The 5 Best Beauty Buys for January

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You would think that a new year means new beauty products, but January is a notoriously slow month for launches, since most companies make their big product announcements before the holiday rush. But we’ve still found a few new things to love this month, including an edgy dark lipstick for the cold weather, a mascara that will give you Winona Ryder eyes, and a skin tint that will stop your forehead from looking so shiny. Have you Kondo-d as part of your New Year’s resolutions? Are you eager to get back and start accumulating again? If so, here are five new beauty things to explore this month.

1. Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Volume Mascara, $26

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I feel positively doe-eyed with this on. Each swipe makes me look slightly more like brand face Winona Ryder, lengthening my lashes till they become a sooty (but not smudgy!) fringe. Unlike many mascaras, which add length but also clumpiness, this one remains smooth throughout multiple coats. It also avoids the dreaded “spider-lash” problem, when your mascara collects more heavily at the root of the lash and lighter at the tip, so that your lashes resemble tarantula legs. With the wide-bristle wand, pigment gets deposited evenly so that your lashes imply “ingenue” and not “insect.” — Kathleen Hou

2. Giorgio Armani Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette, $88

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If you want to look glowy but don’t want a Kardashian-level strobing effect, consider this sophisticated take from Armani Beauty. The powder is a soft blend of gold shimmer, bronze, and champagne pearls that warms up every skin tone, and the red-lacquer-box-inspired palette pays homage to Chinese New Year. The powder isn’t glittery or shimmery, but gives your skin just the subtlest bit of sheen, sort of like rippling fine silk. — Kathleen Hou

3. MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipstick, $17

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If you want a plum lipstick as dark as your soul in winter, sweet pop singer Ariana Grande (of all people) has the color for you. Grande is the new face of this legendary line of lipsticks, the proceeds from which help people with HIV/AIDS. A sultry purple-red plum color, her lipstick is pigmented enough to cancel out any hints of pinkness from your natural lip shade. Although it’s advertised as matte, I find that it still has a slight shine, but it’s a must-try for anyone who loves a dark, purply lip for the cold. — Kathleen Hou

4. NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, $44

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The Cut’s has been writing about luminous skin as a beauty trend for the past two years, but with the release of these matte skin tints from Francois Nars, the fortune teller of the beauty world, perhaps it’s time for our cheekbones to glisten a little less. Think of these as BB creams minus the shine — a simple tinted moisturizer that easily glides over the skin but has a more matte finish. They won’t give you a chalky ’90s effect, though. The coverage still looks very much like skin, just not as aggressively dewy as most of the current skin tints now on the market. It comes in 12 options, though, like us, you might find you’re between shades. — Kathleen Hou

5. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, $27

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Make Up For Ever’s concealers have always left something to be desired: The “Lift Concealer” is only available in four sad shades of brown, and the full coverage concealer can get cakey. But the new Ultra HD concealer strikes a different chord. First, there are five peach-hued color-correcting shades to neutralize dark under-eye circles, and five yellow-based shades to actually conceal. You can layer the latter over the former, or wear the yellow shade alone if dark circles aren’t a concern. The concealer is a cream, yet it absorbs like a serum, never drying or flaking. We normally avoid recommending complexion products that fail to accommodate the full spectrum of skin tones, but Make Up For Ever promises a much wider shade selection will complete the range later this year. — Ashley Weatherford