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April 23, 2010

Suncare, serums and making your shadow stay put.

How to find products that are perfect for your unique hair and skin, and how to work their magic to your advantage.

Health and beauty aisles make me nervous. You would think I would be right in my element, scouring the shelves for something to sample, but it's the women that make me uneasy. I find myself holding back the urge to throw myself in front of their carts, begging the women with curly hair to put down the greasy smoothing serum, or saving the fair-skinned beauty from the bottle of orangey self-tanner.

Then it dawned on me.

We buy products to get the results we want but don't embrace the best products that enhance our natural beauty. Then, disappointed, we discard yet another half-used bottle of product to the back of the bathroom cabinet. In the weeks leading up the season where we inevitably bare more skin, I'll be sharing tips on how to find products that are perfect for your unique hair and skin, and how to work their magic to your advantage. In the meantime, here are eight fabulous new finds that have left me in awe, perfect for prepping and brightening your complexion and enhancing your all-over glow.

Stay Don't Stray

Photo courtesy of Benefit

Stay Don't Stray! A command my eyeshadow obeyed all day thanks to Benefit's newest primer for concealer and eyeshadow. Just one pump covered both lids and a little under my eyes, and the non-irritating, creamy formula kept my favorite eyeshadow in place through a full workday and an intense workout.

Great Lash BIG

Photo courtesy of Maybelline New York

When I polled Charlotte women about their favorite mascara, most of them replied, "What's the pink one with the green top?" That would be none other than Great Lash, the cult favorite by Maybelline New York. Now the new Great Lash BIG takes lashes to another level. Mine appeared longer, fuller and received tons of compliments, plus the larger wand distributed loads of mascara while separating my lashes with just a few swipes.

Shiseido Suncare

Photo courtesy of KAPLOW Public Relations

Shiseido's Anti-Aging Suncare with UVA and UVB protection is lightweight and blends easily into skin without leaving behind a white film. The bonus? It smells fantastic! But don't stop there. Check out Shiseido if you're looking for a new bronzer or self-tanner to warm up your winter skin. Try Brilliant Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Gel for immediate color and the Daily Bronze Moisturizing Emulsion for believable color that builds over several days.

Biore Makeup Removing Towelettes

Photo courtesy of Tractenberg & Co.

Try Biore Makeup Removing Towelettes once and you'll start dreaming up different ways to use them. The fresh-scented towelettes infused with coconut water, vitamin E and green tea are perfect for removing stubborn eye makeup and even heavy foundation without leaving behind a sticky residue. Also great for after the gym or for a quick refresher at the pool.

Josie Maran Primer Mist

Photo courtesy of Tractenberg & Co.

Josie Maran's Argan Primer Mist works well on all skin types and uses the all-natural power of argan oil to prep skin for makeup. The lightweight formula soaked in without leaving a greasy residue and hydrated immediately. Within a week, overall tone and texture was softer and more even. The brand also uses the oil in several of its most popular products including a moisturizing hair serum and oil-infused lipstick. Talk about a cure-all!

Foot Petals

Photo courtesy of Tractenberg & Co.

Foot Petals Runway Bride is the perfect solution to guarantee a comfortable walk down the aisle. The kit includes powder-scented insoles, ball-of-foot and heel cushions as well as Sole Stopperz non-slip patches and thin strips that add extra comfort if needed. Let's just say you can go ahead and splurge on the perfect pair of bridal heels without sacrificing comfort.

Get Gorgeous Tea

Photo courtesy of The Republic of Tea

I attribute my new glow and clearer complexion to Be Well Red Get Gorgeous Tea. The blend of red bush and beneficial herbs from The Republic of Tea is packed with antioxidants and natural alpha-hydroxy acids and has a smooth, fruity flavor.

Meaningful Beauty Serum

Photo courtesy of Guthy-Renker, LLC.

I had to wonder if a product with Cindy Crawford's name on it could pack a punch. So when the ageless beauty shared her secret, Meaningful Beauty Glowing Serum, I had to test it. I asked several women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds to give this serum a try under one condition: Don't tell a soul and see if anyone notices a difference! The results were unanimous. Each woman reported brighter and smoother skin around their eyes in just two days, not to mention their friends and coworkers said they looked well-rested.

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