Anna Wootton

Best Beauty Buys: What Are Yours?

So Glamour’s big, fat September 2011 issue included readers’ votes on the best beauty products on the market. I always prefer these features because it shows you what real people use and I trust that more than what a paid beauty editor uses when she gets sent endless freebies (call me crazy).

If I have used the products that readers recommended, I have given my thoughts on them. I invite all feedback on products you have used that made the list – or, even better, favourite products of yours that didn’t make the list!

#1 Nail polish

Drugstore pick: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

Specialty pick: OPI

I do love OPI because of their cool colour names (and yeah, their brushes too) but one reader called them “chip-resistant”. My OPI polish has definitely chipped. However, not as often as some cheaper brands, so I give it that. I love Essie too.

#2 Self-tanners

Drugstore pick: Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer

Specialty pick: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

Ah, self-tanners. Having grown up in the Caribbean I am trying to save my skin now that I am old enough to know what damage my childhood probably did to it. I usually just wear sunscreen and still get a bit of colour but if you want something deeper, self-tanner is your best friend. The Jergens pick is great for a natural colour and it also gives your skin a nice sheen. The Clarins one gives a natural colour but is very expensive considering how much of the stuff you need to cover your whole body, so there’s that.

#3 Shampoo

Drugstore pick: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo

Specialty pick: Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Hydrating Shampoo

I’ve tried both of these and they’re okay, but I didn’t find them anything to write home about. Then again my hair is coloured and dry by nature, so it probably needs something more intense than these guys to really show major results.

#4 Conditioner

Drugstore pick: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner

Specialty pick: Redken All Soft Conditioner

I love this Redken conditioner. I have used this in the past and it does make hair silky. Their mask is a great deep conditioning treatment for damaged and coloured hair too.

#5 Hairstyling

Drugstore pick: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original Formula Hair Serum

Specialty pick: Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

I haven’t used either of these (I love Aveda’s Smoothing Serum), but my childhood best friend has the curliest hair I know and the John Frieda was always her go-to product and tamed her hair easily, so I’d trust it!

#6 Mascara

Drugstore pick: Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara

Specialty pick: Dior Diorshow Mascara

I’ve used both of these; my mom has always used this Maybelline mascara because I remember seeing the pink and green tube in her bag when I was tiny. It’s my on-the-run mascara but I was given the Dior mascara by my aunt one Christmas and that really wows. I am always on the lookout for a great lengthening mascara and this one does the trick!

#7 Moisturizer

Drugstore pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15

Specialty pick: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

I haven’t tried either of these but have always wondered about Aveeno, so if any of you would recommend it let me know!

#8 Wrinkle Fighter

Drugstore: Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum

Specialty: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex

I have not tried either of these but my mom has used this Estee Lauder serum in the past and no one thinks she is her age, so maybe the Estee Lauder is to thank…

#9 Eye Cream

Drugstore pick: Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum

Specialty pick: Clinique All About Eyes

Olay is clearly the runaway winner for keeping us young on a budget. I haven’t tried it yet but I guess it better go on my list!

#10 Lip Colour

Drugstore pick: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain

Specialty pick: MAC Tinted Lipglass

I love MAC’s Lipglass because it’s NOT STICKY. Why is it so hard for manufacturers to realize that sticky lipgloss is not fun?!

#11 Foundation/Concealer

Drugstore pick: Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation

Specialty pick: Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

Why were these given one category? I would have appreciated an entire category dedicated to concealers (I always need concealer!).

#12 Body Product

Drugstore pick: St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub

Specialty pick: Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Body Lotion

St. Ives for the win in my book! I love their new line and extra bonus: they are not tested on animals. Boo-yah!

#13 Fragrance

Drugstore/specialty pick: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

I like this, I have smelled it in a department store before, but I prefer the Armani scents like Armani Code or Armani Mania, and my newest obsession is Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb.

#14 New Product or Gadget

Drugstore/specialty pick: Maybelline New York The Falsies Mascara

Have yet to try this but it is tempting me. Glamour readers said it gave “bold, voluminous” results and looked like “actual false lashes”.


1. What are your beauty must-haves?

2. Are there any from this list that you’ve tried or want to try?


  • September 21, 2011


    I love that Dior Mascara, its my fave!

    Love Essie Nail Polish the best, but OPI is good too!

    Good scent, I love Juicy Couture’s scents, Angel is a good scent, and Pink Sugar!

    Love beauty products ; ) love this post!

    Hope your day is good! Moving coming along good I hope too!

  • September 21, 2011

    I am totally addicted to Urban Decay … anything! esp. their eye primer and razor sharp finishing powder 🙂

    ♥ Cat brideblu

  • September 21, 2011

    love this post!
    i always forget you grew up in the Caribbean

    self tanners…they stink. the cheaper ones stink worse. lol
    the clarins is amazing if you basically have $45 to get tan..once. That’s about what you need per bottle to coat yourself and then reapply in 12 hrs.

    maybelline great lash rocks

    the blue herbal essences..for what it is, cheap…it’s decent. Works on my daughter’s hair but pantene if going the drugstore route is better IMO

    and the Redken all soft is awesome. try the Enjoy line that i linked up in my post. Soooo moisturizing and amazing. I have tried tons…that’s my fave!