29 best makeup buys of 2023

All products are chosen by our editors without bias. If you purchase a product that we recommend, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

I think we can all agree that out of all makeup products, lip glosses have always been a mainstay in our beauty cupboards. I’d argue that most of our very first makeup-related memories include some kind of lip gloss (I know mine was). Whether it was a cute tube that came with your favourite magazine (strawberry flavoured or otherwise) or if you managed to snag one out of your older sister’s (or mum’s) purse, it’s safe to assume that we all cherish those precious lip gloss moments. I’m pretty sure that it’s the one product that got me so excited about makeup in the first place – I totally tried to channel J Lo and Britney on my way to school by slathering on an unreasonable amount of lip gloss… In the name of such Y2K trends, lip glosses are having a major moment right now.

Best makeup picks overall – our top choices:

  1. Best Foundation: KVD Beauty Good Apple Full-Coverage Serum Foundation
  2. Best Under-Eye Concealer: E.L.F 16HR Camo Concealer
  3. Best highlighter: REFY GLOSS HIGHLIGHTER
  4. Best blush: E.L.F. Primer Infused Blush Always Rosy
  5. Best bronzer: NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer

Sure, they were de-throned by matte lipsticks or liquid lipsticks for a brief period, but they’ve made a big comeback and have now become a go-to option for both Gen-Z and millennials. In fact, lip glosses are so big, they’re even inspiring nail trends (lip gloss nails, anyone?). Elsewhere, behind the scenes at fashion week, professional MUAs are using clear gloss on top of eyeshadow and cheekbones to achieve that wet, glass-looking skin. It’s way more than just a standard lip product.

Best Foundation: KVD Beauty Good Apple Full-Coverage Serum Foundation

The KVD foundation launch featured on Lookyst has gained notable attention. Despite its lightweight nature, it has become a daily favorite since being introduced on the Lookyst site. Promising full coverage with a natural finish and a lightweight serum feel, it lives up to expectations. Users have found that one pump is sufficient to cover dark circles and acne scars seamlessly. Its transfer-proof feature is noteworthy, and the infusion of apple extract adds a skin-friendly dimension, making it a valuable addition not just for makeup but also for skincare.

Best Under-Eye Concealer: e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer

Expressing the concept of “less is more,” this concealer truly excels. A small dot from the applicator is all you need to cover your entire under-eye area, showcasing its superb pigmentation. If you’re seeking a flawless, picture-perfect base, this concealer is the perfect choice.


Designed to bestow a glass-like glow, this gloss highlighter is a versatile addition, perfect for enhancing your cheekbones, eyelids, brow bone, cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose, collarbones, and beyond. Featuring a non-stick formula crafted from natural oils and minerals, it seamlessly complements your usual makeup products. An additional highlight is its vegan and cruelty-free credentials.

Best blush: E.L.F. Primer Infused Blush Always Rosy

The E.L.F. Primer Infused Blush “Always Rosy” boasts a unique formula enhanced with lock-on primer powder, ensuring a full day of perfectly placed blush. Its easy-to-blend texture and optimal pigmentation make application a breeze. For a seamless finish, lightly dab a Blush Brush into the pan and sweep across the cheeks. Whether for personal or professional use, this blush is quick and easy to apply. Plus, it’s cruelty-free, vegan, and formulated without Phthalates, Parabens, Nonylphenol, Ethoxylates, Triclosan, Triclocarban, and Hydroquinone.

Best bronzer: NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer

Offered in five versatile shades, this budget-friendly matte bronzer imparts a stunningly warm glow that complements various skin tones. With its rich pigment, a little product goes a long way. The best feature? It’s ideal for every season, seamlessly transitioning from spring to summer and beyond. This bronzer is perfect for year-round use, providing an easy application and a non-cakey look despite its matte finish.

Best contour: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Curvy Contour

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Curvy Contour, despite being oil-free, maintains a creamy and blendable texture, allowing for effortless contouring in seconds. The creamy formula, once applied, lasts for hours on the skin, creating the illusion of depth under your cheekbones and around your jawline while maintaining a natural look. Perfect for those looking for a quick and easy contour application.

Best primer: e.l.f Powergrip Primer

A small amount of e.l.f.’s gel primer is all you need to ensure your makeup stays in place, resisting separation, sliding, or shine, even in hot weather. Gently press it onto moisturized skin, allowing 30 seconds for it to set, and anything applied thereafter adheres securely. Beyond its fixation properties, the primer creates a luxuriously smooth makeup base. Enriched with hyaluronic acid, it provides a plump, bouncy foundation for easy and flawless application.

Best setting product: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder Ultra Blur

Similar to its iconic predecessor, Laura Mercier’s latest powder skillfully locks in makeup under a lightweight, flawless veil. What sets this iteration apart is its talc-free formula, featuring an ultra-blurring blend of amino acid and silica powders that prevents creasing or caking. A testament to the enduring appeal of cult classics, this setting powder remains the top choice for those who seek long-lasting glam.

Best brush range: Real Techniques Flawless Everyday Essentials

The Real Techniques Flawless Everyday Essentials kit features four indispensable makeup brushes. Included is a rounded fluffy brush, ideal for applying powders, bronzers, or blushers. The tiny precision brush excels at pin-point concealing, while a small fluffy brush is perfect for highlighting or baking. The kit also contains a dome-shaped buffing brush, designed for seamless foundation blending. As a bonus, the kit includes a Real Techniques blending sponge for even more versatility.

Best lip color: Mac Velvet Teddy Matte Lipstick

No compilation of the best lipsticks is complete without featuring MAC at the forefront. The matte lipstick from MAC boasts a luxurious and creamy formula that envelops your lips in highly pigmented hues, leaving a non-shiny finish. Available in a spectrum of nude, red, pink, and berry undertones, each shade offers up to 10 hours of wear. Trusted by makeup artists, it’s undoubtedly one of the premier lipsticks on the market.

Best glossy lip color: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

Fenty Beauty’s lip gloss, curated by Rihanna, offers three universal shades that enhance the plumpness of your lips while providing nourishment through shea butter. This cruelty-free product is truly obsession-worthy and deserves a spot in both your wishlist and checkout trolley.

Best Lip Oil: GISOU Honey Infused Lip Oil

Gisou’s lip oil, infused with Mirsalehi honey and hyaluronic acid, delivers intense hydration without a pronounced honey taste—making it a departure from overly sweet experiences. Our tester was enamored with the distinctive curvy bottle, the gentle applicator, and the instant surge of hydration. Beyond its hydrating properties, the lip oil’s slightly yellow tint, courtesy of honey, complements all skin tones, providing a nuanced finish that falls between a lip gloss and a lip oil. The product’s popularity often leads to swift restocking, so securing it promptly is advisable.

Best lip liner: M.A.C Lip Pencil 1.45g

A go-to for makeup artists, this ultra-smooth lip liner stands out for its easy application and soft, creamy texture that effortlessly glides over your skin. Available in a diverse range of colors for every occasion, from subtle nudes to attention-grabbing pink undertones. The versatility shines as you can confidently wear it on its own or pair it with your favorite lipstick – it looks equally stunning either way.

Best brow pencil/pen: Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil

Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow Pencil has a lot to offer. Firstly, the ultra-fine nib is perfect for mimicking even the finest hairs, achieving a natural finish. Secondly, it includes a fluffy brush for shaping brows and seamlessly blending the color. Lastly, it’s waterproof, ensuring your meticulous brow work stays put for a solid 12 hours.

Best brow gel: Kosas AIR BROW Tinted Volumizing Treatment Gel

If you tend to have a heavy hand (because, same), exercising caution might be wise with this brow gel. Despite its small size, it packs a punch in terms of pigment, as endorsed by Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner. With a generous selection of 10 shades, finding the perfect color is made easier. And if you’re still uncertain about the shade, the brand offers the same formula in a clear gel.

Best mascara: Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, Volumising & Lengthening Mascara

Launched last year, this mascara quickly became a TikTok sensation, trending within hours of becoming available online. Users were astounded by its ability to add remarkable length to lashes. Offering lengthening, volumizing, and defining effects, this mascara truly does it all while remaining clump-free.

Best liquid eyeliner: e.l.f. H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen, Felt Tip, Waterproof Liquid Formula

Supporting budget-friendly makeup, eyeliner is a product often chosen from the high street, where some affordable options outshine their pricier counterparts. Take, for instance, e.l.f’s H20 eyeliner. This eyeliner features an inky, jet-black pigment for a bold stroke, and its fine-tip wand simplifies the process of achieving precise points. Not only does it endure crying, dancing, or sweating—it genuinely proves resistant to all three. However, it may be a bit stubborn to remove, so having high-quality oil-based micellar water is recommended.

Best pencil eyeliner: Maybelline TattooStudio Gel Pencil

Celebrated for its day-long endurance, this gel-formula pencil stands out as a must-have in the realm of eyeliners. Swift blending is advised during application, as once set, this liner maintains its position without smudging. The gel pencil effortlessly glides on, delivering a highly pigmented color. With a range of nine ultra-rich shades, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Best eyeshadow: NARS Unrated Eyeshadow Palette

Boasting 16 shades with a mix of matte, satin, and glitter finishes, this eyeshadow palette is a versatile addition to your makeup collection. The palette encompasses matte neutrals and warm bronzes for a radiant glow, along with exotic pink hues and metallic golds, ensuring suitability for every season, occasion, and mood.

Best false lashes: Ardell Wispies False Lashes Multipack

Feather-light and designed for reusability, this set of false lashes comes in a multipack crafted from natural hair, ensuring a straightforward application process. Each multipack comprises 5 sets, presenting fluttery lashes with a subtle curvature and flared outer corners to enhance definition.

Best Skin Tint: Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint

This viral skin tint from Fenty Beauty requires no introduction. It provides just enough coverage for everyday wear, creating an airbrushed, skin-like finish. Notably, the shade range is among the broadest available, virtually ensuring a perfect shade match. The formula feels exceptionally hydrating on dry skin and offers an ideal amount of coverage for a typical everyday makeup look. Additionally, it’s found to be quite buildable, making it suitable for areas of the face that may require a bit more evening out.

Best Luminizer: Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer

This Rare Beauty liquid highlighter has garnered significant attention, and it unquestionably lives up to the hype. Its unique formula manages to be both lightweight and long-lasting, delivering a stunning luminous finish suitable for all complexions. For an extra tip, try mixing it with a liquid blush to achieve an adorable shimmering blusher effect.

Best tinted/BB/CC cream: Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective with Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Enriched with skin-friendly ingredients such as allantoin and vitamin C, this CC cream offers moisturization, UV protection, and complexion-evening benefits. Its texture strikes a harmonious balance between creamy and watery, ensuring blendability and a lightweight feel on the skin. Impressive coverage effectively blurs hyperpigmentation while maintaining a natural look. The formulation wears well without excessive greasiness, and its relatively affordable price is noteworthy. While individuals with oily skin may opt to set it with translucent powder, its adaptability makes it suitable for all skin types, earning it a high recommendation.

Best Lip Tint: Clarins Water Lip Stain

Presenting itself as the most lightweight watery lip stain, this product features a tiny applicator reminiscent of a pastry brush, ensuring precise application. It effortlessly coats your lips in a luscious shade with undetectable coverage. The color payoff is impressively punchy, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a bold wash of color. Consider adding this to your basket for a vibrant lip statement.

Best Tinted Moisturiser: RARE BEAUTY Positive Light Tinted Moisturizer Foundation

This tinted moisturizer effortlessly provides buildable coverage, resulting in a seamless and smooth finish. Its creamy and hydrating formula includes vitamin E and SPF20 for summer-ready UV protection. The standout feature? It ensures your skin stays free from stickiness or greasiness, leaving you with a radiant, skin-like glow.

Best Lip Balm: Ultrasun Ultra Lip Protection SPF30

Ultrasun’s lip balm with added sunscreen is a standout essential. Renowned for its effective sun protection, this nourishing balm shields your lips from damaging UV rays. Infused with white meadowfoam and blackcurrant oil, it’s travel-friendly and conveniently pocket-sized, emphasizing the importance of year-round lip sun protection. The user-friendly application, quick absorption, and non-sticky finish make it a go-to choice for effortless lip care.

Best Liquid Eye Shadow: Stila Magnificent Metal High Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

Stila’s Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow has won over enthusiasts for its classic formula. The rich shimmer, free from glitter, provides a water-infused, lightweight experience that never feels heavy on the lids. Notably long-wearing, it offers a choice of six wearable shades, all conveniently packed in a compact tube that won’t take up much space in your makeup bag or bathroom drawer.

Best Makeup Remover: Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

Gently lifting away even waterproof makeup without the need for rubbing, this eye makeup remover ensures a thorough cleanse without causing over-drying or uncomfortable tightness. Enriched with naturally derived arginine for lash protection and care, it delivers a purified and cleansed eye area. The hybrid formula not only effectively removes stubborn makeup but also fortifies lashes in the process. While it tends to be on the oily side, this characteristic contributes to its high effectiveness in makeup removal. If the residue feels excessive, a quick sweep with a cotton pad soaked in micellar water can easily address it.

Best Eyelash Curler: Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler

For those seeking enduring curls, this eyelash curler boasts non-stick silicone pads, ensuring a quality curl without any pinching on the eyelid or unruly lashes. For an even more reliable and long-lasting curl, LookFantastic recommends warming up the pads with a blow dryer before use.