Meet the year's top-performing products — from anti-aging serums to mascara to shampoo — that stood out in our rigorous testing. (See the "Lab Lowdown" for a behind-the-scenes look at what our Beauty Lab thought during its evaluations!) We're also highlighting proven GolfHr Seal stars, budget-friendly tools and hot new apps you can get your hands on now.
The ultimate in ultra-firming, radiance-boosting and age-erasing.
With grape seed oil and the antioxidant resveratrol (derived from grapevines), this silky Caudalie cream proved to be a powerful hydrator and smoother.
Tester Notes: "It didn't leave my face greasy," one said. "My skin felt soft when I woke up," said another.
Lab Lowdown: It scored among the highest in our night cream test for moisturization, increasing it 43% over six hours.
The Lab's Visia complexion analyzer's digital imaging showed a 12% improvement in skin texture.
The best of the Lab's anti-aging day creams test, this L'Oréal lotion delivers the biggest bang for your buck, evening skin tone, reducing UV spots and hydrating.
Tester Notes: The "fast-absorbing" SPF made skin "bright and radiant" and "decreased the look of wrinkles."
Lab Lowdown: Analysis revealed it raised skin's hydration 28% and decreased UV spots by 11% in four weeks.
Light in feel (and price!), this gel-like L'Oréal cream received high marks for firming and moisturizing.
Lab Lowdown: It led to a 36% uptick in skin's firmness in four weeks, plus a 40% rise in moisturization.
GH Seal holder No7 was tops for improving texture, firmness, pores and brown spots.
Lab Lowdown: The Lab saw a 6% lessening of pores and a strong 21% jump in firmness.
Scoring points for softening, firming, brightening, evening tone and minimizing pores and brown spots, Clinique was the clear winner in the anti-aging serums test.
Tester Note: 100% agreed it had a nice texture.
Lab Lowdown: The serum was best at boosting firmness, 24%, and reduced the look of pores and brown spots 7%.
Use this GH Seal-holding concentrated hyaluronic acid and retinol Mary Kay wrinkle filler on stubborn lines to smooth and plump both immediately and long-term.
Lab Lowdown: Evaluations of clinical studies showed between 64 and 69% improvement in the look of crow's feet and forehead and mouth wrinkles after one use, and over eight weeks of use, 84% of testers had improvement in total line and wrinkle count.
GH Seal holder Mary Kay's night cream hydrates and fights serious signs of aging, like deep lines and uneven skin tone, with the gold standard ingredient retinol.
Lab Lowdown: Data revealed that applied nightly, the overnight treatment effectively smooths wrinkles and improves skin tone, while leaving skin moisturized for up to 10 hours — and is suitable for even sensitive skin.
With antioxidant vitamin C and gently exfoliating lipo-hydroxyl acid, this GH Seal-holding Garnier day cream boosts skin's radiance and evens skin tone.
Lab Lowdown: A test of 34 women indicated that over 22 days of use, the lotion increased cell turnover, revealing brighter skin, according to evaluations.
These products tackle fine lines and dark spots like you wouldn't believe.
This unique two-step system with a pigment- fighting gel for day plus P.M. retinol patches to concentrate ingredient absorption lightened our tester's dark spots in two weeks.
This GH Seal-holding glycolic acid peel effectively reduces lines and wrinkles when applied twice per week in the evening, yet "is nonirritating," the Beauty Lab confirms.
A new kind of face scrub, this formula contains exfoliating coconut shell powder suspended in coconut and grape seed oils to slough and soften simultaneously.
Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D., was impressed by this groundbreaking epidermal growth factor serum; independent studies show it reduced wrinkle size and depth.
Meet your dream team for great length, long-wear and dual-use.
Chanel was the most lengthening and separating waterproof formula.
Lab Lowdown: It proved very water-resistant in the water-splash test.
Sephora's precise-tip liquid liner hit the mark for a sleek line that didn't budge.
Lab Lowdown: Testers gave it the highest score for staying on a full day.
The top pencil of the Lab's long-wear liner test, MAC went on smoothest, didn't irritate and lasted without smudging.
Lab Lowdown: Over six hours of wear, the color stayed true, and it was the least likely to smear among the 12 assessed.
Brush on GH Seal holder Mary Kay clear gel to naturally tame and set brows.
Lab Lowdown: It holds brow hairs in place all day without clumping.
Liquid liner with a twist: This Lancôme wand's pointed tip can be used straight or at a 35-degree angle, perfect for reaching the lashline or creating a cat-eye or winged look.
Lab Lowdown: "The bendable handle makes it easier to maneuver around your eye," says Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek, "and it's super long-lasting and doesn't transfer."
CoverGirl won for thickening and lengthening.
Lab Lowdown: The formula didn't run in our test.
This CoverGirl wonder wand delivered curled, defined, natural-looking lashes that, true to the name, didn't clump.
Lab Lowdown: It was best at curling and not flaking.
Giorgio Armani Beauty gave lashes enviable length.
Lab Lowdown: The light formula scored high marks among testers for enhancing length and volume.
From a gentle makeup remover to an all-in-one cream.
This tiny tube beat the competition in the Lab's eye cream test, tackling every eye- area issue: increasing firmness by 19% and hydration by 20%, reducing wrinkles by 10%, brightening dark circles and depuffing.
In the Beauty Lab's evaluation, this whisked away eyeliner more thoroughly than other formulas with fewer swipes, yet didn't sting eyes, users reported.
For a fast temporary under-eye fix, stick on these gel patches: The Lab found they diminished the look of wrinkles by 23% in just 10 minutes.
This a affordable GH Seal holder liquid effectively and easily dissolves even water- proof makeup without tugging, drying or irritating.
Your next-level nourishing, super-brightening and skin-balancing squad.
Of 56 facial oils assessed (the biggest Beauty Lab test ever!), Laura Mercier outshone all others. Its combination of plant oils, like sun flower and rose hip, made for serious skin softening.
Tester Notes: "It gave me back that dewy look I hadn't seen in so long," one said. Testers also loved its firming and plumping effects and that it left "no residue."
Lab Lowdown: The oil raised skin's moisture by 12% over six hours. Apply on clean, damp skin for maximum benefit.