My Most Used Products Of 2018

by Sarah

Can you guys believe it’s almost the end of the year?!? Last couple of months in particular flew by for me, but I’m definitely ready for 2019!

That said, 2018 saw plenty of new releases in the beauty world.  Along with discovering new favorites and sticking to some good old classics, I found myself reaching for some products more often than others.

Here are my top makeup products for 2018, and why they made it to the list…

My Most Used Makeup Products of 2018

FOUNDATIONS

I’ve always been one to move between multiple foundations depending on what my skin needs at the time. This year was no exception, with plenty of options to choose from.

I had four foundations in circulation from the lightest to full coverage. What had me hooked was how natural and skin-like all these foundations look and feel, despite being buildable.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer 3W1 Ochre / Dior Backstage Foundation 3WO / Fenty Pro Filt’r #240 / NARS Natural Radiant in Stromboli

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($45) is hands down THE best tinted moisturizer on the market. Containing SPF20, I reach for this Oil Free version which not only provides plenty of coverage but a stunning glow to boot. I also use it as a primer. This is truly a one-step product every makeup kit should have.

Dior Backstage Foundation ($40) was a newcomer in 2018 and it definitely lives up to all the hype that surrounded its launch. This has been my daily foundation since I purchased it. A little goes a long way and it provides great coverage when built up. Light weight and long wearing, I’m really happy with this foundation.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r ($34) is yet another foundation I kept at hand alternating with Dior Backstage for daily makeup. It’s slightly heavier coverage than Dior and it provides a smooth, seamless look which I adore. Add to that an impressive color range, Pro Flit’r is definitely a winner.

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49) is perfection in a bottle. Though it’s the heaviest coverage out of all the above-mentioned foundations, it can be sheered down with either moisturizer or primer for a lighter look. This foundation sets to a flawless, airbrushed finish which looks and feels invisible. If you want perfect application within seconds which doesn’t budge, this is it.

Every single one of these foundations get top marks from me in terms of quality, application, performance and longevity.  If you haven’t tried them yet, 2019 may be the year you discover a new favorite.

CONCEALERS

I’m quite picky when it comes to concealers. I need one that covers well, that feels light, doesn’t crease, blends smoothly and stays put.

The coverage I need under my eyes changes depending on how tired or well rested/hydrated I am, so I have two concealers covering both ends of the spectrum with great success.

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller / Huda Beauty Overachiever Concealer in Sugar Biscuit

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller ($7.50) – is what I stick to for my everyday makeup. It’s super light weight and provides brightness more so than coverage. The sheer formula prevents the product from setting or creasing under the eyes and gives a really natural, brightening effect. It also has a metal ball roller for application which feels great under the eyes.

Huda Beauty Overachiever Concealer ($30) has become a favorite for those days where I need more coverage. It conceals dark circles and blemishes perfectly without caking or creasing; and still manages to look natural.

I must admit, I was quite sceptical of this concealer at first, thinking it would be a very thick and heavy product like Tarte Shape Tape – which I’m not a fan of. I’m happy to admit it proved me wrong. I don’t know how they managed to get such a great balance of full coverage that still looks luminous but I’ve become a huge fan of the Huda Beauty concealer since.

SPF and PRIMERS

Healthy skin is always my top priority and sun protection plays a big role in my daily routine. On days where I know I’ll be out and about, I make sure to apply a high factor SPF; or tinted moisturizer/foundation that contains SPF.

Prepping my skin before makeup can also cut my product use in half so I had two very important products that got me through the sun, rain, hail and shine of 2018.

Supergoop SPF40 / MAC Strobe Creams in Peachlite and Goldlite

Supergoop Smooth & Poreless SPF40 ($38) is a 100% mineral, light weight formula which has protected my skin from harmful UV rays, kept my pigmentation spots at bay and provided hydration without turning me into a disco ball. It has a silky tinted mousse-like feel which blurs and mattifies the skin.

It’s particularly great if you have sensitive skin, or not a fan of most SPF products due to the pore-clogging side effects. It also wears beautifully under makeup.

MAC Strobe Cream ($34) is not typically marketed as a primer, however I find it does an amazing job as one. With light reflecting micro shimmer throughout, Strobe Cream hydrates and provides a “glow from within” look to the skin.

You can most certainly wear it on its own but it also looks beautiful under makeup. I have the peachlite and the goldlite that I alternate between and love both colors. Also available in pinklite and silverlite.

EYESHADOW PALETTES

Eyeshadow palettes deserve a category of their own simply because there have been so many gorgeous palettes launched in 2018.

I travel quite often so I need products that combine quality and variety in the most practical sense. Minimum product, maximum results is the motto and there have been two palettes that I continually reached for.

Marc Jacobs Scandalust Palette / Urban Decay Born To Run Palette

Marc Jacobs Scandalust Palette ($49) is my go-to travel companion. With plenty of neutrals, a good balance of matte and shimmer shades and just enough pop of color, I’m able to create so many looks with such a simple and versatile palette. Love this baby!

Check out my tutorial with this palette here

Urban Decay Born To Run Palette ($49) was specifically designed for travel. And you really appreciate how well curated this palette is when you find yourself reaching for it on all occasions, day or evening, neutral or colorful, matte or metallic…and I can go on and on.

Possibly the palette I would crown #1 amongst all my eyeshadow palettes to date. If you’re gonna get only one “do-it-all” palette, make it this one.

*I have 2 of these palettes, the one I use on the regular is too loved to photograph so I featured the backup in this post :)

EYES and BROWS

If you rewind back to my ‘must-have products’ posts from years ago, you’ll find this category hasn’t changed much at all.

Being a makeup artist and a beauty blogger, I get to try so many products and I have a lot of favorites; but when it comes to my personal must haves, the good old MAC Teddy eyeliner and Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara duo have been with me for years…I’m talking decades.

Colourpop Brow Boss Pencil in Dark Brown / MAC Teddy Eyeliner / Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof in Excessive Black

MAC Teddy Eyeliner ($18) has been a classic in both my personal and pro makeup kits for as long as I can remember. I adore the deep chocolate shimmer of this pencil which smudges to a perfect smoky line. It’s also great for the waterline.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara ($27.50) thickens, lengthens, it’s smudge and flake proof and thanks to the waterproof formula, keeps my dead straight lashes curled up til I take it off. If I had to define the perfect mascara, it would be this one which is why I stuck to it for so many years.

Colourpop Brow Boss ($5) replaced my Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back since. Given the $16 price difference with pretty much the same results (I actually even like the Colourpop formula wee bit better), it’s been a no-brainer to stick to this perfectly cool toned pencil to keep my brows in shape. Available in 9 shades.

BRONZER and BLUSH 

I don’t contour on a daily basis but I still like creating dimension and adding warmth to my face with a bronzer.

I’m quite particular about using matte bronzers which carry a cooler undertone. They also have to blend seamlessly so I alternate between two bronzers I use which tick all the boxes. Add to that a pop of color with the perfect blush and I’m ready to go…

Too Faced Chocolate Soileil Bronzer in Dark / NARS Sun Washed Bronzer in Laguna / MAC Powder Blush in Sunbasque

Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer in Dark ($30) has a great balance of warm and cool undertones. I adore this bronzer, however the last compact I bought (which is also when they changed the packaging), I’m finding the formula is slightly different. It’s softer and more powdery which distributes more color.

This is not particularly a bad thing but I feel I need to be more careful in how much product I pick up as it can get blotchy in application. I still love this product but I preferred the previous formula where it gave me more control over intensity.

NARS Laguna Bronzer ($40) has been my holy grail for years. When I ran out of my last compact, I purchased the “Sun Washed” range of Laguna which doesn’t contain any shimmer – versus the original Laguna which does. They’re both available in stores, and a cult favorite of many for a reason.

MAC Sunbasque ($24) is a shimmering peachy neutral blush which adds life back to my face, especially on those days I may not be feeling my best. I have plenty of other blushes and blush palettes but MAC Sunbasque holds a special place in my heart..and kit.

HIGHLIGHTERS

I definitely mixed and matched so many more highlighters than the ones listed here, however, in terms of color, application and finish, the following four have been fool-proof for me all the way through.

I love a good, natural looking highlighter which is buildable to notice from space if I choose to; and these formulas have been giving me just that!

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal / MARC Jacobs Dew Drops in Original and Rose Gold / Fenty Beauty Mean Money/Hustla Baby Duo

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal ($38) was the OG of highlighters way before highlighters became a thing. I had a compact then, and I still have a compact today (probably my 5th). The subtle shimmer of this highlighter sits so beautifully on the skin that I get the most compliments when I wear this highlighter.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter; Mo Money/Hustla Baby ($34) duo offers two different finishes in the one compact which is great for layering. The Mo Money side is softer and more subtle, whereas the Hustla Baby side gives that more noticeable highlight.

Marc Jacobs Coconut Dew-Drops ($44) in both the Original and the limited edition Rose Gold color are my liquid highlighter favorites. Worn on their own or mixed into foundations, they’ve been keeping my face gleaming with perfect amount of shimmer. And they smell like coconuts!

LIPS

Last but not least…lips! Being such a nude-lip lover, of course my lip product choices have leaned towards all the delicious warm toned peachy, pinky, some matte, some glossy options.

All these products pair perfectly together or can be mixed and matched with different color lipliners to create custom shades.

Buxom Plumpline in Undercover / Fenty Beauty in Unbutton / MAC Mocha / Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Unbutton ($24)  is a late-comer into the mix due to it only being released a handful of months ago but I’ve pretty much worn it every day since. Despite being a matte formula, this lipstick is super light and comfortable and pairs beautifully with lipliners and glosses without budging.

MAC Mocha Lipstick ($18.50) is my next-in-line favorite, which is a warm terracotta nude. The satin formula is a perfect blend of matte with a hint of sheen which keeps the lips supple; and the color is buildable so you can create more depth depending on the look you’re going for.

Buxom Plumpline in Undercover ($18) is a phenomenal lip product which I discovered in a sample pack and I ran back to Sephora to get more colors! Super easy to use as they line and fill the lips with one swipe, the other end of the pencil has a brush so you can blend the product perfectly. It has amazing staying power and leaves a beautiful tint even after it wears off.

Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow ($18) is my go-to on days where I want that added shine, plump and shimmer with a beautiful soft peach/pink tint. It smells amazing, doesn’t feel sticky and stays on for hours.

And here we are beauties! Whether you’re after practical, fool-proof products that carry you through the day; or you love your flawless, glam look for any occasion, I can confidently recommend the above products that have been an integral part of my makeup kit during 2018.

What products have you reached for the most this year? Share your list in the comments xo

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16 comments

Amira September 20, 2019 - 11:51 pm

Hi Sarah, which fenty highlighter duo is that? Afternoon snack/mo’ hunny or mean honey/hustla baby?

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Sarah September 21, 2019 - 10:11 am

Hi Amira, it’s the Mean Money/Hustla Baby. Thank you for bringing it to my attention btw. I had the description incorrect which is now fixed :)

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Jemma December 26, 2018 - 11:26 pm

Such an amazing round up of products and feel some need to make it on to my 2019 list!!! Thanks so much for the amazing reviews

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:38 am

Thank you Jemma xo

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Katy Mitchell December 24, 2018 - 2:13 pm

Hi Sarah I got so many of your recommended products and they’re all been amazing. I have to try some of your foundations on this list. Would you say they’re OK for oily skin cos I have oily skin. Thank you.

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:40 am

Hi Katy, that’s so nice to hear! Yes all the foundations I featured here are good for oily skin, including the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer as it’s the oil-free version xo

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M.L. December 23, 2018 - 2:34 am

Love your posts! I have Fenty foundation and I enjoy it too. My other hg product in 2018 was Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Filter.

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:41 am

Yes! Tried the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood filter and I love the luminous sheen it gives to the skin. Thanks for sharing xo

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Jess December 22, 2018 - 2:21 pm

Ohhh I was looking at the UD palette just the other day. I might go back and get it now lol. My top products in 2018: Armani Luminous Silk foundation, Nars radiant concealer, Charlotte Tilbury bronze and glow, Colourpop Shayla eyeshadow palette, UD Rush lip pencil, Fenty Gloss bomb

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:42 am

That’s a great line up of products Jess, thanks for sharing! xo

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Alina December 21, 2018 - 12:13 pm

Hi Sarah thank you for this post. Is there a color difference between the new and old laguna or is it just the shimmer? I always had the old laguna but looking to maybe change now. Thanks!

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:43 am

Hi Alina, I find the Sunwash range of Laguna slightly warmer than the original.

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MELISSA December 21, 2018 - 6:39 am

So many good products on your list. I’ve been using the Nars Radiant foundation and I agree it’s the best! I needed a good SPF and I’m gonna try the Supergoop now :)

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:44 am

Supergoop really impressed me. I find using SPF on a daily basis, my pores get clogged so this one eliminated that problem.

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SiennaM December 21, 2018 - 4:02 am

Such a great post! I already bought some products from your suggestions. More on my list now.
I love my Natasha Denona Sunset palette, Laura Mercier translucent powder, Anastasia Amrezy highlighter, Benefit brow pencil and Charlotte Tilbury foundation.

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Sarah December 30, 2018 - 5:45 am

Great choices Sienna. I love Natasha Denona shadows, they apply and blend beautifully

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