2014 Readers' Choice Awards - Winners Revealed!

Check out the winners from this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards!  Thanks so much for taking the time to nominate and vote!  It really means a lot to me, and I hope you enjoy reading the results as much as I did watching them come in!  There were some interesting changes this year, and we even had a tie in a category!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

I’m SO glad that MAC didn’t make the “Best Beauty Brand of 2013” top 3! I stopped using MAC a few years ago because their quality is seriously lacking. It irks me when they release low quality products at jacked up prices just because they CAN…not because of great performance, like other brands that DID win. Maybe they will see this and stop relying on “cult” status and make an effort or better the products they release. Obviously people are starting to see through their marketing (i.e. releasing limited edition products for a few days…every two weeks,) and are starting to wonder why the quality on these oft released L.E products are so terrible.

I totally agree with you. I had a MAC Pro card for years, and it’s been three years now that I haven’t renewed it- and probably never will, as there are so many more quality brands out there.

Oddly, I see that UD won a lot of the categories that MAC used to, and I don’t think their quality is much better.

I used to buy MAC a lot. Then they started to sell to China and I decided to pay more attention to animal testing. At first, I thought it would be hard and that I would miss MAC, but the more I explored the cruelty free world, the more I realized that MAC seriously lacks in quality compared to other brands.

Hah! I was *just* thinking ‘I really hope the Readers’ Choice results come out soon’ and then I clicked to the homepage and BOOM, there it was! 😀 Thanks for holding these awards, and putting this all together, Christine!

So pleased to see Urban Decay do well in so many categories, and to see Chanel cream blushes and Nyx butter glosses come out on top of their respective categories!

I also love how you include the statistics (up/down) from last year. It makes the analytical part of my brain very happy 🙂

I’m a mind reader, did you know? 😉

NYX Butter Glosses was a huge surprise (because it was also a de-throning!).

This is so useful when trying to figure out what to buy (as well as the Editor’s Choice)!

Might not be the right place, but I have a Mascara question – I’m currently using They’re Real which I like, but cleanup is a such pain – Diorshow was 3rd seems worth a look, how easy is it to remove? Or has anyone got removal tips for They’re Real?

What do you currently use to remove it?

I usually use a cleansing oil (shu’s), and that gets any and all traces off!

Thanks, I haven’t tried a cleansing oil or even an oil based remover, so I’ll try that – though I tend to go with cheaper removers and save money for more “exciting” things.

Neutrogena’s bi-phase remover is very comparable to Lancome’s Bi-Facil, which for me, is something that works really well to remove just about everything. Generally, I am too lazy to use separate cleansers/removers, so I just opt for a cleansing oil.

I personally love Diorshow, and thoroughly recommend you try it. I’m allergic but it’s probably the best mascara I’ve ever used. I really disliked They’re Real, and the removal was the icing on the cake! I found the pigment would settle around my eyes when I removed it and WOULD NOT COME OFF, even with oil based eye makeup remover. I’ve never tried a cleansing oil though, so that may be worth a shot.

I’m actually kind of unsure about They’re Real, because I remember I found it a little hard to work with when I first got it, and though I love it now, I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve learned how to use it or because my tube is now drier. I think Diorshow will be my next mascara purshase though. 🙂

I love reading through the Temptalia awards every year, Christine 🙂

PS: best eyeshadow base lists last year’s winner as LashBlast mascara!

Loved reading the results! It’s always so funny because I very rarely agree (so there is often a surprise element), this year only one of the products I voted for made it to the top of the list. To be honest I don’t even like half of the winners, and a lot of them I would personally consider “most overrated product of the year”. :S I’m obviously a minority in my makeup tastes, lol.

This reminds me about how I went to Sephora this weekend and swatched every single ambient lighting powder on my hand over and over and over again… over foundation swatches… blended, not blended, wiped clean, done again. I’ve decided I’m still not sure which one to splurge on next! First world problems. I’m leaning toward Dim, but Diffused seems like a must-have with the way it completely smoothed out all the imperfections and splotchiness on the back of my hand with one quick blend!

Well, my birthday IS coming up…………..

Wow the Ambient Lighting powders have really put Hourglass on the map. They were my ‘gateway product’ for Hourglass, now I’ve tried a few things I love from the brand; I probably would have continued to overlook them if I hadn’t bought Diffused Light which I use almost daily.

Overall, much as I like MAC (or rather, their permanent line) I’m glad to see other brands products be recognised (and MAC still had a few wins).

This was great to read, as always.
I have to say though, I don’t understand how Hourglass could be considered a niche brand. It’s sold at Sephora. Mass-market distribution seems to me the opposite of “niche”.

I disagree that isn’t niche, but I guess that’s just me! They are certainly making their way towards mainstream based on last year.

I’m glad MAKEUP GEEK tied though as Hourglass feel like it has taken advantage Mass-distribution to get out there as they have been at it since 2004. I think of it as a high end version of it Cosmetics (not the itc is cheap. lol).

What qualifies a brand being able to at least be listed in the “other nominees” area? I nominated a few brands that weren’t in those. Do they have to be established on some level?

I’m a little disappointed in how predictable the outcomes were, tbqh. But it’s awesome people think theBalm and Inglot are underrated. They deserve far more love.


As mentioned on the awards, the top 10-15 nominees from each category make it onto the short list – those are the other nominees. We do not include all nominees, just the top 10-15 per category, because those lists would be quite unwieldy! It has nothing to do with being established!

I need people to buy Zoya polishes. I swear they have a much better formula. I buy OPI too but I am always drustrated by the formula. I love Butter London too. I use Seche Vite but it causes peeling. I found using OPI’s base coat with Orly Bonder (any sticky base would work) lasts the longest. Good list! MAC still has the best lipstick. Even if they disappoint me. Darn you MAC!

Zoya needs to be accessible though to those outside the US without struggling to find 3rd party sellers. 😉 I have a very small sampling of Zoya polishes but all of them are excellent.

I tried to vote on this but realized I’m too new to so many brands that I haven’t decided what I like yet. Maybe next year 🙂

Yesterday, I managed to use Nars turkish delight without looking crazy (the key was going darker with bronzer) but it was wiped off with a small sandwich bite. So, does your longevity test include food breaks? Is it even realistic to expect glosses to survive through food even the high end ones (which I don’t have experience with and hence no idea how good the high end brands get with their products)?

Some products will last through meals/drinking, some won’t. I don’t test lip products through meals, unless it’s particularly long-wearing and is going to run beyond about 6 hours. I try to apply before/after lunch (e.g. one color before lunch, eat lunch, another product after lunch, dinner, then another product).

High-end brands are no better at surviving a meal, really. It’s going to be more about a really tacky formula (tends to last the longest) for gloss, and for lipstick, ones that stain or are long-wearing. If you eat really oily food (e.g. fried chicken!), not much will survive at all!

Thanks! I thought I was being cheap by layering gloss over stains but I guess even spending more on good glosses won’t be much help right now. Fingers crossed for the future!

They are expensive and inaccessible – now I say that in a sense meaning that they’re not cheap brushes, even though they’re fantastic and won my pick for best brushes this year, but since you can’t see/play/touch, and returns are difficult (except in the case of defective/damaged) if you simply don’t like it or it doesn’t work right for you (they have to be returned unused!), which makes them inaccessible for some and too risky for others. MAC brushes have dominated for so long because they had such an extensive, easily accessible range, and they were used by artists for so long, so they ended up as a “standard,” but as synthetics have improved, it’s taken away a lot of MAC’s dominance.

Hakuhodo brushes are great, and I agree that more should try them (especially if they’re shopping at MAC or higher price points), but I think that until they’re easier to buy–or at least try if they don’t work out–they’re going to be more of a niche brand. They still made a huge gain this year compared to last, though!

I’m not surprised that REAL TECHNIQUES won because it both accessible by very consistent in their quality! (I own most of them myself)

Personally I was sold on Hakuhodo brush till I tried them in person at IMATS. It’s the only brand of natural hair brush I can stand on my skin…. it like butter.

MAC brush are basically Hakuhodo brush that are cheaper made in term of the hairs used. 😉

What fabulous list Christine 🙂
I am def picking all the hourglass palettes slowly 🙂
N also stila liner

I got my wulong dear n am aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

can u imagine how I am feeling ?

It was fun reading this year’s results, see a few of my nominees win and some surprises! It was the year of Hourglass, wasn’t it? However, the results are an interesting mix of brands and I love that you list the nominees, because I’d like to try new brands and this year’s nominees are a good place to start. Congratulations to you and your team, Christine, for a great job!

I always enjoy seeing what brands are nominated and which ultimately win. I appreciate all the time and hard work it takes Christine to put this together and track it all. I am scratching my head though at MANY of the results most notably Urban Decay as Best High End Brand – what?? how is UD a high brand? I don’t really think Urban Decay’s quality is any better then MAC which really has declined in recent years. I’ve used every brand under the sun and UD eyeshadow is the ONLY one that irritates y eyes.
Tom Ford and Le Metier de Beaute are by far, far and above better in quality in my humble opinion.

High-end really encompasses virtually anything that isn’t available at drugstores – for most, MAC is high-end. Like any “best of,” it’s always going to be a matter of opinion. I’ve tried many brands like you, but my opinion is different than yours but we probably look for different things or value certain characteristics over others, so neither of us are wrong.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!