nylon beauty awards: editors' eye picks

the mascaras and liners that changed our lives.

Tried and true: It's the only way we want to give you guys the deal on which beauty products are really worth it. The first-ever Nylon Beauty Awards were started to do exactly that. Our editors tested every single product, and several makeup removal towelettes later we got this awesome guide to the best beauty products on the market. (Haven't checked it out yet? Here you go.) But there were so many products that we wanted to favorite that we couldn't tell you why, exactly, they're so good. So for the next few weeks, NYLON's digital team will be sharing our stories (and, in some cases, tips) so you know why we love these products. To kick things off we're starting with eyes, since they're the window to the soul--and because we're really, really happy we found a mascara we love. Behold, our very favorite eye makeup:

DIOR LASH EXTASE, $44.04
"Fact: Until a few months ago, I refused to purchase mascara from anywhere but the drugstore. It seemed nonsensical to invest in a tube of standard black mascara, particularly considering they tend to go stale within a month or two. Plus, why fix what wasn't broken (a.k.a. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in that oh-so-familiar pink and green tube)? And then a sample of Dior's newest mascara, Diorshow Extase, mysteriously ended up on my desk. One stroke was all it took for me to be hooked. Unlike Dior's past mascaras, the chic new silver tube features a spherical "tiered brush," which basically gets every single lash, sans any clumping or strange separating effects. You don't need more the one coat, and if you're like me, you won't even need to curl your eyelashes to achieve perfectly amped lashes. Sure, it's not the most affordable mascara on the market, but it's definitely the best one I've tried."
ALI HOFFMAN, web editor

LANCOME GEL EYELINER, $23.50
"Admittedly, I used to only wear eye makeup if I had to be on camera, until a few weeks ago. The thing that finally turned me was that I realized how much they've improved since the last time I gave eyemakeup a whirl—which might have been for my junior prom. (I wore Nars Night Breed black glitter shadow powder shadow as a liner). I digress, I know full well that being afraid of eye makeup is unacceptable for an editor who covers beauty, so I got off my lazy ass and picked up an eyeliner brush.  I apply Lancome gel liner with a small flat brush to the outside of my lids and then work my way towards the center, but using way less at that point, which helps to open up the eye. If I'm feeling racy that day I use a brush to lift the product to create more of a smoky effect. With the right brush kit, this gel knows no limits and it stays on without smudging. So if you're going for the "Kate-Moss-I-haven't-slept-in-days" look or the "sexy-60s-cateye" or even the "I'm-hardly-wearing-any-makeup-look" look no further than this pot."
RAY SIEGEL, senior web editor

NARS LARGER THAN LIFE EYELINER, $23
"Here's my dirty little beauty secret (and it really is dirty): I'm bad about washing my face before going to sleep. My excuses are varied--I'm tired, I'm lazy, I'm already in bed, I don't have that much makeup on anyway, I don't want to--but the end result is the same. Unless I give it a swipe with a face wipe (lately I've been using Neutrogena's Make-Up Remover towelettes), I'll wake up with raccoon eyes and, possibly, a bit of lipstick on my pillow. Rather than change my habits--because why would I do that?--I've searched for products that can handle my careless lifestyle. Mascaras that don't flake, blushes that stay put, and eyeliners that never smudge.... It's nearly impossible to find a perfect product, but Nars' Larger Than Life Long-Wear Liner more than lives up to its name. The pencil--which has a hint of glitter, in case you were wondering about its late-night party bona fides--goes on smoothly but then doesn't smudge for hours. And hours. And hours. Seriously, I could probably go three days and never have to reapply, this liner is so devoted to my upper lid (I promise I'm not that bad). And best of all, when I finally do take that extra step and actually wash my face for bed, it comes off easily--no streaky black cheeks to speak of. One day I'll do the adult thing and actually prep my face for sleep, but in the meantime I've got the Nars pencil to help me pretend that I've got pretty habits."
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS, executive web editor