2020 Beauty Awards: Our Favorite Makeup Products of the Year
Our team of editors and beauty pros tested hundreds of products to find the year's best in beauty. Here are their top picks.
When it comes to makeup, more is more. Literally: It seems like there’s no end to the exciting, innovative newbies that come through year after year. (Lip oil! Brow crayons! And that’s just for starters.) But quantity does not equal quality—which is why it can be increasingly tough to pin down what, from the packed arena, actually deserves a place in your makeup bag. That’s where we come in, blending and swatching to determine what stands out. This year, our judges had high standards, and it shows. We took ease and affordability into account, not to mention how well each makeup product suited a variety of skin tones and concerns. Because the best makeup out there should (and, we found, does!) work for all, enhancing eyes, cheeks, and lips for each and every person.
Primers, which typically smooth skin and help makeup stay put, are often considered nice to have, but not a necessity. That’s not the case with this formula, which has a subtle, brightening tint and makes makeup application easy. One tester even swapped it in for her usual foundation.
Dark circles and blemishes are no match for this concealer, which offers full coverage with a weightless feel. It’s easy to blend in with a finger or brush, outlasts sweat and oil, and is also available in 36 shades—covering a comprehensive range of skin tones to offer the right shade for all.
Skincare meets makeup in this hardworking foundation. The lightweight liquid formula contains a hydrating serum for all-day hydration, vitamin B3 to brighten skin, and even SPF 50 to defend skin against sunlight. Another bonus: It won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles during the day.
Best Lip Balm
Testers raved about this multitasking balm with hydration, color, and sunscreen. This formula contains plant oils, shea butter, and mineral SPF.
Best Lip Oil
This isn’t your average lip shine. This clean-beauty upgrade is made with hyaluronic acid and avocado oil to hydrate and soften lips throughout the day. It delivers shine without being sticky, and its long-wearing tint means you don’t have to worry about touching up the color.
Best Brow Crayon
Like a brow pencil but even easier to wield, this chunky crayon allows you to sketch on tiny “hairs” quickly and with ample control. It even packs tiny fibers that add subtle fullness, while the color delivers instant definition and color to fill in any sparse patches.
Best Quick Dry Polish
If you’re not a DIY manicure convert, you might become one with this extra convenient formula. All you need are two coats—so, no topcoat or base—and just a minute for it to dry. The angled brush makes application comfortable and easy, and one tester reported that her manicure went nine days without chipping.
Best Clean Nail Polish
Natural nail polishes have gone mainstream with Sally Hansen’s vegan, plant-based collection. It’s free of 16 questionable chemicals yet doesn’t sacrifice results: It offers impressive coverage and respectable wear time for a clean formula. And in a range of 30 colors, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find a shade you like.
Best Drying Drops
Drying drops are applied after top coat to, well, help speed nail polish drying time. All you need to do is apply the product after your last coat. And this one works. It "significantly cuts down drying time and makes at-home manis a breeze," says one tester. The tube packaging makes it easy for transport so that you can use it for DIY and in-salon manicures alike.