The Beauty Bug could talk to Kristin all day. Editorial Projects Director at Allure, Kristin has been at Allure for thirteen years and has worked on every Best of Beauty issue – just a never-ending wealth of beauty knowledge. The two bonded over their favorite products and their mutual love for The TODAY Show (see Kristin’s recent segment on The TODAY Show here). Here’s the scoop on this year’s awards:
BB: Can you speak a bit about the awards as whole this year? How did they evolve from last year? How many products did you receive to test this year?
KP: There weren’t a whole lot changes from last year to this year. Our goal is to always try the full expanse of all the products women use. We were, however, a bit more cognizant of prices this year. This isn’t a time where women are rushing out to buy expensive products. If we were very close on 2 products, we’d most likely choose the less expensive one, and the other more expensive one went in our ‘Best Splurges’ section.
Our panel is comprised of our Allure beauty staff and experts who tested over 2,500 products. The experts, dermatologists, researchers, and independent cosmetic chemists help to verify that the science behind all of these products is legit.
BB: When does the process start? Are there any qualifications or specifications for brands submitting their products?
KP: We’re never not working on the awards. In fact, we’ve already started to work on the next year’s – the editors have begun building their list of products they want to try and calling them in. The heavy duty testing goes from February through August. There are no specifications or qualifications – a beauty brand can submit whatver they want.
After the heavy duty testing, the battling begins. Of course sometimes there are clear winners, but when there’s not, our editors are passionate and fight for their favorites. I recall arguments by the copy machine and in the hallways. “Why didn’t you like my mascara?” But of course, majority rules.
BB: What’s your own personal testing method?
KP: I split my body into quadrants and test a lot of products at once. I’ve learned to try things in stages. I try a product on a small area of my body, and if I like it and it passes the test, I use it as its meant to be used. If I’m testing a macara, I’ll put it on one eye, and if it’s not clumping or sweating down my face, I’ll use it on both eyes.
BB: Last year No Frizz by Living Proof was the star product that garnered the most buzz. What is this years star product?
KP: I would have to say St. Tropez self tanners and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color are the products that are getting the most attention. St. Trpoez because everyone woman that self-tans know that they can be the bain of her existence due to the streakiness and smell (and St. Tropez does neither), and the Insta-Dri Nail Color because of its durability and drying properties. Natalie Morales from the TODAY Show loved Uptempto Plum, and I even got a call from my mom asking me to send her some! I sent her to the drugstore.
BB: The Orlando Pita + T3 Renew Dry Conditioner intrigues The Beauty Bug, though She’s not a dry shampoo user. She even read that one of your contributors said that this product changed her life. What is it about this product?
KP: This product took a little while to understand, but it’s amazing. If you have static issues, or you have those little unruly fly-aways that form a halo around your head, get this product. If you have thin hair, but you don’t want to load on the conditioner because you don’t want to weigh your hair down, use this. It really softens hair without weighing it down. Amazing.
BB: What are your thoughts on the latest Latisse news that broke in the recently? (Latisse was included in the issue as one of the big beauty breakthroughs.)
KP: It’s not the first time that a company is challenged by for its ad claims – its happened many times before and it will happen again. All of the dermatolgists we spoke to said that it wasn’t a concern for women using it soley for lash growth, just for those applying the drops directly into their eyes for Glaucoma treatmemt. Our experts saw no cases of discoloration when the product was used for cosmetic reasons.
Personally, I love Peter Thomas Roth’s Lashes to Die For Night Time Eyelash Conditioning Treatment. It’s fabulous – since I’ve started using it my lashes look like they are fake. yes the tube is $125, but The bottle lasts forever. Just make sure you keep up with it and use it every night. If you don’t, after your lengthened lashes fall out, the new ones that grow in aren’t as long.
BB: Speaking of lashes, each of the mascaras that made the cut this year are all drug store mascaras. Did this have anything to do with the economy?
KP: Nope – nothing to do with the economy because department store mascaras are only in the $20-$30 range, it’s just because we are in love with these mascaras. With all this Latisse talk, everyone is craving big, giant lashes. Drug store mascaras have come a long way and now all the brushes and the formulas are amazing. This is one product women don’t have to splurge on.
BB: Everyone has their favorite/stand-out products. What are yours?
KP: No Frizz. In all the years that I’ve been here at Allure, I’ve been searching for that holy grail product and last year I finally found it. It’s the only product that allows me to ride the subway in the worst summer humidity and still retain my hair style. I wish I could bathe in it!
I also love Cover Girl Lash Blast. The big fat brush with the short, nubby bristles is the best. The formula never flakes or migrates on to my face. Cover Girl Lip Stain is another one of my favorites. A lot of the colors are pretty deep – I go for the lighters ones. I love Sassy Mauve (#420). It’s the shade of my lips, only a little rosier. It’s not drying and it doesn’t cause flaking.
DuWop Circle Block is a two-step concealer that I love. You apply a balm first that moisturizes and tints followed by the concealer. The texture is great and it doesn’t crease.
BB: The Beauty Bug is always plagued by creasing concealer because She applies it to Her lids to rid them of their reddish color.
KP: Quick tip for you because I have the same problem. I use Bobbi Brown’s cream eye shadow in Suede because I have the bruised eyelid look as well. It tints my eyelid color into one that I actually like.
BB: Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion seemed like just another bottle on shelves. But, on the contrary, it’s HUGELY significant. How big is this for the beauty world? Explain its significance.
KP: It’s hugely significant, and in working with our chemists and scientists, we substantiated the claims. It’s this simple. Use the products once every 3 days for 2 weeks and your hair will be 1o times stronger. It’s all about the science and the discovery of a new polymer found in a plant. None of the experts that we spoke to had every seen anything like it. The polymer forms a cast around wet hair to cushion it and prevent it from breakage. As hair dries, he polymer shrinks and leaves behind conditioning silicone. It can help aging hair; it can help colored hair. There’s nothing worse than seeing hair break off and this can now prevent that. It can help with length, and potentially thickness as well.
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