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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paula's Make-Up Recommendations: Frugal to Splurge

As you know, I love Paula Begoun. I buy mostly skincare items. I love that she recommends make-up (and skincare too) all across the price spectrum. Of course, you can guess which end of the spectrum I favor.

She has FREE SHIPPING with a minimum $20.00 purchase.

This is a loooonnnggggg list, copied from my email.

Paula's Choice Skin Care

The Best of the Best

Although this is a pretty long list, it is not by any means complete. There are many more top-rated makeup products reviewed on For this report, we included products that not only were highly rated for performance but also really impressed us and are easy to find. Given how many thousands of makeup products we review, we can assure you that these are among the best of the best. Below each product you'll find brief points describing each product. For the complete review, please visit on your computer or mobile phone.

* = a makeup splurge

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup ($11.99)

* Liquid foundation with medium to full coverage
* Ideal for oily, breakout-prone-skin

Avon Smooth Minerals Pressed Foundation ($11)

* Smooth texture that's easy to blend
* Leaves a luminous glow on all skin types

*Clinique Almost Powder Makeup SPF 15 ($23)

* Superb pressed-powder foundation that slips on like a second skin regardless of skin type
* Provides sun protection and a sheer matte finish with a hint of shine

Cover Girl TruBlend Whipped Foundation ($9.60)

* Whipped, slightly creamy texture with a soft matte finish and hint of luminosity
* Best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin

*Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Creme Compact Makeup SPF 15 ($34.50)

* One of the best cream foundations for dry skin not prone to breakouts
* Looks beautifully natural and is a pleasure to blend

*Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($58)

* Liquid foundation with a well-earned reputation among makeup artists
* Best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin

L'Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup SPF 17 ($10.95)

* Liquid foundation with sun protection and gorgeous shades
* Leaves a luminous glow on all skin types

*M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($26)

* The classic pressed-powder foundation with shades for almost everyone
* Never looks dry or chalky, best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin

*Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($40.00)

* Liquid foundation with enviable coverage and shades for pale to dark skin
* Suitable for all skin types

Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation ($7.99)

* Mousse-like cream-to-powder texture that looks amazingly natural
* Leaves a luminous glow on all skin types

Maybelline New York Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish ($8.79)

* One of the easiest-to-work-with liquid foundations
* Leaves a luminous, soft matte finish that's best for normal to oily skin

Paula's Choice All Bases Covered Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Creamy liquid foundation with sun protection and a satin matte finish
* Best for normal to dry or sensitive, rosacea-affected skin

Paula's Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 15 ($14.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Silky, fluid texture blends like a dream and sets to a weightless matte finish
* Created especially for normal to very oily or acne-prone skin

Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation ($11.99)

* Pressed-powder foundation with medium to full coverage
* Ideal for oily, breakout-prone-skin

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Mousse Makeup SPF 20 ($13.99)

* Innovative liquid mousse texture with a lasting matte finish
* One of the best for oily to very oily skin

Tinted Moisturizers

* = a makeup splurge

BeautiControl BC Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($20)

* Creamy, smooth texture with a satin finish and sun protection
* Perfect for normal to dry skin

Boots No7 Soft & Sheer Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($11.99)

* Sheer, smooth, and slightly creamy with sun protection
* Moist finish that's best for normal to dry skin

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer SPF 20 ($11.99)

* Brilliant blend of sheer color with sun protection and anti-aging ingredients
* Satin finish that's ideal for normal to dry skin

Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 20 ($14.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Super smooth and lightweight hydration with gentle sun protection
* Leaves a natural finish suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin

*Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($34)

* Lightweight lotion texture plus translucent color and sun protection
* Soft matte finish that's best for normal to oily or combination skin


* = a makeup splurge

L'Oreal Paris True Match Concealer ($8.95)

* Silky liquid concealer with helpful brush applicator and buildable coverage
* For all skin types, including acne-prone skin

*Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer ($30)

* One of the best for truly full coverage that doesn't look heavy
* Wonderful camouflage for dark circles and discolorations

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector ($7.49)

* Dual-sided product includes a liquid concealer and soft shimmer highlighter
* Works great to conceal dark circles and brighten shadowed areas

Mary Kay Concealer ($10)

* Long-lasting liquid concealer with impressive coverage
* A top choice for dark circles or for concealing red marks from acne

Paula's Choice Soft Cream Concealer ($9.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Suitably creamy for use around the eyes—and it won't crease into lines
* Balanced texture that isn't too slick or greasy, yet is easy to blend

Revlon Age-Defying Moisturizing Concealer SPF 25 ($8.99)

* Silky liquid concealer plus extra sun protection for the eye area
* Moderate coverage that's best for use underneath the eyes

Loose Powders (including mineral makeup)

* = a makeup splurge

Avon Ideal Shade Loose Powder ($9)

* Sheer powder that adds a glow without being shiny
* Looks great in any light, especially on normal to dry skin

Boots No7 Perfect Light Portable Loose Powder ($12.99)

* Perfectly packaged for on-the-go use with a built-in brush
* Feather-light texture ideal for normal to oily skin

*Jane Iredale Amazing Matte Loose Powder ($31)

* Absorbent formula and matte finish for superior shine control
* Perfect for oily skin

*Estee Lauder Nutritious Vita-Mineral Loose Powder Makeup SPF 15 ($33.50)

* Unbelievably light texture and seamless application
* A great way for normal to oily skin to add sheer sun protection

Pressed Powders (including mineral makeup)

* = a makeup splurge

Lacura Compact Powder ($3.49)

* Among the least expensive superior pressed powders
* Velvety, sheer finish perfect for normal to dry skin

*M.A.C. Select Sheer Pressed Powder ($22)

* Does what powder should without looking dry or unnatural
* A formula for all skin types and a wide range of shades

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Protector Finishing Powder SPF 25 ($6.95)

* A substantial find for those with normal to oily skin
* Refines skin while offering a boost of sun protection

N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder ($1.99)

* Beautifully silky texture and sheer application
* The best and least expensive powder for anyone with normal to dry skin

Paula's Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder SPF 15 ($14.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Silky-smooth application and a gentle formula for sensitive skin
* Great way to boost or touch up your sun protection at home or on-the-go

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder SPF 16 ($12.95)

* Shine control and extra sun protection in one convenient pressed powder
* Doesn't look cakey and doesn't make your skin look dull

Prestige Cosmetics Perfectly Matte Translucent Powder ($5.99)

* Silky texture and, true to its name, a perfectly matte finish
* Wonderfully affordable option for normal to oily skin


* = a makeup splurge

Boots No7 Cheek Tint ($9.99)

* Easy-to-work-with cream-to-powder blush
* Creates a natural-looking flush that lasts

*NARS Blush ($25)

* Some of the best shades around, from mild to wild
* Impressive color payoff that lasts, and shine that doesn't flake

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Custom Glow Blush & Bronzer ($12.49)

* Two products in one: soft blush and flattering bronzer
* Use alone or mix for sheer, natural color with shine

Revlon Cream Blush ($9.79)

* Great cream-to-powder blush for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin
* Compact includes a helpful pop-out mirror

Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush ($7.99)

* Beautiful colors and a smooth, natural result
* Includes versatile shades with a matte finish


* = a makeup splurge

Maybelline New York Dream Mousse Bronzer ($5.99)

* Super-smooth whipped texture for a soft, foolproof application
* Two great shine-infused shades for fair to medium skin tones

Rimmel Natural Bronzer ($5.49)

* Pressed-powder bronzer with a perfectly smooth texture and application
* Shades infused with just a hint of shine for a soft tan glow

*Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder ($28)

* A truly matte, utterly believable bronzer
* Concentrated formula requires just a sheer touch for great results

Wet 'n' Wild Bronzer Ultimate Bronzing Powder ($2.99)

* One of the best, least expensive bronzing powders anywhere
* Natural-looking colors with a matte or soft shine finish


* = a makeup splurge

*Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad ($25)

* Velvety texture, easy blending, and lasting color
* Well-coordinated sets that shape and shade the eye

*Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour ($22)

* Awesome, smooth texture that blends impeccably
* Almost matte finish (you'll see just a hint of shine) with lots of light shades

NYX Cosmetics Eyeshadow ($4.99)

* Impressively smooth, pigmented powder shadows that give M.A.C. a run for its money
* Dizzying array of shades, with plenty of everyday colors in matte or shimmer finishes

Physicians Formula Matte Collection Quad Eye Shadow or Bright Collection Shimmery Quads Eye Shadow ($6.75)

* Whether you go for matte or shine, these quads are tough to beat
* The shiny shades don't flake, and most sets are smartly designed

Revlon Luminous Color Satin Eye Shadow ($4.99)

* Silky texture that glides on and imparts sheer color and shine
* Some beautiful nude and brown tones for a can't-go-wrong look

Revlon Illuminance Creme Eyeshadow ($6.50)

* The go-to choice for fans of cream eyeshadow and beauty steals
* Soft colors that won't crease and can be used with powder shadows

Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Singles ($1.99)

* Surprisingly good performance and color payoff for the price
* Variety of finishes from matte to sparkles (but the sparkling shades flake)


* = a makeup splurge

Avon Perfect Wear Eyewriter Liquid Eye Liner ($8)

* Waterproof liquid liner with a helpful felt-tip applicator
* Wears without flaking, smearing, or fading

M.A.C. Technakohl Liner ($14.50)

* Creamy texture and super-smooth application give way to a soft powder finish
* Smudge-resistant, and each shade adds a subtle gleam to your lash line

Maybelline New York Expertwear Defining Liner ($5.79)

* Twist-up, retractable eye pencil that won't smudge
* Includes a built-in sharpener for those who need a finer point (but sharpening isn't required)

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Different Long Wearing Gel Liner ($8.99)

* Among the best gel-type eyeliners, regardless of price
* Absolutely won't flake, smear, smudge, or break down from oily eyelids

*Tarte Cosmetics EmphasEYES High Definition Eye Pencil ($18)

* One of the few eye pencils worth its higher price
* Ultra-fine tip for natural emphasis plus a creamy texture that won't tug delicate eyelid skin

Brow Products

* = a makeup splurge

e.l.f. Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara ($1)

* You won't find a better clear brow gel for anywhere near this price
* Dual-sided component allows use as clear brow gel and clear mascara

Paula's Choice Browlistic Long-Wearing Precision Brow Color ($9.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Brilliant way to fill in and define your eyebrows with soft color
* Stays put all day without smearing or flaking

Paula's Choice Brow/Hair Tint ($9.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Expert, dual-sided brush allows you to groom and define unruly brows
* Sheer color that sets to a soft, non-sticky finish while keeping brows in place

Physicians Formula Brow Definer Automatic Brow Pencil ($5.95)

* Among the best brow pencils at any price
* Smooth application and sheer colors for natural-looking definition without smearing

*Urban Decay Brow Box ($29)

* A brilliant, all-in-one brow-grooming and -shaping kit
* Includes shades for blonde, auburn/red, and brunette brows

Regular Mascaras

* = a makeup splurge

Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Lengthening ($6.49)

* Thickens as well as it lengthens
* Clean, clump-free application that wears well and removes easily

Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume or Lash Blast Length ($8.69)

* Whether you want volume or length, these mascaras are tough to beat
* Dramatic, sweeping results with minimal effort

*M.A.C. Studio Fix Lash ($14)

* A mascara anyone can get right with just one coat
* Thickens and lengthens in equal measure without flakes or clumps

Maybelline New York The Colossal Volum' Express Colossal Mascara ($5.99)

* Your ticket to dramatic lashes—this isn't a mascara for the lash-timid!
* Produces impressive results almost instantly; the more you apply, the fuller your lashes get

N.Y.C. Curling Mascara ($2.99)

* Really works to curl lashes, leaving a beautiful fringe of impossibly long lashes
* Comes off with any water-soluble cleanser

N.Y.C. Lengthening Mascara ($1.99)

* The least expensive mascara that still provides long, defined lashes
* Comes off with any water-soluble cleanser

Paula's Choice Illicit Lash Maximum Impact Mascara ($10.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Creates supremely long, beautifully separated lashes with a soft curl
* Specially designed brush ensures you reach each lash, for maximum results

Paula's Choice Great Big Lashes Mascara ($9.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Enjoy instant thickening and impressive length with just a few strokes
* Applies smoothly and won't flake, smear, or smudge

Waterproof Mascaras

* = a makeup splurge

Jane Max2 Lash Waterproof ($5.29)

* Lash primer and waterproof mascara in one dual-sided package
* The primer really makes a difference if you want thicker lashes

*Lancome Definicils Waterproof High Definition Mascara ($24)

* The waterproof partner to Lancome's esteemed Definicils Mascara
* Among the best waterproof formulas at any price, and it leaves lashes soft

Revlon Double Twist Volumizing Mascara Waterproof ($8.99)

* Outstanding length, moderate thickness, and lashes that hold up to moisture
* Leaves lashes soft, not brittle—and won't flake all day


* = a makeup splurge

*Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lipstic ($22)

* Paula's personal favorite true matte lipstick (and she's tried them all)
* Beautiful shade range and a smooth application that won't bleed into lines around the mouth

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipcolor ($7.19)

* A modern cream lipstick that keeps lips moisturized
* Huge range of shades, helpfully divided into color families

Neutrogena MoistureShine Lipstick with SPF 20 ($9.49)

* Lightweight, smooth, and creamy with strong color payoff
* Provides sun protection and stunning color all in one

Paula's Choice Sheer Cream Lipstick SPF 15 ($10.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Almost weightless texture imparts soft color and healthy shine
* Great way to protect lips from sun exposure while keeping them smooth

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick ($4.99)

* A creamy lipstick that surpasses some that cost four times as much
* Feels great and leaves lips with a soft gloss finish

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick ($12)

* Beautifully creamy and a shade range that's sure to impress
* A great option for those who don't want a shimmer or frosted finish

Long-Wearing Lip Color

* = a makeup splurge

Cover Girl Outlast Smoothwear All-Day Lipcolor ($9.99)

* One of the earlier two-step lip paints, and it remains among the best
* Cover Girl trumps most competing brands on the basis of price and color selection

*Laura Mercier Satin Lip Colour ($22)

* Semi-matte lipstick that lasts without making lips feel desert-dry
* Longevity is maintained if you top this with a dazzling lip gloss

*Lorac Co-Stars ($19)

* A standout due to its creamier color-coat, which lasts for eight hours
* Glossy top coat adds a sexy, non-sticky sheen to richly colored lips

Lip Glosses

* = a makeup splurge

e.l.f. Cosmetics Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 ($1)

* The least expensive lip gloss with sunscreen that we know of—it's truly impressive
* Smooth texture and non-sticky finish (but avoid the glitter-infused shades)

Lacura Beauty Lip Gloss ($2.49)

* Silky, comfortable gloss whose shades go on lighter than they appear
* It's hard to believe such a sophisticated lip gloss costs so little

*Korres Natural Cherry Full Color Gloss ($16)

* Unexpected, but very good, balm-like texture that works great to prevent chapped lips
* Imparts soft color with a non-sticky, wet shine finish

N.Y.C. Extreme Glider Lip Gloss ($3)

* Convenient, generously sized squeeze tube with angled applicator
* Sheer shades for a soft wash of color and non-sticky finish

NYX Cosmetics Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss with Mega Shine ($4.99)

* Unique applicator makes it easier to apply gloss with precision
* Exceptionally smooth and emollient without being syrupy—and the shade range is considerable

Victoria's Secret VS Makeup Sheer Gloss Stick ($12)

* A lip gloss that's packaged like a standard lipstick
* Sheer colors with an attractive glossy finish

Liquid & Powder Shimmer Products

* = a makeup splurge

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mineral Glow ($8)

* Loose powder with shine adheres well without flaking
* Soft colors that cast a subtle glow wherever they're applied

*Trish McEvoy Shimmer Pressed Powder ($32)

* Superior smooth texture that's a cinch to blend
* Provides soft, non-flaky shine that's suitable for day or night

Victoria's Secret VS Makeup Pro Radiant FX Face Illuminator ($14)

* Housed in a bottle with built-in pump applicator
* 1/4 to 1/2 pump is all it takes to softly highlight facial features

Wet 'n' Wild MegaGlo Face Illuminator ($2.99)

* Liquid shimmer with an emollient texture
* Leaves a gleaming, moist finish that stays in place surprisingly well

Brushes & Cases

* = a makeup splurge

e.l.f. Cosmetics 11 Piece Studio Brush Collection ($30)

* All the essential brushes and then some, for a great price
* Includes a brush case

Paula's Choice Brushes ($9.95-$20.95)

* Wide variety of expertly designed, precision-crafted brushes
* The exact same brushes Paula uses on herself

Paula's Choice Mini Brush Set ($38.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* The most essential brushes tucked into a sleek pouch
* Perfect for travel or on-the-go use; fits easily into a small evening bag

Paula's Choice Ultimate Makeup Bag ($19.95)
Free Shipping on $20+ through December 31

* Designed by Paula to accommodate all of your brushes and makeup products
* Keeps all your makeup essentials in one place—no more digging through drawers or rooting through small cases

Sonia Kashuk Brushes ($7.99-$19.99)

* Beautifully made and built to last, with elegant, ergonomic handles
* Great for those who prefer full-size brushes

*Trish McEvoy Brushes ($14-$90)

* Quite simply, these are among the best brushes money can buy
* Practically endless options, whether you're a makeup novice or professional

*Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer ($85)

* A "beauty briefcase for the makeup diva intent on perfect organization
* Impeccable craftsmanship and thoughtful design makes the price easier to justify



Duchesse said...

NYC Curling mascara: Wondered how a mascara can curl eyelashes (and for $2.99!). Researching the topic, I read that some mascaras contain shellac, which holds the curl if already there. Nothing will make straight eyelashes curl except a curler, which is actually a bender.

Anonymous said...

I need to get some of her shampoo again. I don't know what's wrong with my head, but I just can't handle standard shampoo anymore.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--The name is probably ridiculous (as many names are in the beauty world). Worth a try for $3?

@n/m--Haven't tried the shampoo. Still working on my bottle of Pert, which Paula recommends.

nives56 said...

FYI, I tried this eyeliner, Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Different Long Wearing Gel Liner, based on this post. It really works! I have very oily skin, and every other eyeliner makes me look like a racoon by lunchtime. Not so with this one!

Frugal Scholar said...

@nives56--Thanks! That's great to know. She's never failed me.