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beauty & style

Booty in a Box

Four friends and neighbors from Woodridge, Ill., agree to be our latest beauty-product testers.

Cathy Braner, 45, IT project manager
My top choice: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Shampoo ($30) and Conditioner ($32) with Seasilk
"As I get older, my hair gets drier, so this new line is perfect for me. The shampoo and conditioner are thick and creamy, and ultra moisturizing."

Runner-up: The Body Shop Body & Leg Shine ($18.50)
"I usually break out when I use sunless tanners, but I had no trouble with this one. The color doesn't look fake, and I love the glide-on applicator."

No thanks: Anastasia Clear Brow Gel ($21)
"Although I'm not big into eyebrow cosmetics, I was intrigued by the idea of a clear gel. But it left my brows feeling stiff and unnatural."

Janine Lapnow, 47, interior decorator
My top choice: Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
"I had no idea a product like this even existed! My eyebrows are very fair, and they've thinned with age. I have to disagree with Cathy—the gel did wonders to amp up the thickness of my brows."

Runner-up: Lancôme La Base Pro ($42)
"I've tried other primers, but this one is superior. My skin felt soft, and it made my makeup last much longer than usual."

No thanks: Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash Volume Mascara ($8)
"I'm a tried-and-true Maybelline girl, but this mascara didn't give enough volume to my lashes. Maybelline's XXL mascara is better."

Gwen McCallion, 49, stay-at-home mom
My top choice: L'Oréal Skin Genesis Daily Treatment Eye Serum ($20)
"I've had a lot of sun exposure, and I'm starting to get lines around my eyes. I noticed a difference after a couple of uses. It tingled a bit, but that told me it was working!"

Runner-up: Guerlain Météorites Illuminating Perfecting Pressed Powder ($65)
"This powder is fantastic, because it isn't too heavy and it gives you a little glow. You can wear it during the day or for a night out."

No thanks: Treat Sweet On You Dry Oil Body Glaze ($10)
"It soothed the dry skin on my feet—a body part that rarely gets pampering—but the scent was strong, like I had bathed in amaretto."

Stephanie Elliot, 39, writer
My top choice: Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Glow Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisture Cream ($15)
"A little goes a long way with this rich cream. Bonus: It has antiwrinkle ingredients."

Runner-up: Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash Volume Mascara
"Janine isn't a fan, but I loved that it went on thick and didn't clump. By the end of the day, it hadn't flaked or smudged, either."

No thanks: Max Factor Lipfinity 3-D ($9)
"This lip gloss is better for tweens. Maybe I wasn't applying it right—you put the base on and let it dry before adding the gloss—but the sparkle was a bit too much for me."

We all loved this!
Olay Botanical Fusion Body Wash ($6)
"Everyone enjoyed the fresh scent, and it was really sudsy—like having a bubble bath in the shower." —Cathy

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.



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