From the top of my recently highlighted head to the tip of my woefully un-pedicured toes, I am filled with gratitude for you, my dear readers. Your enthusiasm for the first-ever ShopGirl Beauty Poll was enough to bring tears to my eyes. Good thing I only wear mascara when I’m on TV.
Reading the responses was like reading a beauty textbook – only far more interesting. Who knew milk would soothe puffy eyes? Emily Lavoie, a 16-year-old from Carmel did. And Tamara Bryant of Camden wrote in with a great tip for gals whose hair is discolored because of the minerals in well water: Try lemon juice for blond hair and white vinegar for dark hair. Comb through your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash and style as usual. Problem solved. Or, as Bryant writes, “Voila – shiny beautiful hair!”
The beauty tips ranged from the practical to the whimsical. One sassy reader says her best beauty secret is great sex. Another swears by baby oil. And many readers recommended this timeless trio: sleep, water, exercise – now that’s a beauty bargain.
As the responses piled up, a few clear favorites began to emerge. In the nail polish category, OPI well, nailed it. For best bar soap, it appears Dove can’t be beat. And when it comes to beauty tools, women across eastern Maine can’t live without their eyelash curlers. If you had the chance to splurge on one body care product or service, most of you said you’d treat yourself to a massage.
The most-mentioned brand overall was Mary Kay, and its fans are loyal. One surprise, given our distance from any Sephora, was how varied and upscale the brands were in every category. Philosophy, Smashbox, Tarte, MAC and Benefit made quite a few appearances on the list. Bare Escentuals’ Bare Minerals, the foundation and powder made from finely ground mineral pigments, took first place in the foundation category.
The beauty bargains were varied and fun. A few readers mentioned the body butters available at Dollar Tree, and St. Ives exfoliating scrub was another favorite. Palmer’s cocoa butter got a shout-out, as did Noxzema, Vaseline and Bag Balm. Most of you would splurge on a massage, but a few readers would opt for microdermabrasion or a facial. One reader mentioned Cr?me de la Mer – the “miracle” cream that costs $110 an ounce. Decadent!
Decadent or frugal, one thing is for certain – all of the readers who responded were passionate about product.
And for that, I’m grateful.
Without further ado, here are the results of the inaugural ShopGirl Beauty Poll. Please note, only the top vote-getter in each category is listed, and in many cases, respondents only listed brands, rather than specific products. Also, the winner of our satchel full of goodies – worth more than $100, is Holly Billings of Stillwater. Congratulations, Holly!
Best moisturizer: Neutrogena products
Best facial cleanser: Olay products
Best acne treatment-prevention: ProActiv Solution
Best skin care splurge: A facial
Best skin care bargain: St. Ives exfoliating scrub
Best foundation: Tie for first – Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals, Mary Kay, CoverGirl
Best concealer for blemishes: CoverGirl
Best concealer for under-eye circles: CoverGirl
Best blush: Mary Kay
Best powder: Tie for first – Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, Neutrogena Minerals
Best lipstick, liner or gloss: Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer
Best eyeshadow: Cover Girl
Best mascara: Maybelline Great Lash
Best beauty splurge: Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals
Best beauty bargain: Lots of rest
Best at-home hair removal: For razors – Gillette Venus; for wax – Sally Hansen
Best bar soap: Dove
Best body lotion: Aveeno
Best hand cream: Tie for first – Bath & Body Works, Neutrogena, Jergens
Best nail polish: OPI
Best top coat: OPI
Best body splurge: Massage
Best body bargain: Exercise
Best beauty tool: Eyelash curler
Beauty item you couldn’t live without: Tie – Eyelash curler and blush
Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Gel
Facial cleanser: Olay Sensitive Skin liquid cleanser
Skin care splurge: Philosophy products
Skin care bargain: Palmer’s cocoa butter
Foundation: Clinique Almost Makeup (though I’m warming up to Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals)
Concealer: CG Smoothers stick in neutralizer – it’s invisible
Blush: Clinique Rich Texture Blush in Rich Nude
Lipstick: L’oreal Colour Riche in Earth Rose
Eyeshadow: Anything by Chanel
Mascara: Clinique Naturally Glossy mascara in black
Beauty splurge: Lancome lipstick and nail polish
Beauty bargain: Wet ‘n Wild lip gloss
At-home hair removal: Sally Hansen cold wax
Bar soap: Too many to mention
Body lotion: Anything by Philosophy
Hand cream: Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter cuticle cream
Nail polish: Revlon for wear, OPI for colors, Lancome for a splurge
Top coat: Revlon
Body splurge: Olive body butter from The Body Shop
Body bargain: Pumice sponges at Target (they’re a buck in the travel aisle)
Beauty tool: A good hair dryer
Best beauty advice: From my mother and ShopGuy – stop picking your face!
Couldn’t live without: My hairstylist, Emily Fisher at Inovations in Brewer
Best beauty secret: Eat real, whole, unprocessed food