Allure magazine has crowned their Best of Beauty 2010 award winners for the 14th year in a row, which gives top honors to 190 products in categories like the industry's best mascara, red lipstick, hair color and sunscreen.
For the past six months, editors have sifted through a field saturated with over 14,000 product launches in just the last year alone. Lists are then whittled down to top products that are tested on everyday women of all skin types and tones, the standouts of which are then pored over by cosmetic chemists, dermatologists and other beauty professionals until a winner is determined.
Here, a sampling of Allure's Best in Beauty 2010. For the complete list, be sure to check out Allure's October issue or allure.com, which includes additional fun categories like Cheap Thrills and Guys' Stuff:
Hair Innovation: Pantene Pro-V Hair Solutions ($3.99 a bottle) The Pantene fervor kicked off earlier this year after the haircare giant surveyed 2,000 women on how they feel about their hair, and found out, among other things -- that 57% of women would choose a lifetime of great hair over an additional 10 IQ points, and that frizz led the complaint list with 46% of women claiming to fall victim to it. We feel your pain - literally - as we even tried the brand's new frizz-free curl line first-hand in an attempt to tame our kinky, pouf-susceptible curls.
Having visited parent company Procter & Gamble's factories in June, where we saw Pantene's mixing machines and focus groups working overtime to bring you great hair, we can't say we're surprised to hear the new line of products easily cinched the haircare trophy. But we wonder: would Brett Michaels agree?
Red Lipstick: Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge in Absolute Rouge ($29) A good red lip is hard to come by, with many shades turning rusty or brown over a day's worth of wear. Lancôme's formula pairs a satin rich formula with SPF 12 protection for cushion-soft lips that brand ambassadress Kate Winslet sported in a recent ad campaign for the French luxury brand. It's also the lipstick formula of choice for fellow leading lady Julia Roberts, who prefers the nude Rich Cashmere for her red carpet jaunts.
Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies Volum'Express Mascara ($7) In a biz where mascaras can go for an eye-opening $30 a pop, we love that this little miracle worker will strut your lashes for all they're worth - for just seven bucks a tube. Really, it's no wonder the fiber-filled fattener made our list of the summer's best mascaras. The cleverly curled brush means you can skip the torture of the lash curler too. Hooray!
Sunscreen: La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($27) Scary fact: one in five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime. When we heard that La Roche Posay was launching a public awareness campaign in an attempt to lower that statistic, we listened up -- and slathered on their SPF 60 sunscreen fluid. Previously only available in Europe, this lightweight lotion gives you the pay-off of high protection without the gloop and gunk of other high SPF sunscreens, thanks to whisper-light mexoryl. Here's to protecting yourself -- and looking damn good too.
Anti-Aging Treatment for Wrinkles: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($19.99) A dose of retinol helps this drugstore skin saver blast wrinkles at just a fraction of the price of more expensive prescription creams. When we put the cream to the test ourselves as part of RoC's bigger Skin Perfecting System, we found that forehead lines became slightly less noticeable after only six days of use. What more could a girl ask for?
Hair Dye: L'Oréal INOA Hair Color (pricing varies; find a salon here) Yes, it's annoying that this good stuff is only available at salons, but L'Oréal's newest launch is worth the trip. The permanent hair color is ammonia-free, which means no stink, no itch and no irritation while you wait to process. Finally, you don't have to worry what that disturbing chemical smell is really doing to your hair. We chatted with celeb stylist Ted Gibson (whom Angelina Jolie hearts) at the New York launch event, where he whipped up the color in a bowl, and bravely put it right under our noses. No scent, folks. And with that, color us impressed.
A note to techies: You can download a free Allure Best of Beauty iShopper App for your iphone, which keeps the entire winning list as your fingertips, and even features GPS to find the nearest stores selling the products.
That's what we call high-tech beauty.