The 2010s will probably always be remembered for certain things – like political upset, or ubiquitous and bizarre internet trends. But lest we forget, the decade gave us some absolutely stellar beauty buys, too. But which products will really go down in history as the most iconic of the past ten years? We’ve created an edit we think really sums up the 2010s.
The 2010s were undeniably the decade we learned to cleanse. Rubbing a lump of oily balm over our fully made-up faces once sounded insane – but is now basically a daily practice. The Banilaco Clean It Zero was one of the first to hit the market, and also coincided with our decade’s love for all things K beauty.
Speaking of K beauty, this was undeniably the decade of the sheet mask. Sitting with one of these terrifying items on your face became almost a weekly ritual for many of us. I still think Dr Jart makes the best ones – and there’s literally one for every skin need.
This decade was also the one where skincare became affordable. Trying to buy serums at the drugstore used to be a total non-starter – but Deciem’s The Ordinary changed all that. The range of high quality, ingredient-based skincare is incredible, but still, to me, this simply hyaluronic acid serum stands out.
Remember when exfoliation meant going to town with an abrasive scrub? This decade changed all that – and Paula’s Choice led the charge. This liquid exfoliant (I use it as the “toner” step in my routine) effectively smooths texture while also cleaning out the pores. Game changing stuff.
I can’t remember a beauty launch that had quite so much hysteria surrounding it that this oil blend. Testimonies claim it is totally life changing stuff. And honestly, we kind of love it – in spite of the wince-inducing price tag.
The 2010s finally brought us some inclusivity within the beauty industry. Launched with 40 different shades which spanned literally everyone, this foundation gave some people their first ever colour match. We knew we could trust Rihanna.
Highlighter was a huge part of the 2010s’ face – but for the true glass skin look, there was no better than the Living Luminizer. Unlike highlighters that came before it, it relied on emollient oils as well as iridescent pigments to give the most natural glow out there. Often imitated, never duplicated.
You could hardly do a roundup of the 2010s without mentioning Glossier, right? And in spite of there being many excellent products within the range, there’s no denying their MVP is Boy Brow. Fluffy, brushed up brows became available to the masses – and we’re ever grateful.
Kylie Jenner is a prime contender for the face of the 2010s – and her billion dollar makeup industry is (at least partially) to thank. The hype surrounding these was second to none, and if you wanted that lip filler look, there was no cheaper or less painful way.
Contouring was another huge trend of the 2010s – and who else can we credit rather than Kim herself? These kits continue to get mixed reviews, but still remain somehow iconic.
Remember the days before Beauty Blenders, when we applied makeup with a brush like savages? No, but in all seriousness, this innocuous looking pink sponge really changed the game. Never has so much makeup been able to look so natural. Well played.
If the ‘00s were all about poker straightness, the ‘10s were all about “model off-duty.” And to achieve the casually undone, yet still bouncy and shiny hair required, there’s no better product than Bumble’s Surf Infusion, which blended the texture of a salt spray with the nourishment of an oil.
Ok, fine, there are two essential products for “model off-duty” hair. This lightweight, volumizing spritz with the best smell on the market is the other.
Before Olaplex, bleached hair was pretty much a death sentence. But since the Hair Perfector came on the scene, we’ve been happy to highlight away, secure in the knowledge we can “rebuild” our “bonds” later. Many thanks!
The 2010s were also the decade we all started having a bit more fun with our hair. This couldn’t have been done without Bleach London, who gave us a range of semi-permanent shades in the cutest colours, and with the punniest names.
Nail art and the 2010s went hand in hand. But to sum that up with a single product, I had to opt for the iconic Illamasqua polish. It’s since discontinued, which is a crying shame.
Fragrance in the 2010s took on a whole new task. Rather than just smelling nice, it now was designed to evoke emotion and memory. No brand did this better than Maison Margiela – and their Lazy Sunday Morning is amongst the most accurate of the whole (incredible) Replica line.
Shop our edit of the beauty products that marked the last decade below
Featured images via Anthropologie/RMS
PS: Every single item is independently selected by our editors. Depending on the product, if you buy something through our links, The Weekly Cut may earn an affiliate commission.