The winners are in. Once again, Allure has picked the best the beauty world has to offer… according to them. But we know better than to blindly trust magazines, right?
Their advertisers are often the ones calling the shots. No wonder we’re often disappointed when we finally splurge on these “awesome picks”! But that doesn’t mean every product is bad, either. Some of them truly deserve the award, and more.
But how do you know which items are worth investing in, and which ones are best left on the shelves? I’ve sorted through all the winners to bring you the good, the average, and the bad (and their alternatives):
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask ($25.00)
This mask is a great ally in the fight against excess sebum. Infused with charcoal, kaolin, and bentonite clays, it absorbs excess oil, helping to reduce breakouts and the appearance of large pores. It’s very gentle too, so it’s ideal for sensitive, but oily, skin.
Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($12.49)
One of my favourite sunscreens, it has a very lightweight formula that doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. That’s a great feat, considering it contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two thick white minerals that create a shield on the skin to reflect and scatter UV rays away from it. The gentle formula is perfect for sensitive skin too. It won’t cause any troubles!
Olay ProX Anti-Aging Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel ($39.99)
This is a wonderful exfoliant for all skin types, including sensitive. It contains glycolic acid, a multi-tasking anti-ager that exfoliates skin, hydrates it, and boosts collagen production. Result? Brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin in just a few days. The peel also features soothing ingredients to calm down irritations.
Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion ($95.00)
This toner claims to “activate and strengthens skin’s foundation to reveal its youthful, angelic glow.” I’m not sure what that means, but I know it’s not worth spending so much money on. It’s just a blend of water-binding hydrators with a sprinkle of antioxidants and peptides. All stuff that’s good for skin, but you can easily find at a cheaper price.
Best alternative: Derma E Soothing Toner With Anti-Aging Pycnogenol ($15.50)
Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar ($47.00)
Thanks to the inclusion of glycolic acid (best exfoliating ingredient ever!), Renewed Hope In A Jar is better than the original. But, not by much. Yes, it can exfoliate skin, but the rest of the formula is still a pretty basic blend of silicones and moisturizing ingredients seriously lacking in antioxidants. It comes in a jar too, which isn’t very hygienic.
Best alternative: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid Moisturizer ($45.00)
Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream ($99.00)
Another victm of bad packaging. The cream is chockfull of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, that help fight the premature signs of aging. Too bad they lose a bit of their effectiveness when exposed to light and air (every time you open the jar, basically). But at least it’s still very hydrating. If you don’t mind splurging on an anti-aging treatment that’ll turn into a basic moisturizing cream before you reach the bottom, you can get a jar at Sephora (or, better yet, check out the option below).
Acure Organics Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scrub ($14.99)
Why are people still using scrubs in 2015? Well, if you really love them, at least make sure to avoid this one. It exfoliates skin with lemon peel granules and dried kelp, both of which can potentially be irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. The argan stem cells do nothing for the skin and the antioxidants in the formula work better when left on the skin anyway. What a waste of money!
Best alternative: Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA ($30.00)
Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel ($26.00)
Alcohol may not be as irritating as previously thought, but that’s not a good reason to add a dollop to lotions and gels and splash them all over our faces. That’s just what Clinique hopes we’ll do. But alcohol can be drying, tricking skin into producing more oil in the long term to compensate. Plus, the gel’s ph is too low to allow salicylic acid to exfoliate skin, so you’re hurting it for nothing. No, thank you!
Best alternative: Paula’s Choice Resist BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections ($42.00)
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask ($300.000)
Ok, this mask isn’t bad for your skin. But it’s devastating for your wallet, which is why it’s here. Rather than turn the clock back 20 years and make you a nice cup of tea (which is the least we should expect at this price), this cream only moisturizes skin and provides a light exfoliating action. The jar packaging just makes things worse and destroys the few antioxidants inside. Seriously, why are we supposed to pay so much for this?
Best alternative: Laneige Water Sleping Pack (£22.00)
What do you think of this year Allure’s Best Of Beauty Awards?
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