As Seen On TV Beauty: What Really Works

We've all fallen prey to the infomercial; it's formulaic. Lying in bed, flipping through channels, you just happen to stumble upon an extended ad for something you couldn't possibly need. But even the late night shows are done for the evening, so it couldn't hurt just to watch. Famous last words.
It's almost impossible not to be sucked in, because look at those results. Amazing. Incredible. Astonishing. And you can't get it in stores, so you'd really have a leg up on your neighbors and friends if you called right now. But, unlike the Ginsu Steak Knives, Magic Bullets, ShamWows, Shake Weights, Pajama Jeans, or Snuggies, all of which you wouldn't be caught dead using, beauty goodies are different. We all have some cosmetic conundrum we're self-conscious about, and look, here it is: the magic cure! But wait, there’s more…
Yes, there's a sucker born every minute, but to keep you from being counted among those ranks, we've sussed out the best infomercial beauty buys for your buck. And if you act now….well, you know the rest, don't you?
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Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford

Want to know why you don't have sensational, supermodel skin like Cindy Crawford? Easy, she goes to Paris to have Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh, "the renowned anti-aging specialist," whip up batches of his time-stopping solutions made with a rare French melon imbued with free-radical stopping powers. But now they’re sharing it with you.

After trying the products, we were saddened to wake up the next morning and find we hadn’t miraculously morphed into Cindy Crawford overnight. But aside from that buzzkill, these are very nice products — particularly the soap-free, Skin Softening Cleanser. The products themselves aren't cheap, but the couch potato in you will be pleased that they come right to your door, so you don't have to deal with pushy salespeople. For a synergistic anti-aging routine, this is a good place to start.

Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford Complete Anti-Aging System, $39.95, available at Meaningful Beauty.

Photo: Courtesy of Meaningful Beauty
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Turbie Twist

Okay, so these hair towels are a little dorky to look at, but as any hairstylist will tell you, terry cloth towels are not the best way to dry your hair. This microfiber wrap goes over hair to gently dry strands while minimizing the frizz factor and staying in place, unlike a top-heavy towel. And it's machine washable.

Turbie Twist Super-Absorbent Hair Towel, $19.99 for set of four, available at Turbie Twist.
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Wen Hair Care by Chaz Dean

L.A. stylist Chaz Dean is cashing in on the no-poo movement. For the uninitiated, that means swapping out your regular, harsh, stripping shampoo and tackling dirt and oils with conditioner alone. All the Cleansing Conditioners smell delightful — pomegranate, sweet almond mint, fig, mango coconut — an important factor considering you’re going to be changing up a lathering routine you’ve followed for decades.

But, keep in mind it takes a considerable amount of conditioner to follow Dean's routine and this stuff ain’t cheap. Try a regular deep conditioner for a two-week span first to see if you’re ready to go shampoo-free — then make the investment.

Wen Hair Care by Chaz Dean Basic Kit, $29.95 for 30-day supply, available at Wen.
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Heel Tastic

Body cream, eye cream, face cream, lip cream — do you really need yet another cream? If you have dry, cracked heels that make you think twice about slipping on sandals then the answer to that question is yes.

This blend of Indian neem and karanja oils soaks into fissures and delivers smoother soles within days. And the lemongrass and ginger scent isn't offensive in any way. But what we particularly love is you don’t have to actually touch your feet — just slide the stick over heels and it's immediately absorbed.

Heel Tastic Intensive Heel Treatment, $9.99, available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
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Dark undereye circles are hard to cure. In fact some might say that short of a round of blepharoplasty (or a great concealer), you're stuck with these shadowy rings. They're caused by allergies, heredity, sun exposure or just aging and the breakdown of the collagen and elastin padding beneath the eye.

This thick cream will help take down the puffiness and improve the appearance of fine lines around the eye. Whether it erases the circles has more to do what's causing them in the first place and how long you’re prepared to use it before you see results; perhaps that’s why some tout it as a miracle, and others as a monetary misstep.

Hydroxatone Hydrolyze Advanced Under Eye Formula, $80, available at
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Votre Vu SnapDragon

There's something so appealing about consuming a sinful smoothie-like drink that will also deliver all the ingredients necessary for fabulous skin. And this blend of mango, pomegranate, acai berry, and tea doesn’t disappoint. Rounding out the mix is the addition of collagen, aloe vera, ginkgo biloba and baobab fiber, and a formula devoid of preservatives and sugars.

The drink itself is tasty and while there's no doubt all the ingredients are beneficial, we can’t help but think that to get the most bang for your buck, you'd have to swear off all the other junk food in your life for optimal performance. But, after a long day, or a stressful week, it's certainly got more benefit than a box of Lucky Charms.

Votre Vu SnapDragon Beauty Beverage, $26 for two, available at Votre Vu.