In the News
The Best Budget Beauty
Consumer Reports weighs in
-Paige Herman Axel
Sure Consumer Reports is the go-to when making a big-ticket purchase (they helped me buy my last camera and flat-screen TV) but I’d never think to see what they have to say about makeup or hairstyling tools. So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through the latest issue (yes, my husband I subscribe) and stumbled upon these recommendations.
Mascara: Anyone in the beauty-know is a fan of Lancôme mascaras, and their Définicils took home top honors for department store brands. But in the $7 to $9 category, the magazine recommends Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture, Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume, Cover Girl VolumeExact and L’Oréal Telescopic Clean Definition & Lengthening.
Hair straighteners: Consumer Reports tested nine of these must-have hair appliances and rated them based on how many passes it took to get naturally curly hair straight. While these small wonders can often run into the hundreds of dollars for professional versions, the magazine rated the $100 Infiniti Nano Silver by Conair as the best performer, and the $30 Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic RVST2001C as the best value.
Hair dryers: For some reason, I go through about one or two blow dryers a year, which is why as tempted as I am to plunk down a big chunk of change for a professional grade dryer, I usually wind up at the drugstore. Of the 10 hair dryers tested by the magazine, all had similar drying times, but the real difference was not only in price, but ease of use, noise and features. While $20 will get you the Revlon Ionic Pro Stylist (the pick for best value), $135 gets you the top rated CHI Pro Dryer CF 1505 and its low noise level, extra lint filter and 100+ inch cord.
How about you – which products and tools can’t you live without?