We get really excited this time of the month, pausing to reflect on the best products we've tried in the past 30 days or so (which is both incredibly fun and incredibly difficult). We have a fun surprise up our sleeves. Whereas before we dedicated one lone "best-of" post to every kind of beauty product—from hair products to makeup to skincare—we've decided to split up our favorite categories each month to provide specific insight into what we've been loving, trying, and recommending to everyone we know. Right here, right now, we're talking makeup.
Behold the 17 best makeup products Team Byrdie tried and quickly fell head over heels for during the month of October. Oh, and they just might be some of our favorites thus far in 2018. Keep scrolling for the lipsticks, luminizers, and foundations we couldn't stop swiping.
MAC Cosmetics Upward Lash Mascara
"Makeup artist Emily Wright put me on to this mascara, and I've been hooked all month. She did my makeup for my 26th birthday and absolutely slayed my face. It was this magical little wand that gave me the fluttery lashes of my dreams in 10 seconds flat. Emily was saying how amazed she was because it lifts and lengthens lashes so fast. She was right. On a daily basis, I stick to coating my upper lashes only to avoid the mess that is raccoon eyes after a long day of fallout with my lower lashes. This teeny bristle is made especially for curling your upper lashes. So, in short, it saves me in the morning when I have zero time to do my makeup."
The Lip Bar Brickhouse Liquid Matte Lipstick
"I'm in love with The Lip Bar for a lot of reasons. What connects me the most with makeup is the story behind a brand. I've had the privilege of sitting on the same panel as its lovely founder, Melissa Butler, who is so incredibly inspirational. She's a woman of color who built her business off of the pure passion for creating clean makeup products that are accessible before it was a marketing tactic. This shade, in particular, stole my heart because it's a warm burgundy with brown and orange undertones, and this combination always looks good on my dark skin tone. Brown girls, cop this one! Plus, unlike other mattes, this formula won't dry out your lips."
L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
"I've heard celebrity makeup artists tout how incredible this formula is for ages and finally got around to trying it this past weekend. I didn't look in the mirror much after applying it, so the first time its lengthening and volumizing prowess really jumped out at me was when I went to wash up at the end of the night, ironically. As I bent over the sink, I was stopped in the mirror by how lengthy and full my naturally short and sparse lashes looked. An added bonus: I didn't have those annoying black flecks of product that I'll get from some mascaras underneath my eyes."
Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight
"Famed celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman now has her own line of dewy makeup meant to enhance your natural beauty called Westman Atelier, sold exclusively online. I was lucky enough to have Westman herself apply the products to my face and was immediately impressed with how light, blendable, and subtly beautifying the aftereffect was. My favorite product from the line by far is the Tinted Highlight. It's a creamy bronze hue that instantly melts on contact. You tap it onto your cheekbones for a sun-kissed shimmer or on your lids as a subtle cream eye shadow."
Jill Stuart Beauty Lip Blossom
"Fashion designer Jill Stuart's beauty line isn't exactly new: It has a huge following in Japan, where it first launched, but finally made it's way stateside, much to my delight. A friend compared the packaging to Sailor Moon for it's whimsical, gemstone-encrusted, ultra-feminine packaging. It's super flirty, frosted, and there's absolutely no shortage of pink. My favorite product from the line so far is the Lip Blossom Lipstick. It's sheer, creamy, and has a pretty sheen, almost like a tinted lip balm. The cap also hosts a hidden mirror which is especially convenient for those back-of-an-Uber applications."
Able Cosmetics Cat Eye 101
"Able Cosmetics has its name for a reason—all the products are dual-ended and feature a tool on one side to help beginners with their application. I didn’t think there was much potential for innovation left in the world of eyeliner, but this is both insanely pigmented with a flexible tip and also boasts a stencil on the other end so even the shakiest of hands can make it work. Very clever but not at all gimmicky—just high performance and easy to use."
Kaja Don't Settle Concealer
"Kaja is a K-beauty-inspired brand that just hit Sephora shelves, and hot damn is the packaging painfully cute. There are a lot of user-friendly, pretty products in the line, but its super-creamy liquid concealer is a favorite. It’s buildable, hydrating, and crease-free. A new standby."
La Mer The Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation SPF 20 + Refill
"The second I saw this product, I knew I'd love it. La Mer products are inherently luxurious, as they're always formulated with the brand's cell-renewing elixir, Miracle Broth, and come in a packaging worthy of the price tag. But that doesn't always prove efficacy when it comes to makeup. However, this cushion compact foundation is a step ahead of the rest, creating flawless-looking and completely nourished skin all at the same time. It plumps, firms, and adds necessary coverage—so it's basically three products in one. And it rules."
Revlon Volumazing Mascara
"I have tried my fair share of prestige mascaras, and I'm the first to admit I can be kind of a snob when it comes to drugstore formulas. But Revlon's new launch has me singing a different tune. This mascara offers an ultra-creamy, quick-building formula and a thick, volume-loading brush. In just a few swipes, it coats every lash, using a blend of carnauba and olive waxes for amazing, clump-free, fanned-out lashes every time."
Laneige Eyebrow Cushion
"I recently got back from a trip to Seoul and have only been using Korean makeup since. Cushion compacts are fairly mainstream in the U.S. at this point thanks to our sisters in Seoul, but a cushion brow product piqued my interest when I witnessed a makeup artist use it to create the fluffiest, most natural-looking brows on a model. This compact from Laneige comes with a two-sided applicator, as well as two shades to create a super-natural brow look. I use it by dipping the angled part of the applicator into the deepest cushion shade and tracing it along my brow. Then, I'll use the lighter cushion shade to fill in any sparse areas."
"As a final step, I flip the applicator and use the spoolie side to brush and blend it all in place. The final effect is light, fluffy, and natural-looking—definitely not anything near Instagram brow, and that's why I love it."
Mamonde Creamy Tint Color Balm Light
"Mamonde is such a gorgeous brand, and I fell in love with these tints on a stop at their store in Seoul. The texture is creamy and hydrating, and you can use them on your lips, cheeks and even eyes. There's something about Korean balm-tints that glide and blend more easily than their counterparts here in the U.S. I'm obsessed."
Innisfree Smart Drawing Blusher
"This was another product I watched a makeup artist use on a model during my time in Seoul, and I was entranced by how she brushed the blush shade on the model's cheeks so easily. Without even needing to blend in the formula, suddenly, the model had a peachy, lit-from-within glow. The gel formula makes the tint look slightly dewy and like you're naturally blushing, and the applicator makes it easy to apply. Naturally, I snatched it up immediately (and lucky for you, it's available in the U.S.!)."
Nars Dual-Intensity Blush in Adoration
"I'd had this pretty blush duo in my collection for a few months before I finally got around to trying it, and in hindsight, I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner. Blush is one of my favorite products to experiment with, and the first time I ever wore the contents of this compact, my cheeks garnered multiple compliments at the office—including one from Faith who was in L.A. at the time! I like to apply the deeper hue towards the center of my face on the apples, and easily blend it out and up towards my ears. Then, I take the lighter shade—almost like a highlight—and concentrate it on the tops of my cheekbones and at the out corners of my cheeks—almost near the ends of my brow bones. The dimension is killer."
Westman Atelier Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer
"I'm not sure what's been in the beauty industry water recently in terms of top-tier bronzers, but I've discovered a plethora of formulas lately that have impressed me. Whereas before, it seemed like I had gone years unable to find even one or two I found suitable to my high standards. Most recently though, I'm infatuated with this adorable new debut from Westman Atelier—a buttery bronze concoction that instantly enhances the complexion with a natural and flattering blanket of warmth, while still allowing your natural skin and texture to shine through too. Plus, it blends (or should I say spreads?) like butter."
Onomie Boosting Lip + Cheek Stick in Aquitaine
"Onomie's Boosting Lip + Cheek Sticks are perhaps one of the most beloved items in my makeup kit—the colors; the multitasking capabilities; the creamy, dewy, all-around-perfect formula? I die again and again for them. (Which is why contributing editor Kaitlyn McLintock and I wrote a dedicated post to them). So when the brand launched three new colors recently—Aquitaine, Rani, and Caria—I could barely contain myself. All three new additions are 100% gorgeous, but I literally can't quit the shade Aquitaine, which is a lightly moody hue of Orchid. It's so supremely flattering, and I've been swiping atop my lips, cheeks, and eyes for almost two weeks straight. So good."
Milani Hypnotic Lights Eye Topper in Luster Light
"These beautiful liquid shadows are basically lip gloss for your eyes. They can be applied atop another product to add shine, or they can be worn alone for a subtler and more shimmery look. I prefer the latter. All I do is swipe a little across each lid straight from the doe-foot applicator before blending it in with my ring finger. What starts out as a liquid quickly dries down to a powder consistency, which means it doesn't crease or move all that easily (even after a full evening of dinner and drinks—I tested it). The final result can only be described as shimmery perfection. I pinch myself when I think of how I found a liquid shadow that's on par with others two or three times the price."
Nars Orgasm Infatuation Palette
"This gorgeous cheek palette covers all the basics. You get highlighter, bronzer, and blush (in some of the brand's most iconic shades, no less—I'm talking about the cult classic shades of Laguna and Orgasm). It's perfectly portable and easy to apply on the go thanks to the silky and pigmented pressed powders. So even though it's a part of the brand's 2018 holiday collection, I know I'll be using it far beyond the new year."