2011 Editor’s Choice Awards – Part 3: Cheeks/Face
Next up, we’ll focus on the cheeks–from blushes to highlighters–and face products, like foundations, primers, and concealers.
Best Cheek/Face Highlighter (High-end)
Meteorites impart this lit-from-within glow without frost, glitter, or even really traditional shimmer. It’s such a micro-fine shimmer that it doesn’t look like you’re really wearing anything, even though you know you are. What edged it over Dior’s SkinShimmers is that they’re more versatile; you can use one with any blush, all over, or just on specific areas. (See my review here.)
Past Winners: Dior DiorSkin Shimmer (2009)
NYX HIGHLIGHTER MOSAIC POWDER
The Highlighter Mosaic Powder has a soft texture and doesn’t prove too frosty or shimmery; it’s more shimmer-sheen and should work for several skin tones.
Best Cheek/Face Highlighter (Budget)
Past Winners: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips (2009)
Best Everyday Blush (High-end)
Sugarbomb is still a product I always find myself reaching for, regularly pack for overnight trips or weekend getaways, and have to slap my hand away from so I don’t use it so often! (See my review here.)
Past Winners: Benefit Sugarbomb (2009)
RIMMEL SANTA ROSE BLUSH
Best Everyday Blush (Budget)
Santa Rose is this darkened brownish pink–think MAC Blushbaby but pinker–that works well to give a hint of color without going overboard.
Past Winners: Milani Luminous Blush (2009)
See more winners for blush, foundation, and concealer!
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD BLUSH
Best Cream Blush (High-end)
The HD Blush line has enough shade variation to give you natural colors plus some revved up shades, but the formula is really fantastic. Richly pigmented, creamy, and they dry down quickly (but not too quickly) so they don’t leave behind any tackiness. They’re blendable and a little goes a long way! (See my review here.)
Past Winners: MAC Blushcreme (2009)
REVLON CREAM BLUSH
Best Cream Blush (Budget)
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!
Past Winners: Revlon Cream Blush (2009)
ROCK & REPUBLIC BLUSH
Best Powder Blush (High-end)
Rock & Republic’s Blushes have such a silky smooth texture with rich pigmentation, they are hard to resist. The finishes are so flattering–more sheen than shimmer.
Past Winners: Guerlain Blush 4 Eclat (2009)
Best Powder Blush (Budget)
Rimmel’s Blushes come in flattering, rather universally-appealing shades with a soft powder texture and nice pigmentation. The finishes are nice without being too much.
Past Winners: CoverGirl Cheekers (2009)
GUERLAIN TERRACOTTA BRONZING POWDER
Best Bronzer (High-end)
Such a subtle but noticeable way to bronze–soft, silky smooth finely-milled powder that applies delicately and naturally.
Past Winners: Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel (2009)
RIMMEL NATURAL BRONZER
Best Bronzer (Budget)
Rimmel Natural Bronzer is a smooth, mostly matte bronzer that works well on a variety of skin tones (though on the palest skin tones, you may find it to appear orange if you don’t use a light hand). It’s soft and looks very natural on skin.
Past Winners: Rimmel Natural Bronzer (2009)
KORRES SILICONE-FREE PRIMER
Best Face Primer
Korres Face Primer is an amazing primer that doesn’t use silicone as a base ingredient, so those who are breakout-prone with silicone primers may enjoy this one in particular. It’s a very lightweight primer that goes on quickly, dries down, and looks matte. It’s actually something you can wear alone or underneath foundation. My mom even loves the way it makes her skin feel and look (and she’s not into makeup). (See my review here.)
Past Winners: Korres Silicone-Free Primer (2009)
EVE PEARL SALMON CONCEALER
Best Concealer (High-end)
Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer (is a very creamy and emollient concealer that works really well to camouflage those nasty under eye circles. This concealer really does conceal with a vengeance, because it’s a very thick, creamy product that fully covers whatever you need it to cover.
Past Winners: Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer (2009)
MAYBELLINE INSTANT AGE REWIND DOUBLE FACE PERFECTOR
Best Concealer (Budget)
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.
Past Winners: L’Oreal Visible Lift Under Eye (2009)
GUERLAIN PARURE GOLD FOUNDATION
Best Liquid Foundation (High-end)
Guerlain Parure Gold Fluid Foundation is an excellent lightweight, medium-coverage liquid foundation that makes skin look smoother, softer, and very natural. It has a subtle dewiness to it, but trust me, that’s not code for oiliness. (I very rarely like any foundation that’s “dewy,” because it just looks like I’m oily!) It’s so comfortable to wear; you don’t feel it on at all. (See my review here.)
Past Winners: Guerlain Parure Gold (2009)
REVLON COLORSTAY FOUNDATION
Best Liquid Foundation (Budget)
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!
Past Winners: Revlon ColorStay Foundation (2009)
CLINIQUE ALMOST MAKEUP POWDER
Best Powder Foundation (High-end)
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.
MAYBELLINE PURESTAY FOUNDATION
Best Powder Foundation (Budget)
PureStay has a soft, smooth texture and gives light-medium to medium coverage without being powdery. I like that you can achieve more coverage without having to upgrade to a liquid or cream-based foundation.
EVE PEARL HD DUAL FOUNDATION
Best Cream Foundation (High-end)
This is one of my go-to foundations for when I need to look FLAWLESS. 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.
MAYBELLINE DREAM SMOOTH MOUSSE
Best Cream Foundation (Budget)
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!
LAURA MERCIER LOOSE SETTING POWDER
Best Setting Powder (High-end)
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder is a lightweight loose powder that is perfect for setting makeup. It helps keep makeup in place for hours on end, and I fully recommend the Translucent “shade.” I found it truly was translucent and never made me look powdery or chalky.
Past Winners: Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder (2009)
NEUTROGENA HEALTHY SKIN LOOSE POWDER
Best Setting Powder (Budget)
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Loose Powder is an incredibly lightweight loose powder that helps to set your makeup. It helps keep oil at bay (at least, for longer) and your makeup in place while you wear it. I wish they had a translucent version, but they have three shades — fair, light, and medium.
Past Winners: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Loose Powder (2009)
KIEHL’S TINTED MOISTURIZER
Best Tinted Moisturizer (High-end)
Kiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer provides light-to-medium coverage, a slightly dewy finish, and a very spreadable base. It will take about five minutes to dry down, but it really does moisturize as well as even out the skin tone. I reach for this all the time.
Past Winners: Korres Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer
NEUTROGENA HEALTHY SKIN ENHANCER TINTED MOISTURIZER
Best Tinted Moisturizer (Budget)
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.
Past Winners: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer