Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Most Underrated Beauty Products
Physicians Formula Bronze Booster: Delivers far more than the attention it gets.
There are products and brands that get a lot of love in beauty magazines, by celebrities, etc. Then there are products we hardly hear about: Maybe we used them years ago and recently rediscovered them, remembering how good they are; maybe we stumbled upon them and wonder why they don't get more attention and fanfare.
Here are a few products that fit both molds: some are oldies but goodies, while others are newer products that have never gotten the respect they deserve. All of them are reasonably priced, which is one thing to love and respect now more than ever.
1. Suave haircare: The shampoos and conditioners are still in the $2/bottle range, have recently been upgraded to what's called The Professionals line, and best of all, they truly work as well as products three or four times their price. In my poorest days, I've gone back to Suave and always wondered why it's a default brand; it leaves hair shiny, soft, and manageable. This is ultimately what we're all looking for in a haircare line, regardless of price.
2. Because this product is about to be discontinued, I have to give it a nod: The NYC Lip Sliders Tinted Lip Balm comes in a variety of shades, ranging from the palest baby pink to a rose tint. Each smells edible, departs a sheer but visible wash of color, and leaves your lips well moisturized. As a discontinued item, CVS has been selling each for $.75 (regular retail is $2.99). Grab a few backups and enjoy this cheap and cheerful item while it lasts. One downside: I personally dislike products that you have to dip a finger into, so if you feel the same, use it with a small lip brush.
3. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster: This matte bronzer works beautifully on olive/darker skin tones for contouring. Most importantly, applied lightly to the high points of the face, it departs a true sun-kissed glow to the skin. The product retails for $15, but PF often has manufacturer's coupons on the products, or you can wait for a sale.
4. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure: While crackle polishes are all the rage right now, a polish that doesn't crack doesn't get much press. This polish, which provides a built in base- and topcoat, will last most a solid week without any signs of wear. The colors range from a variety of nudes to bold and bright shades, all of which are richly pigmented. A single coat is all you need to get an opaque, cream-based look. This product retails around $7.
5. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs: Looking for a quick way to get a little color and evening of the skin tone without wearing hot pantyhose? This slight beauty oddity - bordering on body makeup - is applied via an airbrush spray. It sounds messy and intimidating, but it's surprisingly easy to use. Use a small amount in a shade slightly deeper than your natural coloring. It dries to a smooth finish, provides a believable tan, and is transfer resistant (although not waterproof). Best of all, it conceals minor blemishes but washes off at the end of the night.
6. Roc Retinol: This stabilized retinol formula is priced around $25 and delivers as well as brands twice its price. The newer formulas are enhanced with antioxidants and minerals to work in conjunction with the main wrinkle fighting ingredient. As more products with increasingly high price tags break into the market, this no-frills standby continues to hold its ground.
7. Paula's Choice Sunscreen: This is the best sunscreen I've found; no matter how high the SPF, the formula stays light, blends easily into skin like a moisturizer, and doesn't reappear as a chalky film or turn you ghostly. Nor is it so chemical-laced that it makes you tear up if any gets near your eyes. This is available at www.paulaschoice.com. Many of the sunscreens are on sale through today, so it's worth a look. The regular retail price of approximately $14/bottle is reasonable.
8. Organix Moroccan Argan Oil: The shampoo and conditioner have gotten mixed reviews, but the oil itself leaves hair soft and moisturized. Use a small amount and work through wet hair. It delivers as well as the $30/bottle brands, but it's priced at $8.
9. Jovan White Musk Body Spray: At just $8, this spray delivers a scent that's authentic to the seductive white musk we all know, never turning cloying or fading quickly. As a weekend or date scent, especially in the summer, it works perfectly.
10. Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask: Infused with the antioxidant properties of grapeseed and wine extracts and a series of moisture-binding ingredients, this $38 mask leaves skin hydrated and glowing. Arguably it's not cheap, but it provides a serious return on the investment and preps skin beautifully for makeup.