2013 readers’ choice beauty product breakthroughs
And what do the Higgs boson and nail gels have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing.
Another reason life isn't fair: Frizz happens to the fine-haired, too. This dual-phase serum tames fuzz and flyaways without sacrificing body.
How It Works: John Frieda took the proven silicone blend of its original Frizz-Ease Hair Serum and diluted it by half with a water-like smoothing lotion (hence the lightness). Shake up the bottle as if you're making a vinaigrette, and the two combine to condition hair, seal the cuticle, and prevent humidity from ruining a perfectly good hairstyle.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution, $9.95
A single tube does the work of an entire shelf in a medicine cabinet—it has antioxidants, sunscreens, and brighteners, plus it moisturizes and tints.
How It Works:The lazier we are in the morning, the more we appreciate an overachieving BB cream. Mineral pigments even out skin, while SPF 15 and vitamin C prevent cellular damage. But it's the trifecta of hydrators (lipids, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin)—rarely found together in one product—that make us glow like Kate Middleton (minus the prince, the title, and the paparazzi attention).
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, $10.35
This lightly tinted cream fades circles in 12 weeks without irritating skin.
How It Works: Purplish circles are usually caused when blood pools under the eyes, and dwindling collagen (read: aging) makes that more apparent. This cream brightens skin around the eyes with mulberry root and boosts collagen levels with an herbal extract and whey protein—so as skin becomes less transparent, what lies beneath stays out of sight.
An at-home manicure kit that combines two technologies in one: the splotchproof ease of nail-polish stickers and the chip-proof strength and shine of a salon gel manicure.
How It Works: Each adhesive strip is made up of layers of real nail polish. Position it onto the nail, press down, and buff to fit. A clear gel topcoat cures under the included LED light in just 30 seconds, sparking a chemical reaction that makes it ten times more durable than regular polish. The nearly indestructible manicure won't fade or chip for up to two weeks of typing, texting, and various other abuses.
This whitening toothpaste promises to lift away surface stains in under a week. What makes it different is that it actually works.
How It Works: Last year, Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips won this award as the strongest, speediest whitening treatment outside of the dentist's chair. Now, all that gleamtastic technology and more has been squeezed into a tube of toothpaste. Go on brushing your teeth as you always have: While you're humming "Happy Birthday" over the sink, dual silica scrubbers and a new shine-boosting surfactant work to dissolve 90 percent of stains. The enamel-safe foam surrounds teeth and penetrates hard-to-reach nooks, so any evidence of daily double espressos and nightly red wines disappears in just five days.
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Toothpaste, Vibrant Mint, 5.8 oz, $4.25