The 46 Best New Beauty Products of the Year, As Voted on By You
To prepare for our annual Readers’ Choice Beauty Awards, we tirelessly tested the hundreds of products that launched between summer 2017 and summer 2018. (Hey, not all heroes wear capes.) Our goal? To narrow the list down to the best of the best and determine the nominees for which you, dear reader, could cast your vote. And that you did.
More than 5,000 (!) of you participated in our online survey, and every vote made a difference — particularly in close categories like Liquid Lip Color, Foundation, and Cleanser. You impressed us with your knowledge of niche brands — we thought the wrinkle-reducing magic of Augustinus Bader The Cream was still our little secret — and discerning eye for truly unique products, like Tatcha The Silk Canvas primer. That said, as we predicted, there were some landslide wins (like Neutrogena’s actually-pleasant-to-apply Hydro Boost sunscreen).
Of course, we editors couldn’t resist including some of our personal favorites, too. (Mark our words: L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara is going to rise to cult status.) They’re labeled Editors’ Picks, and boy, are we glad they came into our lives this past year.
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So whether you’re wondering if your favorite highlighter took home the top prize (you’re in luck, Charlotte Tilbury fans) or just in need of a new shampoo, take a moment to sift through our winners — we promise your beauty routine will be all the better for it.
Highlighter: Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filter
With this duo you can color and highlight cheeks at once: Just swipe across both creams and blend from the apples toward your temples.
Bronzer: Guerlain Terracotta Light
The pinwheel of warm bronze, gold, and pink tones works to deliver a subtle, believable glow.
Limited-Edition Collaboration: Jennifer Lopez Inglot
Thanks to hits like the shimmering bronzers, nude lipsticks, and megawatt glosses, Lopez’s 70-piece collection topped your must-have list.
Foundation: Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30
This liquid provides up to 24 hours of coverage yet feels as light as a tinted moisturizer.
Blush: BareMinerals Gen Nude Powder
With natural-looking colors and a superfine texture, it’s almost impossible to overdo it.
Editors' Pick: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
Want long, full, curled, clump-free lashes? Look no further than this instant classic.
Mascara: Benefit BADgal Bang! Volumizing
Formulated with ultralight particles, this rich black ink feathers your lashes to their fullest.
Brow Groomer: Sephora Collection Beau Brow
This soft crayon makes quick work of filling in your arches. And the cream-to-powder consistency makes it a breeze to blend.
Concealer: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear
We’ve spotted this winner in more than one makeup artist’s kit. That’s because the coverage is nearly unbeatable. This stuff can hide all evidence of a late night.
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Micro Tip
Liquid liners don’t get much easier to use than this: Dot the tiny point along your lash lines to darken and define your eyes.
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Lightbeam Palette
Who knew orange eye shadow could be so flattering? Mix it together with any of these bronzy metallics to create subtle smoky eyes you can wear, well, anywhere.
Editors' Pick: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Treatment Concealer
The tea-tree-and-sulfur-spiked solution helps dry pimples. The fact that it’s tinted means it can double as concealer (because obviously).
Liquid Lip Color: Nars Powermatte
It’s already snagged our makeup artist–selected Best Beauty Buys award, and with good reason: Its opaque hues last for hours without cracking. Plus, the pointy-tip applicator wand is ideal for lining and filling.
Lipstick: Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle
With 14 velvety tones to pick from, these slender sticks have become a fast favorite of editors and pros alike. They go on smoothly and stay on comfortably.
Nail-Color Line: JINsoon x Flagpole
In collaboration with swimwear designers Megan Balch and Jaime Barker, celebrated manicurist Jin Soon Choi developed a trio of crisp, cool colors that evoke the tropics.
Lip Gloss: Becca Glow Gloss
No doubt the shine factor won your votes, as each of these 10 moisturizing shades has light reflectors and peptides to make your lips look fuller and plumper.
Editors' Pick: Maybelline New York Lemonade Craze Eye Shadow Palette
Every on-trend shade is in this compact, along with rich brown tones that work perfectly as eyeliner. Have we also used the rose and gold shimmers as highlighters? Absolutely.
Exfoliator: Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub
You know how some polishers leave your face tight and red around the nose? This isn’t one of those. The gel contains such fine granules, you won’t even feel them buffing and softening your skin.
Face Mask: Tatcha Violet-C Radiance
Would you describe your complexion as dull, tired, or just... blah? This cream, with two types of vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids, will brighten you up in no time.
Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas
If you don’t typically use a primer, this balm (with real silk extracts) will change your mind. It blurs and smooths the surface while protecting skin with powerful antioxidants.
Facial Treatment: Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Leave-On Day Mask Lotion SPF 30
The sheer formula has broad-spectrum shields, feels dreamy on the skin, and uses blackberry-leaf and green-tea extracts to help keep your cells healthy. What more could you want?
Anti-Acne Treatment: Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment
When is it OK to shine a light on your breakouts? When the bulbs are red and blue to fight bacteria and inflammation, like the kind found in this little battery-powered device.
Eye Cream: Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin
Puffy coats? Yes. Puffy eyes? No. Send your (undereye) bags packing with this overachieving cream that delivers five types of glow-boosting vitamin C.
Editors' Pick: Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops
Teeny, tiny pollutants floating in the air can damage your skin, so we suggest adding this antioxidant serum to your arsenal: Just mix a few drops into your daily moisturizer (or apply directly on your face) before walking out the door.
Cleanser: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal with Probiotics
When it comes to acne, the best defense is a good offense, so swap your basic cleanser for this one with pore-clearing charcoal and clay, plus sloughing salicylic acid.
Serum: Joanna Vargas Super Nova
It’s pricey, sure, but this serum from the in-demand aesthetician addresses nearly every sign of aging — dark spots, dullness, sagging, wrinkles — with peptides and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Moisturizer: Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream
There’s no shortcut to healthy skin, but if there were, it could be this formula (which also comes in two richer textures). It gives you that I-just-got-a-facial glow.
Anti-Aging Treatment: Augustinus Bader The Cream
Created by Dr. Augustinus Bader, who researches stem cells and wound healing, this extraordinary blend (also available in a rich version) is beloved by dermatologists — and more than a few red-carpet regulars — for its ability to jump-start the skin’s repair function.
Natural Beauty MVP: Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme
It all but melts into skin, leaving behind a plump, dewy finish.
Editors' Pick: Mary Kay TimeWise Age Minimize 3D 4-in-1 Cleanser
True to its name, this multi-tasking cream not only cleans but smooths the surface and keeps things cute with line fighters and brighteners.
Sun Protection: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion SPF 30
There are sunscreens that leave you so greasy, your legs could double as a Slip ’N Slide. Then there are those, like this gel, that absorb quickly and without residue.