By Kelli B. Grant
WHEN YOUR VINCENT LONGO foundation carries a $48.50 price tag or you've just forked over $52 for a Dior 5-Colour eye shadow compact, you're probably not fretting about whether you're buying a quality product.
But choosing to shop at your local drugstore instead of splurging at the department store makeup counter doesn't mean your $1.49 Bonne Bell gloss is junk. "I'm a big believer that at the end of the day, you can get a really good product for any price," says Jean Godfrey-June, beauty director for Lucky magazine and author of "Free Gift With Purchase."
And she should know -- like other magazine beauty directors, Godfrey-June receives as many as 200 new beauty products. Every. Single. Day.
We asked her, along with beauty directors at four other women's magazines, to sort through their loot and pick out their favorite drugstore buys.
Here are five items they go gaga for.
1. Lip Gloss
You could make the argument for splurging on lipstick -- high-end brands have a complex laundry list of ingredients to ensure that the product wears well and the color stays bright. Lip glosses, on the other hand, don't need much to add shine, says Cheryl Kramer, beauty director for Redbook. (Redbook is published by Hearst Corp.; SmartMoney.com is a joint venture of Hearst and Dow Jones.) Her favorite: L'Oreal Paris Color Juice Sheer Juicy Lipgloss ($7.49, drugstores). These sheer and tasty glosses are nearly identical to their sister-brand Lancôme's Juicy Tubes ($16.50) and Juicy Gelée ($16.50) -- but cost less than half as much.
· Calgon Mmmm! Collection limited edition glosses
· Maybelline New York Shiny-Licious Lip Gloss ($5.29, drugstores)
(Photo Credit: L'Oreal)
2. Self-Tanning Moisturizer
The chorus was deafening: All the magazine beauty directors we talked to raved about Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, which is available in three shades each for body ($7.19, drugstores) and face ($7.09, drugstores). "It's goof-proof," says Rachel Hayes, beauty director for Cosmopolitan. (Cosmopolitan is published by Hearst Corp.; SmartMoney.com is a joint venture of Hearst and Dow Jones.) Natural Glow flew off shelves when it was launched in the spring of 2005, prompting more than 38,000 consumers to sign up on an online waiting list. Today, there are more than a dozen similar products on drugstore shelves. These products offer the same gradual buildup of color as pricier versions like Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Body Lotion ($39, Sephora).
· Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous Radiance Moisturizing Lotion ($8.69, drugstores)
· L'Oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer ($9.99, drugstores) · Neutrogena Summer Glow Daily Moisturizer ($8.99, drugstores)
(Photo Credit: Jergens)
There's simply no reason to buy high-end mascara, says L. Bayly Ledes, beauty director for Real Simple magazine. For starters, you ought to replace your mascara every three months or so. (Pushing the wand back into the tube pumps in air, too, introducing bacteria.) Even if you coat your lashes daily, chances are you won't get through the whole tube before it should be tossed.
You'll also notice few differences in quality, she says. Not only do drugstore and high-end brands use similar formulas, but both are also tossing nylon-bristled wands in favor of flexible plastic or rubber combs. Your lashes will be clump-free whether you're using Cover Girl Lash Exact ($7.99, drugstores) or Chanel Inimitable ($26.50).
· Max Factor Lash Perfection ($7.99, drugstores)
· Maybelline New York Lash Stylist ($6.49, drugstores)
(Photo Credit: Cover Girl)
4. Hair-Styling Products
The buzzword for hair this season is "shine," but that doesn't mean you need to head to the salon every week to keep your hair from looking dull. To liven up color and add shine, try John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze ($9.99, drugstores). "$10 for the bottle gets you countless uses," says Redbook's Kramer -- small change compared with the $75 or more you'd pay for a one-time glossing treatment at the John Frieda salons in New York City. Save your cash instead for a great cut that flatters your face.
· Aussie Dual Personality Mousse & Leave-In Conditioner ($4.59, drugstores)
· Herbal Essences Shimmery Nights Shimmer Spray Gel ($6.29, drugstores)
(Photo Credit: John Frieda)
5. Trendy Makeup
Fall spreads in the fashion mags all feature dark nail polish, but you're wondering if that black hue on you will be more Morticia Adams than Lindsay Lohan. Time to hit the drugstore, where the opportunity to experiment is infinite, says Didi Gluck, beauty director for Marie Claire. (Marie Claire is published by Hearst Corp.; SmartMoney.com is a joint venture of Hearst and Dow Jones.) That way, you won't waste money on shades that don't suit you or that quickly become unfashionable.
The look: Stained lips
The product: Revlon Super Lustrous Crème Lipstick in Cherries in the Snow ($7.09, drugstores). "Dab a bit on and blot it with your fingers," suggests Lucky's Godfrey-June. You're aiming for a sheer look, rather than a bold, matte one.
The look: Black nails
The product: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish in Black Out ($2.49, drugstores).
The look: Smoky eyes
The product: Max Factor Shadow in Precious Metals ($5.49, drugstores) or L'Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigments Shocking Shadow Pigments in Valiant ($7, drugstores). For colorful smoky eyes, try Revlon Illuminance shadows in Va Va Va Bloom ($6.50, drugstores).
(Photo Credit: Revlon)
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