What's hot & what's not in new beauty products

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Every new year, tempting beauty products make their debut, so I do my try before you buy to see what's hot and what's not  in lip gloss, nail polish, hair stuff and more.  From head to toe, I try out the stuff popping up on store shelves that may have you wondering.  So save your hard earned dollars and read on to see what may be worth your cash and what you can pass.   I did notice that there were less items to try, perhaps a sign of the weakened economy, but some of the items that did make their 2010 debut were quite intriguing to me.   Let's start from the top with a new hair styling tool that straightens and dries your hair without ever turning on a blow dryer!

ConAir Wet Dry 1 1/2 Straightener:  $28.99 at Walgreen's

Lose the bulky blow dryer with this sleek ceramic flat iron that sports 25 wet and dry settings.  I like to straighten my hair, but find the two-tool process of using a blow dryer and then a flat iron time consuming, so this product spoke to me!  I tried it and it worked pretty well on my hair.  With a unique venting system that channels water away from hair, this iron releases steam and seals in moisture.  For hard to straighten hair, the directions say to use the highest setting and for a thin mane, the lowest temperature is recommended.   This tool seemed too good to be true with its silent multitasking of drying and styling all in one quick step.  I took it to beauty salon/spa owner Angelic from Backstage Salon to get her professional opinion.  All of her stylists told me that they do worry about potential damage since ConAir is a lot less money than the industry standard brand called Chi.  Chi flat irons are what most professional stylists use and the pros told me that Chi also sells a Wet Dry, but it costs much, just under $200 vs. the ConAir's brand at $30.  The professionals believe that in this instance you get what you pay for with the better and less damaging Chi brand.  So, with that said, I will use this sparingly, but I can tell you that it did work!

L'OREAL Paris Touch-On Highlights:  $14.49 at Walgreens
One thing I love about Walgreens is the attention that their beauty consultants truly give the customer.  I have visited several Valley locations from Ahwatukee to Central Phoenix to Glendale and I am always impressed with how current they keep on trends and products.  So, although I can't report to you on whether or not the new L'OREAL Paris Touch-On Highlights work, I can tell you that my Walgreen's insiders tell me that they have not seen an at home color kit like this one before.   I have never colored or highlighted my hair, but the greys are growing in now, so it is coming.  I can tell you that the fingertip application simply slips on your finger over a glove while the fine-toothed bristles apply the highlights to your individual strands of hair.  Let me know if any of you at home try this!  L'Oreal also has a deal with Walgreens right now that states if you buy $20 or more participating L'Oreal products, then you receive a $5 coupon at check-out for your next L'Oreal purchase.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner: $8 in drug stores
I was excited to see Maybelline's new gel liner because our show makeup artist, Karen Hall, uses a similar cake eyeliner that is applied with a brush.  For around $8, the liner also comes with an angled application brush.  In addition to the basic black and brown shades, a dramatic eggplant and charcoal color for the smoky look are also available.  I love the liner, but I don't like the brush.  I like my tried and true brush that is thin and straight as opposed to the Maybelline angled version.  I prefer the professional long brush sold at Ulta, beauty supply stores and even in the paint section at craft stores.  However, because I love the liner, I give this one a thumbs up.  And check out maybelline.com under the what's new section to get application ideas on how to make the gel liner defined, dramatic or just a little different. 

Sally Hansen Lip Blush Plumping Balm:  $9.99 in drug stores
This new product might be my favorite on the list.  Sally Hansen has added lip products to their nail line and the Lip Blush Plumping Balm did everything it promised on the package.  Right after applying the clear gloss, my lips turned a pretty natural pink and they did appear fuller.  Since I don't wear a face full of makeup every day, I liked this lip balm because it is glossy, but it looks natural. 

L'OREAL True Match Roller Perfecting Roll On Makeup:  $11.99 at drug stores
For every product that I love, there is one that I don't feel the love for and my least favorite new product is this one.  As I rolled on the foundation,  I found myself quickly returning the roller to the product to try to get more absorbed on the applicator.  For my tastes, it just doesn't roll on with enough product to give me the coverage I want.   I will stick with my good ol' fashioned makeup sponges and leave the roller for painting my wall, not my face.

New Olay Regenerist Skin Care Starter Trio:  $40 at drug stores
Although the Olay Regenerist line is not new, the starter trio kits are what's new from Olay this season.  I like this idea for several reasons.  First the kit offers a 3-step skin care regimen that takes the guess work out of which products go best together.  Secondly, you get to try several new products at a discounted price.  This kit sells for $40, but if you were to purchase the three Regenerist products separately, you would spend over $50, so there is also a cost savings when you buy the kit.  Plus the Regenerist boasts the Amino-Peptide ingredients that renew the skin's outer layer while regenerating the face one cell at a time.  With this kit, you have a daily 3-step skin routine that covers cleansing, moisturizing and treating all in one convenient box.  Olay will also offer these kits in their Definity, Total Effects and Complete lines as well.  Kits are just now hitting store shelves as they were unveiled this month.

Back By Popular Demand:
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Foundation:  $9.49
Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator:  $13.99
Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Pens in Metallics:  $8.49

Three products sorely missed by consumers have made their return beginning with a product that I had missed myself.  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup foundation went away last spring, so I was surprised to see it back on shelves.  My Walgreen's expert beauty consultant told me that the company brought it back.  She showed me two other items that have returned due to customer demand, Revlon's Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator, which wakes a tired face with light, but bright, shimmery coverage.  Also returning is the Sally Hansen's metallic nail pens.  The pens have done well and seem to be here to stay, but the metallics had gone away, but are back with bronze, silver, shimmery greens, blues and more.  So, if you missed any of these three items, they are back and are ready for you to take home!

Surprisingly Successful New Product of the Season:  Eos Lip Balm:  $2.99
I would have walked right by this display thinking it was for little girls due to the bright eggshell shaped packaging, but my beauty consultant told me that these were selling like hot cakes to both mothers and daughters.  Called the Eos Lip Balm, this little round lip balm is 95% organic and 100% natural with Shea butter and vitamin E.  I do like that it is organic and I love the price, but it didn't give my lips the gloss that I like, but the little egg did make my lips feel good and hydrated.  So, I went ahead and bought one for me and one for my 8-year-old daughter. 

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure:  $7.49 at drugstores
Talk about a multi-tasking product!  This new line by Sally Hansen is five nail treatments in one little bottle.  With each stroke of the super thick brush, your nails get a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, color and top coat all in one.  So, I tried the Raisin the Bar shade and I gotta say that I like it!  I only put two coats on and the color lasted through four days of my daughter's school break with a lot of cooking, dish washing and playing. I think I am hooked on this new line!  With 42 shades, Sally also gives you a lot of options with a lot of ease.  Great on toes as well.

Hopefully my test run on some of these debuting beauty items will streamline your next drug store trip.  I try before you buy to hopefully keep your beauty and life on a budget!