Makeup

Warning: These Expert-Approved Makeup Buys Could Blow Your Pay Cheque


When we first announced the launch of theВ BYRDIE / CURATED Beauty AwardsВ in July, the response we received from brands was overwhelming. Our goal, always, is to service you, our reader. We know you're discerning, educated, and looking for products and brands that speak directly to you. But to hear that our unique approach to shining a light on stellar new beauty and health buys-breaking each category down from a single winner into personalised categories-had resonated with many in the industry, was both inspiring and energising. Truth be told, we areВ elated to be leading the charge. I mean, it's 2017 you guys. How is one size fits all still even a thing?

Now, after an intensive trialling process, we're ready to introduce this year's winners. (!!!) Ahead, you'll find we've taken our tailored approach one step further by curating each overarching category (see: skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrance, health) to deliver you top picks on the products you care about most. From the best foundation for oily skin to our favourite all-round pore refiner, the full list of winners wasВ selected by a team of Byrdie Australia editors, influencers from theВ Who What Wear Australia INF / Network,В and one beauty-obsessed reader. And did we mention the whole thing is 100% shoppable? It sure is.

Keep scrolling for the full list of Byrdie / Curated winners in makeup.

BEST PRIMER

Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Marc Jacobs Beauty Undercover Perfecting Coconut Primer $63Shop

This coconut-y primer smells delicious, but it's not overly scented-a surprisingly difficult feat. The formula is hydrating and lotion-like, but sinks in fast, leaving skin dewy. Importantly, it also keeps foundation in place.

COMBINATION SKIN

Revlon Youth FX Fill + Blur Primer for Face/Neck $30Shop

A magic fix for both large pores and wrinkles, albeit a temporary one. Super-silky, the semi-matte formula is imbued with micro-fillers and optical diffusers that work to distract from "imperfections", giving skin a smooth appearance.

OILY SKIN

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Primer $55Shop

From the brand who brought youВ Byrdie Australia'sВ CC cream obsessionВ comes this mattifying primer. It looks buttery in the tube but feelsВ feather-light on,В and-joy of joys-completely erases the look of large pores.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Mirenesse 10 Collagen Cushion Custom Liquid Colour Tone Correcting Primer $60Shop

Sensitive skin is often victim to redness and irritation, which can lead to overdoing it on foundation (#compensating). This cushion primer is here to change all that. It delivers subtle colour-correcting pigments, plus cooling, anti-inflammatory, and brightening ingredients for a more even complexion.В

DRY SKIN

Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Primer $75Shop

Ideal for dry skin types, but beloved by a diverse crowd of Kevyn Aucoin fans, this balmy primer is a moisturising, pore-blurring miracle. Mix it with foundation for a custom base or apply as is for a hydration boost.

BEST FOUNDATION

Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation $29Shop

Our reviewer tried this drugstore foundation after a 15-hour flight and says: "It didn't disappoint on the radiance promise." Easy to apply, it settles very quickly. It leaves skin perfected,В with a dialed-down glow.

COMBINATION SKIN

O Cosmedics One Sk1n Natural Fusion Treatment Foundation $59Shop

Like a drink of water for your skin, it's immediately hydrating. The finish is super-flawless, covering imperfections without looking obvious. The best bit is it's thin enough to layer-go in for round two forВ more coverage.

OILY SKIN

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation $13Shop

If you find yourself blotting your T-zone every afternoon, this foundation might be the answer to your matte skin prayers. Smooth to apply, the liquid formula dries to a powder-like finish meaning you won't have to add any on top. The medium finish can also be built up to full.

SENSITIVE SKIN

BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation $49Shop

This skin-loving liquid mineral foundation is rated by many for its diverse shade range. The coverage is medium and the finish satin, which gives it versatility. Matte it down with powder for a polished look, or add highlighter on top for radiance.

DRY SKIN

Nutrimetics Professional Flawless Air Serum Foundation SPF 15 $62Shop

Don't be fooled by the thin consistency, this matte foundation offers solid cover-from medium to full depending on how you apply. The serum factor is a win for dehydrated types, enabling the formula to glide on.

BEST CONCEALER

Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer $52Shop

If you're looking for a subtle hint of tint, this stuff isn't it. It's concentrated enough to take out dark circles and blemishes in one dab, and doesn't smudge or flake away. Cover up a spot, and you can be sure it'll stay that way.

COMBINATION SKIN

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick $37Shop

This all-in-one stick can be used in place of foundation but we prefer to save its mattifying magic for spot concealing. Beautifully blendable, it's hard to see where you've placed it after it's on. Hands up, Rihanna.

OILY SKIN

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer $122Shop

Another two-in-one situation, except with a very different finish. Full coverage doesn't explain it-you could just about cover up a tattoo yet somehow it's invisible on skin. Totally budge-proof too, which is a boon for oily types.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Nude By Nature Flawless Concealer $25Shop

Super-creamy, this fragrance-free concealing stick is a good one to have on hand for skin emergencies. Made with antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as Kakadu plum, it helps to protect as well as perfect.

DRY SKIN

Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer $34Shop

Creamy but not cakey, this stuff neverВ creases or streaks. It's hydrating but feels barely there on skin while giving decent, natural, buildable coverage. This is particularly good at knocking out dark circles.

BEST BLUSH OR BRONZER

Sevak Babakhani

NORMAL SKIN

Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush $60Shop

Obsessed with French girl beauty? This two-tone balm is perfect for adding an understated Parisian flush to cheeks and lips. Mix the shades together for a custom colour-very Françoise.

COMBINATION SKIN

Mirenesse Shona-Art Tri-Contour V Face Sculpting Stick $40Shop

This product is creamy, smooth and super-easy to use. The stick combines three different colours that are perfect for sculpting and defining, but because they're matte, it can also act as a highlighter or concealer. The formula feels hydrating on the skin.

-Talisa Sutton of Badlands, INF / NetworkВ judge

OILY SKIN

Mecca Max Chic Cheek Blush Powder $22Shop

Don't be put off by the colour in the pan, this bright blush is easily buffed in to a realistic rosy tint. It also lasts all day and night without requiring touch-ups, no matter how slick your skin gets.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Jane Iredale Bronzer $81Shop

Vegan, gluten- and cruelty-free, this quality mineral bronzer is worth a try for those factors alone. That said, the product itselfВ doesn't disappoint, offering blendable colour and a beautiful low-key shimmer.

DRY SKIN

Luma Just a Touch Lip & Cheek Tint $30Shop

This creamy tinted balm melts into skin, adding a hint of natural-looking colour and sheen. Unlike powder formulations, it doesn't settle into fine lines caused by dehydration-on the contrary, it adds extra moisture for a plumper look.

Sevak Babakhani

BEST HIGHLIGHTER

Bourjois Sculpt Light Strobing Highlighter $25Shop

A niceВ foray into highlighting for beginners, but also very buildable for next-level definition. It works well with fingers or a brush-very useable for the woman who wants to highlight but doesn't watch enough YouTube tutorials to buy a full palette.

BEST EYE MAKEUP PRODUCT

CoverGirl TruNaked Nudes Palette $23Shop

This is what I call getting bang for your buck-it's a drugstore buy that's comparable to high-end nude palettes. The texture of the shadows is smooth, there's very little fall out, and even with my oily lids there was only minimal 4 p.m. creasing.

-Nella Van Veenendaal, reader judge

BEST BROW PRODUCT

Garbo & Kelly Brow Powder $38Shop

This professional quality product contains two shade options in the one compact, which is great for personalising, or shading for added depth. A super-smooth application means it's easy to get the definition you want.

BEST MASCARA

Givenchy Noir Interdit Lash Extension Effect Mascara $43Shop

The packaging for this mascara is on another level-it's so beautifully presented. Initially I found the bendable wand to be confusing, however, I love the design of the brush. It lifts and separates your lashes perfectly, and makes you look as if you have twice the amount.

-Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley, INF / NetworkВ judge

BEST LIP COLOUR

Burt's Bees Gloss Lip Crayon $17Shop

I really like this product-it's pretty much perfect. Great staying power and very easy to apply. Would buy again!

-Petra MackovaВ ofВ Pepamack, INF / NetworkВ judge

BEST NEW INNOVATION

Shiseido Inkstroke Eyeliner Brush $45Shop

This brush is curved, allowing for super-easy eyeliner application. You can use it to create a thin or thick line, due to the expertly tapered end. I'm not usually great at doing my own liner, but using this, my strokes are pretty on point.

-Talisa Sutton ofВ Badlands, INF / NetworkВ judge