, this calms frizz, styles curls without crunchiness, and smells like a Palo Santo dream.

captain blankenship
Photo: Captain Blankenship

Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, $28

Their original mermaid hair spray is a great texturizer as well, but we’re obsessed with this creation which not only gives your hair bouncy volume (with no crunch), but an iridescent shimmer for an ultimate beach goddess look (be sure to take on your tropical vacation or use in lieu of one).

Looking for more natural beauty goodness? These are 9 game-changing new beauty products perfect for the cold weather. And these are 3 gorgeous clean beauty looks you need for the holidays.

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