Warning: These Expert-Approved Makeup Buys Could Blow Your Pay Cheque

Updated 09/27/17

When we first announced the launch of the BYRDIE / CURATED Beauty Awards in July, the response we received from brands was overwhelming. Our goal, always, is to service you, our reader. We know you're discerning, educated, and looking for products and brands that speak directly to you. But to hear that our unique approach to shining a light on stellar new beauty and health buys—breaking each category down from a single winner into personalised categories—had resonated with many in the industry, was both inspiring and energising.

Truth be told, we are elated to be leading the charge. I mean, it's 2017 you guys. How is one size fits all still even a thing?

Now, after an intensive trialling process, we're ready to introduce this year's winners. (!!!) Ahead, you'll find we've taken our tailored approach one step further by curating each overarching category (see: skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrance, health) to deliver you top picks on the products you care about most. From the best foundation for oily skin to our favourite all-round pore refiner, the full list of winners was selected by a team of Byrdie Australia editors, influencers from the Who What Wear Australia INF / Network, and one beauty-obsessed reader.

And did we mention the whole thing is 100% shoppable? It sure is.

Keep scrolling for the full list of Byrdie / Curated winners in makeup.

BEST PRIMER

Best Primer Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017
Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Best Primer for Normal Skin Marc Jacobs Beauty Undercover Perfecting Coconut Primer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Undercover Perfecting Coconut Primer $63
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This coconut-y primer smells delicious, but it's not overly scented—a surprisingly difficult feat. The formula is hydrating and lotion-like, but sinks in fast, leaving skin dewy. Importantly, it also keeps foundation in place.

COMBINATION SKIN

Best Primer for Combination Skin Revlon Youth FX Fill + Blur
Revlon Youth FX Fill + Blur Primer for Face/Neck $30
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A magic fix for both large pores and wrinkles, albeit a temporary one. Super-silky, the semi-matte formula is imbued with micro-fillers and optical diffusers that work to distract from "imperfections", giving skin a smooth appearance.

OILY SKIN

Best Primer for Oily Skin It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Primer
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Primer $55
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From the brand who brought you Byrdie Australia's CC cream obsession comes this mattifying primer. It looks buttery in the tube but feels feather-light on, and—joy of joys—completely erases the look of large pores.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Best Primer for Sensitive Skin Mirenesse 10 Collagen Cushion Primer
Mirenesse 10 Collagen Cushion Custom Liquid Colour Tone Correcting Primer $60
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Sensitive skin is often victim to redness and irritation, which can lead to overdoing it on foundation (#compensating). This cushion primer is here to change all that. It delivers subtle colour-correcting pigments, plus cooling, anti-inflammatory, and brightening ingredients for a more even complexion. 

DRY SKIN

Best Primer for Dry Skin Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Primer
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Primer $75
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Ideal for dry skin types, but beloved by a diverse crowd of Kevyn Aucoin fans, this balmy primer is a moisturising, pore-blurring miracle. Mix it with foundation for a custom base or apply as is for a hydration boost.

BEST FOUNDATION

Best Foundation Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017
Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Best Foundation for Normal Skin Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation $29
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Our reviewer tried this drugstore foundation after a 15-hour flight and says: "It didn't disappoint on the radiance promise." Easy to apply, it settles very quickly. It leaves skin perfected, with a dialed-down glow.

COMBINATION SKIN

Best Foundation for Combination Skin O Cosmedics One Skin
O Cosmedics One Sk1n Natural Fusion Treatment Foundation $59
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Like a drink of water for your skin, it's immediately hydrating. The finish is super-flawless, covering imperfections without looking obvious. The best bit is it's thin enough to layer—go in for round two for more coverage.

OILY SKIN

Best Foundation for Oily Skin The Ordinary Coverage Foundation
The Ordinary Coverage Foundation $13
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If you find yourself blotting your T-zone every afternoon, this foundation might be the answer to your matte skin prayers. Smooth to apply, the liquid formula dries to a powder-like finish meaning you won't have to add any on top. The medium finish can also be built up to full.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation
BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation $49
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This skin-loving liquid mineral foundation is rated by many for its diverse shade range. The coverage is medium and the finish satin, which gives it versatility. Matte it down with powder for a polished look, or add highlighter on top for radiance.

DRY SKIN

Best Foundation for Dry Skin Nutrimetics Professional Flawless Air Serum Foundation
Nutrimetics Professional Flawless Air Serum Foundation SPF 15 $62
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Don't be fooled by the thin consistency, this matte foundation offers solid cover—from medium to full depending on how you apply. The serum factor is a win for dehydrated types, enabling the formula to glide on.

BEST CONCEALER

Best Concealer Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017
Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Best Concealer for Normal Skin Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer
Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer $52
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If you're looking for a subtle hint of tint, this stuff isn't it. It's concentrated enough to take out dark circles and blemishes in one dab, and doesn't smudge or flake away. Cover up a spot, and you can be sure it'll stay that way.

COMBINATION SKIN

Best Concealer for Combination Skin Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick $37
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This all-in-one stick can be used in place of foundation but we prefer to save its mattifying magic for spot concealing. Beautifully blendable, it's hard to see where you've placed it after it's on. Hands up, Rihanna.

OILY SKIN

Best Concealer for Oily Skin Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer
Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer $122
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Another two-in-one situation, except with a very different finish. Full coverage doesn't explain it—you could just about cover up a tattoo yet somehow it's invisible on skin. Totally budge-proof too, which is a boon for oily types.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Best Concealer for Sensitive Skin Nude By Nature Flawless Concealer
Nude By Nature Flawless Concealer $25
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Super-creamy, this fragrance-free concealing stick is a good one to have on hand for skin emergencies. Made with antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as Kakadu plum, it helps to protect as well as perfect.

DRY SKIN

Best Concealer for Dry Skin Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer
Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer $34
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Creamy but not cakey, this stuff never creases or streaks. It's hydrating but feels barely there on skin while giving decent, natural, buildable coverage. This is particularly good at knocking out dark circles.

BEST BLUSH OR BRONZER

Best Blush or Bronzer Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017
Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Best Blush for Normal Skin Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush
Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush $60
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Obsessed with French girl beauty? This two-tone balm is perfect for adding an understated Parisian flush to cheeks and lips. Mix the shades together for a custom colour—very Françoise.

COMBINATION SKIN

Best Bronzer for Combination Skin Mirenesse Shona-Art Tri-Contour Sculpting Stick
Mirenesse Shona-Art Tri-Contour V Face Sculpting Stick $40
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This product is creamy, smooth and super-easy to use. The stick combines three different colours that are perfect for sculpting and defining, but because they're matte, it can also act as a highlighter or concealer. The formula feels hydrating on the skin.

—Talisa Sutton of Badlands, INF / Network judge

OILY SKIN

Best Blush for Oily Skin Mecca Max Chic Cheek Blush Powder
Mecca Max Chic Cheek Blush Powder $22
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Don't be put off by the colour in the pan, this bright blush is easily buffed in to a realistic rosy tint. It also lasts all day and night without requiring touch-ups, no matter how slick your skin gets.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Best Blush Bronzer for Sensitive Skin Jane Iredale Bronzer
Jane Iredale Bronzer $81
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Vegan, gluten- and cruelty-free, this quality mineral bronzer is worth a try for those factors alone. That said, the product itself doesn't disappoint, offering blendable colour and a beautiful low-key shimmer.

DRY SKIN

Best Blush for Dry Skin Luma Just a Touch Lip & Cheek Tint
Luma Just a Touch Lip & Cheek Tint $30
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This creamy tinted balm melts into skin, adding a hint of natural-looking colour and sheen. Unlike powder formulations, it doesn't settle into fine lines caused by dehydration—on the contrary, it adds extra moisture for a plumper look.

Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017—Makeup Winners
Sevak Babakhani

BEST HIGHLIGHTER

Best Highlighter Bourjois Sculpt Light Strobing Highligher
Bourjois Sculpt Light Strobing Highlighter $25
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A nice foray into highlighting for beginners, but also very buildable for next-level definition. It works well with fingers or a brush—very useable for the woman who wants to highlight but doesn't watch enough YouTube tutorials to buy a full palette.

BEST EYE MAKEUP PRODUCT

Best Eye Makeup CoverGirl TruNaked Nudes Palette
CoverGirl TruNaked Nudes Palette $23
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This is what I call getting bang for your buck—it's a drugstore buy that's comparable to high-end nude palettes. The texture of the shadows is smooth, there's very little fall out, and even with my oily lids there was only minimal 4 p.m. creasing.

—Nella Van Veenendaal, reader judge

BEST BROW PRODUCT

Best Brow Powder Garbo & Kelly Brow Powder
Garbo & Kelly Brow Powder $38
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This professional quality product contains two shade options in the one compact, which is great for personalising, or shading for added depth. A super-smooth application means it's easy to get the definition you want.

BEST MASCARA

Best Mascara Givenchy Noir Interdit Lash Extension Effect Mascara
Givenchy Noir Interdit Lash Extension Effect Mascara $43
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The packaging for this mascara is on another level—it's so beautifully presented. Initially I found the bendable wand to be confusing, however, I love the design of the brush. It lifts and separates your lashes perfectly, and makes you look as if you have twice the amount.

—Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley, INF / Network judge

BEST LIP COLOUR

Best Lip Colour Burt's Bees Gloss Lip Crayon
Burt's Bees Gloss Lip Crayon $17
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I really like this product—it's pretty much perfect. Great staying power and very easy to apply. Would buy again!

—Petra Mackova of Pepamack, INF / Network judge

BEST NEW INNOVATION

Best New Makeup Innovation Shiseido Inkstroke Eyeliner Brush
Shiseido Inkstroke Eyeliner Brush $45
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This brush is curved, allowing for super-easy eyeliner application. You can use it to create a thin or thick line, due to the expertly tapered end. I'm not usually great at doing my own liner, but using this, my strokes are pretty on point.

—Talisa Sutton of Badlands, INF / Network judge

Byrdie Curated Beauty Awards 2017—Makeup Winners

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