If Cool Whip and a cream blush had a kid, this would be it. And our testers went bonkers for this lightweight cheek color, heaping it with some of the most effusive praise we read. "Given that the formula is very light and moist, I thought this product would wear off quickly. But that was not the case. I ended up loving it. It is translucent yet gave me a glow that had tremendous staying power," gushed one. A fellow tester volunteered, "I’d never used a creamy blush before and thought it would be difficult to apply. Not the case! This product goes on beautifully and gave my 47-year-old face a natural-looking, pretty glisten." The shade our testers tried was Whisper Rose, a pinkish brown that seemed to work well for most complexions, from fairest to darkest. For those who prefer a brighter pop of color, there is also Whisper Petal, a more vivid pink.
Maybelline Falsies By Volum’ Express Mascara in Very Black
Most testers found this lash-thickening mascara surprisingly easy to use. "Formulas that claim to thicken or add volume often go on quite heavy, then clump. But that wasn’t the case with this mascara," said one. Concurred another: "I have pretty thin lashes, and this went on without any caking at all, even after I applied several coats." The mascara is available in Very Black (the color tested) plus three other wearable shades and a waterproof version.
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF 12
For years we’ve had two primary kinds of foundation from which to choose: creamy, glow-inducing formulas for dry skin and mattifying blends for oily complexions. That left out women who wanted to control oil in the T-zone yet still look radiant. Until this fall. Bobbi Brown’s new powder foundation is a hybrid of its predecessors: It sops up oil all day while deploying light-diffusing particles to give skin a ?flattering, luminous finish. Our testers went wild for the effect. "As I’ve aged, my complexion has become dull, yet I still get breakthrough shine. This foundation erased both," said one tester. Available in 20 shades.
Bare Escentuals Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow in Mutt
A cream eyeshadow that doesn’t crease? Yeah, right. No, really, yeah right. "Initially I had some misgivings about this product. I avoid cream shadows because they typically crease on my skin immediately. But to my amazement, this one didn’t-not immediately, not all day," said a tester. The secret? A very sheer, waterproof formula that combats moisture (often the catalyst for creasing). Testers also gave a thumbs-up to the color, a bronzy taupe that’s good on most skin tones. "It’s subtle but can be layered on for greater intensity," said one. And they were OK with the subtle shimmer; as another tester said, "It wasn’t so glittery that it looked teenybopper." And if neutral’s not your cup of tea, you can choose from Buxom’s nine other hues.
Part skin treatment, part cosmetic, this new brainchild of Howard Murad, MD, promises to control oil, shrink pores, make your makeup last longer-and impart a dewy glow (hence the product name). Talk about a multitasker. And according to our testers, the product achieved all of this-and more. "In a word, love," said one. "This product goes on smoothly and made everything I put on top-my foundation, blush, concealer-look smoother too. My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in a bigger bottle!" Testers also said it
worked well even if they elected not to wear any makeup on top. "My skin
tends to get oily, and I have large pores by my nose. When I put this on, I noticed an immediate improvement-so much so that I chose to skip foundation," said one. And the one-shade-fits-all color seemed to live up to its claim. "I was skeptical of the so-called universal shade, but once I applied it, it really did just blend in," a panelist said.
Covergirl Liquiline Blast Eye Liner in Brown Blaze
Designed to go on easily, this liner glides over the eyelid like liquid-leading some readers to inadvertently apply too much at first. "I wasn’t expecting it to go on as smoothly as it did or impart so much color. So I definitely overdid it the first couple of times," admitted one. But once they got the hang of the application, most testers used only superlatives to describe the results. "This is the easiest liner I’ve ever used. I loved the way it just glided on-no skips. It was a cinch to get a perfect, straight line. And it lasted all day," said another. "The best formula-doesn’t bleed into the fine lines around my eyes yet comes off easily with makeup remover," said a third panelist. "I will definitely buy this in every color." We tested the liner in anyone-can-wear-it brown, but you can also find it in five other shades, including some more daring options like Green Glow (a surprisingly wearable lime) and Silver Spark.
Duwop Private Nude Personal Color-Changing Lipstick
Back in the 1970s, "mood" lip color (much like mood rings) was supposed to deliver a customized result based on your body’s chemistry. But let’s be honest: The Day-Glo shade of fuchsia that usually developed (depending on your emotions) was flattering to very few. Not true of DuWop’s new nude lip color, a modern interpretation of the idea. "The lip color was beautiful yet slightly different, on both my sister (a brunette) and me (a blonde)," said one tester. Another elaborated: "I always thought nude lips would make the rest of my face look really washed out. But that didn’t happen at all. In fact, this color made my lips look fuller and my eyes even brighter." A third tester summed it up: "This is quite simply the best lipstick I’ve tried in a very long time."
Lancôme Définicils Precious Cells High Definition Amplifying Mascara
The reason Lancôme has become so well known for its mascaras? These folks really know what they’re doing. Their latest launch is a spinoff of best-selling Définicils Mascara (which promises defined yet natural-looking lashes). To the Définicils formula, Lancôme has now added Malus Domestica, an active ingredient that originated in Lancôme’s antiaging skin-care line Absolue Precious Cells. In studies, this additive was shown to make eyelashes more durable, allowing them to both grow stronger and last longer. In addition, the formula was tweaked for easy removal, thereby minimizing the risk of lash pullout. Testers were quite taken with the results. "The texture of this mascara is wonderful. It stays on all day yet is surprisingly easy to take off," commented one. In the longer term, a tester noted that her lashes seemed "fuller," even without mascara, after she’d used the product for about four weeks.
Everyone appreciates a hardworking product, and this tinted nail strengthener scored high in testers’ books. They praised its "really pretty, sheer color"; as one woman said, "It made my nails look healthier, and I liked the shade so much, I didn’t bother to put polish on top." Several also commented on the gel coat’s ability to make their nail lacquer last longer (the company doesn’t make that claim, but several testers swore they saw a difference). And all the testers who tried it said they noticed that their nails seemed to crack and peel less.
Kudos for Kashuk’s new nail color collection-which we tested in Tauped, a grayish beige-included "Stayed on longer than most polishes," "Applies easily" and "Cool color." One reader was so fond of it, she wrote an essay (which we’ve whittled down because we need room to talk about other products, too): "I loved everything about this polish-the color, the creamy texture, how easy it is to apply, the fact that it still looked great a week after I put it on, yet was easy to remove. This has to be the deal of the century-the quality is superior to most expensive brands I’ve tried." You’re logging on to target.com as we speak? Thought so. $5; target.com Want to know what’s hottest in haircare? Click here to see the five products that got our Big Beauty Try-On testers all fired up.
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