Thursday, December 13, 2012

J's Favorite Things: BEAUTY PRODUCTS

I love, love, love trying new beauty products. I have tried so many things that it is baffling to me as to why I do not look 19.... ;) Many things I try are very expensive like laser hair removal (ouch!), VelaShape (ouch again, and didn't work for me), and acupuncture (seriously, why does it all have to hurt?).
In addition to various procedures, I love to research the latest & greatest products and select which ones to try. I know you have visions of a very junk-filled bathroom but, no worries, I have a very good habit of tossing anything that I dislike.
In keeping with my usual theme of cost-effectiveness and ease of use, I have selected my top 5 favorite beauty products of 2012 that will get you looking your best this holiday season, without breaking the bank. Enjoy!
Top 5 Beauty Products of 2012
  1. Just For Men Beard Dye
  2. CoverGirl Clear mascara
  3. Sally Hansen wax strips
  4. Lip gloss
  5. Amlactin
Just For Men Beard Dye
While waiting on a friend for lunch one day in Birmingham, I popped into a salon to get a quick brow wax. The lady asked if she could dye my brows a tiny little bit. My features are very light so I was hesitant but I thought "why not?" What resulted was a very natural enhancement of my brows that made them look even shapelier. She didn't charge me for this but I am sure it isn't particularly cheap. I asked her about maintnance & she told me to try men's beard dye, Just For Men, specifically, and the kind that doesn't treat gray hair. A box costs $7.99 at CVS or Target and lasts 6-8 dyes. I dye mine once or twice a month. You are just going to have to trust me on this one & try it!
CoverGirl Clear Mascara
Again in the brow category, apply clear mascara before walking out the door & people will think you have perfectly groomed brows. It also helps identify which little hairs need to be trimmed. A tube costs $5.99 at CVS or Target & lasts several months. It is my absolute favorite product, right after lip gloss :)

CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash No Color Mascara Clear Neutral 800
Sally Hansen Wax Strips
Do you think I have an obsession with my eyebrows yet? You are correct! While being treated at a medspa for melasma (icky brown patches typically caused by hormones), my esthetician told me that the patches above my brows were being exacerbated by my frequent waxing. She suggested switching to these strip because they remove less skin, but ultimately leave my brows virtually hair free and without the pricey cost of a salon or those embarrassing, irritating red marks. They sell for $5.99 at any drugstore. A little tip: trim them into the shape of your brow before waxing to avoid removing hairs that you want to leave in place.

Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit, for Body, Legs, Arms & Bikini

Lip Gloss
Like many ladies, I have tried every lip gloss known to man. While MAC is consistently in my arsenal, my suggestion for the best value is L'Oreal 6 Hour Lip Gloss. One tube costs $9.99 but I often find buy one get one half off deals at CVS. I have pretty much every single color they make. This lip gloss have enough color but not too much (which is my issue with MAC sometimes), and it definitely lasts. If you have ever tired MAC's line of "stay-put" lip gloss, you know that you have to use an oil-based remover to get it off, and it cracks once your lips are dry. The L'Oreal brand fades naturally and comes in a variety of great colors. Truffle & Sangria are my top two, with Fiery in at a close 3rd! 

Have you ever tried a product containing Alpha Hydroxy acid? Did it not transform your skin? I love this ingredient and use the Obagi C line, which contains AHA, among other great things. In reading Lucky Magazine, I came across a body lotion that contains AHA called Amlactin. It is sold at CVS for $15.99 and is beyond fabulous. In the spirit of honesty, my sister in law tried it & disliked the smell. I don't think it has much of a scent but, if you are used to using raspberry scented lotion, for example, you will be disappointed. I generally dislike lotions with added fragrance anyway as I think they should serve a purpose. For about 15 minutes, your skin will feel a bit sticky but, hang in there, once it absorbs & starts to work, you will be amazed.

Honorable Mention: Creme de la Mer
Honorable mention goes go Creme de la Mer. I was given this as a birthday gift, and thank goodness because the price tag is hefty at $150 a jar. A friend of mine mentioned that she disliked this cream because it was too thick. Since I have ultra-dry skin, her comment made me think that this would be the perfect drink for my skin this winter as a night-cream. And it is. Hopefully I can switch back to Creme d'Elegence by Kiehl's for the summertime so I don't go broke!
Crème de la Mer


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