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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Paula's Drugstore Doubles: Frugal Makeup choices

I'm a sucker for this kind of thing and I've always found Paula's reviews accurate. So--if you're not on her email list--see her latest list of cheap drugstore goodies.

If you can get past the misconception that "expensive equals better," we promise you'll feel just as beautiful and spend hundreds of dollars less on skin-care and makeup products that work!

Here are some examples of surprising Drugstore Doubles you can find on Beautypedia:

• Sonia Kashuk's Brightening Powder ($10) is nearly identical to Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder ($22). In fact, we actually prefer Kashuk's compact design—far less messy!

• Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation SPF 15 ($6) and Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15 ($60) are both fragrance-free liquid foundations that perform nearly identically and offer the same broad-spectrum sun protection, but Rimmel's version is 1/10 the price of the Hourglass product! Of course, we also love Paula's Choice Best Face Forward SPF 15 ($14.95), as well as many of the more affordable options on our Best Foundations with Sunscreen list.

• Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain + Balm ($9) includes a clear balm rather than the tinted balm that comes with Smashbox's Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm ($23). Other than that small difference, these two products are virtually interchangeable, although the Revlon version performs slightly better!

• Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.59) is every bit as fresh, foamy, and gentle as Laura Mercier's Foaming One-Step Cleanser ($35). Admittedly, neither is quite as fabulous as Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser ($15.95), but our list of Best Cleansers can always help you find the right cleanser at the right price.

• Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick ($7) is a brilliant and beautiful lipstick that outperforms cream lipsticks from Dior and Chanel! Even better: The shade Hot is a drugstore double for M.A.C's Russian Red ($14.50). For beautiful lip color plus sun protection, check out Paula's Choice Sheer Cream Lipstick SPF 15 ($10.95).

• Were you a fan of Peter Thomas Roth's Un-wrinkle Day SPF 20 ($90), now discontinued? No worries! You can save big money by using to Olay's Complete Ageless Skin Renewing UV Lotion SPF 20 ($14.99) instead! If you want to be truly impressed by a brilliant moisturizer with sunscreen, you must try Paula's Choice Moisture Boost Daily Restoring Complex with SPF 30 ($20.95).

• The creamy pink end of NYX's dual-ended Push Up Bra for Your Eyebrow ($10) is interchangeable with Benefit's High Brow ($20)—plus you get a bonus brown pencil that's perfect for touch-ups on the go. Another tip: For a brilliant alternative to a traditional brow pencil, try Paula's Choice Browlistic Long-Wearing Precision Brow Color.

• M.A.C. Eyeshadow ($15) comes in a legendary assortment of textures and shades, but have you checked out NYX's Eyeshadow? For $5.50 you can enjoy the same velvety smooth texture, rich pigmentation, and vivid colors as M.A.C.'s—at 1/3 the price! You'll find the NYX brand at most Ulta stores.

• If you like Dior's Skinflash Primer ($42), check out Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer SPF 15 ($10.95). The performance and packaging are identical, but the Physicians Formula product offers broad-spectrum sun protection, too! Want to prime oily skin and keep it perfectly matte and protected from sun damage? Then Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15 ($20.95) is our first choice!

• We just couldn't resist telling you about this one…Paula's Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($22.95) is just as loaded with antioxidants as Clinique's Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer ($42.50), but the Paula's Choice option is half the price (and contains retinol)!

Now what are you going to do with all the money you save?


Duchesse said...

Brilliant! Am huge fan of drugstore brands. No long-wear (paint-on) lipcolour performs like CoverGirl Outlast-if you "talk off" your lipstick working, this is the product. It is somewhat drying so I do not wear it everyday, but it also does not come off on table linen so perfect for dinner parties too.

Other great brand: Bourgeois, made in the same factory as Chanel, less than half the price.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I'm a high-end makeup snob. (Or should I say, a sucker for pretty packaging.)

But my absolute favorite lipstick is a Revlon color. I think Revlon makes some of the best lip products.

Monkey said...

So helpful! I'm not a big makeup person so I never know what to try or what makes a good product vs bad. Thanks for posting.

Duchesse said...

Back to say Rimmel eye makeup is great too, I buy the mascara and eye shadow.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Thanks for the additional recommendations. Will check out the Bourgeois line--I've never seen it.

@Miss M--I sometimes steal (with permission) some of my mother's high end stuff and I confess it does have a certain allure! Glad that Revlon works for you.

@Monkey--Check out Paula's site. There's tons of info there on makeup and skincare at all prices.

Shelley said...

I've never been a user of the higher end department store brands. I tried Elizabeth Arden once and a pushy salesman (yes, man!) got me to buy a shade that was completely wrong for me. I went back to Maybelline, L'Oreal and Revlon and have never looked at the others since. My Aunt Rita had a lot of the expensive face creams and they are nice, though, so I've been working my way through the lot over the years. When her brother was divorced a few years ago and his ex left a bunch of her creams and cosmetics behind, I commented that she was marking her territory for a return (in fact she was back a couple of times) and he should clear it out - but not throw it away! He uses the make up for stage plays and has no doubt developed a taste for very luxurious hand cream!