Multitaskers April 2013

Everyone loves a bonus, and that’s what you get with a multitasker, a little extra something that makes life more convenient and those hard-earned purchases more cost-effective. Here are some of the beauty products in my bathroom cabinet that do double – if not triple – duty.

Retrospect Hand & Nail Reconstructor ($36 in the shop). Not all hand creams are created equal. So one that helps condition and grow healthy nails and keep ragged cuticles trim and hydrated is a simple stroke of genius. I reach for the Retrospect Hand & Nail Reconstructor pretty much every day, concentrating on my nails (no old-lady ridges for me, if I can help it) and cuticles even more than my hands. Retrospect’s simple formula focuses on its key ingredient, keratin, a protein that is a major component in skin, hair, nails and teeth. Read the full review.

Arcona Cranberry Toner ($32). Toners can seem a teensy bit superfluous or a stage that can be skipped in a time-starved beauty regimen. Thankfully, Arcona’s Cranberry Toner does enough things well enough to claim critical status. It promises to be a cleanser, toner and makeup remover and it doesn’t let us down. It really removes grime, lifts away makeup and is even gentle enough to be used around the eyes. Instead of a standard water base, there is witch hazel and rice milk. The pH-controlling effects that we expect from a toner are provided by sodium lactate and the eponymous cranberry smells good enough to drink. Read the full review.

CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Repair Balm ($26 in the shop). I love the idea of an all-over hydrating balm that does double duty as a lip plumper. Hey, why not. This advanced therapy for dry, cracked skin has no petrolatum and focuses on natural ingredients with CV Skinlabs’ signature blend of turmeric, alpha-bisabolol and reishi mushroom. Other star performers and antioxidants include: calendula, sea buckthorn oil, arnica and vitamin E. Our reviewer Tina gave us the “pucker happy” bonus feature! And, says it’s ideal for layering over lipstick. Read the full review.

AQ Eye Serum ($99 in the shop). I’d been using AQ’s Eye Serum for about three months and was loving the nice little lift it was giving my lids, the firming around my under eye and overall smoothing out of wrinkles. Then I noticed one day that my lashes were looking longer, thicker and darker. A couple of other people noticed, too, and I put it down to AQ’s growth factors. AQ has since created a specific lash growth product, AQ Lash, that I can heartily recommend. But it’s also nice to know what I am getting more from my eye serum than I had expected. Read the full review (including my update in comments).

Kahina Giving Beauty Serum ($90 in the shop). OK, this is a little decadent, but I discovered that Kahina Serum makes my nails grow – almost too fast and I have to trim them more often. I know that argan oil is good for hair and nails as well as skin, but I hadn’t expected talons to grow before my eyes. There’s coffee seed and pomegranate, which are rich in antioxidants. Sea buckthorn extract also has great credentials with plenty of vitamin C, vitam E and folic acid. Kahina’s serum is great for smoothing and plumping the face, of course, and all it takes is a dab of the excess to give your nails a helping hand. If you have brittle, dry unhappy nails then just go for it! Read the full review.

Ultra Renew ($89 in the shop). This little tool is the ultimate in multitasking. It controls wrinkles, breakouts and hyperpigmentation; helps cleanse, detoxify and products penetrate; and firms and lifts. Oh, and if you treat it nice, it might do your dishes too. Truth In Aging’s first device has three LEDs: red (wrinkles), green (hyperpigmentation) and blue (acne). Utrasonic helps products penetrate and firms and lifts sagging skin like nothing else I have found. Read the full review.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream ($39 in the shop). Move over BB cream, you’ve been upstaged. CC creams are the Next Big Thing and Juice Beauty was fast out of the gate to come up with its very own. It is a primer, foundation (although perhaps this is a bit of a stretch), a skin brightener, anti-ager, color corrector and sunscreen. And if that wasn’t enough Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Repair CC cream is in a category of its own. As the only organic CC cream on the market, there’s a lot to like in the formulation, which contains a multitude of skin beneficial ingredients at an outstanding price point. Read the full review.

Stemulation Rescue Repair Hand and Body Treatment ($96 in the shop). This a very good product for neck, decollete, hands and even knees. When testing this, after only a couple of days, my hands started to look better and four weeks later the skin is looking a lot plumper and feels firm. Lactic acid is a dominant ingredient and Rescue Repair cautions wearing sunscreen after application. Stemulation Rescue Repair also has some interesting botanicals.