The Best of Beauty

  • Crystal Schwanke
  • Beauty
  • Jul 1, 2009

Who has time to try every beauty product out there in order to find the best picks? Consult this list to update your beauty stash and save yourself the footwork!

Best Eyeliners

High-end: Urban Decay’s 24/7 ($16.00). Try it in Honey, a metallic gold, for summer. Strictly a black liner gal? You won’t be disappointed with Zero’s staying power. Also try MAC’s Smolder ($14.50) for a deep black line that’s easy to smudge for smoky eyes.
Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay liners ($7.49) do what the name suggests. Try it in Navy to make the whites of your eyes look brighter. If you’re a fan of gel or cream liners, try L’Oreal H.I.P.’s selection ($12.00).

Best Eyeshadows
High-end: You can’t go wrong with NARS duos ($32.00). Try Bellissima for neutrals that work for almost any skin tone or Cordura for a more intense look. If you like serious shimmer, try Urban Decay’s Ammo Eye Palette ($38.00).
Drugstore: NYX Single Shadows are just $5.00 a pop, so it’s easy to mix and match. Keep an eye on for amazing deals. Revlon Colorstay™ Quads give you pre-matched colors for just $6.99.

Best Blushes
High-end: NARS’ Orgasm ($25) is a classic, shimmery pink-peach that looks great on all skin tones. Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks ($40) give your cheeks a glow.
Drugstore: Milani Minerals Blush ($3.49) is pigmented and Luminous is a great alternative to NARS’ Orgasm. Cover Girl Cheekers also come in a variety of shades and only cost about $3.59.

Best Bronzers
High-end: NARS’ Laguna ($30) is available individually or as part of a pair ($37) with NARS’ Orgasm. Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer ($28) is another one that will make you look tan, not Oompa Loompa orange.
Drugstore: Bonne Bell’s Gel Bronze ($3.99) and Wet ‘n’ Wild Powder Bronzzer in 702A Medium/Dark ($3.49) will let you skip the sun and the orange.

Best Foundations
High-end: MAC’s Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation ($28.00) is a great buildable foundation for all skin types. With its gel-like consistency, you won’t even know it’s on your face. Chanel’s Double Perfection Compact ($50.00) is perfect for those who prefer a creamy foundation that’s great on the go.
Drugstore: L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation ($10.95) has such a wide range of colors, there’s something there for all skin tones. Cover Girl Smoothers Aquasmooth Compact Foundation ($10.00) is another winner, especially for dry skin.

Best Mascaras
High-end: Dior DiorShow ($24) and Makeup Forever’s Smoky Lash ($22.00) will lengthen, thicken, and darken dramatically without clumps.
Drugstore: Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express ($5.99) will plump up your lashes effortlessly and Rimmel Sexy Curves ($6.47) will lengthen and separate.

Best Highlighters
High-end: Benefit’s High Beam ($24.00), Stila’s Kitten Eyeshadow ($18.00), and MAC’s Cream Color Base ($16.50) in Shell will all make your cheekbones pop. Apply above your blush for a radiant, sculpted look.
Drugstore: Wet ‘n’ Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder ($3.39) and Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips ($12.95) add a bit of shimmer to your look.

Best Sunless Tanners
High-end: St. Tropez’s Whipped Bronze Mousse ($30.00, gives you a reddish-brown medium tan.
Drugstore: L’Oreal Sublime Gelee, $8.49, has a great floral scent and rich color.

Best Lipsticks
High-end: MAC’s Hug Me lipstick ($14.50) is a sheer formula that looks like your lips, but better, on most skin tones. If you’re a MAC girl and you have 6 empty MAC containers, you can trade those in and get one for free with their Back-2-MAC program. Want a more vibrant shade? Try MAC’s Russian Red for a pin-up look.
Drugstore: Rimmel Lasting Finish Intense Wear Lipstick ($5.29) is so creamy, you’ll almost think it’s high-end. Try it in Birthday Suit for a light peachy-pink pout. For brighter colors, you can’t go wrong with NYX Round Lipsticks.

Best Glosses
High-end: Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect ($25.50) is a shimmering, non-sticky formula with a wide color selection.
Drugstore: Milani Crystal Gloss ($3.49) is available in nine beautiful colors and comparable to some high-end glosses when it comes to pigmentation and texture.

Best Shampoos
High-end: Have you abused your hair this summer? Redken’s All Soft can help make it silky again.
Drugstore: Herbal Essences’ Long Term Relationship ($3.99) is ideal for long hair or those with sensitive scalps because it leaves hair clean without drying it out.

Best Conditioners
High-end: Tigi’s S-Factor “Serious” Conditioner ($27.95) is for hair in need of repair. Bumble & Bumble’s leave-in conditioner ($18.99) is a lightweight lotion that’s great for those whose hair doesn’t need a lot of extra moisture.
Drugstore: Herbal Essences’ Break’s Over Leave-in Conditioner has a beachy scent and leaves your hair more manageable. Infusium 23 is another good bet and will cost you about $6.99.

Crystal Schwanke is the site editor of’s lingerie, sunglasses, buy and movies sites and a writer for several other LoveToKnow channels. She also runs a beauty blog for moms and other women pressed for time, She lives in Atlanta with her husband, daughter and two dogs.

Crystal Schwanke

Crystal has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. Her work has appeared on multiple channels at, as well as Mia, M Magazine, Moultrie Magazine, and others. Her interests include fashion, beauty, history, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughter. You can find her blog at