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From Wal-Mart to Saks Fifth Avenue: Spending Your
Makeup Money Wisely

by Wendy Fitos

Whenever I am watching a movie or television show and a woman's vanity is involved, I always notice an array of pretty jars, the French powder puff and an elegant bottle of fragrance neatly arranged on a beautiful tray. Whenever I visit my bathroom or those of my friends, I see open jars, 20 tubes of lipstick, a drawer overflowing with blushes and shadows just begging to see the light of day again. Where does the truth lie?

It is time to answer yet another one of the questions that I get repeatedly: Are products at the department stores really better than those that can be purchased at the drugstore? I can only answer honestly that it depends on the product and what you are looking for in your products.

Of all the products we put on our faces, I believe that foundation and concealers need to be purchased at the department store because colors can be tested and sampled which will save money over time. Women will come to the counter with 5 bottles of drugstore foundation, which they mix together to get the perfect shade.

Five minutes with a well trained beauty advisor will help you invest your money in one foundation that can provided the proper coverage and color for $20-$55 depending on the brand. An average drugstore foundation now costs anywhere from $5-$12.99 without the benefit of trying it on. If you invest in 4 bottles of foundation to get to the correct shade, you are spending anywhere from $20-$52 and you still may not have what you are looking for.

The foundations we put on our faces today are usually water based and coverage can be adjusted to individual needs. Department store foundations tend to have more pigment that will provide a better look using less product on the face. Loose and pressed powders from the department stores will be lighter in weight which will help makeup look fresher and not cakey.

The pigment in products does play a part in department store pricing. Do we tend to pay for pretty packaging and fancy bottles? Unfortunately we do but not as much as we think. Pigment in products is expensive and makes products such as eyeshadow; blushes and lipsticks blend better and last longer on the face.

When investing money in makeup that has a better pigment, we use less of a product because the color will bind to the face without having to add layers. As makeup counters provide testers, the chances of making a mistake are small and make a shopping trip a good experience.

When does it pay to be thrifty with makeup? Drugstore mascaras continue to do billions of dollars, as they should. Mascara, lip pencils, brow pencils and some eye pencils that come from the drugstore are inexpensive yet provide excellent quality.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara sells at a rate of 1 tube per 4 seconds around the world and continues to be a favorite of models and celebrity makeup artists. L'Oreal and Almay are also favorites as both brands provide many types of coverage and easily rival any department store brand.

Each season there is always one color that becomes the "IT" color. The "IT" color may be orange, fuchsia, purple or neon green and we just have to add it to our makeup wardrobe. Three months later we look at the color and wonder what we were thinking as the new "IT" colors come out.

The drugstore is very handy to buy trend colors, as somehow throwing away that $6 eyeshadow is never as painful as looking at the $26 eyeshadow that is peering out of the garbage can.

As always, please feel free to email me with questions concerning your skin, products you are using or advice on how to achieve your perfect makeup look at MkeupJunki@aol.com or makeup@ClevelandWomen.com.

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