They light up with joy, tear up with emotion, widen in disbelief, and let everyone know when you’ve prioritized Gossip Girl reruns over a good night’s sleep (again). Our eyes have a unique ability to communicate our private thoughts and experiences, which is part of their special power. But it’s nice to exert a little influence over those subliminal messages, too, courtesy of the Eye Makeup winners of the 2023 Allure Best of Beauty Awards.
The mascaras, shadows, liners, and brow products featured below do more than enhance our eyes: They make our secret beauty ambitions a reality. Whether that means lashes so long they dust your brows, strokes so precise they redefine your waterline, or smokiness so subtle you can sweep it on without a mirror, these products enable us to perfect any look we want and signal that intention to the world. Here, the real visionaries of 2023.
After you’re done with this category, be sure to check out the rest of 2023’s Allure Best of Beauty Awards winners. If you’re unsure where to start, allow us to point you toward the fan-favorite Skin Care, Splurges, and Base Makeup categories.
Best of Beauty Awards 2023: Eye Makeup
Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every mascara, eyeliner, and brow enhancer:
Mascara, Waterproof: Gen See Spectator Sport Mascara
Why it won: We’ve lost more lashes to stubborn, water-resistant mascaras than we care to admit. But Gen See Spectator Sport Mascara evens the score in our favor. The budge-proof formula holds its own against sweaty workouts, but still washes off without the usual tug-of-war.
Mascara, Volume: Caia Cosmetics Twist Me Up Mascara
Why it won: With its twistable cap and shape-shifting brush, Caia Cosmetics Twist Me Up Mascara gives us a menu of four different effects to choose from (elongated, defined, voluminous, and fluttery). We love the variety — and the diversion. “It’s so fun to play with,” says deputy digital director Kara McGrath.
Mascara, Length: L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara
Why it won: We went in skeptical (IYKYK), but there was no controversy — or contradiction — in our testers’ feedback: If long and feathery is what you’re after, L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara leaves no lash behind with its staggered brush. The shorter bristles cozy right up to our roots (to sculpt), while the wider teeth glide through to the very tips of our lashes (to lengthen and define).
Mascara, All the Drama: Maybelline New York The Falsies Surreal Extensions Mascara
Why it won: The glossy black formula in Maybelline New York The Falsies Surreal Extensions Mascara contains fibers similar to those used in professional lash extensions, creating the illusion of voluptuous fakes in just a few strokes.
Mascara, Natural: Well People Expressionist Lengthening Mascara
Why it won: For the most natural effect, the nourishing sunflower seed and olive oils in Well People Expressionist Lengthening Mascara give us elegantly fanned-out, clump-free lashes.
Mascara, Color: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes! Mascara in Dream Pop
Why it won: Blue-eyed babies aren’t the only ones who can have fun with brown mascara. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push-Up Lashes! Mascara in Dream Pop, an understated shade of auburn, adds depth to dark eyes and a soft contrast to light ones.
Mascara, Color: Tood Beauty Toodscara in Blue Mood
Why it won: The velvety blue of Tood Beauty Toodscara in Blue Mood makes a bold statement with every blink. “I can’t believe how pigmented and bright this makes my lashes,” says senior news editor Nicola Dall’Asen, who is also still in awe of the bonus length added after just one coat.
Mascara, Tubing: Blinc Original Tubing Mascara
Why it won: We heard it’s impossible to make Blinc Original Tubing Mascara clump, flake, or smudge — even if you try. We tried. The creamy pigment forms miniature cylinders around lashes that stay put until they hit warm water. Then they slide right off.
Mascara, Primer: Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Tinted Primer
Why it won: Infused with ceramides and a soft black tint, Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Sky High Tinted Primer makes our lashes look longer, fuller, and fluffier — even minus mascara.
Pencil Liner, Black: Mary Kay Waterproof Eyeliner
Why it won: The creamy point and saturated color of Mary Kay Waterproof Eyeliner produces instant opacity and the smoothest of strokes. Let it set or smudge it out for two equally gorgeous looks.
Pencil Liner, Neutral: Estée Lauder Beauty Smoke and Brighten Kajal Eyeliner Duo
Why it won: With one buttery tip for smudging and another for illuminating, Estée Lauder Beauty Smoke and Brighten Kajal Eyeliner Duo gives us more definition than we ever thought possible from a pair of well-mannered neutrals.
Pencil Liner, Color: Kulfi Underlined Kajal Clean Waterproof Long-Wear Eyeliner
Why it won: “Drawing on my usual flick takes me 15 seconds with this,” says commerce editor Sarah Han of the Kulfi Underlined Kajal Clean Waterproof Long-Wear Eyeliner. “I can’t believe how freaking smooth-gliding and pigmented it is!” If you prefer a softer effect, act fast, and the velvety color diffuses into the coolest smoky eyes we’ve ever achieved.
Liquid Eyeliner, Black: Lancôme Idôle Ultra-Precise Felt Tip Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Why it won: Lancôme Idôle Ultra-Precise Felt Tip Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is the classic black turtleneck of liquid liners: It hugs curves, looks sharp, and flatters absolutely everyone. And, like your beloved top, this waterproof formula comes off as easily as it goes on.
Liquid Eyeliner, Waterproof: Danessa Myricks Beauty Linework Paint Brush Liner
Why it won: For more dramatic flicks and swoops, Danessa Myricks Beauty Linework Paint Brush Liner packs 560 absorbent bristles into one slim, waterproof point, giving us the smoothness of calligraphy ink with the control of a pen.
Liquid Eyeliner, Bright Color: Urban Decay 24/7 Inks Liquid Eyeliner
Why it won: Each bright hue (sky blue, lime green, mustard yellow) in the Urban Decay 24/7 Inks Liquid Eyeliner collection is just as good at sitting tight as it is at turning heads. “The grip not only makes cat eyes and graphic looks approachable for eyeliner newbies, but it also makes applying eye makeup more accessible for those who have disabilities or limited mobility,” says senior editor Nicola Dall’Asen.
Gel Liner, Black/Brown: Revlon ColorStay Micro Hyper Precision Gel Eyeliner
Why it won: With its tiny point, Revlon ColorStay Micro Hyper Precision Gel Eyeliner in Black/Brown reaches the narrow gaps between your lashes, providing intense definition. Use its built-in smudger (on the opposite end of the pen) to soften or smoke out harsh lines.
Gel Liner, Color: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner
Why it won: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner gives the tightest of tight lines in the richest of jewel tones. With eight shades to choose from (emerald, turquoise, and more), you’ll have no issues finding your diamond in the rough.
Best Brow Product
Brows, Clear Gel: Live Tinted Huebrow Clear Setting Gel
Why it won: Live Tinted Huebrow Clear Setting Gel must have a thing for irony: The translucent formula lacks a “tint” and a “hue.” But it does perfectly fluff and arrange our arches — which just happens to be our thing.
Tinted Gel: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24HR Brow Mascara
Why it won: File L’Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24HR Brow Mascara under “products we wish we’d thought of first.” The tinted gel does for our brows what mascara does for our lashes — it colors, sculpts, and lengthens — with the wave of a wand.
Pencil: Kosas Brow Pop Nano
Why it won: If Kosas Brow Pop Nano looks familiar, that’s because… it is. An ittier-bittier version of its predecessor, this ultrathin take mimics hairlike strokes, squeezes into sparse areas, and gives our brows a natural-looking sheen.
Powder: Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder
Why it won: Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder has reignited our relationship with powder. The featherlight formula enhances our arches without making them look obviously filled. Just like the smudge-proof finish, we’ll never stray. (Testament to our fidelity: This is its fourth Best of Beauty win.)
Wax: Benefit Cosmetics Fluff Up Brow Wax
Why it won: The clear formula and flake-free consistency of Benefit Cosmetics Fluff Up Brow Wax add depth and dimension while holding rogue hairs in place. “Just one coat gives my brows a laminated-like look that lifts feathery hairs into place all day, night, and… even into the next morning,” says associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen.
Conditioner: RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner
Why it won: Look familiar? RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner has nabbed this title 10 times — and counting. The potent blend of peptides and biotin fortifies our arches, helping restore brows to their pre-tweezer glory.
Best Eye Shadow
Eye Shadow Wand, Matte: Ami Colé Lid Joy Liquid Matte Eyeshadow
Why it won: A fun punch of pigmented powder is how we’d describe Ami Colé Lid Joy Liquid Matte Eyeshadow. A single swipe of any of the four liquid-first shades covers our lids in creamy color that dries to a powdery finish.
Eye Shadow Wand, Shimmer: Half Magic ChromAddiction Eye Paint + Liner
Why it won: Half Magic ChromAddiction Eye Paint + Liner has more than one trick up its chrome sleeve: The iridescent formula imparts a pearly sheen or a surreal glow depending on how much you layer on.
Eye Shadow Wand, Chrome: ColourPop Chrome Liquid Shadow
Why it won: Makeup chameleons will love the ColourPop Chrome Liquid Shadow. The multifaceted pigments in each of the nine shade-shifting hues (ranging from opalescent pink to metallic bronze) give lids a holographic gleam.
Eye Shadow Stick, Shimmer: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick
Why it won: At first glance, we wondered if a shadow as soft and lucid as Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick would even show up on our lids. But the creamy crayon deposits so much pearly definition, we’ve seen the light (and look great in it).
Eye Shadow Stick, Matte: Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color
Why it won: The substantial point of Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color delivers a no-doubt-about-it-matte finish. The chunky stick is equally adept at draping lids in color and drawing precise lines.
Eye Shadow Stick, Bright: About-Face Shadowstick
Why it won: The About-Face Shadowstick produces a wash of intense color in one stroke. We love every edgy hue (frosty pink, shimmery peach, songbird blue), but if we had to pick one — we’d say it’s a free country and we don’t have to limit our options, K?
Eye Shadow Palette, Two-Color: Rose Inc Satin & Shimmer Duet Eyeshadow
Why it won: With a pigment-rich cream for creating depth and a glimmery powder for adding dimension, the pair of shadows in Rose Inc Satin & Shimmer Duet Eyeshadow work together in perfect harmony. Blend in with a brush or sweep on with your fingers for a soft-shimmer finish.
Eye Shadow Palette, Four-Color: Maybelline New York Shadow Blocks Stacked Shadow Palette
Why it won: You don’t have to live in the tristate area to enjoy the New York City-inspired Maybelline New York Shadow Blocks Stacked Shadow Palette. Forming a pocket-size cube, the trio of colors (two mattes, one shimmer) in each of the five compacts — with colorways ranging from deep plums to soft browns — allows us to build any effect we want.
Eye Shadow Palette, Nine-Color: Florasis Floral Engraving Phoenix Makeup Palette in Retro Brown
Why it won: The Florasis Floral Engraving Phoenix Makeup Palette in Retro Brown is the most gorgeous kit we’ve ever laid eyes on — and that’s before we even open it. Inside, the nine neutral hues recall a silk screen, stamped with mythological birds. Once you work up the courage to muss up the design, the pearl- and peony-enriched shades transform your lids into actual works of art.
Eye Shadow Palette, 16-Color: Juvia’s Place Candy Shop Eyeshadow Palette
Why it won: Juvia’s Place Candy Shop Eyeshadow Palette makes us feel like a kid in a…beauty closet. With 16 high-impact choices (flavors?) like bubblegum pink, creamy butterscotch, and ripe cherry, this kit is your golden ticket to free-form color play.
Best False Lashes
Lashes, Individual: Pro Lash Classic Luxe Wispy Lashes
Why it won: Pro Lash Classic Luxe Wispy Lashes are so light and airy, we’re tempted to wish on them before we apply them. “They’re pretty, propped-up, and elegantly tapered, making my eyes look more defined without giving them that overdone, ‘just hopped off the musical theater stage’ look I’ve encountered with so many false lashes before,” says site director Sam Escobar.
Lashes Natural: Static Lashes
Why it won: The wispy tips and staggered hair lengths of Static Lashes perfectly mirror the pattern of your natural lashes. Draw the accompanying magnetic liner across the lash line for a locked-in look. Literally.
Lashes, Dramatic: Kiss Lash Couture The Muses
Why it won: For those of you who only bother with strips that dust your brows, the royalty-inspired, corset-styled Kiss Lash Couture The Muses mimics the extreme length and thickness of extensions. Queen Charlotte would definitely approve.
Best Eye Jewels
Eye Jewels, Subtle: af94 Joystickers
Why it won: The rainbow-, butterfly-, and heart-shaped stickers in af94 Joystickers look just as playful on our cheekbones as they would on a Trapper Keeper.
Eye Jewels, Dramatic: Bakeup Playbox by Jo Bake
Why it won: The diminutive, sparkly gems and doodads in Bakeup Playbox by Jo Baker give your inner corners a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glint. They’re so fun, you’ll want to wear them everywhere: concerts, parties, and even the office.
Like what you see from Allure‘s Best of Beauty Awards?