One of the (major) perks of being a beauty editor is getting to test every new product under the sun. The amount of things brands send to us on the regular is dizzying – in the absolute best of ways.
Because of this, the number-one question we get asked is ‘Ooh, what are you liking right now?’ The answer? So. Many. Things.
In an effort to make our answer a little more specific, each week we tell you the best hair, make-up, nail and skin care products that crossed our desks recently. Read on, try them for yourselves and feel free to take all the credit when your friends ask why you look so amazing lately.
PICK OF THE WEEK #1: LANCOME JUICY SHAKER
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker when it comes to cute packaging and a fun application technique, which the new Lancome Juicy Lip Shakers definitely have.
But the cocktail-shaker design is more than a gimmick. Shaking the tube as if you were mixing a drink allows the oil and color to combine, creating a genius pigment-infused, bi-phase lip oil.
Translation: You get intense hydration with a shot of color.
The sponge applicator allows you to gently build up as much color intensity as you want – and to be honest, it’s just fun to use.
Also fun? Each of the 20 colors comes with its own candy-flavor taste. They’re so good you’ll end up wanting to collect them all.
Lancome Juicy Shaker ($ 21, lancome-usa.com)
PICK OF THE WEEK #2: GHD ADVANCED SPLIT END THERAPY
My battle with frizzy hair has been well-documented. (Check out this hair-straightening video for proof.)
But despite my best efforts, the minute a drop humidity hits the air, my strands pouf up.
A painstaking blowout with a round brush and a couple rounds with a flat-iron help, but I’m always worried that all the heat is damaging my hair, causing them to frizz even more.
Earlier this week, though, celebrity hairstylist Michael Silva introduced me to a new product that actually works with hot tools to not only protect, but also restore, damaged hair.
Michael, who regularly works with big names like Diane Kruger and Kim Kardashian, applied the Ghd Advanced Split End Therapy treatment to the ends of my towel-dried hair and use a wide-tooth comb to ensure an even distribution of the product.
After a quick blowdry – no major styling effort here! – Michael ran a Ghd Platinum flat-iron over my hair and then went back in and wound sections of it around the iron to create slight waves.
The heat from the flat-iron activates the treatment, helping to seal split ends and prevent future damage by giving strands a protective coating. The heat of a blowdryer alone isn’t enough to make the product work though, so a flat-iron is a must.
Think of this more as a twice-a-month treatment than a conditioner or every-day styling product. Its effects last up to ten washes.
I’ve shampooed four times already since seeing Michael, and my hair still feels sleeker and shinier than it did pre-treatment.
Ghd Advanced Split End Therapy ($ 35, ghdhair.com)
PICK OF THE WEEK #3: EDWARD BESS BLACK SEA MOUSSE FOUNDATION
‘When the weather heats up, the thought of wearing layers upon layers of skincare and make-up on my face makes me claustrophobic,’ said beauty writer Sarah Ferguson. ‘So it’s during this time of year that I tend to edit down my routine by swapping in multi-tasking products.
‘This season, one of those products is Edward Bess Black Sea Mousse Foundation. The velvet-y texture melts into skin and feels lightweight, yet it expertly erases redness and imperfections and mattifies the complexion – always a plus during the warmer months.
‘The formula is also part skincare; it contains antioxidants, algae extracts and sea fennel to prevent signs of aging and to smooth out the appearance of existing fine lines.
‘It is best applied on smooth, moisturized skin. I noticed that when skin is dehydrated, the formula has trouble sinking in and draws attention to dry patches – nothing that a little exfoliation can’t fix.
‘At $ 75, this foundation is not cheap. But if you buy a jar today, April 28, during the two-hour Beauty with Benefits broadcast on QVC (starting at 7 PM EST in the US), a whopping 80 percent of the price will go to the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Foundation’s Cancer and Careers. The Cindy Crawford-promoted program offers tools and empowerment to help people with cancer thrive in the workplace.’
Edward Bess Black Sea Mousse Foundation with Brush ($ 75, qvc.com)
PICK OF THE WEEK #4: AVALON ORGANICS INSTANT DEFENSE SHEER MOISTURE SPF 10
As a beauty writer, I know I’m supposed to wear sunscreen every single day (yes, even in the winter), and I urge my friends, family and readers to do the same,’ said Sarah. ‘But if I’m being totally honest, I don’t always practice what I preach.
‘Finding a sunscreen that doesn’t make skin feel greasy, clog pores or leave behind a white cast and wears well underneath make-up is no easy feat. I’m thrilled to report, however, that I’ve finally found a winner in Avalon Organics Instant Defense Sheer Moisture SPF 10.
‘The formula itself is white, but don’t let that turn you off. Once it hits skin, the shade quickly disappears, leaving behind only a subtle dewy finish that acts as the perfect canvas for foundation.
‘In addition to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (physical sunscreens), the formula also contains antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and white tea to help further protect skin from sun damage, pollution and other environmental aggressors that can cause premature signs of aging. What you won’t find in the vegan, certified organic product are parabans, phthalates or synthetic fragrances or colors.
‘While SPF 10 does not provide quite enough protection for beach trips or long days in the sun (aim for a product with an SPF 30 or higher for those), the natural moisturizer is just the thing for when skin is exposed during your morning commute to work and on your lunch break.’
Avalon Organics Instant Defense Sheer Moisture SPF 10 ($ 19, avalonorganics.com and in Whole Foods Markets)
PICK OF THE WEEK #5: SEPHORA COLLECTION DRY CLEAN INSTANT DRY BRUSH CLEANDER SPRAY
Much like Sarah knows she should wear sunscreen every day but doesn’t, I preach (but don’t practice) that you must clean your make-up brushes regularly.
Dirty brushes breed all kinds of nasty bacteria that can irritate your skin and cause acne.
A deep-cleaning once a week will help keep your shadow, foundation, and powder brushes product- and bacteria-free.
But if you truly can’t be bothered, a new product from Sephora can help. The Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray is essentially a dry shampoo for your make-up brushes.
It won’t kill bacteria, but it will take off some the product residue that collects on the bristles. A quick two or three sprays to the brush head and a swirl around a clean tissue is all you need. The whole process takes less than 10 seconds.
So while it shouldn’t be used as a replacement to regular brush-washing, it definitely comes in handy for daily touchups.
Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray ($ 14, sephora.com)