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People and TODAY Beauty Awards 2015: Makeup winners

From mascara and lip gloss to foundation and brow definer, the People and TODAY Beauty Awards reveal the best makeup products of 2015.
/ Source: TODAY

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.

RELATED: People and TODAY Beauty Awards reveal the top hair products to buy now

TODAY fashion contributor Jill Martin and PEOPLE style and beauty director Andrea Lavinthal pose in front of the hundreds of beauty products we tested. Stay tuned this week to see which items made the cut!Brandon Goodwin / TODAY

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).

Now that we've announced a different category each day this week — like the all-star hair products, best body products and skin-care superstars — here are the must-have makeup buys of 2015.

Samantha Okazaki and Stephania Stanley / TODAY

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.

Click here to see the full list of best beauty products of 2015 and follow TODAY Style on Facebook for all the beauty news, products and tips you need to know.