Best New Beauty Discoveries / Summer 2012

Clockwise from top left:

1. Elizabeth Arden All Over Face Powder Brush ($22). Enormous, soft, and delicious, this is my #1 pick for applying bronzer with a light, even touch.

2. Elizabeth Arden Fragrance-Free Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($19.50). I’ve heard about this “beauty secret” for years, and finally gave it a spin in the fragrance-free form: I leave it by my bed at night and use it on my lips, cuticles, and anywhere else that’s feeling dry, and swipe a little onto my brows in the morning. And yep: lovely stuff (I think it’ll be in even heavier rotation come winter).

3. Orlane Bronzing Pressed Powder ($45). This oversized compact lasts forever and deposits natural, subtle color that easily layers if the super-bronzed look is what you’re after.

4. NARS Blush in Angelika ($28). A recent rediscovery of mine and the blush that I’m now using every day: it’s a bright candy-pink with a little sparkle, and is just gorgeousfor summer (day or night).

5. Elizabeth Arden Liquid Eyeliner ($18). My new must-have for everyday wear: brown during the day, black at night. This felt-tipped pen delivers saturated color but has a fine tip for precise application. (Click here for a Spring Tangerine makeup tutorial featuring brown liquid liner and orange gloss.)

6. Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Genre ($20). Everyone’s in love with the tangerine lip this summer, and this glossy pencil offers a sheer pop of the shade (perfect for the beach).

7. Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream (at drugstores). Apply this Argan Oil-enriched cream to damp hair, twist into a bun, and let air-dry for loose, frizz-free waves.

8. Essie Nail Polish in Licorice ($8). I’m back to loving short, black, glossy nails.

9. Simple Skincare Refreshing Facial Wash Gel (click here to find a store near you). No soap, no dyes, no perfumes, and delicious at the end of a long, hot day.

10. Pevonia Hydrating Sunscreen ($42). A great, hydrating SPF30 that goes on nice and light - ideal for everyday or for the beach.

Best New Beauty Finds / Spring 2012

Clockwise from top left…

Sue Devitt Lip Intensifier*: A perfect nude to wear alone (with a little gloss), or to pair with red lipstick for extra staying power. Click here for the full review.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey: A sheer strawberry that easily goes from day to night with a slightly heavier application. Click here for the full review.

Lipstick Queen in Saint Eden*: A watermelon shade that’s my new favorite wear-everyday red. Click here for more tips for red lips.

Finger Paints in Grape Gumball: I get stopped on the street and asked about my nails every time I wear this; it’s so unique, and at the same time completely wearable.

The Brush Guard: I am lazy lazy lazy about brush care, but thanks to this easy-to-use (and affordable) brush cleaning kit sent to me by RG reader Diane, I’m…well, I’m better.

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara: I get asked about my favorite drugstore brands a lot, and this mascara is up there - great length plus volume, all in a fantastically affordable package.

Dove Thermal Replenishment Spray*: Ever since I’ve started spritzing this onto my hair pre-blowdrying, everyone who has touched it (really) has commented on how soft it is. It detangles wet strands, making them easier to comb through, protects hair from heat styling, and leaves a lovely, smooth finish.

*Product sample provided by manufacturer.

Best New Beauty Finds / Winter 2011

This round of best beauty picks is all about the time-savers, from a shampoo that halves the minutes you spend holding a blowdryer to an eye cream that does triple-duty and a nail polish that keeps you far, far away from the salon.

Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment: I’ve talked before about how much I love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and this one does it one better with a hit of soft, looks-good-on-everyone color. At over twenty bucks it’s a splurge, but the light scent and unbeatable feel make it an indulgence that’s worth the price.

Beautannia products: All of these straight-from-Britain bath products are lovely (I checked them out at a space.nk preview awhile back), but I’m an especially big fan of the Balfour scent*. A blend of grapeseed, cherry and rosehip oils scented with English fern, oakmoss, and vetiver, it toes the line between masculine and feminine in a modern, sexy way.

SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish Starter Kit* (price varies; product available in WalMart stores): My nails still haven’t grown a single chip; I totally love this stuff. Read my full review here.

It Factor Quick Blowdry Shampoo/Conditioner*: These products reduce drying time by up to fifty percent. Which makes them New Mama Miracles. How it works, in a nutshell: something called a VaporBoost System makes your hair like the water less, and inspires it to release water particles from its grasp more easily when heat is applied. Whatever; anything that gets me up and away from my styling tools faster is a good thing.

Zelens Triple Action Eye Cream*: Does lots of great stuff (depuffs, reduces dark circles, minimizes wrinkles) in one quick step. Plus, the texture is lovely, and if you try this tip it can even help to wake you up in the morning.

Guerlain Terracotta Kohl Kajal: This little tube of kohl liner is kinda odd-looking, but very cool when applied to your inner lids for an intense, dramatic effect.

NARS Matte Eyeshadow in Cairo and China Blue: My two favorite colors these days. Cairo is a cashmere-soft caramel shade that I apply with a wide brush all over the lid and up towards the brow for a simple, lightly smoky daytime look; China Blue is a straightforward navy that looks great paired with gold accents. (Click here for a Navy and Gold Eye how-to.)

Laura Mercier All-Over Eye Colour Brush: What I’ve been using to apply NARS Cairo. The wide, flat heat deposits a perfectly even sweep of color in just one motion.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: My mom recommended this to me, and it’s just awesome; totally false-lash quality.

Philosophy Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel*: One-step, pre-saturated, individually-wrapped pads that are designed for weekly use and that have visibly brightening and line-reducing effects after just two applications. They make your face taste a little bitter (a little intel from Kendrick), but so long as you avoid licking your own face and tell others to do the same, you should be OK.

StriVectin TL Neck Skin Tightening Cream*: I don’t really have to worry about neck wrinkles yet, but I’m all about preventative action now that I’ve turned 30, and I was pretty excited to discover that my beloved wrinkle-fighter now comes in neck-saving form.

Oral B ProfessionalCare 1000 Electric Toothbrush: It just gets your teeth so clean. And it’s kinda fun to use, which means I actually brush my teeth for the amount of time you’re supposed to brush them for now. Pretty psyched to get some compliments from my dentist (or at least not lie to him) on my next visit.

*Product samples provided for review.

Best New Beauty Finds / Fall 2011

Clockwise from top left:

Orlane Paris Super Moisturizing Light Cream*: In deep winter I like pouring all sorts of heavy things onto my flaky face, but during the rest of the year I prefer moisturizers that don’t feel like much at all, and this one is light as air, smells beautiful, and leaves zero residue on the skin. Perfect for those who are prone to breakouts or have sensitivity issues.

Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Golden Triangle: A thick golden-brown pencil on one side and a smudgy tip on the other, this is perfect for creating a summery smoky eye (video here), but is rich enough to take you into fall; try pairing it with layered gold and espresso eyeshadows for a holiday evening look. I’ve been wearing it during the daytime with a nude lip as a softer alternative to my usual black liquid liner.

Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Make Up with SPF 45*: Every. Single. Day. I cannot get enough of this product (full review here), and am considering buying stock. Seriously, it’s the best: anti-aging + moisturizer + tint + SPF, and it makes your skin look perfect in one step. I even wear it on weekends, because it’s so light that it makes you look glowy and lovely without feeling like you’re wearing heavy makeup, and the only other products you’ll need are a little blush and mascara. Try it.

Benefit Magic Ink Jet-Black Liquid Eyeliner: They discontinued the Urban Decay liquid liner I used to use, and the Sephora brand switched the applicator to a sort of pen-tip that I find drags on the lid. I’ve done the research for you, and trust me: if you’re into a sweepy, glamorous cat-eye, this is the product for you. The tip is flexible and comes to an elegant point, deposits just the right amount of liner, and doesn’t drag on the eye one bit.

Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks in Ruby Star (top) and Born With It (bottom): Beyond-favorite new lipstick finds. Ruby Star is a deep burgundy with just a hint of autumn-perfect sparkle (and I love it during the daytime with a nude eye), and Born With It is a slightly shimmery pink that’s neutral enough to wear with just about everything.

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty by Carmindy Eye Shadow Palette in Ocean: I resuscitated this from the bottom of my makeup bag a few weeks ago, and have been using it on almost a daily basis since. The grey, blue, and shimmery white/silver trio is gorgeous with fall jewel-toned clothing, and lately I’m in love with a navy-and-metallic (either gold or silver) eye (tutorial coming up). Be careful when purchasing, because most of the places on the Internet that sell this trio are actually selling the “Storm” trio and calling it “Ocean” - use the link above for the correct palette.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop: I discovered this a couple of weeks ago, and the plan is to wear nothing else on my toes through Christmas. It’s a rich, deep blue-green (more blue than green) with grey undertones, no sparkle or shimmer, and a creamy finish (in-the-wild photo here), and looks best paired with grey, blackberry, or pale pink on the fingers.

Leonor Greyl Masque Fleurs de Jasmin*: First the Huile de Palme (full review here), and now this. This line is awesome. It’s pretty well-known in Europe, and still fairly obscure here…but not for long, methinks. I’ve been alternating Huile de Palme oil treatments with this jasmine-scented deep conditioner (averaging a treatment every five or so days), and my hair has never, ever, ever looked better. I’m sure the prenatal vitamins and pregnancy hormones are helping, but whatever is going on, it’s making me happy, and I’m planning on keeping it up.

Votre Vu Tres Magni-Feet: Want to hear something weird? I’ve developed an obsession with having as-attractive-as-possible feet, because I don’t want to gross out the nurses in the delivery room. And I’m aware that a) my feet will never be all that attractive, b) I’ll probably be wearing socks, and c) the last thing that anyone south of the border will be looking at is the state of my soles, but…I can’t help it. I’m moisturizing them like a lunatic. And the Votre Vu Tres Magni-Feet is what I’ve been using, because it’s rich and delicious, and smells like lemon pie. Done.

*Product sample generously provided by manufacturer.

MORE BEST OF BEAUTY:

Best New Beauty Finds / Summer 2011

Best New Beauty Finds / Spring 2011