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March 24, 2011

Chronicles of a Beauty Nerd

Everyone has a dream. Connie Tai’s was to develop beauty products. So she got a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, a Bachelor’s in Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and then became a product developer for Bliss and Cargo Cosmetics. (I’m still wrapping my brain around the chemistry part.) At her aptly named blog, The Beauty Nerd, she evaluates products based on“The 3 S’s”:  Sophistication, Science and Swoon-factor. Here are six gorgeously genius products that meet her criteria:

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50) – Oh Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, there are so many reasons why I heart thee!  I love that you are encased in a super luxe metal tube, making me feel wealthier than I actually am. I love that when I apply you to my parched lips, they feel instantly comforted. I love that you protect my lips from harmful UV rays. And I love your sunny, citrus notes that remind me of lemon drops. . .

Shiseido Hydro-Nourishing Softener ($35) – I know what you’re thinking. Toners are useless and they do absolutely nothing. But this one is different. It even feels different. Unlike most formulas, this ‘softener’ has a little more body, cushion and richness, providing an instant feeling of plumpness to your skin. It also exfoliates, moisturizes and improves brilliance. Have I converted you yet?

Clarins Extra-Firming Body Care ($69.50) – I am a firm believer that skin care needs to provide a spa-like, sensorial experience, and it love at first smear with this cream. You can always tell how well a product is formulated by how effectively it absorbs into the skin—and this one literally melts right in, sans greasy residue. I can’t vouch for its firming abilities, I know my skin feels smoother, silkier, and definitely more moisturized.

Wei Pomegranate Buffing Beads ($20)– Because I only believe in exfoliating once a week, I am always reluctant to purchase a dedicated scrub that’s bound to expire before I can use it up. These single use packets are the perfect solution. I just empty the buffing beads into a dollop of cleanser and voilà – my very own cream exfoliator! The particles are fine enough for my delicate skin yet not so gentle that I’m exfoliating in vain.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Double Dare ($18.50) – My latest ‘Beauty Nerd worthy’ discovery if free from the usual lipgloss woes. It glides on effortlessly and is never sticky, so your hair doesn’t get stuck and your lips remain flawless, not clown-like. I love this bright, fuchsia shade for spring!

Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Sugar Scrub ($36) – I have yet to try a scrub that I love more than this one. The scent has an uncanny resemblance to Italian sorbet, but try to restrain from sneaking a spoonful and reserve it for a full-body scrub-down instead. Not only is the texture perfectly spreadable, it foams into a rich lather with a little water that rinses away dead skin cells and leaves your skin baby soft.
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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