Beauty & Beyond: Fab Beauty Finds

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I test out new beauty products as part of my job. That'??s my lot in life. I know, a tough one. But I'??ll manage.

When I discovered that New Beauty magazine was bringing beauty samples to the masses with a new membership program, I had a nervous breakdown. The kind that found me under my desk, in a fetal position, rocking back and forth, and humming. Will people not need me anymore? Will I go the way of the washed up has-been? I had visions of myself, standing on a street corner in the rain, wearing tattered wedges from two seasons past, brown streaks from my root touch-up pen dripping down my face, trying to peddle my beauty advice to anyone who would listen. (queue the body-encasing splash of a huge puddle as a car drives by) This can'??t be happening.

It'??s happening. Everyone knows that New Beauty is where you go for'?¦achem'?¦new beauty. So its TestTube sampling program makes sense, as much as it threatens my very existence on this planet'?¦no, I'??m not panicking.

You pay $29.95 each season. Wait for your mailman (if I don't get him first), and then every three months you'll have a huge bright pink tube of the best beauty products delivered. Think Dr. Brandt, Garnier, SkinCeuticals. And these aren'??t just tiny packets you might find in a Sephora order. In some cases you actually get full-size samples. This month's tube had Neutrogena'??s Rapid Wrinkle Repair, AHAVA'??s Essential Day Moisturizer and a fantastic It's a 10 leave-in conditioning spray, among others. Within the package is also fact sheet on each product (what it is, why it belongs on your beauty shelf, etc.) and the latest issue of New Beauty to flip through.

Once you try your treats, you get to share your thoughts on the New Beauty site with other beauty enthusiasts.

This is a fantastic beauty sampling program that brings expert selections straight to your door, so you can judge for yourself if the latest really is the greatest. So, go ahead. Join. You don'??t need me. Just stop by every so often to say "Hi," OK? I'll be the one on the corner, mumbling something about B.B. creams and blue lips for fall.

New Beauty's TestTube program is available at testtube.newbeauty.com.

MD Solar Collage

When Nicole, the main Momtrends mama, asked me, '??Are you sun-screened out?,'? I realized'?¦oh my sweet summer sun, I have been writing a lot about sunscreen. I guess it'??s always on mind. And on my face, as it were. And since the sun has been ridic lately (July was just written into the books as the hottest in the U.S. history), we'??ll be slathering on the SPF like nobody'??s business. So I guess I have to make it my business.

There'??s a line of sunscreen on the horizon that was developed by a NYC dermatologic oncologist (he would know about the bad news that too much sun can bring). MDSolarSciences recently launched into the kid'??s sunscreen with its new Natural Mineral SunscreenKidStick SPF 41 and KidCréme SPF 43. They are gentle hypoallergenic non-everything (read no PABA, parabens, Vitamin A, chemical blockers, hassle, stickiness or fragrance) über-water-resistant formulas perfect for keeping your little ones safe from the harmful rays. The Stick is great for getting the delicate spots like lips, eye lids, ears, hands and necks, while the all-over coverage from the oil-free cream goes smoothly. No chalky white weirdness here.

I also love their Mineral Screen Tinted Gel SPF 30+. It'??s very water resistant, which means that I don'??t end up sweating it off like stage makeup. And it'??s a veil of soft-as-powder tint. It really goes on smoothly and completely, especially since the instructions tell you to put a dot every inch on your face then blend it in. My daughter got a kick out of watching me apply. I looked like a pretty Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies. Minus the ouch factor and leather bondage coat.

OK, no more SPF chat for me. But in the back of my mind, I'??m still raising hell against the sun. So watch out. I might speak softly, but I still carry a big sunstick.

MDSolarSciences sunscreens are available at MD offices and on mdsolarsciences.com for $23.95 (tinted gel), $12.95 (stick) and $27.95 (KidCréme).

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines. Visit her professional freelance writing site cherylfenton.com.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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