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Beauty products
Katie Quinn  /  TODAY.com
Oils are just as effective as traditional cream-based moisturizers and serums. A roundup of our favorite brands (from left): Tammy Fender, The Body Shop, DHC, Josie Maran, Kai, Nuxe, Archipelago, Tarte, The Organic Pharmacy, Dr. Hauschka, Moroccanoil, and John Masters Organics.
updated 3/7/2012 9:27:34 AM ET 2012-03-07T14:27:34

Rubbing oil on your face? Sounds like an invitation for disaster. But these natural, oil-based products have taught us that we have a misconception about the substance; we think we need to get rid of it, when in reality, the more you remove, the harder your skin works to replace it, thereby creating even more oiliness. (It’s an underminer like that.)

“Like cures like, so a little bit of a healthy, plant-based oil on the skin helps the skin stay balanced,” Dr. Hauschka Skin Care CEO Mirran Raphaely told TODAY.com. “The right amount signals to oil glands that they can stop producing. It may sound counter-intuitive, but once you try this method, you'll never go back."

We hunted down the best nourishing oils on the market — for all areas of the body — and recommended our top picks:

For dull, lifeless skin

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil, $46, QVC.com
This multi-purpose oil stems from the Amazon, where it is reportedly referred to as the “miracle” oil. Powerful yet lightweight, it’s quickly absorbed into the skin, providing it with hydrating Vitamin C for bright, radiant skin. (Editor’s note: I’m newly addicted to this product.)

Bonus: The sexy, eggplant-purple glass bottle — something you’d expect to spot on Marlene Dietrich’s nightstand — comes complete with a handy eye-dropper so that you can fully control every last single drop.

For sensitive skin

John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Oil, $30, JohnMasters.com
No less than 12 organic plant and essential oils went into this John Masters potion, which is lauded for its capability to tame sensitive skin (including those with rosacea). The soothing oil, which boasts a substantial rosemary scent, contains several anti-inflammatory ingredients that make it a perfect option for those concerned about their fragile face.

For cleansing

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $22, DHCcare.com
Cleansing with oil? Sounds bananas, but it works. Probably the most popular oil-based cleanser, this tough guy takes on cakey makeup and impurities with a vengeance. Made of olive oil, DHC removes dirt and dissolves eyeliner and mascara faster than most foaming soap options, and leaves your face hydrated and toned, with no greasy residue.

For oily, combination skin

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, $9, Thebodyshop.com
Referred to as a “medicine cabinet must”, this teensy bottle goes a long way in clearing blemishes. Just one drop can take on the nastiest of acne (whiteheads, the stubborn hard red ones etc…), without drying out your skin. The best part? The strong, minty smell, which is as relaxing as it is addictive.

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Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil, $42.95, drhauschka.com
If you suffer from oily, blemished skin, Dr. Hauschka's plant oil-based blend reduces excess oil production and tightens pores while antioxidants take on unruly redness. One small bottle lasts roughly 5-6 months, and the subtle floral smell will have you swapping this for your chemical-based acne products.

For sun protection

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+, $32, JosieMaranCosmetics.com
Josie Maran’s argan oil-infused products have a cult following, and it’s no wonder: Argan Oil repairs and reverses skin damage, without irritating the skin. “I use it on my face, neck, décolletage morning and night and yes, I’ll admit it, on my C-section scar,” said TODAY.com supervising producer Susan Houriet. “It has streamlined my beauty routine, my skin looks and feels great and I love that it is organic so to me, the price is worth it.”

Now you can get the acclaimed product with SPF 40+, in order to physically block harmful UVA and UVB rays this summer. It’s fast-absorbing and lightweight, making it the ideal beach accessory.

For the hair

Moroccanoil treatment, $18, moroccanoil.com or your local salon
A hair favorite of women across the board, Moroccanoil fever has hit all-time high, with stars such as Carrie Underwood and Katy Perry using the nourishing product for shiny, healthy-looking hair for industry events and award shows. The argan oil-infused formula, complete with omega-3 oils and vitamins, strengthens and conditions while providing a frizz-free, silky look that’s reminiscent of a salon-worthy treatment. It even helps speed up drying time (an invaluable feature for busy ladies). If you suffer from lifeless locks, you won’t regret this handy restorer. 

Got thin, delicate hair? Then opt for Moroccanoil Light ($16), which better tends to fine-textured manes.

For moisturizing the body

Archipelago Pomegranate Dry Oil Spray, $23, Amazon.com
This silky dry oil, with notes of pomegranate, cranberry, chamomile and jojoba, is perfect for the upcoming months: the sweet scent smells like spring in a bottle. Better yet, it’s packed with antioxidants and enzyme boosters to keep you looking as fresh as the season.

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Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil Golden Shimmer, $41, Birchbox.com
Count on Nuxe for the ultimate in luxury products. Their sleek, golden shimmer dry oil bottle sprays a luminous, glittering oil which upgrades your skin to red carpet-worthy. If you’re looking to glow this summer, look no further. And hey, it helps that it smells amazing, thanks to six essentials oils, including St. Johns Wort, sweet almond, hazelnut and macadamia.

The Organic Pharmacy Rose & Jasmine Body Oil, $57.95, Theorganicpharmacy.com
The directions on the bottle suggest you apply this sensual oil immediately after showering, and we suggest you listen to them. Boasting a sophisticated scent, this light and fragrant oil is packed with rose hip, essential fatty acids and Vitamin A to boost your skin’s texture and restore elasticity. Let’s just say it smells very, very rich — as in, it belongs in a Four Seasons spa.

For fragrance

Kai Body Glow, $34, Barneys.com
Kai products smell like the beauty of Hawaii: fresh, floral and carefree. No wonder they were one of Oprah’s favorite things in 2007. The brand’s lustrous and moisturizing body mist sure does leave skin supple and soft, but it’s No. 1 claim to fame is its addictive fragrance, with notes of cucumber, chamomile flower and aloe. It feels refreshingly tropical, without being overwhelming.  Also, men seem to love it (note: not a scientific survey, just a NYC subway observation.)

Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Oil, $65, Amazon.com
With clients such as Ivanka Trump, Alicia Silverstone, and Mara Rooney, Tammy Fender has become the new name in high-end holistic skincare. Like its clientele, the Bulgarian Lavender Oil features a celebrity price tag, but one bottle will definitely last you awhile, as it just takes one to two pumps to get the job done — it’s that fragrant, but in a most relaxing, soothing way.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: One makeup artist’s daily makeover project

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  1. The Daily Face

    By Rina Raphael

    Putting on one’s daily makeup is hard enough. Now imagine coming up with a new look every day.

    But that’s just what Annamarie Tendler, 26, did on her popular blog. The creative makeup artist, who noticed a lack of simple and approachable beauty blogs, challenged herself to post a few new makeup tutorials a week in March 2011."

    “I wanted to make something that didn't inundate the viewer with information, but rather offered up a simple concept in a simple way,” Tendler told TODAY.com. “As in, here is a look, this is how you do it, this is what you use.”

    The tutorials range from practical (“how to curl your eyelashes) to wild (a Lichtenstein-inspired look for Halloween), and the work can often be exhausting. “I need to be generating so much material and I'm only one person, who also works on other shoots and projects,” said Tendler. “I find that every couple of months I need to take a two week break."

    Surprisingly, Tendler isn’t even a makeup junkie. Her personal regimen is “extremely simple,” consisting of not much more than Josie Maran Argan Oil moisturizer. But after posting dozens of makeup applications, she does have one beauty she recommends to all women: “Wear mascara.”

    Click through some of Annamarie’s favorite looks: (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Apr. 13, 2011

    "I was inspired to do today’s look when looking at Brassai photos of the 20s," Tendler wrote. "Everyone looks so cool and glamorous."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325
    Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack gel liner

    Eye shadow: NARS in Galapagos, Make Up For Ever in Aqua Cream 15, MAC in Satin Taupe

    Eyebrows: The Body Shop black eye pencil

    Eyelashes: False lashes by Mattesse on top (#1565) and bottom (#49)

    Cheeks: MAC in Harmony

    Lips: NARS Shanghai Express

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. July 14, 2011

    "The best way to wear bright lipstick is with almost no other makeup. I used no liner for this look, only a wash of bamboo-colored shadow (a light brown) over my lids (diffused above the crease) and a ton of mascara."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeshadow: MAC in Bamboo

    Eyebrows: MAC in Fling

    Eyelashes: Lancome Hypnose Drama

    Cheeks: MAC in Harmony

    Lips: NARS in Schiap

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Aug. 12, 2011

    "Red seems like a weird choice for eyeliner, since most people don’t want to look like sleep-deprived junkies, but it works as a bold liquid liner. Also, by coupling it with bold brows, you will achieve a defined look, instead of it looking like you might have allergies."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeliner: Blacktrack, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye liner in shade 10 (red)

    Eyebrows: The Body Shop eye pencil in black

    Eyelashes: Lancome Hypnose Drama

    Cheeks: MAC in Harmony, MAC Highlighter in Pearl

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Aug. 23, 2011

    "This is definitely something I’ll have to experiment with at a dark, nighttime party."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeliner: NARS liquid liner pencil

    Eyeshadow: MAC in Copperplate, NARS pencil in HollywoodLand

    Eyebrows: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in shade 21 (teal)

    Eyelashes: Lancome Hypnose Drama

    Cheeks: NARS in Penny Lane

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Oct. 18, 2011

    "I will warn anyone who tries this [Roy Lichtenstein-inspired look] out that pulling this one off if a lot like cleaning your bedroom: it looks worse before it looks good."

    Face: Ben Nye Creme Color in White

    Dots: Ben Nye Creme Color in Red

    Tears: Ben Nye Creme Color in Blue, Cosmic Blue, and White

    Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack

    Eyelashes: Lancome Hypnose Drama

    Lips: NARS Lipstick in Heat Wave

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Nov. 21, 2011

    "This is a great party look because it’s dark, goes with anything, and you feel festive without being over the top. Yeah, you don’t need to wear green eyeshadow and red lipstick to get the point across that you love Christmas."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

    Eye shadow: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Strut, Make Up For Ever Flash Color in Silver

    Eyebrows: MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Fling

    Eyelashes: Dior Blackout

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Nov. 28, 2011

    "I probably wouldn’t wear my makeup like this out on the street, but it’s definitely a look that can be modified for everyday wear."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Shade 10 (red)

    Eye shadow: NARS Duo in Scorching Sun, MAC Goldenrod, MAC Goldmine

    Eyebrows: MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Fling

    Eyelashes: Dior Blackout

    Lips: NARS Lipstick in Heatwave

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Dec. 19, 2011

    "This is more of a dark look. I started by lining the eyes with Blacktrack, including both the upper and lower inner rims and winging the liner."

    Under-eyes: Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 325

    Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Pencil in shade 10L (gold)

    Eye shadow: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in Shade 15, MAC Shadow in Satin Taupe, NARS Duo in Cordura, MAC Highlighter in Pearl

    Eyebrows: MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Fling

    Eyelashes: Lancome Hypnose Drama

    Cheeks: MAC Blush in Harmony

    See the full tutorial (Annamarie Tendler) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: 10 tips for dealing with dry skin

  1. Closed captioning of: 10 tips for dealing with dry skin

    >> "today's health." this morning the best ways to take care of your skin in the winter months. dr. fusco is a dermatologist in new york city and is joining us. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> this is a tough time of year to have skin not itch and be dry. you say there are simple things we can do at home.

    >> yes.

    >> tell us about these ideas.

    >> we have had a mild winter so far but it still takes a toll. we have a humidifier here.

    >> that's a small one.

    >> it's cute and portable. you can bring it to the office.

    >> with a bottle of water.

    >> right. this delivers humidity to the air.

    >> how much can this possibly fill up? it's such a small device.

    >> a small room or office.

    >> you recommend a regular size humidifier in the bedroom.

    >> yes. this is a nice alternative. it's hygienic. you throw out the bottle.

    >> what about a shower head.

    >> this is a special shower head. even tap water can contain chlorine which can add dryness to the skin. so this is something with a filter in it that actually filters out the chlorine.

    >> that's a good idea. now in terms of what we can put on our skin in general to moisturize you have something that's for the skin?

    >> i do. we have weleda. this product is for babies. it's eco-friendly and fragrance free. people forget babies have thin skin. they lose a lot of heat through the skin and it's important to protect it from the elements. we have kiehl's ultra which is light, well tolerated by all skin types. it protects and hydrates.

    >> that's for the face?

    >> and neck.

    >> these products are considered not too expensive.

    >> none of them will break the bank .

    >> what about for the eyes? people say the skin around the eyes is more delicate.

    >> it is.

    >> so you can't use the same stuff as i do on my eyes as i do on my face. you're supposed to use something specific.

    >> when you can. this philosophy eye cream is great because it hydrates and has retinol to improve collagen.

    >> what about the feet?

    >> you want a rich cream like this first aid product. it works on stubborn, scaly patches.

    >> you also have a problem often times with redness. there are a lot of products out there that attack redness.

    >> many of them just camouflage. but this particular product, the redness relief has complex in it. it actually treats the underlying inflammation which causes the redness. great for red noses in winter.

    >> takes it down. what about cleaning the skin? we aren't supposed to use soap?

    >> the more sudsy the soap is, the tougher it is on skin. use a gentle cleanser. ponds is wonderful for that.

    >> that's been around for a long time.

    >> it's a gold standard .

    >> also for the body. use a lighter soap.

    >> something suds-free.

    >> the hair also gets dry.

    >> this is awapuhi which takes away dryness and this flat iron has keratin in the plates.

    >> do you recommend we maybe wash our hair less often in winter.

    >> yes. definitely.

    >> and there are things we can eat that are good for us and moisturize us from the inside?

    >> from the inside.

    >> they include --

    >> oils, fatty acids. for example, the walnuts right there and the flaxseed are high in omega-3.

    >> you can get the flaxseeds ground up.

    >> right.

    >> dr. francesca fusco, thank you for the fresh ideas to help our skin feel better.


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