21 Best Makeup Products

From polish to powder, here are our favorite makeup must-haves.

July 21, 2011 11:17 AM
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Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

SPACE FACE
I'm hooked on the ethereal, soft-focus finish of La Mer Treatment Powder Foundation, $90. Fittingly, its base ingredient is Airgel, a literally weightless material used by NASA.

In the bag:
A beauty pro reveals the essentials you should have with you at all times
best beauty products
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

Making Eyes The season's smartest beauty investment: Mally Beauty Evercolor Lasting Liner, $25. Its marathon wear and two brushes translate into a parade of day-to-date liner-embellished looks straight from the spring runways.
best beauty buys
Jeffrey Westbrooks
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Best Beauty Buys

In a Wink
Eye-color-coded makeup? That's the idea behind Eyes by Design, a new line of shadows, liners, and bases that come with illustrated instructions for totally goof-proof application. Hazel palette, $29.95.
summer beauty products
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Summer Beauty Buys

Precious Pucker
Talk about a million-dollar smile: Housed in a case designed by haute Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer, Guerlain's Rouge G lipstick, $45, boasts crushed ruby powder and liquefied mother of pearl.
Jeffrey Westbrooks
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Best Beauty Buys

Eye Do
Since I always cry at weddings, I surely wouldn't have survived this past season without Cl de Peau Concealer, $68. A few dabs of its light-reflecting formula erase redness and subdue puffiness--while staying put through the reception.

Best Beauty Buys

JUST BATTY The finely feathered Viktor & Rolf for Shu Uemura eyelashes, $95, treat eyes as works of art that deserve a proper frame. OK, so maybe they're not for every day, but the precious clamshell box and mask are display-worthy.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

RED EYE
Runway Dorothy-worthy ruby eyeshadow, sparkling up models' lids at Prada.
Reality Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Red Iron mascara, $28, and palette, $58, serving up vibrant yet flattering crimson shades that most of us can pull off (seriously). The exception: pale blondes (you'll want to avoid the albino bunny look).
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys


Half 'n' Half
Breakup to makeup: Snapping lip and eye pencils in two assures ease of application and portability. The Balm's stubby Pick-Up Liners, $18 for three, come ready to go.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

SPRING AWAKENING Dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross gave me one more reason to be thankful winter's almost over: "Certain chemicals that dry out skin, like chlorine, are more potent in water during colder months because there's no humidity to help them evaporate," he says. Till the mercury rises, I'm stockpiling MD Skincare Purifying Bath Crystals, $42, with Himalayan salt, aloe, and calming colloidal oatmeal.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

Dolce & Gabbana Makeover?

Given the chance to fashion a makeup line, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana crafted their signature Mediterranean-vixen aesthetic into a luxe collection of shadows, lipsticks, bronzers, and nail lacquers ($20 to $59), housed in sleek gold compacts. Will either the gold-flecked black Stromboli polish or the siren-red Iconic lipstick become the beauty version of the brand's leopard print?
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

Twice As Nice
L'Oreal Paris HIP Color Presso Lip Gloss, $13 each, marries two contrasting shades in one tube, so you can customize your mouth's bright, shining moment.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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Beauty Buys

PRÊT-À-PUCKER
On top of making red lips unquestionably cool again (see the Nina Ricci and Louis Vuitton spring runways), makeup maverick Pat McGrath's latest feat is making them wearable: Her formula for Max Factor's new Vivid Impact Lip Color ($7.98) is a genius mix of shockingly bright pigments and chap-preventing shea butter.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

EYE CANDY
This chic Mark Eyeshadow Trio, $6, makes conference-to-cocktail makeup transitions a cinch.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

MARATHON MOUTH
Here's something to smile about: This bold Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipcolor, $10.99, didn't budge through my sushi lunch—nor did it strip my lips of moisture, like typical long-wear formulas do.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

TOSS Dried-out bottles of purple or navy polish—get your nails out of the Dark Ages.
TRY Sand- and seashell-inspired hues, which give fingers a breath of fresh air.
BUY Barielle Shades nail polish in Skinny Dip ($8), Avon Speed Dry Nail Enamel in Sheer Chiffon ($4), CND nail polish in Cocoa ($6), and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Petal Pusher ($4.95).
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

GOLDEN GIRLS
To soften the edgiest makeup looks, Lancome's Aaron De May cleverly borrows a stroke from Renaissance painters, highlighting faces with gold—on cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, Cupid's bow, or center of eyelids (my personal fave). Best gilty pleasures: Lancôme Poudre Liberté Highlighting Powder, $40, Sensai The Lipstick by Kanebo, $55, and Avon Anew Ultimate Age Repair Gold Emulsion, $36.

Beauty Buys

No Stain, No Gain Petite and pretty enough to stash in the daintiest evening clutch, Tarte's mini Natural Cheek Stains ($25 per set) are the ideal touch-up tools. Paraben- and preservative-free and infused with soothing acai, goji berry, and pomegranate extracts, they're gentle enough for lips, too.

Beauty Buys

Hot Color Spin-Offs Just as success spawns sequels in Hollywood, two blockbuster beauty products have popped up in new cosmetics: Clinique's famous Black Honey lip color inspires Black Honey High Impact Mascara ($14) and Kohl eyeliner, while Nars's naughtily named Orgasm Blush lends its all-flattering peachy-pink hue to nail polish and an extra-shimmery Super Orgasm Blush ($25).

Beauty Buys

Hot Color Spin-Offs Just as success spawns sequels in Hollywood, two blockbuster beauty products have popped up in new cosmetics: Clinique's famous Black Honey lip color inspires Black Honey High Impact Mascara ($14) and Kohl eyeliner, while Nars's naughtily named Orgasm Blush lends its all-flattering peachy-pink hue to nail polish and an extra-shimmery Super Orgasm Blush ($25).

Beauty Buys

Quick Tips Forever changing nail-polish colors? Sula's unique water-based formulas are for fickle-fingertip types. Pretty much chip-proof, they peel off easily when you want them to. To extend the life of the four vibrant shades ($10 each), add any base and top coat.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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Beauty Buys

Touch & Go
Girls get creative when it comes to touching up haircolor between appointments (I've seen eyeshadow, mascara, even Sharpies), but now Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Pen ($23) lends a pro's imprimatur to the tweaking. The foolproof cream formula is brushed onto roots and grays, dries in seconds, and stays put until it's shampooed out. And since it's peroxide-free, it's also pillow-safe.
Jeffrey Westbrook
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Best Beauty Buys

Beach Red
SPLURGE A splashy getaway at the celeb-studded One&Only Resorts in an exotic locale like Mexico, the Maldives, or Dubai.
STEAL One&Only Red, $28.75, a timeless polish created by Parisian pedicurist Bastien Gonzalez.

In the bag:
A beauty pro reveals the essentials you should have with you at all times