The Best New Beauty Launches From REFY, Pixi, Vacation Inc. and More

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New Kids on the Block helps you navigate all the latest and exciting launches from our favorite brands and retailers, all in one place.

While summer isn’t technically here yet, Memorial Day Weekend ushered in the new season with a tidal wave of new skincare and beauty launches to give your skin the ultimate solstice-worthy glow.

From crease-proof concealers that resist even the slightest potential for caking to an infinitely nostalgia-inducing suncare product that modernizes an ’80s cult classic, May (and early June!) were brimming with stellar beauty drops that will make your cart sing without making your wallet cry.

Vacation Orange Gelée SPF 30

Leave it to Vacation to revamp the French Riviera classic with a healthy dose of skin-protecting SPF. The cult-favorite Orange Gelée is formulated strikingly similar to the original orange tanning balm manufcatured by Bain de Soleil, which was discontinued in 2019 due to “limited consumer interest,” according to a statement from Bayer in the New York Post. Despite the alleged disinterest, the sun tanning product ammassed quite the cult following since launching in Paris in the 1920s, and when the product was taken off the shelves a few years ago, loyalists were paying up to $200 for a tube that was once just $10 a pop at the drugstore.

Vacation took note of the gel’s enduring legacy (and indelible fandom), and decided to revamp the iconic formula with a bit more sun protection while keeping the original texture and scent as the O.G. If you count yourself as one of the die-hard Orange Gelée stans among us, stop paying insane prices on eBay and grab yourself a tube of Vacation’s new-and-improved $23 formula instead.

Buy Vacation Orange Gelée SPF 30 at Vacation, $23

The Tinx + U Beauty PLASMA Lip Compound in Rom Com

When I caught up with Christina Najjar (aka Tinx) during our phone interview a couple of months back, the podcaster, content creator, and honorary internet’s big sister waxed poetic about U Beauty’s multitasking Plasma Lip Compound. Little did I know, Tinx was about to launch a new collab with the performance-driven skincare brand and the result is downright dreamy.

The Tinx + U Beauty PLASMA Lip Compound in Rom Com is the perfect, pout-plumping lip treatment with serious skincare benefits and a wash of “just kissed pink” pigment that looks gorgeous on just about every skin tone. Your sun-parched lips will thank you for treating them to this thirst-quenching, nourishing formula this summer. Yes, it’s a little expensive for a lip product, but I’m 99.9 percent sure that anyone who’s tried the Plasma Compound will agree with me that it’s beyond worth it. Plus, a little bit goes a long way towards healthier and baby’s bum-soft lips. Grab a tube (or two!) before it sells out.

Buy The Tinx + U Beauty PLASMA Lip Compound in Rom Com at U Beauty, $68

Pinch My Cheeks Soft-Blur Cream Blush

Lawless’ original talc-free Make Me Blush Velvet Powder blushes are one of my favorite cheek products of all time—I wore the perfect peach-apricot hue Angel Suede on my wedding day, and it stayed put through sweat, tears, and the Las Vegas heatlike a heavyweight champ (with none of the actual weight!). Lawless’ new Pinch My Cheeks Soft-Blur Cream Blush delivers remarkable color payoff with a surprisingly long-wearing and sweatproof staying power that I’ve never experienced from a non-powder cheek product.

The weightless, velvety formula feels like nothing on the skin, which is a must for me—no sticky, greasy, or oily residue left behind. Of course, as with all Lawless’ color products, the shades are absolutely dazzling, and each hue is designed to flatter any skin tone.

Buy Pinch My Cheeks Soft-Blur Cream Blush at Sephora, $29

REFY Brightening & Blurring Serum Concealer

As someone who rarely uses concealer, when I say REFY’s new multi-purpose serum concealer has not left my makeup bag since I got my hands on a tube back in April, it means it’s seriously impressive. The multitasking formula harnesses the benefits of a lightweight eye cream, color-correcting concealer, and serum into one buildable formula that truly does not crease or cake.

What I love most about this blurring concealer is that, unlike some crease-proof concealers, this one doesn’t dry down overly matte, so it doesn’t exaggerate and enhance the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, or dryness. On the other hand, it’s also not overly emollient, so it actually lasts a whole day without smearing, smudging, or disappearing altogether.

Buy REFY Brightening & Blurring Serum Concealer at Sephora, $26

Buy REFY Brightening & Blurring Serum Concealer at REFY, $26

ILIA Lip Sketch Hydrating Lip Crayon

I’m a big fan of ILIA’s performance-forward clean formulas—there’s not much I don’t like from this brand, but its latest launch is arguably my favorite product from the line to date. Frankly, I didn’t expect to be so impressed by a crayon, but this supremely hydrating yet budge-proof lip pencil makes my pout look like they’ve just gotten injected with a dash of lip filler.

I had resigned myself to acknowledging the (untrue) fact that all of my ride-or-die long-wearing lippies meant they were to have quite a significant drying effect, but this crayon somehow stays put for hours without bleeding, transferring, or over-drying. And, even without lip liner, it doesn’t stray outside the lines of my lips, settle into fine lines, or highlight any dry patches. Plus, the crayon is far more resistant to melting in my handbag, which is a major plus for summertime.

Buy ILIA Lip Sketch Hydrating Lip Crayon at ILIA Beauty, $26

Pixi Beauty On-the-Glow SuperBlow

If you’re looking for a fuss-free summer sheen for any task, Pixi’s new On-the-Glow nourishing balm sticks will quickly become your daily sidekick. Calling the versatile formula a highlighter stick is such an extreme understatement, it wouldn’t do it justice.

The buildable and blurring balm gives you a subtle lit-from-within glow while also reflecting light that minimizes the look of pores, fine lines, and texture. In my experience, it’s really more of a skincare-cosmetic hybrid—and who doesn’t love a good two-in-one situation?

Buy Pixi Beauty On-the-Glow SuperBlow at Pixi, $18

Makeup By Mario Softsculpt Bronzing & Shaping Serum

Another effortless and low-maintenance formula for achieving a flawless and UV-free summer glow, Makeup By Mario’s Softsculpt Bronzing and Shaping Serum, is unlike any other bronzer or contour formula I’ve ever tried. While I normally use only cool-toned browns for contouring and warmer browns for bronzing, somehow, each of the shades in this drop is capable of shaping and sun-kissing the skin simultaneously.

I’ve never used a product that was capable of giving me the appearance of supermodel-level cheekbones while also imparting a just-got-back-from-vacation “bronze” without looking either overly orange or muddy until I tried this lightweight and super blendable serum. This innovative multi-use formula is one you definitely won’t regret adding to your daily lineup.

Buy Makeup By Mario Softsculpt Bronzing & Shaping Serum at Sephora, $36

Colleen Rothschild Bio-Azure Replenishing Oil

This potent elixir wears a lot of complexion-enhancing hats, from soothing sun damage and redness to targeting laxity, fine lines, and dullness. It’s infused with a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients, including omega-rich plant oils for boosting laxity and lifting sagging skin, barrier-protecting ceramides, and irritation-reducing blue tansy. The hydrating yet non-greasy oil feels lightweight, absorbing quickly into the skin rather than sitting on top like some face oils, which makes it ideal for humidity and heat waves. Plus, while I love to use it as a final skincare step in the evening, it plays well under makeup and sunscreen, too.

Usually, I shy away from my hydrating facial oils during the warmer months, but Colleen Rothschild Bio-Azure Replenishing Oil will have a permanent slot in my daily skincare lineup for the foreseeable future.

Buy Colleen Rothschild Bio-Azure Replenishing Oil at Colleen Rothschild, $85

Optase Life Sensitive Eye Makeup Remover

While it’s not the sexiest category within beauty, makeup remover is definitely a staple—and they’re not all created equal. As someone who’s been dealing with eye irritation and pain lately, I’ve been extra careful about anything that makes any contact with the orbital region—heck, I even stopped using my lash serum cold turkey. In addition to ditching the prostaglandin-infused serums, I also swapped out my super-oily eye makeup remover for Optase’s newly launched ophthalmologist-approved formula.

The gentle yet effective formula easily removes my waterproof mascara without tugging, pulling, or stripping the skin of its natural oils. The formula contains the brand’s patented ionized water technology, which acts like a magnet to remove makeup and impurities gently, so you only need one swipe to get the job done.

Buy Optase Life Sensitive Eye Makeup Remover at Amazon, $17


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