Top 10 Skin-Care Picks from the Big Beauty Try-On 2012

For the fourth year in a row, we asked More’s Opinionista reader panel to become grooming guinea pigs, testing fall’s new fragrances, cosmetics and hair and skin products (111 in all). Here, their top skin picks 

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BareMinerals Skincare ExtraFirming Neck Cream

 ($38; qvc.com

 

Counterintuitively enough, this cream for the neck and décolletage features something called an “active soil complex,” which in layman’s terms means a blend of minerals from dirt. What’s the dirt meant to do? Firm and smooth—fast. And according to testers, it delivered in rec-ord time. “My neck and the top of my chest looked much better after just a few days of using this: smoother, less wrinkled and less red,” said one. Another gushed, “This product seriously worked. I noticed a distinct improvement in the appearance of ropy lines on my neck.” Their only small gripe? A slight medicinal smell.

Todd Huffman

Burt’s Bees Intense HydrationEye Cream

($18; burtsbees.com

 

This new eye cream makes some pretty straightforward claims. No, it doesn’t promise to erase difficult dark circles, deflate under-eye bags or take five years off your face. But thanks to clary sage, a plant that’s known for its hardiness (and its ability to retain moisture in harsh environments), it does aim to hydrate the skin around the eyes, and on that point, it seemed to surpass many testers’ expectations. A few accolades: “I noticed the skin around my eyes was more moisturized”; “This cream improved the appearance of my skin and worked well under makeup”; and, finally, “Loved the results. My fine lines decreased, and the skin around my eyes is less red. I have tried several eye creams over the years, and this product is my favorite.” 

Todd Huffman

Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate

($82; clarins.com)  

 

This hardworking eye product vows to do it all for you: diminish under-eye darkness, reduce puffiness, hydrate and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And most testers did see some improvement in whatever eye problem plagued them. “I do believe this serum helped with the bags under my eyes, and I can see a difference in the appearance of my fine lines as well,” said one. “Using this has lightened my dark circles a bit,” allowed another. “I was very pleased with the way this product reduced puffiness,” wrote a third. One tester also praised this eye concentrate for moisturizing effectively, without any greasiness: “This felt more moisturizing than the eye cream I normally use. And I’m usually reluctant to go too rich, because it can make my eyeliner and mascara smear. But despite how deeply hydrating this was, my makeup stayed put, and my concealer wore especially well. I’d venture to say this is my new eye cream!”


 

Todd Huffman

Clinique Even Better Eyes DarkCircle Corrector

($40; clinique.com

 

Part of Clinique’s blockbuster Even Better line, this eye cream specifically targets under-eye darkness, notoriously tough to lighten without a doctor’s intervention. Its strategy: skin lighteners, anti--inflammatory ingredients and additives that strengthen the under-eye area (since darkness can be the result of blue vessels showing through thinning skin). The product also boasts light-diffusing ingredients to brighten the area instantly. The consensus? One of our testers summed it up: “I’ve been fighting dark circles for years, and this is the first product that actually made a visible difference.”

Todd Huffman

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Night Cream

($42; elizabetharden.com

 

Unlike the many night creams designed for dry skin, this treatment is best for combination to normal. And it seemed to fill an unmet need. Testers described it as surprisingly lightweight, and the fact that it multi-tasked may also have won fans: In addition to hydrating, this formula contains fine-line-fighting retinol, collagen boosters and antioxidants, so you don’t need to layer on multiple products before bed.

Todd Huffman

Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle-Lifting/Firming Serum

($65–$95; esteelauder.com)

 

CP+R stands for “correct, prevent and repair.” And testers found the C and R to be true enough. “It erased wrinkles, I swear!” said one. “It really flattened fine lines,” said another. 

Todd Huffman

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Night

 ($20; drugstores)

 

To improve skin-tone evening,Neutrogena added vitamin C to its accelerated retinol technology. The consensus? Good move. Most saw brighter skin in about a week.

Todd Huffman

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

($9; drugstores

 

  • This cleanser erases daily dirt, oil and makeup sans irritation. Most testers were pleased, using adjectives like “fresh,” “soft” and “moisturized” to describe their skin post-cleansing.
Todd Huffman

Pond’s Luminous Clean Cream Cleanser

 ($6; drugstores

 

Unlike many cream cleansers that tend to leave the skin soft but perhaps not 100 percent clean, this creamy, moisturizing sudser appears to provide the best of both worlds. Testers praised its gentleness (“I have sensitive skin but was able to use this without any problem”) as well as its ability to really get ridof grime (“Good at removing makeup. Nice feel to my skin after using it”). One tester summed up why she thought it was worth adding to your regimen: “Great product. Great value. Just does a really good job.”

Todd Huffman

Revive Peau Magnifique Cou et Decollete

 ($900; reviveskincare.com)

 

This four-week treatment targets neck-and-chest sun damage (spots, discoloration and crepeyness), a challenge usually reserved for in-officelasering—which perhaps justifies theset’s hefty price tag. Our testers were so enthusiastic about what they saw, the laser beam averse may find it worth the pile of cash. “Love! I saw and could feel a difference almostimmediately,” said one. “I can see a difference!” raved another. “Excellent product,” wrote a succinct third.  

 

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Todd Huffman

First Published Wed, 2012-09-05 10:35

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