There's no time like the end of the year to reflect on the biggest events of the past twelve months, both the good (Beychella, the Royal Wedding, Crazy Rich Asians, women storming the House of Representatives) and the bad (pretty much everything else). But a look back at 2018 just wouldn't be complete without acknowledging the impressive lineup of new releases to hit Sephora — the ones that didn't just capture our attention, but also gave us the best hair, skin, and makeup days of the whole year.
Of all the notable products, there were a few favorites that left us raving, with some even becoming a part of our our everyday routines — because they were just that good. Sure, we could keep that information to ourselves to avoid seeing "Add to Basket" replaced by "Out of Stock," but we won't. Instead, we decided to round up the Sephora buys we couldn't get enough of in 2018, so that you can get your hands on them — along with the rest of our Beauty Innovator Awards winners — before you're overwhelmed with even more new must-haves as we enter the New Year.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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The mascara our editors couldn't stop talking about this year creates outrageously voluminous lashes that feel weightless, not weighed-down. It's also water-resistant and smudge-proof, and therefore suitable for your third trip to see A Star Is Born in theaters.
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Leave it to Rihanna to give us an eyeliner that delivers. This water-resistant formula comes in a triangle-shaped pen so you can get a better grip when applying, and also has intense color payoff, so you don't need to swipe on more than once.
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It takes a big innovation to shake up the sunscreen category, and this formula — with Instagram-friendly packaging and lightweight, white cast-free finish fit for all skin tones — is it (plus the brand itself, which is changing SPF one non-annoying product at a time).
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We love a good 2-in-1, especially when it actually does both things well. This mask works to unclog pores and refine texture while also tackling discoloration and pigmentation. Consider it a luxury facial that can be done at home and doesn't cost you your year-end bonus.
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The dewy-finish formula so good it had us seriously considering breaking up with matte foundation. Be warned that you'll need to make room on your camera roll for all the selfies you'll want to take after blending a dime-sized amount of this lightweight formula into your skin.
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It's one thing for an eye cream to hydrate your dark circles; it's another for it to also have a light tint for natural coverage. The "no-makeup makeup" look gets significantly easier with this cream, and a little goes a long way.
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We don't know what we love more: the fact that this serum balances out the skin's natural barrier and fights against environmental stressors, or that it gives a bronzy glow without the potential sun damage.
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A "lit from within" glow isn't exactly in the cards when you're short on sleep or accidentally overdid it on the wine. This jelly highlighter lets you fake it 'til you make it, with a blendable formula that can be tapped on easily with your fingers.
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This concealer covers everything but still has a glowy finish, so you can play off a good-skin day even after a night of margaritas or your apartment falling apart.