Of all the serums, crèmes, shampoos, stylers, and lipsticks that hit shelves around the world every year, how do we judge what's best, exactly? For the 25th year, the international board of Marie Claire has brought together beauty experts from its 35 global editions for Prix d'Excellence de la Beauté, the world's longest-running and most prestigious beauty awards. Through our international jury and a panel of esteemed American experts, we collectively sample and scrutinize tens of thousands of new beauty products each year. We're a discerning group and have been known to hone in on everything that matters: color, scent, texture, innovation, packaging, and sustainability. What made the cut are the standout, gotta-own-it-now products we just fell in love with — the crème of the crop. And the winners are ...
The Global Judges
- Ying Chu, Beauty & Health Director at Marie Claire USA
- Antonella Bussi, Beauty Director at Marie Claire Italy
- Zoe Zhang, Beauty Director at Marie Claire China
- Ariane Goldet, Beauty Director at Marie Claire France
- Lisa Oxenham, Beauty Director at Marie Claire U.K.
- Ana Serrano, Beauty Director at Marie Claire Spain
The American Judges
- Erin Flaherty, Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire USA
- Crystal Meers, Beauty Editor at dailycandy.com
- Anastasia Hendrix, Senior Editor at San Francisco Chronicle
- Lauren Murrow, Market Editor at New York Magazine
- Lizzie Dunlap, Web Editor at realbeauty.com
- Melissa Magsaysay, Staff Writer at Los Angeles Times
Winner (not shown): Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation, $37. A mineral formula with pink and blue (not chalky-white) pigments that leaves skin looking natural — but better. The velvety finish means you can forgo powder.
Winner: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $73. This sublime skin-smoothing cocktail of botanicals, glucosamine, and yeast (no harsh hydroquinone) was 10 years in the making — but worth the wait!
Winner: Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Serum, $140. Hello, perfect skin: A blend of delicious honeys and royal jelly — known for wound- healing capabilities — are infused into this silky face serum.
Winner: RoC Sublime Energy Day, $69. The microcurrent charge in this day cream duo delivers antiaging ingredients deep into skin to lift and firm it. The subtlest shimmer brightens complexions instantly.
Winners/Best New Technology: L'Oréal Paris Solar Expertise Huile Protectrice, $17, and Garnier Ambre Solaire Huile Ambrée Protectrice, $13. Cutting-edge science means serious SPF, served up in these bronzy body oils. Thank you, French sun-worshippers!
Snag these Europe-only buys at marieclaire.com/beautyawards.
USA: BEST IN SKIN
Winner: Clarins Bright Plus HP Protective Brightening Day Lotion SPF 20, $59. This superb hydrator brightens, smooths, and protects yet feels light as water — a multitasking masterpiece!
Highly Recommended: SK-II Cellumination Essence Hydrating Serum, $220. In a few weeks, your skin will glow from within, thanks to this genius brightening fluid. Points for the minimal-chic bottle!
Highly Recommended: Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir $25. The next best thing to a cosmetic derm who makes house calls: a serum that goes to work like a gentle glycolic peel while you sleep.
Highly Recommended: Neutrogena Rapid Clear On-the-Go Acne Treatment Pen, $10. For the post-teen zits that catch you by surprise, this portable pen keeps swelling and redness in check — without drying out your skin.
Highly Recommended: Dior Capture Totale 21 Night Ritual, $225. In three weeks, this brilliant overnight treatment brightens, tightens, and smooths away lines and spots. Use it on your face, neck, chest — and hands, too.
USA: BEST IN MAKEUP
Winner: Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Color, $30. These gorgeous, buttery lipsticks come in every true-to-the-tube shade and finish — matte, pearl, shimmer — you'll ever want.
Highly Recommended: Clé de Peau Cream Compact Foundation SPF 18, $128. A cream-to-powder foundation that covers every tiny flaw and goes on like silk. No joke! And even after hours of wear, it never cakes.
Highly Recommended: L'Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base, $13. This almost-weightless primer spackles every crevice and pore on your face to ensure makeup goes on seamlessly.
Highly Recommended: Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color, $45. Rich colors. Luxuriously creamy formulas. Stunning Art Deco tubes. The perfect accessory for Ford's fierce new women's fashions: his designer lipstick.
Highly Recommended: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, $10. No need for hours in a mani bar when pristine nail art — love the lace overlay here — can be applied in minutes on your couch.
USA: BEST IN ECO
Winner: Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair, $24. Addiction warning: This leave-in treatment smooths strands with quinoa and wheat proteins — not heaps of moisture-leaching silicone.
Highly Recommended: Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum, $150. This heavenly serum gently sloughs away flakes while keeping the rest of your skin moist and firm. Even better — it smells like a lush garden.
Highly Recommended: Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner, $10. An earth-friendly blend of willow bark extract, witch hazel, and hops prevents breakouts without leaving your complexion parched.
Highly Recommended: Korres Lip Butter Glaze, $14. These colorful glazes pack the moisturizing punch of the brand's original Lip Butters but offer unbeatable, patent-like shine and a natural — not syrupy — sweetness.
Highly Recommended: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation, $42. This product doesn't just cover up imperfections — the skin-coddling Argan-oil infusion zaps sun damage and dryness, too.