While we can debate the merits of the ‘Tiger King’ and days spent in stretchy pants, few can argue that 2020 was not one of our better years. Yet considering that many of us pared down our beauty routines to the bare minimum, we did end the year with some standouts in skincare, hair, and make-up. In fact, here are the best beauty products of 2020 and Team Busbee favorites.
Francine – Beauty
I’m not gonna lie. I spent a lot of time on Instagram this summer (more than I’d like to admit) and fell prey to some pretty hypnotic ads, tutorials, and explainer threads. I mean who could resist the lure of droppers filled with glossy oils and serums? Well, according to my AmEx bill, my lock-down willpower was low. Yet, I’m happy to report that many of these purchases were clear winners (and re-purchases) and worthy of a shout out.
A cross between a serum and an oil, this product promises an “instant dewy glow that lasts” and it delivers! One teeny pump provides a moisturizing boost that leaves a hint of gloss. It’s not at all oily or tacky. I use it both under and over make-up. I LOVE this product so much, I bought bottles for my friends.
I actually got a sample earlier in the year and loved it almost immediately. It’s described as a “leave-on lip mask that soothes and moisturizes for smoother, more supple lips overnight.” After scraping every last bit from the teeny tiny container, I have to agree. My lips are smoother, plumper and just feel great. I bought two (vanilla and berry) keeping one in my purse and the other in my nightstand. Given that I’ve never spent more than $2 on lip balm, this is a big deal for me.
I debated whether or not to include this because the scent is just weird. BUT, it’s such a lovely product! Think of it as a tinted SPF moisturizer but in a serum form with active skincare ingredients. The coverage is light and provides a really dewy, pretty finish. If you opt to try it, based on both reviews and my experience, I recommend choosing one shade lighter than what you’d normally use. I’m already on my second bottle (though here’s hoping they change that scent!).
When your eyes are taking center stage, this mascara is a must for big, fat, and glossy lashes. It lasts all day, doesn’t smudge yet washes off easily at night. Honorable mention to my favorite drugstore mascara, Essense Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara which offers equal impact for less.
This tool had been on my wish list for a while, so I was thrilled to snag it during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a few months ago. I’m planning to write a full review, but for now, trust me when I say that this 3-minute a day collagen-boosting, acne-fighting combination of 100 LED red lights and 62 LED blue lights has made a tremendous difference in my skin in only a few months.
The perfect texture between lotion and cream, this moisturizer has been my go-to for at least five years now, even after trying brand after brand along the way. At $36, the price point is perfect, since one pump covers the face and neck. I put it on in the morning before makeup and as my last step at night before bed. The brand also makes Egg Mellow Cream face masks that are among the most luxurious and hydrating I’ve ever tried.
As my lashes have thinned out, I’ve been in a race to find the most volumizing and lengthening formula I can. Who would have thought I’d find it in the drugstore? I used the waterproof version all summer and the regular version all year and it never disappoints.
Susan – Home
This stuff is magic. It somehow blurs all of my dark spots and evens out my skin tone before applying foundation and it also looks great just by itself.
I have frizzy hair, and this smooths it all out magically (well mostly). I love it!
Joy – Erin’s VA
I’ve tried other night creams and they seem to cause breakouts around my nose if I don’t wash them off right away in the morning. The May Coop Raw Concentra Night Cream is super thick/moisturizing but doesn’t cause any breakouts. My skin feels super soft, not tacky/sticky. Plus, in the morning, it no longer feels thick, it feels light on my skin. I LOVE the smell of their line as well.
This essence smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and not sticky/tacky. And again, the scent of these products makes me WANT to cleanse/care for my face. I look forward to the ritual.
This is the best way to remove makeup and dirt. I use an oil cleanser all over my face, including my eyes, and the Face Halo works really well to gently remove the eye makeup. They are super soft and wash up really nicely, too!
Amit – Lifestyle
This has become a facial necessity after staring at a computer screen all day long! I was a little skeptical of Kiehl’s Vitamin C Serum at first, mainly due to the price, but I’ve since fallen in love. The serum is creamy without being heavy and I really do see a difference in my face. My fine lines look more hydrated without the skin irritation.
This product is great for us 40+ ladies. While it’s not a full-coverage concealer, it’s light and buildable. But what I love is that it’s more like a moisturizer. It doesn’t settle into my fine lines and is not at all cakey!
Julianna – Wellness
Tree of Life Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Tree of Life Retinol Serum are my favorites. Both soak in well and are pretty gentle. I have dry, fairly sensitive skin and have noticed that my skin is less dry and seems fuller/plumper. It’s like my skin holds on to its own hydration more!
Denise – Community Manager
I just love this matte bronzer. It goes on so smoothly and gives me a lovely sun-kissed look. It blends beautifully and just evens out the look of my skin. A definite must-have!
This makes for an easy 5-minute neutral eye. It gives me an absolutely perfect look every time without having to think. It’s become one of my all-time favorites.
Kaitlyn – Creative Director
This mask instantly makes my skin look brighter and feel smoother. (It’s also a ‘clean’ product!)
I had never used balms or oils in the past, but this cleanser (also one of Erin’s favorites) was life-changing! It gets all my makeup off and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. I don’t get that super tight/dry feeling after using it like I used to with other cleansers.
This clean serum is a little pricey (something I put on my Christmas list each year!) but worth it. Even though my 24-year-old skin doesn’t need much firming, I feel like it actually works, especially around smile lines. My skin looks hydrated and healthier. It’s also lightweight and smells great. (I think it smells like bananas, but my husband says it smells like Fruit Loops!)
What were your 2020 favorites? We’d love to hear what you’ve tried and loved, so leave a comment below!
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