Dove Body Wash with Nutrium Moisture, $5.84.
We found that rather than foaming like most body washes, this one felt more like a milky cleanser, though it did produce a gentle lather when we applied it with a washcloth. After we toweled off, our skin felt clean, silky, and soft, even when we didn't apply body lotion.
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Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion, $3.99 and up
We were surprised at how light the moisturizing formula felt as we washed and rinsed in the shower. After using the products for a few weeks, there were fewer broken hairs in our brush and comb, and overall, our hair felt softer.
St. Tropez self-taners, $25 to $45.
Self-tanner makes us look like we just returned from vacation but smell like we rolled in dirty socks. The reason is that when DHA, a colorless sugar that's the active ingredient in all self-tanners, reacts with skin's proteins to develop a golden shade, it generates a rancid odor. But scientists adapted air-freshener principles to remove the stink from the St. Tropez spray, mousse, lotion, and face formulas-and called it Aromaguard. We were a little skeptical about St. Tropez's claims, since so many self-tanners have made it before. When we first applied the product, the floral scent was strong, but after several long, deep breaths, we couldn't smell it or the usual odor that lurks beneath the fragrance. The pleasant smell remained, and our husband asked if we were wearing a new perfume.
Neocutis Blanche Skin Lightening cream, $105.
Amy B. Lewis, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine prescribed Blanche to a patient who described the product as light but creamy, like a moisturizer. She also found that it wasn't sticky, and that when she was using it, her skin didn't become dry, red, or broken out. As for the results, Lewis said that the patient's lighter marks were reduced within four weeks, and other darker spots on the side of her face faded in three months.
Orlando Pita + T3 Renew Dry Conditioner, $25.
We've always relied on Static Guard or a Bounce sheet to keep from looking like a grade-school science experiment. This spray defused all our static, made our hair shiny and soft but not limp, and had an appealing, slightly fruity smell.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color, $4.95.
Because we find bright colors to be tricky to paint on neatly, we decided to challenge ourselves with a bright pink shade of nail polish. The wide brush covered our nail in one stroke, and the polish dried in one minute. Then we deliberately broke all the manicure rules by washing dishes, opening soda cans, and scratching off a jar label. Our nails remained chip-free and glossy for five days.
Latisse, $120 for a one-month supply.
Don't get us wrong-mascara can do a lot. Temporarily. What it cannot do? Actually make your lashes grow. This new prescription-only liquid from Allergan makes them longer, darker, and thicker. "Latisse has worked on all of my patients to grow their natural lashes, with some noticing growth after only a week," says Wendy W. Lee, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. "I've been using Latisse myself for two years, and my lashes are longer," says Lee. "I've noticed a huge difference.
Shiseido Future Solution LX Daytime Protective Cream, $240, Total Regenerating Cream, $260.
We smeared on the Daytime Protective Cream in the morning and the Total Regenerating Cream at night-both were frosting-thick and felt rich and heavy going on (and were quite heavily perfumed). But they soaked in quickly enough that we didn't look smothered in Crisco. Our skin stopped feeling tight, and we saw zero flakes, starting the first day we used it.
OPI Axxium Soak-Off Gel Lacquer, $30 and up.
Fake nails may look tacky, but they certainly are durable. OPI's new salon-only treatment deposits a thin coat of color that is as close to the strength of acrylics as a lacquer can get and still be removable with soaking. We usually ruin our manicure within a day or two, but this one, which took around 45 minutes, had not chipped after three weeks-even though during that time, we took boxing classes, rigged a boat, and packed boxes to move. We took it off only because it was growing out.
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