Side by Side – Top Ten products for 2011

We recently enthralled you with our Top Ten products in the color department and today we’ll do the same but with products in other categories. These are all items we’ve reviewed in the first 6 months of 2011 and have fallen in love with. It’s always hard to narrow down lists like this since there are so many others that we can recommend but we beat our heads against the wall and this is what we came up with. They aren’t listed in any particular order.


1.  YBF Skincare – I love everything I’ve tried from the line but I’ve only reviewed Boost and Hydrate B Concentrate. Both make any other products I use work better so they had to be part of my top 10.
2.  Skin 2 Skin Care – the Photoaging Repair Cream has become a staple for me.  I am saying goodbye to hyperpigmentation with regular use of this fabulous, elegant product.

3.  Makeup for Ageless Beauty by Linda Mason – I learned so much from this wonderful book. It’s the perfect book for those of us 40 and above. Linda Mason uses older models and realistic makeup as well as helps us solve problems. Highly recommended.
4.  Argan Magic hair products – What a fabulous line and it’s so affordable. I adore all 3 of the products I’ve used and I hope you’ll not only go read about them in my review but buy them too. You’ll be just as thrilled as I am.
5.  Beautisol Self Tanner – I’m obsessed with self tanners and Beautisol is one of the absolute best products on the market. One of these days I’ll even convince the pale Marcia that she’ll be safe with Beautisol.
6.  Sweet Grass Farms – Where to begin? I can’t pick out a favorite so you’ll just have to believe me that everything I’ve tried from Sweet Grass Farms is wonderful.
7.  Artisan Naturals – This is another brand I can’t get enough of. I’ve used Artisan Naturals for several years and every product is amazing. Good for you and good for the environment.
8.  Tarte Celebutante – I call this the unsung hero of Tarte’s line because you never hear about it but you should. Reread my review to see why.
9.  Xen-Tan – This is the most clever self-tanner on the market. The dial makes for perfect color no matter what shade you’d like your tan to be. 

10.  Whish Shave Savour Hair Inhibitor – It’s summer and I hate shaving. Whish to the rescue.


  1. Sirius Skincare machine – This wonderful, affordable skincare machine is perfect for cleansing, hydrating, exfoliating and just making my skin glow.
  2. Stages of Beauty – Stages of Beauty Grace Cream comes to bed with me every night. They’ve perfected a brand for each age group and I appreciate this greatly. 
  3. DNA EGF sunscreen  – This is the sunscreen that I use most days, no fragrance, moisturizing and gentle on my skin. Plus it’s got all this science behind it!
  4. Aveeno sun tour – the Aveeno Sunscreen Cancer tour is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself this summer. I learned so much about skin cancer and I’m grateful that Aveeno is providing this free service.
  5. Evan Healy – it’s unusual that a skincare company sells a trial kit so that you don’t have to shell out big bucks to make sure that a line works for you. Evan Healy has 3 kits and I’ve tried the Rose kit. It’s a line that I highly recommend.
  6. Enzo Skin Pure Vitamin E Oil – By far my favorite skincare product of the year. I love my Pure Vitamin E Oil. You’d think with summer that an oil would be too rich for your skin but you’d be thinking wrong. I still get dry patches and I know that Enzo Skin works for me each and every time.
  7. Exuviance Age Reversal eye cream – Oh I love eye creams and I have a ton (just bought a few more too!!) Exuviance though has been the one I’ve been reaching for most nights. It’s not too rich and it’s not too light, it’s just right. 
  8. Real Techniques brushes (Pixiwoo) – Love, love, love. These brushes are worth every penny (and that’s about all they cost). I am constantly using the face brushes especially. The quality is amazing.
  9. YBF Skincare Define and Quench  – Lisa and I agree wholeheartedly about the YBF brand. Absolutely everything I’ve tried is wonderful. For my top ten I’m picking Define and Quench for lips since both have helped me since I tend to ignore my lips when doing skincare. Whenever I use these YBF products I’m reminded of how great they are.
  10. Sebastian Color Ignite – Sebastian Color Ignite Shampoo and Conditioner are products I recommend over and over. Whenever I’m asked about my hair (and it’s pretty often actually) I mention these. They are easy to find, reasonably priced and make my hair beautiful. Thanks for rereading our top 10. These are the standouts among other standouts.

Side by Side – Stages of Beauty

If you are looking for an amazing moisturizer then look no farther than Stages of Beauty. Stages of Beauty started their brand by developing their moisturizers. They have 4 versions because they know that each age group has different needs. We love that about them.

If you are in your twenties you’ll want RADIANCE TREATMENT CREAM which is the cornerstone of this line. This lightweight cream will protect your skin 24/7. You want your skin to be radiant yet protected from the environment. You want your skin rejuvenated each day and Radiance Treatment Cream will do that for you.

If you are in your thirties you want a step up so you’d get HARMONY TREATMENT CREAM. Your fine lines are starting in your 30’s and you might be concerned with some wrinkles. This is the beginning of their anti-aging line and will help promote natural regeneration of the skin.

Once you get into your forties (meaning Lisa!) you need to help retain elasticity, tone and firmness so ELEGANCE TREATMENT CREAM is for you. This lovely hydrating cream will help counter the effects of photo-aging.

And then there’s those of us (meaning me Marcia) that are in our fifties or above and for us there is GRACE TREATMENT CREAM. At this age your hormones are rapidly changing and your skin is definitely changing. Grace provides the intense hydration needed while helping to restore the skin’s surface immunity.

All Stages of Beauty moisturizers are dermatologist tested, fragrance free, formulated without parabens and sulfates. The cost is $52.99 for 30 ml or $74.99 for 50 ml but you can get a risk free sample. Check out this page from Stages of Beauty to see their amazing before and after pictures as well as finding out how you can try this out.


I am smack in the middle of my forties, and it’s starting to show.  I am losing elasticity in my skin, and some of my fine lines are becoming full-fledged wrinkles.  I tried the Elegance Treatment Cream from Stages of Beauty.  It’s fragrance-free, which is a bonus, and highly moisturizing.  It comes in this pretty box, which is elegant itself.

Inside the box is a glass jar of the Elegance Treatment Cream.

The moisturizer is a thick, snow white cream that spreads easily and soaks in quickly.  It leaves the skin feeling very plumped up and hydrated.  Tetra-peptides help to stimulate collagen production as well as elastin, which firms the skin.  Monks Pepper Berry helps combat wrinkles, and amino acids and Resveratol provide antioxidents and help the skin repair itself. 

To get the full effect, Stages of Beauty recommends using the cream for 8 to 12 weeks morning and night.  Because it doesn’t have any SPF, you need to be sure to add sun protection every morning.  I am not good about using a ton of skin products, so I used this only at night.  My skin loved it, especially as I was also using Retinol which is very drying to the skin.  I think it’s a very clever idea to target these products at the problems associated with different age ranges, although you should probably go by the description first rather than the age.  I know some people my age who could use the 30’s Harmony Treatment Cream, and I know some other people my age who would be better off with the 50’s Grace Treatment Cream. 

I can say that the Elegance Treatment Cream is indeed an elegant cream, and my skin absolutely loves it.  Lisa


When I was learning about Stages of Beauty I was quite impressed with their 4 regimens. I can easily find a recommendation for my daughter-in-laws as well as for myself and know that we are all getting the product that’s best for our needs. Since I’m in the 50+ group I have been using GRACE TREATMENT CREAM and loving it. For the 50+ group there are two products: the moisturizer and the Intensive Wrinkle Serum. Lisa and I were able to test their moisturizers. Stages of Beauty has formulated a moisturizer for my post menopause skin and I really appreciate that. The ingredients they use are terrific and work to protect my skin with Sorghum Extract, Chinese Botanical blend, Amino Acids Complex, Monk’s Pepper Berry Extract, Resveratol, Sodium Hyaluronate and Tetrapeptide-17. I can even pronounce these which is reassuring.

I haven’t seen the dramatic results that the site pictures but I didn’t expect to.  What I do find is beautifully moisturized skin. It’s giving me the perfect amount of moisturizing without any greasy feeling. I too also use this every night.I love that there’s absolutely no fragrance too. This light creamy moisturizer has been a pleasure to use and will remain in my arsenal. — Marcia

No matter your age, we believe that you’ll find products that suit you with Stages of Beauty. — Lisa and Marcia