(Photo by Justin Bridges/Very Good Light)

Glowed up skin: It’s a journey.

With a gazillion beauty products out there, it’s impossible to find ones that do a good job. So where does one start?



Best Makeup

Best Hair and Body

Meet the Judges

As your trusted source, we took the Lightning Awards very seriously***. We went through all of the potions out there, testing concoctions for four entire months to see if their claims were real. The results? We’ve never had better, glistening, healthy skin from using the products we’ve deemed Best Of. We’ve named these products below and hope they work for you as much as they have for us. Now get going! Good skin can be yours – in a flash!

SEE ALSO: Introducing the Lightning Awards!

***It goes without saying, these are honest reviews and our opinions were not based on any relationship, monetary gain, or a pay for play situation. AKA we weren’t paid to write any of these we simply are obsessed over these products and hope you love them too.

Lightning Awards

Best Face Oils: Herbivore

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It almost seems counterintuitive: Actual oil on your face for better skin? We had the same sentiments. That is, until we tried Herbivore’s oil line up. The brand, which is all natural, organic and uses a cold press method for extracting all oils, offers food-grade products that your skin will slurp up. Try all three with the mini oil set they offer. Lapis is for anti-inflammatory and clarifying; Phoenix is for hydrating; Orchid is for turning dull skin on its head. Aka a glow up is near your future.


Best Face Oils for Acne: Sunday Riley U.F.O.

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We’ve written about Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. (ultra-clarifying facial oil) and deemed it as “alien sludge.” Said sludge invades your pores and exterminates those pesky blemish-causing agents in your skin. This is through 1.5% of salicylic acid, tea tree oil along with black cumin oil which clarifies, treats and prevents your blemishes. Breakouts, beware.

Best Moisturizer: Dr. Jart Water Drop

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What if water was actually hydrating for your face? Sadly, water by itself is slightly alkalized and a lot of faucet water is ~way~ too harsh to do any good. Enter: Dr. Jart’s Water Drop cream. It’s an innovative product that goes from solid to what feels like super drippy water in seconds. We’ve never come across a product like it. The product seeps into your pores, quenches thirst and leaves you with a nice, dewy complexion.


Best Vegan Moisturizer: Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cream

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What if there was a green juice for your face? That was a question someone in our office asked before coming across a product that mimics just that. It’s Youth To The People’s Superfood Cream, one that packs real vegetables in it to pack a mean green fighting punch. The product includes kale, spinach, green tea among other vegan ingredients to do an amazing job at delivering antioxidants while keeping your skin nice and moisturized. Now if only someone could tell Popeye.


, $39

Best Night Cream: Huxley Anti-Gravity Cream

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Could there be a dreamier night cream? That’s what we asked ourselves when we came across Huxley’s entire line. It was love at first sight and you can read about how we encouraged every one of our readers to run to get this product. The Anti-Gravity Cream has a beautifully luxurious, cream, but light feel to it without a hint of oiliness. Packed with prickly pear cactus, an ingredient women in the harsh conditions of the Sahara desert use to preserve their skin, it’s seriously hydrating. If it works for those wonder women, who are we to disagree?

Buy HERE, $49

Best Face Mask: Dr Jart Firm Lover Rubber Mask

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Rubber masks have been all the rage in South Korea for the past few years. Dr Jart’s own Firm Lover Rubber Mask makes it super seamless to bring the mask at home. The two-step system has a highly concentrated ampoule of serum that lifts your skin while making it supple AF. Other ingredients including algae, lipophilic and hydrophilic actives along with a berry complex make for firm, moisturized and dewy skin for days.


for $12

Best Physical Exfoliator: Jack Black Face Buff

When we indulge in a scrub with an exfoliant, we go for this one from Jack Black, which has a nice pebbly consistency and a refreshing, citrusy feel. Just twice a week makes our skin feel like it’s refreshed, without that stripped away feeling. With menthol and Vitamin C, it gives a tingly, refreshing feel that stays with you through half of the day. Coffee, your other best friend, will get you through the rest.

for $30

Best Chemical Exfoliator: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

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The best way to ward off white and blackheads? A chemical exfoliator. That comes in the form of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids). The former gets rid of dead skin cells on the surface while the latter penetrates deep into your pores to unclog oils (aka blackheads). This one from Dr. Dennis Gross is a two in one: one is for AHA and the other for BHA. Trying this once every day kept most of our blackheads at bay. The best part is that it’s even okay for those with sensitive skin (unless you’re on retinol or any acne medication – then avoid. It will sting!).


Best Face Mask: Fresh’s Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask

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We’ve already touted the benefits of honey. The best part about this sweet ingredient is that it is a really, really good moisturizer. This one from Fresh is intensely hydrating. While the brand claims it delivers six hours of nourishment, we feel this hydration lasted us until the next day. Along with echinacea, an ingredient that allows the skin to recover from stress, it gives you a supple, long-lasting glow. Yes, it’s super pricey but it’s well worth the extra money. Time to save – your skin!

BUY HERE, $189

Best Toner: Missha First Treatment Essence

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Is Missha’s essence a dupe of the WAY more expensive SKII? We’ve made our conclusions here and you can definitely make your own. But on its own, Missha’s toner is seriously impressive. First, it’s made up of 80% fermented yeast concentrate, which energizes your skin. Then, it contains Vitamin B3 and Niacinamide to improve your skin’s barrier function. Finally, it contains Cassia-Alta Extract, helping to give your skin some anti-aging help from damage-causing UV rays. Basically, it’s a wonder product and we KNOW it’ll do you well. We SWEAR by it.


Best Essence: Huxley Oil Essence

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Huxley’s Oil Essence tops our list when it comes to essences. Made of mostly Sahara Cactus Seed Oil, along with Quinoa, Acai berry and more, this essence provides your skin with active antioxidants and high concentrations of Vitamin E. It absorbs into your skin while providing you with long lasting hydration.


Best Cleanser: Klavuu Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam

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This cleanser is seriously luxuriously creamy in the best way possible. And to top it off, it includes pearl extracts. Like, what? With a marshmallow texture and a sweet smell, Klavuu’s cleansing foam, which includes over 30 natural plant extracts along with seaweed and algae, makes it a product that purifies your skin while hydrating it. We still can’t get over this wonder product and it has us looking forward to washing our face in the morning and night. Yes, it’s just that good.


Best SPF: Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46

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SPFs are a tricky thing. They either create a grayish chalky film on your face or make you break out. Not fun. Good thing there’s Elta MD’s UV Clear SPF 46. It’s specially formulated for those with hyperpigmentation, sensitive and acne prone skin. Meaning, it’s going to do a great job warding off the sun while also ensuring it does zero damage to you. We’re so obsessed with this SPF we haven’t used another one since. A must buy.

BUY HERE, $32.
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