Friday, January 14, 2011

The Best Makeup and Beauty Products of all Time

You've seen a million "Top 10 Best Makeup and Beauty Products" list, and so you may not initially be so allured by this one.  You've tried them all. If Sephora was a university, you would have two masters degrees and a Ph.d. And if you hear one more time that Great Lash Mascara (that pink and green thing they've been trying to shove down our throats for decades) is still the best mascara ever made, you'll scream. Because it's not. It's mediocre at best.  And the YSL Touche Éclat is decent - excellent at times - but hardly worth the reverent, whispered, "Have you tried touche?" unless you're allowed to respond, "It's been two decades. You tell me."

Best Foundation and Overall Make-Up Line

There is only one place in the United States where this product is currently sold, and we made sure we got our color before posting this. In the basement of the famed Plaza Hotel, fittingly right next to the Eloise salon, is a small Diego dalla palma counter. Founded in Milan in 1970 and dubbed the "Italian beauty temple" by American Vogue, every single item by this company destroys competitive products. Destroys. Lipsticks. Nailpolish. Foundation. . .oh the foundation. Chanel is great, and La Mer feels nice on the skin, but the Lifting Effect Cream foundation is ridiculous. Unlike anything you will ever try.  It smoothes, moisturizes, conceals, and firms. . . creamy, but never greasy, and key ingredient hibiscus extract myoxinal, a powerful, botox-like compound just transforms the skin. It's for all skin types and comes in six shades. There. Is. Nothing. Like. It.

Best Concealer
"Can you get me amazing concealer?" my girlfriend in London asks desperately, and I respond, "Well that depends. Which one do you think is amazing."


"You don't know Amazing Concealer? That is it's name. It's sold out here." By "here," she means England. And the saleslady at Sephora Third Avenue perpetuates the myth when she almost laughs in my face when I request it. We swear The Plaza basement beauty department is not paying us, but once again we must divulge that this unicorn of concealers IS available there, and now I know why it sells out of nations and cities. It provides more coverage than any other concealer on the market. It's over fifty dollars for a tiny tube, but the tiniest dot goes a long way so the tube lasts forever. . .the coverage is thick, but the consistency is strangely light and it does everything concealer was put on earth to do. Hide the black rings from the blackout nights in a forever young, amazing kind of way.

Best Eye Pencil

Chanel's Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil is dope enough for coming with its own sharpner. And it's loooo....oong and lasts and lasts. Imagine inky black coverage - we're talking almost liquid liner consistency, but with the precision of a pencil - and yes, even the inside rim of the eye with a color that will hold and hold and hold. . . 

Best Mascara: 

Youngblood Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara and Lash Primer. Eyelashes are separated one by one. The wand grips each lash like nothing you have experienced. Pauline Youngblood created this line first for patients recovering from harsh medical procedures; today it is the premier mineral makeup line available. Cruelty-free, environmentally responsible, made from pigments of the earth, and totally GLOP free. It looks like you have fake lashes on - but the feel is glossy, light, and totally sexy. It's long-wearing, with zero flaking and absolutely smudge-proof. And it's almost always sold out. There is quite possibly nothing in the whole wide world more enticing than that which we cannot have, and this mascara is a smokeshow.

Best Eye Shadow
Nars Baby Girl shadow is a medley of cotton candy and golden undertones; it looks subtle but under the light it sparkles and opens the eye. It's perfect year round, day and night, and like all near-perfect products mentioned, looks stunning on any lid.

Best Glow

Hard to believe, but the last thing Laura Mercier's bronzing gel (aka tube of magic) does is make you look tan. It only comes in one color, which means it's perfect for every single human being on this planet - ambrosia for the face, baby. Take a small dollop after you have applied all your other makeup and apply like face cream. It goes on like air, blends evenly, and then just does something inexplicable that we can only describe as Air-brushing by Ibiza - your face is finished, flawless, with a subtle, sun-kissed glow which, although impossible to believe, is not even remotely greasy. Try it once and you will clamber to the ends of the earth for it going forward. It's an obsession.

Best Lip Color
Chantecaille's Bellini lip gloss is an oldie but a true goodie. The compact is gorgeous and allows you to discreetly dab at the table, and it glides on with a nourishing smoothness you could eat. It's not too pink, nor is it too orange - one of the few colors that looks beautiful on everyone.

Deadliest Scent

The Frederic Malle fragrances and body lotions are lined up on the first floor at Barney's, and while Rose is beautiful and feminine, there is something about Carnal Flower that just makes you swoon. It's a heady mix of Tuberose (no other fragrance features so much Tuberose absolute) with undercurrents of bergamot, jasmine, and white musk. The body lotion is arguably stronger so don't get talked into buying both. Sex isn't on fire; it's in a bottle. Spritz it. 

Best Facial in Thirty Seconds
La Mer's refining facial is for winter skin when it's flaky, dry in some spots and greasy in others, with that dull January-forever blah-ness no cream will brighten or fix. This is a scrub - again, a small dollop, rub all over face, and then simply rinse with water.

We love products that work immediately. It's annoying to have to wait 2-3 weeks for the trace of a hope that the fortune you spent was not in vain. This baby has real diamond dust particles so exfoliation, you can imagine, is taken VERY seriously. It brightens, smoothes, and lightens. We have no idea how; you know La Mer and their Fort Knox secret recipes - they humbly refer to the inception of their product as "the miracle" on their website, but we have to confess, it may be the only explanation.

Best Sexy Back Body Scrub

Let us begin by the sheer scent. . . one bath and your home will smell of lemon and sugar for the rest of the day. And your skin. . . moisturized, free of dead skin cells, exquisitely scented, and so silky smooth you will not be able to stroke it in wonder, Divinyls I Touch Myself style. A five minute scrub down in the shower and a day of bliss. We could pause here and easily go on and on about the rest of the products at Fresh, but we're editing today and only bringing you the best of the best. If you have the time (and the means), buy every single item in the store and revel.

Best Scented Lotion
Make sure you emphasize you want the lotion and not the cream. Yes, it's cheaper, and not as rich looking, and you'll think maybe we meant the cream. Nope. And make sure it's not Lola or Daisy or anything else Marc Jacobs after the original scent - the first one - simple bottle, black cap. Gardenia heaven drifting eternally (if you haven't tried the perfume, request a sample and then count the compliments. . .it's stunning and one of the few scents you'll find to be universally appealing. As for the lotion. . .it glides on and stays. The scent lingers for hours, and best of all - get ready - it shimmers. Enough so you sparkle, but also in a tastefully subtle manner. In a strapless dress, or even on the face, your skin catches every light and glows iridiscent. Like the mascara, it is ALWAYS sold out so stock up if you find it.

Best Bubble Bath

Fill your tub with Philosophy's Vanilla Birthday Cake after your makeup and beauty shopping day is over, and come out smelling like a birthday cake. Serve to someone you love.

The End

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