Although women have been wearing cosmetics since ancient times, the beauty industry experienced explosive growth in the 2010s due to the rise of social media. Whether due to pure consumer love or heavy social media promotion, I’ve compiled a list of the 12 most iconic makeup releases that defined the 2010s.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links (*). If you purchase by clicking on my links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you.
2010 | Urban Decay Naked Palette
Haters love to trash the Urban Decay Naked Palette, but this ICONIC palette was a game-changer when it was released in 2010. This brought pre-made palettes full of “wearable” nude tones to the market and spawned a collection that has spanned the last 10 years. Even five years after its initial launch, an Urban Decay Naked Palette was sold every 6 seconds.
While this iconic palette was discontinued in 2018, the brand released a cool-toned Naked Reloaded version of the palette to replace it. I still own my original Urban Decay Naked Palette that I purchased as a teenager in 2010. I wish the brand would bring it back. Check out my review of the Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette.
2011 | Benefit …They’re Real Mascara
Much like the Urban Decay Naked Palette, Benefit’s …They’re Real Mascara was one of the most iconic beauty releases of the decade. This mascara added unreal length and separation. In fact, the formula made it look like you were naturally gifted with perfect lashes.
While mascara tastes have changed since 2011, Benefit’s …They’re Real Mascara remains an iconic beauty release that defined the early part of the decade.
2012 | MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – Painterly & Soft OchreÂ
To be fair, the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots are the only item on this list that I cannot confirm the launch date. However, it was 2012 when I remember everyone raving about how amazing the MAC Paint Pots were for priming the eyelids.
2013 | Too Faced – Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette
Similarly to the Urban Decay Naked Palette, the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette* was a natural, neutral brown palette with a few pops of color. Loved for its adorable packaging and easy wearability, the Chocolate Bar Palette spawned countless releases in the line.
2014 | ColourPop Super Shock Shadow / Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara
Y’all knew that ColourPop had to make it onto the list of the most Iconic beauty releases from the last decade. When ColourPop launched its Super Shock Shadows in 2014, it was a game-changer. In fact, this unique creme-to-powder formula remains the brand’s hero product. Check out my epic Super Shock Shadow collection.
Clearly, I felt that another 2014 release was deserved a place on this list. The Too Faced Better Than Sex* changed consumers’ minds about what they looked for in a mascara. Known for its iconic millennial pink packaging and hourglass-shaped wand, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara quickly became the best selling prestige mascara in the US.
2015 | Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit
In 2015, Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit launchÂ ($29.00) was received with wide-spread hate from critics and wide-spread hysteria from adoring fans who wanted to imitate the reality star’s iconic pout. Resellers commanded thousands of dollars for lip kits from the brand’s initial launch.
Now a billion-dollar business, Kylie Cosmetics set the lip kit trend, the limited edition/availability trend, and paved the way for the relentless wave of celebrity founded beauty brands entering the beauty space.
2016 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance / Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
Without a doubt, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance* ($42.00) was one of the most iconic beauty releases to define the decade. Arguably, the Modern Renaissance could be thought of as the last iconic eyeshadow palette released in the 2010s.
The Modern Renaissance started the wave of warm-toned neutral palettes with pops of berries and reds. Countless imitations and products inspired by the Modern Renaissance’s beloved color story have been released since 2016. See where it ranks in my Anastasia Beverly Hills Palette ranking.
There was another iconic beauty release from 2016 that needs to be acknowledged – the Tarte Shape Tape Contour ConcealerÂ ($27.00). EVERYONE raved about this concealer due to its inclusive shade range and extremely full-coverage formula. To this day, the Shape Tape Concealer remains an iconic complexion product that is used as a reference point for comparing new releases.
2017 | Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte FoundationÂ
Robin Rihanna Fenty did not come to play games when she dropped her iconic Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation in an astounding 40 shades. In fact, her shade inclusive range helped to usher in a wave of more inclusive complexion products for those on the lightest and darkest edges of the color spectrum.
Ultimately, the release of the Pro Filt’r Foundation caused consumers to hold brands to a higher standard. The Fenty Effect redefined beauty standards and inclusivity in the beauty market.
2018 | Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer
When the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer* was released in 2018 it sold out immediately. Beauty lovers and beauty editors everywhere raved about this primer and how magical this makes the skin appear. Click here to read my thoughts on the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer.
2019 |e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer ($8.00, CF)
I would be remiss if I excluded the e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer* from this list. This primer was released early 2019 as an incredible $8.00 dupe for the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer. For months this primer flew off the shelves and was constantly out of stock.
Final Thoughts on the 12 Iconic Beauty Releases that Defined the 2010s Decade
I loved compiling this list of the 12 iconic makeup releases that defined the 2010s decade. Writing about these products filled me with such intense nostalgia because I’ve owned most of these releases at some point over the last 10 years.Â Many of these products were clear choices that were staples in many beauty lovers’ collections.
It was striking to me how much I struggled to choose a release in some of the latter years of this list. In part, this could be due to the fact that it is harder to know what products will remain staples in the coming years.
However, I think that the insane rate at which new makeup is being released is the real reason why I had a hard time choosing products in 2018 and 2019. When brands constantly churn out products, they aren’t able to make the same cultural impact.
Did you enjoy this post recapping the iconic makeup releases that defined the 2010s? Consider reading my 2019 Best of Beauty roundup.
*Please Note: I do not own featured images. All images were pulled from their respective brand sites, Sephora, or Ulta Beauty.
Do you think I missed any iconic products that defined the 2010s decade? Have you tried any of these products? Please let me know in the comments below.0