How to use makeup when you're poor
When you're broke as a joke, that 99-cent lipstick with the broken cap in the clearance basket at Walgreens looks pretty freaking good. But how does it look on your mug? Will it turn you into a jolly clown, like the photo at left? By the way, that's adorable Guest Deal Diva Helen Anne Travis, modeling the latest in mega-lipliner.
For tips on how to squeeze savings from your makeup bag, I interviewed Tampa's Lyz Brice, a professional makeup artist who spent eight years beautifying anchors at WFLA-Ch. 8. She's now a freelancer who works with models and guests on the Home Shopping Network. Read the whole story in Saturday's Personal Best, a cool new publication from the St. Petersburg Times!
~ Deal Diva Stephanie
When it comes to foundation, don't pinch pennies. A department store makeup specialist can help match your perfect shade, and you can test it out before buying. Step outside and check it in the natural light to ensure you're not pulling a Marcel Marceau.
Try before you buy
Ask for samples — and we don't mean a streak of eyeliner on your hand. Makeup counters often have freebies at the ready, but you have to pipe up. Some salespeople will give you a squirt of makeup in a Dixie cup. Brice said she's even sought samples at drug stores with her own Tupperware in tow.
Spending a dollar or two more on a name brand may pay off when you realize Bob's Brand Mascara turns you into Tammy Faye. "There are a lot of no-name brands out there, and I think you run the risk of not necessarily buying something that has the testing behind it and has the quality standards behind it," Brice said.
Time your buys
Most makeup counters offer free gifts by the boat, but you have to time it right. Need to spend a few bucks on your favorite moisturizer? Hold out for a good promotion and you'll come away with free swag. Not to mention the 8-millionth makeup bag for under your sink.
Think about it. They're designed to absorb. And what good does all your really expensive department store foundation do inside a sponge? Instead, opt for a broad, blunt foundation brush for smooth application. Use sponges for blending edges.
Every last drop
Use a lip brush or Q-tip to scrape out the dark dredges of the lipstick tube. Clip the upper corner of the lip gloss like an icing bag to squeeze one more application. That blush you dropped and shattered? Dump the powder in a baggie and proceed. "I am the queen of using the compact until the very end," said Brice. "It's broken, but it's not ruined."
Back to basics
Don't forget a good moisturizer and sunscreen, Brice said. And guzzle water. Your skin will look so good, you won't need to spackle on the motherload. "You're saving yourself tons of money."
Photo: Keri Wiginton, Times photographer