Here at Byrdie HQ, we're lucky enough to try thousands of different beauty products every year. From cult fragrances to clever serums, there's not a new beauty launch that passes us by. But with so many products launching every single week, it takes something really special to have us raving about it still months later. So as 2018 comes to a close, we decided to take a look back over everything we've really fallen for this year. Whether they've been a new launch or just new to us, these are the very best beauty products we've discovered in 2018.
Amy Lawrenson, Editorial Director
Containing azelaic acid (one of the gentler AHAs) and lactic acid (which is also hydrating), this toner is surprisingly good at whisking away dead skin cells for a brighter complexion in seconds.
This mascara adds volume, separates and lengthens lashes like nothing else. If you love a false-lash effect, this is well worth a try.
I dedicate a lot of time to the skin above my chest, but my body gets a little neglected. This spray-on serum packed with hyaluronic acid makes light work of nourishing dry, scaly limbs.
Can you tell I'm obsessed with that glowing-skin look? I love the original CC, but the CC+ Illumination takes skin glow to a whole other level. It conceals blemishes and evens skin tone. It could do with a few more shades in its lineup, though.
With its tiny wand and tinted wax, this bulks up brows with ease, making them look groomed without the faff of filling in hairs with a pencil.
On the whole, floral fragrances are not for me, but there's something incredibly addictive and slightly sultry about this scent. I've loved every iteration in the line, and this year's Bloom was no exception. Well worth a sniff.
Not only does this shower oil smell divine, but it also leaves skin so silky soft and sheeny that you can forgo body lotion.
I just can't rave enough about this cream. It's transformed my skin, made it glow and given me the confidence to go makeup-free. It's pricey, I know, but you can now buy it in a 15-millilitre size.
A little of this oil-based gel goes a long way. It also has a faint lavender scent, which makes applying it before bed a real joy.
Chloe Burcham, Freelance Beauty Editor
We had the hottest summer ever this year, which was great and everything, but it sure wreaked havoc on my skin. This exfoliating gel was made specifically for combination skin types has tiny (natural) microbeads in it. This worked to gently buff my complexion back to its best.
This unique oil-in-serum managed to keep my skin in check during the weird weather this year. Come rain or shine, my skin has drunk this up and remained glowy throughout the process. Read my full review here. I'm now finishing off my second jar of the stuff.
The brains at GHD brought out a brand-new styler this year that responds to your hair type and texture to control heat more effectively. As someone who heat-styles their hair pretty much every day (I know, I know—it's a bad habit that's probably not going to change any time soon), I can confirm that the clever new stylers glide through my hair smoothly with no snagging.
During a trip to Sri Lanka earlier this year, I accidentally turned my hair lime green. Seriously, it was bright green. Well, 27 shampoos, a frantic message to my Hershesons colourist and three ketchup hair masks later, my blonde returned. However, it was this saviour of an oil that kept my hair feeling soft and silky smooth throughout the drama.
Being a beauty editor, I'm lucky enough to try some of the best shampoos around—including eye-wateringly expensive ones. But it was this super-affordable John Freida brightening shampoo that's managed to secure a permanent spot on my shelfie. It really does brighten dull-looking highlights and leaves hair soft and smooth.
So I'm pretty sure Color Wow's Supernatural Spray has been around longer than a year, but after chatting with Chris Appleton earlier this year, I gave it a go for myself. I don't think I've gone a week since without using it. It leaves hair with a mirror-like shine, locks in your blow-dry for way longer and completely irradiates frizz—even if you get caught in the rain. Every hairdresser I've spoken to since has also raved about it, calling it their "secret weapon."
I only discovered MGC Derma towards the end of this year, but I'm so glad I did. The range is enriched with CBD oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant. It's thought that this patented water-soluble CBD oil helps boosts the other active ingredients effectiveness. All I know is that the brand's Active Firming Mask leaves my skin lifted, plump and glowing.
Okay, so these aren't strictly new, but they're new to me. After meeting Jillian Dempsey for the first time recently, I am absolutely hooked on her nifty little cream blushers. I use one every single day, and if I don't, my makeup just doesn't look right. Plus, they smell incredible.
Alyss Bowen, Associate Social Media Editor
Charlotte Tilbury's Flawless Filter legitimately changed my life. The creamy complexion illuminator makes even the dullest skin look vibrant and glowy, and I can't go a single day without it. Depending on my mood, I either mix it with my foundation for a megawatt glow effect, or I'll simply dab it on my cheekbones and brow bone for a subtle sheen.
As a longtime user of hyaluronic acid, I recently started to notice that my skin's texture looked a bit lacklustre and the dryness was back in full force. After some research, I decided to try out Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate, and I've not looked back. This super serum contains 15% plant-based glycerine to help lock and seal moisture in your skin and help it look plump and smooth. It's rapidly replaced my hyaluronic acid.
To be honest, you could hand me anything by Nordic brand Lumene, and chances are I'd love it. The brand's natural approach is right up my street, and the new Recharging Revitalizing Serum is no exception. This lightweight serum contains Nordic Chaga and Pure Arctic Spring Water to help rebalance your skin's moisture levels and leave it smooth, hydrated and glowy AF. I've been using it for about a month, and I'm hooked.
I tried Fenty Beauty's Flyliner for the first time this summer, and now it's the only eyeliner I use come rain or shine. It's the only liquid eyeliner that lasts all day on my lids, doesn't smudge or flake off and looks inky black throughout.