For my third and final 2020 favorites post, I’m rounding up my top products from my favorite category: beauty. I’ve always been a makeup lover, but over the last couple of years I’ve been more into collecting and trying new makeup than ever. I’ve tried a lot of winners this year, so here are my top 10 makeup products and techniques of 2020.
1. Natasha Denona Glam Palette
The Natasha Denona Glam Palette is hands down my favorite makeup purchase of 2020. I lean towards neutral & natural eyeshadow looks, and this palette is filled with every color, tone, and finish I could ever need. It also has a sizable mirror that I often use to do my makeup in if I’m not doing it in front of my bathroom mirror.
2. The “soap brow” look
Soap brows and the brushed-up brow look definitely became popular this year, and for good reason. Somehow, this technique makes my brows look so much fuller – so much that I barely need to fill them in with makeup afterwards. I like using a simple bar of Pears soap and a spoolie brush – simply spray some water or setting spray onto the soap and rub the spoolie in to collect product. I store my soap and spoolie in an oval Lush tin. You can achieve a similar look with any brow wax or soap brow product. I like the Patrick Ta brow wax (and it’s a bit more convenient for travel than a big bar of soap), but I think any clear soap, wax, or balm-like product works perfectly well, and there are a lot of cost-effective alternatives on the market. I even do this on no-makeup days just to make my brows look a bit more polished.
3. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
I’ve had this product for a while, but I’ve really fallen in love with it again lately. Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter is an incredible product that can be used under makeup as a luminous base, in place of foundation for (extremely) sheer coverage and glow, or on the high points of the face as a natural liquid highlighter. I like to use it under my eyes before concealer to add some extra luminosity, too. I wear the shade 2, but could probably use the (new) shade 2.5 or shade 3 when I have a tan. Since it’s so sheer, you don’t need to worry too much about finding the perfect shade match. It works best for me when blended out with a damp beauty blender or fingers. In her new Hollywood Flawless Filter Makeup collection, Charlotte Tilbury released extended shades and mini sizes, which I’d recommend getting because a full size bottle is pricey and lasts forever!
4. Cream products
I’ve been loving cream makeup products all year long. They look so natural and are so easy to blend out in comparison to a face covered in powder products. I’ve been obsessed with this cream stick foundation from Westman Atelier – pricey but so worth it! My favorite cream blushes are from Kosas, Tower28, Fenty Beauty and Nudestix, while my favorite cream bronzer is the Milk bronzer stick. For cream contour, I’ve been loving the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer paired with the brand’s Face Shaping Brush. Over the summer, I loved bronzing with a shimmery cream bronzer like this Tower28 product or this Chanel stick. The Soleil Tan de Chanel (now part of the Les Beiges collection) cream bronzer is a cult favorite of many, too, but this Colourpop bronzer balm is supposedly a great dupe. If you’ve tried it, let me know how you like it!
5. Gucci bronzer
As much as I love cream products, sometimes a powder is just quicker to apply. I really didn’t want to love this bronzer as much as I did, but it really is good. Gucci makeup is extremely pricey, and I think much of what you’re paying for is its gorgeous, luxe packaging. The bronzer in the shade fair is a completely different tone than any of my other bronzers. It has some red to it, which somehow looks super natural on my skin – almost like a real sunburn or tan. It isn’t 100% matte and it’s very buildable instead of being way too pigmented from the get-go. It actually reminds me a bit of the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer – another amazing bronzer and extremely affordable in comparison – but the tone is what really makes this one unique.
6. Hourglass powder
I never thought I’d be so passionate about setting powder – I’ve tried so many, pressed and loose, and they all work just fine to set my makeup and prevent my skin from getting oily. However, every time I use the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder I notice my skin looks more flawless and airbrushed than ever. It’s super pricey so I try not to use it all the time, but it’s my go-to whenever I wear a full face of makeup or am taking close-up photos. It also comes in a mini size if you want to test it out before taking the plunge. Other setting powders I love are the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder, Airspun Loose Face Powder (although it smells like your grandma’s 30-year-old perfume), and Glossier Wowder.
7. Smoky winged liner
While the fox eye trend has been deemed controversial by some, I love that smoked-out, smudgy winged eyeliner that many use to accomplish the look. To achieve it, I use a piece of scotch tape on the outside of my eyes to keep a clean edge before going in with a pencil eyeliner and deep brown, black, or grey eyeshadow on a angled brush to smoke it out (after trying a handful and finding them too long or flimsy, I’ve found this is the perfect angled brush). I always get compliments on my eye makeup when I do it this way.
8. Lip liner
In 2020 I definitely started to use lip liner more consistently and added more to my makeup collection. Lip liner helps make lips look fuller (even without over-lining them) by defining the edges of the lips, which I love. I’ll use it on its own with lip balm or gloss or layered with lipstick on top. My favorite for over-lining is the Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Wherever Walnut, and my favorite for everyday wear is the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk or Iconic Nude. NYX makes great, affordable lip liners too.
9. Lip gloss
Lip gloss has made a massive comeback and matte lips have been replaced with lips with a glass-like shine. Unlike the lip gloss of the past, most new formulas have a cushiony texture that’s never sticky, and I’ve found that balm-like glosses are my favorite. It’s always a plus when a lip gloss helps moisturize my lips. There are so many that I love that it would take me forever to talk about them all, so instead I’ll just link my favorites below.
10. Olive & June
Ok, this one isn’t exactly a makeup product, but I had to include it somewhere. Olive & June has made me fall in love with painting my own nails, which is ideal during a pandemic. The brand’s aesthetic, the packaging and brush on the nail polish, and the wide shade range are amazing. These polishes are so easy to use and last for a good week without chipping as long as you use a good top coat. The brand is now available at Target, though I usually shop directly on the site for the widest selection. If you’re new to the brand Target is a great place to start!
What were your favorite makeup products and beauty trends of 2020? Let me know in the comments! Hope your 2021 is off to a fabulous start.