Excerpt: 'The Beauty Buyble'

"The Beauty Buyble," created by Paula Conway and Maureen Regan, is a beauty guidebook that lists the top products in different categories (hair, body, face) and splits them up by cost (low, medium, high and outrageous).

The book, which will be released annually, comes in a box with samples of some of the top beauty products listed.

You can read an excerpt of "The Beauty Buyble" below.


Tormented by mascara that clumps? Driven witless with lipstick that's gone in an hour? Whipsawed with confusion over finding the right blow-dryer? Honey, look no further, "The Beauty Buyble" has arrived!

Call us the Nader's Raiders of the beauty industry -- this is a beauty shakedown! We plumped our lips, tweezed our eyebrows, sampled every false eyelash, polished our toes and fingernails what seemed like a thousand times, shampooed, conditioned, rinsed, and then started over again. We waxed, fluffed, brushed, smoothed, sprayed, spritzed, glossed, whitened, and moisturized until we emptied every bottle and squeezed every tube.

Then, we talked to the experts who create the looks for magazine covers and red carpet events and make the celebrities look like, well, celebrities. And after all this, we blackmailed beauty editors everywhere for their opinions and coerced a huge posse of real women (including our husbands) until they couldn't stomach another lip balm. The pets were spared only because we don't believe in animal testing.

We organized all products into three price categories -- High, Medium, and Low -- and then added one more category if the price was truly Outrageous.

Products in the HIGH category generally cost $20 or more, or are the more expensive products for the category.

MEDIUM products generally fit into more mortal budgets, ranging from $10 to $20, and/or represent products in the mid-range of the category.

LOW products generally are under $10 or among the least expensive range of products for the category.

If the price is unmanageable for most budgets, it is deemed OUTRAGEOUS.

If the quality of one or two clearly stands out, regardless of category, we label them Authors' Picks. These are the products we love the most despite the votes from the experts.

We also let you know which products we love, make us happy, give us warm fuzzy feelings, and which we use ourselves. Quality products are not just about how much they cost, and the best in a category can be a low-cost product.

Also, if there is no really good quality product within a certain price category, there might not be a High, Medium, or Low product recommended. It's all about getting you the best in each category, and if there is no quality product in the class, we don't do you the disservice of telling you the best of what we think is a shabby lot.

So how did we set about choosing products for this book? Did we just sit around the veranda sipping margaritas, taking in pedicures, and soaking in backrubs from the pool boys while we discussed the merits of the various products? Unfortunately, no.

Did we use a very scientific method of throwing all the names into a hat and picking three? Again, no, although it would have made our lives a lot easier and would have made writing this book a much faster process.

No, we went to great lengths interviewing experts who want to be named, insiders who demand to remain anonymous, and our intrepid testing team of real women from coast to coast and even tested the products ourselves to find the standout.

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