It seems like Allure's Readers' Choice Awards are the same every single year. I know zillions of people vote and I'm not suggesting that advertisers can buy their way into readers' voting ballots. But the winners always seem to go to the same few contenders. Sure, I suppose most of the products were selected because they are probably pretty great. But with thousands of new releases annually, there have to be other contenders, don't there? If you've ever wanted to move away from the the masses and try something new, here is what I would have suggested, had the fine editors at Allure asked.
Before I dive into some of the picks, check out Allure's Best Beauty Blogger winner, MaskCara. Her blog is actually one of my favorites and I'm so happy for her well-deserved win! Please check her out and tell her I said hi!
Let's check out what won and what I would have picked!
Best Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash (Drugstore)
I know my adopted little sister, pro makeup artist, fellow beauty writer and pint-sized doppleganger Christina of The Makeup Blogger loves this, but there are other options to try. Heck, Rocket Volume by Maybelline is pretty amazing. Rimmel has great mascaras. Salma Hayek's Ultra Defining Mascara is very nice as well. Maybelline Great Lash is so ordinary. And it still has that weird smell. Maybe some people find that Maybelline mascara smell nostalgic. I just don't get it. I know it's a legendary product, like Clinique's Dramatically Different Lotion, but I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Thank goodness They're Real from Benefit got some love. That is truly a great mascara!
Best Shampoo: Pantene Volumizing (Drugstore)
In the immortal words of GOB Bluth, come on! Really? Sure, I like some of their styling aids, but this has been on the list as long as I can remember. There are aisles of this stuff to choose from! Marc Anthony and Salma Hayek both make fantastic drugstore lines. Each of these offers a low-sulfate or no-sulfate option for less than you expect. Even the guys in my office with only a ring of hair acknowledge that there are better choices than Pantene. Spend a little more and look at Keune, UNITE or It Factor. You'll notice a difference. I swear!
Best Face Scrub: St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub (Drugstore)
On your face? Are you 12? This scrub is so harsh, I wouldn't risk the damage or inflammation. Crushed pit pieces are jagged. They can rip into your skin causing micro-tears. Yeesh. Skip it! Instead, check out the Olay's Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub. It has great ingredients that will refine your face and little scrubby nubbins that will help remove dead skin. If you want a stronger scrub that won't shred your face, up your game (and price point) to YBF's Prep. It's the best granular exfoliator on the market. It's not cheap, but so worth saving up for.
Best Body Scrub: St. Ives Apricot Scrub (Drugstore)
Again? This is the best body scrub because it's probably the only one. Sure, fancy CVS' and Targets have options from Boots or higher end brands, but I bet in most stores across the states, this is the most obvious one on the shelves. Here's the deal. Seed and nut shells aren't cut evenly and can give your skin little micro-tears. What exfoliator are you missing on the shelves? Exfoliating GLOVES. These gloves do a more thorough job without tearing your skin and you can do a better job controlling the amount of exfoliation on sensitive areas like the top of your feet.
Best Blush: NARS Orgasm (Prestige)
I get it. It's a beautiful color that looks great on everyone. It will always be a beautiful color that looks so nice on everyone. But hasn't anyone tried anything else? Surely people have tried others. I will admit to crushing on Maybelline's Bouncy Blush in any shade. So at least we can agree on that. Napoleon Perdis' Ultimate Contour Palette deserves so much more love than it's ever received. It's so pretty, so natural, so long wearing and smooth. I don't have a bad thing to say about it.
Best Shadow: MAC Shroom (Prestige)
I've hit pan on my share of Shrooms. But with so many beautiful shadows to pick from, it seems like this color always takes the cake. Too Faced, Urban Decay and even Estee Lauder have glorious, silky shadows that wear without creasing but always seem to get overlooked. Want to go indie? Take a peek at blogpal Phyrra's favorites and learn your way around the indie makeup world. You might find something that rocks your world and shows off your individuality.
Best De-Frizzer: Moroccan Oil (Prestige)
Really? I know it's the product that launched a thousand just like it, but it's so silicone-heavy. You can get that for so much cheaper anywhere. Silicones aren't bad (but can be hard to remove from the hair) and they are good at what they do. But so many products have the same silicones in them that it seems like a poor choice to spend so much and get so little actual Moroccan Oil. Davines Oi, smells great, won't stain your blonde hair and contains a UV filter to protect hair. It is far and above the best hair oil I've ever tried. EVER.
Best Self Tanner: St. Tropez (Prestige)
You know my heart belongs to Beautisol. I can't imagine there is a better product than that.
What did you think of the winners? Where you happy with Allure's selects or did you feel like you were reading last year's list? Clearly, I didn't go over them all here. For the full list, check out their website.
It's also officially my fourth year anniversary! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for a giveaway to celebrate. I'm still working on the details!
Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here.
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