This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The future of beauty is here — and you’re invited. Check out the rest of our 2018 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards winners for a full look at the products, brands, and people that are breaking the rules and redefining beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.
We’re six weeks away from ending 2018, and there are still a few ambitious goals we’re considering rolling over into next year (along with the rest of our flexible spending): Marie Kondo’ing our lives, cutting out sugar, and having 10 grand saved up in the bank just aren’t the kinds of things you can accomplish in a month and a half.
But one thing we can confidently cross off our end-of-year to-do list? Getting to know all the best hair, skin, and makeup launches Ulta Beauty had to offer these past 12 months. There were plenty of products in the beauty aisle that truly earned their bragging rights: Among the Ulta elite were inclusive foundation releases (we’re looking at you, Flesh Beauty), hair masks that turn your bathroom into a five-star salon (or at least the next best thing), and brow pens that’ll save you a couple thousand on microblading.
But what kind of friends would we be if we didn’t put you on to the good stuff? Ahead, you’ll find the cream of the Ulta crop — including some of our Beauty Innovator Awards winners — to pick up before 2018 becomes a #TBT.
Replicating J.Lo’s glow doesn’t require a trip to Ibiza and a glam squad. Just blend a few dots of this on your cheekbones or into your foundation to create a luminous glow that doesn’t look greasy.
L’Oréal True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops, $14.99, available at Ulta Beauty
Gone are the days of slicing and dicing your legs while you shave. This under-$20 razor seamlessly shaves in both directions (yes, you read that right) for a smooth, flawless shave — without the blood and band-aids.
Schick Intuition f.a.b. Razor Kit, $12.59, available at Ulta Beauty
A moisturizer that really loves you won’t make your skin feel smothered (unless you’re into that kind of thing). This one has a featherweight jelly formula that disappears into all skin types without feeling thick or heavy.
Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly, $28, available at Ulta Beauty
Consider this spray putty a zhuzh in a can. It delivers grit, touchable hold, and volume to flat hair with just one spritz, without getting your hands dirty.
Fatboy Online Only Spray Putty, $28, available at Ulta Beauty
This mask is like a pair of designer sunglasses for your hair: It protects your color from fading and UV rays, thanks to red algae and marine technology, and leaves strands feeling insanely soft and expensive-looking.
The One By Frederic Fekkai The Brilliant One Vibrance-Boosting Mask, $42, available at Ulta Beauty
This isn’t like a regular hair mousse — it’s a multitasking hair mousse that won’t make your curls feel crunchy or flaky. Instead, it detangles, defines, moisturizes, and treats your curls at the same damn time.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls 7-in-1 Treatment Foam, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty
We often associate cream eyeliner with the word smudgy, a.k.a. not ideal when you need your makeup to last through holiday parties. This pot goes against the grain, though, with a formula that’s opaque, silky, crease-proof, and won’t vanish by the end of the night.
NYX Professional Makeup Holographic Halo Cream Eyeliner, $10.99, available at Ulta Beauty
Full-coverage foundation can be cute and easy — just look at this chubby tube. It’s tiny enough to fit in your palm and blend in with your fingers, no hassle and brushes necessary.
Flesh Beauty Firm Flesh Thickstick Foundation, $18, available at Ulta Beauty
Bouncy texture and creamy metallic pigment are just two of the reasons why this shadow duo won big this year. Oh, and this rich purple hue that we’ll gladly paint on our lids any time, any place.
Stila Vivid & Vibrant Eyeshadow Duo, $20, available at Ulta Beauty
Dry lips are the biggest trade-off when you’re searching for a lipstick that lasts forever. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice moisture for long-lasting color when you’re wearing this formula, which has nourishing vitamin E to hydrate your skin.
Physicians Formula Healthy Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick, $6.99, available at Ulta Beauty
In this unsuspecting pot is a no-frills, no-B.S. cream that’s like a pep talk for your dark circles. The formula both hydrates and depuffs, and contains brightening vitamin C to make you look like you weren’t up binging The Bodyguard all night.
Olay Eyes Brightening Eye Cream, $29.99, available at Ulta Beauty
When you need to escape from life’s responsibilities (or if winter just has your face feeling dry as hell), put on this hydrogel mask for 30 minutes and chill. The hyaluronic acid will leave skin looking — and feeling — smoother and more hydrated by the time you peel it off.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hydrogel Mask, $2.99, available at Ulta Beauty
So you want microbladed eyebrows but don’t want to spend microblading money — don’t. Get this multi-pronged brow pen which creates fine hair-like strokes that look so real, you’ll have everyone fooled.
Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty
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