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The (Halfway Through) 2007 Smackdown Hot List!

By Amalah

Yet another break in format!

A few people have emailed requesting the complete lineup of products I use, or a best-of list, or something along those lines. So…in honor of the somewhat randomly selected date of June 1st, I present: the complete best-of list of things I use, covet and maybe also a thing or two that I hate.

(By the way, before your head completely explodes over some of the prices on this list, let me assure you that I’ve spent a loooooooong time building up my skincare and makeup collection, and many of these items were purchased over a year [or two, or more!] ago and are still going strong. There’s also some freebies and AlphaMom stipend items, but hey, you asked me for my most favorite favorites, and that’s what these are.)

Best Daily Essential Not-To-Be-Deviated-From Skincare Routine: No surprises here. Still truckin’ on with Philosophy’s Purity wash, Hope in a Jar and Hope in a Tube eye & lip firming cream twice a day.

Best Skincare Routine Super-Extra Funtime Bonuses: Philosophy’s Turbo Booster Vitamin C powder mixed into my sunscreen or moisturizer in the morning, On a Clear Day Blemish Serum as needed and the Microdelivery Peel once a week.

Best Sunscreen for Face & Body: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

Best Free Product Samples I Received that Came Closest to Tempting Me to Ditch the Above Line-up and Spend a Million More Dollars on Them, for Lo, They Are Awesome: Yves Saint Laurent Instant Pur Natural Action Exfoliator and Toning & Cleaning Water, Chanel Precision Line Correcting Moisturizer with SPF.

Best Makeup Primers: Smashbox Photo Finish & Benefit F.Y.Eye (Although! I just purchased the Clarins primer to test out this week, so stay tuned. So far I’m not loving it, honestly, but I’m going to give it some more time.)

Best Foundation: Sue Devitt, now and forevah. I use the Triple C-Weed Whipped version in the winter when my skin gets dry patches, then switch to the lighter, more oily-skin friendly 70% Triple Seaweed Gel in the summer.

Best Blush: A tie between Tarte Cheek Stain and Nars Blush in Orgasm (aka the color that looks good on EVERYBODY)

Worst Blush: Nars Creme Blush. Starts out fantastic, but dries up and becomes unusable long before you’ve used it all, or half of it.

Best Eyeshadow: Shade by Hourglass in Petal (no longer available). I’ve spent a small fortune looking for the perfect all-over base color. I have about a dozen varying shades of nudes and earthtones and creams. I never would have guessed a PINK would be what I needed, but this pink has a lovely golden shimmer to it that sets off my eyes perfectly. Lasts longer than any other shadow I’ve used too.

Best Mascara: Bourjois Coup de Theatre False Lash Illusion, although mascara has been rendered moot for me whenever I’m wearing the…

Best Beauty Discovery of Mah Whole Life: False eyelashes! Whee!

Best Lip Gloss: Plain old Rosebud Salve for everyday sheer shine; Sue Devitt’s Mini Stars in Mandi for color. (I know! Yellow lip gloss? ORANGE? Trust me, they look good on. They’re more about enhancing the natural color of your lips than adding tons of fake color. Love.)

Best Make-Up Brushes: Sonia Kashuk for Target. Get the most out of your makeup with these totally great and totally inexpensive brushes.

Most Overrated Purchase:
Tweezerman tweezers. I mean, yeah. They work great, but…the Revlon tweezers really do the same job for about half the price.

Most Overrated Product Line: Bumble & Bumble. Yes, I know I’ve recommended B&B stuff before, and tons of hairstylists SWEAR by it…but I’ve come to the conclusion that (with the notable exception of the Sea Spray) this stuff is not worth the really high price. Too many products require multiple “layering” purchases (i.e. Tonic + Prep + Thickening) to really work, and I’ve been repeatedly disappointed in their shampoos. Oh, and why are all their bottles so damn SMALL? When you have hair as long as mine, I need to not blow through an entire bottle of conditioner in less than a month.

Other Various Regrettable Purchases: Kiehl’s Amino Acid shampoo, Philosophy’s Pigment of Your Imagination SPF, that L’Oreal lengthening mascara

Current Favorite Haircare Line: Pureology. I’ve got a long on-again, off-again history with Pureology, usually because I get bored and like trying new things. But whenever I return to the root booster and volumizing shampoo and conditioner, I fall in love all over again.

Best Everything For Baby: Noah’s been eczema-free for many months now, thanks to Curel and Burt’s Baby Bees Buttermilk Bath. I also use Burt’s Baby Shampoo on his hair, followed by a dollop of ultra-inexpensive Suave conditioner on the back of his head to keep his curls relatively frizz-free.

Best Vegetable Delivery System for Baby: Trader Joe’s Green Plant Juice (often with a carton of Gerber veggies mixed in) and Trader Joe’s Vegetable Marsala Burgers.

Best Brand-New Bag for Baby, But Mostly Mama: So it was officially time for a new diaper bag. My Petunia Picklebottom is just too big and black-hole-like these days, the strap completely broke on my used-to-death Skip Hop and while the Coach bag still looks and works great, it’s just too nice to drag to the park and doesn’t fit on the stroller handles very well. So after resisting the plastic-coated bags for ages, I broke down and bought a Fleurville Sling Tote (in blue chocolate). Oh my GOD, this bag! Is perfect! The padded shoulder strap! The stroller handles! The fleece-lined pockets for sunglasses and phones! And the bazillion other pockets for things! It’s a great bag for when you still need to haul diapers and sippy cups and snacks, but no longer need the mammoth bag of the newborn days. (Although I’m now trying to convince Jason to let me buy a Mothership for trips, like when I take Noah to Blogher this summer ALL BY MYSELF AAAHHH NOOOO.) (I would like one in Chocolate Ogo, in case anyone feels $150 worth of sorry for me.)

NEXT WEEK: Bronzer Price Tag Cage Match, complete with a special secret celebrity guest participant! And also: the $100 Complete Skincare & Beauty Line-Up Challenge, Oh My Lands, It Cannot Be Done! Or Can It? DUN DUN DUN.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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