Readers' Choice: The Beauty Products You Loved Most This Year
Not unlike the Olympics, preparing for our annual Readers’ Choice Beauty Awards is a year-round affair. We editors spent our days swatching, sniffing, and slathering on beauty products (okay, maybe it’s a Iittle different than planning the Olympics) that launched between May 2018 and June 2019, all in an effort to determine nominees.
Then we left it up to you, reader, to cast the final vote. (Or shout-out your own top picks using our write-in option.) Nearly 4,500 of you participated in our online survey and professed your love for budge-proof brow products (ahem, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel), innovative skin-care, and CBD-spiked everything. (It’s the star ingredient in not one but three of our winning formulas.)
And, as always, we couldn’t help but award some of our personal favorites, too. (Seriously, the Dyson Airwrap is worth every single penny.) Those winners are labeled “Editors’ Picks,” but you can consider them each the Megan Rapinoe of our editors’ beauty product A-teams.
And now, the fun part: Kick back, relax, and explore the 40+ makeup, skin, and hair launches that changed the game this year.
VIDEO: 5 Drugstore Beauty Products Celebs Swear By
FOUNDATION: Tarte Babassu Foundcealer
This vegan base hydrates like a moisturizer, protects with SPF 20, and melts right in.
CONCEALER: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch
Clearly, Rihanna’s idea of the perfect concealer is a long-wearing, full-coverage, anti-crease formula in 50 shades. And we agree.
BLUSH: Lancôme Le Monochromatique
In an easy-to-blend cream-to-powder formula, each color delivers a realistic flush.
HIGHLIGHTER: Ilia Liquid Light Serum
The sheer liquid gives you a fresh glow, not an overdose of glitter.
BRONZER: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth
Rihanna’s coveted collection of eight bronzers flatters complexions without streaking or leaving a chalky residue.
EDITOR'S PICK: Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
Hate wearing foundation? This fluid will change your mind. The tinted formula not only feels weightless but also conceals discoloration without caking.
BROW PRODUCT: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel
The tiny brush makes it a breeze to apply this waterproof gel, which helps bump up brows to Brooke Shields levels.
EYELINER: Too Faced Better Than Sex Easy Glide Waterproof Liquid
For wings so perfectly engineered you could almost take flight, try this ultra-precise, glossy onyx pen.
EYE SHADOW: Marc Jacobs Beauty O!mega Gel Powder
With perennial faves like cocoa brown, sheer gold, and warm berry, these are the shadows you’ll want to wear every day. Good thing the single compacts are jumbo size.
MASCARA: Tarte Big Ego Vegan
The twisted bristles catch every lash, coating each one with a lengthening pitch-black ink.
NAIL POLISH: Sally Hansen Mega Strength
Consider a coat of this platinum-infused formula the next-best thing to wearing gloves: It protects nails from breaks, splits, and cracks.
LIQUID LIP PRODUCT: L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Liquid Lipstick
The extended wear and the lightweight feel make this a matte you can commit to comfortably.
EDITOR'S PICK: Charlotte Tilbury Latex Love
When you want a slick vinyl shine, pick one of these six sexy, limited-edition shades from red-carpet makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.
LIP GLOSS: Stila Beauty Boss
It would take several swipes of your standard gloss to achieve the shine you can get with this formula. It’s flecked with light-reflecting pearls for a glistening sheen minus the stickiness.
LIPSTICK: Maybelline New York Made for All by Color Sensational
You’re sure to find a new signature among the line’s multi-tone neutrals and universal reds.
LIMITED-EDITION LAUNCH: Nars Orgasm Collection
Featuring shimmering shades of rose, gold, and peach, the face compact and matching lip gloss flatter complexions without coming on too strong.
SERUM: Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Bright
It brightens with exfoliating acids and enzymes. Pineapple offers a dose of antioxidant vitamin C for cell protection.
ANTI-AGING TREATMENT: No7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum
Peptides in the silky serum work to make skin look firmer and perkier.
EYE CREAM: RevitaLash Cosmetics AquaBlur Hydrating Eye Gel & Primer
Your undereye makeup is less likely to crease and crinkle if you prep with a super-hydrating primer like this.
MOISTURIZER: Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream
The gel-like antioxidant cream leaves your face feeling supple and hydrated for hours.
PRIMER: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright
We love the versatility of this glistening lotion, which helps brighten skin thanks to vitamin C. You can wear it as a makeup primer or mix a bit into your base to get an immediate glow.
EDITOR'S PICK: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil
For dry-skin types who bristle at the thought of using retinol serums, this winner delivers the potent line-fighting ingredient in a soothing oil.
CLEANSER: Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup Melting Butter
We’d never tell you to skip moisturizer, but washing with this marula-oil-spiked balm leaves skin so soft, you could almost get away with it.
ANTI-ACNE TREATMENT: Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment
The pimple fighter targets dead, pore-clogging cells with salicylic acid.
FACE MASK: Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating
Flaky on your forehead but oily everywhere else? This moisturizing mask, containing aloe, glycerin, and cannabis-seed oil, comes in a twist-up stick so you can target areas easily.
FACIAL TREATMENT: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Peeling Mousse Instant Glow Facial
For the days when five minutes of alone time feels like an eternity, rub on this exfoliating treatment (with pineapple and witch hazel), which will get you glowing in 60 seconds.
EXFOLIATOR: Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads
One of these pads, packed with salicylic and phytic acids, deposits calming chamomile to help counteract redness
BODY PRODUCT: Merle Norman Cosmetics Anti-Aging Complex Body Lotion
The skin below your neck needs attention too, and this antioxidant-rich cream brings a tripeptide into the mix to help with deep lines and creases.
SPF: CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face
It’s quite the people pleaser: This fragrance-free mineral lotion blends in without a fight and leaves no tacky residue.
NATURAL BEAUTY MVP: Herbivore Botanicals Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil
If your complexion is more reactive than a rejected contestant on The Bachelor, try this soothing blend made with anti-inflammatory ingredients.
BATH PRODUCT: Caress Sheer Twilight Body Wash
The gel completely soothes the senses with its woodsy scent of black orchid and amber.
SUPPLEMENT: Daily Habit Full Spectrum CBD Powder
Sprinkle a couple of scoops of this anti-inflammatory full-spectrum CBD powder (from registered dietitian Brooke Alpert) into your morning coffee and see if you feel more centered throughout the day.
CURL STYLER: Bumble and Bumble Curl Luminous Oil Spray
Silicone- and alcohol-free, this instaglosser also offers heat protection.
SCALP TREATMENT: Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment
This leave-in solution hydrates to help soothe itching and works to balance microorganisms on the skin to tackle dryness and flaking.
EDITOR'S PICK: Tresemmé Between Washes Style Refresh All-in-1 Spray
Does your look need a reboot on the fly? Rewet hair with this conditioning spray, then use a blow-dryer and brush to set a new style.
STYLING PRODUCT: Garnier Whole Blends 10 in 1 Miracle Nectar Leave-In Treatment
Whether you use it to detangle or rehydrate strands, the creamy honey-infused gel will smooth the way to stronger, softer results.
EDITOR'S PICK: Formawell Beauty x Kendall Jenner 1 Inch Flat Iron
We love how the curved edges of this iron (which heats up to 450°F) allow you to straighten and curl hair in minutes.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER: OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness
With protective antioxidants from green tea, this duo also has a fresh, herbaceous scent.
HAIR TREATMENT: Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots
These concentrated conditioners deliver moisturizers (lipids and glycerin) to bring fried hair back from the brink.
EDITOR'S PICK: Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete
With this light tool, powerful streams of air coax strands around a cylinder head to create tight curls or loose waves in seconds. Its sophisticated design means you’ll also never have to worry about neck burns.
VOLUMIZER: Virtue Volumizing Primer
Mist wet roots before a blowout, or spray dry hair to add beachy body and bounce.
STYLING TOOL: Tangle Teezer Fine & Fragile Detangler
When you’re trying to hold onto every single strand on your head, a brush designed with smooth, flexible bristles is a smart investment. No snagging or breakage here!