Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paula Begoun Beauty Product Reviews

Combination beauty products take the test of time

I'm pitching a new game show to Hollywood along the lines of ``Name That Tune,'' but for beauty slaves. Called ``Ready or Not?'' my show would have contestants bet on the amount of time they need to get ready in the morning.

Contestant 1: ``I can get ready in 10 minutes.''

Contestant 2: ``I'm willing to skip the anti-wrinkle cream. I can get ready in nine minutes.''

Contestant 1: ``Yeah right. Then . . . get ready!''

Contestant 2 would race to put on her face and style her hair in the allotted amount of time. A panel of judges would decide whether she looks presentable enough to start her day.

The way I see it, women need this show. Think of all the moves you could learn: how to dry your hair with one hand and apply concealer with the other. Or how to shave your legs while you condition your hair.

The alternative, of! course, is to test the zillions of new beauty products that claim to save you time.

But who has time to figure out how to save time?

So I assembled a group of guinea pigs to test some of the latest time-saving potions and tonics, and asked Paula Begoun, author of ``Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me,'' for advice on which products are worth it. Our findings:

Philosophy's Creative Juices - sold as a Seven Day Juice Fast - double as body wash and shampoo. My husband tested Tuesday, the grapefruit flavor, and said it worked fine. What he really liked was the convenience - ``It saves space and hassle'' - and he now keeps the bottle in his gym bag.

Begoun approved. ``Any shampoo made except for volumizing or thickening can be used from the neck down. The very ingredients (in shampoo) are the exact same ones in body washes,'' she said.

Stila Sport's Color Courier is a multi-use crayon that does triple duty as eyeshadow, blush and lipstick.! It saved me a considerable amount of time getting ready in the morni ng - maybe two minutes - but I had a crease on my eyelids by midday.

Begoun wasn't impressed. ``If something is greasy enough to go on lips, it's going to smear all over your eye or into the crease. It can have the benefit as multipurpose, but it does fall down.''

She added that ``Unless you have no pores, cream blushes are very tricky to blend. It's very specific skin types that can use that product.''

Physician's Formula's LipLash Splash! is a 2-in-1 mascara and lip gloss. None of my testers had the nerve to put the blue-tinted, peppermint-flavored goo on her eyes.

LipLash Splash is actually two different products in the same tube. Begoun said separate products deserve separate packaging.

``You're getting less product (for your money),'' she said. ``There's no convenience.''

Bausch & Lomb's Pure Vision contacts can be worn continuously for 30 days. A colleague who's worn contacts since she was 14 was a convert. She noted that less hand! ling of the lenses meant less chance of infection or damage to the lens, and she saved an estimated 2 minutes per day with Pure Vision because she didn't need solution or cleanser.

Begoun didn't comment on the lenses, but the way I see it, it's the best time saver yet. Two-and-a-half minutes is a lot of beauty sleep.