If a product were called the "Best in America," you'd probably give it a try. But "Best in the World" sounds a whole lot better, n'est-ce pas? That's the idea behind Marie Claire's 29th annual Prix d'Excellence de la Beauté, which relies on the votes of an international jury of beauty journalists to choose its winners. This article appears in the May issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.
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Nars Cosmetics by François Nars
The Jury's Choice: Legendary makeup artist Francçois Nars knows color, whether it's practically invisible foundations and natural—looking blushes or bold lipsticks and bright eyeshadows that pop. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his brand, he outdid himself with the Audacious Lipstick collection (intense full—coverage colors with a matte finish) and the Dual—Intensity Eyeshadows (shades that can be worn wet or dry for different effects). Perfectly gorgeous. Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia, $29; and Audacious Lipstick in Bette, Carmen, Grace, and Julie, $32 each; narscosmetics.com The Jury Speaks: "This French makeup artist who started to conquer New York 20 years ago is a true success story." "The line is a girl's dream, with to-die-for colors each season and beautiful textures that are glam without being overly sexy." "With his multiple collaborations, Nars has a true love of women and knows what can make them even more beautiful and desirable." "It's been 20 years of pure colors, the best pigments, fabulous blushes, and pencils that glide--a faultless performance that deserves to be celebrated." "The matte black compacts are the darlings of makeup artists and beauty insiders worldwide. This great, unpretentious artist deserves the limelight."
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Kérastase Densifique 3-Step Regimen
The Jury's Choice: This new line thickens and adds density to hair by treating the scalp. Used in conjunction, the three products—a bodifying shampoo, replenishing mask, and thickening mousse—leave hair fuller and softer. Densimorphose Mousse, $42; Bain Densité, $39; and Masque Densité, $63; kerastase-usa.com The Jury Speaks: "Perfect for those seeking density, volume, and thickness. This is a long—term cure. The products, as usual for Kérastase, give immediate results." "The effect on fine hair is spectacular—it feels strengthened and substantially thicker. Plus, the scents are yummy." "This essential treatment to re—densify the hair at the roots with daily products is a joy. Divine."
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Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
The Jury's Choice: This is the first cosmetic product that helps boost the activity of Langerhans cells, which improves skin's immune system. The quick—penetrating fluid adds radiance and works for all ages and skin types. Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, $95; shiseido.com The Jury Speaks: "A new achievement that spectacularly rejuvenates skin after only a few weeks." "This scientific discovery takes skincare in a new and exciting direction." "This biotech—inspired liquid with rose water and yeast extract soothes, refines, and clarifies. An invisible treatment with a 'reset' effect." "An added benefit: The green-floral scent—a blend of lotus and rose—has aromatherapy benefits that reduce the impact of stress hormones." "The hybrid treatment combines with any regimen to boost the immuinty of skin. This is a first."
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Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster
The Jury's Choice: This secret—trick product lets you bronze without the sun and regulate the amount of color you get. Mix three drops into your day cream everyday to gradually build a tan, or add just two to maintain color. The results look so natural, you can use it all year long. Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $30; clarinsusa.com The Jury Speaks: "Now you can always have a healthy glow. This product changes everything." "The adjustable dosage is a genius idea and a first of its kind. It's perfect when you're looking tired or like you need a vacation. A drop every other day is enough to give your cheeks a nice golden tone, as if you had spent the weekend away." "Face—tanning fanatics will love how this goes on without streaks,blotchiness, or an orange tone." "When three drops is all you need to be bronzed, that's what we call a miracle...It's like a free round trip to Ibiza, without putting a single skin cell at risk in the sun."
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Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer
The Jury's Choice: This new cream corrects signs of aging in two different ways: On contact, microcapsules of color self—adjust to give skin a more even—tones appearance, while optical technology illuminates the complexion. Over time, antiaging ingredients work to reduce wrinkles and spots, and firm sagging skin. Ultra-Lift Transformer, $15; target.com The Jury Speaks: "We're very impatient and want to see improvements right away. Mission accomplished with this self—adjusting product that has an immediate effect. Over time, the antiagers really work." "The secret weapon for those mornings when you wake up looking and feeling under the weather." "It's like magic. The tone—correcting effect is stunning, and it softens the appearance of fine lines without the feeling of a heavy silicone—based product. In the category of products that hide imperfections, this one goes a long way. The treatment deserves its name. Add in the reasonable price, and it has it all."
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Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texurizing Serum Concentrate
The Jury's Choice: Fifteen percent of this serum's formula is the well—known, plant—based, hydrating ingredient glycerin, which plumps skin spectacularly without feeling sticky. The result? A product that really works. Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate, $58; kiehls.com The Jury Speaks: "A double—play for must—have hydration: It immediately moisturizes skin and aids the absorption of other treatments. Wrinkles, dullness, tired—looking skin— in one month, this serum improves it all." "An immediate 'Wow!' effects, plus long—term results. Essential." "A real plumping effect that feels extremely comforting on skin." "This formula, derived from a mixture of vegetable—based glycerin and shiso leaf extract, leaves skin completely smooth and refreshed as if you had just slept for eight hours." "One drop of this liquid—gel, with its unexpected texture, delivers a comfortable sensation that lasts."
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Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara
The Jury's Choice: The unique formula thickens, lengthens, curls, and separates eyelashes with a one—of—a—kind swan—neck wand, shaped to follow the curve of the eye. The brush stretches and lifts lashes from corner to corner for a dramatic, fanned-out effect, as if you were wearing false eyelashes. Grandiôse Mascara, $32; sephora.com The Jury Speaks: "Majestic; this is mascara 2.0!" "It saves time and effort. The curved wand and special bush reach every eyelash, even the tiny ones that make all the difference. The ultra—black formula is astonishing." "The new brush shape is 100 percent intuitive. You get marvelous, stunning lashes that last all day." "The ultimate accessory, this zigzag—shaped wand gives you a cat—eye effect and extends lashes outward for a dramatic look." "When Lancôme releases a new mascara, it is not a stunt, it is a revolution! So easy to use— an achievement!"
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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Color and Top Coat
We're still not sure how the did it, but kudos to the scientists as Sally Hansen for this unbelievable duo: Two coats of the color (which miraculously, dries much faster than regular polish) and a layer of the special topcoat leaves nails with a shiny gel—like manicure that lasts up to 14 days and doesn't require a special lamp to cure. Miracle Gel Color and Top Coat, $8 each; target.com
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Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm
Matte and balm seem to be at odds with each other; yet these adorable crayons manage to be both. The color slips onto lips with a trio of hydrating shea, mango, and coconut butters and the velvety, supersaturates hues stay put for hours. ColorBurst Matte Balm, $7 each; target.com
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Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser
This innovative whipped gelée has to be massaged in to be believed. On contact with skin, it melts into a silky, makeup—dissolving oil. Splash with water and it transforms again, into a milky emulsion. After a final rinse, skin is superclean and post—facial soft thanks to vitamin c, omega—rich rose hip oil, and redness—reducing tart cherry extract. Pure Truth Melting Cleanser, $34; olehenriksen.com
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