Beauty’s Tried and True Finds

As much as I’d love to be able to afford a jar of Creme de la Mer, I’m on a Benefit budget. Sometimes even that taxes me – we have to be able to buy more shoes, you know. It’s through trial-and-error and years of beauty mistakes that I’ve come up with my ultimate favorites. Here are my go-to staples, my can’t-live-without-’em items that get me through my day.

Hair:

VO5 Conditioning Treatment – Oh my gawd, is there anything better than this little tube of wonders for dry hair? I’ll answer that for you – no! At a mere $5 a tube (and that’s a high estimate), I get shine, conditioning, and control. Since my hair is thick, dry, and easily frizzed, I can’t live without this stuff.

John Frieda’s Frizz Ease – If you blow dry your hair, you need this stuff. Just a few small drops and your hair takes on an out-of-this-world gloss. Worth every penny of the $9.99 it costs.

John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette Shampoo/Conditioner – Look, I’ve tried them all; the Nexus line, the Goldwells, the Matrix, the Systeme Biolage and everything in between. For my money, I’m sticking with this stuff. My hair’s never looked better.

Makeup:

Maybelline Define-a-Lash mascara – I mean, WOW. I’m on my third tube of this stuff and still no clumps! Nothing either high-end or low-end touches the look you get with this one. It makes my scrawny lashes look divine!

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals – This is no bargain-basement makeup line. But the compliments I get and the way my skin looks is worth every cent. Even the overall condition of my skin is better after using this stuff. I paid something like $250 for full-size jars and brushes, but here it is three years later and I’ve only had to replace one jar. I’m a huge fan.

Max Factor Color Adapt – Some days you don’t want to use mineral powder. On my lazy days, I dab on this incredible little foundation. A little under-eye pencil and mascara and I’m out the door.

Benefit Eye Bright pencil – Simply put, it’s a facelift in a stick. Nothing covers those circles better or brightens up your face faster than this!

Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Satin Blush (F4 for those of you who need to know that) – This color looks great on anyone, seriously. I’ve always loved Clinique lipsticks, and after trying several higher-priced brands, I came back willingly. Great colors and wonderful conditioning!

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock – This is the reason some people can’t tell how old I am, I swear. I wear this every day on top of my moisturizer or as my moisturizer, depending on the day. Fantastic protection.

Skin care:

Benefit Dear John Movin’ On face cream – I’m on my third jar of it. I love it. The smell is fresh and it feels amazing on the skin.

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing lotion: Your skin will just feel so much better after using this. Try it!

What are your personal favorites?

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October 15, 2008. bargains, must-have products.

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