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ITG
Top 25

The New Guard.
A comprehensive list of products that aren't just pushing the industry forward—they're starting an entirely new conversation about beauty. Enter your email below for a chance to win them all.
The contest has ended, but you can still browse the Top 25.
The Artist

Ain't no party like a Pat McGrath party because a Pat McGrath party is star-studded, glammed-up, and Instagram gold. It’s no surprise either. The queen of runway beauty for the past as-long-as-we-can-remember is as divinely inspired as they come—and just as hard to pin down. The good news is that now you don't have to just admire her work from afar (or from the back of a waitlist). Pat McGrath Labs now boasts real live product that's available for everyone, always. Look out for the Mothership eye palettes in particular. Highly pigmented and glorious, the powders are rich and bold. Like Pat herself.

The Hybrid

In skincare, trends come and go. The face oil craze in particular seemed to have just about run its course... Until April Gargiulo, vintner, daughter, and founder of Vintner's Daughter decided to take a stab at it. Her mix of 22 crazy-active oils was inspired by the antioxidant (and anti-aging and soothing and brightening and color-correcting) power she'd experienced through wine-making. Within a matter of months, it had achieved cult status. Do you need it? The answer is probably yes.

The Legend

All haircare lines promise the same thing: healthier, longer, shinier hair than the other guys can give you—just so long as you use this entire regimen. The lather, rinse, repeat of it all is exhausting. But it certainly makes the newly launched line from lauded editorial stylist Sam McKnight that much more refreshing. Who cares how you wash your hair, how you dry your hair, how you treat your hair? Not Sam. Cool Girl, Lazy Girl, Easy-Up Do, and Modern Hairspray all aim to make that slept-in, soft, textured look achievable. And even better: quick.

The Smudge

If you don’t already know Jillian Dempsey by her highly-edited range of organic eye makeup products, you've probably seen her work. It's appeared everywhere from Vanity Fair covers to Mario Testino shoots to Kristen Stewart’s face. The Lid Tints she launched in early 2016 were actually inspired, in part, by the "lived-in eyes" she was doing on clients like Jennifer Lawrence. The best adjective to explain the look is the one she uses herself: watercolor. The pressed oil-like consistency is blendable and a little waxy, and her commitment to natural ingredients that don’t slide off your face is paramount. But what really makes them stand out? The warm, neutral-hued shade range is beyond.

The Flame

The genius of Maison Louis Marie is excruciatingly simple: sophisticated scents presented in refined packages for a sixth of what they go for in the luxury fragrance market. That’s it. Imagine a great scent for a great price, and then go out and buy Maison Louis Marie’s Bois de Balincourt candle, the perennial apartment fragrance of ITG’s editors. While you’re at it, get the hand wash. Which doubles as a shower gel. The ability to tailor-scent your whole life, from kitchen to bedroom—isn't that maybe the greatest luxury of all?

The Itch

Scalp care is the new haircare. If it sounds familiar, it’s because ITG has dutifully heeded this advice from hair professionals—that a skincare-like approach to hair's foundation is the key to healthy growth. This year, the female-led hair startup Briogeo delivered the only scalp care products you’ll ever need: One scrub shampoo to detoxify and moisturize, with a cooling serum you can apply to your roots, and a non-aerosol dry shampoo that utilizes charcoal for oil removal. This is 21st century haircare, and it has almost nothing to do with your hair.

The Lift

Various urban legends accuse various culprits to be the cause of eyelash fallout. One of them claims eyelash curlers to be the reason. If you've experienced any reticence in the face of fully uplifted lashes, know you’re not alone. But the next time it comes up in conversation, just bring out Troy Surratt’s Relevée eyelash curler. On the one hand, it’s a sleek tool that curls the lashes and creates length. On the other, the shape–which has less of an arc than most curlers–is designed keep from straining your lashes. Because if you're going to invest in a black, matte, chic AF lash curler, you better have lashes to curl.

The Cure

For a facialist, a red carpet client list is better than a resume. And Shani Darden's CV speaks for itself: Emily Ratajkowski, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, and Shay Mitchell, to name a few. Ask these ladies why they glow and they'll all answer that their secret is Shani's signature product (she only makes one, at the moment). Retinol Reform is a gentle but effective retinol made to exfoliate acne away, treat discoloration, and brighten skintone. Daily use is almost as good as a standing appointment with Shani herself.

The Bargain

Ask any skincare fanatic which products they spend the most money on and serums are likely to be at the top of their list. That's because a serum has to be high quality to be worth using at all. But high quality doesn't actually have to mean expensive; The Ordinary's are simple, well-priced, well-made, and they actually do their job without compromising anything else. All that, and the brand is simultaneously championing single-ingredient products, and transparency and efficacy in product sourcing and production. The Ordinary isn't extra at all, and that's an excellent thing.

The Spotlight

What was once achieved by patting just the right amount of luminescent powder on certain parts of your face—but not too much, because you’re not a disco ball—is now a one-step swipe of a stick. (Plus a little blending around the edges.) Add in that moisturizing core and it’s basically a skincare product. Happy to have you in our bags, Haloscope. We couldn’t dew without you.

The Edible

There is nothing—nothing—more satisfying than watching thick, brightly colored liquid being poured from pristine factory machines into lipstick molds. It’s even more satisfying to think that the soon-to-be lipsticks shown in the same video (which you can watch on Bite Beauty’s website) are all 100% food grade. Add to that the fact that the lipsticks are some of the longest lasting, most gorgeously textured lip products you can find and you've got a true step-up in the world of beauty. Not to mention that Susanne Langmuir, the company's founder, is all around an incredibly lovely person.

The Glaze

It was the top and bottom coat that convinced our Senior Editor Emily Ferber that a nail polish brand could be about more than just the color. And yet, the shades here are some of the most sophisticated in the game. Since launching, Smith & Cult has blossomed into the 8-free nail polish brand that doesn't compromise, period. It's non-toxic, it's got staying power an inch south of gels, and it's just begging to be confiscated by the TSA with those big-ass bottles. (Pro tip: The gold tops are removable.) Nail polish can be a bit of a snooze-fest sometimes... Thank God Smith & Cult came through to ring the alarm.

The Hannibal

By 2025, dry sheet masks will have gone full drugstore. But for now, they’re few and far between. Brought to market by Nannette de Gaspé, they've since been perfected with Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial. Studies point to deeper penetration with dry masks than wet ones (or ones that utilize water to give you that slick moisture feel), and as a result, they’re packed full of actives that deliver on everything from brightening to lifting. The results are instant, and the reusable mask means you can get them more often. The Queen Alessandra Steinherr swears by it. Any other questions?

The Supplement

Vitamin C is a little too tricky to be the miracle ingredient everyone wants it to be. The minute it's formulated in a liquid, it begins to lose potency. Light, air, and other ingredients don't help either. So what are you paying for? Oftentimes, a hot dog water-smelling serum that isn't doing you many favors. But! Take everything bad out of that equation and you've got True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster. A completely dry powder, add a sprinkle to any serum (or just a little bit of water) and know you're getting the good stuff—and the brighter, clearer skin to prove it. No smell either!

The Tousle

You'd be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that this product is for your face. Regardless, it's a hair cream, and it turned out to be the one product every ITG staffer—regardless of hair type—has in rotation. The melty, nurturing formula gives light control to wet hair and matte hold when it's dry. Warmed up and twisted through lengths, you can also get that piecey texture so often out of reach. All that, and it really feels like a skincare product in the best way. Hence the name?

The Bouquet

You've seen perfume before. Hell, you've even seen herb-y, botanical perfume before. But you probably haven't seen an all-natural perfume with the entire ingredient list written right there on the package. Most fragrance compostions are kept under lock and key, but Goop's insistence on total transparency is part of their formulae's charm. Earthy and intense, both Editions 01 and 02 tend on the organic-smelling side—the refreshingly obvious (and currently unique) result of using organic elements like shiso leaf and Tuscan cypress. Who knew Gwyneth could be so down to Earth?

The Wink

Stila's Magnificent Metals Liquid Eye Shadows are what lid adornments ought to be. Simultaneously expert-worthy and accessible, with all the delight that comes from crease-free glitter on your face. The formula is a watery-but-pigmented liquid that can be blended out for a sheer shimmer look, or built up for a highly pigmented metallic eye. Professionals can do a lot, but in case you don't have a makeup artist on call at all times, these require no skill necessary: Dab on with the wand. Or your finger. Be sloppy. Or don’t. No matter what, your holiday party look is all ready to go.

The Oxymoron

It's not a foundation. It's moisturizer, and a sunscreen, and an anti-aging serum packed with vitamin C, glycolic acid, and antioxidants. And it's also tinted. Welcome to the new wave of cosmeceuticals, led fearlessly by the good Dr. Perricone. His is makeup that works just as well as skincare, refusing to be categorized as either. You know it's good product when your skin's in better shape at the end of the day than it was when you started.

The Sculpt

Makeup artist Wendy Rowe's been using these for years—she just didn't bother making them for public consumption until recently. The brains behind the Burberry Beauty line, Wendy says clients like Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne were nearly banging down her door for her then-photoshoot-only secret weapon. Now the Face Contour comes in two shades—for light-to-medium and dark-to-deep—for the most subtle, blendable contour on the market. "Sienna actually started using them around her lips, too, for some shape," Wendy mentioned in her Top Shelf. "That's not how you're supposed to use them, but it's a really good trick." That is, until the she went and launched the Lip Contour version of the original. Smart move, Rowe.

The Pout

Don’t be scared. Yes it’s a scrub. But it’s as gentle and soothing as a lip balm should be; more, even. While you were off exfoliating your face, your chest, your feet, and every other one of your extremities, Dior Beauty (a brand that happens to be crushing it right now—see any one of their foundations, concealers, or lipsticks) was creating something we forgot we needed: Something to exfoliate our mouths with. What's unique about the Addict Lip Scrub is that, being a lip balm, it can go with you everywhere and be applied as needed. And just like the Lip Glow, it adds a sheer flush of pink to your lips while smoothing and refreshing the skin. You’re left with baby-soft lips and the scent of vanilla wafting delicately from them. XOXO.

The Herb

Thirty-some years from now, we'll think back to when cannabis was illegal in parts of the United States, and we'll all laugh, high off our asses. Until then, though, we're watching cannabinoids trickle into the national market—a natural byproduct of the legalization of marijuana—in the form of body products. One such cannabinoid, known as cannabidiol oil (CBD for short), is a dream ingredient in body products for its ability to soothe sore muscles and ship to all 50 states. Lord Jones is ITG's favorite purveyor of CBD products. Just look at that package! Smells dope, too.

The Vacation

Five years ago, natural makeup was a limited category; halfway decent natural makeup that doesn't slide off of your face had even slimmer pickings. Since then, tons of natural beauty brands have tried their hands at cosmetics, all while Dr. Hauschka quietly honed one excellent range of makeup. (It just happens to be natural.) Their Translucent Bronzing Tint is an olive-oil based liquid that cleans up on MakeupAlley and imparts a subtle better-than-bronzer glow to all skin tones. Mix it with your moisturizer or use it by itself. You still deserve a vacation, but you won't need the tan.

The Heat

Rarely does a product review on ITG send such shockwaves of tentative enthusiasm through our readership like it did when we wrote about the Amika Straightening Brush. "Does this really work?" "Is it worth it?" "What about on my hair?" The answer with this one is a resounding yes. The key lies in its simplicity: It's just a paddle brush with an open-faced iron at its base. Brush (on dry hair) and you're done. Damn straight.

The Burn

The fact that this product has both "drunk" and "baby" in the name aside, Drunk Elephant's resurfacing mask ushers in a new era of efficacy in skincare. A whopping 25% AHA, plus 2% BHA, there's basically no scrap of dead skin or bacteria that can outlive the 20 minutes this thing spends on your face. Added to a weekly skincare routine and it all but eliminates any other exfoliation needs you thought you had. No wonder the tingling sensation is so Pavlovian.

The Fringe

Mascara didn’t know what hit it when Marc Jacobs came on the beauty scene. Alongside blushes and your grandmother’s powder puffs, lashes had long been due for an upgrade. In struts Marc and, suddenly, mascara is exciting again. First, there’s the Omega, in which two brushes are woven together for the most volume one could possibly imagine. There's also the Velvet Noir, whose hourglass-shaped wand corresponds with the shape and length of the lashes on your lash line, depositing velvety black mascara onto every last inch. The Feather Noir, as its name implies, is perfect for delicate, feathery lashes. The tiny brush is as intricate as a comb and perfect for separating and lengthening even the shortest hairs on your bottom lash line. Thank you, Marc. We love you, Marc.