Share with your friends!

New beauty products pop onto the scene every day … serums, tanners and hair treatments all promising to solve one of our many beauty woes … but do they work? We set out to test some of the newest products in the game (and some with so many rave reviews we had to try them!), and we’re here to share our honest thoughts (and our ratings on a five-star scale) on the ones worth trying, the ones we can’t live without and the ones we wouldn’t purchase again.

Serums, Moisturizers, Lotions and Creams

ANDA Skincare

Rating: 3 stars (for this skin type)
Tester: Annie Reeves
Review highlight: “While this product line was super moisturizing, it caused a pretty bad breakout! Unfortunately, natural products have a tendency to do that for me, so I’d recommend it for those whose skin agrees better with organic skincare.”

ANDA Skincare is new to the beauty scene, and it came on simply – with just three products. The Coherence Elixir is meant to quench and energize and enhance elasticity. It’s recommended that you mix a few drops of this with other products to enhance their efficacy. The Vitalessence Serum optimizes skin’s moisture and protects it from the environment. And finally, the Super Nutrient Balm – a thick nighttime beauty balm – was my favorite of the three products. Indulgent and super moisturizing, this balm sinks into skin overnight for that morning hydration.

The Anda skincare line is best for those with dry, not sensitive skin. Image: ANDA

Erno Laszlo Vitamin C Peel

Rating: 5 stars 
Tester: Megan Casey
Review highlight: “Obsessed! Everyone should use this.” 

Apparently, Audrey Hepburn was an Erno Laszlo client and once said, “I owe 50% of my beauty to my mother and the other 50% to Erno Laszlo.” With additional famous devotees to the line like Marylin Monroe and Jackie Onassis, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this highly rated two-step peel. Step one is an exfoliating scrub mask that you massage into your skin followed by applying a moisturizing gel serum as step two. The vitamin C, lactic acid and carrot seed oil really pack a punch and this peel left my skin smooth, fresh and moisturized. I’m addicted, and this peel is now a part of my Sunday routine.

Erno Laszlo Vitamin C Peel

The Erno Laszlo peel was worth the hype! Image: Erno Laszlo

Erno Laszlo Firming Powder Face Mask

Rating: 4.5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey
Review highlight: “This felt higher quality than most masks I have used.”

This mask feels a little like a science experiment since you mix a dry powder with a separate liquid to create the final product to apply to your face. The mixture will start to thicken up quickly, so apply the mask immediately (this also helps it stay put on your face). Heads up for cleanup: this mixture will clog up your sink because it starts to solidify over time. Be careful to avoid the sink when you’re putting this on, and throw the remainder in the trash. Speaking of the remainder, do each mask with a friend, because there is too much mixture to apply to one face and you can’t reuse it.

Erno Laszlo Powder Face Mask

The price may seem steep for an at-home mask, but this one is almost as good as a facial and you can’t beat $26 for a facial! Buy it here.

Skin Inc Custom-Blended Serum

Rating: 3.5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey
Review: “This serum is unique because they customize the formula based on your individual needs.”

First, I filled out an extensive survey on Skin Inc. Based on my results, I was sent three vials to mix together upon arrival, which ensures the ingredients are fresh and stable at the time of use. The combined serum is the perfect balance of lightweight and moisturizing while still feeling like it’s really soaking in, yet it doesn’t leave an oily slick as some serums do. The serums have little bubbles in them which probably don’t do anything extra, but do make me feel like it’s developed in a lab and therefore somehow better performing than others! This serum gets a 3.5 out of 5 stars because, while I loved how it felt and the customization, it didn’t produce any noticeable results within 30 days of use. I wasn’t expecting a miracle, but I’ve been able to see more of an immediate impact on my skin with other serums.

Skin Inc. Daily Dose Custom-Blended Serum

You can see our review of Skin Inc.’s Tri-Light LED Device shown here in our Beauty Tools review article.


Rating: 3 stars
Tester: Megan Casey

Review highlight: “I think I’m allergic to it.”

This product comes in a box with three vials. You turn the bottom of a vial to release the yellow Vitamin C compound and twist until it’s mixed. That vial will then last you up to 30 days. Since the total cost is $75, that’s really only $25 per vial per month which is quite inexpensive compared to other skincare brands. Note: when I turned the bottom in the vials I received, barely any yellow coloring came out to mix with the rest of the serum. It did not look like the photo below. When I asked the company about this, they said the natural origins of the ingredients are causing the yellow tint to fade away over time. Also, I developed a rash on my face in the first few days that I started using this product, so steer clear if you have sensitive skin. Before I developed the rash, I did really like the serum so it’s worth trying!

Vitabrid Dual Serum

This product is not great for those with sensitive skin. Image: Vitabrid

Uplift Organics Serum Concentrate

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey
Review highlight: “Super hydrating and gave my skin a serious glow.” 

Uplift Organics was founded by a Nashvillian who worked in retail cosmetics stores for years. After learning about the harmful chemicals in some cosmetic products, she sought out natural and organic products. When she was unable to find a line that contained all of the many vitamins and good ingredients she wanted, she finally decided it was time to develop her own products. Her product line is small, but it packs a punch! I tested her Serum Concentrate daily for about 45 days and will definitely reorder. The serum is creamy instead of a liquid or gel-like other serums. You won’t get the tingly feeling like you sometimes have with other serums, the result is deep hydration. In fact, I used this serum in place of a moisturizer each morning.

For glowy, hydrated skin, try this serum by Uplift Organics! This image shows the new branding and packaging that will be hitting the website soon. Image: Uplift Organics

Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Ashley Haugen
Review highlight: “Definitely worth the hype!”

Weleda products are known for their light, organic fragrances, and this product is no different. A lighter version of their ultra-rich cream, the Light Nourishing Cream really is light, but it’s quick to absorb — you won’t have to keep wringing and wringing your hands to make it absorb. A small dab will ensure you have super-soft, lightly scented skin.

Weleda Skin Food with its cult-following is all organic and natural and leaves your skin ultra-moisturized. Image: Weleda

Elina Organics Skin Renewing Oil Blend

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Lauren Cummings
Review highlight: “I’m completely hooked.”

At almost 30 years old, I feel like I should have my breakouts under control, but I don’t, at least not until I started using the Elina Organics Skin Renewing Oil Blend. It has been a real struggle finding products that are great for my skin and that do not cause breakouts, but this oil is a true game changer! After using this oil for about 4 weeks, both morning and night followed by a moisturizer as recommended, I have seen a HUGE change in my skin! The oil makes my skin so soft and I have noticed a remarkable decrease in the number of breakouts I have. My husband has even commented multiple times on how great my skin looks! I am completely hooked on the Elina Organics Skin Renewing Oil Blend and I look forward to exploring some of their other products!

Elina Organics Skin Renewing Oil

This oil blend was a game changer for our business coordinator! Image: Elina Organics

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil

Specialty Beauty

DermaE New Product Line

Rating: 3.5 stars
Tester: Alex Hendrickson
Review highlight: “A solid drugstore brand, especially for those who want natural ingredients.”

I tested DermaE‘s Overnight Peel, the Purifying Daily Detox Scrub and the Microdermabrasion Scrub. The overnight peel felt nice going on, but I didn’t see any difference in my skin in the morning. The daily scrub is harsher than I typically like so I will keep it for a weekly treatment. The Microdermabrasion Scrub brought some blackheads to the surface so it really works, it just left some redness that lasted for about 24 hours. My skin was so tight afterward I had to immediately slather on some moisturizer. Overall, DERMA E is a great price point but the products don’t rival high-end brands.

For a drugstore natural line, we recommend Derma-E! Image: Derma-E


Aila Eucalyptus Foot Cream

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey
Review highlight: “This cream is magical.”

Aila Eucalyptus Foot Cream is magical! It feels like menthol because of eucalyptus and tingles in the best possible way. I have really dry skin and things turn from dry to supremely parched in the winter. To combat it, I have a cabinet full of moisturizers and creams. I even put lotion on my feet before bed (under socks!) and this cream actually soaks in overnight. There’s no leftover residue the next morning, which means it’s penetrating my skin and not just sitting on top like most other heavy creams I’ve used before. This product gets 5 out of 5 stars from me because it kept my pedicure going for weeks. My feet were smooth and healthy far beyond the time a typical pedicure starts to fade.

SB staffers are divided on whether or not foot cream is gross. If you’re a fan, you need this one. Find it here for $36. It’s worth it. Image: Aila

Brazilian Facelift Kit

Rating: 4 stars
Tester: Megan Casey

Review highlight: “I could really feel these products working.”

This kit contains three products: a Bratoxin serum that is used daily, a BratoxInsta serum used when needed and an Acai Triple Stem Cell Sleep Mask that is applied each night. I used the Bratoxin serum daily for a month. I didn’t notice any changes in my skin, but it was a nice non-oily serum that I layered with more skin creams each morning. The BratoxInsta serum comes in syringe packaging, so the application felt intense from the get-go. When applied, you will feel and see a noticeable tightness in your skin. The Sleep Mask was thinner than I expected. After applying it the first night, there was no product to peel off or remove from my face in the morning. The next time, I use double the amount of product and did have a residual jelly type substance on my face in the morning (with no product left on my pillowcase — not sure how they make that happen). Verdict? It’s not a substantial mask, but my skin was ultra-hydrated in the mornings after I used it. I give this kit 4 out of 5 stars. The current promotional price is $150 (versus the regular price of $229), so it’s worth picking up and trying for a month if you normally spend more than $50 on each product similar to one in the kit.

Brazilian Facelift Kit

The Brazilian Facelift Kit is intense! Image: Bratoxin

Hair Products & More

Rahua Amazon hair oil

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey

Review highlight: “This seriously saved my hair this winter.”

I have color-treated, long, wavy, coarse hair that needs to be blow-dried into submission on a near-daily basis so it’s no surprise that my hair is always dry to the point of nearly snapping in half and leaving me with a bob. But not anymore! Rahua’s Legendary Amazon Oil is my hair’s savior. I’ve already convinced two other women in my family to purchase it. I apply it to wet hair before I blow dry and then add a tiny bit more when I’m done to tame frizzies and flyaways. I had to go through the goldilocks stages (a little too much, not quite enough) to find the perfect amount for my mane, but it was worth it! The reward is shiny, healthy hair that is soft to the touch. Like my very own cashmere helmet.


RELATED: At-Home Beauty Tools: Do They Really Work?

Rahua’s Legendary Amazon Oil has become Megan’s go-to hair product. Image: Rahua


Oribe Power Drops

Rating: 4.5 stars
Tester: Annie Reeves

Review highlight: “Smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling super soft.”

The Oribe Power Drops are applied to damp hair after shampooing. They can be applied throughout on their own or mixed with other products to enhance their efficacy. When I first started using this product, I couldn’t tell a huge difference in my hair. But truthfully, I loved the smell, so I continued. The few times I didn’t use it, though, I noticed that my hair didn’t feel as soft and manageable as it had before. Now, I use it every time I get out of the shower and will consider repurchasing!

The one thing we can all agree upon – nothing beats the smell of Oribe products! Image: Oribe

John Frieda Day 2 Revival Curl Reset Spray

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Cindy Acuff

Review highlight: “It’s the best hair product I’ve ever used.”

This curl extender spray is the best product I’ve ever used because you can either spray it throughout your hair and scrunch for soft curls or shape certain sections of the hair. It doesn’t make my hair stiff, like other products I’ve used, or oily.

John Frieda Curl Reset Spray

This curl spray doesn’t make hair stiff like many others! Image: John Frieda

Snow Teeth Whitening At-Home System

Rating: 5 stars
Tester: Megan Casey

Review highlight: “Two close friends commented on how white my teeth looked after using this kit only two times!”

I’ve tried at-home teeth whitening kits and strips in the past, and they never seem to work very well. I would either use them religiously for weeks at a time or have to stop early due to teeth sensitivity, all without results. This system is different because it has an LED mouth guard that you plug into your phone to power. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but I was wrong! This is the real deal. Their website is a little gimmicky, and the kit appears to always be 50% off, but it’s worth it. Plus, it comes with a desensitizing treatment, and my teeth didn’t hurt afterward like they usually do. The company also donates 5% of their net proceeds to provide dental care to children in need, so you can feel good about supporting them!

This whitening system is a winner in our book! Image: Snow

There you have it. We tried them so you can feel confident in the products you buy — or don’t buy!


For more health and beauty articles, click here!

Share with your friends!