Cosmetics: Cheap or expensive?

For more information on Paula Begoun's Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me:

Drugstore products featured in this segment:

    Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle NIght Cream, $17.39 for 1.4 oz.
    Olay Regenerist Perfecting Cream, $18.99 for 1.7 oz.
    CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $11.99 for 12 oz.
    Garnier Nutriste Nutri-Pure Microbead Cream Scrub, $5.99 for 5 oz.
    Jane Be Pure Pillow Blush, $5.99
    ELF Eyeshadow, $1
    CoverGirl Smoothwear Liptints, $6.49
    ELF Super Glossy Lip Gloss, $1
    Maybelline Age Rewind, $5.39
    CoverGirl Lash Exact Mascara, $6.99

Must-haves from Paula Begoun:


  • Best water soluble cleansers for all skin types
    Inexpensive: Cera Ve
    Expensive: La Mer

  • Best toners for all skin types
    Inexpensive: Nu Skin NaPCA Moisture Mist ($10.74 for 8.4 ounces); Jane Iredale Pom Mist ($17.50 for 2 ounces).
    Expensive: MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Spray ($28 for 8.3 ounces); M.A.C. Lightful Softening Lotion ($28 for 5 ounces).

  • Best scrubs
    Inexpensive: Garnier-Nutri-pure
    Expensive: Dior-Exfoliant

  • Best makeup removers
    Inexpensive: Pond's Bare & Repair, Conditioning Eye Make-Up Remover ($6.09 for 4 ounces)
    Expensive: Elizabeth Arden All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover ($16 for 3.4 ounces)

  • Best acne products
    Inexpensive: Oxy Oxy Lotion, Vanishing Acne Medication ($5.69 for 1 ounce); J&J Persa-Gel
    Expensive: NV Perricone- Acne Treatment Gel Cream

  • Best moisturizers for normal to dry skin
    Inexpensive: Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Mature Skin Therapy ($17.49 for 1.7 ounces)
    Expensive: Clinique Continuous Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer Dry/Combination ($39.50 for 1.7 ounces)

  • Best serums for all skin types
    Inexpensive: Sonia Kashuk Repair Vitamin Enriched Serum ($18.99 for 0.5 ounce; available only at Target stores
    Expensive: Chanel Age Delay Rejuvenation Serum ($68.50 for 1 ounce)

  • Best sunscreens and daytime moisturizers
    Inexpensive: Almay Daily Moisturizer for Normal/Combo Skin with Grape Seed SPF 15 ($11.99 for 4 ounces); Dove Energy Glow Brightening Moisturizer SPF 15 ($10.99 for 1.7 ounce)
    Expensive: DDF Daily Protective Moisturizer SPF 15 ($36 for 1.7 ounces); Estee Lauder Future Perfect Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Lotion SPF 15, for Normal/Combination Skin ($65 for 1.7 ounces).

  • Best skin-lightening
    Inexpensive: Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener ($15 for 0.85 ounce)
    Expensive: Rodan + Fields Reverse Step 3 Treat: Skin Lightening Lotion ($65 for 1.7 ounces)

  • Best oil-absorbing/blotting papers for normal to very oily skin
    Inexpensive: e.l.f. Professional Shine Eraser ($1 for 50 sheets)
    Expensive: Shu Uemura Face Paper ($12 for 40 sheets)


  • Best foundations with sunscreen (SPF 15 or Greater)
    Inexpensive: L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup SPF 17 ($9.99)
    Expensive: Chanel Double Perfection Fluide Matte Reflecting Makeup SPF 15 ($42.50)

  • Best sheer foundations/tinted moisturizers with sunscreen
    Inexpensive: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer SPF 20 ($10.99)
    Expensive: N.V. Perricone Active Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($65)

Best foundations without sunscreen for very oily skin:

  • Best concealers
    Inexpensive: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer ($5.39)
    Expensive: Stila Illuminating Concealer ($22)

  • Best pressed powders
    Inexpensive: Maybelline New York Dream Matte Face Powder ($7.99) or Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Pressed Powder ($6.99)
    Expensive: Lorac Translucent Touch Up Powder ($32) or M.A.C. Mineralized Skinfinish ($24.50)

  • Best powder blushes
    Inexpensive: Jane Blushing Cheeks Blush ($3.79)
    Expensive: Clarins Compact Powder Blush ($26) Estee Lauder- tender blush

  • Best eyebrow gels and brow tints
    Inexpensive: e.l.f. Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara ($1; clear brow gel); Stila Brow Polish ($12; tinted)
    Expensive: Trish McEvoy Brow Gel ($20; clear brow gel); Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper ($17; tinted)

  • Best cream lipsticks
    Inexpensive: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick ($5.99) or L'Oreal H-I-P Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor ($10)
    Expensive: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lipstick ($21.50) or Giorgio Armani Lipstick Mania ($25)

  • Best lip pencils
    Inexpensive: Prestige Cosmetics Waterproof Automatic Lip Liner ($4.89)
    Expensive: Lancome Le Crayon Lip Contour ($21)

  • Best mascaras
    Inexpensive: L'Oreal Lash Architect 3-D Dramatic Mascara ($8.29, straight or curved brush) or Max Factor Volume Couture Mascara ($6.99)
    Expensive: Lancome Fatale Exceptional Volume Sculpting 3D Comb Mascara ($23) or Chanel Sculpte Cils Sculpting Mascara Extreme Length Fine Lashes ($25)

  • Best makeup brushes
    Inexpensive: The Body Shop ($8.50-$24.50)
    Expensive: Trish McEvoy ($14-$72)

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