Monday, July 13, 2009

Beauty Reflection: Where Do You Go to Stay in the Know?

Everyday we're slammed with advertisements touting the latest (and greatest) beauty products and techniques. And it can often be overwhelming to sort out the good from the bad. What's a girl to do to stay on top of the latest innovations in beauty?

Here are my 5 tips to help keep you in the beauty know:

1. Seek out personal recommendations and reviews. If your best friend is glowing, ask her what skin care products she is using. If a co-worker in the elevator smells amazing, get the skinny on her fragrance. Remember: ask and you shall receive! And don't forget to be reciprocal when someone asks you how you keep your curls frizz-free.

2. Read online beauty products reviews and forum postings. I often discover my best beauty finds from combing through the many beauty blogs and Web sites. One standout site is Makeupalley.com. Here you will find product reviews on just about everything related to beauty. This site also features nine active message boards (makeup, bath & body, fragrance, skin care, hair care, nail care, cosmetic procedures, and more) where other members rant and rave, as well as ask questions on very specific products or techniques. Follow the the chatter and you won't miss the latest holy grail products. You may also save a few bucks by avoiding the hype on "let down" products.

3. Look in unexpected places online. For example, if you want a quick lesson on makeup brush cleaning, do a search on YouTube.com. Look for the highest number of views and star ratings and then narrow the results from here. EnKore Makeup is one member who produces excellent short how-to videos.

4. Look in unexpected places offline. I find phenomenal beauty information in the Financial Times (usually in Style within the Saturday edition) and The Wall Street Journal. I've read about the evolution of mascara wands and razors, as well as how oceanic resources (many marine organisms and plants) are making their way into our favorite beauty products.

5. Make friends with department store makeup artists. If you frequent a certain product line, get to know the top folks behind the counter. You may need to go to different department stores to find the creme de la creme, but it will be worth it. Get a sneak peek on what's coming next season, take home samples to try, and seek out advice on how to get the most from products that you already own.

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