Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick
People had a LOT of feelings about this category. It was neck and neck between three different lipsticks, but in the end Anastasia won by a nose. Or a lip, if you will. The pigment magically looked just as vibrant on the lips as it did in the tube, it was so opaque that one coat was all you needed, and the matte finish made lips look almost velveteen.
Halle — a longtime Anastasia fan — was enamored with the dark Sad Girl shade. “One layer and it can be a cute natural berry, but if you want to darken it up you just do another layer and it can be cool for a night event.”
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick, $20, available at Anastasia Beverly Hills.
ColourPop Super Shock Shadows
Actually, if we’re going to be technical, ColourPop’s shade array is closer to 100. But what really blew our minds was the actual formula. It felt like a cream and swiped on just as smoothly, but was actually a long-wear powder.
Martin and Marshall were both impressed with the color array. “At $5 an eyeshadow, you can build an incredible palette with these,” said Martin. Mars loved the color payoff and shimmer, while Ess said what we were all thinking: “To be blatantly honest...they're rich AF.”
We did notice that these shadows have a tendency to crack in the pot after a few uses, but here’s their brilliance: Because of the texture, you can actually just smush them back together.
ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, $5, available at ColourPop.
Glossier Stretch Concealer
Glossier has been consistently killing it in the skin-care game, but it was the launch of this enticingly named cover-up that made us sit up and take notice. The stretch part of Stretch Concealer is what made this one stand out. Instead of sitting on top of your skin in a cakey patch, it features elastic micro-waxes that move with your skin, so you don’t have to worry that the concealer you plopped on top of that surprise pimple is going to crack up.
Mars didn’t hesitate to give this one their stamp of approval. “It doesn't have an ashy-matte finish and can just be worn as a base. It’s sheer, yet buildable and gives off a dewy finish.” Czuleger seconded the dewy effect, and added, “It’s a high-pigment, creamy formula that clings to the skin as promised.” McIntyre simply said, “There’s a reason it keeps selling out.”
Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18, available at Glossier.
Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Lipstick In Lady Balls
With a name like Lady Balls, it better be good. And more than half of our judges thought it was worthy of its ballsy street cred, saying everything from, “It’s super-pigmented and has a velvety finish to it,” (Mars), to “Amazing, vibrant, opaque pigment, and this shade of red will flatter every skin tone!” (Marshall).
What makes it worthy of the praise is the trifecta of benefits it bequeaths. Yes, there’s that gorgeous color, but it’s also hiding a few other secrets behind that lush, suede finish. There’s the infusion of hyaluronic-acid spheres, avocado oil, and vitamin E to keep your lips hydrated; the staying power of a stain; AND a stealthy plumping effect. Which is why we agreed wholeheartedly with Ess when she said: “This was SO epic in every way. I'm throwing away every other red I have. This is my new go-to.”
Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Lipstick in Lady Balls, $21, available at Too Faced.
Gucci Infinite Length Mascara
As much as we love a great drugstore mascara, there was something about this luxury wand that put a twinkle in our judges’ eyes. It stretches lashes thanks to a resin-and-polymer formula, elongating your fringe. “It goes on smooth, but doesn’t feel crunchy,” says McIntyre. “It’s the very definition of fluttery lashes, and one of the first mascaras I’ve tried that does not smudge. At all. Ever.” Czuleger was a fan of the ultra-black hue and its versatility, while Marshall had rave reviews for the brush. “I love that the wand really gets to the base of the lashes and sweeps along the entire length for great definition without smudging!”
Gucci Infinite Length Mascara, $34, available at Bloomingdale's.
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil
This nifty liner from Urban Decay goes where no liner has gone before: your waterline. Sure, you’ve probably applied eye pencils to your waterline well before this existed. But we also bet that you have encountered the problem of them drying out your eyes and causing them to tear up, effectively creating a flood of pigmented tears, or looked in the mirror midway through the day and saw your carefully applied liner had migrated down to somewhere near your cheeks. Featuring a creamier formula than UD’s already very creamy 24/7 pencils, it goes on like satin — so it won’t irritate your easily irritated eyeballs — and locks in place. Like, does not move. No color-migration here.
Martin was an instant fan. “What I love about this formula is how dark it stays on the waterline after long wear in the heat and in the water.” Added McIntyre, “I’m obsessed with the nude Walk of Shame shade — and not just for the name. A quick swipe of that on my bottom waterline, and my eyes look less red and somehow more awake. Like the type of person who has her shit together, even though I’m missing an earring and not totally sure if I’m wearing underwear or not.”
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil, $20, available at Urban Decay.
Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lip Tin
Okay, this is technically not the most revolutionary product out there. It is Vaseline, after all — one of the OG beauty products. But our judges could not be swayed in their affection for this stuff. The soft tint, superior lip-smoothing, and retro-cool packaging gave this one the edge.
It was, surprisingly, a real hit with our youngest judges. “My lips felt instantly moisturized, and it smells and tastes like raspberries and roses,” mused Mars. Added Halle, “It feels really good. It adds the pink that you want from a lipstick, [without being] dry.” Proof that sometimes the best isn’t necessarily
Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lip Tin, $2.67, available at Walmart.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer Murumuru Butter Bronzer
It was a close competition, but this moisturizing bronzer inched ahead of the pack to claim our Readers' Choice award. With a nutrient-rich tri-butter formula (made up of vitamins, fatty acids, and Brazilian-rainforest all-stars murumuru, cupuaçu, and tucuma), smooth and creamy application, and the tropical glow it bestows, it's easy to see why.
Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $11.91, available at Walmart.