Shape of Beauty Awards 2009 - Hair
L'Oréal Paris Excellence-to-Go ($10; drugstore.com)
Even at-home-hair-color novices fell in love with this comb-in formula's almost instant results. "After just 10 minutes, I had deep, rich, really natural-looking color," reported one tester. A new technology helps pigment sink quickly into strands without causing damage. The comb applicator also makes it easy to apply all over or just as a root touch-up. "And it totally covered my grays," said another tester.
Fekkai Salon Color ($30; beauty.com)
With 20 shades to choose from and a creamy formula that features rich conditioning ingredients, like olive oil, lemongrass butter, rosemary, and lavender, it's easy to score gorgeous results from this salon-quality at-home color. Staffers also appreciated getting an intense moisture boost. "My hair felt like I'd just had a professional deep conditioning treatment," said one.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Moisture Balance Shampoo and Conditioner ($4 each; drugstore.com)
This cleansing and conditioning duo relies on the power of natural ingredients-cassia, calendula, ginger, and aloe vera-to leave hair silky and resilient. The cassia complex forms a protective seal around strands that locks in moisture and helps your brush or comb glide through hair without snagging. "Daily blow-drying makes my hair brittle, but after using this combo regularly, my hair felt stronger and softer," said a tester.
Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner ($24 each; aveda.com)
Created to help soften hair that's become crispy from heat styling, these products contain several natural oils, including macadamia nut and jojoba. "Thanks to these amazing hydrators, my fried ends looked almost like they'd been freshly trimmed," said a tester who used the combo religiously for three weeks.
Dove Heat Defense Therapy Heat Activated Protect & Shine Mist ($4; drugstore.com)
It's a beauty catch-22: To make tresses look their best, you often have to use damaging hot tools. But if you spritz this protective product onto strands first, they can withstand high temps and not end up split and frayed. "I never used to spritz on heat styling sprays because they weighed down my hair, but this one's light and nonsticky-and, most important, it made my mane look less strawlike after flat-ironing," said a tester.
Tresemmé Simply No Frizz Spray Gel ($5; drugstore.com)
"This styler really lived up to its name," raved one staffer. "My hair was still smooth and frizz-free after a workout." The lightweight spray gel relies on a "frizz defense" molecule to create a barrier against humidity, an effect that can last through to your next shampoo.
Best Shave Gel
Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave Extra Gentle ($4; drugstore.com)
This formula, with olive butter, soy, vitamin E, and aloe vera, drew high marks from testers for its feel and value. "A tiny squirt goes a long way," commented one.
Nair Shower Power Sensitive Formula
($7; drugstore.com) "My skin usually reacts badly to depilatories, but this cream left my legs smooth, moisturized, and not at all irritated," said a staffer. Bonus: There was no "icky smell."
Gillette Venus Embrace Shaving System ($10; drugstore.com)
The latest incarnation of this crowd-pleasing shaver features five blades surrounded by a skin-protecting ribbon of moisture. "It glides so well, there were no nicks," said one tester.
Schick Quattro for Women TrimStyle ($11; drugstore.com)
Several testers loved this tool so much, they were ready to "skip pricey waxing treatments." It's shower-safe and promises to trim and shape your bikini area to perfection.