Thursday, August 22, 2013

Best of the best: 10 beauty products that actually work

One of my friends asked me the other day,
"Since you've tried a million products, is there any that actually do what they say they do?"
The only thing I could think of was Bumble and bumble surf spray.
Looking around my home though there's a few others I continue to buy because I think they really live up to their claims.

I use surf spray anytime I want messy beach hair with extra body, that works great wet and left to air dry. If you need thickening messy hair when it's already dry, try this. It can help to revamp your beach hair after it's gone flat. It also seems to have a bit of a dry shampoo effect by dulling down any shininess. 
This was in an Origins value set for prevention. I tried it once and fell in love! I can't say I've ever found a mask that absorbed oil so well while still leaving my skin soft, clean, and not dry. Will definitely get the full size when done with the little tube. I had been using the Boscia Luminizing black mask, but this is much more effective.

This is the first bronzer I've used that is matte (now everyone is making one). It is much more natural looking than most with shimmer and its really brown not warm brown or orangey. I use a highlighter with shimmer along with this for some contouring. If my bronzer is shimmery too my whole face would shine and that's not the look I'm going for! Also you can actually smell the cocoa and I love it.

This is far and away the best concealer I've ever used. I had been using the Laura mercier camouflage compact after trying everything under the sun but this is even better. Complete coverage and dry matte finish. Thank you clinique! I've heard that the MUFE is also exceptional but this is a better price for sure.

I like this lip crayon better than the Clinique Chubby Stick which for me was not as shiny as this and better than Tarte's Lip Surgences because they are minty flavored. This one from Soap & Glory has a super sweet vanilla flavor. I got it in nudist and it is a nice pinky natural nude tone. Highly recommend these. My full review and swatch, here.

I found this to be the best buildable mascara. You can put on one coat for a day look that's still noticeable and volumizing or 3 for super dramatic evening lashes and it still won't clump or stick your eyelashes together awkwardly. I'm pretty sure I'm not imaginging it, but after going through a deluxe sample of this stuff my lashes were actually longer and thicker again... leading me to believe my previous one was damaging them but this definitely does not. They seemed healthier. I would say it's definitely worth trying Supernova especially if you can get in a value set of Fresh items! The only problem is Sephora doesn't sell this anymore.

If you are looking for a real concealer, this isn't it. It's light and sheer and slightly shimmery. I like it for under my eyes on top of a heavy concealer or my cheekbones because it is a little bit reflective. The main thing is it's so portable, it's perfect for any small fixes during the day.

I love the shades and how pigmented these are. The only downfall is I think they can be a little drying. This line has the best color payoff of any brand. I personally have found my red HG shade in Underage red, perfect for us cool-toned ladies. Backstage Bambi is the best 80s bright pink too. Just use some balm before applying.. the color makes it worth it.

This is worth the price for sure because it will get any dead skin off in no time. This is the only exfoliator that I think can really do that. It makes a great once a week treatment so your skin doesn't get overly sensitive. Leave this on for a couple min's without even rubbing in, and then take a wet washcloth to gently wash it off.

I guarantee you this is the best nude lip on the planet. Enough color to really cancel out the pinkness of your lips, but still fairly natural looking unlike some nude lipsticks that look like you put concealer on your mouth. It is glossy and sticky and perfect. Just trust me.

Real talk: there's a ton of products I "like" but are pretty interchangeable. Like all of my primers, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, UD, and a million others, they are work great but none stand out as the best. Brows too, I have a UD brow box that is the cutest thing ever, but is exactly the same as the new Benefit one. Anastasia brow sets and palettes are also great but are exactly the same as the Too Faced one. Foundations/BB's/CC's are too personal to recommend really. I love my Dr. Jart+ BB black label detox because of the skin care benefits but also because this is the only BB that comes in my exact skin tone. All the other color adjusting formulas don't work for me. At the same time, I imagine that anyone with medium to dark or warm/olive skin couldn't use this and those other formulas could be perfect, like the one from Dr. Brandt. There are so many out there, I would seriously consider doing Sephora's color IQ in store and taking home a few samples of ones that match. Sephora lets you have 3 samples of each category: makeup, fragrance, etc per visit so take advantage!