The Best Makeup Products from the 2021 Beauty Crush Awards

Get ready to serve face with these makeup artist-loved products.
Morgan Noll
Feb 26, 2021 @ 7:13 am
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Makeup is a fun form of self-expression, and we also rely on products like concealers to hide our under-eye circles, pencils to make our brows pop, and splashes of blush to warm our complexions—especially over dull video-call screens. Makeup has the power to boost our confidence and transform our looks, so we tested hundreds of products in search of the highest-quality makeup that enhances our natural beauty. We found mascaras that create sky-high-lashes out of tiny stubs, transfer-proof lipsticks that last all day long, and eyeshadow palettes that feed our creative side.

Best Primer & Foundation

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  • Best Drugstore Primer
    e.l.f. Matte Putty Primer

    Infused with kaolin clay and white charcoal to absorb excess oil and mattify your face, this TikTok-viral putty primer is ideal for oily skin types. The velvety texture goes on smooth and helps makeup grip onto your skin. “[It] kept my makeup in place all day,” confirmed one tester.

  • Best Luxe Primer
    Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

    Create the perfect base for makeup while hydrating skin with this silky primer. "I was hype[d] when the brand dropped this primer, which has a blend of Shea butter and glycerin that keeps my skin soft and hydrated,” said Maya Allen, Beauty Director at InStyle.

  • Best Drugstore Foundation
    L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

    This is a multi-purpose product like no other: It triples as a hydrating serum, a lightweight foundation, and SPF 50. “My skin looked dewier, plumper, and all-around healthier after using it,” reported one HG tester.

  • Best Luxe Foundation
    IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation

    Formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to hydrate and smooth skin, exfoliating acid, and vitamins E and B5 to fight free radicals and support the skin barrier, this natural-looking foundation is basically a skincare product, too.


Best Concealer


e.l.f. Hydrating Camo Concealer

Best Drugstore Concealer

If you want full coverage but are worried about concealer drying out your skin, this is a great pick as it’s formulated with soothing rosewater and moisturizing sodium hyaluronate (a hyaluronic acid derivative). “This is a spin-off of the brand’s wildly successful Camo Concealer, so I love that it’s a much more hydrating formula. I have super dry skin that can become painful if it’s not constantly moisturized,” said one tester. “And of course, I couldn’t love it if it didn’t hide my comically dark under-eye circles, so I’m glad to report that it does.”


Lip Bar Concealer

Best Luxe Concealer

Celebrity makeup artist Renée Loiz said, “A concealer should have sheer to medium coverage and be buildable. It should blend easily and not feel heavy or settle into fine lines. It should have brightening qualities, depuff, and make your eyes look wide awake. If you agree with me, then do yourself and your eyes a favor and get into this amazing concealer that does everything you need and more!” HG testers agreed with Loiz, saying they loved how the formula doesn’t cake. One even said that it’s so lightweight, she forgot she was wearing makeup at all.

The Lip Bar

Best Blush & Bronzer

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  • Best drugstore blush
    Honest Beauty Lit Powder Blush

    The powder blush, which comes in a peachy pink and a neutral rose tone, has bold pigment that blends easily for a natural flush of color and it doubles as a highlighter, too.

  • best luxe blush
    Patrick Ta Double Take Crème & Powder Blush

    Testers loved that this blush duo contains both a hydrating cream blush for a dewy look and an airy powder version in a complementary tone for a matte finish.

  • Best drugstore bronzer
    Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder Palette

    Get a sun-kissed glow year-round with this bronzer palette. You can choose to wear one of the four shades or opt to mix and match them for a customized faux tan.

  • Best luxe bronzer
    Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer

    Bronzer is a makeup category that still lacks in offering a diverse range of shades, but Charlotte Tilbury is part of the change. The celebrity makeup artist created four blendable bronzers that complement both light and dark skin tones.


Best Highlighter


COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick

Best Drugstore Highlighter

You may not realize that you need a cooling highlighter, but once you try it, we doubt you’ll be able to turn back. This refreshing highlighter stick comes in four sparkly shades, is infused with hydrating coconut milk and cooling aloe vera to hydrate, and gives off the prettiest dewy, shimmery glow.


Gucci Éclat de Beauté Effet Lumière

Best Luxe Highlighter

The trendy “wet look” is highly coveted but hard to achieve, but this glossy highlighter makes it attainable. “I fell in love with it the first time I tried it,” said one tester. “My face looked as radiant as a wet seal’s skin, and it was so glowy that even my colleagues noticed it over Zoom. Since then, I’ve been using it almost every day.” Use this lightweight gel gloss on eyes, lips, cheeks, or anywhere you want to add some dramatic shine.


Best Eye Primer & Eyeshadow

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  • Best Drugstore Eye Primer
    e.l.f. Putty Eye Primer

    Infused with hydrating squalane, this primer moisturizes eyelids while creating a smooth canvas for eyeshadow. It also comes in six colors—white, cream, rose, sand, clay, and black—so you can brighten and color-correct your lids or use the colored shades to add depth to your makeup or create a smoky effect.

  • Best Luxe Eye Primer
    KVD Vegan Beauty Shake Primer High-Impact Invisible Eyeshadow Primer

    Not only is this primer vegan and cruelty-free, but it’s clear formula is also designed to intensify the color of any eyeshadow shade. “The first time I tried it I was shook by how well it worked,” said an HG tester of this lightweight pick.

  • Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Palette
    Maybelline New York Nudes of New York Palette

    With 16 neutral shades, this eyeshadow palette is designed to complement a wide range of skin tones. Whether you want a simple, minimal look or a bold smoky eye, this palette can get it done.

  • Best Luxe Eyeshadow Palette
    Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VIII: Divine Rose Palette

    Testers said they found every shade in this palette stunning, yet one multi-dimensional shade, “VR Sextraterrestrial,” took the cake. “I couldn't stop turning my head to watch the colors change in the light,” one tester reported of this iridescent shade. “The entire palette is worth it for that color alone, but the other shades are just as gorgeous.”


Best Setting Spray


Maybelline New York Glass Spray

Best Drugstore Setting Spray

This setting spray is a quick and easy way to join in on the glass skin trend without revamping your entire skincare routine. “The bi-phase formula (meaning it contains both oil and water) locks in moisture and hydration all day long,” says Knot of this glycerin-rich product. “One spritz enhances your makeup, and each puff disperses evenly, so you never get more product than you bargained for.”


IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Setting Spray

Best Luxe Setting Spray

Give your skin a treat while setting your makeup with this spray that’s packed with nourishing ingredients, like coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera extract, which soothe and hydrate skin. “I used this with multiple foundations and it helped them last all day without transferring to my clothes or masks,” one tester explained. That’s exactly what we need when face masks are a part of our daily lewks.


Best Eyeliner & Mascara

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  • Best Drugstore Eyeliner
    Wet N' Wild Mega Last Breakup-Proof Retractable Eyeliner

    This eyeliner is super pigmented, waterproof, smudge-proof, and flake-free. Whether you’re going through a breakup, watching a sad movie, or sniffling through allergies, this is the product you want by your side.

    ($2.99 save 20%)
  • Best Luxe Eyeliner
    Makeup By Mario Master Mattes Liquid Eyeliner

    When Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, launched his makeup brand, we knew it was going to be good. “This is the best liquid liner ever,” one tester says. “Its super-sharp tip allows me to make the most razor-sharp and lethal cat-eye (exes, beware). It’s so damn good.”

  • Best Drugstore Mascara
    JOAH Beauty Lash Uprising Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara

    This mascara coats and conditions each lash to amplify volume, lift, and lengthen—and it’s formulated to keep the product lightweight and airy (no droopy lashes here!).

    JOAH Beauty
  • Best Luxe Mascara
    Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume

    “This mascara has a gorgeous brush that’s flat on one side, which makes it perfect for reaching smaller lashes and thickening at the root of the lash, and is fatter on the other side with tightly-packed bristles that grab every lash to add volume and length," said Allen.

    Fenty Beauty

Best Brow Product


JOAH Beauty Brow Down To Me Precision Brow Pencil

Best Drugstore Brow Product

“When I need to spruce up my brows, I reach for this micro-tip pencil [that] makes filling in sparse areas so easy,” said Allen. “First, I use the comb side to brush through them. Then, I flip it over and use the pencil in natural, hair-like strokes to achieve the bushy, brushed-up brow look I love.”

JOAH Beauty

Benefit Cosmetics Brow Microfilling Pen

Best Luxe Brow Product

Get the look of microbladed eyebrows without the pricetag using this three-point pen that draws ultrafine lines to mimic natural brow hairs. One tester said it works great to “seamlessly create thicker-looking brows,” but the longevity factor is where the product really shines. “It lasts all day and is virtually fool-proof when paired with a clear brow gel.”


Best Lipstick & Lip Gloss

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  • Best Drugstore Lipstick
    e.l.f. SRSLY Satin Lipstick

    This silky lipstick lives up to its name. “It’s the softest lipstick I've used in a long time,” said one tester. “It has great pigment, feels hydrating, and doesn’t feather.”

  • Best Luxe Lipstick
    Hermés Rouge Hermés Matte Lipstick

    Fields loves that this lipstick hydrates lips (thanks to the squalane in the formula) while delivering a velvety, powdery finish and long-lasting color. An added bonus: The packaging is refillable, meaning you can hang onto the chic tube.

  • Best Drugstore Lip Gloss
    Maybelline New York Lip Lifter Gloss

    Thanks to its hyaluronic acid-infused formula, this lip gloss doubles as a moisturizing lip treatment and delivers a high-shine gloss that gives the appearance of a plumper pout.

    ($8.99 save 22%)
  • Best Luxe Lip Gloss
    Deck of Scarlet Threeway Solid Lip Oil

    This is the perfect mix between a lip gloss and lipstick and has all the benefits of a nourishing lip balm, too. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid for hydration and a blend of watermelon, cucumber, and carrot seed oils to repair and rejuvenate lips.

    Deck of Scarlet

Best Makeup Brushes


Sonia Kashuk Complete Professional Brush Set

Best Makeup Brushes for Face

Get everything you need to create a vlogger-worthy look at home. This brush set includes 10 makeup brushes in a range of sizes and styles that will allow you to blend, highlight, smudge, shade, and buff. Plus, each brush features soft synthetic bristles and contoured handles for a comfortable grip.


Makeup by Mario Brushes By Mario: Artist Collection 1

Best Makeup Brushes for Eyes

If you’re all about eye makeup and want to take your skills from amateur to expert, this brush set is a great investment. Whether you want to create precise lines and cut-creases or build bold color-packed looks, this five-piece collection can be used for a variety of applications.

Makeup By Mario

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  • Best under-eye brightener
    Kaja Joystick Brightening Undereye Setting Powder

    With a weightless and transparent powder formula, this under-eye setting powder lets you brighten your under-eyes without worrying about caking or an unsightly white cast. Aside from the fun packaging and application, it delivers results, too. “It brightened my under eyes without giving me a reverse raccoon look.”

  • Best adaptive eyeliner
    GUIDE Beauty Eyeliner Duo

    Makeup artist Terri Bryant developed Guide Beauty after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which made it harder for her to apply makeup.“This tool is genius and results in perfectly lined eyes every time,” Loiz said. “I love the flexible tip, which you dip into your cream liner and then tap and glide on above your lashline.”

    Guide Beauty
  • Best CC cream
    Bioderma Sensibio AR CC Cream 30

    “This CC cream is formulated for targeting redness, and unlike other ones I’ve tried, this one actually works,” reported one tester. The formula is non-comedogenic, safe for sensitive skin, and infused with hydrating and soothing ingredients, like glycerin and canola oil.

  • Best multi-purpose brush
    Cover FX Custom Application Brush

    “I’ve always loved mixing my skincare with my makeup for a natural-looking, French girl look, and this makeup brush makes doing that easier than ever,” said one tester. The brush features three wells so people can add in their moisturizer, serum, or primer and blend them smoothly across the face.

  • Best Luminizer

    Craving that head-to-toe glow? This luminizing serum-meets-moisturizer will do the trick. Add the shimmery liquid under makeup to light up your face or all over your body for a sun-kissed sparkle.

    Live Tinted

Hero Image Credits | Product Photography: Jasmine Purdie, Art Director: Jenna Brillhart, Illustrations/Animation: Sarah Maiden & Jenna Brillhart

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Click here to see all 187 winners of Hellogiggles' 2021 Beauty Crush Awards.