Best Barrette: Goody "tortoise shell"
I can't find this in stores anymore and it absolutely kills me. Talk about a classic. It is by far the best barrette in history ever made. My friend Vicky, another fashion veteran, also swears by these and we both used to buy them in bulk whenever we found them available. Although I can't find them anymore I still discover them tucked in items in my closets whether they're the pockets of jackets and skirts, interior zipper compartments on handbags or random makeup bags. What's so great about these barrettes is that they hold both small amounts of hair or the thickest up-do. They never failed to keep my hair up and away from my face, they always stayed put and they never hurt, pinched or gave me a headache. I love these barrettes! If anyone finds them, please tell me!!
Best Mascara: Maybelline Lash Discovery
Forget about Maybelline's Great Lash. I've never personally been a fan of the perennial award winner in the pink and green tube. Maybe because of the straight lashes I have, maybe because it's never done anything but clump and look messy on my eyes. I think I probably got my first tube of Lash Discovery at a beauty sale at the magazine and ever since that day I have been hooked. The secret "ingredient" is the mini brush; it separates each lash and puts on the perfect amount of black. This mascara is the drugstore version of Lancome's Definicils, also a really great one but it costs 3x as much. But I honestly think that the Maybelline is better. I once tried the waterproof version and it wasn't the same -- very "dry" and didn't seem to do anything to my lashes.
Best Facial Creamy Cleanser: Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam
The key factor for me is a facial wash that actually washes off my makeup. That makes sense, no? I find that many cleansers don't take my foundation off (the true test is drying my face off and seeing if my white towel is stained with lots of beige). This Shiseido stuff is the bomb because all you need is a smidgen, half a pea-sized amount of the creamy cleanser with tiny granules (tiny squeeze of the tube!), rub it in your face with some warm water and it foams up really well and you can feel it penetrate your skin. Once you wash it all off, your skin feels clean with no residue. Another favorite of mine, but admittedly I have not used it some time now, is Shu Uemura's Oil Cleansers. It seems weird to put oil on your skin but it doesn't leave your face greasy whatsoever. The oils really clean the makeup off your face and leaves the skin soft but not oily.