Top 10 best beauty bargains of 2011

by Lani Grass
Backstage with Lani

As you know, not all products are created equal. We all spend a lot of money on products that we don’t really like and stick with the ones that we do. These products below are a compilation of great products that have been recommended to me, that are my personal favorites and have the highest consumer ratings. These are beauty must-haves and yet are also a great value! What more can you ask for?

  1. Sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55, $9.99. Available in drugstores and This lightweight formula you can wear with or without daytime moisturizer. You’ve heard it before, but a sunscreen is your best defense against premature lines, wrinkles and discoloration of your skin. Tip: Always apply to your face, neck, décolletage and hands as well.
  2. At Home Hair Color: Clairol Natural Instincts, $8.99. Available at mass retailers. This brand has great staying power. Always make sure to rinse the product out at the roots very thoroughly. Tip: Go to a beauty supply store and pick up a small pan with a brush for applying hair dye for best application and coverage!

  3. Skin Brightener: Esoterica Fade Cream with Moisturizers, $ 7.00. Available at drugstores. This will lighten dark areas, blemishes, freckles, and spots on your skin and give you a more even complexion. This is an oldie but goodie and an excellent value! It contains 2% hydroquinolone- the same active ingredient found in skin lightening creams that sell for up to $ 75.00. Tip: Use as a moisturizer in the a.m. and p.m. and don’t forget your hands, neck and décolletage. Be patient; it takes a minimum of 4 weeks to see a difference.
  4. Teeth Whitener: Crest Whitestrips Premium, $34.99. Available at mass retailers. This product will whiten your teeth with professional results in 7 days. It’s worth the price. Tip: Brush your teeth after drinking coffee/tea and red wine.
  5. Make-up concealer: Neutrogena 3-in-1 Concealer for Eyes, $ 8.99. Available at mass retailers. Smooth and creamy with great coverage, but doesn’t apply cakey. Tip: Apply as an eyeshadow base as well!

  6. Hair oil: Pureology Shine Max, $ 34.00. Available at or your hair salon. This is how I keep my hair in top condition. You can waste a ton of money on hair oils that don’t perform like this one. It’s feather-light, alcohol free and also contains UVA/UVB sunscreens to protect your hair. Even at $34.00, this bottle lasts me about a year! Apply to hair to protect it from heat styling. Tip: After you’re done styling, rub a small amount on your palms and smooth onto your ends for a thick, shiny look to your hair!
  7. Leg cover: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $ 12.95. Available at drugstores or This spray on product is a leg make-up that evens your skin tone and lightly covers imperfections on your legs and gives you that beautiful finished look to bare legs. Tip: Moisturize legs first, then apply and blend in with your hands.
  8. Eye Cream: Olay Regenerist Eye Derma-Pod Anti-aging Triple Response System, $ 24.99. Available at drugstores or This product is a bargain and will moisturize the dry skin around your eyes and really helps puffiness as well! This is one of those products you have to try. You’ll be impressed. Tip: Apply eye cream by patting the cream on with your ring finger, which has a lighter touch.
  9. Facial Cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $ 11.99. Available in drugstores. This is a deep facial cleanser that is gentle, but removes make-up and oil really well. Tip: Always cleanse your face morning and night and exfoliate daily with a gentle facial scrub.
  10. Eyelash curler: Shu Uemura, $ 19.00. Available at Sephora or This is the BEST eyelash curler I have ever tried. I will not buy anything else. Using an eyelash curler will give you that wide awake look to your eyes and Shu Uemura’s has just that right angle that really makes a difference. Tip: For longer lasting effect, apply one light coat of mascara and let dry before you curl your lashes, then apply the second coat!

Even in this tight economy, women still want to look and feel their best and these products speak for themselves. My mission is to bring you the best tips, best products and best value the beauty industry has to offer. Use this blog to learn the insider tricks of the trade to look your best and save money!

Now go out and make 2012 your most beautiful year ever!

Happy New Year!

~ Lani

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