Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time and Drugstore Style

This is one of the busiest times of my year. We're coming up on Spring Break at My U but that only means a tremendous PUSH to make things happen, because when we get back there's about six weeks left of the entire semester/school year.

And when time gets short, certain habits fly out the window.

Like my morning make-up routine.

Recently, I've been hunting around for time-and money-saving products in the cosmetics aisle. Since I grew out of my 20s, I've been skeptical about the big claims made by expensive make-up companies about the miracles their products can provide. Especially when these companies use 20 yr old models as their representatives. Let's face it: we all want our skin to stay fresh-looking and smooth, and our makeup to enhance our natural attractiveness. Do we need to leverage a bank loan to do so?

Not at all.

I started following Beautypedia, Paula Begoun's website a few years back. I haven't bought many of Begoun's own products, but the website reviews products from high-end and drugstore companies--and what you discover are the many exaggerated claims, harmful or irritating ingredients and ridiculous products out there. As well as the beneficial, helpful and worthwhile products in many different lines.

I also read all over the 'net, looking at blogs that focus on cosmetics, hair care products and skin care.

Here are a couple of products I've been using for at least 2-3 months that I like, from the low end of the cost scale:
  • Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation. This has an SPF15 included, a creamy texture and lasts all day. It is light enough to feel like nothing on my skin but heavy enough to minimize large pores and cover slight imperfections in tone/color. No perfume-y smell, no chalky feel and it comes off nicely in the evening. This is as good as (if not better than) the Lancome, MakeUpForEver and Laura Mercier Tinted Foundation I spent ten times the price on--each. Believe it! About $5 at CVS. Beautypedia: GOOD rating.
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer. Again with the SPF15, this creamy prep/primer for skin works as well as the more expensive silicone-based primers from Smashbox and MakeUpForEver I used to use. It is creamy, smooth, lasts all day and extends the wear of your foundation, blush, or bronzer; if you never used a primer, there are multiple reasons for doing so if you're over 35: smooths your skin, fills in pores and lines, extends the cosmetics you layer over it, and (here) adding another layer of SPF protection. About $14 at CVS. Beautypedia: BEST rating.
  • Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer. SPF15. A twist-up stick concealer that comes in several colors and works as a concealer for more than blemishes, especially when used under foundation. $8 at CVS. Beautypedia: AVERAGE rating. 
  • Nyx Slim Eye Pencil. This is a fantastic eyeliner pencil. I love all Nyx products, but this is a superior eye pencil: color glides on smoothly without pulling, gives a bold and consistent color. The color lasts all day, washes off easily and the pencils are easily portable for touch-ups. It come in a variety of sparkle and non-sparkle options, as well, enough to make everyone happy! At $3.50 at Ulta, you can splurge in a handful of these and not go broke. And Nyx Cosmetics are not tested on animals: beautiful and kind.
  • Nyx Single Eyeshadow/Nude Matte Shadow. Both of these are great alternatives to more expensive brands and, again, are cruelty-free. The colors are great and the texture of the shadow is fine-milled. Color lasts all day. About $4.50 per shadow at Ulta. Beautypedia: BEST rating.
These are a great start to finding effective alternatives to department-store or high-end brands of cosmetics. Again, anything that will be on your face all day needs to have some SPF and skin care benefits built in, but I'd rather spend my money on skin care and moisturizers than lipstick (although I do love lipsticks!). I have been very pleased with the look, feel and performance of these particular items, and I've been using each of them for over 2 months.

And they each save me time!


  1. These reviews are so helpful! I have never been able to justify to myself the expense of dept-store cosmetics, but it helps to have some guidance when combing through the drugstore aisles. For what it's worth, I have been thrilled with Physician's Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara. For someone with sensitive eyes, this is the only mascara I've found that stays put without irritating my eyes. It's about $9.99, and I've bought it at CVS. I also like their eyeliners for the same reason. I usually use a coupon, so it's a great deal for makeup that really works for me.

  2. Thanks, Melissa. I do buy and use high-end products, but these have been so great, I had to talk about them. I'll have to try the Physician's Formula mascara: I used to use Great Lash for years, but recently I've been getting a lot of fibers in my eyes. Sounds like this might be a solution.


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