Straight From The Experts: The Best Beauty Products of 2013

We’re suckers for a best-of-the-year list that allows us to get down to brass tacks with our music and movie consumption. But, why should the A/V club have all the fun? We asked our favorite makeup artists to dish on their new beauty discoveries that have become kit staples of 2013. Trust us, they've worked with everything new in cosmetics. (They test just about every beauty release before creating the looks you see in magazines and on red carpets, after all.)
So, when they say something's good, we believe them. Read on, and you will, too. Just don't blame us if you start crushing hard on some of these finds. These are the tools and products that changed these artists' work for the better. Just imagine what they can do for you.
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“I am a brow freak, and brow gel holds a place of great importance in my kit. It is such a beautiful texture. It has a soft velvet finish, versus the shiny finish that gels typically have. It helps brows stay in place and it never flakes. I work with it every day and am in love with it. It's also great in a pinch for fly-aways!” — Fiona Stiles, mark. celebrity artist
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“Nearly every makeup artist uses this blending sponge. The new black version offers the same shape, texture, and material as the classic pink beauty blender. However, the pro [version] seems to show pigment better, while offering variety in color to our much-used egg-shaped sponges.” — Misha Shahzada, makeup artist
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“I have super-sensitive and dry skin. When put this mask on, it instantly relieves any dryness. It goes on clear, so you can pretty much apply it in any situation. I especially love to use it in winter when skin gets pretty stripped from going back-and-forth between the hot and cold temperatures when traveling. I use it right when I get off of a flight. It instantly adds moisture back into my skin." — Kindra Mann, makeup artist
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“I fell in love with this foundation this year. It’s become a staple in my kit because it helps eliminate having to use concealer or powder, keeping the skin looking naturally radiant. It delivers the perfect amount of pigment and smooths out the complexion flawlessly. The finish is so velvety, I can skip using powder. The color stays true, and the finish holds up against bright camera flashes.” — Roxy, makeup artist
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“Lately, I have been obsessed with eye-mask treatments. While many brands have carried them for quite some times, and it’s not a new thing, I find that many people don't consider using them. Not only do these eye patches make a dramatic difference in minimizing dark circles and helping to diminish fine lines instantly, but they are also very soothing. These come in so handy for a client with tired eyes, or even for a model who is experiencing puffiness, allergies, or dark circles.” — Mischa Shahzada, makeup artist
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"These thick, durable, creamy eye crayons blend easily and stay put, lasting day to night. They’re rich in pigment and come in gorgeous tones, but I am obsessed with the black, brown, green and navy shades. They add depth and drama to the eye in a easy-to-apply swipe. They're also great for creating a smoky eye — just blend with a soft fluffy brush and top with your favorite smoky-toned color." — Jo Baker, makeup artist
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“These powders are light and sheer, but they cut just enough shine to leave a healthy, fresh glow on the skin. They never look cakey or powdery and are versatile enough to wear alone or over foundation. I also love that it’s infused with SPF.” — Kelsey Deenihan, makeup artist

“These powders mattify the skin, yet are lightweight and sheer and the full collection works for a wide range of skin tones. Oftentimes, what looks sheer and transparent in person ends up looking greasy or oily on camera. This formula covers both bases and looks good in person and on camera. Plus, you can use a shade or two darker to contour or bronze.” — Samuel Paul, makeup artist
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“This plumping serum gives skin the effect of minimized facial lines without leaving a film or greasy feeling. It also comes with a convenient pen-style dispenser that’s great for on-the-spot, targeted treatment for special events. Both give an the skin an extra lift and boost of radiance. They're perfect for skin preparation." — Kathy Jeung, makeup artist
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“The brightening abilities of this all-in-one treatment, concealer, and highlighter are incredible. I have never used a concealer like Veil; it’s hydrating, has staying power, and gives an amazing pigmented coverage that works for high-definition television and in daily life.” — M'Chel Bauxal, celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist
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“My favorite new product discovery this year was Giorgio Armani's Fluid Sheers. They are so easy to work with and very versatile. I love to use shades five and six for blush and lips stains on light to medium skin tones; and shades 11 and 12 on darker skin. It melts into skin and leaves it natural and perfectly radiant — it’s a great alternative to powder blush.” — Sarah Tannom makeup artist
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“This powder gives a really healthy glow and softens fine lines on the skin. I use it over foundation or in the eye and forehead area. It gives an effect that’s almost like you're looking at someone with a soft-focus lens. This shade looks good on all skin tones.” — Jenn Streicher, makeup artist
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“I love this lipstick and end up leaving it with lots of clients. It's super-matte, almost chalky, and SO bright and punchy; it looks amazing on red carpets and in photos. I'm obsessed.” — Emily Kate Warren, makeup artist
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“When everything seems so ‘go, go go,’ these masks create a nice moment that force you to slow down and have a little 'me' time. I apply the Facial Treatment Mask when the skin is dryer — it gives intense hydration. The 3D Mask is an investment, but it effectively lifts and firms. Either are best right before a red carpet or big event. It makes skin look rested, firm and hydrated, and creates the perfect canvas for makeup.” — Mary Phillips, makeup artist
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“This build-able and controllable foundation is great from the fullest coverage to sheer, barely-there complexions. It’s great for touch-ups, too.” — Daniel Martin, makeup artist
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"This genius little compact addresses the two areas that need hydration all day. The formulas are as amazing (as one would expect from La Prairie) and the compact is so sleek and smart. Each side has its own mirror — and the mirrors are slightly different magnification to capture the appropriate area best. I touch up my clients' lips and keep the eye area dewy to keep a youthful glow going all day." — Pati Dubroff, makeup artist
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“I use this powder at every photo shoot. It's colorless, so it matches everyone’s skin tones, and it’s very lightweight, so it doesn't build up after frequent touch-ups.” — Debra Macki, celebrity makeup artist
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“I never thought I’d stray from my former go-to foundation, and then I discovered this! This foundation covers well, but is still very sheer. It’s perfect for creating looks where the skin can 'breathe' and show through the makeup. It gives a dewy look and is the perfect light base that allows your skin to be the focal point." — Melanie Inglessis, makeup artist
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“Very few people have heard of this line from Canada. The formulas were all developed on set by the makeup artist for The L Word, and each shade of this foundation range is named for an actress on the show. It has a great matte finish that doesn't look too dry or too shiny on the skin, which is a godsend for any pro working with TV lights, but also for a woman who needs coverage and a more matte look.” — Kristen Arnett, makeup artist and founder of

Sappho Cosmetics Liquid Foundation, $52, available at Sappho Cosmetics.
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“I love the smooth texture this eye primer gives as a base for eye shadows, and how well the shadow stays without creasing — especially for red-carpet events. I love mixing cream shadows with powder shadows to give a natural glow to the eye. This primer keeps the creams from creasing and gives the shadows more staying power for long events.” — Julie Harris, makeup artist
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“This foundation is a real time-saver because of its three abilities: priming, moisturizing, and covering. The formula isn’t heavy at all and is very buildable — very little is needed to create healthy, dewy-looking skin. I can use it with my fingers to apply a sheer layer, or I can use a Beautyblender sponge or foundation brush to build up the formula in layers and give the skin more coverage. My go-to is to mix the foundation with a little shimmer lotion and use it as a body makeup.” — Kayleen McAdams
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“This lash curler can work with any shape of eye. It curls the lashes perfectly with no crimp — just a beautiful, natural curl along the full length of the lash. Plus, it's comfortable to use. It doesn't 'ouch' the user.” — Rebecca Restrepo, makeup artist
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