Just about every star in Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has parlayed their success on the show into a side-hustle business. From cookbooks, to workout videos, to wine (so many wines), the reality stars have lent their expertise to a variety of ventures, which for some, includes the beauty industry.
So many of these beauty brands got their start on the show, from the countless meetings Gizelle Bryant conducted on screen on the Real Housewives of Potomac for EveryHue to the intense and awkward meeting between D’Andra Simmons and Momma Dee over the L22 Elixir – which is why we decided to finally put these products to the test. While some brands have already bitten the dust (RIP Ramona Tru Renewal skincare), there were plenty of beauty products made by a Real Housewife available for us to test out. Did our skin look as glowy and refreshed as it does in a Real Housewife’s onscreen confessional? Or did the product make us as red and raw as a Real Housewife after a trip to the dermatologist’s? Read on for our reviews, below.
The Brand: Hard Night Good Morning
The Housewife Behind It: D’Andra Simmons, Real Housewives of Dallas
What We Tested: L22 Elixir
Who Tried It: Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter
A major plot point of the show’s second season was D’Andra’s battle with the CEO of Ultimate Living – her own mother, Dee Simmons – for control of the company. This culminated in the scariest altercation of the whole season, when D’Andra had to tell Momma Dee there wasn’t any L22 for her L22 Elixir. (You can see Momma Dee’s terrifying cold stares during that meeting right here.) So when the product officially launched, I couldn’t wait to see what the magical “L22” ingredient really did.
L22 is a peptide ingredient that works to balance the skin’s lipid level to what it was at age 22. Since I wasn’t 22 that long ago, I didn’t notice a huge change in the reduction of fine lines, but I can say it gave me a sense of relief knowing I was incorporating anti-aging products into my skincare routine. And even without much need for that fight-inducing ingredient, it’s so soothing and hydrating, I’ve become hooked on applying this every morning and night.
The Brand: Kashmere
The Housewife Behind It: Kim Zolciak Biermann, Real Housewives of Atlanta
What We Tested: The SkinTight Body-Boosting Bundle (which includes the Sunless Tanning Lotion, Firming Lotion, Luxurious Toning Oil and Exfoliating Body Scrub), plus the Luxury Diffuser
Who Tried It: Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter
I have long aspired to create a beauty routine as iconic as Kim Zolciak Biermann’s. I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat pizza while getting a fat-burning laser treatment? So when I heard she was creating her own luxury beauty line that would make me look as amazing as Kim herself, I needed to get my hands on it immediately. (Have you seen her body after having six kids?) So I put on my fuzzy bath robe to really get into the Kim state of mind and tried out the top Skin-Tight Body Boosting Bundle in her line.
As you may remember from last season of her Bravo show, Don’t Be Tardy, Kim faced the tough decision between a “lemony, clean scent” or a “stripper scent” when creating her line. I’m happy to report she went with a delicious citrus lemon scent that smells so nice I’d keep using the products whether or not I saw results. (Khloé Kardashian even posted a video on social media praising the scent of the Toning Oil!)
From the second I tried the Silken Body Polish and Toning Oil they were my instant favorites. The pure cane sugar scrub leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean without any irritation (it’s incredibly gentle). After a few weeks of using the Toning Oil it seemed like my stretch marks were diminishing thanks to the soothing, hydrating formula (which is no small feat when tanned summer skin makes them all the more visible).
The bundle also includes the Firming Lotion and Sunless Tanning Lotion, which are both fine even if they’re not particularly skin-toning. I put on the lotion on my lower bum and thigh area every night which made my skin feel softer, smoother and more hydrated, but didn’t necessarily have a miraculous overnight change in firmness or reduced cellulite appearance. As for the tanning lotion, I appreciate that it doesn’t have that dreaded orangey tint, but I can’t say I saw any changes in my skin with its anti-aging properties. What both of these did accomplish, though, was making my skin feel and look glowy and hydrated.
As for the diffuser, Kim Kardashian says it best: “It’s so good and it makes my room smell so amazing without the smoke of the candles. I’m literally obsessed,” that other famous Kim said in a Snapchat video.
I second everything Kim said. You fill the container with water, put a few drops of her essentials oils into it (I’m partial to the lemon scent, which made my apartment smell clean and fresh) and let it mist. It also has a color-changing light that really sets the mood.
The Brand: Everyhue Beauty
The Housewife Behind It: Gizelle Bryant, The Real Housewives of Potomac
What We Tested: The Glow Perfect Tinted Moisturizer, plus the Hue Foundation Brush
Who Tried It: Jackie Fields, Beauty Editor
My team is wholeheartedly dedicated to two things: The Real Housewives of Everywhere, and Sprinkles cookies. (And usually, they’re dishing on the former while noshing on the latter.) I am not particularly fond of either, but, intrigued by Bryant’s impressive shade range, I volunteered my visage to this cause.
I received three shades, as well as Bryant’s foundation brush and blending sponge. The Housewife took two years formulating tones, and immediately I could tell that her hard work had paid off, as there was no orange-y or ashy undertone to speak of. I would like to also give Bryant serious props for formulating this product with SPF: It’s titanium and zinc-based, but not at all chalky!
However Bryant’s formula didn’t leave the luminous finish I had hoped for. While part of the product name is “Glow Perfect”, I found that once this moisturizer dried down, it appeared more matte on my skin than anything else.
I also found the brush a little lackluster. It was definitely causing the formula to streak, so I switched gears and applied the product with the sponge.
Some good news: This is the Teflon Don of tinted moisturizer (after several hours of wear, the formula hadn’t moved). Some bad news: This is the Teflon Don of tinted moisturizer (as is the case with most titanium and zinc-packed products, it was next-to-impossible to remove, even after massaging on the richest balm).
All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty darn good launch from the entrepreneur. Just be prepared to upgrade your makeup remover if you incorporate it into your routine.
The Brand: Consult Beaute
The (Former) Housewife Behind It: Heather Dubrow, Real Housewives of Orange County
What We Tested: Beaute Caps, Volumagen Facial Concentrate, and Champagne Beauty Lift Firming Body Creme
Who Tried It: Emily Kirkpatrick, Associate Style News Editor
I was willing to sign up for this particular line of products because I figured that, unlike most of the Housewives who decide to launch themselves into the world of beauty (or should I say beaute), this is at least a woman who is not only married to a preeminent plastic surgeon but also the self-appointed queen of “champs” and all things luxury. So when I started using this trilogy of fancy products, my hopes were as high as Heather’s Louboutin heels.
I started things off with the Firming Body Creme and while the lotion goes on light and sinks in quickly with no sticky residue, I do have a few complaints. First of all, while a rose scent sounds lovely in theory, the reality is something much more akin to your grandmother’s expired perfume and comes on way too strong when slathered over your entire body. Then there’s the issues of the sparkles. There’s some type of fine glitter in this lotion that, instead of leaving you looking dewy, was more reminsicent of the body glitter sticks I would use with abandon in middle school. Finally, while I appreciate the potential benefits of the placebo effect and daily moisturizing, I don’t really believe it’s possible for a lotion to lift or firm any of my body parts and I personally saw no results in that department. That being said, however, did I finish off the entire jar? Yes, of course. Do I regret my dalliance with Consult Beaute for a single second? Absolutely not.
As for the pills: Vitamins are one of those nebulous things in life where there will always be far too many other mitigating factors to tell whether the results are really thanks to the vitamins themselves, or a day with plenty of water and a good night’s sleep. But considering these little guys are packed full of Biotin, Vitamin C, D, zinc and manganese I’m going to say they definitely won’t hurt your beauty routine and I guess my nails are looking a little more lustrous these days.
Of all three products, I have to say I was the biggest fan of the Volumagen, a volumizing collagen facial concentrate that’s meant to keep your skin looking fresh and plump. Again, since I was mixing this product with about ten other serums I use on a daily basis I can’t say for sure that this is the reason the lines on my forehead from constantly scowling have suddenly abated, but it’s definitely not hurting. Plus, there’s something about that thick, goopy formula that is so satisfying to smear across your face and it does actually feel like you are spackling away fine lines every time you put it on. I will say, however, the packaging itself is perhaps not as well-put-together as it could be; I opened it up and the glass dropper immediately detached from the rubber bulb on top. But hey, not everything can be as immaculately constructed as Heather Dubrow’s multi-million dollar home.
The Brand: Pop of Color
The Housewife Behind It: Kristen Taekman, Real Housewives of New York
What We Tested: Nail polish
Who Tried It: Lindy Segal, Style Social Editor
RHONY fans remember POC all too well (Kristen chronicled the line’s inception throughout her time on the show, including a tense meeting with Bethenny Frankel over the name) — and I recall being pretty impressed that the line was sold at a legit retailer, Ricky’s NYC. Update on that front: It appears the line is no longer available on the store’s website, nor can I find it anywhere else at the moment (and the POC social media accounts haven’t been updated since April of this year). That said, I will say my at-home mani using a navy polish from the line was pretty standard. The skinny bottle makes it easy to hold, and the brush was a good size, the formula was pretty clean, and so on. Nothing spectacular, but not bad. It stayed on for about two days before chipping, and about a week total (with a top-coat refresh in between). Nice stuff if you can get it — Kristen, keep us posted on a relaunch!