Good Housekeeping’s Top Picks of the Year

Gerard Ortiz

With a dizzying number of beauty products on the market, it’s tricky to know what works — and what’s worth your money. That’s why GH Beauty Lab scientists have spent decades methodically testing all types of skincare, hair and makeup formulas, tools and treatments (more than 1,000 this year alone!) to find the best buys you can trust.

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How We Tested

The scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab follow stringent industry protocols to evaluate beauty products — from face and body skincare to haircare and hair styling tools, makeup, technology and more — throughout the year.

The Lab uses advanced equipment including the Corneometer device, for measuring skin moisture levels; the Visia Complexion Analyzer, for tracking changes in skin including wrinkles and hyperpigmentation; and the Cutometer, for gauging skin firmness. For hair, the Swatch Wash Station is used to test shampoos, conditioners and at-home hair color products; the Instron machine calculates conditioning properties; the climatology chamber regulates humidity to determine frizz-blocking effects; and the Q-Lab QUV Accelerated Weathering Tester and VeriVide DigiEye system are used to evaluate at-home hair color shade retention.

And that’s just the beginning: Products are often label-masked to eliminate bias and distributed to consumer testers throughout the country to elicit and quantify feedback on factors like ease of use, benefits and drawbacks. Taken together, these objective assessments reveal the best products you can buy, ones that truly deliver.

beauty awards 2023 testing

Beauty Awards Symbol Guide

lab test winner

Lab Test Winner
breakthrough product

Breakthrough
good housekeeping seal star

Seal Star
new and hot product

New & Hot
bargain buy product

Bargain Buy
time tested product

Time-Tested

allstar anti agers product section pink surface with serum and dropper

Firming Night Cream

Genius Sleeping Collagen

Algenist Genius Sleeping Collagen
Credit: Algenist

Infused with fortifying ceramides and fatty acids, Algenist’s rich cream was a winner in the GH Beauty Lab’s night cream test for measurable skin tightening, tone evening and hydrating benefits.

TESTER NOTE “My face was brighter and more volumized.”

LAB RESULTS In calculations with the Cutometer device, which gauges laxity, it raised skin firmness by 33{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} in four weeks. It also increased hydration by 28{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} over six hours in readings with the Corneometer machine, which measures skin moisture levels.

Multi-Benefit Day Cream

Regenerist Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen With SPF 30

Olay Regenerist Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen With SPF 30
Credit: Olay

Get undetectable mineral sun protection, moisturization and anti-aging effects in one bottle with this Olay lotion, enhanced with antioxidant and skin-smoothing ingredients (niacinamide, vitamin E, peptides).

LAB RESULTS A study found that the fragrance-free formula increased skin hydration for up to six hours after application, GH Beauty Lab data evaluation confirmed.

Smoothing Serum

Retinol Cica Moisture Recovery Serum

Innisfree Retinol Cica Moisture Recovery Serum
Credit: Innisfree

This water-like Innisfree serum delivers the gold standard texture-refining ingredient retinol along with nourishers like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide and the soothing herb cica to keep even reactive complexions balanced.

TESTER NOTE “My skin was clearer, brighter, softer and smoother with no discomfort.”

LAB RESULTS It proved to be effective on even sensitive and redness-prone skin in Beauty Lab assessments.

Age-Fighting Eye Treatment

Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
Credit: Murad

Tackle slack eye-area skin, crow’s feet, puffiness and more with this mild, lightweight Murad retinol eye serum, a winner of the Beauty Lab’s anti-aging eye treatment test.

TESTER NOTE “It really delivered dramatic and noticeable results,” one raved. “The best I’ve ever used.”

LAB RESULTS It increased skin’s firmness by 33{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} and reduced wrinkles by 7{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} in four weeks, per Lab measurements with the Cutometer and digital imaging with the Visia Complexion Analyzer machine.

Instant Wrinkle Filler

Derm Correxion Fill + Treat Serum

RoC Skincare Derm Correxion Fill + Treat Serum
Credit: RoC Skincare

A combination of three types of hyaluronic acid and retinol in this RoC Skincare serum works to fill in lines on areas like the forehead, between the brows and around the mouth, both immediately and long-term.

LAB RESULTS In a four-week clinical study using image analysis, 97{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users showed significant improvement in the look of fine and deep face lines, according to Beauty Lab assessment.

Retinol Cream

AlphaRet Overnight Cream

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream
Credit: SkinBetter Science

Proven anti-aging actives (retinoids, peptides) are blended with exfoliating acids in this powerful yet gentle night treatment. In Beauty Lab Visia imaging tests, it scored high for improving skin texture and tone and caused “no irritation,” a Lab pro noted.

Plumping Eye Cream

Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
Credit: Biossance

Smooth on this cushiony cream with moisturizing plant-based squalane and firming peptides to fortify delicate eye-area skin. It came out on top in Lab evaluations for hydrating immediately. “My skin feels plumped after I apply it,” said Beauty Lab Reviews Analyst Chiara Butler.

Replenishing Serum Duo

Shiseido Bio-Performance Skin Filler Serums

Shiseido Shiseido Bio-Performance Skin Filler Serums

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Credit: Shiseido

This innovative set includes a night serum that shrinks hydrating and smoothing hyaluronic acid molecules so they can penetrate skin and a day formula that re-plumps them to maximize line-filling effects, Lab analysis found.

PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT

Vivace Ultra

Vivace, the microneedling and radiofrequency treatment recommended by Beauty Lab experts for smoothing skin and improving its tone (with little or no downtime) is upgraded with technology that maps skin for customized results.

Vivace Ultra

spectacular skincare product section swipe of lotion

Purifying Face Wash

Pureté Thermale Mineral Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin

Vichy Laboratoires Pureté Thermale Mineral Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin
Credit: Vichy

This invigorating Vichy no-rinse cleansing water, which doubles as a makeup remover, topped GH Beauty Lab testing for leaving skin with a fresh, clean feel.

TESTER NOTES Skin was “smooth” after use, two said.

LAB RESULTS The liquid rated best at making skin feel clean and scored high for dissolving makeup quickly without being messy, irritating or leaving an oily residue.

Stellar Face Sunscreen

Light As Air Lotion SPF 50+

Banana Boat Light As Air Lotion SPF 50+
Credit: Banana Boat

True to its name, this Banana Boat bargain rose above the rest in the Beauty Lab’s face SPF test thanks to its barely-there look and feel on skin.

TESTER NOTE “Love it!” a user enthused. “Absorbs quickly with no white cast film on my dark skin.”

LAB RESULTS The chemical sunscreen earned the top score for not leaving a residue on skin or being sticky and for its appealing “light” scent.

Resurfacing Face Peel

The Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel

Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel
Credit: Philosophy

To smooth skin texture, swipe on this Beauty Lab test-winning Philosophy peel with a trio of sloughing acids (glycolic, mandelic and malic).

TESTER NOTE “It worked: Got rid of dead, dry skin and some age wrinkles.”

LAB RESULTS In Visia digital imaging, the single-use peel pads visibly improved wrinkles and evened texture by 6{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} in two weeks. It was also best at brightening skin and not causing irritation.

Superior Moisturizer

Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Credit: Kiehl’s

The classic minimalist Kiehl’s cream whipped with hydrating squalane, botanical oils and vitamin E outperformed all other face moisturizers in the Beauty Lab’s test.

TESTER NOTES Many users said they would purchase it or continue using it. “Felt so good on skin, absorbs fast, hydrates well,” one said.

LAB RESULTS Per measurements with the Corneometer, it increased skin moisture levels by 47{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} over six hours, and 90{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of testers agreed that it had a pleasant texture.

Exfoliating Serum

Clinical Solutions PHA + AHA Resurfacer

Mary Kay Clinical Solutions PHA + AHA Resurfacer
Credit: Mary Kay

A novel (and gentle) way to exfoliate, this concentrated Mary Kay serum incorporates glycolic and polyhydroxy acids to help stimulate surface skin cell turnover, leaving skin more luminous.

LAB RESULTS Beauty Lab data evaluation confirmed that it helps dissolve dead cells while conditioning skin with glycerin. Plus, a study with 104 people found that the formula didn’t irritate.

Glow-Giving Face Scrub

Exfoliating Polish

Zo Skin Health Exfoliating Polish
Credit: Zo Skin Health

Tiny mineral crystals in Zo Skin Health’s professional-quality exfoliator, a Beauty Lab test winner, buff away dull skin in seconds.

TESTER NOTE “The pores on my nose are smaller, and my skin is glowing!” a fan raved.

LAB RESULTS The tester favorite, it ranked highest for making skin feel smooth. The formula also came out near the top for removing impurities and leaving skin looking brighter and more radiant.

Soothing Serum

OPC Reparative Serum

Theraderm OPC Reparative Serum
Credit: Theraderm

A powerhouse antioxidant derived from pine bark, along with healing aloe, makes this serum a dermatologist and Beauty Lab expert go-to for calming sensitive, inflamed skin. After application, “the redness on my cheeks was significantly subdued over a week,” said Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann.

Clarifying Face Mask

Shaant Balancing Clay Mask

Codex Labs Shaant Balancing Clay Mask
Credit: Codex Labs

This creamy deep-cleaning clay mask, balanced with softening shea butter and botanicals, is backed by clinical data showing a 14{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} reduction in skin oil after 28 days of use. Wizemann said, “It minimized the look of pores around my nose and cleared blackheads without overdrying.”

Protective Lip Balm

Lip Repair Stick + Sunscreen

Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick + Sunscreen
Credit: Aquaphor

The iconic skin conditioner for lips (and beyond) is now available in a convenient swipe-on stick bolstered with SPF that blends plant oils, waxes and butters. Beauty Lab experts were impressed by its texture: “It nourishes and protects yet isn’t heavy or messy,” Wizemann noted.

Pro Acne Treatment

Cutera AviClear

Using never-before-seen technology, this Cutera laser reduces oil production to treat even stubborn acne at the source with lasting results. It’s safe on any skin tone or type, and Beauty Lab testers reported no downtime following the treatment.

Cutera

Gentle Face Wash

Isdinceutics Essential Cleansing

Isdin Isdinceutics Essential Cleansing
Credit: Isdin

Based on sunflower seed and olive oils, Isdin’s face cleanser coddles skin as it dissolves both the day’s impurities and makeup.

TESTER NOTES “It feels soft and silky on skin — a really luxurious experience — and doesn’t dry out my face,” one remarked. Another said: “It leaves skin luminous but not oily,”

LAB RESULTS GH Beauty Lab experts were impressed by the product’s thorough cleansing performance.

Radiance Serum

20{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} Vitamin C Brightening Serum

OAM 20{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Credit: OAM

Protect and brighten skin with his featherlight OAM liquid, which boasts a high 20{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} concentration of three forms of antioxidant vitamin C.

TESTER NOTE “The water-like formula soaked instantly into skin, leaving no residue and has a pleasant citrusy scent unlike some other vitamin C serums.”

LAB RESULTS In a study of 96 women with a full range of skin tones using image analysis, skin radiance was significantly improved after eight weeks of use, Beauty Lab data evaluation confirmed.

Acne Treatment

Hydro Seal Non-Medicated Hydrocolloid Acne Blemish Patches

Band-Aid Brand Hydro Seal Non-Medicated Hydrocolloid Acne Blemish Patches
Credit: Band-Aid

Bye-bye, traditional blemish treatments: Stick these Band-Aid Brand patches on areas with breakouts to absorb fluid and form a seal that helps them heal.

TESTER NOTE “These stayed put and deflated pimples and calmed redness overnight — no other patches come close.”

LAB RESULTS A clinical study found that pimples showed a statistically significant reduction in size on day four post-treatment, according to Beauty Lab data analysis.

At-Home Device

Laser

Mimic professional anti-aging treatments at home with the FDA-approved, first-of-its-kind Lyma laser, which uses painless low-level light to stimulate skin cells to produce more energy, helping create collagen and elastin.

TESTER NOTE “It could not be easier to use and the improvement around my eyes gave almost instant gratification,” Wizemann reported. “After a few weeks, my face was firmer and bouncier, and the skin around my jawline was tighter.”

LAB RESULTS GH Beauty Lab pros were impressed by this breakthrough, which delivers excellent skin firming and rejuvenation, and can be safely used on the face, body, and around eyes.

Illuminating Facial

DiamondGlow

Not your average facial, the supercharged DiamondGlow treatment uses a diamond tip wand customized to your skin to exfoliate, extract impurities, and infuse a targeted serum at the same time.

TESTER NOTES “One of the best facials I’ve ever had,” Aral marveled. “My skin looked smooth, glowy and plumped from within as if treated with a filler.” Wizemann added that her skin “was clean, brighter and hydrated”.

LAB RESULTS Beauty Lab scientists recommend this treatment for results that are immediately visible and last for several hours.

DiamondGlow

Anti-Aging Pro Treatment

Sofwave

State-of-the-art Sofwave Medical Ltd. technology utilizes deeper-reaching ultrasound heat to boost collagen and elastin production, helping to minimize lines and firm skin.

TESTER NOTE “The treatment was quick and there was no downtime afterward,” Aral stated.

LAB RESULTS The Beauty Lab recommends this innovative noninvasive technology to lift face and neck skin and reduce wrinkles over time for all skin tones.

Sofwave

Rejuvenating Pro Treatment

BBL Hero + Moxi

This cutting-edge combo of IPL (intense pulsed light) and laser treatments from Sciton packs a one-two punch to reduce discoloration and smooth texture on the face and body.

TESTER NOTE “A single treatment with Moxi got rid of melasma, evened my overall skin tone, and smoothed its texture,” Aral reported.

LAB RESULTS Post-evaluation, Beauty Lab experts praised its ability to improve skin issues, especially melasma and rosacea, even with only a single treatment and no considerable downtime.

Moxi

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Softening Body Wash

Body Love Moisture Boost Body Cleanser

Dove Body Love Moisture Boost Body Cleanser
Credit: Dove

This decadently creamy Dove cleanser pampers the body with the same ingredients used for the face (such as hydrating hyaluronic acid) as it melts away impurities.

TESTER NOTE “Feels luxurious and leaves skin silky-smooth,” said GH Beauty Lab Executive Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D.

LAB RESULTS In a clinical study, it improved skin moisturization by 25{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63}, according to Beauty Lab data review.

Flawless Body Moisturizer

Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Body Lotion

Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Body Lotion
Credit: Vaseline

Receiving raves across the board in Beauty Lab testing, Vaseline’s lightweight yet deeply nourishing lotion with cocoa butter and coconut oil makes body moisturizing a treat rather than a chore.

TESTER NOTE “My entire family used and loved it.”

LAB RESULTS The fast-absorbing bargain formula had perfect scores for easily dispensing and spreading, its “soft” scent and making skin feel moisturized but not sticky.

Mild Deodorant

Gentle Deodorant

Ivory Gentle Deodorant
Credit: Ivory

With subtle, sophisticated scents — water lily, aloe, lavender, coconut — and softening ingredients like castor oil, aluminum-free Ivory wards off odor without irritating skin (or the senses).

LAB RESULTS In a study of 35 women who treated one underarm with the solid stick and one with no product, it provided protection against body odor for 24 hours, Beauty Lab evaluation confirmed.

Fragrance-Free Body Lotion

Daily Moisture Lotion Fragrance-Free

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion Fragrance-Free
Credit: Lubriderm

A trusted staple for those who prefer moisturizers sans scent, Lubriderm’s simple formula has proven hydrating effects.

LAB RESULTS A study on 27 people found that the lotion kept skin moisturized for a full day after application, per Beauty Lab data analysis.

Indulgent Hand Cream

Lemon & Sage Hand Cream

Bliss Lemon & Sage Hand Cream
Credit: Bliss

Wrap hardworking hands in healing Bliss, a Beauty Lab test winner whose citrus-herbal scent has an effect akin to “aromatherapy.”

TESTER NOTE “My hands stayed soft all day.”

LAB RESULTS Per Corneometer measurements, it raised skin moisture levels 20{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} in six hours. It was highly rated by users for softening with no stickiness.

Perfect 10 Self-Tanner

Sublime Bronze Water Mousse

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Water Mousse

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Credit: L’Oréal Paris

Get a “fabulous” faux glow with this Beauty Lab test–winning L’Oréal Paris foam, which was the easiest to use and had no telltale off-putting aroma.

TESTER NOTE “I got several compliments on the color.”

LAB RESULTS It rated highest for being simple to apply and fast to absorb; 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users said its scent wasn’t offensive.

Outstanding Body Sunscreen

Essentials Everyday Active Sunscreen SPF 50

Rodan + Fields Essentials Everyday Active Sunscreen SPF 50
Credit: Rodan + Fields

Rodan + Fields came in first in the Beauty Lab’s body SPF test, outshining the competition on nearly all factors, including effortless application, speedy absorption and being imperceptible on skin.

TESTER NOTES “It felt like a moisturizing lotion,” one marveled. Another added, “I loved everything about this and found myself picking it up daily.” Many said they would buy or continue to use it.

LAB RESULTS A full 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users agreed that it was easy to apply, soaked in well and didn’t leave a residue or feel sticky or oily.

Slick Razor

Razor Starter Kit

Billie Razor Starter Kit
Credit: Billie

A top performer in Beauty Lab testing, this razor whisks away even the tiniest hairs without irritation. Among testers, 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} agreed that it provided a close shave, didn’t aggravate skin and was superior at removing hair from legs and the bikini area. Two users commented on its “smooth glide.”

Smart Hair-Removal Device

IPL Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5347

Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5347

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Credit: Braun

This next-generation device uses IPL (intense pulsed light) technology to safely and effectively target body-hair follicles, reducing hair growth over time. Unlike most at-home IPL hair removers, the applicator can be glided over skin continuously to treat larger areas faster and prevent missing spots or overlapping, Aral explained.

Pro Sculpting Treatment

BTL Aesthetics Emsculpt Neo

Noninvasively enhance body shape with this groundbreaking treatment, which combines electromagnetic stimulation to strengthen muscles and radiofrequency heat to reduce fat. Using technology first developed to help NASA astronauts maintain their tone in space, the treatment is pain-free and requires no downtime.

BTL Aesthetics

Body Exfoliator

Sunshine Body Scrub

Beekman 1802 Sunshine Body Scrub
Credit: Beekman 1802

Buff on this heavy-duty Beekman 1802 scrub with exfoliating pumice and polyhydroxy acid to turn even tough body skin into satin.

TESTER NOTE “Unlike other scrubs, there was a noticeable difference in how my skin felt — as silky as a baby’s.”

LAB RESULTS Lab experts were impressed by the clinical data proving the performance of this formula, a rarity for a body exfoliator. In a four-week study, 93{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users said it helped reduce skin bumps and 90{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} agreed it minimized the look of keratosis pilaris.

Rich Body Butter

Shea Creme

1818 Farms Shea Creme

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Credit: 1818 Farms

Like whipped cream for your skin, this indulgent, deeply nourishing 1818 Farms body moisturizer is a blend of just two ingredients, shea butter and coconut oil, plus essential oils or fragrance.

TESTER NOTE “Excellent to soften the driest patches of skin like knuckles, elbows and cuticles,” Aral commented.

LAB RESULTS In evaluations, Beauty Lab pros lauded its light yet rich whipped texture and skin-soothing abilities in a range of eight scent options, from sweet to fruity, herbal, and floral, plus unscented.

Sophisticated Fragrance

 La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum
Credit: Lancôme

An elevated and paradoxical mélange of soft iris, strong patchouli, and sweet vanilla, Lancôme’s standout scent quickly became a beauty editor favorite.

TESTER NOTE “This perfume makes you feel instantly pulled-together, chic, and a little mysterious, like a fancy Frenchwoman.”


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Nourishing Shampoo

Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo
Credit: L’Oréal Paris

The skin-hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid, used to draw in moisture, is infused into these L’Oréal Paris formulas.

TESTER NOTE “Works wonders: Strands feel super soft and bouncy and look shiny.”

LAB RESULTS The pair earned top marks for fully cleansing strands and making hair look less damaged. They also ranked highest for their lasting “sophisticated” scent.

Nourishing Conditioner

Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner
Credit: L’Oréal Paris

The skin-hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid, used to draw in moisture, is infused into these L’Oréal Paris formulas.

TESTER NOTE “Works wonders: Strands feel super soft and bouncy and look shiny.”

LAB RESULTS The pair earned top marks for fully cleansing strands and making hair look less damaged. They also ranked highest for their lasting “sophisticated” scent.

Silkening Shampoo and Conditioner

Ultra Care Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Dove Ultra Care Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner
Credit: Dove

Get strong smoothing and conditioning effects in the shower with this protein- and coconut oil–laced Dove duo.

TESTER NOTES Two said hair wasn’t frizzy after use. “It was easier to style, and my blowout lasted,” another noted.

LAB RESULTS In Lab assessment, they got perfect scores for making hair manageable, smooth and supple and rated well for ease of use.

Polishing Styling Cream

YouthLock Blowout Crème

Joico YouthLock Blowout Crème
Credit: Joico

Slick on Joico before heat styling hair to ensure flawless “smooth and healthy-looking” results.

LAB RESULTS A hairstylist panel gave the “light” formula top points for achieving the desired look and giving movement with no residue.

Volumizing Spray

Thickening Go Big Plumping Hair Treatment

Bumble and bumble Thickening Go Big Plumping Hair Treatment
Credit: Bumble and Bumble

To add body and bulk up fine, sparse or limp strands instantly, spritz this “light” Bumble and Bumble mist, a GH Beauty Lab test winner.

TESTER NOTE “My hair looked fuller and kept its fullness at least an entire day longer than usual.”

LAB RESULTS The overall user-favorite volumizer, it was the best in the test at making individual hair strands feel thicker.

Repairing Hair Mask

Color Sealing Mask

Hair Biology Color Sealing Mask
Credit: Hair Biology

Enriched with biotin and amino acids, Hair Biology’s intensive treatment gives colored and damaged strands extra TLC.

LAB RESULTS A clinical test on dyed hair samples showed that the mask provided deep conditioning, increased shine and kept color true twice as long (six weeks) as regular conditioner (three weeks), according to Lab data analysis.

Freshening Dry Shampoo

Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Kérastase Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo
Credit: Kèrastase

Fake just-washed hair with Beauty Lab test winner Kérastase, which absorbs oil effectively without leaving dulling or gritty residue.

TESTER NOTES Many said this was their “favorite” and that they would purchase or continue to use it. “It worked better than any other I’ve tried,” and “beyond my expectations,” two users enthused.

LAB RESULTS The luxe formulation received the highest score for making hair feel fresh and clean, and 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of testers agreed it wasn’t gritty.

Powerhouse Hairdryer

The Innovator Pro Power Speed Dryer

FHI Heat The Innovator Pro Power Speed Dryer
Credit: FHI Heat

A top performer in the Beauty Lab’s hairdryer evaluations, this cutting-edge model had the strongest airflow and dried hair fast in instrumental testing despite its slim design and compactsize. Lab pros found it lightweight and comfortable to hold, and its controls were easy to reach.

Hero Hairdryer Brush

One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer

Revlon Hair Tools One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
Credit: Revlon

This Beauty Lab test–winning tool combs and speed-dries strands at the same time. In Lab measurements, it dried hair samples faster than every other hairdryer brush tested. It also excelled at boosting shine. “I was able to style my hair quickly and loved the results: volume, shine and smoothness,” said Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Danusia Wnek.

Easy-To-Use Curling Iron

Pro Signature Gold Curling Iron

Hot Tools Pro Signature Gold Curling Iron
Credit: Hot Tools

Creating curls is a breeze with this “gold”-standard tool, which topped Beauty Lab testing. Experts gave it the best scores for maneuvering easily and for its ergonomic design. It was lightweight and didn’t burn or damage hair, they found. “The length and size ofthe barrel are just right; the clamp is long and clips hair well,” Wizemann said.

At-Home Haircolor

Phytocolor Permanent Hair Color

PHYTO Phytocolor Permanent Hair Color
Credit: Phyto

Coming in above the rest in the Beauty Lab’s test, this ammonia-free DIY dye kit was the tester favorite: 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} agreed that it gave rich and even color. It was also best in many other aspects: simple preparation, not being messy, matching the color on the box, lasting and leaving hair feeling soft. A user called it “the easiest-to-apply, longest-lasting color I’ve used.”

Leave-In Conditioner

Miracle Leave-In Product

It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
Credit: It’s A 10

It’s A 10 Haircare’s leave-in spray with strengthening silk amino acids has earned its cult classic status thanks to multiple benefits in one: detangling, softening, smoothing, protecting and shine-enhancing.

TESTER NOTE “I love that this eliminates the need to use so many products and even provides heat protection for styling.”

LAB RESULTS The formula is effective at keeping hair smooth yet has a light texture, Beauty Lab experts found.

Styling Mousse

Curl Mousse

Pattern Beauty Curl Mousse

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Credit: Pattern Beauty

This airy Pattern Beauty foam created for textured hair infuses strands with bounce, fullness and shape.

TESTER NOTES “It didn’t make hair feel crunchy,” and “really accentuates your natural curl pattern while keeping it volumized and less frizzy,” two remarked.

LAB RESULTS A professional hairstylist panel rated it best at defining and holding curls in place and for enhancing hair’s movement.

Hair Color Corrector

So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

Matrix So Silver All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
Credit: Matrix

Smoothing leave-in conditioners with benefits, these Matrix sprays also help instantly cancel out brassy tones in lightened or gray hair.

TESTER NOTE “Added brightness to my hair in such an easy, no-mess way that I was sold after the first application,” Wizemann raved. “Plus, it doesn’t weigh hair down.”

LAB RESULTS The sprays visibly eliminated brassy undertones and brightened color after one use in Beauty Lab assessment.

Hair Color Corrector

Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray

Matrix Brass Off All-In-One Toning Leave-In Spray
Credit: Matrix

Smoothing leave-in conditioners with benefits, these Matrix sprays also help instantly cancel out brassy tones in lightened or gray hair.

TESTER NOTE “Added brightness to my hair in such an easy, no-mess way that I was sold after the first application,” Wizemann raved. “Plus, it doesn’t weigh hair down.”

LAB RESULTS The sprays visibly eliminated brassy undertones and brightened color after one use in Beauty Lab assessment.

Root Lift Spray

Clean Stylers Root Lift Volume Spray

Fekkai Clean Stylers Root Lift Volume Spray
Credit: Fekkai

Zero in on flat, lifeless roots with Fekkai’s protein-laced mist, which gives strands a lift in seconds.

TESTER NOTES “Not sticky,” and “hair felt thicker and bouncier,” two reported.

LAB RESULTS It earned the top scores for lifting hair and adding volume without heaviness in evaluations by our hairstylist panel.

Color Touch-Up

The Scalp Foundation Can't Stop Me Now

Me Cosmetics The Scalp Foundation Can’t Stop Me Now
Credit: Me Cosmetics

Like makeup for visible regrowth, grays, and scalp, this Me Cosmetics mirrored pressed powder compact (in nine shades from black-brown to gray and white) allows for discreet application on the go.

TESTER NOTE “The finish was shiny, like natural hair, unlike other powder root touch-ups that are matte.”

LAB RESULTS The product effectively covers roots, looks natural, and applies easily with the corresponding brush (sold separately), Beauty Lab evaluation showed.

Cordless Flat Iron

Cordless Ceramic Styling Iron

Harry Josh Pro Tools Cordless Ceramic Styling Iron
Credit: Harry Josh Pro Tools

This high-tech Harry Josh Pro Tools straightener comes cord-free for maximum portability and effortless styling.

TESTER NOTE “I liked its sleek design, ease of use and reachable controls,” Wizemann remarked.

LAB RESULTS The flat iron is compact and lightweight, heats up quickly, and stays powered for 40 minutes, Beauty Lab testing found.

Travel Hairdryer

Worldwide Travel Dryer

Conair Worldwide Travel Dryer

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Credit: Conair

A Beauty Lab travel hairdryer test winner, Conair blew away the competition for speedily drying strands at a bargain price.

TESTER NOTES “It has strong airflow and high heat,” one commented. It also “offers the most control options,” another noted, with three heat and two speed settings.

LAB RESULTS In Lab testing, the tool dried standardized human hair samples fastest of all the travel hairdryers, in 60 seconds.

Multiuse Styling Tool

FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System

Shark Beauty FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System
Credit: Shark Beauty

Shark Beauty’s wonder wand is a hairdryer, hairdryer brush, and curler in one, with five attachments including brushes, curlers, a concentrator, and a diffuser that you can choose according to your needs.

TESTER NOTE “It’s proven versatile enough to see me through two different haircuts and I like the easy on-and-off of all of the attachments.”

LAB RESULTS With four heat and three airflow settings, it achieved a near-record fast time drying hair samples, reached a high air temperature, and had strong airflow in Beauty Lab testing. Its handle also twists 90 degrees to better function for different styling methods, like blow-drying and diffusing.


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Magnificent Mascara

Lash It Loud Mascara

E.L.F. Cosmetics Lash It Loud Mascara

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Credit: E.L.F. Cosmetics

Get big lash-defining benefits at a bargain price with this mascara from E.L.F. Cosmetics that won the GH Beauty Lab’s test.

TESTER NOTES “Made my eyelashes insanely long” and “performs the same as, and in some cases better than, high-end brands,” two said.

LAB RESULTS In Lab evaluations, it was best at reaching and separating all eyelashes, applying smoothly, and not flaking. Users also found it great at lengthening.

Waterproof Mascara

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara
Credit: Dior

Dior’s luxurious lash lifter floated above the rest in Beauty Lab waterproof mascara testing, standing up to repeated water-splashing.

TESTER NOTE “It stayed put all day, even through a swim.”

LAB RESULTS The mascara got perfect marks for not running in the Lab’s water-exposure test, and 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users agreed that it didn’t smudge. It performed well at curling and volumizing lashes, creating the desired look.

Longwear Eyeliner

Aqua Resist Color Pencil Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil Eyeliner
Credit: Make Up For Ever

A winner in the Lab’s eyeliner test, this Make Up For Ever pencil (with a built-in sharpener) was on point for giving bold color that lasted all day.

TESTER NOTES Several called it “the best” they’d used. “It’s the first eyeliner I’ve tried that went on without skipping or disappearing,” a tester in her 60s said.

LAB RESULTS It excelled at applying smoothly, imparting intense pigment and staying on throughout the day.

Liquid Eyeliner

Exhibitionist Lash Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lash Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner
Credit: CoverGirl

This slim waterproof CoverGirl pen hits all the marks, letting you glide on rich, crisply defined lines with ease.

TESTER NOTE “It doesn’t smudge even when my eyes water,” Wizemann said.

LAB RESULTS In Beauty Lab assessments, it earned perfect scores across the board: for creating precise lines, providing bold color and lasting all day without fading or transferring when exposed to moisture.

Natural-Look Foundation

True Match Super Blendable Foundation

L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Foundation
Credit: L’Oréal Paris

The iconic drugstore base from L’Oréal Paris, in an expansive range of 47 shades, has been revamped with a wide range of pigments that mimic skin’s natural tones.

TESTER NOTES Many raved about its “weightless” feel.

LAB RESULTS The medium-coverage satin-finish formulation was tops for smooth texture, quick blending, evening skin’s tone, and color that stayed true all day.

Tinted Moisturizer

Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer Mineral SPF 30

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer Mineral SPF 30
Credit: BareMinerals

A Beauty Lab expert favorite boosted with softening ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid, sheer-coverage BareMinerals feels more like moisturizer than makeup.

TESTER NOTE “It gave skin a natural glow,” Wnek said.

LAB RESULTS The formula rated highest for applying evenly and blending effortlessly and well at leaving skin smooth and evening its tone.

Airbrush Concealer

Best Skin Ever Full Coverage Multi-Use Concealer

Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Full Coverage Multi-Use Concealer
Credit: Sephora

Hide spots, redness, dark circles and more with Sephora Collection’s “velvety” cover-up.

TESTER NOTES Two said it “looked like skin.” Wizemann adds, “Through a full day of rain and heat, it kept me looking awake and polished.”

LAB RESULTS The satin finish liquid outperformed all others tested at giving full coverage of blemishes and redness without drying out skin.

Lengthening Mascara

Tartelette Tubing Mascara

Tarte Tartelette Tubing Mascara
Credit: Tarte

This magic wand creates tiny “tubes” around lashes to instantly make them look more lush. In Beauty Lab evaluations, 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users agreed that it lengthened lashes yet didn’t clump, smudge or flake, and it received top points for volumizing and curling. “It looks like I’m wearing fake eyelashes,” Wnek marveled.

Thickening Brow Shaper

Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Pencil

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Pencil
Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Pigmented powder and fibers in this unique pencil fill in sparse spots and add bulk. It got the top score for its ability to fill in brows and make them look fuller in Beauty Lab testing. Users liked that they could find a “perfect” match among the 12 shades, including gray. (Bonus: It has a built-in brush to shape and blend.)

Game-Changing False Eyelashes

ProMagnetic 10 Magnet Lash System + Felt Tip Eyeliner Kit

Eylure London ProMagnetic 10 Magnet Lash System + Felt Tip Eyeliner Kit
Credit: Eylure London

No messy glue is needed with these innovative falsies: Just paint on the included eyeliner and press on the lashes (they adhere with magnets!). In Lab assessments, they ranked high for adding volume and length to lashes, staying in place all day and being easy to remove. “Simpler than other fake-eyelash products I’ve tried,” Aral noted.


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High-Impact Lipstick

The Bold High Pigment Lipstick

YSL Beauty The Bold High Pigment Lipstick
Credit: YSL Beauty

Slick on sumptuous yet comfortable color with YSL Beauty’s vibrant cream lipstick, which comes in shades for every style, from understated neutrals to rich berries and eye-catching crimsons.

TESTER NOTE “It feels hydrating and applies easily and evenly.”

LAB RESULTS In GH Beauty Lab evaluations, it was best at producing consistent color on lips without dryness or irritation. The formula also got a perfect score for smooth and precise application.

Luxurious Eyeshadow

Ombres G Eyeshadow Quad

Guerlain Ombres G Eyeshadow Quad
Credit: Guerlain

Guerlain’s gorgeous shadow quartet defines and gilds lids with silky, wearable hues in a range of finishes (matte, satin, pearl, metallic) and neutral and bold color palettes.

TESTER NOTE “The colors are nicely curated and complement one another very well,” Butler revealed.

LAB RESULTS The powders glided on smoothly, gave eyes dimension and didn’t settle into lines in Beauty Lab assessment.

Effortless Blush

Nudies Matte Lux Blush

Nudestix Nudies Matte Lux Blush
Credit: Nudestix

A few swipes of this twist-up Nudestix cream blush stick (which has a built-in blending brush) give cheeks a just-right boost fast.

TESTER NOTE “The perfect level of pigmentation, and it lasted all day so I didn’t need to reapply,” Wnek commented.

LAB RESULTS Beauty Lab testers found that it was easy to apply and went on evenly, and the shade selection offers flattering choices for a variety of skin tones in a satin-matte finish.

Speedy Makeup Remover

Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

E.L.F. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
Credit: E.L.F. Cosmetics

A Beauty Lab test winner, this buttery E.L.F. Cosmetics balm based on softening fatty acids was a star at whisking away makeup “without leaving a trace” behind.

TESTER NOTES “It didn’t freak out my sensitive skin,” and “My face looked clean and bright,” two said.

LAB RESULTS It rated best in Lab testing for removing makeup in one swipe. Plus, 100{05995459f63506108ab777298873a64e11d6b9d8e449f5580a59254103ec4a63} of users said it spread smoothly and made skin silky.

Bargain Lipstick

Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick
Credit: L’Oréal Paris

At a fraction of the price of similar formulas, this slim tube delivers a lasting shine-free finish that feels like velvet. It was the favorite among Beauty Lab testers, receiving top marks for not feathering or drying lips out. “It goes on smoothly with instant deep-color payoff,” Butler remarked.

Lush Tinted Lip Balm

Botanical Balm Hyaluronic Lip Tint

Monika Blunder Beauty Botanical Balm Hyaluronic Lip Tint
Credit: Monika Blunder Beauty

Lipcolor with benefits, this glossy sheer balm in three juicy hues drenches lips in “cushioning” plant oils like safflower, orange, avocado and apricot. Lab testers gave it the highest overall score and perfect ratings for not dehydrating or irritating lips. “Its lovely sheen brings youthfulness to lips,” Wizemann reported.

Believable Bronzer

Bronze Balm Sheer Bronzer

Merit Beauty Bronze Balm Sheer Bronzer
Credit: Merit Beauty

No telltale orange hue here: This cream bronzer wand gives skin a realistic “sun-kissed” effect. It scored high in nearly every category of Beauty Lab evaluations, including looking natural on skin, applying evenly, diffusing seamlessly and matching skin’s tone. It “blends like a dream” and “gives the face definition and warmth,” two testers said.

Calming Eye Makeup Remover

Comforting Eye Makeup Remover

CeraVe Comforting Eye Makeup Remover
Credit: CeraVe

Infused with skin-conditioning ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this milky liquid effectively dissolves even stubborn makeup like waterproof mascara but feels soothing, per Beauty Lab expert assessment. “It doesn’t leave residue behind like others,” Wizemann marveled. “I even skipped eye cream, as I felt that my skin was moisturized enough.”

Headshot of April Franzino

Beauty Director

April (she/her) is the beauty director at Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman’s Day, where she oversees all beauty content. She has over 15 years of experience under her belt, starting her career as an assistant beauty editor at GH in 2007, and working in the beauty departments of SELF and Fitness magazines.

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