Beauty Directors Top Picks from 2008

With thousands of new products hitting shelves this year, finding the perfect one for your needs is almost as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, right?

Luckily, some of our favorite glossies put their editors to the test and then polled their readers (me included!) to come up with their “Best of 2008” lists for us all to obsess over. (Obsessing over each and every product on the list, and discussing in detail— preferably over cocktails—with all my beauty friends, is the funnest part of these best-of lists.)

The best-of-beauty lists at Allure and Elle feature over 200 products (together) which could still be daunting for a girl with not enough time (or disposable income for that matter) to personally investigate these consumer and editor favorites. Because I’m your beauty servant, here to make all your beauty decisions THIS MUCH EASIER, I asked some of my favorite beauty directors to tell me exactly which products rocked their worlds this year.

My sweet friend Emily Dougherty, beauty director at Elle Magazine, swears by the new FitFlop Billows.


“They’re my current obsession,” Emily told me. “I’m not a big flip-flop wearer (I don’t like the feeling of something in between my toes), so I never tried the first generation of FitFlops. But these new Billows are amazing -they look a bit like Uggs, but are even more comfy and cozy. Believe it or not, they are super-cute with black tights, plus they actually give me a little workout.”

Also, Emily pointed out that she is not the New Yorker that walks around with folded down Billows. “I am definitely a fan of keeping them unrolled at the top,” she said. “I do not roll my Billows!”

Emily has been using hydroquinone cream for several months after her MIXto laser experience (if you did not ready Holly Millea’s article, The Laser’s Edge, where Emily and her staffers tried the new MiXto Micro Fractional C02 skin-resurfacing laser, get to clicking.) Six months later, she is still recovering.

In addition to skin lightening cream, Emily fell back in love with tubing mascaras and dry shampoos and is on a constant quest for ultrawearable physical SPF 30 sunscreens, “the chemical ones can sometime irritate my skin, so I’m always looking for a good daily physical blocker.”


Jean Godfrey-June, beauty director at Lucky Magazine and author of my favorite beauty book, Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup, is not really my friend in that I’ve never actually met her, but I’m pretty sure she won’t mind if I just pretend we’re friends.

When I asked Jean about her favorite picks for 2008, she told me that CoverGirl LashBlast is just above and beyond. (I love it, too! See? We’re totally meant to be friends.) She also mentioned some products that I have yet to try. “I LOVED This Works Deep Calm bath oil,” she told me, “the tiniest bit goes the longest way, it smells amazing, it leaves your skin soft & totally moisturized, and when I tell you that it full-on knocks you out, as in, you barely make it from your bathtub to your bed before passing out . . .”

She also brought up a new organic hair line called Intelligent Nutrients. “I loved everything by this brand, especially the leave-in conditioner, which is so good (and so good for you that you can actually eat it, which I have not done but I like the idea of something that pure and organic).”


Longtime readers of Makeup Bag might remember the time I gushed about having lunch with Allure beauty director Amy Keller Laird. (It remains one of the highlights of my blogging career. For serious.)

(Did you all see the January 2009 issue where she dyed her hair blond? Go check it out—pg 78—she looks amazing.)

Amy had a ton of favorites from 2008, most specifically the Living Proof No Frizz cream that’s had the internet all a-buzz since being featured on Allure’s best-of list. “This is an anti-frizz cream that doesn’t use silicones,” Amy said. “I like the version for hair you air-dry. Really does cut down on frizz without making hair crunchy, and it eliminates the need for another styling product because it also helps shape my waves.”

(Thanks to Amy, this product is currently sold out but will hopefully be available again soon.)

Amy also likes Neutrogena Age Shield Hand Cream SPF 30, saying, “I wash my hands a lot so I’m always testing new hand creams. This one has Helioplex to protect again the sun, and is moisturizing without feeling greasy or sticky.”

Another Amy favorite is Chanel Exceptionnel De Chanel mascara. “It creates fluffy but natural-looking lashes without clumps, and the pointed tip is good for getting at inner-corner and lower lashes without smudges,” she told me.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some of my favorite beauty bloggers’ picks from 2008.

Happy New Year!

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  • Happy New Year!!

  • Fantastic post! I’m surprised to see so many new and coming products in their lists. Looking forward to trying them – many thanks for such a fun look at favorites! xo

  • I highly agree with everyone’s love for the CoverGirl LashBlast mascara! And the FitFlop Billows intrigues me…I don’t like Ugg boots but these are sorta chic, I’d love to see how they look with black tights. Thanks for the info!!

    jenniferc (Reply)
  • This is an awesome post! I’m inspired to interview some of my favorite beauty editors now! :)


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