The best beauty buys of the year
Makeup: Best foundation
We recruit 24 prestigious beauty experts, throw a crazy testing party, and send them home with even more stuff to try. The results are the 43 best beauty products here. Lots are under $20, but they're all a bargain, because they work.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup, $62; nordstrom.com
Dubroff used this sheer foundation on herself and her star clients: "It has the most natural coverage with a glowy finish, and it's not streaky when you put it on." Makeup artist Gita Bass liked how "the dropper dispensed just the right amount."
Makeup: Best mascara
CoverGirl Clump Crusher by LashBlast Mascara, $6.99; amazon.com
Bass put this mascara wand to the ultimate test: "I loaded on several coats all at once, and seriously, I didn't see a single clump," she said. Hours later, "it hadn't flaked or smudged, either."
Makeup: Best eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, $28; nordstrom.com
"This makes blending on shadow so simple. I just scribbled them on my lids," Price raved about this skinny cream stick. "And the colors have soft shimmer, not full-on glitter."
Makeup: Best face powder
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, $45; sephora.com
This pressed powder contains tiny light-reflecting particles to blur imperfections, but the overall effect is just better skin. "It gave my skin a lovely, radiant finish without looking shimmery," said Reiss-Andersen.
Makeup: Best eyeliner
Nars Eyeliner Stylo, $27; amazon.com
"The flexible tip made this liquid liner surprisingly easy to apply, and the color stayed crisp and bold until I took it off," said Hazan.
Makeup: Best concealer
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $28; sephora.com
"The color match was spot-on and really hid my dark circles," said Sheriff (it comes in 10 shades). She also used it on her clients, "and it lasted through a 12-hour photo shoot without creasing or fading, which is practically unheard of."
Makeup: Best beautifying beads cream
L'Oréal Paris Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator, $16.99; ulta.com
It moisturizes, covers, protects, and brightens—all at once! "It looked natural and radiant," said Alexiades- Armenakas, who gave major props to potent anti-agers like niacinamide, "which helps fade dark spots."
Makeup: Best blush
Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush, $12.99; amazon.com
The shades may look intense at first glance, "but these creams glided on evenly and looked sheer and fresh," said Ahnert, who liked rosy-tinted Flushed on her fair skin. Hair colorist Rita Hazan loved how Coral Reef gave her olive skin a "just-off-the-beach color."
Makeup: Best bronzer
Urban Decay Naked Flushed, $30; sephora.com
This slim palette has everything you need for a sun-kissed look: a universally flattering powder bronzer, a rosy blush, and a pinky-nude highlighter. TV style expert Jenn Falik said, "I'm not a fan of sparkly bronzer, so this shimmer-free version was right up my alley." She also used the highlighter as eyeshadow, "and it looked amazing!"
Makeup: Best primer
Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting, $42; amazon.com
"It made my makeup look more natural," said makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff of this weightless primer, amped up with skin-perfecting vitamin C. "It didn't feel oily, my foundation was easier to blend, and it also lasted longer."