What a year it has been! I cannot believe that 2018 is nearly over, it flew by so quickly. Today I’m rounding up my Best of 2018 Beauty Favorites with a mix of new discoveries alongside a few staples from previous years. I went through this entire year of blog posts to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Also a number of you have asked for my absolute favorite tried and true staples so I’m going to put together a separate post of beauty things I cannot live without. For this roundup I focused mainly on new products I really loved that I tried this year.
Complexion, Highlighters and Base Products
- Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in #4 was the best cream glow highlighter, full review here (cheaper dupe from L’Oreal reviewed here)
- Armani Neo Nude Powder wins for best all over finishing glow powder, I repurchased 4 and 5.5 after finishing those up, full review here
- NARS Highlighting Powder in Fort de France* was the best classic highlighting powder I tried this year, swatches of all colors here
- Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Sticks* were the best cream highlighter formula, review here
- Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Glow Powder * once I figured out how to use this on top of cheeks as a highlighter (not really as a setting powder) was the best natural glow powder I tried this year
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush * in Incandescent Electra and Iridescent Flash were my top 2 blushes (both on the face swatched here), they literally are going to last me forever, even with regular use I’ve barely made a dent, I also ended up really loving the Ambient Lighting Palette Edit Vol 4 (reviewed here)
- Natasha Denona Diamond and Blush Palettes* were the most unique options I played with this year, full review here
- Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5 and Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion in Buff* were my top 2 foundations
Best Eye Makeup
- L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara was my most-used favorite mascara of the year
- Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Gel in Soft Brunette* was the best brow gel I tried this year, review + swatches of all the shade options here
- NARS Eyeshadow Quad in Singapore *, it was one of the first two quads launched and sold out almost everywhere but you can still find it now online at NARS Cosmetics, review here
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette ended up being one of the best eyeshadow palettes I tried this year (tied with Pat McGrath), I didn’t review or swatch it but it lives up to the hype 100%
- Pat McGrath pretty much won on all counts this year for me, her 6-pan MTHRSHP palettes* were among my favorite (loved ALL of them), the ones I liked the most were Platinum Bronze and Dark Star, spring colors review here and holiday launches review here
- Sisley Phyto-Khol Star Waterproof Eyeliners * was my favorite eyeliner formula of the year, I really appreciate that even after months of use it has still not dried out like many other twist up formulas do, full review + swatches of all shades here
- Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadows were stand outs for sparkly long-lasting shadows I loved to layer or wear alone, all shades I bought swatched here
Favorite Lip Products
- Bite Agave Lip Mask was my go-to balm of the year
- NARS Orgasm After Glow Lip Balm * was the best luminizing balm I tried, review here
- Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow and Fussy were in my top 2 for lip gloss this year, both on the lips here
- L’Oreal Color Riche Shine were the best affordable shine lipsticks I tried, just as good as luxury brands in my opinion (better than Chanel and YSL to me), swatches here
- Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat and Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk were my favorite neutrals
- Pat McGrath LUST Gloss* was in my top 2 gloss formulas of the year, I really loved Flesh Astral and Divine Rose, review + swatches here
- Pat McGrath Matte Trance Lipsticks win for best matte lipstick of all time, swatches here, additional colors that were press samples here, here and here
- Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Tinted Balms* are hands down my favorite tinted lip balms I’ve ever tried, review here
- NARS Velvet Lip Glides in Swing and Roseland were two of my most-used neutrals (alongside CT Pillow Talk)
Skin Care Loves
I really found myself gravitating to a lot more skincare tries this year compared to makeup. I wasn’t able to review everything as testing often takes so long to truly see results. I’ll do an updated skincare routine post in the new year so if you have any questions please leave them in the comments! My absolute favorites:
- Tatcha Water Cream and Sisley Black Rose Cream * remained staples for moisturizer but I did discover a couple new ones I think are really amazing
- Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream wins for best moisturizer of the year for me, Andrew also loves it, and I saw while in Los Angeles my brother bought this too! I think it’s suitable for any skin type, normal or dry, it’s not irritating, isn’t too heavy and moisturizes perfectly. We are on our second jar, I am going to have to order a third very soon.
- Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice Moisturizer was the best lightweight moisturizer I tried, it’s great for those humid months here in Florida but really nice year round too
- Farmacy Honey Drop Lighweight Moisturizer * was also another excellent find, non-irritating and not heavy, more loves from this brand in this post
- Sisley Black Rose Oil * was the best face oil I tried, I’m trying to use it sparingly because it’s so expensive! review here
- Foreo UFO * was the most innovative skincare tool I tried, I really do love it and it makes my skin feel and look better
- Glamglow Supermud remains my favorite clarifying mask to clean out pores and clear up the skin
Hair Favorites of the Year
- Sisley Precious Hair Oil * wins for best hair oil for me, review here and here
- Moroccanoil Treatment is always a classic, I can’t live without this product
- Aquis Hair Towels were a great find based on recommendations and reviews I read online, this is another product I never want to be without, after testing the Long Lisse Luxe and Waffle Luxe version I found they both performed well, I prefer the waffle version as I like texture in my towels, I also prefer the longer options
- Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask With Temporary Coloring in Warm Chestnut was a great find for me after getting highlights earlier this year, it leaves my hair so shiny and soft!
- Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask * was my favorite try of the year, I finished 2 jars already, I want to buy another but am testing a few other brands out right now (Oribe and Kerastase) – my friends say Kerastase is the best and on a recent Instagram poll many of you said Oribe is better, I’ll keep you posted!
- T3 Trio Whirl Trio was the best and only hair tool buy of the year, I relied on my Dyson and Harry Josh Dryers * and they’ve served me well, and I still love my HAI Ceramic Straightener, I decided to only buy one curling tool and have really loved it! If you see any hair posts of me with curled hair like this post or this one and also here I’m using the 1.5 inch wand.
- Living Proof Dry Shampoo, Moroccan Oil Dry Shampoo for Dark Tones and IGK Jet Lag had a 3-way-tie for me in terms of dry shampoos this year, there are actually a lot that I loved this year but if I were forced to pick 3, these would be the ones I’d live off of for the rest of my life
That wraps up my favorites for the year! I hope you found some new loves too. Let me know in the comments what your favorites were! Also I’ve been a little behind on giveaways with my recent travels so I’m doubling up and giving away 2 sets of beauty goodies. Two readers will be selected to win all these items listed below:
- 1 Away Mini Travel Case (winner can select 1 choice of Pink or the Halo color)
- All 3 Fenty Gloss Bombs in Fenty Glow, Diamond Milk and Fussy
- Fenty Holiday Duo with lip minis of Spanked and Griselda
- 1 Beautyblender Original
- 1 Mini Drunk Elephant Serum
- 1 Mini Tatcha Watercream
- 1 Mini Living Proof Dry Shampoo
Open internationally to anyone 18 years or older. Runs through 1/5/2018. Simply enter by completing at least one of the steps in the widget below. Two winners will be selected at random within 72 hour of giveaway end time and will be winner names will be displayed / announced on the widget. I’ll contact winners directly via e-mail. Prizes typically ship within 1 week. Not sponsored or affiliated.
Press samples featured indicated with a *.