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  1. #1
    Tovah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Smile budget friendly, high quality, personal recs:

    It's always fun to get cosmetics advice from those who have opinions I trust. As far as cosmetics, I figure the more frugal I am with other products, the more I have to spend on fragrances. What are some of your favorite cosmetic "deals"?

    Here are some of mine.
    I am NOT affiliated with this company in any way, shape, or form, but I am an extremely happy customer. I know there are lots of people here who are always on the lookout for cosmetics that perform well, so I want to share some products that have impressed me. (For fun, but I hope it may be good information for these tough economic times as well.)

    One company is Studio Direct Cosmetics, They are a private label distributer here in Southern CA, but they ship worldwide. I've been using their color correcting foundation for years (peach) but, recently, when I needed to replenish some makeup, I decided to try some of their other products. I am truly thrilled with them. Quick recs:

    1. Studio Direct Anti-Aging Matte Finish Liquid Foundation w CoQ10 - I have this in Straw. This feels like a layer of silk on my skin! This is the best foundation I've ever used. It makes me look like I have flawless skin (I definitely do not), and I don't even need setting powder over it! It leaves a sort of matte finish, but it's not at all like traditional, dry, cracking matte finishes. It doesn't shine or have glitter or any of that nasty stuff, either. It looks natural, and clean, and it's fragrance-free. $19.99

    2. Studio Direct Hypoallergenic Color Correctors Matte Oil Free Formulation - I use Peach beneath powder or beneath foundation. It's beautiful. It helps cover pores, redness, circles, and makes me look like I'm full of energy. (Aren't cosmetics great?) I've been using this for about 4 years now. $15.99

    3. Studio Direct Super Long Wearing Indelible Smear-Proof Water-Proof Creme Eye Liner Gel - I have this in Mushroom, which is perfect for daily wear. I'm going to buy this in other colors for fun. This does not smudge or anything! It's gorgeous. $14.99

    4. Studio Direct Oil Free & Fragrance Free Shine Absorbing Powder Compacts - These are similar to BeneFit Get Even, but there's a nice color selection. This is very smooth powder that I can use either with or without foundation. For me Golden and Honey work beautifully. $14.99

    The hardest thing for me to find over almost 30 years of wearing makeup, is foundation, so I'm amazed at how much I like this one (no weird undertones...very natural. It seems to disappear into my skin). Other sites sell this formulation, but Studio Direct has the best price for it. Studio Direct has a website & they also sell on Ebay.

    These products are also available at Dermasoft, I use Studio Direct because it's in CA and the shipping is less costly for me. But if you're on the East Coast, Dermasoft may be a better option, shipping-wise.

    5. Another site I've used for years is (Not affiliated with this one, either, but I've been buying from them for 10 years!) Sometimes they have excellent deals, and, except for foundations and powders, their colors always work for me. (I have medium skin with yellow-gold undertones that tans extremely easily. dark auburn hair, and light green eyes. Finding colors that work well is always a challenge.) I don't think you have to be a redhead to appreciate this site. If you have red or gold highlights in your hair or "warm" coloring, this site can provide perfect, natural-looking colors. Their Whisper Apricot blush is beautiful, and I cannot find this color anywhere else. JFR Palettes are fantastic, eyebrow products are the only ones I use, and their mascaras are the only ones that work for a "no makeup makeup look.

    6. Paula's Choice skincare is the only line I've used regularly for 6 years now. The prices can't be beat. Her face cleansers come in really large bottles, so they last for months. Lots of people find Paula Begoun to be annoying (I don't), but she really knows her stuff when it comes to formulating skincare. The info. she provides is fascinating for a geeky researcher-type like me. ;-) (I'm not affliliated with this company either.) Her newest sunscreens are the creme de la creme of the hundreds I've tried. They're the only ones I can wear under makeup without them causing slippage or cakey-ness.

    Anyways - just wanted to share. After all, the more we save on other stuff, the more fragrances we can buy! I look forward to getting recs from all of you.
    Last edited by Tovah; 20th November 2008 at 05:01 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: budget friendly, high quality, personal recs:

    Interesting, Tovah. I, too, had a very difficult time finding a foundation that worked for my skin (very pale but no pink/blue/peach undertones that I find in most foundations) - and now I've realized that concealer alone is the best way for me to go (and Mac is what I use - their shades work for me).

    As for cheap but awesome products I'm going to give Spectro-Jel, a cheap drugstore facial cleanser (usually found in the anti-zit section) - have used it for years and never found better, even with stuff that was more than 20 times as costly.
    "It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

  3. #3

    Default Re: budget friendly, high quality, personal recs:

    I have to second Tovah's recommendation of Paula Choice products. They are gentle and non-irritating and the products for oily-combo skin don't add to my oil slicks. I also like some of her make up products.......
    I am NOT my hair, I am NOT my skin ; I AM the soul that lives within!

  4. #4
    beachroses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    North Carolina

    Default Re: budget friendly, high quality, personal recs:

    I wear Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, which I save more money on by buying in their special kits, and the pots of makeup seem to last forever. Foundation is the only thing I've had to replace so far and I have many colors of eye/cheek stuff. It feels like nothing on my face, works well for casual wear, in my instance.

    A foundation that covers more and gives a more flawless look is Prescriptives Any Wear. A compact that you can apply with a sponge, dry or damp.

    Since my makeup works so well and lasts so long, I just don't try a lot of different things anymore. It also doesn't have an odor or look like a mask with lines between my face and neck. I have a hot humid climate to deal with in the summer, too, another reason I like Bare Escentuals. When other people's faces are dripping, my is dry and cool. It doesn't give 100% coverage, but it makes me look a lot better, anyway.

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