The ultimate endorsement is whether or not a product lands a spot in my makeup bag. Because even when I really like something, that doesn't mean I'll keep it. Many of my favorites have ended up in the handbags of my mom, sisters or girlfriends. After all, how many mascaras can a girl use at one time?
But this week's products are items that are so fabulous, they've all earned a spot on my vanity.
Eye on beauty
Dark under-eye circles are as unattractive as they are inevitable for many new moms, thanks to sleeping schedules thrown into chaos. Still other women simply are genetically prone to getting dark circles under the eyes. Having babies of my own, I sympathize with anyone who's battling under-eye circles. Even better, I've got a go-to product that helps cure and conceal.
Being True's Protective Illuminating Concealer ($30) cover ups existing under-eye circles while brightening the skin under the eyes. Each concealer compact includes a trio of products; two shades of concealer that can be mixed to customize a perfect match, and an illuminating neutralizer that corrects color and deflects attention from fine lines. Here's why I love this product: It's light and moist, never going on heavy (which just calls attention to under-eye problems and highlights wrinkles). Plus, it's long-lasting, and a built-in brightener actually lightens under-eye darkness while it covers.
Pretty lips are the crowning glory of any look, and for me that means an effective lip liner that locks color in place and refuses to feather. I've gushed about a drugstore brand called Milani in the past, and now I'm a huge fan of a product from Eyes Lips Face that's even cheaper than my $4 drugstore fave: e.l.f. Studio's Lip Liner & Blending Brush. It is just $3 and comes in a shade called "natural" that seems to go with just about everything. The smooth pencil never needs to be sharpened and swipes on smoothly, applying even color that lasts. Get it at eyeslipsface.com.
What's a great liner without a great gloss? I'm a huge fan of LipFusion Infatuation ($29), a gloss "lip fattener" with a punch of color in a variety of colors. Some of my favorites are Angelic, a rose shimmer; Lollipop, a new hue of hot pink; and Screen Siren, a cherry red. Shop the collection at local Sephora stores or online at fusionbeauty.com.
Good, great hair days
Moroccan oil is a mainstay in my hair-care routine. And that's surprising, because I have naturally oily hair. But shine and conditioning without residue is what Moroccanoil's products promise and, despite the name, they deliver on that promise without making hair oily. Argan Oil, a key component of the collection, also serves as a UV protectant and antioxidant that quenches and corrects locks. For about $40, I get the 3.4-ounce Original Moroccan Oil Treatment at my favorite salon. There's also a Moroccan Oil Light Treatment now available for blond and fine hair.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.