Musicians have the Grammies and actors have the Oscars. For beauty products, earning a spot in InStyle’s coveted beauty awards is the industry pinnacle. With over 100 winners in 2016, these contenders are carefully chosen and vetted by the industry’s top experts—dermatologists, hair stylists, makeup artists, and manicurists. With a process that takes over six months, we begin sending out super detailed (and long!) surveys in October and then tally up the results. As our beauty closet begins to fill up, we interview our pros to find out why they really love these products and why they deserve some real estate in your makeup bag. There’s so many lipstick bullets out there, and only so much time to swatch each one. Whether you’re loyal to a classic red, or love to swipe on a pretty berry shade, the following lippies are available in a wide range of shades to fall in love with. Let your lips do the talking with these three winning formulas that fare better than the rest.
1. Best Overall Lipstick
Saturating with a single swipe, this year's hero bullet wins hearts for its intense, gorgeous colors ("the 40-piece range is outrageous," raves celebrity makeup artist Bruce Grayson) and its satin-matte texture. And you can build the color for even more intense payoff, says makeup artist Fabiola. Even with a plethora of shades, "what you see in the tube, is what you actually get," says Chinchilla.
A castor oil base keeps this pick from parching lips. "A lot of pigmented lipsticks can feel dry, but this one is soft and creamy," says celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla. That means it doesn't emphasize flakes or fine lines around the mouth, says Fabiola. And while some semi-matte formulas go on chalky, these glide onto the lips and easy to apply, says Grayson. "It's everything you want in a lipstick and it’s long lasting, this checks all the boxes," says makeup artist Johnny Saade. Merci beaucoup, François Nars!
NARS Audacious Lipstick.
Nars | $32
2. Best Inexpensive Lipstick
This lipstick isn't just great for the price, it's just great—period, end of story, says makeup artist Tamah Krinsky, who works with Elisabeth Moss. With this affordable cream, what you see is what you get and "the formula packs staying power," says Krinsky. To boot, "they have such an array of colors from brights to nudes," says makeup artist Andre Sarmiento, who works with Kate Bosworth. This variety of colors from classics to funkier hues like blue and yellow allows you to experiment with new shades without breaking the bank.
And the creamy formula won't run into fine lines around lips, even when you're enveloped by heat and humidity. "I gift these to brides all the time," says Krinsky. "The product never dries out on the mouth." Consider this a makeup artist staple to add to your own kit, "if I’m traveling and I need to pick up lipsticks, I pick up NYX. They're such great basics," says makeup artist Johny Saade. And unlike some drugstore lipsticks, "this feels like a high quality product, like it could be much more expensive," says Sarmiento.
NYX Matte Lipstick.
NYX | $6
3. Best Eco-Friendly Lipstick
Mineral-based products may be better for the environment, but with this winner, your lips will reap some benefits too. Some mineral formulas can be chalky and skip on the lips. Not these, "they just slide onto the lips smoothly and they stay on for quite awhile," says makeup artist Tamah Krinsky. Containing Abyssinian oil and omega fatty acids, the creamy sticks hydrate your pout while delivering a satin finish that feels as light as air, says Krinsky.
"They have such great colors, they’re super pigmented," says makeup artist Megan Lanoux who considers this line to be her go-to brand for eco-friendly products. The rich berry shades are the real draw. Take the rosy Get Ready, for instance: It is ultra-flattering on all skin tones thanks to its balance of cool and warm tones.
BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie.
Bare Minerals | $18