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2016 Shape Beauty Awards: The Best Makeup of the Year

2016 Shape Beauty Awards: Best Makeup

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To see the latest and greatest, check out the best makeup product picks in the 2017 Shape Beauty Awards.

If you've ever wondered which department store lipstick was really worth the splurge, or whether that drugstore eye shadow would actually perform, you've come to the right place. With the help of makeup artist Matin (whose clients include Claire Danes and Gwyneth Paltrow, NBD) our editors combed through endless makeup products to choose the 18 best items, including the best effortless foundation, no-budge concealer, natural brow product, vibrant red lipstick, and more. Make space in your makeup bag!

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Photo: Claire Benoist

Best Foundation: Nars

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Your no-makeup makeup solution is here: This oil-free formula glides across skin effortlessly, blends easily with your fingers, and leaves the most natural-looking, shine-free finish. The addition of vitamin C, vitamin E, and an SPF 30 means you don't need to layer on anything else. It is truly complexion perfection.

Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 ($44;

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Photo: Nars

Best Highlighter: Peter Thomas Roth

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This cream could easily have won in the Skin Care category as well, due to its plumping and tightening properties. But its ability to give skin the most perfect golden sheen is what makes it truly magical.

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream ($42;

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Photo: Sephora

Best Lipstick: Shiseido

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Who wants a vibrant lipstick if it feels like chalk? A hyaluronic-acid- and oil-infused formula plus a new color technology make this bullet (which comes in 16 reddish shades) comfortable to wear and beautifully bold—a major red-lipstick feat.

Shiseido Rouge Rouge ($28;

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Photo: Sephora

Best Lip Palette: L'Oréal Paris

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This stunning swath of pinks had us swooning before we even dipped a brush into any of the eight hues. Choose from matte or cream finishes, wearing one alone or layering them to create a fuller pout (a highlighting shade and a handy how-to are included).

L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lip ($17; drugstores)

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Photo: L'Oreal

Best Bronzer: Physicians Formula

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This is no run-of-the-mill bronzer. It gives you a sun-kissed glow, but it also minimizes pores and shine (thanks to mattifying powders) and creates a gorgeous soft-focus effect with pigments that reflect light. It's sheer, so dust all over!

Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer SPF 30 ($15; drugstores)

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Photo: Physician's Formula

Best Makeup Brush: Kat Von D

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The first-of-its-kind brush shape conforms to your face's curves and reaches narrow spots, like around your nose, for seamless makeup application (kudos to Kat for making it 100 percent vegan, too).

Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Foundation Brush ($34;

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Photo: Kat Von D Beauty

Best Tinted Balm: Jane Iredale

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This lemony lip balm has it all: true broad-spectrum protection, antioxidants, nourishing waxes and oils, and a sheer kiss of peachy-pink color.

Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm in Flirt ($15;

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Photo: Jane Iredale

Best Blush: Clinique

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Do we love the double-duty cheek-and-lip factor, the natural flushed color, and the pretty sheen of the gel formula? Dewy ever!

Clinique Pop Oil Lip & Cheek Glow in Poppy Glow ($18;

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Photo: Clinique

Best Eyeliner Pencil: Sephora Collection

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These pencils take the sting—and the smudge—out of tight-lining your eyes. The gel glides on smoothly, and then stays on.

Sephora Collection Contour Inner Rim Gel Eyeliner ($8;

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Photo: Sephora

Best Mani Color: OPI

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With Kerry Washington as its mani muse, OPI created a D.C. collection that's stylish and sophisticated. Our vote goes to this opaque, universally flattering nude.

OPI Nail Lacquer in Pale to the Chief ($10;

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Photo: OPI

Best Pedi Color: Sally Hansen

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The most popular color for lips, oxblood, looks equally chic on tips and toes. Thanks to the lamp-free gel formula, the rich red is high endurance, low hassle.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Can't Beet Royalty ($10; drugstores)

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Photo: Target

Best Setting Powder: Laura Geller

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Color correction has never been so easy. Swirl your brush over the entire powder palette, and the five shades mix to hide dullness and dark circles, plus unwanted blue and red tones. Apply it over foundation and your makeup is set—and so are you!

Laura Geller Filter Finish Baked Radiant Setting Powder ($32;

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Photo: Laura Geller

Best Primer: Guerlain Météorites

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The base is a fast-absorbing gel, and the pink pearls melt to release light-reflective flecks. Layer your foundation on top, and skin will look lit from within.

Guerlain Météorites Primer ($74;

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Photo: Sephora

Best Mascara: Lancôme

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We gasped midswipe when we tested this mascara; it's that good. The bended wand and wide bristles find lashes you never knew you had, giving huge, fanned out fringe.

Lancôme Grandiôse Extreme ($32;

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Photo: Lancôme

Best Concealer: Bobbi Brown

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Is this wand magic? Tap its lightweight formula over a blemish, and you'll watch it disappear. Even more impressive trickery: The supersoft sponge applicator makes the task enjoyable.

Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand ($40;

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Photo: Sephora

Best Brown Enhancer: Anastasia Beverly Hills

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If you, like us, weren't born with Cara Delevingne's beautiful brows but want to look as though you were, then you'll want this pencil. Its triangular tip creates thin strokes that actually look like natural hairs; the built-in spoolie blends your handiwork.

Anastasia Beverly Hills BrowDefiner ($23;

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Photo: Anastasia Beverly Hills

Best Liquid Eyeliner: Urban Decay

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Twenty colors (from shiny black to sparkly gold), an extra fine-tipped brush, and a formula that laaaaasts combine for the cleanest, thinnest, boldest stroke of liner. Ever.

Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner ($22;

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Photo: Urban Decay

Best Eye Shadow: Maybelline New York

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Amazing shimmer and shine in the convenience of a stick, this creamy formula won't flake off or crease for 24 hours or until your next serious workout, whichever comes second.

Maybelline New York Eye Studio Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon ($10; drugstores)

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Photo: Target


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