Beauty bargains we love

vanity Click on the top line of titles to open each item!  It is often true that you get what you pay for, but when it comes to beauty products there are still plenty of bargains to be found at the drug store. When we call something a “true beauty bargain” we think it is truly fabulous and that it works as well, if not better, than higher-priced options. Beauty bargains are fun. We especially like them for things that we use lavishly or daily. So here are just some of our favourites:

Tresemme 7 Day Heat Activated Treatment

This leave-in treatment is supposed to keep your hair straight and frizz-free for seven days or through three shampoos. It works very well. You comb it into damp hair before blow-drying and then use a flat iron to activate it. My hair turned out shiny and more frizz-resistant. Tresemme 7 Day Heat Activated Treatment is one of the best treatments of this type I have tried at any price. It significantly controls frizz and makes hair easier to manage in humidity. It is part of as part of Tresemme’s 7 Day Keratin Smooth System which also has a shampoo and conditioner. The treatment is applied to damp hair that is blow-dried and then flat ironed. At less than $8 a bottle it is a true beauty bargain.Spa-formula-nail-polish-remover

Cutex’s SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover

I have never been one for fancy nail polish removers, so Cutex has been my brand for years. But, with very dark nail lacquers, glitter polishes, and gels, it has become harder to remove a mani. Cutex’s new SPA Formula combines 100 percent acetone with patented botanical oils, including apricot seed, flax seed, and perilla oils. Cutex’s SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover quickly removes even dark polish leaving nails white and clean.

L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Pro Felt Tip Eyeliner

NYX Cosmetics Super Skinny Eye Marker

Draw the perfect cat’s eye liner this spring. Eyeliner “markers” are foolproof, even for beginners. So this season you can try out the all the hottest runway looks. Both liners are less than $10.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain Moisturizer Lip Colourpalmers(1)

If you want an easy way to wear spring’s bright lip colours try Wet ‘n’ Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain Moisturizer Lip Colour.  This drug store brand of fat lip pencils contains acai oil to keep lips soft. They come in six shades; Red-Dy or Not are a soft red with a dewy finish that will look flattering on most women. And there are two pretty pinks; Stiff Pink is warm and bright, and Pinky Promise is light pink. The lip pencils are easy to apply and look soft.  At only $2.99 each you will want to stock up on these chunky pencils that look and feel fabulous on your lips.WetnWildjpeg

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula facial care line

We love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula facial care line. It’s packed with effective anti-aging and skin-pampering ingredients, such as Vitamin E, milk proteins, Retinol, and evening primrose. The prices range from $10 to $15, but it feels much more expensive. And darlings, we can’t resist a good night cream for just $15! The line consists of a Palmer’s creamy Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Daily Cleanser that actually has ingredients to brighten skin. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub has micro-fine crushed cocoa beans to gently exfoliate. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion contains antioxidants, evening primrose, and milk proteins. It also has a broad-spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Night Renewal Cream feels luscious. It contains cocoa and Shea butters, retinol peptides, and evening primrose to firm and tighten skin. This is my favourite product. There is also a soothing eye cream. This line is a touch of luxury that most women can afford, yet it will be right at home next to your most expensive products. The formulas are effective, but gentle enough for most skin types to tolerate.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Cleansing Wipes

This is one of the newest products from Palmer’s and like the rest of their facial line it is a beauty bargain. The dual texture wipes will remove even waterproof mascara with a formula that contains cocoa butter, Shea butter, Evening Primrose oil extract, and Aloe Leaf extract. A package of 25 wipes is about $6.

L’Oreal RivitaLift Miracle Blur

If you don’t use a foundation because you like a clean look but your skin is not as flawless as you would like, you may want to take another look at primer. Primer can be used to help makeup go on more smoothly, or alone to mask small flaws. Some of the new primers are amazing.  While beauty editors have raved about BB creams and CC cream, the most impressive new product I have seen for an instant fix is L’Oreal RivitaLift Miracle Blur – and it costs only about $25. L’Oreal claims it will instantly erase the look of lines, wrinkles, and pores – and it does.  The little red tube of primer is like a Beverly Hills dermatologist for your face, as it whisks away redness, large pores, and lines. Granted, the effect is temporary, but then again so are many “fixes” you get at the doctor’s office. Miracle Blur isn’t a substitute for what a good doctor can do, but it is a good addition to your beauty bag of tricks. Miracle Blur comes in two formulas: regular and oil-free. I have tried both and see little difference between them. Perhaps this would matter more if you have oily skin or acne. Miracle Blur is meant to be used over your regular moisturizer and serums and under makeup if you are wearing it. It contains a blend of state-of-the-art sunscreens for an SPF of 30, but that is not what makes it fabulous. The “Miracle” comes from the combination of glycerin, silicones, and a special light-reflecting ingredient that actually does “blur” fine lines and pores, and helps make your complexion look more flawless, even in natural daylight.  This is a very unusual product. It looks great alone on a naked face and provides excellent sun protection, unless you intend to engage in extended outdoor activity. Under makeup it provides a great base so you need little very little foundation or concealer. This is not a luminizer and doesn’t sparkle like other light-reflecting products. This looks natural but better. 




Valentine’s Day: The look is “pretty-sexy”

_brigitte-bardot1.jpgValentine’s Day calls for a look that I call “pretty-sexy.” For a romantic evening skip anything that looks too high fashion, dramatic, or severe. Instead your look should be soft, feminine, and sexy in an understated way. It is a look Hollywood understands and many popular stars love. You often see Jennifer Anniston, Olivia Wilde, Blake Lively and Kate Hudson out and about looking “pretty-sexy.” It’s timeless; picture Marylyn on the beach in a chunky sweater with windblown hair, or a baby-faced Bardot dressed in a simple black leotard.  

How can you get the look? Think clean hair with lots of natural volume. If your hair is long, try soft, starlet-style waves. Channel Amy Kendrick’s look from this year’s Grammy Awards. Blow-dry your hair with a round brush for volume and then use a medium curling wand or electric rollers. You want your hair to look clean and shiny, not over-styled. Let your curls cool and then break them up with your hands. Brush or comb your hair into loose tousled curls. ( Right Brigitte Bardot)

Avoid trendy makeup and hair like Rita Ora’s look at the recent Grammys or Ciara’s super-natural look. One looks like you are trying too hard and the other not enough. They are both great looks but not for a romantic date. Save trendy, high fashion makeup and hair for events or lunch with your friends, and the “natural look” for casual daytimDiorsmoky.jpge events or shopping.

If you have short hair make sure it looks soft and face flattering. Channel Michelle Williams’s look from the Golden Globes. Blow-dry for volume and arrange the hair around your face. Give a short pixie cut volume with Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing and Texturizing Powder.  Just spritz it into dry hair for instant volume. 

Taylor Swift’s softly smoked eyes and pink lips, or Beyoncé’s smoky eye and sexy red lips, both have a no-fail appeal. The key to both of the looks is glowing, flawless skin. Avoid heavy makeup and concealer.  

To cover small imperfection and even your skin instead try primer and/or tinted moisturizer.  There are many good ones. I really like the two below used separately or together. 

L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur is like air-brushing for your face. This colourless primer makes pores and imperfections disappear. Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer gives skin a luminous finish. It contains anti-aging ingredients to lift and tighten, and Hyaluronic Spheres to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

Dior 3 Coolers Smoky Ready-To-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette in 052 includes three shades: smoky pink dove gray, sparkling silver. It makes the smoky eye fool proof. 

If you are looking for the perfect low key red or pink lip colour try Wet n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain Moisturizer Lip Colour.  This drugstore brand of fat lip pencils contains acai. They come in six shades Red-Dy or Not is a soft red with a dewy finish that will look flattering on most women. And there are two pretty pinks; Stiff Pink is warm and bright, anAnna Grande Anna Kendrickd Pinky Promise is light pink. At only $2.99 each you will want to stock up on these chunky pencils that look and feel fabulous on your lips.  ( Anna Kendrick)

Jurlique’s Essence of Rose Roll-On Fragrance with its top notes of sweet Turkish rose and fresh Moroccan rose, combined with exotic Arab rose, is perfect for an evening of romance. The light fragrance is subtle and not overwshoppingREdWet-n-Wild-Megaslick.jpghelming.