12 Daring Beauty Products to Try in 2012
We asked our editors to step out of their comfort zones, swap in something bolder and report back.
Nars eyeshadow
Nars Matte Eyeshadow in Outremer
Editorial assistant Talie Tebbi's first reaction to this electric blue matte shadow was "whoa!" She thought it would make her normally unshadowed lids (she wears concealer, foundation and mascara only) look too bright. But with a bit of convincing and an angled eyeliner brush, she worked this shade into the base of her upper lashline and smudged it over her lids with her finger for a dramatic—but not garish—finish. For more intensity, dampen (don't soak) your brush with water before applying this shadow along your upper lids for an effect similar to liquid liner. Although Tebbi says she wouldn't wear a color this shocking every day, she'll save it for her next night out.

Blood Concept perfume
Blood Concept Compatibility Fragrance Test
We were curious to see if these four blood-type-based unisex fragrances (available in A, B, AB and O), that all have a metallic note that reminds us of...well...blood, would appeal to anyone (other than a vampire). Web editor Ruth Baron wasn't at all squeamish about trying a few drops of these red-colored scents. "With the Twilight craze, blood is hot right now," she says, "98.6 degrees to be exact." Baron's favorite was A—oddly enough her blood type—which had a grassy scent with hints of basil, but O (a cedar and leather blend) and B (a patchouli and black cherry mix) followed a close second and third. AB, however, which the package insert promises to be "sharp and cruel," smelled a little too...surgical for her taste.

Benefit Chachatint lip and cheek stain
Benefit Chachatint
Online food editor Lynn Andriani says she's only ever worn pink powder blush and a swipe of light lipcolor, but in the name of beauty research she gave this mango-colored liquid stain for lips and cheeks a go. After noticing that her new sheer, coral flush lasted on her cheeks and lips all day (and after several cups of coffee), she was hooked. It also solved her biggest makeup pet peeve: her hair sticking to her lip gloss. The key, Andriani says, is to apply three short strokes of this tint with the nail polish–like brush on one cheek at a time (or a few dots on your lips) and blend quickly—the formula dries fast.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Lip Gloss in Ultra Violet and Yves Saint Laurent Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15 in Spellbinding Violet

Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Lip Gloss in Ultra Violet and Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Perle in Spellbinding Violet

We challenged lip balm wearer and senior Web editor Tiffany Sun to try something brighter: an orchid-colored Bobbi Brown gloss. "It looks neon in the tube, but on my lips it's a sheer purple," says Sun. Although she always believed that dark lipstick was drying and emphasized her chapped lips, the moisturizing and glossy formula from Yves Saint Laurent changed her mind. (Pair this kind of lipcolor with barely-there eyeshadow to keep your look office-friendly.)

Lip gloss, $23,
Lipstick, $34,

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Whipped Perfume
Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Whipped Perfume
Managing Web editor Darcy Croatto rarely wears perfume—she finds fragrances overwhelming—but this warm jasmine-and-sandalwood mousse melts into skin like a lotion, leaving a more subtle scent. A pea-size dab goes a long way, she says, and the nonsticky gel formula allows you to target your pulse points instead of misting it all over.

LCN CrocoFever Polish
LCN CrocoFever Polish
Associate beauty editor Alessandra Foresto rarely shies away from a beauty adventure (she's tried everything from a battery-operated teeth whitening light to oscillating mascara), but when it comes to her fingertips she prefers classic, solid colors. Foresto was skeptical about this top coat that promises to create a crocodile-like pattern. "I expected it to have a bumpy texture and to flake off like other shatter polishes I've tried, but it's smooth." She likes layering this polish over a neutral nude or gray shade for a more subdued manicure but suggests wearing a brighter color underneath to really make the special effect stand out. The trick, she adds, is to apply a thinner coat for smaller "scales" and a thicker layer for larger ones.

$10 each,
Alterna Caviar Glitterati Spun Gold Pomade
Alterna Caviar Glitterati Spun Gold Pomade
At first glance, this metallic hair cream looks like it would leave hair practically gilded, but that didn't stop deputy Web editor Leigh Newman from slicking it on at her desk. Not only did the glossing balm tame her midday frizz, it added subtle—not glittery—golden highlights. Even better, Newman says applying this pomade liberally helps camouflage dark roots.

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer and Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara in Extreme Teal

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer and Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara in Extreme Teal

Web producer Nathalie Gorman has been using the same black mascara for years, but adding a layer of glossy Hourglass top coat over it in horizontal (not vertical) strokes made her lashes look longer and shinier than ever—almost as if she had spent time gluing on false ones. The next day she tried Estée Lauder's turquoise mascara—a color that showed up on the runways of L'Wren Scott and Gucci, but one Gorman never thought she'd wear on her lashes. "It's not immediately obvious that I'm wearing such an intense shade, but it really brings out the blue in my eyes," she says.

Lash lacquer, $28,
Mascara, $24,
NYX Retractable Eyeliner in Silver, Golden Olive, Purple, Gypsy Blue and Gold
NYX Retractable Eyeliner in Silver, Golden Olive, Purple, Gypsy Blue and Gold
Black and brown eyeliner addict and online health and fitness editor Corrie Pikul tried a different shade of these soft, creamy colored pencils every day for a week. "I was afraid the ultrabright colors would make me look like I was going to a rave, but a light swipe across my upper lashlines was all I needed to give my brown eyes a boost." Plus, they stayed put even after hitting the gym. Pikul likes the blue and purple, but if you prefer something more understated, try one of the metallic colors for a soft and shimmery look.

$5 each,
Brazilian Peel
Brazilian Peel
Dermatologists have been using glycolic peels on patients for years to help with hyperpigmentation and fine lines, but finding an at-home version that didn't risk leaving your your skin flaky and irritated was hard to come by, says online beauty and fashion editor Amber Kallor. But the Brazilian Peel plunger system (which looks like a syringe without a needle) contains premeasured amounts of the neutralizer and active exfoliating ingredient (glycolic acid). Once both are dispensed and spread over the skin, the acid automatically deactivates after 10 minutes. Kallor says the gel felt tingly and warm on her face at first, but when she rinsed it off with water her skin looked glowy—not red. Game to try this at home? Remember to wear some kind of SPF protection; your skin will be especially sensitive to the sun.

$78 for four applications,

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