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Explainer: The 10 beauty products you should own

  • Looking to maintain that youthful glow that came so easily just a few years before? Lucky for us, there are a ton of products willing to help in that department ...

  • Moisturizer with SPF

    TotalBeauty.com
    You need to protect your skin from the sun. And every woman should wear a moisturizer — it's a given. So it's obvious why this is a must-have product in your daily routine. It's a great way to include SPF without having to slather on greasy sunscreen. (Don't you just hate that feeling?)

    Try Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30, $12, which "protects your skin without leaving a white trace," says Miami-based makeup artist Marissa Nemes. If you want to save even more time, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF, like Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, $13. It gives you the moisture, protection and coverage in one step, even better.

  • Face primer

    TotalBeauty.com
    Here's another given: the older you get, the more lines and wrinkles you start seeing. Yikes. But aging gracefully comes with using the right products, and primer is one of them. It gives you a smooth canvas to apply your makeup, and some formulas even shrink the appearance of pores. Here are two of our readers' favorites: Tarte Clean Slate Primer, $30, and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, $30.

  • Dry shampoo

    TotalBeauty.com
    If you've never used dry shampoo before, today is the first day of the rest of your life. It seems the "go days without washing your hair syndrome" starts in college, if not earlier. Because the busier we get, the less time we have to wash our hair.

    Enter dry shampoo. Nothing else has the ability to make your hair feel fresh and clean even when you haven't showered in days, trust me. New York City hairstylist Luca Blandi recommends Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray, $11. Ange Grmolyes, hairstylist at Argyle Salon and Spa, suggests Pravana Fresh! Volumizing Dry Shampoo, $11. And celebrity stylist Larry Sims loves got2b Rockin' It Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo, $5.99.

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  • Exfoliating scrub

    TotalBeauty.com
    Smooth, radiant skin doesn't always come naturally, and that's where a gentle exfoliating scrub comes in. Try Olay Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub, $5.99. It helps slough off dead skin cells, revealing your naturally gorgeous skin underneath. A cleanser with glycolic and lactic acid like Walker's Apothecary Passion Fruit Exfoliating Cleanser, $18 will "also lighten dark spots," says esthetician and makeup artist Shalea Walker.

  • Eyelash curler and lifting mascara

    TotalBeauty.com
    Unless you've got a secret weapon against the effects of time, this is a must-own combo if you're above the age of 20. You may start noticing your lashes getting thinner over time and your skin starting to sag. (Sorry to be a downer!) Using an eyelash curler is "the best way to open up the eyes," says NYC makeup artist Quinn Murphy. It "makes them appear bigger and gives them a lift." A natural eyelift? Yes, please.

    If you have super straight lashes, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $19 "can open up your eyes in just one pinch" and is incredible for adding volume, says Nemes. And a lifting mascara like mark Comb Out Lash Lifting Mascara, $6, will add natural-looking volume to your lashes.

  • Red nail polish

    TotalBeauty.com
    A classic red nail polish will never go out of style. Whether you prefer a bright pop of color like Revlon Red Nail Enamel, $4, or a darker, vampier shade like Essie Nail Polish in First Dance, $8, red is the perfect go-to color for your nails, no matter what your age.

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  • A good concealer

    TotalBeauty.com
    Every woman over the age of 20 needs concealer to hide dark circles, pimples or any other imperfections," says Murphy. "It is a quick and easy way to get a flawless complexion."

    "Cle De Peau Concealer, $68, has an airy texture that feels like nothing on the skin, yet it covers the most stubborn imperfections," says Nemes. You can also try Bobbi Brown Corrector, $22, and combine it with your favorite concealer for more coverage.

  • Hair styling tools

    TotalBeauty.com
    Looking for that perfect brush? Every stylist I spoke to raved about the Mason Pearson Brush, $120, and recommended that every woman own one. If not that specific brush (it's pricey but so worth it), a "round boar bristle brush," is the next best choice, says NYC hairstylist Jake Dingler.

    You'll also want a good teasing comb (try the Ulta Teasing Comb, $4.99), and a 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch curling iron or curl stick to create those perfect waves that every woman dreams of having.

  • Signature perfume

    TotalBeauty.com
    Every woman needs a signature scent that reminds others of her. Think of it as your calling card. Your scent might change depending on your phase of life, but you should always have a bottle of something that you reach for in the morning. Right now, I'm loving Chloe Perfume by Chloe, $55, and Chanel Chance Eau de Parfum Spray, $72.

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  • Anti-aging products

    TotalBeauty.com
    OK, I'm not saying we think you need to look younger, but it's never too early to include ingredients like peptides, antioxidants and retinol in your daily routine. "Retinol is great for all sorts of skin care issues such as acne, smoothing skin texture and lightening dark spots," says Walker.

    Philosophy Help Me Retinol Treatment, $45, is a great way to ease yourself into the anti-aging regimen (if you haven't started already). And to help zap wrinkles, invest in a good face and eye cream, like Neutrogena Visibly Firm Eye Cream, $11.99.

Photos: The secrets behind Hollywood's best complexions

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  1. The secrets behind Hollywood's best complexions

    How do they get that glow? Find out how celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and more get soft, supple skin.

    Lauren Conrad's natural glow
    The Laguna Beach native is known for her sun-kissed California look. For a smooth and safe glow, opt for a paraben-free self-tanning formula, advises celebrity skincare expert Kate Somerville, who has worked with the star.

    We like St. Tropez Gradual Tan lotion for Face ($25, sttropeztan.com), which smells good -- seriously -- and is nearly impossible to screw up. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Kate Hudson's lit-from-within skin

    The ever-fresh Kate Hudson sees nutrition expert and dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, who prescribes an anti-inflammatory diet of high-quality protein, low-glycemic carbs like broccoli and yogurt, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich drinks like green tea.

    "These foods help maintain normal levels of insulin and blood sugar," he says. Even better? The benefits are visible in just three days." Check out Perricone's latest book, "Forever Young," ($26, amazon.com) for more information.

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    (Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Glamour Magazine via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Debra Messing's consistent radiance

    Messing recently signed on to star in NBC's new musical comedy "Smash," but the 42-year-old star still looks as radiant as she did on "Will & Grace." According to Somerville, that's partially due to peptide treatments.
    "Long-term use of peptides softens and strengthens the skin and encourages cellular repair," she says. Squeeze a few drops from Philosophy's When Hope Is Not Enough capsules ($50, ulta.com) into your daily moisturizer to work peptides into your routine. (Lester Cohen/WireImage via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Jessica Alba's blemish-free face

    To achieve Jessica Alba-level epidermis perfection, Somerville recommends an oxygen therapy facial.

    "We exfoliate with enzymes and gentle acids," says Somerville, who has worked with the star. "Follow with vitamins and a moisturizer to lock in hydration." If you can't make it to the spa, Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing mask ($52, blissworld.com) will work at home.

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    (Erik Pendzich / Rex USA via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Charlize Theron's sunspot-free skin

    Theron may have grown up in sunny South Africa, but you wouldn't know it from her damage-free face.
    "Charlize loves our microdermabrasion treatments for their polishing, refining and cleansing qualities," says celebrity facialist Ole Henriksen, who works with the star. Try the Ole Henriksen At Home Mini peel system ($95, olehenriksen.com) for a similar tightening, repairing and renewing experience. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Dior via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Kate Walsh's quenched skin

    The "Private Practice" star's complexion has a natural dewy finish. To keep aging skin from drying out, Somerville recommends her own Quench Hydrating Serum with HSC Complex ($65, katesomerville.com). "It's the one product my clients can't live without," says Somerville, who has worked with Walsh.

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    (Rob Kim/FilmMagic via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Kerry Washington's even skintone

    Washington knows how to maintain clear skin – a gift that no doubt helped her nab a L'Oreal Paris contract back in 2007. To accentuate the star's supple sheen, Somerville turns to ultrasound treatments.

    "They detoxify and are good for acne," she says. "When used in combination with lightening agents, ultrasound can improve and brighten pigmentation." Ask your facialist or dermatologist if you're interested in trying a similar approach. (Lisa Lake/WireImage for Niche Media via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Eva Mendes' taut skin

    Mendes has an incandescence that seems to come from within. Perricone, who has treated the actress, says you can get a similar luminosity by following his Three-Day Nutritional Face-Lift. What, exactly, does that entail? "Eating salmon twice a day," he says. You can supplement with fruits and vegetables; the dermatologist swears you'll see results almost immediately.

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    (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Rashida Jones' pore-free complexion

    The "Parks and Recreation" star looks perfectly polished when she's not wearing a trace of makeup. Jones' facialist, Kate Somerville, advises using laser treatments to achieve even texture and minimize fine lines. "This is a noninvasive laser technology that uses near-infrared light to get down into the dermis," she explains.

    Again, speak with a skincare consultant if this treatment interests you; at-home lasers aren't available for these purposes just yet. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Sofia Vergara's supple skin

    The "Modern Family" bombshell has excellent skin elasticity. Maintain healthy hydration with a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, says Somerville, who has treated Vergara. Cucumber and willow herb extracts help firm skin and soothe irritation. The facialist swears by her own Quench Hydrating mask ($45, katesomerville.com).

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    (Gilbert Flores/CelebrityPhoto.com via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: The 5 biggest skin sins

  1. Closed captioning of: The 5 biggest skin sins

    >>> this morning on "today's beauty" the five biggest skin sinses, but there is good news. you can correct mistakes and your skin will bounce back looking better and younger than ever a cording to allure's latest issue. linda is the editor in chief. you can bounce back and be better than ever?

    >> i would not lie to you.

    >> you are using dermatologists and reporters.

    >> we looked at studies and dermatologists. they say the most insidious skin problems are ones you don't pay attention to, you make by mistake. we identify the ones you can fix. your skin bounces back.

    >> we're glad you did the research. let's look at the five thingses on the list. number one on the list is when you get a breakout, don't overwash. don't blast it.

    >> right. the first instinct is to say, get rid of this thing. then you're left with flaky skin. go gentler. as your skin is older you have less oil so you don't have to deal with the oil. use milder products and moisturizers. one of the fist things is a cleanser with salycilic acid and moisturizer in it. we love aveeno clear complexion. it has soy, too, so it's gentle. apply the spot treatments but when you were a teenager you may have used -- not you because you have perfect skin but 10% ben zoil peroxide lotion. now only 2.5 and it does the job without blasting it away. this on the spot treatment is a good one. doctorses love it because it's mild. then apply moisturizer which you think is heresay but if you have one with anti-redness ingredients it helps. cera-v is $14. it's fantastic and reduces redness and takes care of skin at night.

    >> very useful. adult acne is a problem. number two is not using the right products at the right time. what do you mean?

    >> there are so many products out now. they are confusing and you don't know when to use what. use antioxidants in the morn when they can product against environmental hazards like pollution and son. at night use rhett knopeels and retinolss, things that can go to work as your skin is resting. this is one doctors love so much. put it on before sunscreen and it protects your skin more. so do that in the daytime. at night, you can use a retinol product like roc protection skin cream . that takes care of all of the things you want to repair and anti-aging. you don't have makeup or sunscreen to get in the way of them working.

    >> you mentioned sunscreen a few times. very important. but that's as mistake that we don't use it everywhere we need to.

    >> everyone knows they should use sunscreen but they misapply it. doctors are finding a lot of skin cancer on the hairline and ears. women pull their hair back and don't protect it and there's the problem. the idea is to forget your vanity. make sure you apply it all over and to your chest and hands as well. the one we love now is shiseido urban environment with spf 35 with uva screens which is important. those are the ones that cause damage and the aging and skin cancer .

    >> this is related to the next point which is about rhett tolls tolls -- retinols.

    >> it's confusing. they are the proven anti-aging ingredient according to dermatologists. they fight wrinkles build collagen, get rid of spots, even help acne. so there are all these great things in one perfect package. if you get an over-the-counter one at the drugstore, the department store it's much milder than one you will get from a prescription. still, they can cause irritation, so be sure to use it correctly on dry skin and use a pea-size amount. don't layer it all over. less is better. then let it dry and then apply moisturizer afterwards. use it every other day so your skin isn't red and irritated.

    >> quickly on the last one. this is mistake number five. always buying the next big thing.

    >> right. that's coming from me who edits a magazine which writes about new products, but it's true. we hop from product to product and don't give things to work. take it easy. be patient. use ingredients that are proven.

    >> all right. linda wells, looking especially beautiful this morning. the

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