Beauty Editor's top 3: The best makeup in 2020

These are the new makeup launches that really impressed this year

Make-up cosmetic tube in front of pink backdrop of crumbled powders
(Image credit: Getty images)

In the third instalment of our Beauty Editor's Top 3 series, let's take a look back at the best makeup in 2020.

It's  been a strange year for colour cosmetics. While a deficit of social commitments saw many of us invest extra energy in our skin, hair and the self care side of beauty, the same couldn't be said makeup. In my case even the best foundation or most natural makeup look felt like unnecessary effort for another day indoors, and barefaced no makeup makeup was mostly ditched in favour of  an actual bare face.  

I say mostly. Obviously I did test, try and wear some makeup this year - I wouldn't be very good at my job If I didn't - but you'll notice my picks for the best makeup in 2020 are definitely a sign of the times. Which brings me to the caveat I'll put on all of my end of year top threes, which is that the headline is a lie. Not a great whopping porker, just a white lie to make things a bit a more exciting - like the whole Father Christmas thing (apologies to any eight-year-olds reading this)  

Of course, of the thousands of makeup products launched this year these aren't unequivocally the three very best, forsaking all others. What they are is my subjective personal picks, the ones that I feel most deserve a shout out amongst many, many brilliant new beauty innovations that also could have made the list. And - let's be honest - they are also the ones that made enough of an impact at some stage in the year that I am able to call them to the front of my foggy end of December brain. 

Formalities over, you are now ready to discover my pick of the best makeup in 2020. These are the products I think you need to know... 

Read more Beauty Editor's top three

L'Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted water cream

(Image credit: L'Oreal)

L'Oreal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream, £10.99

When a pandemic nulls and voids your usual makeup routine you'd best believe the products that step in to the void are going be easygoing with a capital E. 

This is foundation at it's most user friendly, a bit of light cover, a bit of hydration, a bit of glow and a bit of SPF. It's happy to be applied with hands, blends without effort and thanks to moisturising ingredients doesn't sink into lines or pores. Such flattering, faff-free, comfortable bases are almost impossible to find at this price. 

View L'Oreal Paris Skin Paradise Tinted Water Cream, £10.99, Boots.com

STRENGTH & LENGTH SERUM-INFUSED BROW GEL

(Image credit: BareMinerals )

Bareminerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Brow Gel, £18

With professional tinting and threading off the cards and the overplucked brows of my teens stubbornly persisting into my mid 30s, eyebrow boosters were one of the only make-up products I consistently used this year. 

That means I tried just about everything on offer and none impressed me as much as this. A light gel that you sweep through your brows to add instant density and definition, gloss over patchy bits and keep straggly hairs in line. It has a slippy texture that never crisps up and flakes or goes gunky and the selection of cool-toned shades are unusually natural looking. Even better it contains a peptide that boosts natural brow growth, so over time you'll need it less and less.  

View Bareminerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Brow Gel, £18, bareminerals.co.uk

Clinique Moisture Surge Pop Triple Lip Balm, £17.50

Clinique Moisture Surge Pop Triple Lip Balm

(Image credit: Clinique)

No surprises that my third and final pick also comes under the sheer, easy and natural make-up category. If I'm honest this spot could have just gone to all tinted lip balm, which has been my constant companion this year. It's been on my desk (aka dining table) to scrawl on before work meetings,  on my coffee table for pre-Zoom perk up and in my coat pockets as one of the only lip textures that doesn't make a disgusting mess of my face covering. 

This lip balm by Clinique is particularly great though, very moisturising, comfortable and non sticky. The six shades are pretty and fresh, enhancing your natural lip without being so opaque you need to worry about smudging. It packs in plenty of skincare ingredients and has a soft focus sheeny finish that makes lips look a bit fuller.

View Clinique Moisture Surge Pop Triple Lip Balm, £17.50, Lookfantastic.com

Fiona McKim

As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)

Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). 


In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.

When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.