More Beauty, Less Beast

photo: Allure magazine

There must be something about Fall and the need to generate lists. Maybe as the calendar year begins to wind down, we need to enumerate things and compile our best of experiences. The other day, I put up a link to Vogue’s 100 under $100 list, which featured 100 wallet-friendly items that are absolutely on-trend. Today it’s all about Allure‘s Best of Beauty Awards, which are supposed to be the end-all and be-all of beauty products. You might have already picked up the October 2010 issue of Allure to get your list of 232 award-winning products, all tested and hand-picked by their editors, who must be the best-smelling, dewy-skinned, lovely-locked and best-groomed people on the planet. If not, click the link above and see for yourself.

My Own Field Tests

So, I may not be in the leagues of product-blessed Allure editors, but I did a field test of my own with a few of their 2010 award winners:


Pantene Pro-V Flat to Volume Shampoo & Conditioner is pretty darn good. I had been using a much more expensive shampoo and conditioner for my hair and this product blows it away. It smells good going on and does deliver big, shiny, lasting volume to my hair. Apparently, the hair gurus at Pantene discovered that 98% of women fall into four hair structure types and began developing formulas to suit them. Fine hair tends to be fragile, flexible, straight and protein-deprived. They introduced an ingredient called HPM Cellulose that boosts the cleaning power without stripping hair, which results in better volume.

The research also reveled that Medium to Thick hair is more inclined to frizz and break. They found an ingredient, Triquat-76, that holds wet and dry conditioners on the strand in a net-like structure, which smooths the cuticle and protect hair against humidity. If you have Medium to Thick hair there is also a Pantene Pro-V shampoo available.


Cover Girl LiquilineBlast Eyeliner Pencil in Black Fire & Brown Blaze gives deep, dark, precise lining to your eyes. It works like you’re holding a marker, but is smudge-able (and includes a smudging tip). It stay put and doesn’t wander. Comes off easily. I used it sparingly for daytime, but it really does the trick for a more dramatic nighttime eye.

Maybelline New York EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner comes in a pot and includes an application brush. This one allows you to be even more precise with your application by either lining it straight on or smudging it between your lashes. Seems like it might be hard to apply, but actually very easy. I bought the Eggplant for something a little different and it really brings out my eyes. Good for day and night.


L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder. Lordy, there are a lot of choices when it comes to figuring out which True Match is your true match. If I had been smart, I would have brought the remnants of my old compact with me to the store to figure this out faster. That said, I’m pretty so-so on this powder and wouldn’t recommend it to you, unless you’re trying to combat a lot of shine. I need something less matte and bit more luminous for my dry skin.

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector is said to break up dark spots in less than three months, but it’s going to take me longer than that. I’ve been using it for about a month now, but can only use it every other night since my skin is so sensitive. It’s already doing a good job of fading spots that started to darken this summer, so I’m staying on track and will continue to use it. If you’re not sensitive to retinols or plant-based exfoliators, you should be able to use this everyday and get faster results.

Click here for the complete Allure Best of Beauty 2010. They have products in all different price ranges, but so many of them are affordable this year. It’s great to know you don’t have to kill your wallet to get great results.

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