The top 10 beauty must-haves of the past 12 months
What were the standout cosmetics of the year? Katie Wright has the lowdown on the very best of 2018
With thousands of new products landing every year, it's not easy to stand out in the beauty world.
And with the rise of digital influencers, who are paid to feature certain brands, it's becoming harder for consumers to figure out what's really worth spending money on.
But among all the online chatter and #ad posts on Instagram, there are some products that are so good they are truly worth the hype.
We're talking the lipsticks that make-up artists actually use on themselves, the skincare that goes from beauty editors' desks to their bathroom shelves and the palettes that end up on high rotation in beauty vloggers' videos.
Not had time to trawl YouTube and find out what they are? Don't worry, we've been keeping track of the beauty newbies that industry insiders have been raving about in the past year.
In case you missed them, here are 10 instant classics from 2018...
1. Glossier lash slick, £14
Glossier's first mascara was three years in the making - and it was worth the wait. The jet black microfibre formula and fine-toothed wand combined to deliver unparalleled separation and absolutely no clumping, with fans hailing it the perfect everyday mascara.
2. Narciso Rodriguez Rouge eau de parfum, £41 for 30ml, The Perfume Shop
Could the latest addition to the Narciso fragrance family live up to its hugely popular predecessors? It certainly could, we discovered in the summer, when Rouge, a hot-headed rose and musk melange, was met with a very warm reception.
3. Hourglass arch brow volumizing fiber gel, £25, Space NK
When it comes to eyebrows, there's one brand that dominates here, but US company Hourglass had make-up mavens cheating on their usual favourite when Arch Brow was released. The microfibre gel comes in six shades with an applicator that's significantly bigger than its competitor, meaning filled but natural looking brows in a matter of seconds.
4. Weleda skin food light, £7.95
Victoria Beckham has repeatedly raved about how much she adores Weleda's heavy-duty hydrator Skin Food, but the thick texture doesn't agree with everyone. The new lighter version sinks in much more quickly and can be used as a full face moisturiser, not just on your really dry patches. We think VB would approve.
5. Filorga Time-Filler Eyes, £47, Look Fantastic
Okay, technically this wasn't released in 2018, but we're going to let it slide because this was the year Filorga Time-Filler Eyes went well and truly viral, becoming the number one most Googled beauty product of the year. Why? Because shoppers wanted to know if claims that the eye cream could replicate the effects of botox, but without needles, were true.
If online reviews are to be believed, it can, with only a tiny amount needed to visibly reduce fine lines and crow's feet.
6. Huda Beauty The New Nude eye shadow palette, £56, Cult Beauty
Every beauty vlog enthusiast knows that the right palette is a portal to endless eye make-up opportunities, so it's worth investing in a good one. This year's best? It's got to be Huda Beauty's 18-pan New Nude, which features subtle matte shades alongside glam metallics and sparkly shadows.
7. Ultrasun After Sun Tan Booster, £24, Space NK
Ultrasun's SPF and after-sun products are second to none, so it's no surprise the brand's first lotion containing self-tan is a real winner. With just 2% DHA (the active ingredient in fake tan), After Sun Tan Booster moisturises, soothes redness and adds a hint of bronze, which you can build up with daily use.
8. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, £42, Cult Beauty
New brand Summer Fridays scored a major coup in spring when Kim Kardashian West professed her love for their hero Jet Lag Mask on Instagram, causing an instant sell-out in the States. Now the famous blue tube has a global army of fans who use the ultra-moisturising mask overnight, or as an eye treatment to plump and smooth.
9. Avon Mark 2 in 1 lip tattoo Give Me Heat, £9 (available January 4)
Make-up artist and red lip devotee Aimee Adams tipped us off about Avon's latest triumph, a felt-tip pen style lip colour which comes with a fine end for lining and a thick end for filling in lips with extra long-lasting matte colour. In eight shades and at just £9, this is a beauty bargain that every lippie lover should own.
10. Clinique Moisture Surge 72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator, £36
First came Moisture Surge Concentrate, then came its gel moisturiser sister, now Clinique have super-charged the fan favourite face cream. Moisture Surge 72-hour uses activated aloe water to deliver a whole three days of deep hydration with the same ultra-light texture, and it's been a big hit with skincare buffs.