The 2016 “I Recommend” Beauty Awards: Makeup Winners

Cult classics, perennial favourites, new innovations—this is your best in beauty


What products do Canada’s beauty experts recommend the most? Every year, we ask you, our readers—the savvy pros who see, sample and swatch tons of options on the job.

Here are this year’s winners in our makeup category, and why our voters said they’re sure to impress:

Photography and styling (throughout): Erik Putz

Photography and styling (throughout): Erik Putz


1. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, $15.
Still a hot seller after 26 years, this mascara builds lashes up to five times their natural thickness, while resisting clumps. “Tried and true. Amazing classic brush.”

2. Benefit Roller Lash, $31.
The curve-setting formula lifts and curls lashes for up to 12 hours. “The tiny brush grabs and pushes up every lash. It provides the perfect curl and fanned-out look.”

3. NYX High Definition Blush, $8.
The powder formula comes in 24 colours, with a silky-smooth feel. “Incredibly pigmented but easy to blend. Even the craziest, brightest shades can be made to look very natural.”

4. Nars Blush, $38.
It’s available in matte and shimmering finishes, and formulated with finely milled powder for a blendable texture. “Because, of course! It just hits the skin in such beautiful ways.”

5. NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette, $27.
Each of the seven illuminating powders can be mixed and matched for a custom glow. “Great selection of colours for any skin tone.”

6. Benefit Watt’s Up!, $39.
Dual-ended, it features a soft cream-to-powder stick on one end and a smoothing applicator on the other. “Super blendable. The beautiful champagne colour is universally flattering.”


1. NYX Pore Filler, $16.
This silica-based formula smooths skin and can be used under or over makeup. “It’s a great dupe for higher-end primers, at a super price point.”

2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $44.
The first product created at Smashbox Studios, this velvety product blurs flaws while nourishing skin with antioxidants. “It’s the OG! Very smooth, not heavy and will make makeup last all day.”

3. Marcelle BB Cream, $23.
This hypoallergenic, fragrance-free BB hydrates, evens skin tone and controls shine. “Provides excellent coverage while being great for sensitive skin.”

4. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35, $50.
Available in five shades, this BB offers buildable coverage and a little bonus skin protection, thanks to the SPF 35. “Good shade range and photographs well.”

5. Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer, $10.
The lightweight pigments hide imperfections, with no heavy feel. “Blends like a dream and doesn’t look cakey.”

6. Lancôme Effacernes, $36.
Light-diffusing technology in this creamy cover-up helps hide dark circles and shadows. “Waterproof, stays put and awesome coverage.”


1. L’Oréal Paris La Couleur Infallible, $11.
A powder-cream hybrid, each waterproof shade stays on lids for up to 24 hours. “Beautiful colours, super-pigmented and lasts all day without creasing.”

2. Urban Decay Naked, $64.
For ultimate versatility, this collection of 12 bronze-y shadows includes four velvety textures. “It has the best pigment. Payoff is incredible.”

3. NYX Butter Gloss, $8.
This silky gloss feels creamy and smells delicious, with a sugar-cookie scent. “Great shades. Comfortable, not sticky at all, and lips appear fuller.”

4. Lise Watier Haute Lumière High Shine Lip Gloss, $22.
The sheer formula provides hydration and high shine, in clever travel-friendly packaging. “It’s non-sticky, and the built-in light and mirror are great for touch-ups on the go.”

5. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, $11.
Available in 72 shades, each silk-enriched bullet has vitamins C and E to soften lips. “More colours than you can shake a stick at. You’re going to find the one your client is looking for.”

6. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, $31.
The budge-proof formula dries to a creamy matte that can last for up to six hours. “Unmatched long-wear lipsticks in intense, on-trend shades. The vibrancy is phenomenal.”