Insiders' beauty-product finds of the year
- Next1 of 7Elie Tahari: Imaxtree
- Previous Next2 of 7Greg Marino/Studio D
- Previous Next3 of 7Courtesy of Woman's Day
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The Best New Beauty Products of 20121 of 7
With the amount of beauty products available on the market, shopping for anything from mascara to manicure sets can involve some serious decision making. It seems like every product claims to go on flawlessly, last longer and give you salon-quality results at home, but do these innovations really work? Our editors put them to the test and picked the most effective ones at the best price.
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Lasting Lipgloss2 of 7
Lipsticks and stains have staying power, while gloss tends to fade faster. Until now. Thanks to special waxes and polymers, lip gloss has gone from fleeting to fantastic. Unlike other long-wear formulas that can feel clumpy, NYC New York Color City Proof 8HR Lip Gloss ($3) "went on smoothly" and never had to be reapplied. The "vibrancy" and stain-like finish of Maybelline New York SuperStay 10HR Stain Gloss ($9) impressed one tester. The formula lasted 8 hours, "even after lunch and an afternoon snack."
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Instant Highlights3 of 7
Now you can use your flat iron to create highlights in less than 10 minutes or wash them away after one night. Spritz Marc Anthony Easy-Lites Instant Highlighting Spray ($7) onto the areas you want to highlight, then run your flat iron over them. "Be sure to do a few practice sprays to ensure even distribution," said a tester. Alterna 1 Night Highlights ($29) is "fun for a special occasion." Comb the mousse onto dry hair, wait 5 minutes and—volà—lighter streaks.
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Hair Smoothers4 of 7
Superstar ingredients typically found only in salon treatments—Moroccan and avocado oils—now appear in products at your local drugstore for a fraction of the cost. Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy 14 Day Smoothing Treatment ($8) is "simple to apply": Spray onto nearly dry hair and expect "smoothness for 10 days." A drop of Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment ($6) left our user's hair "feeling soft" and frizz-free "for more than three weeks." But if you have fine hair, a little goes a long way.
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Lash Enhancers5 of 7
The peptides found in lash-boosting serums give longer, plumper lashes—and some mascaras have them, too. Primer also enhances lashes by helping mascara adhere better. Mary Kay Lash Primer ($15) "glides on easily" and once a tester put on her mascara, she was sold. "My eyelashes look lusher than they ever have with mascara alone." One coat of Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara ($9) enhanced lashes, but any growth is "subtle at best."
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Gel Manis6 of 7
A gel manicure will cost $50 to $75 at a salon, but DIY options are much cheaper. Typically sold with an LED light (to "set" the polish) or an adhesive base coat, at-home gels promise to last the standard 14 days and save you money in the long run. Nutra Nail Gel Perfect ($12) uses an activator base coat instead of an LED light to help create a shiny finish. This gel "dried within 5 minutes," but "it didn't last as long as a salon gel." SensatioNail By Nailene Invincible Gel Polish Starter Kit ($60) includes an LED light. The tester says: "This one lasted just as long as a salon treatment!"
Tooth-Whitening7 of 7
At-home smile whiteners are less expensive than a trip to the dentist, but have been tricky to use. Some brands now give results in as little as two hours and the strips dissolve in your mouth. Crest 3D White Intensive Professional Effects Whitestrips ($56) whitened better than other products tested, and caused no sensitivity. The downside was having to wear them "two hours a day for a week." Rembrandt Intense Stain Dissolving Strips ($20) melt after 10 minutes. "I loved that I didn't have to wait to remove them," one said. After just two weeks, they deliver a brighter, whiter smile.