Checking out the Beauty Flash spread in next month’s W makes us think of the ongoing conversation we’ve been having with friends for years- beauty products that actually work. It’s no secret that advertising drives a lot of what’s found in magazines, and that publications with a luxury perspective tend to showcase the glitziest and rarest of the newest crop of whatever, no matter if they work or not. Products by Clinique, Estee Lauder, Revlon, La Prairie and the like make it into high-end glossies every month, but everybody knows they’re a huge waste of hard-earned cash. Ask any beauty editor what she washes her face with every morning, and you’re like to hear some combination of Neutrogena and Olay. Readers don’t hear about great products like Cetaphil because they don’t seem to advertise, and the packaging is less than persuasive. So do you really need that new La Mer Cleansing Foam “fortified with precious jade and pearl powders” for $65? We think (know) not. How do you inform your beauty product purchases? And have you ever splurged on something because a favorite magazine told you to?