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.

So here you have it: the best beauty products for 2007. But before you begin, you must hold your mascara tube high, repeat and swear by The Beauty Buyble Ten Commandments:

1. This is THE Beauty Buyble, you shall have no other publications before it.

2. Be true to your own beauty; rely not on beauty counter makeovers for your look.

3. You shall not take Chanel's name in vain.

4. Remember the body and keep it moisturized daily.

5. Honor your roots; 1/4 inch and get thee some color.

6. Never leave the house without wearing an SPF of 15 or greater.

7. Cheat not on your hairstylist or colorist -- they always know.

8. You shall not use lipstick as rouge -- you're not fooling anyone.

9. Cleanliness is next to godliness -- never go to bed with your makeup on.

10. You shall not covet your best friend's Beauty Buyble; buy your own!


Selecting the right shampoo for your hair is like winning the Oscar. Your scalp will shout out "You like me, you really like me!"

Without a good shampoo, your hair is just, well, poo. And nobody wants a head full of poo after all (our friends at Devachan will explain later in this chapter).

Eva Scrivo, Dove Hair Care Creative Consultant and New York City salon owner, offers the following tips on the subject of shampoo:

Select the proper shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.

For normal to oily hair, use a shampoo that thoroughly cleans the hair without stripping it. Brush normal to oily hair at least twice daily to distribute your hair's natural oils evenly along the hair shaft. Infrequent brushing can make your hair seem greasier than it really is, because oils stay deposited at your scalp.

Fine, thin hair needs products that give it volume.

Color-treated hair needs a shampoo and conditioner with a formula containing antioxidants and UV protectants to keep it from fading in the sun. Applying a styling product to finish your look also helps protect your hair from the sun and wind.

Dry, damaged hair can rear its ugly head. If you're having trouble combing through your hair after washing it, then you need a moisturizing conditioner to smooth the breakage. Eva also recommends applying a weekly deep conditioning treatment immediately after washing. Wrap hair in a towel and let it sit for about twenty minutes to give hair a smooth, shiny appearance.

SHAMPOO QUICK TIP: Celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi, who creates stylish, sexy cuts for Ashley Judd, Sandra Bullock, and Reese Witherspoon, says, "You should always shampoo with medium temperature water; not too hot, not too cold. It may take a bit longer to rinse, but harsh temperatures will stress your hair out. Rinse with cool water to lock the product under the cuticle."

Dry Hair Shampoos

Your hair and scalp are as dry as the Sahara and you don't have a clue what to do. The answer, my friend, isn't blowin' in the wind. No, ma'am. Dry hair needs body, reinforcement, and protection.

HIGH Fresh Rice Shampoo ($24)


This shampoo gives super creamy lather a new definition -- it's like a day spa for overworked, dry hair. Hair heaven is yours with this shampoo, oh, and the exotic Asian pear and persimmon are positively intoxicating scents for your head.

HIGH Shampoo di Jasmine Smoothing Shampoo ($20)


This shampoo is ultragentle, moisture rich, and compatible for hair that is color-treated. The creamy texture contains avocado oil and nettle extract to add shine. This is a superb and highly recommended product for all hair types and is a savior for dry hair.

MEDIUM bc bonacure moisture shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional ($12.50)

Fine salons or (800) 707-9997

If you can cast your mind back to a time when a woman couldn't get a loan, wasn't allowed to wear trousers to work and panty hose (then called tights) were required, even in the summer, because the office had a strict dress code for women, then you can understand why bc bonacure shampoo is so important today.

Back then it was Breck or Body on Tap, shampoo that just cleansed the hair, a very minimal result to coincide with very limited potential in the office. Today, there are greater demands placed on women in the workforce, and thus greater demands on shampoo. This shampoo's technology actively targets dry areas, strengthens hair, and selectively repairs damage only where needed. It is a fact that with bc bonacure's moisture shampoo, life is more beautiful and the possibilities are endless.

LOW L'Oreal VIVE Shampoo Nutri-Moisture ($3.99)

Mass retailers or www.drugstore.com

Takeaway is fine, and reheating is no problem, but don't ask us to spend a fortune on shampoo when we can afford this one and the results are on par with anything above it. It has a cashmere touch at a fraction of the price!

THE AUTHORS' PICK for this category -- and this was a very close one, as all three picks are superb products -- the L'Oreal VIVE shampoo because it consistently performs as it says it will and for the price, it's unbeatable. Another good thing is that you can purchase this product anywhere, and who hasn't forgotten their shampoo on a trip and then had to live with less-than-perfect hair because they couldn't find the right shampoo?

Oily Hair Shampoos

It feels like a mop that has just swabbed a public restroom, the heavy oily strands just weigh you down. The right shampoo can make you feel clean again, and give your hair some beautiful bounce and lightness.

HIGH Phytopanama Mild Shampoo ($20)

Fine salons or www.sephora.com


On this sunny morning at the Canyon Ranch spa outside of Tucson, Arizona, I find myself stuck with an unusual dilemma: my hair is oily out here. As I plowed through another gallon of fruit-flavored water, an unsettling truth occurred to me. I haven't yet found the right shampoo for oily hair. We need to put our brains through some cardio, Maureen -- help!

-- Paula


Don't fret. Upon receiving your e-mail I immediately gathered our hair panel for an impromptu conference call. It's unanimous. The Phytopanama is extremely mild, and this frequent-use shampoo contains 65 percent panama wood to cleanse, while respecting hair's natural moisture, which means it won't dry you out. I've sent two bottles overnight, express mail.

-- Maureen

MEDIUM Kiehl's Protein Concentrate Shampoo for Oily Hair ($13.50)


Shopping for the right hair care products isn't easy, and it gets particularly difficult for those with oily hair when just about every hair care line is primarily designed to add moisture or deep condition. Hair that gets greasy quickly is much more difficult to combat. The key is to wash hair daily, and the Kiehl's Protein Concentrate Shampoo for Oily Hair is a great product because the formulation has additional cleansing strength for oil-prone scalps.

LOW Dove Beautifully Clean ($3.69)

Mass retailers

You'll say good-bye to bad hair days with Dove Beautifully Clean. Dove thoroughly cleans hair without stripping, and can be used daily. Alternate with Dove Beautifully Clean 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner with weightless moisturizing.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is the Phytopanama, though we loved the Dove Beautifully Clean almost as much. The Phytopanama just edges out the Dove when you compare cost with results.

HAIRCUT TIMING TIPS FROM DOVE CELEBRITY STYLIST EVA SCRIVO: "Long hair should be trimmed about every two months to maintain health and shape. Shorter hair requires slightly more upkeep to maintain the style, so visit the salon every six weeks. For highlights, see your stylist every six to eight weeks. When possible, schedule haircut and highlighting appointments on the same day so the stylist can place your highlights in a pattern that is most flattering to your cut."

Fine/Thin Hair Shampoos

Does your scalp show more skin than a Penthouse Pet? Are you starting to envy the curly locks of Patrick Stewart? While thin may be in everywhere else on your body, it's not up top. There are products you can use to help fill in the blanks.

MEDIUM Nioxin Bionutrient Protective Cleanser ($12.99)

Fine salons or www.nioxin.com

This is the hands-down favorite shampoo of anyone with fine/thin hair. While Nioxin has certainly been around awhile, it has remained a well-kept secret...until now. It is important to note that the Bionutrient Protective line is for chemically treated hair and the Bionutrient Active line is for nonchemically treated hair. In fact, Nioxin has so many product lines that it can be more than a little confusing, which is why we're here to help you through the conundrum!

MEDIUM bc bonacure Volume Shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional ($12.50)

Fine salons or (800) 707-9997

Bad hair can cause the type of day-to-day stress that brings sleepless nights, days of torment covering your head with hats, or even a rush trip to the nearest salon for a quickie cut that becomes a shortcut to disaster. We love this conditioner because it actually targets the dry areas of your hair to make it stronger and repairs damage only where needed.

LOW L'Oreal VIVE Non-Stop Volume Root-Lifting Shampoo ($3.59)

Mass retailers

Although poor nutrition, genetics, or hormonal changes may have gotten you to this place of thinning hair, don't worry. A body-building and root-lifting shampoo like this one will invigorate the scalp to speed up blood flow and supply more nutrients to your roots. If your hair is fine, blow-dry your hair in the opposite direction you intend to style it. Once you flip it to the styling direction this encourages root lifting and adds body to your hair.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is the Nioxin for Paula since she has thinner hair and is most impressed by Nioxin's results. Although Maureen's hair is anything but thin, she prefers the bc bonacure in any category because it yields spectacular results across the board.

HAIR TIP: To get your hair to grow faster, stronger, and healthier, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a plastic surgeon and expert in hair restoration in New York City and Miami offers the following suggestions:

Vigorously massage your scalp while shampooing. This stimulates the follicles, which encourages the hair to grow.

Flip your head and brush dry hair from root to end. Do this every other day.

Exercise. A pounding heart pumps more blood to your hair follicles.

Try Nioxin hair care products for fine or thinning hair, including shampoo, conditioner, and several other products. While promoted for regrowing hair, they seem to volumize the hair by strengthening and thickening the cuticles, thus providing a fuller look. For hair that is dry and prone to breakage, try bc bonacure Repair. This shampoo strengthens the hair with its botanicals, while gently but thoroughly cleaning the scalp. They are available at many upscale hair salons.

Use Head & Shoulders or Nizoral shampoo several times a week to help block the effect of testosterone at the scalp level, which may help slow down hair loss and promote hair growth.

Take B vitamins, biotin, and zinc, which play a role in promoting healthy hair growth. They're commonly found in multivitamins designed for thinning hair.

One aspirin a day is not only good for your heart, but in women has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. For anyone with or at risk for hair loss, it may also promote hairgrowth.

The T3 Tourmaline Comb ($5.50, fine salons, or www.t3tourmaline.com) is antistatic, helping to smooth the hair and reduce breakage. The teeth are rounded and hand-finished, not sharp and pointy. Tourmaline naturally emits negative ions, which smooth the hair's cuticle. When the cuticle is not smooth, hair scales catch on one another, leading them to tangle and tear.

The T3 hair dryer, also manufactured by Tourmaline, is up to 60 percent faster than any hair dryer on the market because it emits infrared heat, which penetrates the hair more deeply and dries it faster. This not only saves time but also reduces the amount of stress on the hair ($200, fine salons nationwide, or www.t3tourmaline.com). See page 25 for more information on the T3 and other hair dryers.

Normal Hair Shampoos

When it comes to hair, normal is a miracle. Most of us are either way too dry or way too oily, so rejoice if your hair is normal. You can use a wider range of products, and unlike the rest of us, who go through hundreds of treatments just to end up with the same old problems, you normal-hair types have many fewer bad-hair days.

HIGH Bumble and Bumble Alojoba Shampoo ($24.99)

Fine salons or www.bumbleandbumble.com

The exotic scents of this moisture-rich hair smoothie transport you to the sandy shores of Fiji, where a bronzed French dive instructor named Pascale is not interested in the fact that you have a degree in biochemistry from M.I.T. He's interested in a completely different set of frontal lobes, and he's going to show you how they make Alojoba, mon! This shampoo makes your hair super soft and silky.

HIGH Philip B. African Shea Butter Shampoo ($22.50)

Fine salons or www.philipb.com

Philip B. African Shea Butter Shampoo is rich yet lightweight, moisturizing, fragrance-free, and colorsafe. It is a gentle conditioning shampoo for all hair types. The mild pH of 5.5 and the penetrating hydrators help to retain color longer. Shea butter comes from a tree nut that has healing and natural sunscreen qualities. Philip B. African Shea Butter Shampoo is also enhanced by pure plant extracts along with vitamin B5 to increase manageability, moisture, and shine without weighing down hair.

MEDIUM bc bonacure Repair Shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional ($11.90)

Fine salons or (800) 707-9997

bc bonacure's revolutionary (pH-adjusted) ApHinity technology actively targets problem areas, strengthens hair, and selectively repairs damage only where needed. It includes botanicals such as natural honey extract, which strengthens hair structure, and nourishing wheat proteins to repair, smooth, and seal the hair's outer cuticle surface for a polished glow and protection against further damage.

LOW Alberto VO5 Shampoo for Normal Hair ($.99)

Mass retailers

Like an old friend, Alberto VO5 never disappoints. You can't overuse this shampoo, particularly if you have normal hair, and since it's infused with a plethora of vitamins your hair is sure to stay healthy.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is the bc bonacure Repair Shampoo. It always makes your hair look beautiful and clean without residue, and the price compared to the results puts it over the top. Also, our publisher loves it and you can't really argue with that.

Highly Textured, Curly, Coarse, Hard to Manage, Overly Stressed, Color-Treated, or Generally Ornery Hair Shampoos

Chemical processing, sun, wind, genetics, and poor handling can leave your hair brittle, rough, and weak. If your hair fits into this category, the best way to treat it is to moisturize as often as possible. Here are some great shampoos to help you replenish those moisture levels.

HIGH Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo ($18)



The expedition has taken a detour. We are now on the Caribbean coast in the Mosquitia region of Central America. The men and women here are well known for their beautiful hair and I have uncovered the secret. They use a palm nut oil extracted from the native Ojon tree to keep their hair silky and healthy. I am unbelievably amazed with the results, even on my dry and chemically treated hair. I have already packed several vials to bring back. Keep this a secret until the book is ready.

-- Paula

Ojon Ultra Hyrdrating Shampoo is rich and gentle, and the ideal shampoo for extremely dry or unruly hair. It is also completely safe for chemically treated hair of all types. It has been the elixir used by the Miskito Indians, also known as the Tawira or "people of beautiful hair.

MEDIUM bc bonacure Repair Shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional ($11.90)

Fine salons or (800) 707-9997

If keeping up with the Joneses is your thing, then you'll want this shampoo. Ever wonder why Mrs. Jones, with four kids under the age of ten and two dogs, never looks harried? It's because her shampoo is specially formulated to target only the problem areas, strengthen hair, and normalize weak or overstyled and chemically abused hair. With her hair in order, Mrs. Jones can easily solve the rest of the day's dicier moments and keep a cool head.

MEDIUM ELLiN LAVAR OptiMoist Shampoo ($10)


This moisturizing shampoo is designed to gently yet thoroughly cleanse the hair while imparting a balance of amino acids and proteins into the hair for strength and elasticity. Its high content of moisturizers and conditioners keep the hair shiny and tangle- and static free while giving each strand a youthful appearance. It's powerful enough to use only once a week; don't overuse or you'll cross the line from taming your hair to beating it flat and lifeless. You want to show your hair who's boss, not assault it. Be sure to alternate this product with one of the other three in this category. It sometimes takes teamwork to tame the beast.

LOW L'Oreal VIVE Smooth-Intense Shampoo for Women of Color ($3.69)

Mass retailers

This godsend of a shampoo is made with camelina seed oil, which has an unusually high natural content of cholesterol to smooth the hair. For highly textured hair, or hair that is intensely damaged from the sun or overbleaching, the results are transforming.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is the Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo. If your hair is more difficult than Chinese algebra, the Ojon is the multifunction calculator to solve it.

REFLECTIONS ON COLOR: Hair that is color-treated has always been a challenge. Kerastase has launched a light-reflecting treatment that reveals mirrorlike radiance in colored hair. The line, Reflection, takes an aggressive stand with colored hair by actually smoothing and evening out the hair fiber, laying the foundation for optimal reflection. The Reflection line includes Bain Miroir shampoo ($29), Chroma Reflect Radiance— Enhancing Masque ($58), and Chroma Protective Polishing Cream ($34), all available at your nearest fine salon, or call (877) 784-8357.

Clarifying Shampoos

A clarifying shampoo has one job: to remove buildup of shampoo, gel, mousse, pomades, and other products that weigh your hair down with regular use. It differs from a regular shampoo in that it has an elevated acid content, and thus, it should be used sparingly, depending on the level of buildup on your hair. Use clarifying shampoos weekly for heavy buildup, biweekly for moderate buildup, and monthly for minimal buildup (if you don't use much product on your hair).

"Over time, all products that you use regularly on your hair will begin to build up and not be quite as effective due to the weight they create on you hair's cuticle," says celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi. "Think of clarifying shampoos like the exfoliate you would use on your skin periodically. It's like hitting restart!"

HIGH Soda Shampoo by Fresh ($24)


Soda shampoo is formulated with bicarbonate of soda bubbles, which adds volume while simultaneously removing residue from product buildup. The stimulating mint and lavender waters revitalize the scalp and enhance body and shine, while the grapefruit gives it an exhilarating scent. This shampoo is ideal for all hair types and best used weekly for clarifying action.

MEDIUM Oscar Blandi Shampoo D'Alternanza ($20)


D'Alternanza is a very gentle clarifying shampoo with chamomile and aloe vera that should be used no more than once a week to remove buildup without stripping hair. Follow with your regular conditioner.

MEDIUM Frédéric Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($18.50)


Good for all hair types, this shampoo rids hair of product buildup, chlorine, and environmental impurities. Real apple cider vinegar clarifies the hair while apple, rosemary, verbena, and kukui nourish and protect it. It deep cleans but does not strip the hair of its essential oils.

LOW Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo ($4.99)

Mass retailers or www.drugstore.com

Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo was one of the first in its category and still maintains its reputation at the top of the heap. Used weekly, it instantly removes up to 70 percent of dulling residue buildup caused by continuous use of shampoos, conditioners, and styling aids. It cleans hair gently, rinses thoroughly, and can be used on all hair types. Better yet, the mild formula won't cause irritation.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is a split decision. Paula loves the Oscar Blandi Shampoo D'Alternanza because she uses so many products to get her dry hair soft and silky that the buildup after about two weeks is unbearable. The D'Alternanza strips the hair clean and keeps it shiny and healthy. Maureen loves the Soda Shampoo by Fresh. It is extremely gentle for a clarifying shampoo and it is almost impossible to overuse it, a virtue since the purpose of a clarifying shampoo is to strip your hair. It is still recommended that you use it only once or twice per week.

Color-Depositing Shampoos

Like those banking computer programs that round off and add fractions of cents, color depositing shampoos and conditioners add minute amounts of color to your highlights. However, like those programs, a few days of use can add up to some serious amounts, so you will not have to visit the colorist as frequently. Color-depositing shampoos can enhance your colors, natural and otherwise, and make subtle changes to your look.

HIGH frédéric Fekkai Baby Blonde Shampoo and Brilliant Brown Shampoo ($28.50)

Fine salons or www.sephora.com

The challenge here is that Mr. Fekkai has created only two shades for his color-depositing shampoos: blonde and brown. But they both work phenomenally well and contain loads of natural ingredients to brighten your color and add shine.

MEDIUM Deva Blonde Low-Poo, DevaRed Low-Poo, DevaBrown Low-Poo ($14)


NOTE: These products are not shampoo, and if we refer to them as shampoo the company will have our heads. They, in fact, want it completely clear that these are "cleansers" and not shampoos because they contain very low doses of sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) -- the ingredient that gives shampoo lather and also strips your hair of its natural defenses -- hence the moniker Low.

They also make No-Poo, which contains no SLS but also has no lather, which can be a confusing hair washing experience if you're not used to cleansing your hair without the poo. Each shade has a clever name -- Calling All Blondes, SacRed Love, and Chocolate Lust -- and they should be used like every other shampoo to neutralize those unwanted yellows or brassy tones that can rear their ugly heads.

MEDIUM ARTec color-depositing shampoo ($12.50)

Fine salons or (866) 849-4095

This is the no-contest favorite of every stylist we polled. As Kyle White, celebrity stylist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City, says, "ARTec deposits the correct amount of color and gives your hair the right amount of change without being too much. It also fades evenly and washes out nicely." ARTec comes in multiple shades.

THE AUTHORS' PICK is ARTec. Colordepositing products can be very inconsistent, but ARTEC truly provides the highest quality and consistently the truest color.

Excerpted from "The Beauty Buyble" by Paula Conway, and Maureen Regan. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022