The best eyeshadow, primer, infinity powder, mascara and fragrances for the year of Zoom and social distancing

My favourite makeup picks of 2020 inevitably reside mostly above mask level. My thoughts on my favourite luxury eye palette, Vieve’s The Essentials (£43 for 10 x 3.1g), were well-documented in a recent column, but it bears repeating that this was the year’s best bumper eyeshadow lineup.

For lower-maintenance days, which in 2020 outnumbered my more effortful ones so many times over, I’ve been wowed by the unfeasibly cheap and useful elf Putty Eye Primer (£5 for 5.3g). These, though indeed useful as an underlay, are way more impressive as the easiest, longest-lasting, neither-thought-nor-much-dexterity-required single cream shadows, available for less than a bargain bottle of merlot. There have been countless forgotten Zooms when I’ve hastily smeared on the Clay or Sand colourway with my middle finger and felt instantly more presentable. I’ve said it before and haven’t wavered a bit: they are little marvels.

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