My 2009 favorite beauty products

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Hard to believe that 2009 is wrapping up and with the year's end, comes my annual favorite finds segment.  Every December I look back at the many beauty products that I showed and compile a list of what continued to impress me all year long.  Take a look to see the items that I loved then and still love now.  Perhaps there is a last minute gift idea here for you.  To see the stuff that stood the test of time, watch the segment and read below for details on why it made my best of list and how to get one yourself.  Here is my top ten picks from head to toe.

Best Eye Shadow:  Maybelline Shadow Stylist Eye Shadow
Here is an eye shadow that has made my list three years in a row because it continues to outperform and stand the test of time.  Maybelline Shadow Stylist does it all.  It glides right on, looks beautiful and lasts all day.  The unusual bottle looks more like lip gloss because it comes with a wand that just whips out of the container and applies to the eye lid in an instant.  Application is easy and mess-free.  One bottle cost $6 at drug stores.

Best Smile Saver:  Colgate Wisp Mini-Brush
Under the why didn't I invent this category....Colgate gives us Wisp Mini-Brush (and I mean mini!) with a freshening bead that takes the place of toothpaste.  This little green wand enables you to brush your teeth on the go with no water or rinsing necessary.  I keep mine in my car, so after a lunch date, I can quickly brush away any food that stands between me and a confident smile.  Get yours at drug stores or grocery stores for under five bucks to boot!

Best New Product Line:  Olay Professional Pro X
I showed the Pro X line last January when I covered what was new for 2009 products.  I also started using the line myself and when I ran out of the Pro X Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, I noticed more of a difference in my skin than any other product that I had stopped using before.  This particular product is also specifically designed to shield skin from harmful UVA and UVB exposure, so perhaps the fact that I live in sunny Phoenix made a difference when I stopped using it as well.  I couldn't wait to start using it again on my sensitive Eczema prone pores and my face was glad that I went back to this tried and true best new product of 2009.  The Pro X line sells at drug stores.

Best Clothing Accessory Ever Invented:  The Tube Top
I will never forget how fast I hurried past the tube top display thinking that I was way too old for such a thing!  Purple Skirt boutique owner Heather stopped me in my tracks and convinced me in under 10 seconds that this was one clothing accessory that every woman should own!  What I didn't know is that these tubes are the perfect tops to wear under the stylish and seasonal tops like the one shown in my segment.  A bigger surprise to me is that the fuller figured girls can also wear the tubes, too because they are made to support.  Plus the variety of bright colors makes the fun designs in these blouses pop.  Heather sells them in a variety of great shades for $15 each.

Best Quick Fix:  The Original Gal Pal Garment Deodorant Remover
I have showed this one several years in a row because it has truly stood the test of time.  I like to wear black, especially since it is a slimming color, but the color is unforgiving when it comes to deodorant stains.  These two pink pads simply wipe away those annoying white streaks in an instant.  Plus they are reusable, so they are environmentally friendly.  I have owned my pair for three years and they work as well now as they did the first day.  I have seen the original gal pal garment deodorant remover sold at different boutiques in the accessories section for $10 a pair.

Best Cheap Beauty Line:  E.L.F.
I first heard about E.L.F., which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face from several reputable fashion magazines, so I put some of their products to the test.  Everything in this line sells for a buck and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked just fine.  I tried the French manicure nail polish kit which sells for $3 because you get three polishes in the kit.  It worked and lasted about as long as the much more expensive brands!  Find E.L.F. products online or at Target.

Best Smooth Shave Stuff:   Aubrey Organics Crème de la Shave
As I get older, my shaving needs are changing along with my body.  My underarms are more sensitive and my legs crave moisture, so I was happy to find a shave cream that did it all.  Aubrey Organics has several fantastic flavors of shave creams that include Orange Cream, Raspberry Honey and my favorite the Toasted Almond.  Sells for $5.49 for a 4 oz. tube.

Best Organic Product:  DDF Organic Sunblock Protection
I showed this several times this year and I couldn't help it!  It worked for my organic line segment, my sun protection segment, my guy beauty issues segment and my sensitive skin segment.  My daughter struggles with Eczema and other sunscreens sting her skin.  The DDF sunscreen was truly soothing and protective and with no odor, my husband likes it, too.  DDF is sold at Ulta Beauty Supply stores. It sells for $32 a bottle, but with free shipping at DDF's site.

Best Fitness Fit:  Nike Dri Fit Be Strong Polyester Women's Training Pants
Nike has the most flattering fitness pants that I have seen.  My trainer told me about these pants and I love mine.  They are called Nike Dri Fit Be Strong Polyester Women's Training Pants and this pair is made to flatter.  The $60 price tag is justified because I have worn these repeatedly for over two years and they are still strong like the label says.  Built with a wide waistband and a slight flare at the bottom, this pant covers a muffin top while lengthening the leg to give a comfortable, slim and supportive look.  And they are nice to move around in as well.  I also like Nike's line of yoga, training and running wear for women that are all sold at www.nike.com.

Best Boots:  Boots sold at The Purple Skirt Boutique
All boots, regardless of heel height, brand, color or style sell for only $69 at the Purple Skirt Boutique located at Chandler Blvd. and 48th Street behind the CVS in Ahwatukee.  Owner Heather orders the knock-off styles that mimic the pricey boots worn by the stars.  I bought several pairs and they have held up, are comfortable, versatile and earn me a lot of boot compliments.  To see a fun style that gives two completely different looks when worn under jeans or with leggings, watch the segment.

So, that was my top ten favorite finds for 2009.  Here's hoping that my segments and columns have helped you save money, look great and feel good because that is what beauty and life on a budget is all about.  I look forward to researching more skin solutions, hair helpers, flattering fashions and more beauty buys in the new year.  Until then, enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!