Best Beauty Buys

The winners are in! We’ve polled the beauty industry’s top experts about the hair, makeup, and skin products they can’t live without. Filter by categories to click through 165+ concealers, lotions, hair care products, and more.

  • Best Beauty Buys Hall Of Fame: MAC Cosmetics in Spice

    Find out why InStyle editors love MAC Cosmetics in Spice, a Best Beauty Buys 2016 Hall of Fame winner.

  • Best Beauty Buys Hall Of Fame: Chanel Lip Gloss

    Learn why Chanel Lip Gloss has been chosen as a Best Beauty Buy more than 10 times!

  • Best Beauty Buys Hall Of Fame Winner: OPI in Bubble Bath

    Looking for a great nail polish shade? InStyle editors recommend OPI in Bubble Bath.

See more Hall Of Fame Winners
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        Best Inexpensive Mascara 2016

        L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara

        Best Inexpensive Mascara 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013, 2007

        L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara

        “I have tried so many mascaras, and I always go back to this one,” says Megan Lanoux. The formula “lengthens and thickens your lashes without ever clumping.” The carbon black shade is particularly impressive, says Ashleigh Louer: “It’s so dark and pigmented that it produces the most dramatic effect on every eye color.” Major props to the brand’s Voluminous Waterproof version too. Makeup artists say the staying power is incomparable, outlasting cry fests, sweat sessions, and laps in the pool.

        $8
        Best Eye Shadow Brush 2016

        MAC 217 Eye Shadow Brush

        Best Eye Shadow Brush 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        MAC 217 Eye Shadow Brush

        Have you ever completely spaced out in the makeup-brush aisle trying to choose the ideal shadow applicator only to throw up your hands and walk away with nothing? No more. This is the one: Makeup artists get excited when they talk about their love of this tool, which Louer says she buys “10 at a time.” The reason is sheer versatility. The prop expertly deposits both creams and powders (including under-eye concealer), the soft synthetic bristles smoothing and stippling formulas into a seamless finish. Perhaps its greatest talent is perfecting the ever-popular, notoriously tricky smoky eye. Grayson says he uses the oval-shaped head “like a windshield wiper” along the creases of lids to blend and diffuse even the sootiest of shades.

        $25
        Best Makeup Remover Wipes 2016

        Neutrogena Towelettes Makeup-Remover Wipes

        Best Makeup Remover Wipes 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Neutrogena Towelettes Makeup-Remover Wipes

        It was actress Hayden Panettiere, says Robinette, who turned her on to these gentle wipes. They manage to “get off waterproof makeup” without leaving a residue on your skin, she says. They’re also key when traveling—Robinette says singer Miranda Lambert uses them while on tour. Bonus: They’re also awesome at “prepping the skin before makeup,” she says, removing whatever may be on your face (stray concealer from last night, toothpaste residue from this morning). “They just leave your skin feeling so clean.”

        $6/25 wipes
        Hall of Fame
        Best Eye Lash Curler 2016

        Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

        Best Eye Lash Curler 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

        When you curl thousands of sets of eyelashes, as makeup artists like Johny Saade do, you get kind of attached to your pro tool. “This is the first lash curler I ever used, and it will be the last,” declares Gita Bass. “It is my desert-island product,” says Kirin Bhatty. Let’s first focus on what this award-winning tool doesn’t do: pinch, snag, snap, or damage lashes. What it does just right is deliver the perfect curl (not crimp) in a single squeeze. You don’t need to keep clamping, trying to grab all the baby hairs in the inner corners, says Saade. And Bass adds that it comfortably cradles and “works on 99 percent of all eye shapes.” If you’re still scared to bring this metal gadget anywhere near your eyes, try this approach: Prop up your elbow on a table, steady your hand, open the head, then nestle it against your lid. Gently and very slowly close it over your lash line and give it a few squeezes. Your lashes will look lifted and instantly longer, your eyes even bigger.

        $20
        Best False Lashes 2016

        Ardell Indivudals False Lashes

        Best False Lashes 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        Ardell Indivudals False Lashes

        To really bat it out of the park, the right faux fringe matters. And this line—with a range of falsies from discreet clusters to dramatic strips—is the longtime obsession of makeup artists and beauty editors alike. While you can go big with an easily applied strip (“I love the invisible band that sits over your lash line,” which makes it nearly undetectable, says L.A. makeup artist Terri Apanasewicz), the brand is best known for these subtle individuals. “I put them on every client of mine,” says Louer, who adds that they “really look like your own lashes” (if your lashes were on steroids). The best way to apply? Dip the end of the cluster into a dark lash glue, then place it gently along your lash line, nestling between your natural hairs. Finish by laying down dark eyeliner (for added coverage) and some mascara.

        $5
        Best Lipstick for Fair Skin 2016

        Chanel Rouge Allure Intense in 91 Séduisante

        Best Lipstick for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Chanel Rouge Allure Intense in 91 Séduisante

        As opposed to beige, this neutral coaxes a healthy glow from skin.

        $37
        Best Nail Strengthener 2016

        Duri Rejuvacote

        Best Nail Strengthener 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Duri Rejuvacote

        Nails brittle and weak after a string of punishing gel treatments? Brush on this base packed with calcium and keratin proteins to ward off cracking and snapping. Vega, who works with Kelly Ripa, also likes that it strikes the perfect balance, toughening tips "without leaving them extremely rigid."

        $14
        Best Bronzer for Fair Skin 2016

        Guerlain Terracotta Light in No. 02 Blondes

        Best Bronzer for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2014

        Guerlain Terracotta Light in No. 02 Blondes

        The pink in this mosaic keeps the bronze tone from looking artificial.

        $57
        Best Lip Liner for Fair Skin 2016

        Marc Jacobs Beauty Poutliner in Honey(bun) 302

        Best Lip Liner for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Marc Jacobs Beauty Poutliner in Honey(bun) 302

        The watermelon hue discreetly defines.

        $24
        Best Blush for Fair Skin 2016

        Maybelline Fit Me in Deep Coral

        Best Blush for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Maybelline Fit Me in Deep Coral

        Gold produces the perfect sheen in this pink peach powder.

        $8
        Best Lip Gloss for Fair Skin 2016

        Nars Orgasm Lip Gloss

        Best Lip Gloss for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Nars Orgasm Lip Gloss

        In a word: brilliant. The winning balance of rose, peach, and gold hues never fails to sparkle.

        $26
        Hall of Fame
        Best Volumizer 2016

        Phyto PhytoVolume Actif

        Best Volumizer 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013

        Phyto PhytoVolume Actif

        With their traditionally high alcohol content, many volumizers can leave hair stiff (or worse, contribute to dryness and flaking). Not this instant root lifter. When applied to two-day-old hair, L.A. hairstylist Bridget Brager says, it’s the world’s easiest shortcut to a “disheveled cool-girl style.” For a bouncier blowout, spritz it onto damp strands: “Don’t just get it onto your roots but all over since it won’t make hair piecey or limp,” says pro Michael Dueñas.

        $30
        Best Concealer for Fair Skin 2016

        YSL Touche Éclat 2 in Luminous Ivory

        Best Concealer for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2012

        YSL Touche Éclat 2 in Luminous Ivory

        The MVP of pro kits, this allover luminizer checks eye baggage in an instant.

        $42
        Best Bronzer for Fair-Medium Skin 2016

        Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow in Light to Medium

        Best Bronzer for Fair-Medium Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2012

        Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow in Light to Medium

        The tan brick creates soft contours while the light powder expertly strobes.

        $68
        Best Overall Bright 2016

        China Glaze Sun of a Peach

        Best Overall Bright 2016
        WINNER 2016

        China Glaze Sun of a Peach

        Just as a shimmering, Orgasmic blush or juicy tangerine gloss can do, this lacquer breathes life into your complexion, says Dunbar. It offers plenty of energy and pop but doesn't feel so trendy that you run the risk of shade fatigue as you might with a neon orange or a Minion-esque yellow.

        $8
        Best Overall Neutral 2016

        Deborah Lippmann Naked

        Best Overall Neutral 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        Deborah Lippmann Naked

        You've heard of no-makeup makeup, right? Well, this hue creates the same effortlessly chic effecton your hands. "I can use this on someone with Lupita Nyong'o's skin tone or on someone as fair as Nicole Kidman," says McCormick. Adding just the right creamy trace of color, she says, this semi-sheer formula never skews too white. Is that why it's usually plucked first from the rack at our local salon?

        $18
        Best Overall Red 2016

        Dior Rouge

        Best Overall Red 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Dior Rouge

        It's more than just a pretty bottle. "This shade is like a drug," says Lamar of the hugely addictive and popular classic crimson that complements every skin tone— albeit in different ways. "On darker complexions it becomes brighter, more fiery; on lighter ones it looks deeper, and you more easily notice its blue base."

        $27
        Hall of Fame
        Best Lip Liner for Fair-Medium Skin 2016

        MAC Cosmetics in Spice

        Best Lip Liner for Fair-Medium Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013

        MAC Cosmetics in Spice

        It blends in with your nudes but has enough pigment to border your berry lipsticks.

        $17