Product Testing, Reviews, and Recommendations

At InStyle, part of our mission is to find best-in-class buys that are worth your time, money, and attention. Our commerce editors and writers comprise decades of expertise across beauty, fashion, lifestyle and wellness. Whether we’re testing laser hair removal devices or reviewing lingerie brands, we always prioritize journalistic integrity and factual accuracy to share product recommendations that will help you look and feel your best.

In addition to relying on our own expertise, we tap industry experts — from celebrity hair stylists to top dermatologists — to help readers make the best purchasing decisions for their lifestyle. Brands may send us products to try for editorial consideration, but we will never accept a product in exchange for positive coverage (or guarantee coverage at all)/. We may receive affiliate commissions on products purchased through our content, but our reviews and recommendations are purely editorial.

Our Testing Process

We curate product recommendations that will enhance your everyday routine, boost your confidence, and help you put the best version of yourself forward each and every day. Whether you're looking for a rich lipstick that will last all day or a go-to white sneakers that will add style and polish to your look of the day, you can count on us to steer you in the right direction.

Hair Dryers Test

InStyle / Jessica Juliao

To determine which products actually live up to their hype, we put each one through rigorous research and testing standards and processes before we recommend it to you. We rate and review products in our three labs across the country and with our network of home testers, so you can rest assured that what we call the best is exactly that.

We never consider an article “finished.” Brands are constantly changing their inventory which can then render a previous recommendation obsolete. And we understand how frustrating it can be to read a review for a “holy grail” product only to see that it's been discontinued. Our “best-of” articles are routinely checked for accuracy and updated with new launches.


InStyle / Tamara Staples

InStyle Picks Seal of Approval

If you see the InStyle Picks Seal of Approval on the photo at the top of the page, that’s a signal that the story contains products tested in our New York-based lab or in the homes of our editors and testers. We followed a methodology specific to this product category and weeks of testing; the product and final results met our rigorous standards for inclusion in the article. Like the best shapewear that eases thigh chafe, smooths your shape, and provides support under your clothing or concealers that cover dark under-eye circles

  • What We Test: We are constantly researching the categories we cover and interviewing industry experts — like makeup artists, dermatologists, estheticians, designers, stylists, and of course InStyle's own editors — for the trends they're spotting and products they love. We also conduct deep dives on new, veteran, and under-the-radar brands alike by analyzing user reviews, testimonials, and manufacturer data. Lastly, we scour social media (TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, you name it) for the latest holy-grail products users can't stop talking about.
  • How We Test: After we decide which products to test, we put together guidelines on how to best test them. This differs depending on the category, but we always consider the key features that dictate a product's performance and value. We also keep in mind what users will appreciate the most when purchasing the product, such as comfort, usability, design, and durability. We craft a series of questions for testers to answer, as well as a scoring rubric for each attribute to be judged on.
  • Sharing Our Findings: Once testing is complete, our team collects all the insights and determines which products deserve the InStyle Picks seal. We typically award one product the category of 'Best Overall,' while making sure to include additional options that cater to different needs, concerns, and budgets. If a product has earned a spot on our list, we get specific and explain exactly why it's there. We may call out scores the product received in the various tests we conducted, as well as quotes directly from our testers. We share the pros and the cons of each product since we don't believe in leaving out any key details — good or bad. We do our best to bring you, the reader, into the lab with us through photos, videos, and other exclusive insights. If something doesn't hold up to the testing, we won't recommend it. Period.
  • Long Term Testing: We task our home testers with sharing feedback on how well the product performs (or doesn't perform) over time. If we discover any useful information during this long-term testing period, we will go back and update the article accordingly. We also don't shy away from conducting tests over again, especially if there's a new product launch that's worthy of consideration (such as an innovative blow dryer). We want you to have the most up-to-date information possible, so we make that a priority.

How We Make Money

We receive an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products and services we recommend — but only if you decide to click through to the retailer's site and make a purchase. We only recommend trusted retailers with a proven track record for service and dependability.

News & Deals

If you live for a sale section, know that we will always find the best price on the clothes you want to wear right now. Our team of shopping experts are constantly scouring the internet for the latest product launches, price cuts, and restocks. We also work around the clock on shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day to ensure you make the most of the biggest sale days of the year. Additionally, our writers live and breathe products, working with our testers and labs to share their honest experiences firsthand.

Diversity and Inclusivity

Because we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, we make sure to feature BIPOC-owned (Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color) brands in our testing whenever possible. We also seek to have representation across age, race, and gender identity through our testers, so there's something for everyone reflected on our pages. Click here to read our full Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pledge.

Sheet Mask Test

InStyle / Jessica Juliao


While we thoroughly research everything we review, test, and recommend, occasionally, certain products may be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We do our best to regularly update our content to reflect any official announcements from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). We urge you to monitor information related to items you purchase.

Meet Us

Bronwyn Barnes

Bronwyn Barnes

VP of Commerce

Bronwyn is the VP of Commerce for Health and Beauty at Dotdash Meredith and joined the team in 2021. She is a professional storyteller and digital pioneer with 20 years of experience in print, digital and social media. She was the founding social media editor of InStyle's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and architect of early social media brand partnerships with brands like Target, Lionsgate Films, and Essie. Bronwyn has also worked as an editor and writer, at InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, People, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Read more
Jessica Mahgerefteh, Commerce Editorial Director

Jessica Mahgerefteh

Director of Commerce

Jessica is a seasoned writer and editor, with a career in digital media that spans over seven years. The bulk of her experience lies in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content. You can find her work published across various digital publications including HuffPost, Byrdie, Brides, and more. Prior to joining Dotdash Meredith, Jessica was the senior editor of L'Oreal's, where she learned everything there is to know about beauty products and ingredients, trends, and finessing a skincare routine. 

Read more
Shannon M. Bauer, Senior Commerce Beauty Editor

Shannon Bauer

Senior Commerce Editor
Shannon M. Bauer is a Senior Commerce Editor for Dotdash Meredith's Beauty & Style Group. She joined the InStyle team in 2022 and works with a team of talented writers and editors to create expert- and research-driven product roundups and reviews. Prior to joining InStyle, Shannon was a Beauty Editor at Parents, Parents Latina, and Shape print magazines where she wrote and edited beauty stories across the brands and oversaw the testing for the beauty awards programs.
Read more
Kaitlin Clark

Kaitlin Clark

Senior Beauty Commerce Editor
Kaitlin joined Instyle in 2022 as a Senior Beauty Commerce Editor. Previously, she was a Beauty and Style Commerce Editor at WWD. You can see her work in publications such as StyleCaster, Domino, Racked, Wanderlust, and more.Kaitlin received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Read more
Hayley Prokos

Hayley Prokos

Associate Commerce Fashion Editor
Hayley joined the Byrdie team in 2022 with over five years of writing and editing experience. You can find her work in The Zoe Report, SELF Magazine, and Ekathimerini (an NYT affiliate in Athens, Greece). Hayley holds a B.A. in English and French and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University.
Read more
Bianca Kratky

Bianca Kratky

Commerce Writer

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer at InStyle, covering the best fashion and beauty items to shop for. Her career in writing began in 2019, after leaving her job in advertising. You can find her previous work on Cosmopolitan, Oprah Daily, and Coveteur, but she mostly writes for her blog, covering all things travel, mindfulness, and fashion.

Read more
Irene Richardson Headshot

Irene Richardson

Commerce Writer
Irene Richardson is a Brooklyn-based beauty + fashion commerce writer from Birmingham, Alabama. Her bylines have appeared in WWD, Byrdie, Travel and Leisure, Hearst Magazines, and more. She's always seeking real-world inspiration for her stories—whether it's frequenting the vintage stores in her neighborhood every weekend, crowd-sourcing museum exhibits for outfit inspiration, or asking her neighbor in pilates class what perfume they're wearing.
Read more

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you'd like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at