The Best Beauty Products
By Carolyn Brundage

Over the years, I’ve reviewed just over 10,000 grooming products, and along the way I’ve found a few that I always return to.

And while I spend most days testing and trying new products, I always keep my little pink makeup bag stuffed with the pretty staples I know I can count on.

Here are the products I count among the best; six beauty products that have earned a spot, amongst literally thousands I've tested, on my best in beauty list.

Tarte’s Mineral Powder Bronzer in “Hotel Heiress”

Like any smart woman, I avoid too much time in the sun, but that doesn’t stop me from glowing.

Thanks to Tarte’s Mineral Powder Bronzer in “Hotel Heiress,” a deep bronze shimmer, I can fake that refreshed, sun-kissed shimmer. Just sweep this skin-healthy bronzer on the bridge of the nose, apples of the cheeks and forehead; all the places the sun would naturally touch if you had the time to spend a week at the beach. (And you’d never do that without protecting your skin from UV exposure anyway, right?)

Get it for $28 at


Pure Pressed Base SPF 20 Pressed Mineral Powder from jane iredale —THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP

For years, my go-to-powder was a drugstore brand that cost about five bucks; and for years I was plagued with blemish-prone skin. And then I met jane iredale – THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP and that all changed.

At nearly $50, this product is not cheap but I believe it’s an investment in my skin that is worth every penny. This multi-tasking product serves as a concealer, foundation, powder and sunscreen in one and is oil-free, talc-free and paraben-free.

Get it for $49.50 at


Milani Easyliner Retractable Lip Liner

I’ve become a bit of a beauty snob over the years because I’ve discovered that often times, you do get what you pay for.

Enter Milani and their Easyliner Retractable Lip Liner, a cult favorite that sells for less than five bucks at most local drugstores, and proves that beauty bargains do exist for those who know where to shop (think CVS, Walgreens and Target.)

Get it for $3.49 at





Max2 Gold Volume Up Mascara

Yes, you can purchase good mascara for less than ten dollars at your local drugstore, thanks to CoverGirl and Rimmel, but the cheaper brands don’t compare once you try Max2 Gold Volume Up Mascara.

Chock full of natural ingredients, such as royal jelly and herbal extracts, the formula is ideal for lash extensions (which is how I first fell in love with the brand), but what I discovered post extensions is that this mascara works wonders when applied to real lashes.

Benefits include extreme length and thickness; plus the completely water-soluble product stays on -- even when swimming -- until it simply washes away in the shower.

Get it at local spas & salons or online for $20 at

Perfect Formula Strengthen & Seal Sheer Pink Gel Coat

I’ve put my nails through a lot, from silk wraps to no-chip manicures, but in my downtime, I rely on this pink gel polish to keep my nails strong and simply well groomed.

There’s nothing worse than chipped nail polish in my book but with a quick swipe of this gel nail polish on bare nails, nails get a shiny, pink tinted coat of color that also protects them from the elements and encourages growth.

Get it for $30 at




Revlon’s Ionic Hot Air Kit

I’ve tried expensive blow dryers that cost literally hundreds of dollars but I always return to Revlon’s Ionic Hot Air Kit for smooth, shiny locks that normally can only be found in one of the chairs at my favorite salon.

The dryer is said to emit negative ions that allow for less drying time and while I can’t be sure how or why the Ionic Dryer works so well on my curly locks, I can tell you that the product performs equally well for my straight haired sister who also retired her pricey dryer in favor of this beauty bargain.

Get it for $19.95 at

Agree? Disagree? Do tell! Share your own product reviews and read others at

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