Unique beauty products put to the Mom Squad test

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When I try beauty products for my column, I like to check with what I call my gal-pal panel. These great gals are generally women who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond who are all busy being Mothers, career women and often times, both!

Rating beauty products

Unique beauty products put to the Mom Squad test - When I try beauty products for my column, I like to check with what I call my gal-pal panel. These great gals usually consists of women who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond who are all busy being Mothers, career women and often times, both!

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So, this time around my gal pals are the show's magnificent Mom Squad for their experience and for their diverse and fun personalities. And to make it more interesting, I found some unique beauty products that we put to the Mom Squad test. We will work our way down from head to toe, so take a look and let the Mom Squad try before you buy. Each product was rated with either a nix it, maybe or must-have.

Beauty Product #1: Definitely Unique: Dry Conditioner for Your Hair

A few months ago, I tried a dry shampoo and I loved it. I gave it a thumbs up in my show segment, so when I heard about a dry conditioner that can be used with a dry shampoo, I had to know more.

The idea behind dry hair products is that instead of having to shampoo your hair daily, the dry stuff absorbs the oils. This gives you several days of clean hair without the daily time it takes to wash and blow dry.

My stylist hadn't even heard about the dry conditioner. So, Mom Squad member Lisa Vandenburgh tried Orlando Pita Renew Dry Conditioner. The verdict? Lisa had an interesting and mixed review.

When she used it as the bottle instructed on dry hair, she didn't like it at all. After spraying it on her scalp, she says that the product left a powder-like film on her hair that almost made it look grey....not good! She did point out that the instructions on the bottle say to comb through the application, which may have eliminated the film, but with Lisa's curly hair, combing through results in frizz.

So, for DRY hair, Lisa says no to DRY conditioner, however when she tried the product another way, she found it to work a bit better.

On wet hair, Lisa says that it made her hair feel soft while keeping her locks frizz-free, so she would consider using it after swimming at a beach or lake for some added conditioner while out in the sun. However, she says that the product is light and for her curly curls she likes a conditioner that is a bit heavier to tame her mane and the curls that frame her face.

She also made a valid point noting that this product comes in an aerosol can, so it is not environmentally friendly and she goes green with her containers....good for you, Lisa!

Lisa's Mom Squad product rating for the Orlando Pita Renew Dry Conditioner is a nix.

She says that she won't buy it. And I'll add that at $25 a bottle, it needs to boast beautiful hair! Orlando Pita Renew Dry Conditioner is available at www.sephora.com.

Beauty Product #2: A Mini Me for the Popular Flat Iron

Flat irons have taken over the hair world with women of all ages using these magic wands to go from curly to straight without visiting a salon. So, when I found a mini me version of the full size flat iron called the Conair Mini Pro Ceramic Straightener, I was intrigued. Did it truly perform as well as the full size wonder that has worked for so many women?

Mom Squad member Lisa Ross has naturally curly hair, so this seemed like a good one to give to her for our gal pal try. So, is less better in this case? Lisa says that getting her hair to go straight is no easy task and is time consuming, so she was anxious to give this little iron a try.

She says that she did love the smaller size and that is was great for an "on the go" item. As the box promised, it did heat up quickly and includes an attractive storage case, however there were a few small issues that went with the product.

Lisa notes that the cute storage pouch is heat resistant, but that it is no easy task placing the iron into the bag without burning a finger or two. She also says that since the product is a smaller version, it would be very time consuming to flatten an entire head of hair, so if time is an issue, she does not recommend it as a traveling substitute for a full size iron.

Lisa also offers a helpful tip with flat irons. She says that hair does straighten better when smaller sections of hair are flattened one at a time and since the MiniPro forces the user to do that, it may enhance the overall straight hair look. Lisa did experience some denting, but she says that may have been part of her learning curve with the new iron. Lisa is also accustomed to grabbing her bigger iron with a full grip, but she cautions to be sure to use the MiniPro's finger grips to avoid burning your fingers. And a very important point from Lisa is to be wary of claims stating that irons are gentle on your hair. Quality does matter, but in the end, too much ironing will damage the hair. Good advice, Lisa!

Lisa's Mom Squad product rating for the ConAir Mini Pro Ceramic Straightener is a maybe for an overall flat iron, but she also says that it is a good option for an on-the-go iron.

The MiniPro sells for $19.99 at drug stores.

Beauty Product #3: Can A Pulsing Mascara Wand Plump Eyelashes?

After seeing a ton of ads promoting the new Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara, I wondered if a moving wand would really make my eyelashes pop or would my hand slip during application? Maybelline says that the wand boasts 7,000 vibrations per stroke, which I thought was interesting.

Mom Squad member Erin Gogolin had also seen these ads and was ready to turn one on and put this unique mascara wand to the test. Did the pulsing really plump or plummet? Erin enthusiastically tells me the wand did move and did deliver.

She loves this mascara and says that her search for the perfect brand has ended! With no smudging and quick lash lengthening, Erin reports that using this vibrating wand is quick and easy. As a busy Mom, I love those words, quick and easy!

Erin's Mom Squad product rating for the Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara is a must-have!

This mascara sells for $15 a tube at drug stores.

Beauty Product #4: Anti-Aging Cream in a Lipstick

With my hectic schedule as a busy Mom, I am all for multi-tasking products, so I was curious when L'Oreal introduced their Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum lipstick line. Open the tube and your eye can see the infused anti-aging serum that include collagen and other age-fighting ingredients.

Mom Squad member Kathy Fields tells me that she has thin lips, so this was a good product to give to her to test. Did the lipstick's serum serve Kathy well? Kathy says that for the most part, the added ingredients were good for her smile. She usually has to combine two lip stick shades to get a good match for her face, but with this brand one application did the trick. Plus it stayed put much longer than the other brands that Kathy has tried.

She did note that when she first applied the lipstick, her lips tingled and burned a little, so that may have been the plumping action as some plump-promising lip products do tingle. Her lips felt a little smoother with the L'Oreal tube, but she says that it was truly hard to tell if her lips looked a lot fuller.

Kathy's Mom Squad product rating for the L'Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum lipstick line is a maybe.

She says that she will consider buying it again, but she won't make her final decision until she finishes the tube to give it a true time test. This lipstick sells for $15 at drug stores.

Beauty Product #5: A Razor That Does It All

I have yet to find the perfect razor and I have noticed that as I get older, my skin is more sensitive to razor bumps! So, when I saw an ad for the Schick Intuition Plus razor that creates its own lather when wet, I wanted to know if this is the hair removal winner that I had been searching for. Mom Squad member Jonell Schmeltz put this one to the skin test. So, did the lather matter or did the razor fall flat? Jonell says that she loved the lather and the razor. For the arm pits and the legs, she says she got a perfect shave with no bumps, however the bikini line was a bit harder with this razor. I gave Jonell the razor box marked for sensitive skin and she was glad I did because she suffers from Eczema, so she is careful to use hypoallergenic brands. She did notice an odd plastic smell from the razor, but says that the odor disappeared when she bathed with her usual body gel immediately following her shave.

Jonell's Mom Squad product rating for the Schick Intuition Plus razor is a must-have.

She says that she would definitely recommend it. The razor sells for $9.99 at drug stores.

So, there you have it. Unique beauty products put to the Mom Squad test because checking stuff out with a gal pal is always more fun than reading informal reviews.

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