Thursday, April 16, 2009

STI: Budget beauty

April 17, 2009

Budget beauty

Recessionistas are heading for drugstores for their beauty needs


These days, it's not a stretch to find former loyalists of New York's upscale speciality boutique Henri Bendel navigating the cosmetics aisles of drugstores, intent on finding that perfect shade of blush that does not bust the budget.


They are not alone. A recent report by Mintel, a market research company, said department store make-up shoppers are increasingly trading down to drugstore selections in the current economy.


Data from Information Resources, a Chicago- based research firm, seems to confirm that: From January to March 22, nationwide drugstore sales for cosmetics have increased by nearly US$5.5 million (S$8.3 million) over the same period last year.


'I don't think anyone should be lost or broke because of make-up,' said Ann Orcutt, a professional make-up artist, during a trip to Duane Reade.


She picked out items that compare in quality to more expensive labels, such as:


- CoverGirl AquaSmooth Compact Foundation, US$9.79 ('the best liquid coverage in a compact liquid/powder format,' she said);


- CoverGirl Cheekers Blush, US$4.39 ('It has a bit of sparkle in it, it's not just a flat colour');


- L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, US$7.50 ('Make-up artists who trained me eight years ago said that it was the best');


- L'Oreal Le Grand Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Black Sable, US$8.49, available in Singapore for S$16.90 ('This is a fantastic dark rich brown that works for everyone');


- Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow Quad, US$6.99, available here for S$24.90 ('The only drugstore eyeshadow I like').


Other items included Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Gloss, US$6.99; L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lip Liner, US$8.99, and CoverGirl TRUblend Microminerals Finishing Veil, US$12.99, a translucent finishing setting powder.


The grand total for all that? US$66.13.


'High-end versions would have cost upward of US$175 easily,' said Orcutt, who has used all the products on herself and on the job.


She emphasised that tunnel vision should be used while visiting upscale stores.


'Know what you want, get it and leave,' she said. 'Don't get suckered in by monthly promotions and packages, because they usually involve products and colours you don't need.'


Especially when shopping for a good foundation, she said: 'Go to the counter and get professional help. If you try to guess what you need, you'll end up buying something else later - it's a huge waste of money.'


As for concealers, she recommends Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector, about US$9.


'This is practically an exact copy of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighter, which costs about US$40,' she said. 'It comes in two shades for mistake-proof blending. I have this in every colour in my kit.'


She is a fan of M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish, US$25, available here for S$46, because it provides three products in one (foundation, powder and concealer). A drugstore version of this is Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation, US$13.59.


When it comes to facial cleansers, she said: 'There's no point in spending US$26 on something with grapeseed extract when you're just going to rinse it off.' Instead, she recommends Olay Foaming Face Wash, US$4.90 (200ml), available here for S$5.10 (100ml).


'My skin is at its best when I'm using this stuff.'


The New York Times




- Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow Quad, US$6.99, available here for S$24.90


- Olay Foaming Face Wash, US$4.90 (200ml), available here for S$5.10 (100ml)


- Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation, US$13.59


- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector, about US$9


- L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, US$7.50

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