Allure Readers’ Choice Awards 2023: 14 Makeup Winners You Loved Most This Year
All lipsticks aren’t created equal. You know great makeup at first swipe, and the standouts — like Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey and Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil — hold permanent real estate in your makeup bag for a good reason. Those star products that you can always count on are the winners of the Makeup category in our 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards.
The same goes for foundation, eyeliner, and brow gel. Some might say there are too many options to choose from, but we love that Allure readers can distinguish the greats: It’s the base makeup that lets your skin shine through, the inky liner that makes your graphic, winged eyes take flight, and the brow gel that is sure to make your brows peak.
You will recognize your favorites that can bring on the drama (thank you, Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara and Nyx Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner) and help you glow (with Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer along your cheekbones, you will most certainly catch the light). And, of course, the classics — like Beautyblender Original and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer — that make our makeup routines (and our skin) seamless are at the top of the list, too.
Here, the makeup products that earned your votes — and will wow you and everyone who sees you wearing them. And because we know you want the best from head to toe, be sure to take a look at this year’s Readers’ Choice Award winners across all categories, including skin, hair, clean, and body.
All the Winning Products:
Readers’ Choice Awards: Makeup
FOUNDATION: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Back in 2017, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation set a new shade-range standard and became a fast favorite among makeup shoppers. And from the looks of its latest Readers’ Choice Award, it hasn’t lost any fans along the way. It’s no wonder, considering the sweat-resistant formula keeps skin looking flawless and shine-free without a heavy feeling or cakey finish.
CONCEALER: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
One of the best-selling concealers of all time, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is the go-to for anyone who demands hour upon hour of undetectable imperfection coverage. With so many options for a perfect shade match, it provides a beautifully blurred, crease-free finish that goes on easily with a doe-foot applicator. And, yes, it’s equally effective for both blemishes and undereye dark circles.
BRONZER: Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer
Whether you’re looking for a safe alternative to being sun-kissed, crave a realistic-looking contour, or want an easy eye shadow option, Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer is a makeup bag must-have. “Being able to build up shimmer-free color that can be moved around once it’s placed is a quality not many bronzers can claim,” says Allure associate special projects manager Talia Gutierrez of this true classic.
BLUSH: Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
Considering that liquid blushes are arguably the most intimidating of all blush formats, the fact that Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush beat out the powders and creams says a lot about how awesome it is. “This blush glides on my skin like butter on toast, yet immediately dries down to a powdery finish that stays put without fading or smudging by the end of my eight-hour workday,” says Allure commerce writer Jennifer Hussein, who concurs with voters about the formula’s blendable, buildable, foolproof formula. As with so many things, Selena Gomez really got it right.
HIGHLIGHTER: Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer
While some celebrity beauty brands can feel like a cash grab, others — like Rare Beauty — make it abundantly clear that they’re serious about creating amazing products. Positive Light Liquid Luminizer is one of two Readers’ Choice Awards Selena Gomez’s brand is claiming this year, and for good reason: It imparts a weightless wash of radiance that blends like a dream and reflects light as if it’s coming from within. And with a wide variety of shades, no skin tone goes unhighlighted.
EYE SHADOW: Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette
Can you believe Urban Decay’s Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette has been around for a decade? In that time, its 12 versatile, rose-hued neutrals — with a mix of matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes — have proven truly timeless. The pigments are unfailingly rich, making the likelihood of do-overs low and the likelihood of compliments extremely high.
EYELINER: Nyx Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner
The slender brush tip of Nyx Professional Makeup’s Epic Ink Liner delivers a consistently fluid, sharp line. It’s surprisingly easy to control how thick or thin you want the smudge-proof formula to look. Suddenly, even and perfectly angled wings feel like second nature and not one of life’s (or at least your beauty routine’s) most aggravating challenges.
BROW: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel
Those who have been scared off by the goopy chaos of other brow gels find solace in Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. Its microfibers create the look of extremely natural little hairs, so your brows look like brows and not opaque commas. The itty-bitty brush ensures control and the water-resistant formula means a fuller look that lasts.
MASCARA: Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara
It’s been a few years since Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara went viral, but it’s clearly more than a flash in the TikTok pan. “This mascara made me look like I had a fluffy set of falsies on,” says Allure senior commerce writer Angela Trakoshis. “The finish is very smooth and not clumpy.” But in the end, it’s the impressive lift and length that make this drugstore star a new classic.
LIPSTICK: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey has been around longer than many of our editors and, no doubt, many of our readers, too. One of the most celebrated lip colors ever (no exaggeration), the shiny, just-sheer-enough raisin hue looks amazing on everyone, which may be why so many other brands have attempted dupes. But there is — and there will forever be — only one Black Honey.
LIP GLOSS: Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil
Do not be fooled by the lack of the word “gloss” in Dior Lip Glow Oil’s name. This luxurious, sheer tint is quite possibly the glossiest of all glosses. But because of its cherry oil formula, it coats lips in what can only be described as obvious moisture that wears beautifully under or over other color, like lip pencils and lipstick. Or all on its own.
MAKEUP TOOL: Beautyblender Original Pink Makeup Sponge
Oft imitated, never replicated, the Beautyblender Original is the gold standard in the makeup sponge realm. Like so many of you, Allure associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen has long been impressed with its versatility. In addition to foundation, it can be used with blushes, bronzers, and highlighters in cream, liquid, and even powder format. (That’s right — just give it a try.)
NAIL POLISH: Essie
It doesn’t matter what colors you gravitate toward, they’ll not only be available in Essie’s classic nail polish formula, but they’ll go on with astounding ease. Allure contributor Marci Robin, who admits her lack of nail-painting skills, says Essie polishes are the only ones she’s been able to apply on her own without being forced to redo a bubbly mess. In other words, even the most amateur manicurist can get great results.
Despite an explosion of press-on options the last few years, Kiss continues to win hearts (and fingertips) with its nails. Available in a variety of designs, including always-in-style solid shades, they’re affordable, easy to apply, and promise long-lasting wear that won’t chip like nail polish. And we especially love how daily-life friendly the lengths are.