Next in Beauty Awards 2023: The Winning Makeup Products


Welcome to Who What Wear UK's inaugural Next in Beauty Awards 2023. Here, we are crowning and celebrating the very best in beauty. From the game-changing newcomers that are industry innovators, to the tried-and-tested classics that remain a worthy mainstay in our skincare cabinets and makeup bags alike. To help us find the very best in beauty, we called upon our esteemed panel of industry experts, hard-to-please editors and in-the-know influencers, who put each and every single product to the test. We enlisted our judges to document and share their testing for every product they tried, so you can see all the winners in action—as well as those very important before-and-after results. After much testing, swatching and reviewing, the results are in. Join us in celebrating the best in our Makeup Marvels category.


(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Who What Wear UK Next in Beauty Awards 2023: Best in Makeup Marvels


(Image credit: @maxineggenberger)

The perfect lip liner does exist—and our judges have found it. By Terry is a brand that's much loved by our editors, and the brand's Hyaluronic Lip Liner blew our judging panel away. Firstly, let's talk about the formula. Packed with shea and macadamia butters, it glides on with zero drag, delivering a creamy swipe of colour that is also nourishing to wear. Not only is it long-wearing, but the retractable nib can be sharpened thanks to the built-in sharpener, ensuring sculpted and defined lips each time.

"As someone who has been wearing lip liner since the early '00s, I know a good one when I try it. Without a word of a lie, By Terry's is the best I've come across," says Who What Wear UK deputy editor Maxine Eggenberger. "Unlike most other liners, which can feel dry and take considerable effort to apply, this product glides on with ease, and the formula—a mix of shea and macadamia butters, as well as hyaluronic acid—is super creamy and makes my lips feel smooth and nourished. It lasts too—I've worn it whilst eating and sipping cocktails and it didn't budge. I tested two colours and loved them both. This is top-tier makeup."

It also impressed freelance beauty editor Mica Ricketts, who isn't normally a fan of lip liner. "I don’t tend to be fussed about lip liners, but this one has well and truly converted me, and I’ll be buying it in every shade! It’s lovely to apply—so creamy and smooth—and it really does help to make my lips look more plump and full," she says. "It has brilliant staying power too, but when it does wear off it does so evenly, leaving lips with a natural wash of colour."

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(Image credit: @gracelindsay_)

Team Who What Wear UK are already enamoured with Rose Inc, but the Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum captured glowing reviews from our judges across the board. Harnessing the power of hydrating hyaluronic acid, plumping peptides and nourishing squalene, this lightweight serum-textured product features encapsulated pigments that burst on contact with the skin. The result? Glowing skin with sheer coverage that looks naturally radiant. It's a huge hit with Who What Wear UK's junior beauty editor Grace Lindsay, as well as Donna Dia, founder of The Beauty Beat.

"I Ioved this product! Really lovely coverage for days when you just want a glow but not a full face of make-up," says Dia. "It felt really light on my face; not sticky or heavy at all. The product lasted the full day and is really great for light coverage with added glow."

Lindsay agrees, "Loads of people had been telling me to try this product, so when I received it, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it truly is amazing," she says. "It’s the perfect base if you don’t like a heavy foundation, and works to even out skin tone whilst giving your complexion a gorgeous glow. It literally sinks into the skin and leaves your complexion feeling soft and hydrated."

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(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Our judges felt that Rose Inc's Softlight Luminous Hydrating Concealer was also a very worthy winner, with its expansive shade range that caters to all skin tones. Our panel also loved that Rose Inc lists its darkest shades first on its website; something rarely seen across the beauty industry. The formula itself is also worth shouting about. Both creamy and high-coverage, it effortlessly blends to blur imperfections whilst leaving skin looking naturally radiant, with a whole host of skincare ingredients to boot.

"This is my go-to concealer. I love the creamy texture, which gives the perfect amount of coverage without being cakey," says Who What Wear UK managing editor Poppy Nash. "It doesn’t crease and normally lasts me all day, so I don’t need to top up under the eyes or around my nose. The brand claims all products are ethically and sustainably made too, which is a huge plus."

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(Image credit: @joyadenuga)

Bronzers can be hit or miss, but Pixi's On-The-Glow Bronze stood out as one of the easiest to use that our panel tested. The twist-up stick (touted as a tinted moisture stick) can be swiped onto the skin before blending out effortlessly. Enriched with antioxidants, it encourages a healthy glow whilst giving the skin an instantaneous tint of colour. The shade range was suited to both dark and fair skin amongst our judging panel, too.

"I Iove the formula, how creamy and blendable it is, and the colour," says pro makeup artist Joy Adenuga. "Aside from adding warmth to the skin, I can also use the product as a blush. It works well with both a brush and a beauty blender."

It was also loved by Next in Beauty's head of awards Fiona McIntosh. "I love this bronzer! Great formula and a good range of shades for different skin tones and undertones," she says.

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(Image credit: @aartipmakeup)

Perhaps the best way to store all of our winning makeup products, Beautifect's Box neatly houses all your bottles, tubes, pots and brushes—no more rummaging in your makeup bag trying to find your products. The smart storage compartments are just one aspect of this clever box that our judges loved. It includes a built-in mirror with multiple settings, which allows you to do your makeup perfectly in any lighting situation, whether it be in evening light, bright daylight or under overhead office lighting. It folds away neatly to keep your makeup must-haves organised, and was loved amongst the makeup lovers and professionals in our panel.

"This is a beautiful, luxury item that provides wonderful lighting, saves time and allows flexibility wherever you go as it's travel-friendly," says award-winning make-up artist and beauty educator Aarti P. "The Beautifect Box comes with everything a make-up newbie would need," adds Who What Wear UK social media editor Joy Ejaria. "This is such an innovative storage box that lights up based on your environment and converts into the most epic dressing table."

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(Image credit: @hannahalmassi)

Merit has become a staple makeup brand for many of us, with its chic and concise edits that make getting ready and out the door quicker than ever. But our favourite product has to be Flush Balm—a real multi-tasker in our makeup bags. Serving as both a blush and a lip colour, the product, which is shaped into a domed applicator, applies with a creamy texture that melts into the skin, lending a healthy sheen to cheeks and lips. Our testers also love the range of wearable shades, which vary from deep berry and terracotta to muted pink and taupe.

"I love this balm," says makeup artist Emily Wood. "The shape is really functional—a great on-the-go product that lifts and hydrates whilst adding a subtle flush," she says. "I like the transparent finish because it feels gentle and lightweight on my skin, plus I've started to enjoy seeing my skin's true texture and enhancing what’s already there."

"Now a staple in my makeup bag, I really love Merit’s Flush Balms," says Who What Wear UK beauty editor Eleanor Vousden. "The domed applicator makes application easy, and it can be patted in with a brush or just your fingertips for easy, on-the-go touch-ups. There's a great range of beautiful shades which impart a natural flush of colour to the cheeks with a radiant finish that stays looking fresh throughout the day."

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(Image credit: @poppynash)

We'll admit that we're used to mascaras boasting sensational claims. But Makeup Revolution's 5D Lash Pow Mascara actually went above and beyond. Our judges wanted to highlight the innovative opening mechanism which pops open as opposed to twisting, keeping the formula from drying out. As for the results, it delivered fanned-out lashes, coating them in a blacker-than-black glaze whilst stretching and lifting them to their full potential. At under £10, our judges were blown away.

"This mascara is brilliant," says makeup artist Mira Parmar. "It gives great volume and length, and the black colour creates lashes to envy. No drying out here with the innovative closure mechanism, and no fall-out or flakiness," she says. "At under £10, this is a great mascara."

"The best thing about this mascara is the closure! It has a click function, meaning it doesn’t dry out as quickly as other mascaras," says Nash. "The wand was nice and chunky and the product went on really well. For the money, I think this is great. No smudging either."

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(Image credit: @rebeccarhysevans)

A good makeup setting spray is the MVP for locking in our carefully applied makeup, but not all are created equal. Morphe's Continuous Prep + Set Mist was the favourite amongst the finishing products our judges tested. The continuous spray mechanism makes application even—without drenching your face like some setting mists do—with micro-fine droplets that help to prep and set makeup. The hydrating formula also nourishes the skin, helping to diffuse areas where makeup looks cakey or is just in need of a quick refresh throughout the day. The judges also love that this spray comes in a miniature size for top-ups on the go.

"I wear makeup daily but find I have to reapply throughout the day to keep up the coverage," says Who What Wear UK branded content editor Rebecca Rhys-Evans. "With the Morphe Continuous Prep + Set Mist, foundation and concealer really sets, making it last much longer. Others I’ve tried leave my face feeling damp or sticky, but not this one!"

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(Image credit: @joyadenuga)

This winner will be unsurprising to those who swear by this now-iconic blusher that needs no introduction. However, if you're yet to try it, you'll be seriously impressed with its easy-to-blend pigment, delivering a creamy flush of colour to cheeks. And the shade range will have you wanting to try them all. Just a dot on each cheek is all you need, meaning this blusher will last you for ages.

"The lightweight liquid formula has a lovely consistency and is very pigmented, which means that the colour is long-lasting and the product goes a long way," says Who What Wear UK ecommerce analyst Sophie Cookson. "I tried the shade Encourage, which is a darker colour than I usually go for, but the pigment was actually really flattering. It felt natural but also added a little something to my face."

It was also a favourite with Adenuga. "I applied with a brush and found the product goes on and blends really well. The longevity of the blush is very impressive as I didn’t need to reapply all day," she says. "Colour aside, it gave my skin a gorgeous glow after application. A little goes a long way, so I would advise starting with a dot, using the applicator and gradually building the colour."

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(Image credit: @miramakeup)

Prepare to meet your new foundation favourite. Givenchy's Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Matte foundation was a standout amongst our entries. You'd be forgiven for thinking that a matte formula would be heavy, but not this one. Virtually weightless on the skin, it has a luminous quality that looks like your skin, but better.

"Often, finding the right foundation can be like the quest for the perfect pair of jeans, and both come down down to how well a product fits the individual. Prime Libre Foundation manages to capture the 'second skin' effect that many other bases try and fail to achieve," says Who What Wear UK shopping editor Remy Farrell. "Ultra-lightweight, breathable, and still pigmented enough to balance out the dark spots I usually hide with concealer, I check the mirror hours after application and I’m pleasantly surprised by the natural, bright finish that looks like I’m wearing nothing at all," she adds.

The makeup artists amongst our judges also gave it their seal of approval. "I love this hybrid foundation and have done since it launched," says Parmar. "With an 82% skincare formula, this hybrid foundation cares for your skin whilst perfecting it. It goes on beautifully, blends well, is buildable and comes in 35 shades. It says matte but it's actually just like skin and not too matte or dewy—just perfect for radiant, natural-looking skin."

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(Image credit: @joy.ejaria)

When a lash appointment is hard to come by, these false lashes are a brilliant alternative to give you a realistic flutter in minutes. Our judges liked how easy this kit was to use (the brand's tagline sums it up: "If you can mascara, you can apply Falscara!"). Simply apply the bond adhesive onto your natural lashes with the mascara-like brush, press the lash clusters underneath your lash line and set in place with the sealing solution. If you want a more affordable alternative to lash extensions, this is a great kit to keep on standby for when you want to elevate your lashes.

"I love the look of long lashes so much but I’m yet to find ones that work for me. I’ve tried strips, magnetics and have even been for professional extensions, but nothing has worked for me," says Ejaria. "My lashes and short and very curly which makes application hard, but somehow I managed to apply these seamlessly and with no tears! Those who, like me, can’t apply lashes to save their life, will be very pleased with how easy KISS has made this process."

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(Image credit: @emilywoodmakeup)

Complicated, multiple-step eye shadow palettes can strike fear into those of us who aren't a dab-hand at makeup, so many amongst our judging panel loved the simplicity of this one-and-done eye shadow stick, which makes it easy to create beautiful eye shadow looks. The crayon comes in kaleidoscope of matte and shimmer finishes, which just need to be scribbled onto eyes and blended, resulting in a long-wearing finish that doesn't crease or smudge.

"After years of priming my eyelids without success, I thought I was destined to live a life where my eye shadow was constantly creased. Then along came Nudestix," says Eggenberger. "A chunky, soft pencil you can use to line your eyes or build up colour and blend into full-blown shadow, this product promises a high-pigment payoff and zero creasing, and it delivers on both. I really appreciate the accompanying sharpener, too." 

It's got the makeup artists' seal of approval too. "An uncomplicated product that gives you room to apply imperfectly with little precision, says Wood. "This pencil does not budge once it’s on. Also, that unique, glossy-matte finish is so enhancing and beautiful. Heaven."

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(Image credit: @micaricketts)

With so many concealers promising to do it all, there was tough competition amongst our entires. However, Kosas' Revealer Concealer really did deliver on its promises. Dark circles? Disappeared. Blemishes? Hidden. Dryness? Smoothed over. Our testing panel applauded its concealing powers as well as its radiant finish. The skincare ingredients also help to boost the skin as you wear it, so excuse us whilst we stockpile this modern makeup-bag icon.

"I’ve found my holy grail concealer," says Vousden. "There isn’t anything I don’t like about this. The creamy consistency melts into the skin and effectively conceals just about everything from dark circles to blemishes and pigmentation without creasing or going patchy throughout the day. It has a radiant finish that is in no way sticky, and adds a luminous sheen to the skin that makes it look like your skin, but better," she says. "I love that it is formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, as well as panthenol and arnica to help heal the skin."

Freelance beauty editor Mica Ricketts rates it, too. "I love this concealer! It’s lightweight and creamy yet has brilliant coverage and really brightens the skin. I can use it on dark circles and spots and it works brilliantly on both. In fact, I often skip foundation and other base products when I use this as it makes skin look so good."

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(Image credit: @lanslondon)

Brow gels can be fickle. Whilst some just don't hold up, others leave a flaky residue that no one wants. However, Anastasia Beverley Hills' Brow Freeze is now a mainstay in many of our judges' makeup bags, from makeup artists to editors. With a clear, waxy texture, it tames brow hairs into place without flaking or leaving them stiff. Instead, our testers were left with the arches of their dreams: full, fluffy brows that held all day long. The workable texture sets onto place but is still mouldable, allowing you time to groom hairs into the exact shape you want them. 

"This provides an instant feather effect. It's easy to use and holds hairs well," says makeup artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis. What's more, Cookson also loved the results it gave. "I am always on the hunt for a product that will tame my unruly eyebrows. This styling wax definitely has an extreme hold and holds even the thickest of my brow hairs in place," she says. "It's easy to use and is clear, meaning that you can keep it natural or add a brow pencil afterwards."

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(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Next Up: Next in Beauty Awards 2023: The Winning Nail Products

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.