January 23, 2012

Beauty products we can’t live without

We all have at least one. That one product you tout, saying, “I can’t live without it.”

We all have at least one. That one product you tout, saying, “I can’t live without it.”

You probably could live without it, but you sure don’t want to. We’ve been doing favorite product surveys (using the term loosely) for years, and it never fails: People, especially women, are passionate about products they favor. Those cosmetics or skin-care lotions and potions that have been used with positive results are made available from the beauty gods. And some come at a hefty price.

Here are some of the product suggestions from readers who want to share their good fortune in finding just the right product.

Perhaps because so many people have dry skin this time of year, moisturizing products topped the list of suggestions sent in.


Sandy Strand suggests L’Oreal Age Perfect Golden Balm, $18 for a 1.7-ounce jar. Strand says it’s a “rich cream for mature, thinning skin. It’s almost as though I’m applying creamy butter to my face!” She buys it at Walmart.

Georgia Chandler loves Estee Lauder DayWear European Performing Cream, $43.50 for 1.7 ounces. “It’s a splurge, but I think it helps prevent wrinkles on my cheeks.” Estee Lauder products are available at Dillard’s and Von Maur.

Francine Sharp’s favorite product that she’s used for the past decade is Puritan’s Pride Retinol Cream. A 2-ounce jar is $5.99. After cleansing, she uses a small amount on her face. “A little goes a long way.” And she receives nice compliments about her skin and the lack of wrinkles. Sharp buys it at General Nutrition Center.

Judy Young, always the bargain shopper, wants to share her latest skin care tip: After cleansing her face, she uses an eye serum around her eyes, then puts a drop the size of a dime of cod liver oil and two drops of healing lavender oil in the palm of her hand, then spreads it on her face and rubs it into her hands. “This gives me time to work it in, and the massage is good for the skin, too.” Cod liver oil is available at drugstores and some grocery stores for around $5 a bottle.

Sue Bitel of Derby says she loves Clinique’s Body Butter, $25 for 6.8 ounces, and “wouldn’t be without it.” It is sold at Von Maur and Dillard’s.

Kathleen Butler says she knows for sure that “the foundation of any beauty regimen is clean skin.” Her favorite cleansing product is Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser. She likes it because it doesn’t leave a residue, and it hydrates. “At $45 for three fluid ounces, it’s not cheap, but years of use has kept this now 55-year-old face looking good.” She gets it from her Arbonne consultant.

Chris Nagy believes in sticking with the tried-and-true. She has used Noxzema for more than 47 years. She used it as a teenager and worries that someday it will no longer be available. It’s about $4 a jar at drugstores. “The jar will last longer than a month. Such a bargain.”

Janice Brecht says she has used Avon Rich Moisturizer since the late ’70s and has no intention of making a change. “It cost between $5 and $7, so it is relatively affordable,” she said. Available at Avon stores or from an Avon consultant.

For the eyes

Besides moisturizing, it seems the eyes have it. Finding the right mascara, under-eye concealer and all those items that make your eyes beautiful is no easy task. Here are some favorites readers want you to try.

Rosanna Herrmann’s favorite mascara is Maybelline Lash Discovery Washable Mascara. She says she likes the brush, the fact it doesn’t clump or glob, and that it is safe for contact lens wearers. “It’s $7.99, but a lot of times it’s buy one and get one for half off.” She buys her mascara at Walgreens, Walmart, Target or Dillons.

In the concealer category, Herrmann is a big fan of NARS Concealer, partly because it comes in a roll-up tube like lipstick. “It obscures darks spots, and it’s crease-proof. It blends easily.” She gets it at Sephora, $22. She “sets” the NARS product with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, also $22, available at Von Maur. “It adds an invisible lightening boost. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!” she said.

Elaine Christie would take her two favorite products to “that desert island I hope I’m never stranded on.” One is Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Liner. “It’s applied with a dampish eyeliner brush, and it does not come off,” she said. It’s $22 at Von Maur. Christie also is a fan of Anastasia Brow Wiz eyebrow pencil, $18, in medium ash color, and the c lear brow gel, $21, that is brushed on as the last step. These products are available at Sephora or Ulta for $29.

Julie Koker wanted longer, thicker lashes and says she got them by using Lancome’s Cils Booster XL, $22, at Dillard’s. “In a matter of weeks, this conditioning product for the eyelashes, worn under mascara, made my lashes look longer and thicker,” Koker said.

Additional products

Looking pretty is a goal. Accenting our good features and playing down the ones that we complain about means we need help from products. Here are some more suggestions:

Rachelle Richardson says, “I can’t live without my Mirabella pressed mineral powder. It’s a flawless finish and all-day wear.” The powder is $36. Another favorite of Richardson’s is Kenra 25 Volume Hairspray, $15. “This is a hairspray every girl can’t live without! It leaves hair looking natural and shiny,” she said. Both products are available at Xenon International Academy.

Sheri Kerns says she has tubes of her lipstick by Mary Kay, $13, in her office, bathroom and purse. She never leaves home without it. “The color is toffee, and it’s a color that goes with anything you’re wearing, and I think anyone could wear it,” she said.

Editor’s picks

And now here are some of the editor’s favorites:

DNA EGF Eye Renewal: It really helps with crows feet. It’s $70, but the 0.7 ounce lasts a long time. Available at

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, $39. This foundation has just the right coverage for my skin, and it smoothes on easily. The foundation stays on longer if you also use the Silk Creme Foundation Primer, $42. Get them at Von Maur.

Aquage Finishing Spray. This hairspray is still my favorite. Granted, I haven’t tried any others for years, but I figure once you find one you like, stick to it. There’s no hairspray buildup, and the hold is good, but not stiff. I get mine at Eric Fisher Salons.

ANEW Clinical Lift & Firm Pro Serum by Avon, $54. We can expect only so much from any product, but this is one that produced even better results than I expected.

Regeneration Extreme Lip Treatment from the Regeneration Tight, Firm and Fill line by BeautiControl, $26, is a new fave. Lines around the mouth are tough to soften, so after trying some products that burned and made my lips peel — and others that didn’t do anything — I’m using this BeautiControl product. I like it because you can put it above your lip, even over makeup, where the wrinkles are. It doesn’t burn or itch and it makes the lines less noticeable. Available from BeautiControl consultants.

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