Best of Beauty

Allure Award Winners

There's flattering. There's clever. There's effective. And then there's the Best. The products that score the red seal are the whole package. They don't just do what they say they'll do—they do it better than anything else. It's our great pleasure to introduce the class of 2016.

By Liana Schaffner
Photos by Sølve Sundsbø


Among thousands of lipsticks, glosses, crayons, and stains, we found 15 iterations of perfection.


RED. In case you need a reminder, Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Bing is what a true red really looks like. The powerfully vibrant cherry glides on and stays put.

PINK. We give up. Words fail. There's no way to accurately describe the rosy gorgeousness that is Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Rose Baiser. It's inexplicably lovely. Just trust.

NUDE, LIGHT SKIN. Gucci Audacious Color Intense Lipstick in Rose Dragée has nabbed this title two years in a row. The fleshy pink makes lips appear that sexy and that full.

NUDE, MEDIUM SKIN. An earthy and opaque caramel, Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in Boho Nude looks unassuming in the tube and extravagant on lips.

NUDE, DARK SKIN. BareMinerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Notorious combines rich brown with a touch of mauve for unprecedented depth and intrigue.

SHEER. Black-rose oil is the magic ingredient in Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Lipstick in Noir Révélateur. The onyx bullet produces an invisible sheen that develops into the perfect plummy tint.

BRIGHT. With a smooth matte finish and zero shimmer, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in 19 is as refined as a high-wattage raspberry can get.

DARK. Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in Bloodroses has the look of a deep-wine stain—and the soul of a lip treatment. The velvety matte formula cushions lips and even softens lines.

EDGY. A nervy, unflinching navy, Maybelline New York The Loaded Bolds lipstick in Midnight Blue lets you nail the runway's most fearless look in one defiant swipe.


Because sucking on a peach all day wouldn't be practical, there's Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Oil in Love Me Nude. It bathes lips in essential oils and a delicate apricot sheen that hangs around for hours. (And the other ten shades are just as mouthwatering.)


Packed with mango-seed butter and jojoba-seed oil, every Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm is sheer enough to scribble on without a mirror. You will find either Chunky Cherry or Whole Lotta Honey (or both) in the bag of pretty much every allure editor.


Choices, choices. Marc Jacobs Beauty Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss offers a range of fresh nudes (try Moon Glow), moody plums (Boom is the bomb), and feisty pinks (we love Some Girls), all with a sexy—and never sticky—latex finish.


The gel-like genius of Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro positively rolls over lips, depositing opaque coverage that won't fade, feather, or travel.


Algenist Lip Renewal Balm SPF 15 quenches lips as effectively as the thickest, goopiest balm—but with a texture that's as sheer as chiffon. When you want more serious sun protection, Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 PA++ plumps and shields lips. (Go ahead and swipe it on your cheeks and nose while you're at it.)


These primers, concealers, and foundations are the most self-effacing of all our winners: They do their job beautifully—and stay entirely invisible.


Not to wax poetic, but L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator delivers the gentle gleam of candlelight. Worn alone or mixed with foundation, it gently sculpts the high points of the face.


St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Aging Multi-Action Face doesn't merely warm up your complexion: High levels of peptides and hydrators make you look as radiant as you would after a trip to Tulum (or, you know, St.-Tropez).


With zero shimmer, Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sun-Kissed delivers one flattering and versatile bronze. Skim it over cheekbones for a quiet glow or build it up for deep just-been-yachting warmth.


We applied a thin layer of CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Anti-Aging Foundation Primer, went to answer a text, and then couldn't recall whether we had put on foundation or not. This stuff is that good at erasing all memory of pores and fine lines.


LIGHT COVERAGE. Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is so fluid, you have to dispense it with a glass dropper. After you've blended it in (which takes all of two seconds), skin feels bare and looks flawless.

MEDIUM COVERAGE. The most thoughtful foundation yet, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation offers the texture of a liquid, the neatness of a spillproof sponge, and backup for your sunscreen. It covers all our needs—and flaws.

FULL COVERAGE. Maybelline New York Dream Velvet Foundation is that rare formula that masks imperfections without smothering pores. In terms of comfort and lightness, it even rivals some tinted moisturizers we've tried.

OILY/ACNE-PRONE. CoverGirl Clean Matte Liquid Foundation gives you shine-free coverage that doesn't scream “foundation.” Heck, it doesn't even whisper it.

MINERAL. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream delivers on both the “tinted” and “hydrating” fronts. Rich pigments provide legit coverage; powerful moisturizers let us skip lotion.

BB CREAM/TINTED MOISTURIZER. With the addition of retinol, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector doesn't just disguise fine lines—it helps to diminish them.


UNDEREYE CIRCLES. With its weightless gel consistency, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer rolls over skin, covering dark circles without collecting in fine lines.

BLEMISHES. The tiny, precise point of Cover FX Perfect Pencil lets us zero in on pimples, while the creamy, clingy formula won't go sliding off.


POWDER. Gucci Sheer Blushing Powder allows skin to peek through, creating the purest flush we've ever seen outside of a first date. Or a Spin class. Or a first date at a Spin class.

CREAM. Neither oily nor tacky, Circa Beauty Ultrasuede Cream Blush is the ideal consistency. We love Capri, a deep-rose hue that simply looks perfect on everyone.


LOOSE. Colorless and petal-soft, Flower Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder vanishes on contact—and takes all T-zone shine along with it.

PRESSED. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Pressed Powder is so incredibly fine and smooth, you could almost apply it with your fingers (which we did, in a pinch, in the back of an Uber).


They're worth every penny.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask With Lemon gives hair a do-over: Lemon zest reinvigorates the scalp, while chamomile restores softness from roots to ends. Surratt Surreal Skin Foundation Wand is serious about that “surreal” part. The built-in brush buffs on undetectable coverage. Restorsea Pro Intensive Hand Treatment 10X evens skin tone with salmon roe—for real. EB Florals by Eric Buterbaugh Regal Tuberose transforms perfumery's most precious flower. A splash of grapefruit and a jab of pepper make the heady bouquet stunningly spare. Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Nourishing Lip Balm is beyond indulgent. Honey, rose-hip-seed oil, and beeswax make lips look moist and bee-stung. 3Lab Super “H” Serum brightens and tightens with a brew of plant stem cells and antioxidants. La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion is water-thin and emollient-rich. Steam-distilled caviar restores moisture before you can say “blini.” Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate seamlessly contours with light and dark creams, revealing cheekbones we never knew we had. Clé de Peau Beauté La Crème comes in a jar that looks like a gem—and that's not even the fancy part. Exotic ingredients (white peony, citrus unshiu) deliver over-the-top radiance. Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask puts the petal to the metal, using flower extracts to plump and soothe dry, stressed-out skin. La Mer The Lifting Eye Serum instantly deflates bags and puffs (we swear it) with the help of a natural polymer. Worn alone or mixed with foundation, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base gives skin an uncanny incandescence.


What will daily desk-side manicures get you? In some offices: Fired. In this one: A list of the most dazzling, chip-resistant polishes around.


RED. Chanel Longwear Nail Colour in Gitane is a triumphant firecracker of a red with a near-matte finish. The effect is so classic and sporty, we wish we had tennis whites to go with it.

BRIGHT. Unlike some corals, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Kook a Mango has zero traffic-cone undertones. The vivid pink is feisty but also clears the way to a chic look, if that's where you're headed.

DARK. If you mixed brick red with raisin (brazen?), Jinsoon Nail Lacquer in Audacity is what you'd get. Depending on the light, the deep-brown-and-purple hybrid wavers between decadent and daring.

NUDE. With a sheer whisper of peach, Smith & Cult nail polish in Ghost Edit gives nails the healthy shine of a vigorous buffing. Essie nail polish in Topless & Barefoot has the beigy-pink appeal of warm sand. Its creamy texture delivers instant opacity.

PASTEL. The palest lilac, OPI Infinite Shine Lacquer in Lavendurable makes nails look clean and emphatically pretty. Paired with denim or fall's bold prints, all that milky demureness takes on unexpected edge.

BLUE. As its name suggests, Essie Gel Couture in Caviar Bar makes us feel a touch entitled. The fathomless navy goes on smooth as glass and dries to a brilliant, dingproof finish.

PURPLE. Only in the hands of Oribe does purple take on remarkable dimension. Oribe The Lacquer High Shine Nail Polish in The Violet infuses velvety plum with a vibrant gleam. The result is hauntingly lovely.


What are these “chips” that people speak of? Sally Hansen Miracle Gel kept our glossy color intact until we decided to wipe it off. And unlike with salon gel treatments, regular remover does the trick—no scraping required.


The sheer pink of Julep Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat makes nails look so smooth and plush, you may not want to put anything on top.


Pointing at things is our new favorite pastime. Essie Gel Setter Top Coat dries in a snap, locks in shine, and gives nails a fuller, rounder silhouette.


With shea butter and hyaluronic acid, Deborah Lippmann The Cure Ultra Nourishing Cuticle Repair Cream is richly satisfying. The custardy formula transforms ragged cuticles and turns a typical chore into a bona fide luxury.


The road to glowing skin is paved with good intentions—and disappointing jars. These formulas get your skin where you want it to go: Radiancetown.


NORMAL SKIN. Brimming with antioxidants, Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Nourishing Cleanser removes grime while guarding against free radicals.

OILY SKIN. As it evolves from a thin red putty into a creamy white paste, BareMinerals Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser pulls gunk right out of pores.

DRY SKIN. Flaky types have been taught to avoid anything in a cake. Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar undoes the brainwashing. Its lather reprograms skin, turning it supple and pliant.

CLEANSING WIPES. Moist but never drippy, Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes lift away every last speck of makeup.


Replete with moisturizers and peptides, Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion polishes and refines like a toner, without the sting.

FACIAL OIL A moisturizer, brightener, and primer, Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra Nourishing Argan Oil truly does it all. Or at least all we want it to do.


NORMAL SKIN. With nonstop hydration and potent antioxidants, Clarins Multi-Active Jour keeps skin in constant repair mode.

OILY SKIN. It's a cruel irony that we ended up with pimples and wrinkles. Perricone MD Pre:Empt Series Oil-Free Hydrating Cream plumps without clogging pores.

DRY SKIN. Some rich formulas sit on the surface, but Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream dives right in and locks moisture in place.


Any spray delivers a mist of moisture...for a minute. SK-II Mid-Day Essence actually penetrates skin to deliver major hydration that won't evaporate—or upset makeup.


ANTIOXIDANT. Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate serum is clear and weightless—but no lightweight. Antioxidants fortify cells, guarding skin from the inside out.

LINE-SMOOTHING. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer uses a fast-acting, highly stable form of retinol to diminish lines with amazing speed.

SPOT-FADING. SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector breaks up dark spots as effectively as a prescription-strength brightener.


LINE-SMOOTHING. The retinol in Philosophy Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker Eye Repair works quickly to prevent irritation; soothing chamomile and hyaluronic acid don't exactly hurt, either.

MOISTURIZING. DAY. Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream uses peptides to smooth lines, and the peach tint does enough circle-camouflaging that you might skip concealer. NIGHT. Eight hours of sleep did the trick…eight years ago. Now we need Chanel Le Lift Crème Yeux to look refreshed and reverse crepiness.


UNTINTED. Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 has a milky-thin texture that belies its powerful UV blockers.

TINTED. Dermatologists love the broad-spectrum protection of SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50; we're obsessed with the matte finish and tone-perfecting tint.


Any humble washcloth can buff skin. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub elevates exfoliation to an art. Lemon peel loosens flakes; green clay decongests pores.


OILY SKIN. Estée Lauder NightWear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask draws out dirt and oil, turning skin taut and pores microscopic.

DRY SKIN. Packed with hydrating shea butter and honey, Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask melts into skin, then rinses clean.

OVERNIGHT. Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask contains tiny vitamin-infused capsules that release a steady stream of moisture and nutrients as you sleep.

SHEET MASK. Crack all the Hannibal Lecter jokes you want. The Lancer Lift & Plump Sheet Mask will leave your face so absurdly soft and glowing, you won't care that it made you look like a psychopath for ten minutes.


Formulated at the perfect pH, the AHAs in Olay ProX Anti-Aging Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel produce glowing skin (never redness or flakes) overnight.


Because you can't bully pimples into submission, Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel takes the high road. A whopping dose of salicylic acid shrinks them, while sea-whip extract calms inflammation.


In the fight against acne, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological 3-Step Acne System leaves no stone unturned and no pore unclogged. The cleanser, toner, and benzoyl peroxide treatment obliterate breakouts—present and future.


Seven standouts with a gentle touch.

Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser softens with cotton extract, making it the cozy white T-shirt of face washes. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Sheer Hydration Lotion calms prickly skin while delivering a clean, powdery finish. Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel hydrates touchy complexions with only ten ingredients. Skinfix Soothing Wash for eczema lifts away impurities and quiets inflammation with colloidal oatmeal and natural oils. The lipids and amino acids in Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm A.D. Cream reduce chronic dryness. It's gentle enough for every skin type (even the baby kind). First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is sort of like a cold cream but not greasy—and not just for faces. The plain white emulsion heals and protects with ceramides and antioxidants. Cetaphil In-Shower Moisturizing Oil leaves skin indecently silky but not at all slick. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream slowly releases retinol to prevent irritation and peeling.


Fragrance has undeniable power: To inspire, to seduce, to calm. We found the perfumes that harness it in the most sublime way.

FRUITY. Named for a flower with no discernible smell, Givenchy Dahlia Divin Le Nectar de Parfum is more discreet than sweet. The lucid blend of jasmine and plum is clean—never cloying.

FLORAL. With frangipani and tuberose, Prada La Femme Prada deconstructs and redefines a classic floral bouquet. The notes are unafraid and impressively sheer. This is how you power-dress, perfume style.

CITRUS. Some citrus scents are so bright and splashy, we'd rather squirt them on a Niçoise salad than our skin. But Ralph Lauren Collection Lime has a soft, shadowy lavender note that's fresh and unexpected. No tourist fare here.

GREEN. Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Bergamot is faceted, not fussy. Spiky sage and moody vetiver add depth, while citrus keeps things bright.

SEXY. Imagine the world's sexiest, most sophisticated sunscreen on the world's sexiest, most sophisticated (and likely naked) woman. That's Tom Ford Soleil Blanc. But there's no one-sexy-fits-all, so we're also lauding the classic musky seduction of Bulgari Goldea. Its orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and patchouli sparkle like water on warm skin.

SPICY. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose captures the rich, illicit quality of the rose—not the romantic cliché we've smelled a few dozen times before.

MEN'S. With notes of citrus, pepper, and raw wood, Dior Sauvage conjures pure sky and rugged vistas.

CANDLE. With its mild green-tea scent and simple white votive, Annick Goutal Candle in L'Ile au Thé has the stark elegance of a porcelain teacup.

HAIR FRAGRANCE. Miu Miu Hair Mist gives us a lovely halo of lily of the valley. This is what an Italian countess—on holiday in France—must feel like.

NEW. For a scent inspired by an icon, Chanel No. 5 L'Eau is remarkably breezy. The blend of rose, jasmine, and cedar is so fresh, it borders on fragile.

CLASSIC. We've sprayed Narciso Rodriguez For Her on our pulse points more times than we can count, but this sexy, urban musk is still a revelation. The compliments never get old, either.


What constitutes a “natural” beauty product? There's still no universally accepted standard, even though the market is growing at the rate of microalgae. We spoke with experts to determine what ingredients a natural product should not contain. These winners are free of: parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, metallic aluminum, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, toluene, and chemical sunscreens (such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octinoxate).

W3LL People Bio Bronzer Powder creates a healthy glow that's believable even in the dead of winter. Burt's Bees Lipstick drenches lips in essential oils and a lustrous tint. The antioxidant-rich Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir blots out even the undereye shadows so inky they border on blue. The gossamer RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder veils pores and eliminates shine (and we can count the ingredients on one hand). Laced with argan oil, Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation Fluid goes on like silk and tempers redness. Goop by Juice Beauty Luminous Melting Cleanser cushions skin with natural oils, making moisturizer an option—but not a necessity. We love the petals floating in Korres Wild Rose Oil, but this bottle contains more than pure romance. Potent vitamin C fends off free radicals. The ingredient list of the Tata Harper Purifying Mask reads like the lunch menu at a spa: Yogurt probiotics cleanse, while turmeric and fennel control oil. Ever Reveal Biomimetic Peel Pads tackle discoloration with azelaic acid and hydrate with magnolia water. Rake the decadent SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk through damp strands for silky spirals. Beautycounter Lengthening Mascara creates volume without irritating your eyes. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream turns lackluster skin luminous with a creamy blend of oils. Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Sunscreen goes on white, then fades into a sheer, protective sheen. The Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon delivers hydrating botanicals plus pigments that don't go MIA.


These are the only liners, shadows, and mascaras you need to make your eyes look bigger and brighter and beautiful-er.


BLACK. An opaque cream with zero sparkle, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Tuxedo looks chic, even when smudged.

BEIGE. Clinique Lid Pop in Cream Pop takes the boring out of beige. The silky, tawny powder delivers gorgeous definition.

BROWN. The sponge tip on L'Oréal Paris Infallible Smokissime in Brown Smoke produces a rich espresso haze, no matter how quickly you scribble it on.

GRAY. For ethereal evening eyes, Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono in Hypnotique drapes lids in a smoky, dreamy, mauvy veil of light.

METALLIC. Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Thrasher is the ultimate tease. The sheer gold wash winks and shimmers but doesn't come on too strong.

COLOR. The stunning blue-green sheen of Gucci Magnetic Shadow Mono in Iconic Ottanio brightens dark eyes and makes light ones sparkle.

EDGY. “A frostbitten cranberry” is how one tester described Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Oil Slick. Glinting with silver, this deep-garnet hue imparts an allover glow—and an indefinable cool factor.

PALETTE. The eight shades in the CoverGirl TruNaked Shadow Palette in Nudes (below) inch seamlessly from pale champagne to smoky chestnut. Wear them individually to create subdued smoky eyes or blend together for an ultrasooty effect.


EVERYDAY. The tiny hooks on Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara sculpt lashes into full-figured curves.

LENGTHENING. Touch in Sol Stretchex elongates our tips to a surreal extent, while the skinny brush reaches even wimpy corner lashes.

WATERPROOF. M.A.C. In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Lash combines stay-put prowess with a soft and fluttery finish.

DRAMATIC. “Whoa.” That's one editor's reaction to a single coat of Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara in Stunning Black. We could go on about the way the glossy formula also curls our lashes, but that syllable pretty much sums it up.


BLACK. With its supersaturated color and remarkably fine tip, Maybelline New York Master Precise Skinny in Defining Black lets you tightline like an ancient Egyptian.

BROWN. Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Highline Eyeliner in Dark Chocolate is a real overachiever. The budgeproof cocoa is soft enough to diffuse, while the built-in sharpener and smudging tip score bonus points.

COLOR. An opaque amethyst, Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Bourbon Street brightens eyes in an artful, unexpected way.

LIQUID/FELT TIP. The laser-like accuracy of L'Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liner creates sharp cat eyes in one try—we were shocked, too.

DUAL-ENDED. Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner offers the smudgy, smutty glory of a crayon and the shiny, slinky appeal of a liquid.

GEL/CREAM. Revlon ColorStay Crème Gel Eye Liner is so dense and creamy, it comes in a pot. The full-size brush lets you create the boldest strokes outside of a beauty ad.

WATERPROOF. Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil won't run—no matter how high the humidity or weepy the Netflix selection.


CLEAR GEL. If all you need is taming, Rimmel London Brow This Way fluffs up brows and sets rogue hairs.

TINTED GEL. With its tiny spooley, Glossier Boy Brow combs in the ideal amount of color without making arches look obviously filled.

PENCIL. The soft, slanted nib on Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil wedges right into sparse areas.

POWDER. The light and dark shades in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo create extra dimension and the most natural-looking effect.

GROWTH. The peptides in RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner strengthen existing hairs and help restore fullness over time.


We shouldn't have a single lash left after testing hundreds of liners and mascaras. But Simple Skincare Dual Effect Eye Make-Up Remover dissolves even waterproof formulas without stinging or yanking. The only thing it nabbed (besides this title) is our gratitude.


Fingers will only get you so far. These are the brushes and sponges and irons that take your look to the next level.


FOUNDATION. The Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush is so dense and blunt, it can stand on its head. But its coolest trick: making streaks disappear.

CONCEALER. Slender and pliant, the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush allows for total control, even when targeting the teeniest blemish.

EYELINER. We've never seen a narrower brush (and we've seen brushes). The Smith Cosmetics 202 Microliner Brush nestles right into your lash line, filling in the smallest gaps for the biggest results.

POWDER. The compact bristles on the Sephora Collection Pro Featherweight Complexion Brush #90 deposit a veil of flawless coverage.

BLUSH. You know a brush is soft when calling it “feathery” doesn't cut it. The It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe French Boutique Blush Brush #4 diffuses pigment for the most delicate flush.

BRONZER. With its fluffy, slightly tapered tips, the Revlon Contour Brush breezes over the high points of the face, making bronzer impossible to botch.

CONTOURING. The rounded bristles of the NYX Cosmetics Pro Contour Brush hug curves for seamless, no-stripes sculpting.

EYE SHADOW. We love the Sonia Kashuk Tools Small Eye Shadow Brush for sweeping powder on the lids and angling it into the creases. Extra props for the ergonomic handle.

BROW. The sturdy Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo Brush #12 picks up just enough powder (or gel) to define arches delicately.

LIP. The slanted nib of the Chanel Angled Lip Brush #33 sharpens peaks, spreads saturated color, and makes matte finishes look luscious.


The Tweezerman ProCurl Lash Curler has an extra-wide opening to produce an extra-wide bend. Lashes look fuller and curvier—even without mascara.


We've tried dead ringers and doppelgängers, but none can match the Beautyblender Original. It seamlessly buffs away imperfections and never gets crumbly.


Kind of like Twinkies, the Tweezerman Slant Tweezer is made to last an eternity. The precise tip grabs imperceptible regrowth—and comes with free sharpening for life. Whatever, apocalypse.


BLOW-DRYER. The Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 delivers lightning-fast blowouts, and its ionic setting makes quick work of frizz on even the thickest strands.

FLATIRON. With its wishbone shape, the GHD White Platinum Styler flatiron brings more than just sleekness to the table. The slender plates hold the ideal temperature (365 degrees) and create wide bends with ease.

CURLING IRON. The ultimate triple threat, the T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand has three interchangeable barrels that lock into place, producing loose waves, tight spirals, and everything in between.

CURLERS. Our favorite set has gotten an upgrade: The new T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe still produce optimal bounce but now have two temperature settings so the fine- and fragile-haired can dial down the heat.


ROUND. The boar bristles of the Ibiza Hair G4 form a swirling pattern that creates extra volume as you work. And thanks to its weightless cork handle, you barely have to work at all.

PADDLE. A few passes with the Sonia Kashuk Tools Hair Brush bestows such shine and volume, you may swear off air-drying and finger-tousling for good.

DETANGLER. Tangle Teezer The Original Styler unsnags like no other. The spiky, bendy plastic bristles glide through wet or dry hair without snapping it.


The cleansers, scrubs, and lotions that inspire total exposure.


MOISTURIZING. The upside of feeling tight and prickly? You get to use Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Body Wash Nourishing Coconut. The creamy, coconut-scented lather has been proven to be just as mild as a fragrance-free formula; skin glows like a silver lining.

ACNE-FIGHTING. Meet the most luxurious way to abolish bacne, buttne, and every other “-ne” word. The date-seed powder and licorice-root extract in Murad Acne Body Wash polish and soothe skin, while salicylic acid nixes breakouts.


Origins Warm Down Warming Lava Scrub heats up on contact—which only sounds like a gimmick. The high temperature relaxes tense muscles, while sulfur-rich volcanic ash gives a thorough buffing.


TRADITIONAL SELF-TANNER. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse delivers an instant warm sheen that continues to deepen until you shower.

GRADUAL SELF-TANNER. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer has now won this title seven times—and that's no mere lucky number. With subtle color that never streaks, the formula has earned our devotion.

BRONZER. When you can't travel to Tahiti, Nars Monoï Body Glow is the next best thing—and without the sun damage! The slightly tinted, shimmer-flecked coconut oil bathes our skin in color and light, and possibly even joy and fulfillment.


LIGHT. With its sheer tint and tiny light reflectors, Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream veils every inch in dewy, airbrushed perfection.

RICH. The name may smack of a recipe for homemade croissants, but just try to find a single flake after smoothing on H2O+ Milk Body Butter . Spoiler alert: You won't.


Diptyque Precious Oils for Body and Bath turns our skin into silk and our stress into vapor.


For peace of mind on every front, Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Sport Luxe Deodorant banishes odor without aluminum or harsh chemicals.


With its sweat-fighting ingredients and budgeproof formula, Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid is tough on wetness, easy on dry cleaning.


FOR DAY. Like an impressive sleight of hand, Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40 lavishes skin with moisture and UV protection but won't leave a single fingerprint on your iPad screen. It's that lightweight.

FOR NIGHT. When cold weather and zealous washing suck our hands dry, we reach for Yes to Coconut Protecting Hand & Cuticle Cream. The rich emulsion heals cracked skin with fatty acids and natural butters.


The oil-free Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 deposits a powdery, almost matte finish that won't turn slick in the heat, no matter how much you heap on (and you should be heaping on a lot).


RAZOR. Gillette Venus Swirl has a pivoting head that steers around contours, getting all those tricky angled spots that we sometimes overlook (looking at you, ankle knobs).

SHAVING CREAM. With its ribbon of moisturizing glycerin and shea butter, Gillette Venus With a Touch of Olay Shave Gel practically gift-wraps legs, leaving them shockingly smooth and ready to present.


Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips can eliminate 14 years of stains. That takes us back before the millennials in the office got all of their molars, and before the rest of us got friendly with pinot noir.


It's not beauty; it's “grooming.”

The Clarisonic Alpha Fit has two settings: One scrubs clean-shaven skin; the other powers through beards and stubble. Martial Vivot Creme provides light hold and a subtle gleam (we often steal it for ourselves). Dove Men + Care Deep Clean Body and Face Wash has a grainy lather and a bracing, irresistible scent. Marshmallow and jojoba oil in Weleda Moisture Cream for Men hydrate and temper redness. Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser has natural fruit extracts to exfoliate skin without stripping it. Kiehl's Close-Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion produces a cushy lather for razors to glide over. You may never see a toilet-paper patch again. Clinique For Men 2 in 1 Skin Hydrator + Beard Conditioner is thin enough to penetrate stubble, calming everything underneath. Julep Konjac Sponge buffs skin with konjac root and bamboo charcoal powder.


These shampoos, conditioners, and styling products nurture what nature gave you—and make every texture thrive.


FINE HAIR. The zinc in Redken Cerafill Thickening System Defy Shampoo and Conditioner controls oil to boost roots, while ceramides fatten all over.

DRY HAIR. Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Intense Oil Crème Shampoo and Deep Conditioner quench strands with a cushy cocktail of oils and caviar extracts.

COLOR-TREATED HAIR. Clear Color & Heat Conqueror Shampoo and Conditioner keep our color as glossy as the day we left the salon—and buy us an extra week before our next visit.

FRIZZY HAIR. Like the world's most sophisticated magnet, the keratin complex in Ouai Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner bonds to rough patches, delivering sleekness exactly where we need it. And that gorgeous floral scent attracts praise wherever we go.

CURLY HAIR. Dove Quench Absolute Shampoo and Conditioner eliminate fuzz while preserving springiness.

COARSE/KINKY HAIR. The thick moisturizers in SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner distribute evenly, gliding through every twist and turn.

DAMAGED HAIR. We know our way around a hot iron. And we never met a highlight we didn't like. But thanks to Kevin Murphy Repair Me Wash Shampoo and Rinse Conditioner, our hair has a virginal gleam.

DANDRUFF. Although Head & Shoulders Nourishing Hair & Scalp Care Shampoo and Conditioner minimize flakes after one wash, the creamy, lavender-infused formulas feel luxurious, not medicinal.


MASK. You can look through a microscope to see how Pantene Pro-V Moisture Renewal 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner transforms tattered cuticles. But it delivers softness that has to be touched to be believed.

OIL. No time to indulge in a shower treatment? Dove Regenerative Nourishment Serum-in-Oil goes on like a regular styling product, doing its thing while you do yours.

SCALP. With its narrow nozzle, Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment can even navigate around braids and weaves, depositing a cooling leave-on gel that cleanses and soothes the scalp without disrupting any style.

THINNING. Rogaine Women's 5% Minoxidil Foam contains the highest possible dose of the only topical ingredient proven to grow hair. Sounds hard-core, but the airy whip couldn't be lighter—it dissolves and dries in seconds.


VOLUMIZER. Some volumizers seem to inflate fine hair by sticking strands together (a cheap trick). Philip Kingsley PK Prep Plumping Cream imparts body without clumps, stiffness—or funny business. Prefer foam? Scrunch a mound of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse into damp hair for allover fullness. And like a midday espresso, David Mallett Volume Powder gives an instant boost when dry roots wilt.

DEFRIZZER, FINE/MEDIUM HAIR. The name is not hyperbole: Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil locks out humidity for zero fuzz or flyaways.

DEFRIZZER, COARSE/KINKY HAIR. Garnier Fructis Style Curl Stretch Loosening Pudding has a soufflé texture that turns poufy spirals into languid bends.

CURL DEFINER, FINE/MEDIUM HAIR. Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Creme contains plenty of moisture to smooth frizz but is light enough to buoy wispy ringlets.

CURL DEFINER, COARSE/KINKY HAIR. The aloe and chamomile in Kinky-Curly Curling Custard add exceptional luster; springy marshmallow encourages bounce.

WAVE ENHANCER. Infused with aloe, Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray produces airy waves with a glossy feel.

STRAIGHTENING CREAM. Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight starts to unwind curls before you even reach for the round brush.

HAIR SPRAY. A hair spray as commitment-phobic as we are: Nexxus Comb Thru Finishing Mist gives impressive hold and brushes out with the ease of a swipe-right. Actually, make that a left.

HEAT-PROTECTING SPRAY. Part multitasker, part miracle worker, Paul Mitchell Hot Off the Press guards against high heat, repels humidity, adds shine, and holds styles in place.

SHINE BOOSTER. Vibrant Sexy Hair Rose Elixir evaporates the second it hits dry hair. The only thing you'll notice is a healthy gloss. And a silky feel. And a floral scent. Other than that, it's totally undetectable.

POMADE. Sally Hershberger 24K Vanity Hair Shaping Balm has zero tackiness and lets you go to town creating body and piecey texture.

TEXTURIZER. Garnier Fructis Style De-Constructed Texture Tease is the lightest mist we've tried, but it still endows hair with tons of fullness.

DRY SHAMPOO. Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk breathes fresh life into day-old blowouts.


SINGLE PROCESS. If you think flawless hair color is just going to show up on your're right. With eSalon Made for You Custom Hair Color , you fill out a questionnaire, upload a photo, and receive a box of dye formulated specifically for you.

ROOT COVERAGE. The tiny zinc particles in Color Wow Root Cover Up attach to dark regrowth and wiry grays, holding color in place—even in a downpour.

GLAZE. Your step-by-step plan for shinier hair and more vivid color: 1) Apply John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss in the shower. 2) Three minutes later, rinse. 3) Actually, that's it.