Last Updated on 3rd December 2023 by Sarah Sarsby

Best beauty products 2021 image

As we approach the end of 2021, I’m sharing the best beauty products from the year, with picks from indie beauty brands, new releases, and popular classics. Some are gifted, some are purchased, but all of them are loved.

This blog post contains the 10 skincare products and 10 makeup products that I’ve enjoyed the most this year. Whether it’s for their glow-giving properties, dynamic colour stories, longevity, or ease of application, these products are all worth buying, and I’d happily repurchase each one.

You can check out which star beauty products made the cut for 2020 here.

Below are my picks for the best beauty products of 2021. I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I loved creating it!

** This post contains some affiliate links. This means at no extra cost to you, I earn some commission if you purchase a product through my link. All thoughts are my own, though, as always. If you want to find out more, visit my affiliate disclosure page **

Skincare products

1. iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Sleeping Mask*

iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Sleeping Mask image

The iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Sleeping Mask is an amazing Korean skincare product that is super silky to apply and makes your skin feel nourished and protected by morning. This delicate night cream rejuvenates dry or dull skin and makes it look brighter overnight. When thinking about which products to include in this post, this iUNIK mask was one of the first ones that sprung to mind.

2. Fraîcheur Ice Globes*

Fraîcheur Ice Globes image

I absolutely love my Fraîcheur Ice Globes. These luxurious facial ice globes are the ultimate skincare treat! Use them after cleansing and applying a serum – but before all other skincare steps – to make your skin look glowy and refreshed. This cold therapy treatment also helps reduce redness and inflammation, alongside helping to calm and soothe the skin, as you can store these pretty ice globes in the fridge or freezer. They’ve really added to my skincare routine, and the ice globes are fantastic at reducing puffiness around the eyes.

3. Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Essential Ceramides+

3. Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Essential Ceramides+ image

As I think I have mild rosacea, I wanted to use a ceramide formula to ensure my skin barrier is healthy and maintained. The Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Essential Ceramides+ are perfect for this. These luxurious capsules are ideal for sensitive or rosacea-prone skin because they help support your skin’s barrier repair function to keep your skin supple, soft and protected. I love how these make my skin dewier, smoother and more radiant. These powerful capsules truly live up to the hype!

4. Avant Skincare Advanced Bio Restorative Superfood Facial Oil*

Avant Skincare Advanced Bio Restorative Superfood Facial Oil image

Sometimes high-end skincare products are simply overpriced and not as effective as drugstore products at a fraction of the price. However, the Avant Skincare Advanced Bio Restorative Superfood Facial Oil truly is worth the price, as it’s a truly exceptional facial oil. This lightweight and absorbent luxurious oil helps calm the skin and makes it softer. With long-lasting hydration, this facial oil is great to apply pre-makeup, as it gives you a smooth canvas to work with.

5. Maysama ABP11+ Green Rooibos Gentle Resurfacing Toner*

Maysama ABP11+ Green Rooibos Gentle Resurfacing Toner image

The Maysama ABP11+ Green Rooibos Gentle Resurfacing Toner is the perfect PHA toner for when you want to exfoliate your skin without overdoing it. This gentle toner is ideal for sensitive skin, but it still manages to give you a brighter complexion by smoothing it. I love this product’s hydrating and rejuvenating feel. My skin loves it, and I think it’s one of the best exfoliants I’ve ever tried. Maysama is a fantastic brand in general; I can’t recommend it enough.

Use my exclusive discount code ‘SARAH10‘ for 10% off Maysama to get your hands on amazing products for better prices!

6. Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti-Dust Sun Gel SPF50+*

1. Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti-Dust Sun Gel SPF50+ image

The Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti-Dust Sun Gel SPF50+ is one of the best lightweight, non-greasy and absorbent sunscreens that I’ve tried. Although I’ve got light skin, I’ve also heard multiple people with darker skin say that this Korean SPF50 doesn’t leave a horrible white cast on their skin, which is very important. Once applied, I can’t feel it, which is exactly what I want from my sunscreen.

7. Geek & Gorgeous aPAD*

Geek & Gorgeous aPAD image

Another fantastic product for reducing redness is the Geek & Gorgeous aPAD serum. This super-affordable serum is lightweight, absorbent and perfect for regulating oil production. I’ve got normal/oily skin, and this serum is great at ensuring I don’t get too oily throughout the day. It mixes well with every product in my skincare routine and has helped my complexion look more even. A versatile, powerhouse serum for under £10, I’d be crazy not to include this skincare holy grail in my best beauty products of 2021 list!

In-depth aPAD review here.

8. Lavié Labs Daily Harmony Cleanser*

Lavié Labs Daily Harmony Cleanser image

A recent introduction to my skincare routine, but 100% worthy of being included in this list, is the Lavié Labs Daily Harmony Cleanser. I was recently gifted this gentle cleanser and it’s absolutely divine. It works into a creamy lather and feels very soft on my skin. After using this cleanser, my skin feels clean but not stripped, nourished and healthy. I absolutely love it.

I’m going to be doing a full in-depth review on this cleanser very very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for further important information about this sumptuous product.

9. OSKIA Bedtime Beauty Boost

OSKIA Bedtime Beauty Boost image

Although very pricey, the OSKIA Bedtime Beauty Boost is just too special not to include in this list. This rich and luxurious night cream makes my skin feel amazing. I truly don’t believe that a drugstore product could achieve the level of excellence this velvety cream does. It’s nourishing, protective, and makes my skin look radiant, bright and healthy in a way that few skincare products manage to achieve. This is the best night cream I’ve ever used.

10. SKNLDN Daily Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser*

SKNLDN Daily Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser image

I love moisturisers and particularly notice how good a moisturiser in the cold winter months, where my skin needs extra love and care. The SKNLDN Daily Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser is excellent at giving my skin the added hydration it needs during the winter. I love the silky texture and smooth application experience. This hyaluronic acid moisturiser makes my skin super hydrated, plump, youthful and dewy. What more can you want from a moisturiser?

Learn more about how to get glowing skin.

Use the code ‘TY25‘ to get a further 25% off as well as free shipment.

Makeup products

1. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF50

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ in Light image

I’ve been using the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF50 for a while, and I think it might just be my favourite foundation of all time. It makes my skin look radiant, without looking shimmery or emphasising my skin texture. And while this foundation is full coverage, it never looks cakey or unnatural. Instead, I’m left with a glowy and even complexion. It covers any blemishes or dark spots with ease too, meaning I don’t need to top up with concealer. This truly is an outstanding product.

2. Dior Backstage Eye Palette Cool Neutrals

Dior Backstage Eye Palette Cool Neutrals image

I typically gravitate towards warm-toned eyeshadow palettes. They tend to suit me more, and I feel like I know what eye looks I can create with warm tones, whereas cool-toned eyeshadows can leave me feeling a bit stumped. However, the Dior Backstage Eye Palette Cool Neutrals is one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes ever, despite it being cool-toned. The mauve colour story creates stunning, sophisticated and captivating looks. It’s easy to create simple daytime looks or dramatic evening looks with the palette. I also feel it’s very unique, as I’ve not seen an eyeshadow palette like this one before.

Read my full review + daytime makeup look here

3. Nudestix Nudies Bloom in Cherry Blossom Babe

Nudestix Nudies Bloom Cherry Blossom Babe image

I’m absolutely obsessed with the Nudestix Nudies Bloom in Cherry Blossom Babe. The glowy formula and soft pink shade works well with so many makeup looks. It’s easy to blend out too, so you can get the desired intensity you want. I think this blusher looks lovely with bronzer too, whereas some other blushers in my collection work better without bronzer. It’s my skin but better.

4. Vieve Modern Lip Definer in Bark

Vieve Modern Lip Definer Bark image

I’m seldom drawn to lip liners. I appreciate them and wouldn’t be without them, but I often view them as one of the more mundane products in my makeup collection and routine. However, the Vieve Modern Lip Definer in Bark has changed my mind. This rich brown shade is deeply pigmented and works well with any brown-toned lipstick. It’s super soft and velvety yet still manages to last all day without smudging or fading. As this is a neutral shade, it works with loads of lip colours too. I really enjoy it.

5. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer image

I wanted a concealer that’s flexible and helps cover up any redness on my skin when doing makeup looks, patches that foundation doesn’t quite cover. The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is perfect for this task. It’s easy to manipulate and buff into the skin, so you can get full coverage that’s got a soft-focus finish. If I want to build up coverage on certain parts of my face where spot concealing isn’t necessary, I reach for this concealer. Every time. It’s been a great addition to my makeup kit.

Check out my full review here.

6. Chanel Les Beiges Highlighting Fluid in Pearly Glow

Chanel Les Beiges Highlighting Fluid image

I personally prefer liquid highlighters over powder ones due to their ability to mix in with moisturisers and foundations. Out of the liquid highlighters that I own, the Chanel Les Beiges Highlighting Fluid in Pearly Glow is easily one of my favourites. This high-end highlighter adds sheer radiance to your skin, so that you look healthy and naturally dewy but not glittery. It’s easy to build up for more high-shine impact, but just a drop will give your skin a subtle wet-look glow.

Check out how this highlighter looks on the skin here.

7. EM Cosmetics Daydream Cushion Tinted SPF in Gentle Light

EM Cosmetics Daydream Cushion Tinted SPF image

I had to include the EM Cosmetics Daydream Cushion Tinted SPF in Gentle Light in this best beauty products 2021 round-up because it’s such a stunning light-medium coverage foundation. This lightweight cushion foundation gives my skin natural luminosity and makes it look smooth and poreless. It almost looks like I’ve got a skin-perfecting Snapchat filter on when I wear it. It glides over the pores effortlessly for a completely even complexion.

8. bareMINERALS Gen Nude Blonzer in Kiss of Copper

bareMINERALS Gen Nude Blonzer image

I love seeing innovative makeup product releases, but sometimes, they just don’t hit the mark. However, the bareMINERALS Gen Nude Blonzer in Kiss of Copper achieves its goal of a hybrid bronzer-blusher flawlessly. It’s got the warmth of a bronzer with the flush of colour you get from blushers. The blonzer makes my skin look sunkissed and radiant; it looks just like I’ve been abroad (with SPF of course). It’s very pigmented too, so a little goes a long way with a very light hand.

See a swatch of this stunning copper shade here.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream image

In the past couple of years, I’ve become an avid lip gloss fan. And no brand makes lip glosses better than Fenty Beauty. The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream in Cookie Jar is a stunning shimmer-free lip gloss that offers creamy medium-coverage pigmentation and a luscious juicy shine. This lip gloss makes my lips look plump and shiny, without feeling sticky or heavy. I’m obsessed with the dark brown caramel shade Cookie Jar, and it pairs beautifully with the Vieve Modern Lip Definer in Bark in this post.

10. Jade Thirlwall x BEAUTY BAY 42 Colour Palette

Jade Thirlwall x BEAUTY BAY 42 Colour Palette image

Ever since its initial launch, I had my eyes on the Jade Thirlwall x BEAUTY BAY 42 Colour Palette. I was really drawn to the diverse shade range, mix of mattes and shimmers, and stunning blend of cool and warm shades. When Beauty Bay dropped the price of this already-affordable palette, I knew I had to get it. I’ve loved it ever since. The shadows are buttery, richly pigmented and easy to blend. They last all day, and you can create some truly stunning eye makeup looks with this 42-shade palette.

I’m going to be sharing a full review with swatches and a makeup look in the very near future on my blog. You won’t want to miss this post, so make sure you subscribe for email updates below!