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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

The Great Makeup Search (Part II)



Cosmeticsimage I was desperate when I recently put out a call for help in my search for a new makeup line, now that Prescriptives cosmetics counters are closing.

Deal Divas readers had so much good advice, it made my heart brim and my eyes water. But rather than smudging mascara, I've been hard at work, trying out your tips.

Here's what I've learned so far:

I wanted to scope out MAC cosmetics and BareEscentuals, both of which got rave reviews from readers. But I resolved to shop smarter than my usual trip to the makeup counter, when I buy whatever I try on and decide whether I like it later.

So I told the makeup consultants right off the bat that I wanted a light makeover -- and I wanted to wear the products for the rest of the day before deciding to purchase. That took the sales pressure right off the table. To my surprise, the consultants were totally cool and obliging. I was even offered foundation samples from both lines that I could use on my own for a few days! 

So what do I think of MAC vs. Bare Escentuals?

MAC: Big thumbs up

In the past, I wasn't so impressed, but I think the problem was the customer service at the standalone MAC cosmetics store in International Plaza. Admittedly, this was a couple of years ago, but the "pros" there always seemed more interested in painting exotic eye colors on teens than helping me to find the right color for my skintone, so I ended up with products that made me look yellow.

Last weekend, I happened into a free, mini-makeover promotion at Nordstrom. A MAC consultant there spent a half hour glamming me up, with zero sales pressure. I left with a big sample of MAC's Fix Fluid Foundation in a color that looks totally natural. I'll be able to try it for a week before deciding on a purchase. I'm likely to buy, at Nordstrom, of course, as it seems like a reasonable investment for $25.

Bare Escentuals: Totally overrated

I'm going to make enemies saying this, but I think the emperor has no clothes. I expected to be so blown away that I would feel compelled to drop about $80, the small fortune that the sales clerks at the Bare Esccentuals store at IP said is needed to get started. But the products -- a series of mineral powders that you swirl and dust onto your skin -- just didn't wow me.

The pro: It didn't feel like I was wearing makeup. The con: I didn't look so much better than my bare self. And the mineral powder seemed to accentuate my fine laugh lines. For the price, I just wasn't sold. But I do have a little sample that I am going to try, to make sure I wasn't having a bad face day.

What's next?

Before I invest in MAC cosmetics, I may try another line or two. Deal Diva Colleen suggests giving Bobbi Brown cosmetics a whirl, too. Any other suggestions?

Deal Diva Letitia

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:23pm]


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