Check Out the Real Simple Beauty Award Winners for 2023

As beauty director of REAL SIMPLE, I spent the last year vetting nearly every new formula. These 25 winners will help you look good and feel even better.



As beauty director of REAL SIMPLE, I spent the last year vetting nearly every new formula. I also enlisted friends, family, and the family of friends! And I had my coworkers do some Very Official Testing too. After all that swiping, blending, and blotting, I proudly present the 2023 Smart Beauty Awards. Everything here will help you look good and feel even better.

The Bronzer for the Most Believable Glow: Dibs Beauty Desert Island Duo Blush/Bronzer Stick

“I’m terrified of bronzer, but this stuff is foolproof. It’s not grainy or difficult—you don’t even need a brush. It’s a smooth formula that’s lightweight but shows up. Love!” raves my boss, Editor in Chief Lauren Iannotti. $36;

A Nice, Non-Lipstick-y Lipstick: Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Intimatte Lipstick

Did you know that lipstick can feel good and last for hours? It can—if you’re wearing this creamy matte formula (in 11 shades). Best part: The teardrop tip gives you lipliner-like precision and prevents feathering. $35;

The Foundation That’s Better Than Any Filter: Laura Mercier Real Flawless Weightless Perfecting Foundation

I believe less is more, and one pump of this base covers my reactive red cheeks, pimples, and brown spots—without collecting in crevices. $48;

Contour for Beginners: Tower 28 Sculptino Soft Cream Contour

Photo Director Muzam Agha loved this silky, silicone-free cream, which gives a sculpted look without the scary stripes. “‘OK, cheekbones!’—that’s what a lady said to me on the subway the first day I wore this!” he says. $20;

Lash Help for All: Revitalash Advanced Sensitive Eyelash Conditioner

Founded by an ophthalmologist whose wife was undergoing chemo, this brand helps people pump up their natural lashes. New to the lineup: a plant-based conditioner with antioxidants, amino acids, and aloe that can enhance hairs—without irritation—in only eight weeks. $106;

A Face Serum That Just Might Replace Injectables: Paula’s Choice Pro-Collagen Multi-Peptide Booster

This formula can smooth lines in 15 minutes and reduce wrinkles in about four weeks. The key ingredient? Peptides, to improve the tone of your skin and make it appear tighter. “I definitely noticed the plumping effect,” says Editorial Production Director Filomena Guzzardi. $58;

The Solution When Blow-Drying Isn’t an Option: Odele Air Dry Styler

“When I want to skip the heat but also don’t want to look like a hot mess, this cream does the trick,” says Features Director Amy Maclin. “It gives me control without the crunch.” Hydrolyized rice protein can smooth and strengthen straight, wavy, and curly hair. “I use it for that rumpled, beachy look,” Amy says. $12;

A Va-Va-Voom Volumizer for the Scrawniest Strands: Nexxus Unbreakable Care Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner

This duo contains keratin and spirulina—ingredients that help strengthen the hair shaft, reduce breakage, and build volume. It noticeably boosts my wimpy postpartum hair! $16 each;

The Eye Cream to Wear If You Want Compliments: Olehenriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème

“The first time I used this, my eyes almost instantly looked less tired,” says Executive Editor Lisa Freedman. The cream brightens circles with the help of light-reflecting minerals and vitamin C, and it has vegan collagen to nourish thin skin. “Friends have even been telling me that ‘something looks different.’ I’ll take it!” $42;

A Solid Lotion That Melts Like Butter and Smells Like Woodsy Heaven: Kate McLeod Daily Stone

Cooked up by a former pastry chef, this bar turns applying lotion into self-care. Glide it onto dry skin (it warms on contact) and rub it in. Not only does cocoa butter leave skin supple, the stone gets circulation going. “I keep it in my kitchen to use after washing dishes. It feels luxurious,” says Creative Director Phoebe Flynn Rich. $45;

Skin Care for Anyone Who’s Spent Too Much Time in the Sun: Clark’s Botanicals 7-Acid Daily Glow Peel

Rough texture, congested pores, sun spots—this potent peel was created to help solve these issues. The liquid packs seven acids plus fruit extracts to smooth and clear skin. And it doesn’t leave me looking like a tomato, even with daily use. $80;

When You’ve Already Slept on the Couch for an Hour: Doré La Micellaire

Can’t get to the sink? Reach for a cotton pad and this bottle. Cornflower water whisks away makeup, aloe soothes, and damask rose moisturizes. “I love how hydrated my skin feels. I just wish this stuff had existed years ago,” says Home Director Erica Finamore. $24;

A Sunscreen You’ll Actually Want to Apply: Coola Refreshing Water Cream Organic Sunscreen SPF 50

Forget everything you dislike about SPF. This one isn’t sticky, shouldn’t trigger breakouts, and won’t give you a ghostly pallor. “I usually have an issue with sunscreens leaving a white film on my face, but this is super lightweight and doesn’t make me look like a mime,” Muzam says. Bonus: It helps protect against blue light and pollution. $48;

A Fab Face Cream That Doesn’t Cost Half Your Paycheck: Olay Regenerist Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Hydrating Gel Cream

One of the most requested items from my beauty stash, this gel feels weightless but delivers mega moisture to help fine lines, dryness, and dullness. Even my dad, a 67-year-old former coal miner, is obsessed with it. (Hi, Dad! I’ll call you soon!) $30;

An Impossible-to-Mess-Up Sparkly Eye Shadow: Jones Road Just a Sec Clean Eyeshadow

Skip that complicated palette—this pot is really all you need. “Just swipe some on with your finger for a little lift,” says Food Director Jenna Helwig. “It’s subtle but fun!” And it comes in nine shimmery neutrals. $26;

The Face Wash for When It’s Been a Day: Renée Rouleau Better Than Balm

If you can drag your tired self to the bathroom sink, this face wash will make the trip worth it. Rub the oil onto dry skin, then wet fingertips to create a creamy froth that melts makeup without leaving a greasy residue. My skin feels like a baby’s butt after I use it. $48.50;

Your New Toner If You Look in the Mirror and Only See Pores: Charlotte Tilbury Glow Toner

Toners have come a long way. (They used to feel so tingly!) This one infuses skin with prickly pear extract, niacinamide, and peptides that can brighten and smooth. Plus, by removing cleanser residue and dead skin cells, it can help the products you apply next work even better. $55;

A Retinol That Works Without Sanding Off Your Face: Mary Kay Clinical Solutions Retinol .5 Set

Retinol is still the gold standard for reducing lines, but it can anger skin before fixing it. Not this one! It’s paired with a calming “milk” you mix in before applying, to help smooth skin sans irritation. $120;

A Natural Deodorant You Won’t Have to Worry About: Hume Supernatural Deodorant in Coconut Coast

Several editors who’ve been to the aluminum-free deo rodeo before were shocked by this stuff, including Managing Editor Tara Cox. “I adore the smell, and it passed the morning commute test, which so many others have failed,” she says. Hume uses botanicals to suck up the stink and probiotics to help keep good bacteria happy. $14;

The Concealer That Can Help You Fake a Full Night’s Sleep: Kosas Revealer Concealer

When you have a 16-month-old who’s never once slept through the night (love ya, Georgie), this concealer will get you through it. I whip it out and use it as my retoucher—with so many skin-care ingredients, it’s basically an eye cream too! In 28 tones. $30;

The Secret to Juicy, Joyful, Tight Curls: Pattern Cleansing Shampoo and Lightweight Conditioner

Developed by actor and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross, these products add moisture so curls and coils get all bouncy. “The shampoo got rid of buildup and didn’t make my hair feel stringy,” says Senior Home Editor Leslie Corona. The silicone-free conditioner doubles as a cowash. From $20 for shampoo, from $25 for conditioner;

A Drugstore Wash That Rivals the High-End Stuff: Dove Revitalizante Body Wash in Cherry & Chia Milk

Dove’s creamy body washes are the GOAT. And they just keep getting better. This one delivers microdroplets of hydration to your skin’s nooks and crannies. Plus, it’s the first Dove bottle to feature English and Spanish on the main label. $7;

An Eraser to Handle Those Stubborn Spots Zits Leave Behind: Burt’s Bees Clear & Balanced Post Acne Mark Cream

Yes, pimples are annoying AF, but the lingering marks are even more so. This tinted cream uses licorice root and turmeric to help those “zit footprints” fade away. It freaking works! $13;

Mascara for Flirty (Not Flaky!) Lashes: Maybelline The Falsies Surreal Extensions

“I have super-short, baby lashes, so I am picky about mascara,” says Features Editor Melissa Matthews. “This isn’t goopy, and it’s really buildable—I put on three coats and it never got clumpy.” Jenna agrees: “I have practically nonexistent lashes, and this makes them look darker, longer, and thicker. I love it!” $10;

A Hair Treatment for When You Wanna Feel Like Taylor Swift: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Glass Hair Water

If you have no time or money for a fancy salon hair treatment, do this one at home before a big event. Trust me: It helps smooth the cuticle so hair looks glossy and gorgeous in 10 seconds. And it won’t weigh down fine hair. $10;

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.