Here at Literally, Darling, we’re pretty proud to declare that we’re beauty nerds. It’s pretty fair to say, 10,000 products later, that we kiiind of know our sh*t when it comes to prettifying ourselves and, as such, we’d like to think we’ve been fairly good at relaying that magic unto the LD readership.
Over the last two years we’ve shown you how to utilize baby shampoo to get the same results as a $100 cleanser, how Epsom salt is the most brilliant multi-purpose bathroom staple, and how to rock bold eyeshadow like a (rainbow-colored) boss lady. We know which lipsticks you should buy and which you shouldn’t waste your hard-earned green on; we’ve taught you how to create the Mona Lisa of cat-eyes. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the LD beauty section is a veritable goldmine of advice.
Thus, it seemed a natural progression that we’d lay it all out for you in the simplest terms: We selected THE products that we’ve bookmarked as forever favorites in our make-up bags and bathroom cupboard inventories. These products are our mainstays, our homegirls, our beauty BFFs. And here they are, darlings, for your perusal.
We present: The LD Beauty Awards 2015.
Best Shampoo: Living Proof Detangling Rinse ($26)
Vanessa: Looking for an alternate to shampoo? Living Proof Detangling Rinse delivers and then some! It’ll leave you with hair that can be easily combed with your fingers.
Best Hair Conditioner: Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist ($3.99)
Samantha: It’s my everyday conditioner, after I shampoo my hair I soak it in the deep conditioner and leave it in there until the end of the shower. Even though I’ve been dying my hair red for seven years now, it’s never that hair-dye-dry, and I can blow dry it after my shower without worrying about my hair being damaged.
Best Anti-Frizz Product: Organix Moroccan Oil Blow Out Cream ($7.99)
Carly: This amazing cream is everything I ever needed to get rid of unwanted frizz and flyaways. I just put a pea-sized amount into my palm and rub my hands together before running it through my post-shower hair. Once I blow dry I know I won’t have static, and it doesn’t make my hair overly greasy. It’s basically magic.
Best Dry Shampoo: Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo ($5.99)
Haley: I’d tried dry shampoos randomly when I’d see them at the store, but they never worked right. I’d just decided that I was destined for a fate of TONS of hair-washing when my best friend introduced me to Not Your Mother’s. It actually works on my hair—it actually makes it look clean (!!!) and gives it a good texture so it holds style better than clean hair. I ran out earlier this week in the middle of using it before work and thought I was going to cry. I bought three bottles later that day (not gonna let that situation happen to me again!).
Best At-Home Hair Dye: Clairol Nice ‘N Easy ($6.99)
Kim: For those of us who like to color our hair at home, by ourselves, and without spending a lot of money, Clairol’s Nice N’ Easy hair dyes are perfect (especially the foam version). I’ve never spent more than $8 per box. The color is vibrant and long-lasting and your hair feels super soft after conditioning. This is the one dye I have and will always come back to.
Best Hairspray: L’Oreal Elnett ($11.99)
Kate: Created in 1960, the longevity of this product should give a good indication as to how brilliant it really is. The iconic gold can is sure to be found on most vanity tables. An affordable product that does exactly what it says on the tine, sets your style and brushes out easily, leaving minimum frizz and stickiness. A timeless classic!
Best Facial Cleanser: Baby Shampoo ($2.29)
Haley: The best face wash I ever used, I stumbled upon by accident: baby shampoo. It takes off every bit of makeup I have on, including my eye makeup. It doesn’t make my skin burn or turn red, and it doesn’t dry it out or leave any oily or sticky residue. Because it’s formulated primarily for use on babies, most baby shampoos are tear-free, so you can rub around your eyes without worrying about burning or irritation. My skin is just… clean.
Best Facial Moisturizer: The Body Shop Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream ($20)
Kati: As a proud pizza face, I’m rarely in the need of some facial moisturization, but during the dead of winter, this non-clogging, lightweight cream is the stuff of dreams. Light and airy, this stuff sinks in slowly yet simply providing just enough moisture, plus, this magical translucent glow that leaves your face looking bright and baby-like.
Best Self-Tanner: Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Light Bronze Sunless Tanning Mousse ($11.97)
Rachel: This self tanner takes the cake because of its even finish and easy application. The foam feature is great for ensuring you don’t leave streaking or miss any spots. This self tanner is priced perfectly and the best thing about it is that it has no odor. Some self tanners actually smell like the tanning bed which I can’t stand, this one has no odor and gives you the perfect bronzed look!
Best Body Scrub: Kaeng Raeng Dexfoliant Body Scrub ($36.00)
Amy: True story: when I first heard of Kaeng Raeng’s detoxfoliant body scrub, it was because Lauren Conrad had toted it as one of her favorites. With a list of delectable ingredients including Virgin shea butter, Himalayan pink salt, organic apricot kernel oil, and lavender essential oil, this rich and fragrant scrub is every bit as luxurious as you’d believe—and will make your skin feel like you’ve just stepped out of a spa.
Best Body Lotion: Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion ($7.79)
Kelsey: This lotion is literally the stuff legends are derived from—especially during the winter. The formula is extraordinarily thick, smells delectable, and is worth every penny. Even during the humid summers, your skin will thank you for the moisture after spending all that time in the sun.
Best Anti-Perspirant: Dove Clinical Protection Revive ($7.29)
Allie: Dove’s anti-perspirants come in a variety of fresh scents that aren’t overpowering. Not only do they smell great, but they stay put as well—no more annoying deodorant marks on your favorite LBD! They also leave your skin soft (including the clinical protection versions!) and keep working long after you first apply them.
Best Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($18)
Kelsey: I’m a die-hard UD eye makeup gal, and their products never disappoint. I have three of the eyeshadow palettes (Electric, Vice3, Naked1) and choosing which color to wear is one of the highlights of my morning makeup routine. The pigmentation and smooth application (combined with their UD eye primer) yield superior quality, endless options, and palettes that last for at least a year, if not more.
Best Mascara: DIOR Diorshow Mascara ($25)
Kate: A real luxury mascara that quickly became an essential. One simple sweep gives you thick, fluttery lashes without clumping or flaking. Best of all it is easily removed with cleanser and a cotton pad, and seems to cause little or no reactions, like some cheaper mascaras can. A rose scent adds a touch of drama and as silly as it may sound, the navy blue and silver tube is a stylish addition to any make up bag. J’adore Dior!
Best Eye Liner: Almay Eye Liner (7.49)
Allie: Almay’s crayon eyeliner goes on smoothly and stays put, making it an easy winner. It doesn’t smudge, and the waterproof version lasts until you take it off. It also doesn’t flake off like some crayon eyeliners, which is helpful for contact wearers or those with sensitive eyes or skin.
Best Foundation: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint ($26)
Vanessa: For those who want the “no makeup” makeup look, Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint is a safe bet! It lets your skin breathe, leaving you with a dewy, clean look.
Best Concealer: MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer ($19)
Vanessa: This lightweight concealer is water-resistant, fragrance-free, and is enriched with antioxidants. A little bit certainly goes a long way, as it easily blends with your foundation.
Best Lipstick: Ulta Lip Crayon ($8)
Rachel: The Ulta lip crayon is a hidden gem that will not disappoint. The price, pigment and wear of this lipstick is phenomenal. The pigment of the colors are gorgeous and the formula is creamy and smooth. It gives a satin finish without drying your lips out or looking too shiny. Day or night, Ulta lip crayons are a must-have.
Best Blush: NARS blush ($30)
Kelsey: The NARS brand is one of those sections in Sephora that you shy away from because of the price. But, I’ve had two of their powder blush compacts (Orgasm, Desire) for over a year and have barely put a dent in them. It takes only the tiniest amount to put that coveted bloom of color on your cheeks, and it will last all day. I promise. While you’re looking at the blush, take a glance at their lip sticks and velvet matte lip pencils—they’re equally divine.
Best Nail Polish: BUTTER Nail Lacquer ($15)