In my ongoing role as a girly-girl supreme, I’ve tried very many beauty products over the years. Not because I need them, mind you; just so that I can pass the info on to you!

Seriously, I’ve been obsessed with cosmetics since I was little; I used to write my manicure plans in my diary! And the only reason I never minded walking kind-of far to the bus to go to high school (and college, but that’s another story) is because I got to stop at Abby’s make-up store on the way home as often as I wanted. OMG–I loved that place!!! It was Sephora packed into the size of a walk-in closet! Making it even better was that my make-up icon on my block, Leslie Kaufman, taught me how to buy their store-brand mascara and take the “filter” out to make it serious! Tammy Faye Bakker had nothing on us!

Photo by Karen Salkin.

When I find a product that really works the way it’s supposed to, I rejoice. So much of the cosmetics industry is baloney. And I love when a make-up counter attendant looks awful herself, but is trying to tell us what to use! Classic.

So, though this list is short, here are some of the very few beauty products that I can attest to the usefulness of:

Nailtiques—when I was going through all my clubbing drama back in the day, the manicurist I was going to kept telling me I needed this product to strengthen my formerly beautiful nails. I thought it was just some gobble-dee-gook she was trying to sell me. But when someone gave me a bottle, (a really funny story that, sadly, I can’t tell you here,) I was amazed!!! I’ve been married to it ever since. Every time I have gels on for a few weeks, I have to use Nailtiques #2 for a week to restore the health of my nails, that, yes, I still obsess over.

Revlon Overtime Mascara—I live in fear that they may stop making this mascara. The company claims it stays on for three days; I’m here to tell you it’s closer to ten! It doesn’t make your lashes look as luxurious as other brands, but if you’re always as time-constrained as I, it’s a life-saver. You put it on the first day and then just use a curler for the subsequent days. What a time-saver. And it stays on through swimming, rain, and best of all, crying jags. (Not that I’d know about that last one. Yeah, right.) Just don’t ask me how to get it off; you’re on your own with that task.

Hollywood Eyes—this one is what made me think of the list to begin with. I was at my friend Patty’s baby shower, and she said such wonderful words about how much her female friends mean to her. Of course, I began to cry, but tried to hold it back because I had this bag-and-circle-erasing product under my eyes. When I told the assemblage about it, they were all agog; they had seen ads, but didn’t believe it would work. Well, I’m here to tell them, and you—it does! Until this past year, I had never needed it, but with all that’s been going on, I’m more than sleep-deprived. But you’d never know it on days I use Hollywood Eyes. It was either use that or try toothpicks to keep my eyes open. Which would you choose?

Moroccan Oil—every time someone recommended this one, I paid no attention because my hair was already my crown jewel. I even gave away a bottle that someone gave me. But, when I needed some emergency hair oil to tamp down fly-aways in the Hamptons this year, all my friend Lauren, (who has her own great hair, by the way,) had was this. I applied it and for the rest of the day kept noticing that my hair was super-shiny and flowy. Lauren said it was this product. I’ve tried it on my own since, and love it! Maybe I should have listened sooner. (Like you should all do with my suggestions!)

Revitalash—this is the original lash-enhancing product. I remember when it came out, about six years ago, it was revolutionary, before everyone started copying them. Well, I’ve tried some others, and this is the only one that works. It’s a clear liquid you put on your lash line at night, and in a few weeks, your lashes look better! Seriously! I don’t use it religiously, (because I fall asleep without warning,) but let me tell you, when I pull off the kind of false lashes that stay on for two weeks, and my own lashes come with them, Revitalsh is a life-saver! Many of my friends swear by it, as well. And we all use their whole line of products now because this company has proven itself so much.

Wet and Wild lip pencil #666 and beige lip gloss—we all did this combo when I was running dance clubs, and trust me, nothing on earth makes you look younger. Maybe that’s why my own doormen kept carding me!

Microdermamitt—this is a line of the easiest to use exfoliation cloths. Besides that they make our skin smoother, they make them in different strengths for face and body; there are even two for guys’ rougher skin. And they make great, attractive gifts, especially if you want your main squeeze to have lovelier skin. And it looks like you’re being nice by giving a thoughtful gift.

Honorable mention, because I don’t know if they even make it anymore!:

Better Off (facial hair remover)—Okay, I hope that no guys are reading this, but girls, let’s talk. I see so many females with some form of mustache, that they seem blissfully unaware of. Some know what’s up, but choose to bleach. Guys ask me why girls do that, all the time. If you can’t afford to go have it waxed off, or just don’t have the time, this is the best product out there. It doesn’t hurt, or leave a red splotch, or make hair grow back fast, and is so easy to use. The only two problems are that, over many years, it seems to bleach your skin a tad, and, worse–I don’t even know if they make it anymore!!! I used to get it in this one obscure store that has since closed. I see it for sale on-line, but don’t know if those are old lots. So, you’re on your own with this one, but I wanted to include it because it does, indeed, work.

OMG! This was just supposed to be a short list I could write quickly during the Olympics! And it turned into a self-help beauty primer! But I wanted you guys to have the details, not just the names of the good ones. I hope that some of you get something out of it because I’m about ten hours behind in my sports-watching!

If you have any of your own to suggest, please feel free to share them in the Comments section below. Happy Looking Good!

[Note: unlike many “bloggers,” who take payments to promote beauty products, I don’t. These are all just ones I believe in, no strings attached. None of the companies even know I’ve written this list!]



  1. I don’t think so. That sounds like a darker color, and this one is like a dark beige. I don’t remember them having names; just numbers. If I can ifnd mine, I’ll give an update here with the more in-depth info.

    Thanks for the question!


  2. Hi Karen.
    I love all your beauty reviews. My friends and I have been using Nailtiques ever since we learned about it from you. But it’s getting expensive. Do you know any place we can get it discounted?

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