We take makeup pretty seriously here at TODAY. In fact, we even created an entire A-to-Z GIF guide (a "GIFtionary," if you will) cataloging the top beauty trends to try now. Yes, that's how seriously.
Trends come and go, but new products, tools and innovations are added to the beauty aisle every year. It seems nearly impossible to narrow it down and find the best — but that's exactly where we come in.
Along with our friends at People magazine, we've launched the first-ever People and TODAY Beauty Awards, featuring the best-of-the-best hair, makeup, skin and body products to buy right now. Our team of testers (including Kathie Lee and Hoda) did the tough job of trying hundreds of lotions, potions, masks and mascaras over two weeks to bring you the 44 must-have beauty buys of 2015.
The best part? Each item comes straight from the drugstore, so there's no need to blow a paycheck on a fancy night cream (ahem, we found a great one for less than $20).
1. Best brow definer
Milani Stay Put Brow Color, $6.99; CVS stores
Brows are most certainly having a moment and makeup aficionados know that all definers are not made equally. That's why we were particularly impressed with Milani's dual-end applicator that can help achieve whichever look you're going for: thin and defined or thick and bold.
2. Best eyeshadow
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude, $19.99; at drugstores
Sure, we love the fact that this 10-in-1 palette is practical and budget-friendly. And, yes, these neutral-tone shades are perfect for day or night depending on how you use them. But we were most impressed by how these various hues worked well on just about every skin tone. A great buy for anyone!
3. Best nail top coat
Sally Hansen 18K Gold Hardener Top Coat, $7.99
There's just something about gold — and we're not just referring to its beauty. This 18K hardener helps strengthen nails so they grow faster and stronger.
4. Best lash extender
Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit, $14.95; drugstores
Lash extensions have become all the rage, but there's no need to shell out $30-something a month just to get the eyes of your dreams. This 2-in-1 kit includes extension fibers that hold onto your natural lashes and a boosting mascara to set and seal. Who needs falsies anymore?
5. Best get top coat
Essie Gel Setter, $10; at drugstores
Finally, there's a way to get gel-like shine and intensity with out the LED light or salon visit. This top coat will keep your at-home manicure from chipping like a charm.
6. Best lip gloss
Rimmel London Oh My Gloss, $5.99; at drugstores
While we all love a shiny pout and larger-looking lips, gloss can often zap moisture and leave your mouth drier than before. We love this formula, with argan oil and vitamin E, for it's ultra-moisturizing properties and non-sticky texture. A real winner!
7. Best blush
Flower Transforming Touch Powder-to-Crème Blush, $12.98; Walmart stores
Drew Barrymore, you've done it again! This innovative blush from the actress' makeup line instantly transforms from powder to cream once applied to skin. It's a perfect pick-me-up for dull winter skin.
8. Best eyeliner
Sonia Kashuk Longwear Eye Definer, $7.99; Target stores
Talk about bang for your buck! This highly-pigmented eyeliner works just as well as offerings twice it's price. And while this product isn't technically waterproof, it certainly passed our test for long-wearing action!
9. Best concealer
Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup, $13.99; at drugstores
Want to look photo-flawless? Then this silky concealer will be on the top of your list. The convenient stick packaging makes it a perfect grab-and-go item while the smooth formula will cover any and every flaw from acne to under-eye bags.
10. Best foundation
Maybelline New York SuperStay Better Skin Foundation, $4.49; at drugstores
There's nothing worse than cake-y foundation that leaves your skin looking worse after you take it off. This ultra-lightweight formula from Maybelline has repairing vitamins and even has SPF 15 to help correct skin concerns.
11. Best mascara
CoverGirl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara, $5.99; at drugstores
This ultimate mascara is all about the brush, which offers two options: a flat side for the major lashes and a narrow core to catch both corners. We're hooked!
12. Best matte lip
Maybelline New York Lip Studio Color Blur Matte Pencil, $8.99; at drugstores
Bold, bright lips can instantly change your entire look — even if you're not wearing any other makeup — which is why a long-lasting, matte color is key. These saturated colors include a pencil on one side and "smudger" on the other to create a creamy and smooth look that lasts.
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