Fashion & Beauty

New and Not-So-New Beauty Products

August 1, 2017

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FULL DISCLOSURE: I frequently receive makeup, tools and skincare creams from PR companies seeking publicity for their clients. I also buy a lot myself. There’s something about being in a Bluemercury or a Sephora or the ultra-luxe cosmetics department of NYC’s Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman that makes me feel like a kid in a candy store, albeit a pretty expensive one. Nor am I oblivious to the charms of drugstore aisles (see Dr. Tina Alster’s video about her cheap and cheerful brands.) Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, along with L’Oreal and La Roche-Posay and a host of niche brands promise you hope in a jar or in a mascara wand, BB cream, lipstick or eye shadow palette. They beckon like the Sirens of Greek mythology. And, although you know the risk of shipwreck, you’re still enchanted by their call. Flawless-looking skin, no more dark circles, natural color, extra-long lashes. In most cases, the triumph of hope over experience. Yet we persist.
In the past couple of months, I’ve tested several products, some new, some that have been around a while. Here’s my personal take on what works, what doesn’t and what still requires more time to test.
Glo-Minerals Concealer Under Eye: My friend Mary F. recommended I use this (and then unexpectedly sent me one; thanks, Mary) when I was trying to cover some bruises after a session with my dermatologist. It’s creamy but not oily so it does the job for covering dark circles and doesn’t creep into your creases. It includes two colors to use each alone or mix to match your skin tone. $32, gloskinbeauty.

Wet ‘N Wild Concealer brush: One of the friendlier salespeople at my neighborhood Sephora tipped me off to this brush that features a flat head. That makes it easy to maneuver under your eyes, for example. You can’t beat the price. $.99 at your favorite corner drugstore.

Color Me Pro Edition Applicator: Foundation that looks air-brushed? Sign me up. The folks at ColorMe sent me this fun sonic gadget, which is like an electric toothbrush for your face, except it’s a sponge. You apply a pump of your primer/concealer/foundation/highlighter onto a little triangular sponge; then press a button and move it around your face in a circular motion. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but the result is pretty good. I found it worked better with with a heavier product than it did, say, with my tinted moisturizer. But I’m still experimenting. The only, er, flaw, is that you need towelettes ($9.50 for 20) to clean the sponge and then the sponge refills are $9 for a set of two. I’m not a clean freak but I do have sensitive skin, so the process of cleaning and replacing makes me wary. $68, colormebeauty.

Nars Liquid Blush: Creamy blushes get my nod, and this new one from Nars is a snap to apply and blend. The color diffuses into your skin so you don’t get patches of pink or peach or mauve. Fans of natural-looking color should apply. $30 at Sephora, Bluemercury, Ulta and department stores.

Rodan + Fields’ Enhancement Lash Boost: Lush-looking lashes are the holy grail. Mine are thin and not particularly full. According to the Rodan + Fields website, Lash Boost “features a unique proprietary formula that improves the appearance of lash volume and length.” It also says best results come when you’ve used the product for eight weeks. I have not been faithful, so I can’t report on its efficacy yet. (A few years ago I used Neulash off-label, so to speak, on my brows, and they did look a lot fuller.) $150, rodanandfields.

Rudela & Co. Silc/Blender Silicone-Based Makeup Sponge: I’ve happily used the beautyblender sponge for a few years, but was always slightly worried that I didn’t clean it properly and was going to get a flesh-eating bacterial infection on my face. So, a silicone-based, hypoallergenic blender that could be easily wiped off seemed like a great alternative. Until I tried it. Instead of gently spreading the makeup onto my skin, it felt as if I were rubbing a sticky ball over my face.  I’ll give it a few more go-rounds to see if I can get the knack—or not. $12, rudelaandco.

—Janet Kelly 

2 thoughts on “New and Not-So-New Beauty Products

  1. Mary says:

    This reminds me of a fun afternoon shopping trip with a dear friend.
    It is like being in a candy store.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      So much fun!!

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