For its ninth year, People and TODAY are bringing you People x TODAY Beauty Awards, reviewing hundreds of products across the categories of hair, makeup and skin care.
People Style and Beauty Director Andrea Lavinthal joined TODAY to share some of the winners in this year’s awards. Out of the 400 beauty products reviewed, only 100 were successful. But in this list, you will find 12 of our favorites, ranging from smart hair tools, multi-use skin care, affordable body scrubs (at just $5!), among others. All of these items were carefully tried and picked by the People and TODAY teams, and can be found at some of your favorite retailers — Amazon, Target, Sephora, Ulta and many more.
Read on to discover our 12 favorites from the People x Today Beauty awards or visit People.com for the full list.
People and TODAY Beauty Awards 2023: Skin and body
Olay Super Serum
There’s an unspoken rule that you need to apply specific ingredients in the morning and night to get the most out of them. Not this product. Since it is labeled as a 5-in-1, the Olay Super Serum puts all your treatments in a single bottle and equally delivers each of their benefits, according to the brand. The powerhouse blend consists of niacinamide, vitamin C, collagen peptide, vitamin E and AHA: ingredients known for improving skin tone and texture, firming the skin and providing a burst of hydration.
“I liked how this serum has a mix of ingredients I already use in my everyday skin care routine, so it was the perfect thing to use when I was in a rush or when I felt like my skin needed an extra boost,” said TODAY’s Ashley Spagnolo. “It was not sticky and absorbed into the skin pretty smoothly.”
The star ingredients in this cooling gel mask are two age-defying ingredients: flora-collagen and peptides. The two promise to boost and support your skin’s collagen health while simultaneously targeting dullness and a lack of elasticity. After use, the mask is said to rejuvenate and restore the skin for a more plump and youthful complexion.
This facial polisher from Peach & Lily promises the “glass skin” look with gentle exfoliation that doesn’t harm the skin. Green tea and allantoin, a healing agent, reduce the appearance of scars and brighten the skin, while tiny rice crystals polish away dead skin, the brand shares. Although exfoliating might be harsh for some skin types, the polisher is said to be gentle enough for daily use, which People Creative Director Phoebe Weekes confirms.
“Polish is a great description as there is no scratchy feeling,” she describes her experience. “I ended up using it daily, each evening, for a solid week without experiencing any sensitivity.”
This sunscreen and moisturizer hybrid tackles sun protection and hydration at once. Having an SPF of 30, the mineral-based product meets the recommended range for ample protection without the white cast. And with Baobab and hyaluronic acid in its ingredient list, the product is able to provide long-lasting hydration without the greasy residue. It’s no wonder TODAY producer Alicia Ybarbo labeled it as “the Rolls Royce of sunscreens.”
Our staffers considered this scrub as “the best product they tried across all categories,” and it’s not just because of its $10 price tag. One of many reasons our staffers couldn’t stop raving about the product goes back to its delicious ingredients. Inside, the scrub contains ginger root extract, sweet almond and coconut oil, among other things they label as “clean.” The scrub also is filled with a warm aroma of essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, to fill your daily routine with aromatherapy.
Now that we are heading towards the fall, a body oil can be useful for sealing in moisture. Take this Caudalie Moisturizing Body Oil Elixir, for instance. Containing a blend of prickly pear, grape seed and argan oils, this oil was designed to be intensely nourishing and lightweight on the skin. You can wear the product on its own, layered over or mixed with your body lotion, and to nourish your strands — really. Regardless of how you use it, its ingredients and notes of green fig and cedar wood should make you feel and look soothed.
People and TODAY Beauty Awards 2023: Hair and makeup
There’s a reason this mascara has “falsies” in its name: the brand claims it adds 10 times more volume and 36% length to your lashes after use. The brand says you can contribute the results to its “Hybrid Fiber technology,” which is said to be a blend of fibers that dramatically coat the lash from root to tip. And the dramatics promise to stay in place with 24-hour clump-, smudge-, flake- and smear-resistant wear.
Not everyone has time in the morning to complete their eye look. But that’s where ColourPop Chrome Liquid Shadow enters the picture. With just a single swipe, the product covers the entire lid with a sparkling pigment. You can select from six shades — a vibrant blue, a soft reflective pink and metallic terracotta, to name a few — to wear on its own or layered together. All of which are long-lasting and mess-proof upon application.
“I wore this through a hideously humid 90-degree day, and there was no caking in the crease either when I got home,” raves TODAY show producer Melea McCreary.
This tinted lip balm was a favorite amongst staffers. For just under $5, it’s the least expensive option on this list and it offers intense shine and a natural sheen to the lips. The brand hails this to its powerful blend of rosehip oil, vitamin E acetate, passionfruit seed oil and raspberry extract. This makes the product comfortable to wear, even if you decide to wear it over or underneath your favorite lipstick.
According to staffers, this reparative shampoo and conditioner duo “works wonders” on frizzy hair. “I used this combo before going to a bbq at a friend’s place and I was so pleased when my hair stayed sleek and shiny all day,” said People Editorial Assistant Natalia Senanayake. The moisturizing shampoo uses a mix of argan, coconut and moringa oils to repair the look and feel of frizzy hair, while the conditioner prevents further damage from heating tools, according to the brand.
There’s always trial and error when it comes to finding the right hairspray for your hair type: the crunchy residue, unwanted fall-out and weight on the hair. This long time favorite hairspray suggests the opposite results, offering a brushable hold and humidity-resistant finish that shouldn’t require reapplication. Simply spray your desired amount of the ultra-fine mist, and expect your hairstyle to remain in place throughout the day.
The issue with hair styling tools is the heat damage afterwards. But, T3 designed a smart flat iron that claims to minimize heat exposure. Its “StyleMax Technology” customizes the heat distribution (there are nine heat settings) based on your hair type and styling goals, leaving your hair with more shine and less damage. Other features in this device include a 360-degree swivel cord, a 1-hour automatic shut-off and ceramic plates to smooth frizz.