Welcome to the results of the 2014 Editor's Choice Awards! The Awards recognize the top products during the past year (2013) as well as all-time favorites that continue to be the best products we've tried--period. The "Best of the Year" category honors the very best of new releases we have reviewed and tested in 2013. All of the other categories honor the very best products, whether tried and true or a new favorite. These products are ones that out-perform the rest, in our experience, and are ones we would go back to time and time again; these are our re-buys, our holy grails, the go-tos. These are formulas that make us fall in love with beauty over and over again.

This year, we've given awards across 80 categories featuring 154 winners from 82 unique brands! Don't forget that we want you to share your favorites with us--nominate yours in the 2014 Readers' Choice Awards by January 16th!

Top Winners: Maybelline (7), Revlon (6), Guerlain (5), Neutrogena (5), NYX (5), bareMinerals (4), L'Oreal (4), Olay (4), Urban Decay (4)

Printable List of Award Winners

Previous Awards: 2013 Editor's Choice Awards, 2012 Editor's Choice Awards - 2013 Readers' Choice Awards, 2012 Readers' Choice Awards

Scroll down to see all of the awards or click the tabs below to find specific awards to view!

Best of the Year

2013 High-End Beauty Brand of the Year

Urban Decay

It was the year of Urban Decay for me! Between the release of the newest edition of the Naked palettes, Naked3, a complete re-release of their famous Eye and Lip Pencils, and a brand new lipstick formula, it was hard not to fall fast and hard for at least a few things this year. I also loved their revamp and re-introduction of Nail Color, Vice2, and eyeliner sets. Urban Decay is a brand that continues to produce high quality products in a variety of shades, and I love that the majority of their products are new and permanent, so you can really take time to enjoy their releases.

Read Urban Decay Reviews

Brand Highlights

Naked3 Palette

Ocho Loco 2 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set

Anarchy 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil

Vice Nail Color

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain (2012), Tarina Tarantino (2011), Urban Decay (2010), Guerlain (2009)

2013 Budget Beauty Brand of the Year

L'Oreal

I continued to love L'Oreal's Infallible Eyeshadows this past year, along with their Nail Lacquer formula. I also found myself enjoying some of their skin care offerings like their Even Skin Tone Lotion (which I've almost finished a tube of). There was also the release of the Magic Nude Liquid Powder formula, which I hope to have an official review of soon, that is quite nice!

Read L'Oreal Reviews

Brand Highlights

Amber Rush Infallible Eyeshadow

Endless Pearl 24HR Infallible Eyeshadow

New Money Colour Riche Nail Lacquer

Infinite Sky 24HR Infallible Eyeshadow

Previous Winners

Back to Top
L'Oreal (2012), Revlon (2011)

2013 Best High-End Niche Brand of the Year

Cult Nails

Cult Nails came out with a great variety of colors and textures in 2013--especially the Midnight Masquerade collection--and continued to maintain their high quality, easy-to-apply formula. I love the way the brand plays and experiments with their collections and releases, and I can't wait to see what new offerings they have in 2014.

Read Cult Nails Reviews

Brand Highlights

Party Time Nail Lacquer

Lamestain Nail Lacquer

Masquerade Nail Lacquer

Ay Poppy Nail Lacquer

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Le Metier de Beaute (2012), Cult Nails (2011), Sugarpill (2010)

2013 Best Budget Niche Brand of the Year

Sleek Makeup

In the UK, it might not be so niche, but in the U.S., it's not as readily available (which is one aspect of what it means to be a niche brand). Any trouble or extra steps to obtain their products, though, is well worth it for the affordability and high quality offerings they have. The Vintage Romance Eyeshadow palette was a really lovely fall palette, and I loved that Sleek added names to their eyeshadows!

Read Sleek Makeup Reviews

Brand Highlights

Vintage Romance i-Divine Palette

Sunset i-Divine Palette

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Fyrinnae (2012)

2013 Most Underrated High-End Brand

Buxom

Buxom isn't always on my radar, but in 2013, I spent a lot more time getting to know the brand, and the more I tried, the more I loved. They have some really amazing products, and it feels like a bolder, brighter range compared to its sister brand bareMinerals. One of my favorite new lipstick formulas that I discoovered in 2013 was their Full-Bodied Lipsticks--and they're quite wallet-friendly, too!

Read Buxom Reviews

Brand Highlights

Menace Full Bodied Lipstick

Hooligan Full Bodied Lipstick

Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner

Scoundrel Full-Bodied Lipstick

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Burberry (2012)

2013 Most Underrated Budget Brand

Sephora Collection

Sephora's house brand puts out a lot of products every year, and a lot of the formulas are impressive and affordable. They've also had some really fun and interesting partnerships with brands like Disney that have certainly helped! Their Contour Eye Pencils are some of my favorites, and I love how large the range is--you are bound to find a few colors to love. The same is true of their new Colorful Eyeshadow range; really fun textures, intense pigmentation in many shades, and a slew of shades from neutral to bright blue.

Read Sephora Collection Reviews

Brand Highlights

Red Glow Metallic Glow Lustrous Lip Shine

Sun Tan (08) Contour Eye Pencil

Disney Ariel Storylook Eyeshadow Palette

Surfin’ USA (14) Colorful Eyeshadow

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Milani (2012)

2013 Most Innovative High-End Brand

Cult Nails

Cult Nails brings out shades that are often more difficult to dupe than not, and they play around with texture a lot. I feel like they consider trends and manipulate them in ways that not everyone thinks about. I also think that some collections are just plain ol' fun--that they're not about a certain season or trend, just a set of shades that customers or the brand wanted to put out there.

Read Cult Nails Reviews

Brand Highlights

Party Time Nail Lacquer

Lamestain Nail Lacquer

Masquerade Nail Lacquer

Ay Poppy Nail Lacquer

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (2012)

2013 Most Innovative Budget Brand

Fyrinnae

Fyrinnae put out some extraordinary shades and finishes this year--unique not just in color but in texture and finish--that made them a frontrunner for Most Innovative this past year. I also love that they release shades because they love them, not because it fits a particular theme or seasonal expectation!

Read Fyrinnae Reviews

Brand Highlights

Fireside Interlude Eyeshadow

Aztec Gold Pressed Eyeshadow

Sleepy Hollow Eyeshadow (Loose)

Arcane Magic: Pyromantic Erotica Eyeshadow

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX (2012)

2013 Best High-End New Product

Givenchy - Le Rouge

Le Rouge is one of my new favorite lipsticks, and it was a product that I thought would be good, but I didn't realize just how fantastic it was going to be. The consistency, pigmentation, wear, and feel of the formula is amazing. They're so comfortable to wear, have great color coverage, and wear well. I hope Givenchy will continue to add new shades to this range going forward!

View All of the Le Rouge Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Metallurgy Lip Tar (2012), Guerlain - Parure de Nuit (2011), Make Up For Ever - Aqua Cream (2010), Chanel - Rouge Allure Laque (2009)

2013 Best Budget New Product

Maybelline - ColorSensational Vivid LipColor

Maybelline's newest Vivids definitely took the blogosphere by storm in 2013! From their rich pigmentation to bold and bright hues, they were fun to wear and test. Even better, the formula was long-wearing, hydrating, and forgiving when applied to the lips--and the fact that they were all intensely pigmented just sweetened the deal.

View All of the ColorSensational Vivid LipColor Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Infallible Eyeshadow - L'Oreal (2012)

2013 Most Surprisingly Amazing High-End Product of the Year

Hourglass - Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass is a brand I associate with a very edited, high quality range, so I expected a high quality product, but I didn't expect a holy grail, life-changing kind of release from them. The Ambient Lighting Powders were extremely well-done, and I loved that they had several shades to choose from, so you pick the one that worked best for you--not just a one-size-fits-all kind of range. The texture is soft, finely-milled, and the effect is luminous, smoothing, and flattering.

View All of the Ambient Lighting Powder Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Burberry - Lip Velvet (2012), Base Escentuals - Ready Eyeshadow (2011), ORLY - Cosmic FX (2010), Stila - All Doll'd Up Palette (2009)

2013 Most Surprisingly Amazing Budget Product of the Year

Sephora - Eye Contour Pencil

If you're in need of a budget-friendly eyeliner that wears well and comes in a spectrum of shades from basic blacks and browns to bright yellow, Sephora's Eye Contour Pencils have your number. The sheer variety is incredible, and the overall performance, pigmentation, and wear were much appreciated and enjoyed.

View All of the Eye Contour Pencil Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
L'Oreal - Colour Riche Nail Lacquer (2012), Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter (2011), Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon (2010), Aveeno - Positively Ageless Warming Scrub (2009)

2013 Best High-End Eyeshadow Palette of the Year

Too Faced Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette

If you love rich, jewel-toned hues and frosted, metallic finishes, this is a palette well worth checking out. Overall, it’s incredibly pigmented, and the textures are phenomenal–creamy, buttery, and so, so soft. I couldn't get over just how pigmented this palette was, and so many of the textures were like silk against the skin. If every eyeshadow palette was like this, we'd all be broke!

Read the Too Faced Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Turandot Eyeshadow Palette (2012), theBalm - Cast Your Shadow Palette (2011), Chanel - Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad (2010), Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Palettes (2009)

2013 Best Budget Eyeshadow Palette of the Year

Sleek Vintage Romance i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette

As a fall release, it was a fitting mix of cool-toned neutrals, plums, and purples, and yet, there are so few cool-toned palettes on the market! This palette was really nice and easy to use with good color payoff, soft and smooth textures. The colors complemented each other well, and you could get a variety of looks out of it, as there was a good range of light and more contrasting shades included.

Read the Sleek Vintage Romance i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Wet 'n' Wild - Sparkle 'Til Morning (2012), Wet 'n' Wild - Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette (2011), NYX - Nude on Nude Eyeshadow Palette (2010), NYX - Eyeshadow Palettes (2009)

2013 Best Spring Collection

MAC Nudes & Metallics

Nudes & Metallics contained some of the best eyeshadows MAC has released in a collection--ever--and across the board, the quality and consistency was there. It was an interesting collection that felt edited and wasn't too large or too small. The only downside was that it was a total pain to track down! I wish they'd consider adding the shades from it into their permanent range.

Read MAC Nudes & Metallics Collection Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Illamasqua - Human Fundamentalism (2012), Guerlain - Serie Noire Collection (2011), Bobbi Brown - Cabana Corals (2010), Guerlain - Exotic Paradise (2009)

2013 Best Summer Collection

Tom Ford Summer

I pretty much loved every single product in Tom Ford's summer collection, and two of them are all-time favorites--Pink Haze and Escapade. I also loved Fire Lust, which was a liquid illuminator, mixed with foundation. If Tom Ford ever re-released those cream colors, though, I would definitely buy back-ups!

Read Tom Ford Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC Cosmetics - Hey Sailor (2012), MAC Cosmetics - Surf Baby Collection (2011), MAC Cosmetics - To the Beach Collection (2010), Dior - Cristal (2009)

2013 Best Fall Collection

OCC Moderncraft

I loved the sultry, smoky, and haunting tones of the Moderncraft collection. Shades like the metallic Role Play and Black Metal Dahlia had so much depth and interest to them. Man by Man lacquer was insanely bright, decadent, and gorgeous. I still can't get over the application and finish of Black Metal Dahlia lacquer either--so gorgeous and perfect for fall and holiday.

Read Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC Cosmetics - Hey Sailor (2012), MAC Cosmetics - Surf Baby Collection (2011), MAC Cosmetics - To the Beach Collection (2010), Dior - Cristal (2009)

2013 Best Holiday Collection

Urban Decay Holiday

Urban Decay's Vice 2 Palette was the most memorable of their holiday products, because it was such a fun, colorful palette with a price tag that made it just the right side of affordable for a high-end palette. I'm also a huge fan of their eyeliners, so new holiday sets--Black Market and Ocho Loco--were welcome releases.

Read All the Urban Decay's Holiday Collection Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Liu (2012), Dior - Les Rouges Or (2011), NARS - Holiday 2010 Collection (2010), Guerlain - Imperiale (2009)

Body

Best High-End Body Wash

Philosophy - 3-in-1 Shower Gel

These are my not-so-secret obsession. I have a total “gotta try ‘em all” mentality with these, because they’re constantly coming out with new, limited scents. I find that one big 16 oz. bottles lasts two people (me and my boyfriend) over a month, and let me tell you, the boyfriend has no concept of skimping whatsoever! I just love how often they hit the nail on the head with the scents. Pumpkin Spice for the win!

Read Philosophy Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Philosophy - 3-in-1 Shower Gel (2013), Philosophy - 3-in-1 Shower Gel (2011), Philosophy - 3-in-1 Shower Gel (2010)

Best Budget Body Wash

Shea Moisture - Three Butters Wash & Scrub Body Wash

Shea Moisture Three Butters Wash and Scrub was a surprise winner! I picked it up on a whim, but it’s very effective, gentle enough for every day use, and smells like sandalwood all day long. It’s very, very fragranced, but it helps keep skin clean and hydrated post-shower, too.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Shea Moisture - Three Butters Wash & Scrub Body Wash (2013), Dove - Deep Moisture Body Wash (2011), Dove - Deep Moisture Body Wash (2010), Dove - Deep Moisture Body Wash (2009)

Best High-End Body Moisturizer

Kiehl's - Crème de Corps

I think what makes Crème de Corps so remarkable is how lightweight and lotion-like the texture is when it delivers heavy duty hydration; the effect it has on my dragon scaled legs is what I see with a body butter or cream. The hydration continues all day long, and it doesn’t feel greasy or oily. It’s scent-free (smells like lotion but no added scent I could detect), which is a big bonus if you love to wear perfume (or don’t want any scents at all!).

Read Kiehl's Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Kiehl's - Creme de Corps (2013), Kiehl's - Creme de Corps (2011), Jo Malone - Body Creme (2010), Crabtree and Evelyn - Soothing Body Lotion (2009)

Best High-End Body Scrub

Clinique - Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream

This is a very fine scrub, so it doesn’t have a really heavy grit that might be too much for some. It’s thick, almost creamy, and applies easily over damp skin. It leaves my skin feeling super smooth and ready for moisturizer. It’s a very no-frills kind of product!

Read the Clinique Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Clinique - Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream (2013), Clinique - Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream (2011), Kiehl's - Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub (2010), Kiehl's - Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub (2009)

Best Budget Body Scrub

Haus of Gloi - Lavender Sugar

Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs have a lightly foaming base with both fine and medium grain sugars, and then they add shea butter so you feel moisturized post-scrub, too. I love that you can buy a sample size (2 oz.) for $3.50; sample sizes are probably the best part (my opinion, of course) about shopping with smaller companies. This scrub has a nice mix of sugar granules that really do melt while you’re massaging the product against the skin, but it doesn’t melt instantaneously–about thirty to forty-five seconds of massaging and most of the granules have dissolved.

Read the Haus of Gloi Lavender Sugar Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Haus of Gloi - Lavender Sugar (2013), LUSH - Buffy the Backside Slayer (2011), LUSH - Ocean Salt (2010), Soap and Glory - Sugar Crush Body Scrub (2009)

Best High-End Hand Cream

Jack Black - Industrial Strength Hand Healer

It’s incredibly moisturizing, even on the toughest, cracked and peeling hands (or feet!) and never feels greasy. It has this manly scent–it’s woodsy with a little eucalyptus, but it’s not really unpleasant nor something I’d like to bathe myself in.

Read the Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Jack Black - Industrial Strength Hand Healer (2013), Jack Black - Industrial Strength Hand Healer (2011), Ellen Sirot - Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream (2010), Ellen Sirot - Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream (2009)

Best Budget Hand Cream

Eucerin - PLUS Intensive Repair Hand Cream

Fragrance-free, non-greasy, and quick to absorb, Eucerin has a no-frills hand cream that will keep cracked and dried skin at bay.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Eucerin - PLUS Intensive Repair Hand Cream (2013), Eucerin - PLUS Intensive Repair Hand Cream (2011), Eucerin - PLUS Intensive Repair Hand Cream (2010), Nivea - Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream (2009)

Cheek

Best High-End Bronzer

Guerlain - Terracotta Bronzing Powder

Such a subtle but noticeable way to bronze–soft, silky smooth finely-milled powder that applies delicately and naturally.

Read the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Terracotta Bronzing Powder (2013), Guerlain - Terracotta Bronzing Powder (2011), Guerlain - Terracotta Bronzing Powder (2010), Chanel - Soleil tan de Chanel (2009)

Best Budget Bronzer

Neutrogena - Natural Radiance Bronzer

Neutrogena’s Natural Radiance Bronzer is lightweight, never powdery, and has a natural finish that doesn’t look over-the-top. It’s easy to blend, and there’s a good amount of pigmentation.

Read Neutrogena Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Neutrogena - Natural Radiance Bronzer (2013), NYC - Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder (2011), Rimmel - Natural Bronzer (2010), Rimmel - Natural Bronzer (2009)

Best High-End Cream Blush

Chanel - Le Blush Crème de Chanel

The pigmentation of Chanel's newest blush formula is off-the-charts! It's so, so pigmented, and a little goes such a long way, which makes these well worth the investment. The formula is cream-to-powder, so they have the blendability and feel of a cream when initially applied but set to a powder finish that looks natural, wears well, and never feels tacky.

View All of the Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Make Up For Ever - HD Blush (2013), Make Up For Ever - HD Blush (2011), Make Up For Ever - HD Blush (2010), MAC Cosmetics - Blushcreme (2009)

Best Budget Cream Blush

Revlon - Cream Blush

Revlon Cream Blushes are easy-to-use creamy, smooth blushes that add just a subtle hint of color to cheeks. The end result is very natural, yet you’ll notice you have more color on your cheeks. The compact is kind of cute, with a little pop-out mirror for on-the-go application. (Personally, I use a stippling brush with creamy blushes, so it’s not actually so practical for me!) One piece of advice, though, what you see in the pan is not quite what you get — so don’t let the color in the pan intimidate you!

Read Revlon Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - Cream Blush (2013), Revlon - Cream Blush (2011), Revlon - Cream Blush (2010), Revlon - Cream Blush (2009)

Best High-End Powder Blush

Tom Ford - Cheek Color

This powder is insanely soft; it feels like velvet against the skin–so finely milled that it really does have a creaminess to it, even though it is most definitely a powder product. The shimmer is fine, not too much, and most of it translates into a sheen rather than a shimmer. My favorite part about the formula was that this blush would wear for ten hours without fading on me. It may be one of the longest-wearing blushes I’ve tried to date. My very favorite shade is Lovelust.

View All of the Tom Ford Cheek Color Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Tom Ford - Cheek Color (2013), Benefit - Boxed Powder (2011), Rock & Republic - Blush (2010), Guerlain - Blush 4 Eclat (2009)

Best Budget Powder Blush

NYX - Powder Blush

NYX Powder Blush comes in so many shades that it’s going to be hard not to find at least one shade that works well for you. Because of the variety, there are softer shades, bolder hues, and everything in-between, making it a range that is interesting and versatile.

Read NYX Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX - Powder Blush (2013), Rimmel - Blush (2011), Rimmel - Blush (2010), CoverGirl - Cheekers Blush (2009)

Best High-End Contouring Powder

MAC - Sculpting Powder

This is thus far my favorite powder to contour with! There are six shades in the range, and my personal shade that I use is Sculpt, which is a soft taupe, kind of a subtle gray-brown. Perfectly shadowy, nicely pigmented, and easily blended into a great contour.

Read MAC Cosmetics Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC - Sculpting Powder (2013)

Best Budget Contouring Powder

NYX - Powder Blush (Taupe, Cocoa)

NYX’s Powder Blush range has so many colors that it also has great hues that work well for contouring the skin–favorites being Taupe and Cocoa. This formula is lightweight, blendable, and nicely pigmented.

Read NYX Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX - Powder Blush (Taupe, Cocoa) (2013)

Best High-End Highlighter

Kevyn Aucoin - Celestial Powder

The selling point of this product is its texture: silky-smooth, buttery, and incredibly finely-milled. It’s a product that delivers a true sheen of a finish–it’s not sparkling, shimmery, or glittery in any way. It can be applied as a subtle, barely-there glow or as something more metallic, almost wet-looking, with a denser brush. For a really lovely result, I liked using a fan brush across the tops of cheek bones. I just love that it can be dusted all-over with the right brush or applied as a more traditional, targeted highlighter!

Read the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Meteorites Pressed Powders (2013), Guerlain - Parure de Nuit / Guerlain Highlighters (2011), Guerlain - Meteorites (2010), Dior - DiorSkin Shimmer (2009)

Best Budget Highlighter

Physicians Formula - Mineral Glow Pearls

If you’re a fan of Guerlain’s pressed Meteorites, these will seem a little familiar. They’re a little frostier, but they still add a nice glow to the cheeks without being too heavy.

Read the Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Physicians Formula - Mineral Glow Pearls (2013), Physicians Formula - Mineral Glow Pearls (2011), NYX - Highlighter Mosaic Powder (2010), Physicians Formula - Shimmer Strips (2009)

Eyes

Best High-End Eyeshadow Base

NARS - Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base

It’s nearly transparent when applied and light-as-air. I love that it helps my eyeshadow stay on all day without creasing but doesn’t mute the vibrancy, either. The matte finish also allows me to wear matte eyeshadows without changing the texture. When I need an eyeshadow primer, this is the one I reach for. This is the only eyeshadow primer I’ve repurchase in the past few years.

Read the Full Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NARS - Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (2013), NARS - Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (2011), NARS - Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (2010), MAC Cosmetics - Paint Pots (2009)

Best Budget Eyeshadow Base

NYX - Eyeshadow Base

NYX Eyeshadow Base is a short and sweet product in three different shades (White, Pearl, and Skin Tone). I find Pearl is nice under more shimmery shades, but Skin Tone is good in a variety of situations, so it’s more versatile. It does a good job of extending the wear of your eyeshadow and giving you a base for the color to grab onto and look true to form.

Read the Full Eyeshadow Base Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX - Eyeshadow Base (2013), NYX - Eyeshadow Base (2011), NYX - Eyeshadow Base (2010), NYX - Eyeshadow Base (2009)

Best High-End Cream Eyeshadow

Dior - Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow

The texture is squishy, pressable, and definitely a cross between a mousse and gel. It applies and feels like a cream eyeshadow when you skim your brush across the product. It remains movable and blendable for about thirty seconds or so, but it is not too emollient, so it doesn’t settle into creases or lines while you wait for it to set. They're so sparkling, shimmering, and nicely pigmented, so they can work as an all-over wash of sparkling magic or as a fuller, more pigmented look alone or as a base for your favorite powder eyeshadows.

Read the Full Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Chanel - Illusion d'Ombre (2013), Chanel - Illusion d'Ombre (2011), Benefit - Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow (2010), Benefit - Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow (2009)

Best Budget Cream Eyeshadow

Maybelline - Color Tattoo 24 Hour Color Eyeshadow

They come in cute jars but are filled with a long-wearing, creamy, buildable product that really outdoes the majority of cream eyeshadows found among budget-friendly brands.

View All of the Color Tattoo 24 Hour Color Eyeshadow Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Maybelline - Color Tattoo 24 Hour Color Eyeshadow (2013), Maybelline - Color Tattoo 24 Hour Color Eyeshadow (2011), L'Oreal - HIP Cream Shadow Paint (2010), Wet 'n' Wild - Wild MegaEyes Cream Eyeshadow (2009)

Best High-End Loose Eyeshadow

Illamasqua - Pigment

Illamasqua’s Pure Pigment has an impressive range of unique colors with a lot of subtleties and nuances. They have always had a beautiful texture–so finely milled and pigmented. The packaging could be better, though–the uniqueness of the colors tends to make up for that.

Read the Full Illamasqua Pigment Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Illamasqua - Pure Pigment (2013), Illamasqua - Pigment (2011), Illamasqua - Pigment (2010)

Best Budget Loose Eyeshadow

Fyrinnae - Eyeshadow

If you love loose eyeshadows, Fyrinnae makes it hard not to collect 'em all! They have a massive selection, but they also have some really unique shades and finishes with colors that transform and shift depending on the lighting and angle.

View All of the Fyrinnae Eyeshadow Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Sugarpill - Chromalust (2013), Sugarpill - Chromalust (2011), Sugarpill - Chromalust (2010)

Best High-End Powder Eyeshadow

bareMinerals - Ready Eyeshadow

bareMinerals’ Ready range is an eyeshadow formula I could use and use exclusively and not feel like I was missing out. It is a truly excellent formula with a wide range of colors and finishes. They are consistently top notch in quality, but I love that they really reach across the spectrum of color. You have pops of color plus a strong neutral range. I’ve been a huge fan of the Ready eyeshadow range since it debuted, and I continue to be impressed by each new release.

View All of the bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
bareMinerals - Ready Eyeshadow (2013), Giorgio Armani - Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow (2011), MAC Cosmetics - Eyeshadow (2009)

Best Budget Powder Eyeshadow

Makeup Geek - Eyeshadow

Makeup Geek eyeshadows are nicely pigmented, long-wearing, and very, very blendable! Their blendability was the first thing I noticed about them when I started testing them last year. There is also a large selection of shades to choose from, so it's a very complete and full range to opt for if you're building your stash.

View All of the Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Milani - Powder Eyeshadow (2013), Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Eyeshadow (2011), Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Eyeshadow (2010), Sonia Kashuk - Eyeshadow (2009)

Best High-End Eyeshadow Pencil

Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-on Shadow Pencil

Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-on Shadow Pencils are nicely pigmented, smooth and creamy, and long-wearing–I don’t have any problems with fading, smudging, or creasing throughout the day when I wear these alone or as an eyeshadow base! They’re very much like jumbo-sized 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils!

View All of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Shadow Pencil Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-on Shadow Pencil (2013)

Best Budget Eyeshadow Pencil

Milani - Shadow Eyez

Milani Shadow Eyez last as long as ten hours on me, and they’re creamy, buildable in color, nicely pigmented, and are comfortable to wear alone or as an eyeshadow base.

View All of the Milani Shadow Eyez Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Milani - Shadow Eyez (2013)

Best High-End Glitter Eyeshadow

Make Up For Ever - Holodiam Powder

Make Up For Ever’s Holodiam Powder is a really transformative product that incorporates with your existing makeup wardrobe and amps them up with a sparkling, duo (or triple) chrome finish.

Read All of the Make Up For Ever Holodiam Powder Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Make Up For Ever - Holodiam Powder (2013)

Best Budget Glitter Eyeshadow

Lit Cosmetics - Glitter

Lit’s Glitters are all cosmetic-grade, which means you don’t have to worry about the glitter scratching your eyes (and this is why you want to stay away from using craft-grade glitters on the eyes!). They have numerous shades and sizes, so you can opt for larger glitter or micro-fine glitter!

View All of the Lit Cosmetics Glitter Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Lit Cosmetics - Glitter (2013)

Best High-End Glitter Eyeliner

Tarina Tarantino - Eyelicity Glitter Liner

These are so beautiful when applied, especially over other shades, as they tend to be better layered than alone. I wish the shade range would be expanded, because the formula itself doesn’t smudge, flake, or run at all during the day.

Read the Tarina Tarantino Eyelicity Glitter Liner Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Tarina Tarantino - Eyelicity Glitter Liner (2013)

Best Budget Glitter Eyeliner

LASplash - Glitter Eyeliner

The LA Splash Glitter Liquid Eyeliners have beautiful, fine glitter that sparlkes and stays put once it dries in place. Bonus? Huge shade range!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
LA Splash - Glitter Eyeliner (2013)

Best High-End Liquid Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever - Aqua Liner

With a full, bold and beautiful shade range, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners are my favorite in liquid eyeliners. They’re nicely pigmented, smudge- and budge-proof, wear all day long, and have a great applicator.

Read the Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Make Up For Ever - Aqua Liner (2013), Make Up For Ever - Aqua Liner (2011), MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2010), MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2009)

Best Budget Liquid Eyeliner

L'Oreal - Lineur Intense

With a felt-tip applicator, this pen gives precision results in an affordable package. Rich, intense color glides along effortlessly and stays on all day.

Read L'Oreal Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
L'Oreal - Lineur Intense (2013), L'Oreal - Lineur Intense (2011), Revlon - ColorStay Liquid Liner (2010), Wet 'n' Wild - MegaEyes Liquid Liner (2009)

Best High-End Pencil Eyeliner

Tarina Tarantino - Eye Dream Hyperliner

With true-to-pencil color payoff, a creamy, glide-on texture, and all-day wear, these were a no-brainer. These have so much pigmentation in a single pass, and they wear incredibly well; these are always within reach for me.

Read All the Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Tarina Tarantino - Eye Dream Hyperliner (2013), Tarina Tarantino - Eye Dream Hyperliner (2011), Urban Decay - 24/7 Liner (2010), Urban Decay - 24/7 Liner (2009)

Best Budget Pencil Eyeliner

Sephora - Contour Eye Pencil

If you're in need of a budget-friendly eyeliner that wears well and comes in a spectrum of shades from basic blacks and browns to bright yellow, Sephora's Eye Contour Pencils have your number. The sheer variety is incredible, and the overall performance, pigmentation, and wear were much appreciated and enjoyed.

View All the Sephora Contour Eye Pencil Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Milani - Liquif'Eye (2013), Milani - Liquif'Eye (2011), Milani - Liquif'Eye (2010), L'Oreal - HIP Chrome Eyeliner (2009)

Best High-End Gel Eyeliner

NARS - Eye Paint

I love that NARS Eye Paints has a slightly creamier formula than other gel eyeliners that enables it to work as well as a cream eyeshadow as it does as a gel eyeliner. The shade range is fantastic and covers the basics, plus some more fun additions like Solomon Islands (cyan blue). They're very long-wearing and pigmented, too!

View All the NARS Eye Paint Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2013), MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2011), MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2010), MAC Cosmetics - Fluidline (2009)

Best Budget Gel Eyeliner

Wet 'n' Wild - MegaEyes Crème Liner

MegaEyes Creme Liners are affordable and apply smoothly with nice color pay off and no dragging or patchiness. I’d love to see the brand expand the shade range.

Read Wet 'n' Wild Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Wet 'n' Wild - MegaEyes Creme Liner (2013), Wet 'n' Wild - MegaEyes Creme Liner (2011), Wet 'n' Wild - MegaEyes Creme Liner (2010), Sonia Kashuk - Gel Eyeliner (2009)

Best High-End Dramatic Mascara

Hourglass - Film Noir Mascara

When I need a dramatic mascara, this has become my go-to, because it gives me rich, inky black lashes while providing longer, thicker, and fuller lashes (my lashes need a lot of help!).

Read Hourglass Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Hourglass - Film Noir Mascara (2013), Hourglass - Film Noir Mascara (2011), Chanel - Inimitable Intense (2010)

Best Budget Dramatic Mascara

L'Oreal - Telescopic

Telescopic delivers a nice amount of length, along with a little thickening and an excellent blackness in the color.

Read L'Oreal Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
L'Oreal - Telescopic (2013), L'Oreal - Telescopic (2011), L'Oreal - Telescopic (2010)

Best High-End Natural Mascara

Bobbi Brown - Everything Mascara

For soft, natural lashes, Bobbi Brown Everything makes it easy to achieve. I know that there are almost-no-makeup days where more intense mascara would look out of place, so I opt for softer mascaras like this one.

Read Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Bobbi Brown - Everything Mascara (2013), Bobbi Brown - Everything Mascara (2011), Kiehl's - Marvelous Mineral Mascara (2010)

Best Budget Natural Mascara

Maybelline - Full 'n Soft

This is one of my all-time favorite mascaras, because it consistently delivers soft, plush lashes with length and volume. For that soft look that’s still emphasizing and lengthening, this is my go-to.

Read Maybelline Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2013), Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2011), Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2010)

Best High-End Lengthening Mascara

Buxom - Lash

Buxom Lash is amazing for length; you can easily achieve mile-high (long) lashes without ever clumping. It also separates and defines lashes very well.

Read Buxom Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Buxom - Lash (2013), Buxom - Lash (2011), Buxom - Lash (2010)

Best Budget Lengthening Mascara

CoverGirl - LashBlast

CoverGirl’s LashBlast–the original–is a good multi-tasking mascara, but it is particularly good at length (surprisingly better at it than its LashBlast Length sister!).

Read CoverGirl LashBlast Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
CoverGirl - LashBlast (2013), CoverGirl - LashBlast (2011), CoverGirl - LashBlast (2010)

Best High-End Mascara

Giorgio Armani - Eyes to Kill Mascara

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara is inky black, dramatic, lengthening, and volumizing. It also wears without flaking or feeling crunchy.

Read Giorgio Armani Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Giorgio Armani - Eyes to Kill Mascara (2013), Hourglass - Film Noir Mascara (2011), Chanel - Exceptionnel (2010), Chanel - Exceptionnel (2009)

Best Budget Mascara

Maybelline - Full 'n Soft

This is one of my all-time favorite mascaras, because it consistently delivers soft, plush lashes with length and volume. Not the most dramatic mascara but a beautiful one nonetheless.

Read Maybelline Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2013), Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2011), Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2010), Maybelline Full 'n Soft (2009)

Best High-End False Eyelashes

Make Up For Ever - False Eyelashes

I love the kind of variety that Make Up For Ever has in their false eyelash range–you have wild and crazy but then tamer, more natural lashes.

Read Make Up For Ever Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Make Up For Ever False Eyelashes (2013), Urban Decay - False Eyelashes (2011), Urban Decay - False Eyelashes (2010), Shu Uemura - False Eyelashes (2009)

Best Budget False Eyelashes

Revlon - False Eyelashes

I like the variety in Revlon’s False Eyelashes line, and I also love that they have self-adhesive lashes, too (which I tried per readers’ recommendations last year!)–they’re even easier to apply than Revlon’s regular False Eyelashes. They’re good for multiple uses, too.

Read Revlon Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - False Eyelashes (2013), Revlon - False Eyelashes (2011), Revlon - False Eyelashes (2010), Revlon - False Eyelashes (2009)

Face

Best High-End Face Primer

Hourglass - Mineral Veil

The lightweight texture that creates a really smooth canvas (and hasn’t broken me out). Mineral Veil makes everything else I layer on top of my skin look noticeably better. I think that “smooth canvas” enables foundation to apply and settle better against the skin. It also helps to extend the wear of my face products!

Read the Hourglass Mineral Veil Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Hourglass - Mineral Veil (2013), Hourglass - Mineral Veil (2011), Korres - Silicone-Free Primer (2010), Korres - Silicone-Free Primer (2009)

Best High-End Concealer

Cle de Peau - Concealer

I really didn’t want to be the person who fell in love with this. I was secretly hoping to test it out and find it lacking, but it is devastatingly good. If you have drier skin around your eyes, this helps provides additional moisture, so it doesn’t look caked or dried around the eyes. It lasts ten hours or longer on me without creasing or settling into fine lines. The coverage is buildable but more medium to full if you use it directly from the tube. Worth the hype! What edges this out over some really tough competition is the added creaminess and portability.

Read Cle de Peau Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Cle de Peau - Concealer (2013), Cle de Peau - Concealer (2011), Eve Pearl - Salmon Concealer (2010), Eve Pearl - Salmon Concealer (2009)

Best Budget Concealer

Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector

This is a double-ended product for highlighting and concealing, but the concealer does a really nice job providing enough opacity to cover darker under eye circles. It has a nice creamy consistency that makes it easy to blend out the color.

Read Maybelline Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector (2013), Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector (2011), Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector (2010), L'Oreal - Visible Lift Under Eye (2009)

Best High-End Cream Foundation

Eve Pearl - Dual HD Foundation

When I have a lot of breakouts or areas that need covering up, this is the foundation I usually opt for. It provides medium to full coverage, and I love that there is a lighter and darker side, because it allows for really great color matching.

Read Eve Pearl Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Eve Pearl - Dual HD Foundation (2013), Eve Pearl - Dual HD Foundation (2011), Eve Pearl - Dual HD Foundation (2010)

Best Budget Cream Foundation

Maybelline - Dream Smooth Mousse

It’s a very emollient, creamy foundation that gives medium coverage. A little goes a long way, so I recommend going for less at first, to ensure you don’t over-apply!

Read Maybelline Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Maybelline - Dream Smooth Mousse (2013), Maybelline - Dream Smooth Mousse (2011), Maybelline - Dream Smooth Mousse (2010)

Best High-End Liquid Foundation

Guerlain - Lingerie de Peau Foundation

After Guerlain discontinued Parure Gold (my previous favorite), I went back to Lingerie de Peau, which I've always loved (it received an A+ when I first reviewed it), and I've definitely fallen in love all over again. What's really nice about Lingerie de Peau is it is more suitable for all skin types and throughout the year. It also has light-medium and buildable coverage, so you can adjust depending on what you need at that moment. It gives the skin such a smooth, natural finish and covers just the right amount so skin looks like skin but better.

Read the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Parure Gold (2013), Guerlain - Parure Gold (2011), Guerlain - Parure Gold (2010), Guerlain - Parure Gold (2009)

Best Budget Liquid Foundation

Revlon - Colorstay

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation is a natural-looking liquid foundation that feels lightweight and provides medium coverage. It looks really good on, but there are a few areas where it could be improved (primarily, scent — has kind of a cheap, chemical scent). It’s one of the better drugstore foundations I’ve tried in the past few years, though, because ultimately, it looks natural and gives good coverage without being too heavy and lasts for hours!

Read the Revlon Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - Colorstay (2013), Revlon - Colorstay (2011), Revlon - Colorstay (2010), Revlon - Colorstay (2009)

Best High-End Powder Foundation

Clinique - Almost Makeup Powder

What I love about Clinique’s Almost Makeup Powder is that it doesn’t feel or look like you’re wearing powder foundation. It’s soft, lightweight, and provides light to medium coverage without looking caked on.

Read the Clinique Almost Makeup Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Clinique - Almost Makeup Powder (2013), Clinique - Almost Makeup Powder (2011), Clinique - Almost Makeup Powder (2010)

Best Budget Powder Foundation

Milani - Minerals Compact Makeup

If you’re in the market for a powder-based foundation that yields natural-looking finish that’s light-to-medium in coverage, this is something worth checking out to keep your budget in check. It is finely-milled, soft to the touch, and easy to apply.

Read Milani Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Milani - Minerals Compact Makeup (2013), Milani - Minerals Compact Makeup (2011), Maybelline - PureStay Foundation (2010)

Best High-End Tinted Moisturizer

NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer comes in an assortment of shades, which makes it one of the larger tinted moisturizer ranges. It comes with a good level of SPF (30), feels comfortable on–lightweight but still evens out the skin, and has a natural finish.

Read NARS Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (2013), Kiehl's - Tinted Moisturizer (2011), Kiehl's - Tinted Moisturizer (2010), Kiehl's - Tinted Moisturizer (2009)

Best Budget Tinted Moisturizer

Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer is an affordable tinted moisturizer that holds up well during the summer and leaves skin looking naturally dewy. It also contains SPF 20, which is a nice bonus. I know it also has “retinol treatment” in it, but I couldn’t tell you if it’s effective or not.

Read Neutrogena Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer (2013), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer (2011), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer (2010), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer (2009)

Best High-End Setting Powder

Guerlain - Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder

It’s a sheer, tinted powder that mattifies the skin–my skin looks like the smoothest velvet after applying over foundation. The texture is incredibly finely-milled, silky smooth, and blends easily across the skin. The most stunning aspect of this powder is really how much smoother and pore-less the skin looked after applying a light veil of product.

Read the Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Les Voilettes Mineral Powder (2013), Guerlain - Les Voilettes Mineral Powder (2011), Laura Mercier - Loose Setting Powder (2010), Laura Mercier - Loose Setting Powder (2009)

Best Budget Setting Powder

NYC - Smooth Skin Loose Powder

I prefer the Translucent shade, since you don’t have to worry about color-matching. It’s a loose powder with a really soft, silky feel that really blends and presses easily against the skin without looking powdery. The packaging could use some help, so I recommend taping over some of the holes so that you don’t get too much excess powder over time, but the interior product is great.

Read NYC Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYC - Smooth Skin Loose Powder (2013), NYC - Smooth Skin Loose Powder (2011), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Loose Powder (2010), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Loose Powder (2009)

Best High-End Finishing Powder

Guerlain - Meteorites Pressed Powder

Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders are really a pressed version of their famous Meteorite with less emphasis on shimmer, more on radiance, brightening, and creating an illusion of better skin. That’s really what these powders do for me: give me the effect of Photoshop in real life. They’re a subtle something-rather that no one can point to and say, “Oh, nice highlighter!’ but instead say, “Hey, are you doing something different with your skin today?”

Read the Guerlain Meteorites Pressed Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Meteorites Pressed Powder (2013)

Best Budget Finishing Powder

Physicians Formula - Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder

The Translucent version of the Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder helps to soften the overall appearance of the skin without looking heavy, caked on, or powdery.

Read the Physicians Formula - Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Physicians Formula - Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder (2013)

Hair

Best High-End Conditioner

Redken - All Soft

For super soft, lustrous locks, Redken has been keeping my hair at its healthiest without weighing it down! I have really thick, heavy hair to begin with, so any additional weight is extremely unwelcome—the softness almost makes me feel like my hair is lighter!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Redken - All Soft (2013), Redken - All Soft (2011), Oscar Blandi - Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Conditioner (2010), Oscar Blandi - Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Conditioner (2009)

Best Budget Conditioner

Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle

This is an excellent conditioner if you suffer from drier hair, because it is so hydrating and always helps my hair feel better if I’ve used a lot of styling tools on it. It is coconut-scented, though, which may not be everyone’s favorite scent.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle (2013), Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle (2011), Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle (2010), Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle (2009)

Best High-End Shampoo

Redken - All Soft

I loved how soft this made my hair feel while giving my hair a good cleansing; it didn’t feel stripped or dried afterward (and for a few weeks, I only used the shampoo with nothing else—no conditioner). I do like it best when used in conjunction with the conditioner, but it works well on its own for my hair type.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Redken - All Soft (2013), Redken - All Soft (2011), LiQWD - Volumizing Shampoo (2010), LiQWD - Volumizing Shampoo (2009)

Best Budget Shampoo

Aussie - Moist Shampoo

Aussie Moist Shampoo helps keep my hair from getting dried out and looking very healthy. My hair always feels really soft and smooth after using this!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Aussie - Moist Shampoo (2013), Aussie - Moist Shampoo (2011), Aussie - Moist Shampoo (2010), Aussie - Moist Shampoo (2009)

Best Clarifying Shampoo

Suave - Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair is a must in any household, because it’s great for ensuring you get all the bits of residue left behind by styling products. I don’t use too many styling products, so I don’t always need a clarifying shampoo, which is why I love how affordable this one is. Even though Suave calls it “Daily,” I’d recommend it more for once a week or less usage.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Suave - Daily Clarifying Shampoo (2013), Suave - Daily Clarifying Shampoo (2011), Suave - Daily Clarifying Shampoo (2010), Suave - Daily Clarifying Shampoo (2009)

Best High-End Dry Shampoo

Klorane - Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

This is a quick and easy-to-use product that helps stave off a shampoo if you are pressed for time. A little of this sprayed on roots and combed through helps hair to look fresher, less oily, and doesn’t leave any powdery residue behind.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Klorane - Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (2013), T3 - Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo (2011), T3 - Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo (2010), T3 - Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo (2009)

Best Budget Dry Shampoo

Batiste - Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo works really well at soaking up any residual oils in the hair and helps give my hair some life in-between washes. Even on my dark black-brown hair, the powder absorbs and doesn’t look like dandruff later on!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Batiste - Dry Shampoo (2013), Batiste - Dry Shampoo (2011)

Best High-End Hair Spray

Bumble & Bumble - Spray de Mode

Spray de Mode is an excellent hair spray that provides all-day-long hold while still providing flexibility and softness, so hair doesn’t feel crunchy, stiff, or full of product.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Bumble & Bumble - Spray de Mode (2013), Bumble & Bumble - Spray de Mode (2011), Bumble & Bumble - Spray de Mode (2010)

Best Budget Hair Spray

TRESemme - Extra Hold Hair Spray

I’ve used this numerous times when I’ve curled my hair, and it always keeps the curls defined without making them too crunchy or sticky. The scent isn’t lovely but doesn’t last too long.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
TRESemme - Extra Hold Hair Spray (2013), TRESemme - Extra Hold Hair Spray (2011), TRESemme - Extra Hold Hair Spray (2010)

Best High-End Heat Protectant

Alterna - Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray

One of the best parts about Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray is that it’s rated for protection of up to 428 degrees–that’s a LOT of heat–and it really does help protect hair from being damaged through the usage of heat tools. It’s also very lightweight, doesn’t feel tacky, and seems to make it easier to comb through my hair.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Alterna - Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray (2013), Paul Mitchell - Hot Off the Press (2011), Paul Mitchell - Hot Off the Press (2010)

Best Budget Heat Protectant

TRESemme - Hair Tamer Protective Spray

TRESemme’s Hair Tamer helps hair to retain its softness after blow drying or styling with a curling or flat iron–my hair always seems to have a bit more bounce after using this product.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
TRESemme - Hair Tamer Protective Spray (2013), TRESemme - Hair Tamer Protective Spray (2011), TRESemme - Hair Tamer Protective Spray (2010)

Lips

Best High-End Lip Balm

Jack Black - Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm

Many Jack Black Lip Balms later, and these are still my favorite, which I have repurchased countless times at this point! I always have five or more stashed away, and I keep a tube at my desk, purse, nightstand, and even in my pocket when I go out. These lip balms moisturize so, so well, and they last for hours on the lips. I put it on before bed and I can still feel some of it left when I wake up eight hours later.

Read the Jack Black Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Jack Black - Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm (2013), Jack Black - Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm (2011), Jack Black - Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm (2010), Philosophy - Kiss Me Intense Lip Therapy (2009)

Best Budget Lip Balm

EOS - Smoothing Sphere Lip Balm

It comes in cute spherical packaging, and on the inside, there is a hydrating ball of goodness. It’s the best lip balm I’ve tried that comes in at a budget-friendly price tag. The packaging isn’t as convenient as some traditional lip balms, since it can’t easily fit into your pocket.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
EOS - Smoothing Sphere Lip Balm (2013), EOS - Smoothing Sphere Lip Balm (2011), Palmers - Cocoa Butter Stick (2010), Yes to Carrots - Lip Butter (2009)

Best High-End Tinted Lip Balm

Korres - Lip Butter Glaze

It has a slick, gel-gloss hybrid-like texture that glides onto the lips easily and remains movable while you wear it. It is non-sticky, yields semi-sheer to semi-opaque color, and smells of sweet vanilla (think MAC lipglosses). The finish has a high-gloss shine–it’s really a balm-like gloss overall–which lasts for about two hours, while the product itself seems to last right around the three-hour mark. It’s hydrating while worn, and I’ve been using it after a lip-swatching-session, and it’s done a good job restoring hydration and making my lips feel whole again.

Read the Korres Lip Butter Glaze Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Korres - Lip Butter Glaze (2013)

Best Budget Tinted Lip Balm

Palladio - Tinted Lip Balm

Lightly tinted, hydrating, and vanilla-scented, Palladio’s Tinted Lip Balms are exactly what you want in a lip balm. They’re also convenient to apply!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Palladio - Tinted Lip Balm (2013)

Best High-End Lip Scrub/Treatment

Sara Happ - The Lip Scrub

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub is a deliciously scented sugar-based lip scrub that exfoliates well without tearing. It always leaves my lips smooth and soft — totally necessary when you take way zoomed in photos of your lips on the regular!

Read the Sara Happ The Lip Scrub Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Sara Happ - The Lip Scrub (2013), Sara Happ - The Lip Scrub (2011), Sara Happ - The Lip Scrub (2010), Sara Happ - The Lip Scrub (2009)

Best Budget Lip Scrub/Treatment

Aubrey Elizabeth Apothecary - Lemon Lip Scrub

This is such an affordable and effective lip scrub! I love the Lemon flavor, as it tastes like sweet lemonade and reminds me of summer. The fine granules in the thicker base make it easy to apply, massage against the lips, and get rid of any unevenness on the lip in a gentle fashion.

Read the Aubrey Elizabeth Apothecary Lemon Lip Scrub Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Jojoba oil + sugar (2013), Jojoba oil + sugar (2011), Jojoba oil + sugar (2010), Jojoba oil + sugar (2009)

Best High-End Lipstick

Guerlain - Rouge G Lipstick

From low to luxury, Guerlain’s Rouge G is still the best overall lipstick. The colors are nuanced, complex, and wearable–with some bolder, playful standouts as well. The formula itself is excellent—opaque color coverage, hydrating, long-wearing, and comfortable to wear. There is no lipstick that makes me go, “Oh, that’s good,” when applied as often and as consistently as Rouge G.

View All the Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Guerlain - Rouge G Lipstick (2013), Guerlain - Rouge G Lipstick (2011), Guerlain - Rouge G Lipstick (2010), Chanel - Rouge Allure Laque (2009)

Best Budget Lipstick

Maybelline - ColorSensational Vivid LipColor

Maybelline's newest Vivids definitely took the blogosphere by storm in 2013! From their rich pigmentation to bold and bright hues, they were fun to wear and test. Even better, the formula was long-wearing, hydrating, and forgiving when applied to the lips--and the fact that they were all intensely pigmented just sweetened the deal.

View All the Maybelline ColorSensational Vivid LipColor Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter (2013), Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter (2011), Maybelline - ColorSensational (2010), Maybelline - ColorSensational (2009)

Best High-End Long-Wearing Lipstick

Giorgio Armani - Lip Maestro

It has a velvety texture and if you’re familiar with silicone-based primers, it also has that feel, too. Very smooth, and the consistency is thin and glides on, yet it adheres well without being clingy or drying. It seems glossy close-up, but from a normal distance, it has a modern matte finish–not flat but not glossy. The best part about this long-wearing formula is that it wears (and feels) like a lipstick; so it doesn’t flake or peel off at all and fades naturally and evenly over time.

View All the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Giorgio Armani - Lip Maestro (2013)

Best Budget Long-Wearing Lipstick

Revlon - ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor

Revlon’s ColorStay Overtime locks onto the lips with rich color and stays there until you remove it (make sure to use something oil-based) or eat a bucket of fried chicken!

Read Revlon Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor (2013)

Best High-End Liquid Lipstick

OCC - Lip Tar

Lip Tars are extremely pigmented, long-wearing, and dry down to a satin-matte finish with just a slight sheen. They’re not drying, and I don’t find that they bleed or feather on me. They are mint-scented and come in small, squeeze tubes but are meant to be applied with a lip brush.

View All the OCC Lip Tar Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
OCC Lip Tar Shades (2013), Chanel - Rouge Allure Laque (2011), Chanel - Rouge Allure Laque (2010)

Best Budget Liquid Lipstick

NYX - Soft Matte Lip Creams

These provide semi-matte, mostly opaque color coverage to lips. It’s a softer matte look, so it’s not as drying as full-on mattes can be, and the liquid application allows for a creamier, more even application. Sometimes with a matte finish, it will drag across the lips and apply in patches, but these apply even without trouble.

Read the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX - Soft Matte Lip Creams (2013), NYX - Soft Matte Lip Creams (2011), NYC - Liquid Lipstick (2010)

Best High-End Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss is a staple product for me. If you forced me to commit to a single gloss formula, I’d go here. I can say that without hesitation, and I really can’t do that with most products. I will equivocate and hum and haw and tell you it depends on the shade or occasion or the like, because it’s usually true, and it’s hard to pick one favorite and commit to it. This formula is high-shine, non-sticky, comfortable and hydrating to wear, wears well, and has shimmer that really wows. My favorite shades are Canary, Citrus, and Naked Plum (at least, at the moment!).

View All the Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lipgloss (2013), Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lipgloss (2011), Le Metier de Beaute - Lip Creme (2010), Guerlain - KissKiss Gloss (2009)

Best Budget Lipgloss

Revlon - SuperLustrous Lipgloss

Sheer, lightweight glosses with lots of dazzling shimmer with little to no scent (some smell synthetically sweet but subtly so while others have had no scent). It is non-sticky and lasts three to four hours on me.

View All the Revlon SuperLustrous Lipgloss Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - SuperLustrous Lipgloss (2013), Revlon - SuperLustrous Lipgloss (2011), Revlon - SuperLustrous Lipgloss (2010), NYX - MegaShine Lipgloss (2009)

Best High-End Lip Liner

Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils are really creamy, glide on like a dream, and wear well. They are some of the more comfortable lip pencils to use, because they don’t tug at all.

View All the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil (2013)

Best Budget Lip Liner

NYX - Slim Lip Pencil

For a traditional lip pencil, these are exceptionally creamy and glide on easily. They also wear well without feeling dry. If you can’t find the shade you need amongst NYX’s 53 different lip pencils, I don’t know you ever will!

Read the NYX Slim Lip Pencil Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYX - Slim Lip Pencil (2013)

Nails

Best High-End Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua - Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nail Varnish is utterly fantastic. The shade range is large and interesting, but more importantly? the quality is astounding. Richly pigmented, beautiful, flowing consistencies, and a long-wearing formula to boot. I can wear shades for as long as ten days without chipping! I love shades like Raindrops (actually reminiscent of a cloudy, rainy day), Charisma (rich, deep red), and Creator (looks like a galaxy on your nails!).

View All the Illamasqua Nail Varnish Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Illamasqua - Nail Varnish (2013), China Glaze - Nail Polish (2011), China Glaze - Nail Polish (2010), China Glaze - Nail Polish (2009)

Best Budget Nail Lacquer

L'Oreal - Colour Riche Nail Lacquer

L’Oreal Colour Riche launched in the past year or so, but it’s a fantastic range with a killer formula. They’ve been releasing some interesting shades, too, but the pigmentation, flow, and wear of the polishes is really why it’s a winner! Some of the recent shades I’ve really liked have been The Queen’s Might (pinky-red), The Queen’s Ambition (silver glitter in black), and VIP Status (smoky gray-blue).

View All the L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lacquer Shades

Previous Winners

Back to Top
L'Oreal - Colour Riche Nail Lacquer (2013)

Best High-End Quick Drying Coat

Cult Nails - Wicked Fast

When I really need my polish to dry down in a hurry, Cult Nails Wicked Fast does a great of locking in my polish, giving me a shiny finish, and keep my polish from chipping.

View Cult Nails Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Cult Nails - Wicked Fast (2013)

Best Budget Quick Drying Coat

Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri

Sally Hansen Insta-dri is a really nice quick-drying coat that cuts the drying time down quite a bit while also providing the added benefit of chip-resistance! If there’s one brand that knows nail treatments and top/base coats, it’s Sally Hansen.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri (2013), Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri (2011), Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri (2010), Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri (2009)

Best High-End Top Coat

Deborah Lippmann - On a Clear Day

On a Clear Day dries quickly and leaves behind a beautiful, high-gloss shine. It wears well and helps extend the life of my manicure!

Read Deborah Lippmann Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Deborah Lippmann - On a Clear Day (2013)

Best Budget Top Coat

Seche - Seche Vite

If you want ultra-shine, Seche Vite is perfect. It gives nails a beautiful, fresh, and shiny look. It’s a thicker top coat, so it also works well for evening out the surface of bumpy polishes (like when you’ve layered glitter over a base color). It helps keep nails looking fresh and shiny, and it also helps prevent chipping.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Seche - Seche Vite (2013), Seche - Seche Vite (2011), Seche - Seche Vite (2010), Seche - Seche Vite (2009),

Best High-End Base Coat

Deborah Lippmann - Ridge Filler Base Coat

What’s really nice about this particular base coat is that it not just helps to extend the wear and prevent pigmented polishes from staining, but it leaves behind a smooth, even surface and helps to hide those ridges.

Read Deborah Lippmann Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Deborah Lippmann - Ridge Filler Base Coat (2013)

Best Budget Base Coat

Zoya - Anchor

I’m a big fan of Zoya’s Color Lock System, and I really love Anchor, which helps to keep my polish on for a week at a time. It’s a thin base coat that applies easily, quickly, and does exactly what you want it to do: help extend the wear of your polish and prevent staining.

Read Zoya Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Zoya - Anchor (2013), Zoya - Anchor (2011), Zoya - Anchor (2010), Zoya - Anchor (2009)

Best High-End Cuticle Treatment

Dior - Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream for Nails

Dior Abricot Fortifying Cream for Nails may be pricey, but it’s absolutely effective. It has a creamy, almost tacky, consistency that makes it easy to spread across dry, cracking cuticles and nails. You can start feeling your skin being lulled back into a state of smooth, hydrated bliss shortly after applying.

Read Dior Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Dior - Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream for Nails (2013)

Best Budget Cuticle Treatment

Burt's Bees - Lemon Cuticle Butter

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is hydrating and soothing on dry cuticles and nails. It uses a combination of sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and cocoa butter to do so. It smells like lemonade–sweet, lemony, but it’s not synthetic. There’s a little tartness still left, so it’s not cloyingly sweet. Because it doesn’t immediately dry down, it’s best used at night, which is what’s recommended, and I always wake up with hydrated, soothed cuticles (and wherever else I put it). In a pinch, it can also help moisturize dry spots as well as smooth flyaways.

Read the Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Burt's Bees - Lemon Cuticle Butter (2013)

Skin

Best High-End Makeup Removing Wipes

MAC Cosmetics - Wipes

MAC Wipes are, surprisingly, a really good deal when bought in bulk and work well to remove makeup from your face, lips, and arms (if you’re a beauty blogger… you know what I mean!). These are just so excellent at removing makeup from skin, I always have a few packs under the sink. I’ve used many other removers, but for swatching, I’m always going through these because they never leave my skin feeling dry or raw.

Read MAC Cosmetics Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC - Wipes (2013), MAC - Wipes (2011), MAC - Wipes (2010), MAC - Wipes (2009)

Best Budget Makeup Removing Wipes

Neutrogena - Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes

Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes are easy-to-use makeup wipes that quickly remove dirt and makeup and leave you feeling clean. I like that this doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue, and I love that it can be used around the eyes, too (on me, I have to do so sparingly, just ’cause of how sensitive my eyes are in particular).

Read the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Neutrogena - Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes (2013), Neutrogena - Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes (2011), Neutrogena - Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes (2010), Neutrogena - Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes (2009)

Best High-End Makeup Remover

Lancome - Bi-Facil

Lancome Bi-Facil is an eye makeup remover that is absolutely phenomenal at removing even the most stubborn, long-wearing makeup. This is a popular pick for makeup removers, and I have to agree with the majority on this one. It really works, and one bottle will last you ages.

Read Lancome Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Lancome - Bi-Facil (2013), Lancome - Bi-Facil (2011), Lancome - Bi-Facil (2010), Lancome - Bi-Facil (2009)

Best Budget Makeup Remover

Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover is a great oil-free makeup remover that gets rid of even stubborn waterproof mascara and long-wearing eyeliner. One bottle will last you quite a while, so there’s no need to worry about going through this stuff. Sometimes I’ll use this as a spot cleaner for brushes between uses as well. Since it is oil-free, you don’t have to worry about any oily residue either.

Read the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (2013), Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (2011), Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (2010), Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (2009)

Best High-End Facial Cleanser

Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser

This rich, creamy cleanser applies and glides over skin easily while dissolving makeup (except really, really long-wearing eyeliner). It rinses off quickly without leaving any residue behind, and after the skin dries, it doesn’t feel tight or stripped.

Read Bobbi Brown Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser (2013), Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser (2011), Kate Somerville - Gentle Daily Wash (2010), Chanel - Exfoliating Mousse (2009)

Best Budget Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil - Daily Cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser is the world’s best cleanser to go to whenever my skin is out of whack. Whenever I feel like nothing’s working, I turn back to Cetaphil. It’s gentle, soothing, and great for my skin, even when it’s sensitive.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Cetaphil - Daily Cleanser (2013), Cetaphil - Daily Cleanser (2011), Cetaphil - Daily Cleanser (2010), Cetaphil - Daily Cleanser (2009)

Best High-End Gel Cleanser

Renee Rouleau - AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel

I love that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry or stripped. It has a great gel-consistency that makes it easy to spread across the skin, and it is always refreshing to use. I also find that this helps me combat pesky breakouts!

Read the Renee Rouleau AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Renee Rouleau - AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel (2013), Renee Rouleau - AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel (2011), Renee Rouleau - AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel (2010), Renee Rouleau - AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel (2009)

Best Budget Gel Cleanser

Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel

It’s non-foaming, but it glides on easily and you don’t have to use too much product to cleanse the entire face. It rinses off easily and washes off most makeup (except longer-wearing products, like eyeliner or mascara), but it doesn’t create dryness or tightness post-rinse.

Read Mario Badescu Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel (2013), Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel (2011), L'Oreal - HydraFresh Deep Cleanser Gel (2010), L'Oreal - Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Gel Cleanser (2009)

Best High-End Foaming Facial Cleanser

La Prairie - Foaming Cleanser

This is such a luxurious product that feels like silk, whipped cream, and cashmere on the face. Every time I use it, it makes me sigh with enjoyment. It just feels spectacular and leaves skin feeling clean but not tight. It's been my go-to cleanser in the morning for months now! A little goes a long way, too, so one tube, though pricey, will last awhile. Even my husband is entranced by the feel and texture of this product!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
bareMinerals - Deep Cleansing Foam (2013), bareMinerals - Deep Cleansing Foam (2011), Fresh - Soy Face Cleanser (2010), Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Foaming) (2009)

Best Budget Foaming Facial Cleanser

Olay - Foaming Face Wash

Olay’s Foaming Face Wash leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean but never tight. It foams up quickly and is easy to work into the skin, but it doesn’t leave skin feeling dry afterward.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Olay - Foaming Face Wash (2013), Olay - Foaming Face Wash (2011), Olay - Foaming Face Wash (2010), Aveeno - Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser (2009)

Best High-End Daily Facial Exfoliator

Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that softly exfoliates and can be used on a daily basis. I love the lightness of this cleanser. It’s almost like a milky cleanser, because even though it lathers up, it’s not a traditional foaming lather. I’ve gone through two tubes of this product, and it’s on my list to repurchase yet again.

Read Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (2013), Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (2011), Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (2010), Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser (2009)

Best Budget Daily Facial Exfoliator

Aveeno - Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

This is really nice in the morning, because it leaves skin feeling soft and ready to take on the day without feeling dry or tight. It’s not too harsh, so it can be used more often (if you have really sensitive skin, you may have to ease off, though).

Read Aveeno Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Aveeno - Skin Brightening Daily Scrub (2013), Aveeno - Skin Brightening Daily Scrub (2011), Dove - Gentle Exfoliating Daily Facial Cleanser (2010), Aveeno - Skin Brightening Daily Scrub (2009)

Best High-End Facial Exfoliator

Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate is an incredibly pricey but effective exfoliator. It really does impart this glow after you use it. For me, the regular version is just fine–never makes my face red–but if you have more sensitive skin, you may want to opt for the Sensitive version. I keep repurchasing this, and it’s one of the products I always return to.

Read Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate (2013), Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate (2011), Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate (2010), Kate Somerville - ExfoliKate (2009)

Best Budget Facial Exfoliator

Olay - Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini-Peel

If you’ve ever tried one of the kinds of masks that applies and then heats up, you’ll love this. It’s effective and fun to wear. It warms up (though only for a few seconds) when it comes into contact with water. It’s a great exfoliator for periodic use, though it could be used more often.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Olay - Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini-Peel (2013), Olay - Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini-Peel (2011), Queen Helene - Oatmeal 'n' Honey Natural Facial Scrub (2010), Biore - Pore Minimizing Refining Exfoliator (2009)

Best High-End Facial Mask

Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque is a clay-based mask that you apply, let dry, and then rinse off. It helps restore my skin and leaves my skin feeling really well and cleaned, but it is never drying.

Read Kiehl's Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Kiehl's - Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (2013), Renee Rouleau - Triple Berry Smoothing Peel (2011), Kate Somerville - Clearing Mask (2010), Prescriptives - Instant Gratification (2009)

Best Budget Facial Mask

LUSH - Fresh Face Masks

LUSH Fresh Face Masks are really relaxing, soothing products. They have several different face masks to choose from, and they’re only available in-store (at least for U.S. customers). My personal favorites are A Crash Course in Skincare and Cupcake, but I do like Catastrophe Cosmetic and Brazened Honey. I kind of like to vary it up, because I have a soft spot for all of them.

Read LUSH Fresh Face Mask Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
LUSH - Fresh Face Masks (2013), LUSH - Fresh Face Masks (2011), LUSH - Fresh Face Masks (2010), LUSH - Fresh Face Masks (2009)

Best High-End Toner

Ole Henriksen - Grease Relief Face Tonic

It’s non-drying, refreshing, and helps to remove any last bits of dirt and makeup residue after your cleanser (and in a pinch, works as a lightweight cleanser!). When I feel oily, this always seems to help!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Ole Henriksen - Grease Relief Face Tonic (2013), NARS - Hydrating Freshening Lotion (2011), NARS - Hydrating Freshening Lotion (2010), NARS - Hydrating Freshening Lotion (2009)

Best Budget Toner

LUSH - Tea Tree Water

LUSH’s Tea Tree Water comes in a convenient spray bottle and smells like, well, tea tree oil–but not quite as rich as pure tea tree oil. It’s alcohol-free, so it does not leave skin feeling dry.

Read LUSH Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
LUSH - Tea Tree Waters (2013), LUSH - Tea Tree Waters (2011), LUSH - Tea Tree Waters (2010), Mario Badescu - Aloe Vera Lotion (2009)

Best High-End Daytime Moisturizer

bareMinerals - Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer

It’s thick and creamy, feels rich without being heavy, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy feel behind. My skin felt hydrated and lush; like it had a little extra spring in it because it was fully moisturized. I’ve repurchased this a few times now, because it’s just that good that I don’t want to test anything else!

Read the bareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
bareMinerals - Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer (2013), Clinique - Moisture Surge (2011), Chanel - Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15 (2010), Kate Somerville - Oil-Free Moisturizer (2009)

Best Budget Daytime Moisturizer

Olay - Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion

Olay Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion is an old favorite. I used to use it before I ventured into higher-end skincare, but it’s something I continuously recommend to those on tighter budgets or don’t want fussy skincare. It has SPF 15 in it, which is a nice touch in a daily moisturizer, too (though you’ll need better protection if you’re out all day). It hydrates without feeling greasy and can be worn easily under makeup!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Olay - Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion (2013), Olay - Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion (2011), Olay - Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion (2010), Olay - Complete All Day UV Defense Moisture Lotion (2009)

Best High-End Evening Moisturizer

bareMinerals - Purely Nourishing Cream

It’s thick and creamy, feels rich without being heavy, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy feel behind. My skin felt hydrated and lush; like it had a little extra spring in it because it was fully moisturized. I’ve repurchased this a few times now, because it’s just that good that I don’t want to test anything else!

Read the bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
bareMinerals - Purely Nourishing Cream (2013), bareMinerals - Purely Nourishing Cream (2011), Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Gel Cream (2010), Origins - Make a Difference Ultra-rich Rejuvenating Cream (2009)

Best Budget Evening Moisturizer

Olay - Night of Olay Firming Cream

This is a thick cream with a lighter feel, so it tends to feel a bit more luxurious to me, and it’s one I’d only reserve for evening wear (which the product name certainly suggests). What’s nice about this is despite its thickness, it has more of a matte finish, even while it’s drying.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Olay - Night of Olay Firming Cream (2013), Olay - Night of Olay Firming Cream (2011), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream (2010), Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream (2009)

Best High-End Cleansing Oil

shu uemura - Cleansing Oil

shu uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil does an amazing job at removing my makeup, including long-wearing eyeliner and mascara. It doesn’t feel greasy or heavy, and it keeps my skin hydrated and never stripped. The bottle may be pricey, but it lasts a long, long time!

Read the shu uemura Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
shu uemura - Cleansing Oil (2013), shu uemura - Cleansing Oil (2011), shu uemura - Cleansing Oil (2010)

Best Budget Cleansing Oil

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is one my favorite multitasking at-home solutions. I like jojoba oil for how effective it is at cleansing and removing both dirt and makeup, but it also leaves my skin feeling very soft and smooth. I haven’t found any commercial cleansing oil at a budget-friendly price tag yet, other than just plain ol’ jojoba oil.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Jojoba Oil (2013), Jojoba Oil (2011), Jojoba Oil (2010)

Best High-End Sunscreen

Clarins - UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40

This is a great mineral-based sunscreen (which means it doesn’t use chemical sunscreens for sun protection) that absorbs quickly, doesn’t leave a white cast, and is non-greasy.

Read Clarins Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Clarins - UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 (2013), Clarins - UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 (2011), Clarins - UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 (2010), Shiseido - Ultimate Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 55 PA+++ (2009)

Best Budget Sunscreen

Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry Touch

Neutrogena Sunblock, Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 55 is a nice, lightweight sunscreen for the face that never irritated me or made me feel greasy. It’s also available in SPF 30, SPF 45, SPF 70, and SPF 85.

Read Neutrogena Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry Touch (2013), Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry Touch (2011), Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry Touch (2010), Neutrogena - Dry Touch (2009)

Tools

Best High-End Eyelash Curler

shu uemura - Eyelash Curler

shu uemura Eyelash Curler is easily my favorite curler, and it has been since I first had it. I used to have a Revlon one, and I didn’t even realize that an eyelash curler could really have levels of quality. Shu’s is easy to use, works well, and it lasts awhile. It sucks that you can only buy it online now, though!

Read the shu uemura Eyelash Curler Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
shu uemura - Eyelash Curler (2013), shu uemura - Eyelash Curler (2011), shu uemura - Eyelash Curler (2010), shu uemura - Eyelash Curler (2009)

Best Budget Eyelash Curler

NYC Cosmetics - Eyelash Curler

For a few bucks (possibly less!), you can get an eyelash curler that gives your eyes a soft curl without crimping either your lashes or your skin while using it.

Read NYC Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
NYC - Eyelash Curler (2013), NYC - Eyelash Curler (2011), ELF - Mechanical Eyelash Curler (2010), ELF - Mechanical Eyelash Curler (2009)

Best High-End Makeup Brushes

Hakuhodo

Between the high quality and sheer variety of Hakuhodo brushes, it's easy to see why these are a favorite for many, and now, I count myself as a fan! They're soft, nicely weighted and crafted, and of course, workhorses. There are a lot of shapes to choose from, so you can find the right size and style that work for your application methods!

Read Hakuhodo Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
MAC Cosmetics (2013), MAC Cosmetics (2011), MAC Cosmetics (2010), MAC Cosmetics (2009)

Best Budget Makeup Brushes

Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk Brushes are a great budget-friendly alternative for quality brushes. She always has sets available, sometimes in ultra-cute pouches and bags, which are even more cost-effective. They’re soft, shaped well, and there is a good variety of tools available.

Read the Sonia Kashuk Brush Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Sonia Kashuk (2013), Sonia Kashuk (2011), Sonia Kashuk (2010), Sonia Kashuk (2009)

Best High-End Tweezers

Slice - Slanted Tip Tweezers

I love the rubberized materials used so that gripping these tweezers is easy and comfortable. The ergonomics are really good, too, and the precision of these helps me get to even the hairs that are barely visible.

Read the Slice Slanted Tip Tweezers Review

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Slice - Slanted Tip Tweezers (2013), Slice - Slanted Tip Tweezers (2011), Tweezerman - Slanted Tip Tweezers (2010)

Best High-End Curling Iron

Sedu - Revolution Clipless Curling Iron

At first, it puzzled at me, but after a few uses, I understood—I love that it has no clip, so there’s never a worry about getting a crease in your curl! It’s lightweight, and I don’t burn myself (which I’ve done far too often with curling and flat irons, mostly because I’m clumsy).

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Sedu - Revolution Clipless Curling Iron (2013), Sedu - Revolution Clipless Curling Iron (2011), T3 - PRO EverTwirl Curling Iron (2010), T3 - PRO EverTwirl Curling Iron (2009)

Best Budget Curling Iron

Hot Tools - CeramicTI Tourmaline Curling Iron

The Ceramic series is slightly more user-friendly than the regular line-up. I just like that I don’t have to be as careful maneuvering around the heated parts of the iron compared to the Professional series!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Hot Tools - CeramicTI Tourmaline Curling Iron (2013), Hot Tools - CeramicTI Tourmaline Curling Iron (2011), Hot Tools - CeramicTI Tourmaline Curling Iron (2010), Hot Tools - CeramicTI Tourmaline Curling Iron (2009)

Best High-End Flat Iron

ghd - IV styler

ghd Classic Styler is kind of my gold standard for flat irons. It’s easy to use, very comfortable to hold, heats up quickly, and gets my hair straightened with no qualms. My hair isn’t that curly to begin with, though, so I must at least disclose that bit to you that I may not be the most strenuous tester of flat irons.

Read ghd Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
ghd - IV styler (2013), ghd - IV styler (2011), ghd - IV styler (2010), ghd - IV styler (2009)

Best Budget Flat Iron

Remington - Shine Therapy Flat Iron

Remington Shine Therapy Flat Iron is an effective flat iron that straightens hair quickly (heats up in about thirty seconds), and it has 100% certified organic Moroccan Argan Oil “infused” into the pads that give your hair a little added moisture and shine.

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Remington - Shine Therapy Flat Iron (2013), Remington - Shine Therapy Flat Iron (2011), Remington - Shine Therapy Flat Iron (2010), Remington - Shine Therapy Flat Iron (2009)

Best High-End Hair Dryer

T3 - Bespoke Labs Dryer

T3 Bespoke Labs Hair Dryers opened my eyes to a hair miracle. I seriously never knew that you could dry long hair in less than ten minutes. I thought those of with long hair were meant to suffer through hour-long, arm-killing sessions of blow drying. I was totally and utterly wrong (thank goodness!). I can dry my thick, long hair in under ten minutes with the T3. Ever since trying the T3, I will actually take the time to blow dry my hair!

Previous Winners

Back to Top
T3 - Bespoke Labs Dryer (2013), T3 - Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer (2011), T3 - Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer (2010), T3 - Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer (2009)

Best Budget Hair Dryer

Revlon - Tourmaline Ionic Lightweight Dryer

These days, finding a good hair dryer is a lot less difficult! Revlon has done a good job with creating a high powered dryer that gets the job done in a fraction of the time the hair dryers of yesteryear did.

Read Revlon Reviews

Previous Winners

Back to Top
Revlon - Tourmaline Ionic Lightweight Dryer (2013), Revlon - Tourmaline Ionic Lightweight Dryer (2011), Infiniti by Conair - Professional Tourmaline Ionic Styler (2010), Infiniti by Conair - Professional Tourmaline Ionic Styler (2009)