The best brow products and eye makeup can take an everyday look to the next level. Whether you’re just looking for a little extra polish, expressing your own creativity through bold color choices, or making a statement with dramatic flair—it’s all about the eyes and brows (especially now that we’re all wearing masks every time we leave the house!). For this year’s Healthy Beauty Awards, our testers tried dozens of products to find the best of the best in eye shadows, eyeliners, mascaras, and brow products. And now is the perfect time to finally nail winged eyeliner, explore the fluffy eyebrow trend, and find the eye shadow look that serves you best.
All of our eye-makeup winners were versatile, buildable, and totally beginner-friendly. Some include skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and shea butter, and all will last you throughout the day without an extra application. From a palette of gorgeous nude eye shadows to a surprising brow pomade, here are favorite eye-makeup and brow products of 2020.
Reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
1- Best Brow Pencil: It Cosmetics Brow PowerFull
If brow pencils are more your jam, our testers raved over this one. Its triangular tip will cover more ground than a typical pencil, thus saving you time while getting ready. Our testers liked how effortless it was to apply for a casual look. Use the spoolie on the other end to brush it through, and enjoy!
Just so you know: This product is formulated with a synthetic form of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate); our derms say that vitamin E may be comedogenic and those with oily or acne-prone skin should be wary.
One tester said: “The angled shape of this brow pencil is great for shaping sparse brows like mine that are in need of a little extra love.” Buy it on Amazon →
2- Best Brow Gel: Crunchi Nutrient Brow Pomade
Eyebrow pomades might seem a little intimidating, but they’re unmatched when it comes to their staying power. Our testers found Crunchi’s pomade to be the most natural-looking of all the brow products. It’s highly pigmented but blendable enough to keep your brows looking like your own. Use a firm, angled brush to fill in sparse spots, brush everything out with a spoolie, and you’re set.
Bonus points, per the experts: This formula is enriched with shea butter, which our derms note is an ultra-moisturizing ingredient.
Just so you know: This product contains coconut alkanes, which are a derivative of coconut oil. According to our derms, coconut oil may contribute to clogged pores, which is bad news for folks with oily and acne-prone skin as well as combination skin types.
One tester said: “I’m a little surprised by how much I like this pomade! It blends in almost perfectly with the color of my hair and doesn’t make it obvious that my eyebrows are filled in, unlike other products I’ve tried. I used probably no more than a pea-size amount of product for both eyebrows with an angled brush for a natural yet defined look.” Buy it on Amazon →
3- Best Mascara: Stila Magnum XXX Mascara
When they say Magnum XXX, they mean it. The wand of this mascara is huge, but our testers found that it helped to separate lashes and provide mega volume. What set apart this mascara from the rest? Its lightweight formula that left lashes velvety and dramatic.
Bonus points, per the experts: Spotted: glycerin, which derms say is hydrating and moisturizing, and which works well for dry, combination, and sensitive skin types.
One tester said: “The wand is super thick, which I was initially concerned about, thinking that it wouldn’t make for a good applicator. However, on first use I realized that was a total falsehood. This mascara is super defining, doesn’t clump on the wand or on application, and lasts through the day. By evening, there were no flakes or smudges from all-day wear. I would highly recommend the Stila Magnum XXX mascara.” Buy it on Amazon →
4- Best Eye Shadow: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color
There’s little room for error when you use this eye shadow stick from Laura Mercier. The creamy formula makes it easy to smudge, blend, and remove. Our testers loved that it didn’t settle into the creases of their eyelids and that it was easily buildable for a more dramatic look. To apply, use the stick itself, a brush, or even your fingers—it’s pretty much foolproof.
Bonus points, per the experts: It’s formulated with a sunscreen agent, but the mineral kind, not the chemical one, which our derms prefer since chemical sunscreen ingredients are common irritants to sensitive skin.
Just so you know: This product contains fragrance and alcohols, which our derms said can be irritating for folks with sensitive skin.
One tester said: “For all my people who don’t know how to use eye shadow but desperately want to join in on the trend, this product is perfect for you. The color is one swipe away from adding a bit of pigment and two swipes from being a full-on vibe. It’s so very good!” Buy it on Amazon →
5- Best Eye Shadow Palette: Too Faced Born This Way Eyeshadow Palette
It can be tricky to know what palette to shell out money on, especially as makeup trends come and go. Your best bet? This one filled with flattering neutral shades ranging from matte to metallic. Trust us: It will never go out of style. Our testers were impressed by the rich color payoff of every shade, and they didn’t experience any fallout.
Bonus points, per the experts: Surprise! These shadows include hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which our derms say are great hydrating ingredients.
One tester said: “If someone wanted to own one palette, this is a great one. For basic and even glam looks, it really delivers. The colors are super pigmented, last forever, and blend like a dream. I got so many compliments on my eye makeup when I used this, and it might have been over a Zoom meeting but I still felt hot.” Buy it on Amazon →
6- Best Gel/Pencil Eyeliner: Wet n Wild Breakup Proof Waterproof Gel Retractable Eyeliner
We love a good drugstore makeup find, and this liner from Wet n Wild is no exception. Our testers loved the easy application and smooth formula. Plus the gel slides across your lid without smearing, so you won’t have to tug at your skin.
Bonus points, per the experts: This eyeliner is formulated with dimethicone, which according to our derms is great for folks with dry skin.
Just so you know: This is formulated with the ingredient caprylic/capric triglyceride, which is said to sometimes be made from coconut oil; our derms say coconut oil is a comedogenic.
One tester said: “I prefer pencil or gel to liquid eyeliner, but I like this one. The formula is thick, which I appreciate. Once I got used to the applicator, it was really easy to apply.” Buy it on Amazon →
7- Best Liquid Eyeliner: Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner
Liquid eyeliner is notorious for being tricky to work with, but this one from Honest Beauty has a flexible tip that’s forgiving and gives you control. Our testers found that it really does last all day without flaking or smudging—an impressive feat. The formula is suitable for people with sensitive skin and it’s paraben-free (more on what you should know about parabens here). Whether you’re just getting ready for work or a night out, this budget-friendly liquid liner is worth picking up.
Bonus points, per the experts: This liquid liner ticks off a derm-friendly hydrating ingredient: glycerin.
One tester said: “I typically prefer pen shapes, but this was easy to work with. I like that it dries matte black and lasts all day.” Buy it on Amazon →
8- Best False Lashes: The Creme Shop 3D Faux Mink Lashes in Wig
We love adding falsies to a fun makeup look. It might seem funny to wear them while many of us are still social distancing at home, but our testers found them a welcome addition to their now-sparse beauty routines. These lashes are dramatic and glamorous, and they can be reused up to 25 times (if you remove the glue properly). They’re also easy to cut, so if you’re going for a thicker, fuller lash line instead of length, give them a trim.
One tester said: “I enjoyed wearing these lashes! Although the set is definitely full and fluttery, wearing them didn’t make it obvious that I had on a pair of falsies. The lashes were also lightweight enough that they didn’t make my eyelids feel weighed down.” Buy it on Amazon →