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Favorite beauty products: Real women speak

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Beauty products real women love

Some women tackle beauty products like linebackers going after a quarterback, but if you aren’t one of those women, you’ve probably felt the momentary paralysis that comes from staring at long aisles of beauty products, not knowing what to choose. Rather than throwing good money away, listen to what real women have to say about the products they can’t live without.

Cursive number 1Stand by your maneStand by your mane

Every woman dreads a bad hair day, and there's nothing better than finding a reliable and affordable product that keeps bad hair days at bay. Mary Yoder, an art teacher from Salem, Oregon agrees, "I'm really satisfied with my Conair Infiniti hair straightener. I've been through a ton of straighteners and this one has worked the best and lasted the longest. Plus, it's really affordable compared to some of the other straighteners on the market."

Take a note from Mary, and when you find a hair product you love, stick with it. Eventually, the itch to try something new will surface. When it does, ask your friends if you can test drive their favorite products before you start spending your hard-earned cash.

Cursive number 2Air kissed by the sun

Air kissed by the sun

While it's natural to crave a sun-kissed complexion, real women across the country are protecting their skin with SPF products. Geri Farman from Austin, TX says, "The only product I use now is Burt's Bees Radiance Day Lotion with SPF 15 and royal jelly. I was looking for an inexpensive lotion with sunscreen containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and Burt's Bees delivered! I love how it feels and how it makes my skin look."

Rebecca, a managing director from Massachusetts, is on the same wavelength, "Undertow makes a lip balm with sunscreen in it that I love. I keep one in my purse, in my car and at my desk."

Rebecca and Geri are on the right track. With more than a million people diagnosed with skin cancer each year, the more you can do to protect yourself from the sun, the better off you'll be. Plus, protecting your skin from UV rays can help prevent wrinkles, keeping your skin looking vibrant and young.

Cursive number 3Make it a quickieMake it a quickie

If there's one thing that all women suffer from, it's a lack of time. Beauty products that offer short cuts and quick fixes are popping up everywhere. Liz Dialto recommends a short cut for face care after your work-out, "I'm a personal trainer so I'm constantly working out and getting sweaty. Ole Henriksen's Truth-to-Go Wipes are an amazing find. They're perfect for washing your face after a lunchtime work-out or if you're too tired to wash your face before bed."

Jessica Fuqua, a mother and founder of the popular blog site MomFuse.com, agrees, "One of my favorite products is Living Proof Restyling Spray. I recently reviewed this product for my blog. I was skeptical at first, but it totally won me over! It's a spray you put on your dry, messy hair, then you style it however you want. I tested it after not washing my hair for three days and it worked amazingly. It's a total time saver for working, busy women!"

Cursive number 4Shakeup your makeupShake up your make-up

While hair and skin care will keep you looking youthful, nothing delivers an instant transformation like new eye make-up and lip color. Have fun with these products and give yourself some wiggle room for trying new things. Sarah Ferguson, a public relations specialist from New York, suggests trying Addiction NV gel eye liner, "I line my upper eyelid with Addiction NV 'Line Up' gel eye liner because the black color makes my lashes look fuller while the gold shimmer brings out the lighter tones in my eyes."

If you're more of a lip color lady, Amy Lewandowski , a marketing manager from Texas, relies on Lancome lip products, "I love Lancome Color Fever Plumper in Suggestive. This lip gloss plumps my lips just the right amount and it's the perfect color. I wear this every day and never get sick of it."

Even if you make the occasional "oops" make-up purchase, there are 10-to-1 odds that your friends have, too. Organize a make-up swap meet and have fun trading your trash for items you'll treasure.

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