2019 was big for makeup. But not in the way you’d expect. There weren’t masses of new launches (it was actually quite a quiet year when compared to 2018). No, 2019 was big for makeup because of what it stood for – clean ingredients, sustainable packaging, shade inclusivity and efficacy. This year, I feel like beauty lovers have raised their standards, and luckily brands have delivered. Here are a few of my favourites that’ll be staying in my makeup bag in 2020…
#1 The Natural Base
For makeup, the real star of 2019 was foundation. We’ve been inundated with newness in every direction, but choosing my winner wasn’t hard at all. It could only be GUERLAIN L’Essentiel. With a focus on naturality and a 30-shade offering, it ticks off a few key trends that I mentioned above. L’Essentiel also pairs two of my favourite things, skincare and makeup. Its 97% natural formula gives light to medium coverage, a glowy skin finish (that isn’t shiny), while diffusing skin with active skincare ingredients. It leaves the complexion hydrated, comfortable and protected against pollution, plus pores and pigmentation minimised. It’s a base with extra benefits, and I’m here for it.
Discover how L’Essentiel held up after 8 hours in the office here.
#2 The Long-Lasting Lip
I have high standards when it comes to lip colour. They need to be long-wearing, pigmented, comfortable, and if I’m honest, look great on my dressing table. Encre Interdit gets an A* for each of these. Why? Its waterproof formula. In the summer, I put a bunch of lipsticks to the test. It involved countless buckets of water being splashed on me but it was worth it because I found Encre. The lip ink stays put come rain or shine, and looks and feels good in the process – no chapping or settling into fine lines here. They go on as a stain initially, but dry down pretty quickly, and are enriched with vegetable glycerin for a boost of moisture. I need one in every colour, please!
See how Encre Interdite fared in my wateproof test in this edit.
#3 The Lash Booster
As an Editor, I see a lot of new launches. So, a product has to wow me to get my attention. And, Controlled Chaos did just that. A few coats and my lashes were lifted and volumised like never before, even my boyfriend noticed, which let me tell you, is groundbreaking. When it first appeared on my desk back in May, I was so intrigued that I decided to dig out the press release, and the tech behind this launch is incredible. A few of my favourite things are, the blend of soft and hard waxes for the perfect weight and flexibility, and it’s inky black pigment for zero smudging. It’s more than mascara; it’s your dream lashes.
Want to know more? Read my initial thoughts on MascaraInk here.
4# The Invisible Powder
I tend to avoid powder at all costs. My foundation, blush, and bronzer are all cream-based formulas. What can I say, I like to glow. But 2019 brought me a powder I actually like! The All Hours Universal Setting Powder is the unlikely champion. I love it because it feels weightless, looks invisible on the skin, and doesn’t cake my complexion. Instead, its velvety formula naturally mattifies, and softly diffuses shine so that skin retains a natural healthy look.
#5 The 2-in-1 Brow
Benefit for brows? “Groundbreaking”. But, they deserve it! Brow Styler is amazing. But I’ll admit I didn’t initially think so. Two products in one? I was worried it would be too time consuming, and tricky, but it’s the opposite! On one side you have a very pigmented powder to fill sparse areas, and on the other side an angled wax pencil to fill-in definition. Together, they allow you to create brows that are soft and fluffy yet defined and tidy. The powder is pretty pigmented so it takes a practise or two to perfect, but now I couldn’t be without it. I dab a little in sparse areas, then brush with a spoolie, draw in a few extra hairs, and voila, perfect arches in 30 seconds or less.
#6 The Long-Awaited Concealer
No other concealer could be mentioned here. After all, we’ve been waiting 26 years for YSL to bring out a Touche Eclat concealer. Thought they already had one? You’re not alone – millions of people confused the original Touche Eclat for this. It’s actually a highlighter designed to bring light to the high points of your face – did I just hear an aha moment? High Cover also deserves recognition because it had big shoes to fill, and it’s filled them – the formula is great! It’s high coverage, long-wearing, brightening, and contains soothing calendula and an anti-fatigue complex with vitamin E to help perk up peepers. I love how natural High Cover looks despite its pigment power, and in my experience, it doesn’t crease – it’s the ultimate all-rounder.
Love the sound of High Cover? See the before/afters and swatches here.
#7 The New Naked Palette
I won’t beat around the bush; I love everything about Naked Honey. And, I’m not only saying that because I’m a die-hard Naked fan. The shades are show-stopping – there’s everything from mustard browns and glittery golds to rich chocolates; plus the formulas are as good as they’ve always been – pigmented, creamy and easy to blend. Every time Urban Decay releases a Naked palette I think they’ll never top its predecessor, but every time they do and Honey is no different. Not only is it a match made in heaven for autumn, and a great go-to for Christmas makeup, it’s very wearable all year round too. There’s an array of brown hues in matte and shimmer finishes to suit every skin tone and eye colour. Honey is, dare I say it, my favourite Naked yet.
# The Glow Mist
Anything with ‘dew’ in the name will grab my attention. I’m forever chasing a glow, but I relied on highlighters to do that, not setting sprays. 2019 changed that – my holy-grail All Nighter Spray got a new sidekick, Dew Mist by bareMinerals. It’s not only the dewy skin finish, and its makeup setting abilities that I love, the ingredients are pretty special too (if I’m spritzing something on my skin daily, I care what’s in it) . Dew Mist has kombucha ferment to bring radiance, watermelon and apple extracts to brighten and hydrate, plus meadowsweet extract to reduce the look of pores. Oh, and did I mention there are no nasties like fragrance or alcohol that commonly irritate. I always feel good misting this over my face!
Want to know more? See what I said about Dew Mist in July Favourites.