Not Your Basic Beauty Awards

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If we told you that picking the winners in this year’s Beauty Innovator Awards was a monumental task, would you believe us or whip out your tiny violins? We know, we know: There are plenty of jobs that are a whole lot tougher and less enjoyable than swiping on mascara. But in the realm of beauty, sifting through 25 categories with 100-plus hair, skin, makeup, and nail offerings is just about as arduous as it comes, save for Fraxel — because that ish HURTS.

But our nine fearless judges selflessly sacrificed their faces and free time to try each and every last product and determine which one deserves to be called the champion. There were plenty of, shall we say, passionate feelings, but in the end a winner for each category was crowned. Without further ado, we present to you the well-deserved winners of the Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY NADYA WASYLKO; GIFS BY SAM CANNON; STYLED BY BETHIE GIRMAI; HAIR BY ELOISE CHEUNG USING JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS; MAKEUP BY MISUZU MIYAKE @ ARTMIX CREATIVE USING CHANEL LES BEIGES; MANICURE BY HOLLY FALCONE USING FLOSS GLOSS; MODELED BY CACIA ZOO; MODELED BY CLEMENTINE DESSEAUX AT MUSE NYC; MODELED BY ITCHEL COKER; MODELED BY MARGIE ASHCROFT; MODELED BY GABBY RICHARDSON; MODELED BY JERZA MATTHEWS.

Nails

The Topcoat That Will Make Your Manicure Last Longer Than An Hour

Chanel Le Gel Coat Long-Wear Top Coat

Faux-gel topcoats are the new big thing in nail care, and it’s easy to see why. “I love the cushiony, shiny look a gel manicure gives me, but I hate how it destroys my nails whenever I remove it,” lamented McIntyre. The sunlight-activated polish from Chanel is the perfect blend of long-wear and shine, without the nail torture. “My mani lasted a full week without chips and looked glossier than normal,” said Czuleger. “Great way to get gel benefits without the damage.”

Chanel Le Gel Coat Long-Wear Top Coat, $28, available at Violet Grey.