How We Do It
We assign products a rating of one to five stars.
- Five stars: Superior. These are top recommended, world-class products.
- Four stars: Excellent. These are some of the best products around.
- Three stars: Good—not perfect, but still worth your consideration.
- Two stars: Fair. These are better than having nothing at all (but not by much).
- One star: Poor.
Skincare review ratings are based on published medical and scientific research—not our opinions after using the products.
Makeup ratings are based on the team’s color specialists who test and compare products to let you know exactly how they perform.
Each category of skincare and makeup products have their own unique criteria that determine its final rating, but here’s our basic checklist as we consider whether or not a product is worth your time and money:
- Who is the product best for and how easy is it to use?
- Can the product live up to all (or any) of its claims?
- Does it contain effective amounts of ingredients proven to make skin look younger?
- Does the product contain any ingredients research has shown can irritate skin?
- How does the product differ from similar types of products—is it worth the cost?
- How does its packaging impact performance, ingredient stability, and ease of use?
You can learn about the criteria we’ve established for each category of products by visiting the Best Products section where each category has this info summarized for your convenience!