How We Picked 2018's Top 25 List


What do you really want when it comes to beauty? Think bigger than your immediate needs for a moment—beyond the fact that you could really use some dry shampoo after this morning’s workout. Or that you wouldn’t kick a nice natural deodorant out of bed if you could find one that worked. Those are the nice-to-haves, the windfall of something larger and more crucial. A satisfying beauty routine is rarely just an amalgam of products with no consideration or connection. If this site has proven anything, it’s that trustworthy recommendations from real people are the standard for what you add to your Top Shelf. Knowing where to go for a good review—that’s what we really want when it comes to beauty.

We started kicking around ideas for this year’s Top 25 back in January. Pretty quickly, we zeroed in on the phrase “Can’t go wrong.” What, if pressed for a recommendation from literally anyone, could we recommend with gusto ten times out of ten? Beauty is far from one size fits all, which made this a challenge not unlike trying to host a Thanksgiving dinner when everyone’s got a different dietary restriction. Not the easiest thing in the world, but certainly not impossible.

On this year’s list, you’ll find 25 products that we recommend. Period. There’s everything from universally useful gut health supplements to the keep-it-around-just-in-case mask that kicks cystic acne in the butt. And of course, your new favorite lipstick, liquid eyeliner, eye shadow, and a few other essentials you maybe hadn’t thought of yet. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and read it! And keep the recommendations coming. Who’s to say we can’t start next year’s list right now?

—Emily Ferber

Really! Read it.

Photographed by Tom Newton.