Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites | 2018

Here are 16 products I still clung to in 2018 that came out in previous years, just to give you a little view into long-time products that continue to stand the test of time.  I love trying new products, so I tend to switch and move products around not because I’ve discovered better ones so much as I want to use something that’s as good but maybe in a different formula, slightly different finish, or by another brand for a bit.  These, though, survived those switches!  There are definitely more regular products in my drawers than just what’s highlighted here, but I wanted to keep this a little bit edited and looked at what kept making the cut and what I remembered using most, too.

Best of 2018

Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites

It’ll come as no surprise to regular readers that products like Urban Decay Rebel, Marc Jacobs Beauty Flesh & Fantasy, Chanel Jersey, Tom Ford Nude Dip, or Tom Ford Platinum are on this list.  I almost always take Viseart’s Paris Nudes with me when I travel; reliable, easy-to-use, and muted for all occasions. I actually five shades of the Marc Jacobs AirBlush formula in my vanity drawer, so I have three more than shown here, but I think I’ve used Lines & Last Night second most after Flesh & FantasyCharlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow has been nearby since the line debuted in the states!  Makeup Geek’s Moonphase has been a go-to for cooler, more iridescent highlighting needs since they launched years ago (I keep about five shades in the formula in my drawer, presently, but I do rotate them).

I keep Fenty’s Universal Gloss Bomb in my purse for any top ups if I’m out and about (and whatever I was testing is gone or is need of repair).  Estee Lauder’s Naked Truth is the coral that replaced Guerlain’s Gems for me (which I loved but is long discontinued), and I keep that tucked in my drawer along with Tiger Eye, which is a more coppery take.  Two brushes that have been in my arsenal since I reviewed them (and that I use every time they’re clean) are Smith’s 253 and Hakuhodo’s B5521.

What favorites from previous years did you reach for often this year?

P.S. — You can view swatches of my favorites here.

P.P.S. — If you enjoy reading/viewing my favorites, make sure you check out my all-time favorites here, products I’m thankful for (2018 series), and all of my editor’s recommended products here.

Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites in 2018


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A Avatar

Very here for Paris Nudes – it’s the only pre-made palette I use.

Shimmery lipsticks look amazing on you but I hate them on me for some reason. Dunno why, I like putting shimmery gloss on top of lipsticks sometimes and that looks fine. I’ve also been tempted by Mac Fairly Precious, but I’m hesitant about a shimmery blush – is it possible to wear it more as a “natural glow” or is it obviously shimmery even with a light hand?

Rebekah Avatar

I have Cheeky Bits, not Fairly Precious, and even with my oily skin it’s my very favorite blush. It doesn’t look obviously glowy on me, just pretty and natural.

Rachel R. Avatar

I can see why all of these stayed favorites for you.

For me: ABH Glow Kit in Moonchild; UD Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Rapture; UD lipstick and lipliner in Mrs. Mia Wallace; UD NakedBasics Palette; UD Electric Palette; UD Urban Spectrum Palette; UD 24/7 Eye Pencil in Perversion and Roach; UD Primer Potion in Enigma; UD Afterglow blush in Rapture and Bittersweet; Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Hangover Replenishing Face Primer; Tarte Exposed; Notoriously Morbid Loose e/s in Autumn Flowers and Highlighter in Osteomancy; NARS Blush in Blissful; Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove; MAC Lipstick in von Teese; Lancome Teint Idole 24H Long Wear Foundation; e.l.f. Original Mist & Set; e.l.f. and Real Techniques brushes.

Stephanie Avatar

I’ve really enjoyed your best of posts! A few new items made it on to my wishlist that I either missed before or appeal to me more now as my makeup tastes change.

It’s interesting that your stay the same favorites are very neutral while your new favorites post had a lot of color. Do you think 2018 was particularly colorful compared to years past, or is it just easier to fit in neutral colors while testing new items?

Christine Avatar

It’s definitely the latter – most of what stays in the drawer I can quickly pair with whatever else I’m testing for a photo or whatever, especially as most often it’s only on for a set of photos and then I actually remove to put on what I’m testing – e.g. things that don’t work at all with the rest of the makeup! I’m not actually wearing much of these all day… for maybe 30-45 minutes most of the time. It’s just a lot more likely that I’ll put on say, Tom Ford Nude Dip so I can take photos of 20 different lip colors, or throw on UD Rebel for a lip while taking pictures of 10 different blushes.

Z Avatar

Old faves that remain so – Melt Cosmetics eyeshadows, Melt Cosmetics Digital Dust highlight in Stargazer, Buxom lipglosses, PMG lipstick, Bareminerals Gel Rescue, Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, Benefit Rollerlash, Rimmel nude lipsticks, Soap&Glory nude lipsticks, Jack Black lip balm, Essence Soo Glow highlighter, Sephora eyeliners (several), Sephora Cream Lipstains, Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, Guerlain Loose Kohl in a long discontinued brown shade that I’d love for them to bring back.

Hmm……I’m sure there are many more that I’ve depended on so long that I forgot about them. *roll eyes* And at least one that I can’t repurchase and haven’t yet found a dupe for.

Z Avatar

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer! Oh man! I’ve almost used up a SECOND entire compact…holy crap. Yes, it’s so crazy that I have a solid core of things I use every single day regardless of whether I full on apply makeup or stay at home and if you forced me to name them in ten seconds I’d be fumbling and couldn’t recall a single one. *roll eyes*

Katie Avatar

I love these posts, Christine! So nice to be reminded of older products every once in a while, especially when we are bombarded with so much new these days!

Deborah S. Avatar

About the only things I can think of that are still favorites and were favorites before 2018 are Chosungah foundation, Ciate Glow to Illuminate Blushes, Guerlain Meteorites, Rouge G lipsticks, MAC Fix +,MAC Omega E/S, MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Elizabeth Arden lipstick in Red Door Red and Cover Girl Super Sizer mascara.
No eye shadows palettes have made my list this year as I am wearing mostly new things on from this year with the exception of Omega which I use for transition a lot when other palettes don’t have a good transition shade for me. In the past I would use Too Faced Natural Nudes or some such palette almost every week but this year I have been using a lot of Pat McGrath and brands that were indie in the past and have moved up slightly like Coloured Raine, Nabla, Fyrinnae, etc.
There have been so many releases this year and having wanted to try a lot of them, I didn’t use a lot of old stand-by’s.

CeeBee Avatar

For me…
Nars Audacious Anna and Colourpop Cami lipsticks
Zoeva Glance eyeliner
Wet n Wild Brulee eyeshadow and Volume Max Waterproof mascara
Milani eye primer
Bobbi Brown bronzers in Antigua and Maui (used as bush, because c’mon, they’re not bronze)
ABH concealer
Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight
Becca Backlight priming filter
And totally concur on Paris Nudes!

Genevieve Avatar

Some of the beauty products that are absolutely favourites of mine that have stood the test of time include:
EA lipsticks: Ginger Spice, Cocoa Bronze, Cranberry Cream
Clarins Jolie: Cinnamon Spice, Red Terra
Milani Colour Statement lipsticks in Cinnamon, Bronze Beauty and Candied Toffee
Clarins Prodige blush in Sweet Peach
UD Nakeds 1 & 2, Full Spectrum
Dior Bonne Etoile
bareMinerals The Playlist and Soft and Smokey
Lorac Pro Metals palette

Cara Avatar

I have some of these including the Fenty Gloss, Marc Jacobs Blush and TF Nude Dip and I agree with these choices! I’m wondering if you or anyone can suggest a highlighter without any glitter that’s similar to Becca’s Pearl. I can’t pull off warm champagne or gold but Pearl’s cool white color and wet sheen is perfect. I’m just looking for something else besides that. Thank you in advance!!

Christine Avatar

I shared several posts that were under $10/under $15 with favorites from 2018, so I actually showcased lots of affordable products 🙂 There were lots of budget-friendly picks on products that I didn’t split by price (because there wasn’t enough variety to merit two separate lists) as well – from ColourPop to Wet ‘n’ Wild to L’Oreal to Physicans Formula.

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