The High/Low Evaluation Process, Explained

6 months

Last year, we hosted The High/Low, our annual beauty awards celebrating the best new beauty launches over $20 and under. This year our mission was the same, and it seems the industry was ready for it. Yes, back in early May, we set out to find our 2022 winners that launched between August 2021 and July 2022, and we’re excited to announce that they’ve finally been selected.

4 product categories

High/Low judges the best new products in four key sectors: skin care, hair care, makeup and body care. As mentioned above, our team of judges and beauty experts carefully test the effectiveness of each new competing product to see if it lives up to its promises (and, for those over $20, the sticker price).

38 subcategories

For good measure, we divided each general product category into a number of subcategories ranging from the best hair masks and body oils to the best retinol and mascara. So you’re sure to find our top beauty picks in whatever area interests you.

2,200 products submitted for your consideration

The past year was a big one for beauty with record-breaking innovations and emerging brands creating an especially exciting time in the industry. Therefore, we knew the submissions would be substantial and difficult to narrow down to a few hundred finalists. But, after weeks of sampling, research, and general product play, we found the best and the brightest of the bunch.

331 Semifinalists

After careful consideration, our semi-finalists in all four categories were selected and divided among our product testers for judging. This is where things get fun.

55 BDG product testers

This year, our product testers consisted of both BDG staff and a roster of beauty experts ranging from veteran editors to veteran reporters in the field. We select judges we trust to give their honest and unbiased opinions on the products they were sent to test for about five weeks.

76 Winners

After more than a month of testing, the results were in. TZR editors combed through hundreds of reviews (good, bad, and indifferent) and narrowed down the semifinalist list to the 76 shining stars who clearly sold our judges. hearts… and beauty routines. Thirty-eight winners were selected in the $20+ category while 38 they were chosen for less than $20. Our curated list allows you to choose the formulas you’d like to splurge on and which will save you a few bucks, based on your budget and immediate beauty needs. Maybe you are looking for a strong leave-in conditioner to keep your hair in check during the cold winter months. Or maybe you’re ready for a new lipstick shade to brighten up the holiday season? Whatever you’re looking for, you can be sure there’s a new treasure waiting for you at The High/Low.

We hope you enjoy exploring this year’s winners as much as we enjoy finding them.

—TZR Team