Each year, we test-drive a dizzying number of new launches to find the best of the best in skincare, haircare, and makeup. After discussing and deliberating, our international jury of beauty journalists has selected the winners of our 33rd annual beauty awards. From skin-saving serums to purifying lotions to magical mascaras, here are 2019’s most outstanding offerings.
Meet our judges (from left): Gina Way, Ning Chao, Megan McIntyre, Maya Allen
This dual-textured treatment contains the brand’s signature immortelle-essential-oil-filled microbeads, which work while you sleep to erase damage caused by exhaustion and environmental stressors such as pollution. Come morning, fine lines look smoother and your complexion is brighter.
The brand’s first mascara with a wand manufactured by a 3-D printer does not disappoint: A honeycomb-shaped brush deposits the perfect amount of jet-black formula with each swipe, making it easy to achieve thicker lashes with a neat, clean look—zero chance of clumps.
One chamber of this treatment holds a gentle peel that promotes cell renewal without damaging the epidermis. The other features an illuminating serum infused with royal jelly and honey, sourced from Guerlain’s eco-friendly black-bee conservatory in Brittany, France, that improves elasticity and promotes radiance. One pump delivers the formulas in tandem to solve issues of brightness and firmness simultaneously.
After studying skin’s circadian rhythm and the importance of nighttime repair, Estée Lauder’s researchers discovered that exposure to artificial blue light in the evening can disrupt the natural rhythm of our skin cells, potentially causing premature aging in the skin around the eyes. The fix? This reformulated version of the brand’s overnight eye treatment, which works even harder to minimize dark circles and rejuvenate skin.
Comprising acne-fighting Skin Perfecting Serum (pictured here), Skin Perfecting Mattifying Fluid, and Purifying Toner, this collection is a new kind of ritual, targeting skin imperfections, blackheads, dilated pores, and uneven skin texture. Formulated with six organic essential oils and grape-seed polyphenols, it embodies Caudalie’s mission to offer the most eco-friendly formulas possible for maximum efficiency with an elegant presentation.
Finally, an eye-makeup remover that’s safe for lash extensions! Even if you don’t have faux fringe, you’ll love this micelle-infused formula, which wipes away stiff brow gels, layers of mascara, and colorful shadows without leaving behind greasy residue.
Retinol is the gold standard for reducing signs of aging but can cause flakiness and irritate delicate skin. But this oil’s retinol is biomimetic, which means skin receives the ingredient more efficiently and is less likely to revolt. To further reduce sensitivity, the formula also contains StriVectin’s patented NIA-114 complex to strengthen skin’s barrier and squalane and chia-seed oil to moisturize.
This green-tea-infused lip treatment is as luxe as it is active: Applied with a contour-hugging applicator—modeled after a green-tea flower, natch—the oil-and-water formula has a sumptuous slip that revitalizes dry skin and makes lips look instantly younger.
These pigment-rich lip colors are beyond classification. The bold colors stay put like stains, and the high-shine finishes are as reflective as glosses without feeling sticky. The nondrying formula is also buildable. (The secret sauce is a glycerin-infused oil-in-water emulsion that hydrates for at least six hours.)
Still searching for the perfect liquid liner? L’Oréal’s latest formula ticks every box. The skinny brush delivers an elusive true-black finish with zero skipping or dragging, the inky formula is water-resistant and smudge-proof, and it lasts up to 24 hours.
Olay’s sunscreen-moisturizer hybrid is nothing like the sticky SPFs of yesteryear. The innovative whipped texture melts into skin instantly and improves your complexion’s moisture barrier, while the oh-so-necessary SPF 25 keeps you covered. Unlike other protective products, it creates the perfect canvas for makeup.
The undereye area typically gets all the attention, but this lightweight formula targets the oft-forgotten upper lids too. Powered by vitamin F and glutathione, a potent antioxidant that can bolster fragile skin and reduces creasing, the serum gently lifts and tightens droopy lids; over time, eyes appear more open. And don’t forget to apply it all the around eyes: The do-everything formula also brightens dark circles.
This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Marie Claire.