I can’t really believe that it’s been a year since the last round up, but here we are! If you want to see what made it into 2017’s favourites post you can read it HERE (spoiler, there may be some repeats as we all know I’m a creature of habit!) But let’s crack on with my 2018 favourites!
This has been a strange year for me, both in general and when it comes to beauty. I started my own business at the start of the year which I’m incredibly proud of but it has also meant that blogging has taken a bit of a backseat for me. I’m hoping to find a better balance in 2019 as I do miss writing and sharing my discoveries with you all, thank you to everyone who has stuck around through the quieter times – forget make up, YOU’RE my true 2018 favourites!
As with last year, I’ve tried to list every make up product in order of application rather than in order of preference. Some of these are products I’ve used for years, some are very new discoveries, but for me all of them are worthy of the title of ‘best of 2018’.
Once you’ve finished reading, please do head to the comments to let me know what your 2018 favourites were so I can check them out!
FYI, instead of including lots of links throughout the blog post and cluttering everything up, from now on I will start including a widget at the top of the post where you can find all the products I mention. Let me know if this is easier or more work, I’m just testing it out! These links below are affiliate links, which means that I get a tiny commission if you purchase with no extra cost to you.
- Winner – Sofina Primavista Long Keep Base
- Highly commended – The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer
I am an oily gal so a primer is always necessary in my make up routine. If you’re not a primer convert, you can read more about primers and why I recommend them to everyone HERE: they’re a wonderful way to help your make up go on smoother, last longer, hydrate the skin, add glow… so many benefits! I stocked up on the Primavista primer in Japan at the beginning of the year as it’s wonderfully light but keeps my foundation in place all day – however it’s ridiculously expensive to buy here so I apologise for including it (and haven’t linked it for that reason), but I couldn’t lie and say I didn’t use it! If you want something more affordable and accessible, The Ordinary primer featured in last year’s round up and I still really like it, but all the Deciem founder drama put me off using it if I’m honest.
- Winner – Make Up Forever Matte Velvet Skin*
- Highly commended – L’Oreal Age Perfect
The MUFE foundation is probably the newest entry into my 2018 favourites, having only launched towards the end of the year, but it is BRILLIANT: it’s matte and lasts really well on my oily skin, but doesn’t cling to my dry patches; it looks glowy without being greasy; and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The L’Oreal Age Perfect foundation is very similar to one of my all-time favourites (L’Oreal True Match) but is a little bit more glowy and natural-looking so I tend to swing between those two when picking my base. I’ve reviewed it in full HERE.
- Winner – Sephora High Coverage Gel Concealer
- Highly commended – IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye*
This Sephora concealer is another non-mover in my favourites. Unfortunately Sephora have now stopped shipping to the UK so I’m loathe to include this product but it really is my most used concealer. It’s high coverage but light enough for the delicate under eye area and affordable (if you’re near a Sephora!) The IT Cosmetics concealer is pricey but believe me when I say you need to use a blob the size of a grain of rice for both eyes, so it’ll last ages. This is the one I use when I need to bring out the big guns (e.g. red wine hangover…)
- Winner – Bourjois Poudre De Riz De Java loose powder
- Highly commended – Vichy Dermablend loose powder
I can’t count how many years I’ve been using this Bourjois powder, but it just ticks all the boxes for me. Very finely milled, with a slight sparkle to reflect the light (ideal for under-eyes), and doesn’t annoy my eyes – it does contain fragrance but it’s never annoyed my skin. If you’re very sensitive to fragrance, you may prefer the Dermablend powder, which is a great standard setting powder with a matte, sparkle-free finish. It’s more pricey, but it’s a huge pot.
- Winner – Maybelline Brow Precise Micro Pencil
- Highly commended – GOSH Shape & Fill
I love a strong brow and am quite picky about the products I use, especially as brow products for blondes are tricky to get right… many are either too warm or too ashy. The Maybelline brow pencil reminds me a lot of the Sephora version …. which I originally bought as an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz dupe! All three have a fine nib and give a very natural, but long-lasting, finish. The GOSH brow product has a wedge-shaped pencil on one end and a powder on the other end (which I don’t use). If you like a stronger brow, I think the latter will be a better fit for you.
- Winner – Urban Decay Naked Heat*
- Highly commended – Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance*
This category was tricky as I would say my Urban Decay Naked Heat palette was definitely my most used again this year, but I fell hard for the ABH Modern Renaissance palette (but didn’t use it nearly as much). Naked Heat featured in last year’s favourites post, which shows just how great it is. If you’re a fan of warm eyeshadows (or have blue/green eyes) then this will be so far up your street. Modern Renaissance is quite intense, with a high proportion of darker pink-toned shades so it’s definitely not for the faint hearted, but I do a little sigh every time I open it!
- Winner – Glossier Cloud Paints (P.S. that’s an affiliate link that will give you 10% off your order and me a credit on my account for sending you! Win-win!)
- Highly commended – CanMake Cream Cheek Tint
Another new discovery for me (but not a new product by any means!) are the Glossier Cloud Paints. You can read my post about them HERE, but since then I’ve bought two more shades – I now have Puff (pale pink), Dusk (nude brown), and Beam (pale peach). These are cream liquid blushers that are lightweight on the skin and quite subtle so you can build them up really nicely. Following on my cream blusher obsession this year, I stocked up on CanMake cream blushers in Japan. I first discovered these on my first Japan trip a few years ago and they are brilliant – very easy to wear and ridiculously affordable (about £4 so please don’t pay the £30 some Amazon sellers are asking for!)
- Winner – Glossier Haloscope ‘Quartz’
- Highly commended – Maybelline Master Strobing Stick Highlighter
I can’t believe that I avoided Glossier for so long as I didn’t buy into the subtle, natural make up look they embody. What a fool! The Haloscope highlighter is flipping dreamy: it gives a beautiful sheen to the skin without making you look greasy or like a glitter ball. I’ve been using it non-stop since it arrived. Before Haloscope converted me, I used the Maybelline stick highlighter. It’s a great stand-in if you are looking for a high-street option. I apply both with my fingertips to avoid disturbing the make up underneath and don’t think I’ll ever go back to powder highlighter!
- Winner – Maybelline Lash Sensational
- Highly commended – N/A
If you’re a regular reader you can’t be shocked by the inclusion of Maybelline Lash Sensational. It was my favourite last year and I have no doubt that it will be my favourite next year. It is my holy grail mascara and I will probably be buried with it. It lifts and separates lashes, is very black, doesn’t run even with my incredibly sensitive watery eyes, and doesn’t flake or transfer onto my brow bone. Plus it’s always on offer in Boots or Superdrug. Hand claps all round!
- Winner – NYX Jumbo Eyeliner and Eyeshadow Pencil
- Highly commended – Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow Stick*
I haven’t used liquid eyeliner or traditional pencil eyeliners much this year, but chunky crayon-type eyeliners will always be staples in my make up bag. Both the NYX and Bobbi Brown crayons are wonderful for either defining the eyes, an overall wash of colour, or building up a smokey, smudgy eye.
This is always the hardest category for me as lipstick is what makes me happiest when it comes to make up. But when I think of my most used and relied-on, the Sephora Cream Lip Stains are always number one. The name is a bit misleading, as they don’t stain at all – they are a standard matte liquid lipstick – but they do last very well, don’t dry the lips, and the colour range is great. You can watch a video containing swatches of my collection (I’ve added even more since!) HERE. The Kat von D lipsticks have an even better colour range (if you prefer more unique shades!) I find the formula a bit hit and miss, with some lasting all day and some fading within an hour so I have to pick and choose when I wear them but the colours are enough to keep me going back!
- Winner – Shay & Blue Black Tulip*
- Highly commended – Atelier Cologne Tobacco Nuit*
I was gifted Black Tulip last December and I’m still wearing and loving it – it’s warm and sweet without being cloying plus I think it’s a great size for the price. I always get comments on it because it’s pretty but slightly unusual as well. Atelier Cologne is a pricier brand but if you want to treat yourself, I think perfume is absolutely the way to do it. Tobacco Nuit is the sexiest perfume I own – tobacco flower, tangerine, labdanum… if you’re near a stockist I really recommend going in and smelling the entire range because they are just stunning. The only reason this isn’t my 2018 favourite is because I only have the travel-sized bottle and so I’ve been eking it out! There’s also one called Orange Sanguine that is summer in a bottle and it’s on my wishlist for next year.
- Winner – Essie Go Go Ginza
- Highly commended – Essie Tart Deco
Choosing favourite nail varnishes is like choosing a favourite child for me… basically impossible. But I purposefully wore Go Go Ginza for our trip to Japan as I knew we’d be visiting Ginza, so that polish has such lovely memories for me. I need to replace my bottle as it’s severely depleted, but it is a beautiful pale grey-toned pink so I knew it would go with anything I chose to wear over those three weeks. The runner up, Tart Deco is a cult classic Essie shade for a reason – it’s like summer in a bottle for me, the perfect peach colour.
And that’s your lot! So many amazing products, a lot of which are keepers from last year’s favourites which I think is a really good sign. Don’t forget to head straight to the comments to let me know what your 2018 favourites were!
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