Oddball Beauty Products That Actually Work

How would you feel about bug parts in your food? Or better yet, in your skincare? If you’re cringing, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. According to the New York Times, carmine and cochineal bug-derived hues are often listed as “artificial colors,” thereby going unnoticed by most consumers. Come 2011 however, food and cosmetic companies will have to explicitly list those insects when they are being used as a perhaps unsettling but effective dye. Luckily, while there are plenty more odd additives when it comes to beauty products, most don’t have as many extra legs.

For starters, ever heard of udders? They’re the mammary organ of female cattle, and Udderly Smooth has developed a cream — Udder Cream, ($6) — that, while originally used on dairy cows, is now widely used (at least in the Virgin Islands where I first encountered it) to sooth human dry skin. For those not into the whole fresh-from-the-farm thing, Revolution Organics All-Over Body Balm ($28) is a massively oversized chapstick that can be used to moisturize everything from lips to cuticles.

From dry skin fighters to cosmetic oddities, Trish McEvoy recently came-out with a new Beauty to Go Refillable Pen ($25), where after filling the bottom of the wand with liquid foundation, you click — like a pen — and the foundation flows to the tip. ModelCo’s Liquid Buds ($14) have a similar flowing action. While they look like your typical Q-tip, if you bend one side, the Q-tip will snap and dispense eye makeup remover to the other end for precise cleanup. And speaking of precise, those meticulous about their lipstick application will get a kick out of the LipStamp Kit ($25). Pick from 10 specially created pout-shaped sponges (with names like “Bow Dacious” and “Sexy Slim Slender”), coat your lip color, and stamp your lips. Time-efficient? No, but it’s fun, and while it takes some practice to avoid stamping beyond your natural lip line, the color transfers well.

Moving on to smell, it’s the sense most associated with memory, so why risk being remembered as the one who couldn’t control their body odor — or worse, the one who used a nauseating amount of cheap scent? Sure, deodorant that lasts up to a week may sound like a stretch, but that’s just what Lavilin Hypo-Allergenic Deodorant ($15) claims to do. Lavilin’s deodorant uses herbal extracts to eliminate odor-causing bacteria; the water-resistant formula only needs to be applied once or twice a week (i.e. not every time you shower, swim, work out …). And for the hordes who wear their Uggs barefoot, Lavilin makes an extra-strength foot formula ($16). In keeping with deodorants, no matter the fabric, Miss Oops’ Rescue Sponges ($10) get rid of embarrassing deodorant marks without the use of water.

Moving right along, what your hygiene routine needs is more condiments — von Natur’s bath soak, Immune Boost Mustard, ($23) is based on traditional mustard baths — yes, that’s mustard as in the sammich dressing. The product’s creator, Kayla Fioravanti, told me that dating back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, mustard baths have been used to relieve stress, soothe nerves, relax muscles, and tone skin. Expect a fittingly “warming” sensation in your muscles, which Fioravanti says is due to the soak improving your circulation. Not enough to wet your appetite? Try Yam Cream from Verikira Naturals ($38). Made with actual wild yams — known to contribute to hormonal and emotional balance — it’s a natural alternative to popping pills for ladies when it’s that time of the month. For extra potency, Bach’s Rescue Remedy ($11) is a homeopathic concoction that tackles stress. Whether it’s due to specially chosen flower essences or to the fact that it’s 27% alcohol, just like a baby at a bris, a few droplets on the tongue work wonders on calming the body.

Turning back to outer beauty for a moment, Clarins will come out in March with their fifth-generation cellulite-fighting High Definition Body Lift ($65). Covered by three patents, it’s formulated with (among other things) caffeine, sunflower, and horse chestnut extract. While there may not be any long-term effects, I previewed the product, and there is an immediate firming sensation (think a mild version of that Spanx feeling) that, added with the signature freshness and moisture of a Clarins cream, makes it stand above the rest.

Lastly, for those who need extra motivation to floss, Supersmile’s Whitening Floss ($7) is impregnated with a proprietary form of calcium and peroxide to help dissolve stains in between teeth for a whiter smile. Not enough? They’ve also got toothpaste, gum, rinse, and more — enough to get your teeth looking like those of any one of the Bravo Housewives.

Latest in Archive

Archive

Watch: Bella Hadid Goes Undersea For New Jean Paul Gaultier ‘Les Marins’ Campaign Film

Archive

Watch + Listen: SHAED’s New Single/Video ‘Once Upon a Time’ is Hauntingly Beautiful

Archive

A Monumental Woman: New Doc ‘Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own’ Tells the Story of One of Our Greatest Contemporary Sculptors

Archive

This Happened: Vanessa Paradis Arrives in Full Chanel to Deauville American Film Festival

Archive

Please Buy Restaurant Gift Certificates…NOW

Archive

Peter, Bjorn & John Will Do a 36-Hour Live Stream ‘Festival’ From INGRID Studio

Archive

Women’s History Month: DC’s Hamilton Hotel Unveils Timely ‘Suffrage Suite’

Archive

Kristen Stewart Gets Punky in New Jean Baptiste Mondino Shot Chanel Campaign