Today’s marketplace is overflowing with products designed to make our lives safer, easier and better, and this certainly includes the billion-dollar self-care trade where an innovative assortment of such “improvement products” abound. Here’s a look at some of the more affordable items that’ll keep you well-coiffed and help you put your best foot forward:
Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo - $20 (www.ambiancecosmetics.com)
Elegant in design, Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo is an innovative alternative to other dry shampoos on the market. Its 100% natural powder formula comes in five hair colors (brunette, blonde, black, red and gray) and is safe and gentle enough to use every day. Beyond making hair look, feel, and smell freshly shampooed without the need for water, it does an equally outstanding job of concealing roots between hair colorings. It can even cover areas where hair is thinning. This “three products in one” benefit, along with a sleek applicator brush that fits easily into purses, makes it a great choice for anyone who seeks beauty on-the-go. Whether you want to keep grays banished and get more life out of your color treatments, look refreshed after a workout, or cover problematic thinning spots, Ambiance Volumizing Dry Shampoo is the all-natural way to maintain and prolong great hairstyles!
Cool Care Curling/Flat Iron Holder - $30-$35 (www.americanbeauty.ws)
Have you ever accidentally left your flat iron on and realized it hours later in a complete panic? Do you long for more counter top space in your bathroom? If so, consider Cool Care Heat Protectors - 100% Stainless Steel receptacles to help safely store and cool down your hair tools while keeping your bathroom organized. Cool Care offers both wall-mountable and table top options. The wall-mounted unit is particularly useful in bathroom and vanity areas where space is at a premium. The counter top model has a sleek, sexy appeal for individuals who have bathroom counter tops and vanities with room to display their hair styling tools. The rounded stand is flexible and will not tip over even with heavier hair styling accessories. Both designs serve to protect users from burns, providing peace of mind should they inadvertently leave any appliance on.
Cool Care Mini Flat Iron - $20 (www.americanbeauty.ws)
This adorable miniaturized hair appliance is ideal for daily use and so compact and lightweight that traveling with your flat iron is a breeze. The stylish matching case makes this mini even more mobile. But, while measuring a mere 175 x 20 x 25 mm long, don’t let its small size fool you. This flat iron boasts many features: it heats up in one minute, has ceramic plates so you do not burn your hair, and comes with a two-foot, six inch cable and PSE plug. Reaching temperatures of 200 degrees, its ceramic plate curling surface is 70 x 17 mm. As an added assurance, the Cool Care mini flat iron also meets UL standards. It’s a compact product that handles large and small curling needs at home or on-the-go.
The Braun Satin Hair Brush - $65 - $75 (www.braun.com)
This brilliant battery-powered brush combines Braun’s breakthrough Active Ion Technology with its innovative Seamless Bristle Technology to give hair incredible smoothness and shine. Braun’s Active Ion Technology, delivered through uniquely designed jet action, is designed to instantly deliver visibly more silkiness and radiance to hair with every brush stroke, taming frizz and fly-away locks for a sleek look and feel. On board Seamless Bristle Technology is designed for anti-damage brushing, featuring a super smooth surface to glide gently and effortlessly through hair to prevent breakage and damage to the scalp. It also has a removable brush head for effortless cleaning. The easy-to-use Braun Satin Hair brush is a portable beauty tool you’ll soon find indispensible.
Boo-Boo Cover-Up - $20 (www.booboocoverup.com)
Have a Boo-Boo? Conceal while you heal! Skip the bandage and the shiny ointment and look your best even while on-the-mend with Boo-Boo Cover-Up. This innovative formula offers effective makeup-esque, flesh tone-tinted concealer coverage for skin imperfections with ingredients known in nature to promote healing.You can now feel confident that people are paying attention to what you say rather than being distracted by your boo-boo. Or, you can traverse the world with confidence with your blemish hidden from plain sight. With ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea, tea tree oil and Vitamin E, you probably won’t have to wear Boo-Boo Cover-Up for long. Each ingredient was selected for its help in curing common, minor blemishes like acne, burns, bites, bruises and more. Happy healing!
Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays - $19-$39 (www.skindinavia.com)
Put your best face forward! These fabulous finishing sprays extend the wear of makeup for up to 16+ hours. The brand has been used onHollywoodsets for years and recently was utilized on tour with Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.Moisture Lock is a unique and easily absorbed super-hydrating setting spray that keeps the makeup surface moist and dewy. It goes beyond keeping your makeup on to actually reviving dull makeup, finishing it with a youthful, dewy finish. It creates a barrier with your existing moisturizer that keeps foundations and powders from drying out skin and settling into fine lines and wrinkles.Its counterpart,Moisture Lock Makeup Finish, uses a proprietary blend of four moisturizers that are delivered through a patent-pending encapsulation technology. This unique technology is time released so moisturizers work throughout the day providing consistent hydration levels to the makeup surface… morning, afternoon, and evening. Available in 2 fl. oz./59ml ($19.00); 4 fl. oz. 118ml ($29.00); and 8 fl. oz. /236ml ($39.00).
Sugaring Wax $10-$20 (www.beautybydolly.com)
Sugaring wax is not just a salon intervention – it’s also great for home use like the specially formulated line of sugaring wax sold at the San Diego-based Beauty by Dolly Salon. Sugaring is an effective and efficient alternative to shaving, which lasts much longer - from 3 to 6 weeks! Similar to waxing, the sugar wax is applied to the skin and then removed with linen strips. But, sugar wax is applied at room temperature and adheres only to the hair, resulting in less discomfort or skin irritation during and after the process. Compatible with any skin and hair type and able to remove even the tiniest of hairs, sugar wax is also 100% natural, made out of only sugar, water, lemon juice and glycerin. With this product, you’ll be compelled to toss the tweezers, shelve the shaving cream, and say “good riddance” to that rash-inducing razor.
Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System - $20 (www.neutrogena.com)
Considered even more effective than its professional counterpart, this Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System is a simple, convenient at-home solution that features single-use puffs and the microdermabrasion applicator. Each puff is pre-dosed with ultra-fine crystals and mild purifiers for the perfect degree of gentle exfoliation. What's more, the massaging micro-vibrations boost surface cell turnover for firmer, younger-looking skin. Your skin will glow with appreciation!
Fog-Free Shower Mirror- $10 (www.theshavewellcompany.com)
This fog-free shower mirror by The Shave Well Company is a great beauty solution for ladies for makeup removal as well as exfoliating and product application. It also offers a warm relaxing place for eyebrow shaping and precision shaving. The mirror is also helpful for men who shave in the shower get a closer, smoother, and more comfortable shave every time. The mirror’s adhesive hook affixes to any shower surface, holding it solidly in place. It measures 6" tall, 4" wide, and 1/8" thick.
REMBRANDT Deeply White 2-Hour Whitening Kit – $23 (www.drugstore.com)
For those with a pressing need for a whiter, brighter smile, the REMBRANDT DEEPLY WHITE 2- Hour Whitening Kit utilizes the same enamel safe ingredients that dentist use to visibly whiten your teeth in just one 2-hour treatment. This is the #1 Pharmacist-recommended whitening kit ... and with good reason. It contains a proprietary blend of bio-available peroxide that starts working immediately on contact to powerfully whiten teeth. It’s a fast, enamel-safe way to whiten your smile quickly and easily. With this done, you can then keep your smile white all year long with the REMBRANDT Deeply White toothpaste and mouthwash (appx. $7.50 each)that work together to maintain that brightness, giving you a dazzling white smile!
BodyWorksBand - 14.95 (www.bodyworksband.com)
The BodyWorksBand is a compact and nearly weightless resistance band that facilitates full-body strength training with exercise illustrations thoughtfully exhibited across the length of the band for easy reference. By having the various exercise instructions printed on the band, it’s like having a personal trainer with you at all times, ensuring users of the BodyWorksBand are targeting muscles throughout the body safely and efficiently. In addition, the BodyWorksBand comes with a handy brochure that lists clear verbal instructions as to how to perform each exercise correctly, so an effective full-body workout is literally at your fingertips. This is an ideal exercise option for travel, the workplace, or anywhere at all!
Joy Mangano 900-Watt My Little Steamer Go Mini - $20 (www.HSN.com)
Whether traveling on business or taking a family vacation, no one wants to be out-and-about in wrinkled clothes. Enter the My Little Steamer Go Mini. This super-compact unit easily fits in a carry-on or tote and is ready to blast wrinkles away with steam whenever and wherever you need it. Just fill the device with ordinary tap water, turn it on, and in just two minutes, it's ready to tackle even the most stubborn creases. Think of it as fashion on-the-fly without a wrinkle in sight!
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***