Best of Beauty | 2023


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I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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Beauty Book

This 32-page magazine is a guide to my all-time favorite beauty products.


This year marks my tenth — yes, tenth — Best of Beauty post on I am thrilled to share my most used and loved beauty products of 2023 with you and hope you find this roundup helpful.

I am proud to say that this year I applied sunscreen religiously, and the formula I reached for most was the Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40. I love to wear ‘Golden Hour,’ a beautiful bronze shade, on no-makeup days; it makes my skin more even and glowy and gets me so many compliments and questions about my skincare routine.

The most underrated product on this year’s roundup is definitely the Colorescience Face Shield Flex SPF 50. It offers light to medium coverage with a dewy finish, and I love knowing that the mineral formula not only won’t break me out but is also an extension of my skincare routine. I never thought I’d say this as a makeup addict, but I often opt for this over my foundations for everyday use, which speaks volumes. I wear the shade ‘Medium.’

I am very particular about concealer, but I can always count on the Dior Backstage Concealer to look flawless even on my bad skin days. It provides impressive coverage while still having a skin-like, hydrating finish that somehow looks better throughout the day. I have dry skin, and it performs well as an under-eye concealer and as a spot concealer. I wear the shade ‘3N.’

If you want a truly effortless, fool-proof cream bronzer, I highly recommend the Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer. It adds a sheer wash of warmth to the perimeter of my face that blends out instantly to create the perfect post-vacation glow. I’ve never tried anything like it! I bought ‘Medium Dark’ because I wanted something with more pigment and more neutral undertones.

For a more full glam look, I prefer the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo in ‘She’s Sculpted.’ Both the creams and powders are pigmented but not overwhelming, so they’re easy to blend and never look muddy.

The Flower Beauty Lip & Cheek Gel Crush is such a luxurious formula. ‘Strawberry Crush’ is a sheer yet bright baby pink with a dewy finish that layers beautifully both under and over powder. It’s hard to believe it’s less than $15.

The Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Multipurpose Illuminator is a hydrating, lightweight, and subtle illuminator that almost feels like skincare. I love wearing it alone, under makeup, mixed in with foundation, or on top of makeup as a highlighter. ‘Starglow’ is a universally flattering pearlescent champagne that gives a lit-from-within glow.

I will never stop being in awe of the Makeup By Mario Ethereal Eyes Eyeshadow Palette and its perfect color story. The mattes are great quality, but the glossy shimmers are even more extraordinary. The wet-like shine and refined sparkles truly do look ethereal and stand out from every other shadow I’ve tried.

I can never have too many neutral lip liners, and this year I fell in love with the Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils. Because of the gel texture, these glide onto the lips for a comfortable yet long-wearing lip color. I adore ‘Structure’ for a slightly lighter, warmer look and ‘Contour’ for a slightly darker, cooler look.

After purchasing seven — excessive, I know— of the Rhode Peptide Lip Treatments, I can confidently say they are worth the hype. They are moisturizing, silky smooth, and extremely shiny. I prefer the clear versions to wear alone or over lip liner, but I also love the shade ‘Toast’ for a wash of rosy nude.

Thank you so much for reading my blog this year, and be sure to share your top beauty recommendations of 2023 in the comments!

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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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