5 Beauty Breakthroughs

The latest innovations in beauty.
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5 Beauty Breakthroughs

Every few years, the cosmetics world takes a technological leap forward (think: at-home hair color, teeth-whitening strips, quick-dry polish). But this season we hit the innovation jackpot: When it comes to skin, nails and lashes, things have never looked better
Photographed by Todd Huffman

Electric Antidote for Saggy Skin

Three new skin care lines from Johnson & Johnson-RoC Brilliance, Neutrogena Clinical and Aveeno Ageless Vitality-all stimulate electrical currents in your body (yes, you read that correctly), jump-starting production of firming collagen and elastin in your skin. The result? Your complexion looks plumper and tighter within a matter of days. In the simplest terms, these products act as defibrillators for the skin. Johnson & Johnson says these lotions, formulated with ion-mineral conductors, are designed to improve cell-to-cell communication (a process that weakens as we age) and amplify the cells’ signals to make more collagen and elastin. All products involve two steps: (a) Apply the ion-mineral complex. (b) Top it off with a moisturizer that gives the ions a vehicle through which to flow (similar to the way water conducts electricity). The products range in price from $25 to $50, are available at drugstores and come in a variety of formulas: daytime moisturizers have sun block, eye products are safe for sensitive skin and nighttime creams are extra-emollient.
Photographed by Todd Huffman

Fatter Lashes in Four Weeks

By now you’ve probably heard of or even tried the lash-growth serum Latisse (or one of its nonprescription counterparts). These products have been shown to be quite effective and, for some women, worth ?every penny (as in 12,000 pennies, or $120). But if your lash fallout isn’t ex-treme (or if you refuse to shell out that much cash to diminish it), L’Oréal Paris’s Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum ($15; drugstores) may be the answer. This serum uses plant extracts, an amino acid and Pro-Vitamin B5 to encourage healthier lash growth, and according to clinical tests it actually works: Testers reported lusher lashes in about a month. If you want results now (and really, who doesn’t?), L’Oréal Paris is also introducing Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara ($13; drugstores), a two-sided tube that, at one end, has an instant-thickening primer spiked with the lash-boosting serum and, at the other end, a volumizing mascara. Bonus: While we’re on the topic of double-ended mascara and smart innovations, we also have to tout Maybelline’s new XXL Pro 24-Hour Bold Mascara ($10; drugstores). If you’re a waterproof mascara ?aficionado, you know that in order to avoid raccoon eyes, one often has to sacrifice volume (adding the waterproofing ingredient to a thickening formula is apparently a chemistry nightmare). Well, no longer. This new product has a traditional volumizing mascara at one end and a waterproof sealant at the other. Because the two formulas are kept separate until you apply them, incompatible chemistry is no longer an issue. Va-va-voom.
Photographed by Todd Huffman

Five Steps in One Lacquer

Sally Hansen’s new Complete Salon Manicure Polish ($7; drugstores) takes the term _all-in-one_to extremes. In a single bottle, you get a base coat, growth treatment, nail strengthener, color and shiny topcoat. Also included: a wide, extra-flat brush that makes application considerably easier (even if you’re all thumbs). Of the 42 shades, these four are our favorites: Commander in Chic, a mauvy taupe; Gray by Gray, a bluish steel; Gilty Pleasure, a metallic gold; and Nude Now, a peachy neutral.
Photographed by Todd Huffman

Smart Solution for Sensitive Teeth

Approximately half of women over 40 complain of tooth sensitivity-no surprise given that receding gums are, like wrinkles and grays, an inevitable part of aging. (Remember ?the phrase "long in the tooth"?) Until now, toothpastes that contained numbing agents were the best option for brushing your teeth without pain. But Crest’s new Pro-Health Sensitive Shield Toothpaste ($3; drugstores) gets to the root of the problem, which is that when gums recede, your teeth’s permeable dentin is revealed, allowing easy access to your nerves. Rather than just anesthetizing nerves, the Pro-Health toothpaste fills in thin spots or holes in the dentin, preventing external triggers like cold water from reaching the nerves. Even better, this shield stays on teeth after you’ve brushed, diminishing sensitivity all day-and allowing you to sip a Starbucks without wincing.
Photographed by Todd Huffman

The Ultimate in Sun Protection

It’s a given that slathering on sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection is vital to minimizing the dangerous effects of the sun, some of which are exacerbating signs of aging and increasing your risk of cancer. But it needn’t be your only defense. Dermatologists have long recommended antioxidant serums (containing free radical fighters like vitamins C and E, green tea, idebenone, coffeeberry, etc.) to further protect your skin and slow down the aging process. While some of us listened, many didn’t-either because applying yet another product in the morning seemed like ?too much effort or because price created its own barrier. Well, Neutrogena’s affordable new Spectrum+ line (which has SPF 55, 70 ?and 100, all $12; drugstores) solves the too-many-products problem by blending sunscreen with antioxidants that have been shown to reduce free radical damage by up to 70 percent.
Photographed by Todd Huffman

First Published Fri, 2010-02-26 12:43

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