2024 Beauty Awards

The Best Makeup Products Of 2024

The makeup of the future has finally arrived.

Written by Bustle Staff
Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Stocksy; Product Images Courtesy of Brands

If you’re sick of cosmetics formulas that melt off or smudge midway through your day, this year’s best makeup awards winners are the longwear heroes you’ve been waiting for. From mascaras and liners to foundations and blushes, 2024’s standout products feature technology that actually go the distance — and make you look even more incredible in the process. They’re also beyond easy to use and made to feel more like skin care than makeup. No more complicated application techniques or goopy textures that dry out on the skin. Here, you’ll find one-coat mascaras that actually dramatically enhance your lashes with a single coat, a foundation packed with SPF and skin-nourishing botanicals, creamy lipstick brimming with vibrant pigments, a blush so naturally glow-inducing it looks like your own flush, and many more unique innovations. The only way this makeup could get any more advanced would be if it was able to apply itself. Read on for Bustle’s best makeup products of 2024.

Best Full-Coverage Foundation

Boasting a 24-hour, transfer-proof wear, this luxe base from Dior takes matte foundation into a new era with an 86% skin care base formula and a breathable, second-skin feel. Tone is more even, skin looks smoother, pores are visibly tightened, and shine is controlled both instantly and with continued use. “This is the kind of foundation that I would love to have in my makeup kit,” says celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, whose clients include Janelle Monae, Lily Collins, and Hailey Bieber, “because I can use it on the red carpet and not worry about it transferring down and I could sheer it out so it looks supernatural to create that ‘envy me’ skin. Another thing that I like is they have a pretty extensive color range, so you could use it for any skin tone.”

Best Light Or Medium-Coverage Foundation

The serum-like texture of this genius foundation feels extra nourishing and creates an instant glowing finish to the skin while simultaneously improving your complexion, smoothing and brightening the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and helping to maintain a healthy microbiome over time. “Not only does it contain sun protection, but it's completely packed with skin care-forward ingredients — like niacinamide and fermented kefir — and feels really nice and light on the skin,” says Rachel Lapidos, Bustle’s senior beauty & lifestyle editor. “It *feels* like skin when I'm wearing it, and it looks natural even though it easily covers my redness and blemishes. For a medium coverage liquid formula, this one gets a 10/10 from me.”

Best Skin Tint

Skin tints aren’t typically known for their diversity of shades, but this 2-in-1 multitasker from Alicia Keys' outstanding and thoughtful Keys Soulcare line comes in an astounding 40 natural and buildable shades to choose from. The light-to-medium coverage can be used all over to create a radiant, skin-like finish or used as a spot treatment to conceal redness, blemishes, or undereye circles. Infused with niacinamide and squalane, it helps brighten, blur, balance, and hydrate the skin and features a doe-foot wand for targeted, mess-free application.

Best Concealer

Infused with caffeine and the brand’s patented Lift & Lock technology, this self-setting concealer from renowned makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic depuffs, tightens, and smooths for a crease-proof finish in 22 buildable tones. “This concealer instantly shot up to be one of my favorites,” says BDG staffer Caroline Wurtzel. “The texture is super smooth and never settled into creases and fine lines. The product blended beautifully, both under my eyes and for any spot concealing. I'll definitely be buying another tube.”

Best Volumizing Mascara

A mascara that volumizes and lifts in just one coat is a lofty promise, but leave it to makeup artist and social media creator Huda Kattan to deliver on it. The dual-sided silicone brush grabs the perfect amount of the creamy, ultra-black, lash-enhancing formula to create instant drama with just one swipe. “I was very skeptical when I first opened this product to try it, but I will say it gave me an amazing payoff with one coat, and I am a believer!” says Oquendo. “I don’t have a lot of eyelashes personally, so it’s hard to have a big result when I try mascara on myself, but I saw a tremendous result — so much so that I am extremely excited to incorporate this mascara for my red carpet clients.”

Best Lengthening Mascara

Lift, definition, and length — is there anything this mascara can’t do? An extended helix brush with twisted bristles helps separate every lash to prevent clumps and coats every lash from root to tip. A unique Hybrid Fiber technology utilizes a blend of fibers in an array of sizes to create long, fluttery lashes that won’t smudge, flake, or smear. If that wasn’t enough, the formula is also infused with shimmering pearls to create a multi-dimensional effect on the lashes to help define each strand even more. A couple coats of this drugstore diamond will give you lashes that look fake and we mean that in the best possible way.

Best Cream Blush

While it might look a bit intimidating at first glance, our testers swear this high-tech blurring balm delivered one of the most natural flushes they’ve ever experienced with a cheek color. The balm-to-powder has a matte finish and buildable texture that’s formulated with Swedish Upsalite technology to create a soft focus, smoothing effect — blurring out fine lines and pores as it imparts a healthy glow that is weightless on the skin and won’t budge once it sets in place. “While it initially goes on strong, within 30 seconds to a minute it ‘settles’ into this lovely, natural-looking glow,” explains BDG staffer Jamie Kenney. “Honestly I've worn just this blush — no foundation or anything — and it looks like I've taken the time to apply a full face of makeup.”

Best Powder Blush

This multitasking duo blush is technically a blush, topper, and highlighter in one. Available in two shade combos, you can apply each shade on its own, blended together, or with your other cheek products to create a custom glow that’s all your own. The baked formula is lightweight and silky, with endless ways to wear it and amp up your look. “This baked blush is so easy to use and leaves my skin looking velvety-soft,” says Faith Xue, BDG’s executive beauty director. “I usually prefer blush that doesn't have any shimmer, but I find that the slight shimmer in this gives my skin a nice glow. I love that it comes with two shades so I can customize the color!”

Best Lipstick

A lipstick that hydrates lips while bestowing them with vibrant color? Only Hourglass Cosmetics could make such an impossible feat into a reality. A moisturizing mix of mango seed butter, avocado oil, and argan oil helps weightlessly condition delicate lips while a full-coverage cream color glides on seamlessly to deliver high-impact pigments that pop. “I first discovered this lipstick about a year ago and have been obsessed with it since,” raves Oquendo. “In fact, it is one of my kit staples. It is pigmented and creamy, and, when photographed on the red carpet, it makes the lips look amazing. The colors are suitable for any skin tone no matter how fair or deep you are. The thing I love the most is the texture and I love that they are cruelty-free.”

Best Lip Gloss

Lip gloss has come a long way from the days of the sticky, tacky, goop of the ’90s, and this luxe skin-care hybrid from Rituel de Fille is the proof anyone scarred by Y2K-era glosses that the days of getting your hair stuck in gooey lip cement are over. Enriched with peptides, marula oil, shea oil, and floral wax, it gently plumps, softens, and deeply hydrates lips. “This lip gloss feels more like a hydrating balm,” says Xue. “I also love the slightly herbal scent. It comes in the most beautiful your-lips-but-better colors, and also vampier shades. It also lasts forever on top of making my lips look luscious (but not too shiny). I'm obsessed.”

Best Tinted Lip Product

The best types of products are a hybrid of multiple categories, and Kosas’ new lip shine is the ultimate overachiever. With the hydrating capabilities of your favorite lip balm (thanks to the squalane, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid), plus the color payoff of your favorite sheer lipstick, it’s a product that our testers couldn’t stop applying, taking them from brunch to cocktails. “The ultimate marriage between a lip balm and a stick, Kosas’ WetStick drenched my lips with hydration as it delivered a gorgeous wash of pigment,” says Lapidos. “Plus, the perfectly shaped tube makes precise application a cinch.”

Best Eyeshadow Palette

This is a next-level neutral shadow palette that blends warm and cool neutral tones, so you can create every kind of nude eye look you could ever want. From subtle to dramatic, these velvety matte eye hues are super-pigmented with a creamy texture that allows them to go on smoothly and evenly for maximum wearability and blendability. “This palette has all of the perfect shades for a nice, neutral eye, as well as a more dramatic smoky one,” says Wurtzel. “The colors (albeit neutral) are super pigmented — a little goes a long way. This is definitely in my everyday rotation.”

Best Eyeshadow Sticks

Shadow sticks have been seeing a major resurgence this past year thanks to their easy application and versatility — and this longwear version from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand won a prime place in our testers' makeup rotation thanks to its high-impact color and effortless wear. “These things LAST,” notes BDG staffer Katie McPherson. “I'm someone with hooded eyes and creases on my eyelids but these don't bunch or crease, which can happen to me with other cream shadow formulas. The mattes blend pretty well if you work quickly, and the shimmers can be sheered out or built up for big impact.” BDG staffer Jessica Fields adds, “The formula was nice, too. It didn't tug when applying and was easy to blend out with my fingers.”

Best Eyeliner

While many waterproof and transfer-proof liners exist on the market, one major issue with many of their formulations is the lack of glide. Many will tug on the delicate eyelid skin and leave you with a less-than-ideal application in their quest for a liner that won’t budge. Or, you wind up with the opposite problem of a liner so creamy that you don’t get the definition you crave. Not so with Live Tinted’s Hueliner — available in Black and Brown, this gorgeous eye definer glides across the skin to deliver a smooth, unbreakable line that won’t smudge or crease, yet still remains sharp enough to create a cat-eye or tightline. It’s the best of all worlds. “As the name suggests, the formula stayed on all day long, barely budging,” says BDG staffer Kelsey Stewart. “They also glide on the skin like a dream.”

Best Brow Pencil

Even if you weren’t blessed with full brows, at least you can fake it with the help of this pigmented brow pencil from LYS Beauty. With an ultra-fine tip to help precisely mimic the illusion of hair, this multi-tasking brush allows you to fill in sparse brows and define and shape your arches for a customized look. It’s also infused with nourishing botanicals like jojoba seed oil, castor seed oil, and vitamin E to help hydrate and condition the brows as you define them. “I am always buying brow pencils and sometimes find myself going through them so quickly, but not with this product,” says Alexis Morillo, BDG staffer. “The LYS Beauty brow pencil was pigmented, easy to use, and had the perfect-sized spoolie to feather them out and work the product through for a natural look.”

Best Clear Brow Gel

Give your brows a laminated look with this clear brow gel from Selena Gomez’s buzzy Rare Beauty line. The water-based formula allows for easy layering, meaning you can build it up without worrying about the dreaded flaking or stiff, crunchy feeling. Brows are set in place but still soft and flexible. “As someone with thick but somewhat unruly brows, I've used many different clear gels and this is one of my favorites,” says BDG staffer Sam Rullo. “It's very lightweight, doesn't leave any residue, and keeps my eyebrows in place all day.”

Best Tinted Brow Gel

The queen of the nurtured brow, Kristie Streicher herself, is behind our new favorite tinted brow gel and we can’t say we’re surprised. Streicher has been masterfully shaping and defining some of the best brows in Hollywood for years, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Lorde to Adele. We’ve waited not-so-patiently for her to release her own line of products, and the launch of KS&CO did not disappoint. Her Sheer Tinted Brow Gel is packed with good-for-your-brows ingredients like biotin, panthenol, red algae, ginseng, and argan oil. Instead of an overly pigmented, heavy formula, Streicher’s features a sheer tint that perfectly defines, while creating separation and texture. “It's very natural and subtle, but buildable for a bold look,” says BDG staffer Anne Vorrasi, “and the brush is nice and fluffy so the application feels very even.”

Best Powder

This is the pressed powder that will make a convert out of people who hate pressed powders. That’s because its ultra-creamy baked formula is infused with chamomile extract and rose oil to comfort the skin, plus a unique auto-balancing technology that evens out moisture and shine throughout the day. The addition of custom pearl blends and high-resolution pigments helps it brighten the skin while perfectly blending, creating the look and texture of skin rather than a dry, powdery effect. “It helped my makeup stay in place for most of the day and was great at reducing shine,” says Rullo. “It doesn't leave any cast or residue, and once I brushed it on, I couldn't even feel it!”

Best Contour

Milk Makeup has always excelled at stick format makeup, and this cream contour is no exception. The cool-toned matte works by mimicking the effect of natural shadows on the face with a creamy, hydrating formula that is infinitely buildable and blendable for instant depth and dimension with every swipe. “It comes in the perfect size to apply directly to the face and add dimension to the cheekbones, chin, and nose,” says BDG staffer Sarah Ellis. “It blends like a dream and doesn't look muddy, which is an issue I tend to run into with some contour products. I use it with my everyday light-coverage look and also with more dramatic, full-face looks.”

Best Bronzer

A tropical getaway in a compact, MAC Cosmetics’ has found the perfect balance of sparkle and warmth with the Skinfinish Sunstruck Radiant Bronzer. While some bronzers can either be too muddy or too glittery, Sunstruck has just the right amount of each to give you the ideal mix of warmth and glow in a powder bronzer that’s multidimensional and long-wearing. Sweat-proof and humidity and water-resistant, it has double-processed pigments that stay color-true, plus a silky texture that goes on smooth and can be built up for the perfect sun-kissed bronze.

Best Highlighter

Proving that you don’t need to spend a fortune to shine bright like a diamond, e.l.f. takes the top spot for highlighters with this affordably priced liquid highlighter wand. Featuring a convenient cushion tip applicator and infused with 2% squalane to hydrate skin as it creates a dewy glow, the liquid highlighter is lightweight, blendable, and creates a surprisingly natural radiance that looks lit from within. “I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with this product, given the price point,” says Rebecca Iloulian, BDG staffer. “The highlight is beautiful: dewy and shimmery, without being overkill. Plus, it's so convenient, requiring no additional brush to apply due to the tip applicator. The highlight payoff was pretty comparable to my higher price point highlighters, although it does fade after two to three hours.”

Best Lip Liner

Has any beauty product experienced a comeback quite like lip liner? The year’s most trendy product went from banged-up afterthought rolling around at the bottom of your makeup bag to everyone’s trendy must-have item. We had to constantly keep checking to see what decade it was, so convinced were we that we had somehow fallen asleep in a time machine and stepped out into the ’90s with all the VLL (Visible Lip Lines) on display. Fortunately the formulas are anything but retro, as this creamy, dreamy pencil from LYS Beauty so beautifully demonstrated. Described by Xue as “silky and smooth and so easy to apply,” the Speak Love Smooth Glide Lip Liner Pencil glides on so effortlessly while delivering a long-lasting matte pigment that won’t feather, bleed, or dry out your pout.

Best Multi-Tasker

Low-maintenance beauty just got a major upgrade with this all-in-one color stick from Ami Colé. Made with skin-nourishing ingredients like baobab seed oil, hibiscus flower, and desert date oil, each Cream Multistick can be used on your lips and cheeks to create a gorgeous monochromatic look in a wash of vibrant color. The matte shades are easy to blend with your fingers, so you can apply on the go and don’t have to worry about being too precious with your application while still getting a vibrant pop of color. “I love how pigmented this product is — I only needed to dab it once on my cheek and blend out for a saturated color payoff,” says Xue. “It could be slightly creamier, but it still blended well.”

Best Primer

A primer so good, you can wear it on its own and not even bother with the makeup. Made with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, Clinique’s take on the category instantly illuminates and hydrates the skin while providing long-lasting benefits that improve its quality over time for a more radiant and even tone. Apply it on its own for a your-skin-but-better effect, or smooth it on prior to makeup to create an even canvas for your foundation to look more glowing and last longer. Another added bonus? It’s silicone-free, so if you hate that too-slick feel that many primers give your skin, that won’t be an issue with this beauty.

Best Setting Spray

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but clearly Caliray founder Wende Zomnir didn’t get the memo. She’s not only the OG behind Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, but she also dreamt up this beachy beauty from her new clean brand. The Caliray Surfproof Setting Spray is long-wearing, transfer-proof, whisper-light, and enriched with skin-healthy ingredients like prickly pear, agave, and glycerin. “Most setting sprays leave my face feeling too... wet, but this is super lightweight and gently mists your face,” says Christina Amoroso, BDG staffer. “The scent also reminds me of a day at the beach — and any product that can transport me to the sea in the dead of winter is a W in my book.”