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Year’s best in beauty gifts

Smoother hair, stronger and longer lashes, brighter eyes, better skin — it’s been a good beauty year. <br />

Smoother hair, stronger and longer lashes, brighter eyes, better skin — it’s been a good beauty year.

Here’s what’s tops in 2009.

That what you consume can boost your beauty is a given, but busy lives and stress interfere with our good-eat intentions. Genuine Health Healthy Skin Chocolate Soft Chews ($24.99/45 pieces) and GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Daily Formula supplements ($95/60 capsules) each significantly improves skin with nutrient-rich natural ingredients. For retailers, go to genuinehealth.com and glisodinskin.com.

The eco-responsible, silicone-free Live Clean Exotic Nectar Moroccan Collection strengthens hair and ramps up shine with argan oil and certified-organic olive and grapeseed oils. From $6.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Also making silicone-free waves in fuzz-free hair care and styling, the key Living Proof No Frizz ingredient, PolyfluoroEster, improves hair’s own frizz resistance, and repels surface water, oils and dirt so you shampoo less often. Formulas target fine-to-medium hair, medium-to-thick hair and thick-to-coarse hair. Available for $26 each at Sephora.

Another anti-frizz helping hand, the nubby micro-fibre Hand Dry Hair Glove sucks up moisture right quick to help shape smooth curls and waves sans blowdryer. Available for $22.95 per pair at delineation.ca.

The cleverly woven Upper Canada Ultimate Body Sponge shower puff has a loofah-style side to buff away dry skin. Available for $5 at tweedandhickory.com.

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Bodywash takes steps toward more natural beauty care with moisturizing ingredients such as natural stearic acid, soybean oil and glycerin. Available for $6.99 (354 mL) at drug stores.

Kiehl’s Açai Damage-Repairing Skincare, the company’s first 100 per cent natural-origin line, use the super-antioxidant organic açai berry to improve all aspects of the complexion. Available for $35 to $65 at Kiehl’s boutiques; log on to kiehls.com for other retailers.

Lancôme Génifique Youth Activator Serum rewinds to less aged times by stimulating production of specific “youth proteins” to rejuvenate skin. Available for $92 at drug and department stores.

Sensitive types get another wrinkle-fighting option — and a Canadian one, too — in Cliniderm Anti-Wrinkle Cream, which uses non-irritating peptide technology to reverse signs of aging. Available for $50 at drug stores.

Physicians Formula continues to blaze the mass green trail with gentle and effective as well as biodegradeable Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover Towelettes. Available for $13.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Oil-free cream-to-powder Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Foundation contains silica beads to deliver a smooth, semi-matte finish that doesn’t look heavy, and won’t do the winter freeze-and-melt on your face. Available for $44 at Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

Deep, dark under-eye circles have a new hide-’em hero with Conceal FX Camouflage Concealer, which has a little orange in the mix to temper shadows without looking ashy. Available for $27 at Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

One of the biggest Google questions is, “What’s the best makeup for my eye colour?” L’Oréal Paris Wear Infinité Made for Me Naturals Eye Shadow Quads ($10.95 each) and CoverGirl Exact Eye Enhancers Shadows ($6.99) join Almay and Physicians Formula with accessible and affordable palettes to spotlight your natural hue. Both are available at drug and mass retailers.

Joe Fresh Beauty may well be the most successful marriage of sophistication and affordability beauty junkies have seen so far. From $4; go to joe.ca for locations.

The luxuriously emollient Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté Sheer Sensual Gloss Stick is the year’s Most Covetable for beauty-addicts everywhere. Available for $35 at Holt Renfrew and The Bay flagship stores.

Accessible, eco-minded fragrance — how sweet the smell. Try these: Roots Source Bamboo or Red Tea eau de parfum, both formulated with corn-based alcohol ($35 for 30 mL at Roots stores); Nautica Oceans — it’s for him — is biodegradeable and water-based ($57 for 50 mL at department stores); and The Body Shop Love Etc. is made with community-trade alcohol from organic sugar cane ($24 for 30 mL).

 
 
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