An urge for self-improvement can strike at any time of year, but it seems especially pressing when a new season of Queer Eye releases on Netflix. Season 4 drops on July 19, leaving us at Reviewed clamoring for products to up our cooking, grooming, skincare, home decor and fashion game.
Our writers pooled our expertise to create a comprehensive list that we’re sure the Queer Eye cast would gush over.
Grooming gear Jonathan loves
Queer Eye’s beauty and hair expert Jonathan Van Ness, known for his bubbly personality and long, luscious locks, transforms the grooming routines of the lucky show "heroes" (its term for the makeover candidates). As someone who identifies as gender non-conforming or non-binary, Jonathan focuses less on stereotypical beauty ideals and more on inner beauty that translates to outer confidence.
The following five products are must-haves to enhance your own appearance, in the ways Jonathan would want you to—mainly because he's personally recommended most of them.
A hairbrush gentle on your locks but tough on snarls
Buying a hair brush seems simple. Pop into the drugstore, grab the first one you see and you’re done—right? Nah. Not all hair brushes are created equal. Jonathan told Byrdie that the Olivia Garden NanoThermic 50th Anniversary Special Edition Paddle Brush is his top pick because it’s gentle enough to use on wet hair and comes with a tool designed to easily part the hair.
An SPF to keep your skin protected and healthy
We know sunscreen is important in every circumstance, but choosing one that won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts on your face is easier said than done. We were excited to hear Jonathan recommend an affordable, easily accessible option during an interview with Into The Gloss. The television personality says Neutrogena’s Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunblock absorbs well into the skin and doesn’t cause breakouts. Plus, it’s “not a billion dollars” and you can “just get in and get out” without much fuss when applying your SPF.
A hair dryer that gives a sleek blowout
Jonathan, who wanted to be a hairdresser when he was three years old, knows the importance of a great hair dryer. Whether you are going for flat-iron-straight or a natural, diffused look, a hair dryer is a staple tool. From our comprehensive test, we recommend the Harry Josh Pro Tools 2000 because it gives a smooth, sleek blowout with a speedy dry time.
A facial tool for massaging serums into the skin
In that same Into The Gloss interview, Jonathan whips out a gold T-shaped tool and claims we need it to massage in facial serums. If you’re thinking this practice sounds all too familiar, you’re right: It’s a lot like jade rolling. However, the 24k Golden Energy Beauty Bar Pulse Face Massager vibrates to promote circulation. Now, we’re unsure which exact tool Jonathan uses for his own skin care routine, but this massager has a phenomenal 4.7-star rating on Amazon.
A dry shampoo for freshening hair and adding volume
As Jonathan says "anything Jen Atkin makes" is a must-try, and that includes her brand's dry shampoo. The Ouai Dry Shampoo is his favorite because it adds texture to the hair, doesn’t leave white residue behind, and does its job even in small amounts. If you’re new to dry shampoo or prefer a less expensive option, in our test, we recommend the Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo because it also does not leave behind residue and it makes you feel post-shower fresh. At under $5, it’s worth a try.
Cooking equipment that gets Antoni’s approval
Antoni Porowski, one of Canada’s latest and greatest exports, is the incredibly handsome (in our humble opinion) food expert of Queer Eye. He takes a cool, laid-back approach to cooking that has the internet wondering how skilled he really is, but he connects well with the show’s “heroes” who are inexperienced in the kitchen. Most of his tips and tricks revolve around entertaining, healthy eating, and throwing together meals for a family, even after a long day of work.
Antoni has made a lot of product recommendations in the show’s first three seasons, some of them great, some of them less so. To help you Queer Eye your kitchen, we went through Antoni’s recommendations to see what’s worth buying and what we think you should avoid—and made a few recommendations of our own.
An excellent chef’s knife for all home cooks
The only true kitchen essential any chef needs, whether they’re just starting out or have been cooking all their lives, is a good knife. Antoni makes this clear throughout the show, and it’s something everyone trying to cook more should remember. Our top pick? The Zwilling Pro 8" Chef's Knife, which won our round-up of the best chef’s knives. This high-carbon German steel knife is hefty, durable, and easy to wield, making it great for beginners who aren’t yet comfortable with hyper-thin knives.
A mortar and pestle for Antoni’s favorite guacamole
If there’s anything we know about Antoni Porowski’s favorite foods, it’s that he loves avocados—on toast, in guacamole, you name it. He's basically the queer millennial king of avocado marketing. In the very first episode of Queer Eye, he famously shows "hero" Tom how to make guacamole in a mortar and pestle. Do you need a mortar and pestle to make guacamole? Absolutely not. Does Tom need a mortar and pestle? This is also probably a no. But if you’re someone who likes to entertain, grind your own spices, or just want some nice kitchenware, it’s a worthwhile purchase that may come in handy more than you’d think.
It’s hard to tell which brand Antoni is using in this episode, but it looks a lot like this unpolished, heavy granite set from ChefSofi that we recommended in our gift guides this past holiday season. And it’s everything a kitchen gift should be—stylish, durable, multi-purpose, and affordable. And it’s the number one best-selling mortar and pestle on Amazon, with over 1,000 five-star reviews, so it clearly sells for a reason.
A pasta crank that makes your carbs count
Antoni told House Beautiful he thinks everyone should have their own pasta maker—and we agree. In one episode, he even gifts bartender Leo an automatic pasta maker to help him cook more for his family. And while automatic machines are convenient, Reviewed’s resident pasta expert Lindsay Mattison says nothing can beat the durability, uniformity, and price point of a manual pasta maker. After testing the best hand-cranked pasta makers on the market, Mattison deemed the Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine the best of the best.
The Marcato Atlas is fun to use, wildly affordable compared to electric models, and has a dozen optional accessories for making ravioli, linguine, pappardelle, and more. Making your own pasta is delicious, entertaining, and a great way to help you become more mindful of what you eat. What could be more fab than that?
An indoor grill for year-round entertaining
One product that Antoni’s recommended more than once is the Philips Smoke-Less Indoor Grill. While he doesn’t mention the grill by name in either episode it’s in, The Strategist’s Maxine Builder did some digging and discovered it's this model from Philips.
We tested it in our round-up of the best indoor grills, and it performed… fine. But for about half the price, we prefer the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe, which won our top spot. It can be used as a closed press or a flat, open grill, has a ton of special features, and browns quickly and evenly. Its grill plates are double-sided, which means the smooth surface can be used as a griddle for things like pancakes.
Antoni’s cookbook (the next-best thing to him cooking for you)
If you really want cooking tips and recommendations from the Queer Eye cast, the next best thing after watching the show is Porowski’s cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen, which is now available for preorder. Many of the book’s recipes contain five ingredients or less, making it great for beginners or the time-pressed. It’s already gaining buzz from other celebrity chefs and influencers. “Antoni has a love of food equal to my own,” says Chrissy Teigen. “From his Johnny's Queso Blanco (you can never go wrong with melted cheese) to his Polish Hangover Soup (I'm sure this will come in very handy) and all of his desserts, I can't wait to explore the mind and creativity of this extremely hot chef."
Fashion pieces that would hang in Tan’s closet
Only the few lucky enough to be chosen as a show “hero” will get personal treatment from the Queer Eye gurus. But anyone can use their tips to give day-to-day life a bit more oomph. Ahead are some style pieces inspired by Tan France, Queer Eye’s resident fashion master who has helped many of the show’s "heroes" integrate simple yet stylish essentials into their wardrobe. Don't worry—we’ve made sure to include a shirt that’s easy to French-tuck.
A linen shirt for a flawless French tuck
At this point, the name “Tan France” is all but synonymous with “French tuck,” his kinda-eponymous styling method that involves tucking just the front half of a shirt into your waistband and letting the rest of the tail hang out, giving it a carefully-constructed air of nonchalance. Pretty much any shirt that’s not cropped can to be French-tucked, but, for the summer, we like collared ones made of linen. They’re structured enough to wear to work but still breathable to ensure you won’t be sweltering to and from the office. Tan would probably push one with a colorful pattern, but you can go more neutral if you’d prefer.
A bomber jacket to add a stylish layer to whatever you’re wearing
Tan is almost as bullish about layering outfits as he is about deploying the power of a French tuck—and, when that layering happens, he often recommends a bomber jacket. (He’s also partial to wearing them himself, which you’ll know if you follow him on Instagram.)
We suggest getting one made of a light material that can be folded or tied around the waist without wrinkling. This way, it won’t weigh you down super hot days but you’ll be happy to have it if you head to a movie theater to catch a flick in the frigid AC.
Sleek sneakers to ensure comfort and style
Tan loves his sneakers. Pay attention to his public appearances and you’ll see that he often accessorizes a formal-looking outfit with a pair, though his are no schlubby tennis shoes, nor are they the oversized, purposely ugly Balenciaga sneaks that have been trending since last year. Instead, they’re sleek, white, and admirably pristine. You can achieve this look, too, with a pair of all-white Stan Smiths, Supergas, or Vejas. The key to keeping them as clean as Tan’s are is to reserve them for formal-ish occasions only and ban yourself from wearing them on a day-to-day basis.
A wide-brimmed hat to stay cool for the summer
Another Tan France style mainstay is a wide-brimmed hat, which is equally effective as a way to block the sun’s rays (though you’ll also want to add in some SPF as well) and as a means to complete an outfit. For summer, you can’t go wrong with straw—it’s light, allows for some breezy cross-ventilation on your head, and looks good with whatever you’re wearing, whether you’re heading to brunch or the beach. Look for one with a ribbon wrapped around it for a southern belle vibe, or a chin strap if you’re planning on taking it on a more rugged adventure.
A slim-fitting pair of jeans to tie your outfit together
In an interview with Good Morning America, Tan listed a “slim pair of jeans” as a closet must-have for men and women. If you’re in the market for a new pair, we recommend looking for jeans with a straight leg, medium-to-dark wash, minimal (if any) rips, and a medium to high rise. This allows for a timeless, classic look, as well as—you guessed it—ample opportunity for a good ol' French tuck.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.