The Best Beauty Products of 2010

Most innovative, most effective, most covetable.
Michelle Villett
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Most innovative, most effective, most covetable.

The last post in my trifecta of 2010 re-caps is this one: a look at the new beauty product launches that I thought were either the most groundbreaking, efficacious or just all-around AMAZE (I've dropped the -balls). (Check out 2010's best hair and best makeup, if you missed 'em.)

Some of these I've raved on and on and on about (hello, Tom Ford lipsticks? Buy one). But a few might be new to you, because I haven't mentioned them on the blog until now.

Ready for the big reveal? If someone gave you a Sephora gift card for Christmas, have yer shopping list at the ready...


1. Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector


This serum (you wear it under your regular moisturizer) was put up against 4 percent hydroquinone (a whitening agent) in a clinical trial, and the results on pigmentation issues were deemed “comparable.” Not too shabby for a non-prescription, and most importantly, non-toxic product. (If you want to call in the big guns, however, I cannot praise Lumixyl enough.)

2. Biotherm Aquasource Skin Perfection Moisturizer


This is the star in a brand new category of 24-hour moisturizers, which hydrate and plump up your skin like nobody's business (yes really—I tried this for a FLARE story I wrote in the fall, and was surprised at how impressed I was). It's not at all greasy and smells great too.

3. Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System


Don't you love beauty gadgets? I'm a huge fan of my Clarisonic, and this is the newest offering from the brand—a hand-held device that delivers an anti-aging marine serum into eye-area wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles using sonic infusion technology. I can't comment on dark circles or puffiness, since I don't really struggle with those issues, but I DID find it left my baby crow's feet looking softer and more hydrated.

4. Olay Professional Pro-X Intensive Treatment Masks


If you've been reading here for a while, you know that I go gaga for cloth masks. Previously, they seemed to only be available in high-end lines (like Shu Uemura, SK-II, etc.). While the luxe ones are all excellent, I'm so delighted that Olay now offers a pack for around $30. You will not be disappointed.

5. StriVectin Overnight Facial Resurfacing System


This puppy generated waiting lists across the UK when it was launched at the beginning of the year. And with the claim "sleep in a bottle," I can see why. My tester (okay, my mom) concurs with reports that it makes your skin smoother and brighter without the irritation that can come with glycolic acid-type products.

6. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate


Beauty eds LOVED this launch—arguably the first mainstream version of a face oil. It's a paraben-free blend of squalene, evening primrose and essential oils, and just two drops, worn overnight, make you glow, glow, glow.


7. TEMPTU At-Home Airbrush System

Busted Image

This is an at-home version of TEMPTU's pro airbrush system, and even though you'd imagine such things to be useful for only die-hard makeup junkies, it actually does a pretty quick, and flawless job. My video review is here.

8. Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick


Whenever anybody asks me for a not-too-expensive lipstick recommendation, this is my go-to recommendation. Designed by makeup artist Gucci Westman (check her out in this vid!), these are simply incredible—I've never seen these kinds of finishes (flat, not shimmery), pigments (super-intense in a good way) or packaging (very Chanel-esque) at the drugstore.

9. Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color


Do I really need to go into detail here? Sure, there have been other fab lipstick launches in 2010—Chanel's Rouge Coco and YSL's Rouge Pur Couture, for example—but this is the Grand Daddy of them all. So much so that beauty editors have been known to gift cupcakes that look like this:


10. Lancôme Hypnôse Precious Cells Mascara


If you're not down for Latisse (and I heard some disturbing stuff about it lately from a celeb makeup artist), you can still hop on board the long-lash trend with one of the new mascaras with lash-enhancing ingredients. There are a number of them in clear formulas, which you wear overnight, but I personally like that Lancôme has added the technology to a regular black mascara. (So does Revlon, but I found theirs quite clumpy.) Stay tuned for an even better lash-lengthening makeup innovation in 2011!


11. Kérastase Chronologiste Hair Treatment


Definitely a splurge, but easily rationalized. This is an all-in-one treatment that makes your hair simultaneously de-frizzed (if it needs it), volumized (again, if it needs it), repaired, hydrated, smooth, shiny, soft and UV-protected. Got all that? It's available as an in-salon service as well (my review here).

12. Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Blocking Shampoo and Conditioner


As a straight-haired person, I never thought I had frizz, until I used this shampoo-n'-conditioning duo and they made my hair CRAZY smooth. But in a good, non-flat way.

13. Avon Lotus Shield Anti-Frizz Treatment


Speaking of frizz, here's another rockstar product. Although they work great on thicker, curlier-haired types, I avoid hair serums like the plague because they make me look like I forgot to wash my hair. This one is the first that doesn't: it's verrrrry light (and yes, silicone-based, but that's how it works its magic). The effects last up to three days and it defies weather with up to 97 percent humidity.

14. Pantene Colour Preserve Volume Shampoo


Pantene revamped their entire line in 2010, and I've gotta say, I'm impressed. I was never a Pantene user simply because I found their prodz too moisturizing for my fine hair... but because this range gets so specific (you can choose both volumizing AND colour-protecting features), they actually came out with a shampoo that works great. (I actually skip the conditioner.) And when you consider the incredible amount of research that goes into the R&D (as I learned in my trip to CinCin in the summer), it's great value.

15. Joico K-Pak ReconstRx VaporIron


What a product name! But seriously—this is a cool one, because it's a flat iron that infuses your hair with a protective serum. While I still like the performance of my Chi the best, this is a great choice for someone with damaged hair: it made mine feel very smooth, and is supposed to reduce breakage by 40 percent. (It also protects colour and has some humidity-blockers to hold curl... okay, maybe I should use it more often!)


16. CND Shellac Hybrid Nail Color


Okay, this isn't technically a beauty product—it's an in-salon treatment—but it's definitely the biggest news in nails this year. You can check out my review of the process, which lasts for up to 14 days, maybe more. (P.S. I'm reviewing OPI's Axxium soon, so stay tuned!)


17. TRIA Laser Hair Removal System


I'm still testing this bad boy, an at-home version of laser hair removal, but already impressed by how easy it is to use AND the fact that you don't have to buy those rip-off replacement cartridges. It'll take me eight months to see results, so I'm in this for the long haul. My only wish: that the charge lasted longer... I'm always having to stop treatment mid-way through to plug the thing in again.

18. Love that White Smile Tooth Whitening System


Whitestrips, you and I have had a nice time together, but I'm dumping you for this line. These two foams are meant to be used twice a day for one month after you brush your teeth. (They say to apply them to your toothbrush, but that's stupidly messy, so I just put 'em directly in my mouth.) They taste great, are fluoride-free and don't make your teeth sensitive AT ALL. Big win.

Wow, I can't believe I distilled 2010 down into just 18 products! Tell me—

Have you tried any of these prodz?
Have I forgotten some good ones? Probably. Tell me!
Did you receive any cool beauty stuff for Christmas?