There are plenty of cosmetics, toiletries, and other personal-care products out there that claim to help us look and feel our best. But which ones are worth the money, and which ones are better off staying on the store shelves? From sunscreen to hair dryers, we've rounded up a dozen tried-and-true favorites that have earned the praise of buyers and experts, and a dozen others that should make you think twice.
BUY: ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR STAY-IN-PLACE MAKEUP
Price: $42 | Buy it at Ulta
Tired of foundation that seems to just slide off your face as the day wears on? Ulta reviewers say this matte-finish Estee Lauder formula lives up to its long-lived billing, and over 40 shades mean you can find the exact match for your skin.
SKIP: POWDER FOUNDATIONS
SKIP: HIGH-END MASCARA
BUY: DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL
Price: $28 | Buy it at DermStore
This all-purpose cleanser easily "melts off" makeup and doesn't leave a residue, according to happy DermStore reviewers. The formula includes olive oil and vitamin E to keep skin moist.
SKIP: MAKEUP REMOVER WIPES
BUY: BENEFIT BENETINT CHEEK & LIP STAIN
Price: $30 | Buy it at Sephora
This longtime favorite gets a shout-out from Vogue for creating that hard-to-replicate natural flush that comes when blood rushes to our cheeks -- and hundreds of fans at Sephora agree. The sheer color is kiss- and smudge-resistant.
SKIP: BLUSH THAT'S TOO BOLD
BUY: EQUATE SPORT LOTION SPF 50
Price: $4.98 | Buy it at Walmart
Could it be? This humble, inexpensive Walmart store brand takes a top placement in Consumer Reports testing, notching high marks for its UVA and UVB protection and beating many pricier brands. It's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and is one of Cheapism's top picks for best sunscreen.
SKIP: ULTRA-HIGH SPF SUNSCREENS
BUY: ART NATURALS ARGAN OIL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Price: $26.13 | Buy it at Amazon
This set is a No. 1 best seller among Amazon's dizzying array of shampoos and conditioners. Reviewers rave that the salon-quality formula leaves hair strong and shiny. There are no potentially damaging parabens or sulfates, either.
SKIP: SHAMPOOS THAT CAN ENCOURAGE HAIR LOSS
SKIP: HEAVILY SCENTED BODY LOTION
BUY: DIFFERIN GEL ACNE TREATMENT
SKIP: ACNE PRODUCTS WITH LOTS OF BENZOYL PEROXIDE
BUY: R.E.M. SPRING FACIAL HAIR REMOVER
Price: $17.95 | Buy it at Amazon
Tired of tweezing those pesky facial hairs? Devotees highly recommend this easy-to-bend stainless-steel spring, perfect for more quickly grabbing unwanted hairs -- root and all -- from the lips, chin and other sensitive areas.
SKIP: RAZORS (FOR FEMALE FACIAL HAIR)
BUY: ORAL-B GLIDE FLOSS PICKS
Price: $21.02 | Buy it at Amazon
Plastic picks and shred-resistant floss are a good combination, especially for reluctant flossers. Amazon reviewers say these picks make a tedious chore a lot less awkward, and many say they are less prone to breakage and do better between crowded teeth than other varieties.
BUY: ORAL-B PRO 1000 POWER TOOTHBRUSH
Price: $45 | Buy it at Walmart
Upgrading from a manual makes sense -- researchers have given electrics a slight edge for combatting plaque and gingivitis -- but a basic one will do just fine. Reviewers give a nod to the basic Oral-B Pro 1000, which has a pressure sensor and a timer that helps you brush each area equally. It's also one of Cheapism's favorite electric toothbrushes.