Best of Beauty cosmetics 2019
(Clockwise: Kosas, Olive and June, Wander eyeliner, Dior, Kevyn Aucoin, Tower 28, Giorgio Armani, UZ eyeliner, Cle de Peu, AHC toner; Photo by: Chad Chisholm / Very Good Light)

Foundation: Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint

If you want to keep the fact that you’re wearing foundation on the DL, this high-tech tint does the job. While it doesn’t offer a ton of coverage, the weightless formula infused with micro-droplets of pigment offers a refreshing burst of hydration and helps even skin tone for a natural-looking glow. Even better: It comes complete with a brush designed to buff away any evidence that you didn’t wake up like this.

BUY HERE, Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint, $65 

Cushion Compact: Cle de Peau Radiant Cushion Foundation

Makeup artists rave about this cushion compact that delivers sheer-to-medium coverage with a naturally dewy finish that feels like second skin. The responsive formula resists fading and creasing while providing 24-hours of moisture for radiant results all day.

BUY HERE: Clé de Peau Radiant Cushion Foundation, $90

Makeup applying tool: Beautyblender Pro

We gave this egg-shaped tool top prize last year and our opinion still hasn’t changed. If you’re after an airbrushed finish, it doesn’t get better than this latex-free sponge designed to stipple, blend, and buff everything from cream to powder seamlessly into skin. While there is a rainbow of colors to choose from (including classic neon pink), we like the black shade preferred by beauty pros because it keeps makeup stains under wraps.   

BUY HERE: Beautyblender Pro, $20

Eyeshadow: Dior Backstage Eye Palette

Eyeshadow palettes never fail to provide a plethora of options, but they often add unnecessary weight to your makeup bag and take up considerable counter space. This compact version from Dior packs everything you need to create countless lid looks into one palm-sized place, including a primer that makes the wide range of colors and textures really pop.

BUY HERE: Dior Backstage Eye Palette, $49

Makeup Remover: Bioderma Sensibio H20

There’s a reason models and makeup artists can’t live without this micellar water. The iconic French formula breaks down the most bulletproof face beat without tugging or scrubbing. Plus, this non-irritating remover doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue, making it ideal for erasing mistakes or perfecting a feline flick.

BUY HERE: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $10

Eyeliner – Liquid: UZ Eye Opening Liner

With over 20 unique shades to choose from that range from classic black to eye-catching khaki, this liquid liner pen handcrafted by Japanese artisans delivers high-impact pigment with effortless precision. Plus, this bold, budge-proof formula stands up against water, sweat, humidity, tears, and oil—meaning your cat eye will always look crisp.

BUY HERE: UZ Eye Opening Liner, $16

Eyeliner – Pencil: Shiseido MicroLiner Ink 

Unlike many liners that tend to drag along delicate skin, this creamy formula transforms from a solid into a smudge-proof liquid before setting for a full 24 hours. Thanks to its ultra-thin diameter, you can dot this pigment-packed pencil between lashes or glide it seamlessly across eyes for even more definition. 

BUY HERE: Shiseido MicroLiner Ink, $22

Eyebrow Pencil: Wander Beauty Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil

Super precise and smear-proof, use this ultra-thin pencil to build bolder brows. Blend the pigment with the spoolie for a feathery finish. Choose from three cool shades free of unnatural-looking orange undertones.

BUY HERE: Wander Beauty Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil, $21

Blush: Tower 28 BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm

With three universally flattering shades inspired Santa Monica sunsets, this tinted balm infused with aloe vera and green tea blends and builds like a California dream. Clean, vegan, and free of irritating ingredients, sensitive skin types will love this multitasking formula that can be used to add a wash of luminous, lit-from-within color to eyes, lips, and cheeks.

BUY HERE: Tower 28 BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm, $20

Highlighter: Danessa Myricks Vision Flush in Tiara

For a dewy sheen that doesn’t budge, reach for this multipurpose, waterproof cream that can be used to highlight lids, lips, cheekbones, and anywhere else you want to glow. Tiara, a shimmery champagne shade, makes every skin tone look lit.

BUY HERE: Danessa Myricks Vision Flush in Tiara, $20

Contour: Maybelline City Bronzer Bronze & Contour Powder

Sculpt cheekbones or add a sun-kissed glow to skin with this micro-milled, matte bronzer infused with whipped cocoa butter. The silky texture blends beautifully, while the price tag keeps this powder in budget.

BUY HERE: Maybelline City Bronzer Bronze & Contour Powder, $10

Concealer: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Concealer

Thick and cakey no longer go hand-in-hand with high coverage. This serum-like concealer camouflages a multitude of sins (i.e., dark circles, redness, breakouts, and more)  without adding weight. Formulated with long-wear pigments and time-releasing oils, this stretchable concealer floats over imperfections without creasing and dries to a fresh matte finish.

BUY HERE: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Concealer, $34

Mascara: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

Show us a better mascara, we’ll wait. Okay, then. A skinny brush combined with innovative tubing technology envelops every lash to lift, lengthen, and thicken without clumping. While it won’t smudge, flake, transfer, or smear, this formula washes away fast with warm water—no makeup remover required.

BUY HERE: Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara, $28

Lip Tint: Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss

The juicy color of a traditional lip gloss combines with the nourishing effects of a treatment oil in one Insta-worthy tube. Infused with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and primrose oil, a single swipe leaves lips with the perfect hint of pigment and non-sticky shine.

BUY HERE: Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss, $27

Setting Powder/Spray: Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder

Of course Rihanna, a woman who lives her life in the spotlight, created the perfect translucent powder that’s completely traceless against all skin tones. The ultra-fine formula absorbs oil and blurs the appearance of pores without caking or creeping into fine lines. Better yet: This magnetized compact fuses perfectly with the Portable Touch Up Brush (sold separately) so you can quickly and conveniently erase excess shine before your next photo op.

BUY HERE: Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder, $32

Primer: OleHenriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

A radiance-boosting combo of brightening pigments and vitamin C leaves skin with a luminous, soft-focus effect. Wear this primer alone, under makeup, mix it with foundation, or use it as a highlighter for a healthy glow.

BUY HERE: OleHenriksen Banana Bright Face Primer, $36

Nail Polish: Olive & June 

A gel manicure is great—until it’s not and you have to soak that sh*t off. Manufactured in Korea with a higher concentration of resin than most nail lacquers, this 7-free polish formulated without toxic chemicals features a built-in base coat for a faster application and long-lasting, chip-free results. Choose from cool colors named after even cooler women like designer Clare Vivier (a vivid cherry), Olympian Louise Hazel (an emerald green), and Instagram boss Eva Chen (a barely-there beige).

BUY HERE: Olive & June 7-Free Nail Polish, $8

Photos by: Chad Chisholm, Custom Creations Photography @chadjchis

2019 Lightning Award Winner Judges