Claudia Stevens Lid & Lip Primer Base

My ongoing quest for an effective eye shadow primer led me into Sally Beauty Supply recently, and I decided to try Claudia Stevens Lid and Lip Primer Base.  I had never heard of this brand, but the saleswoman assured me it is a good one.  I nodded but made a mental note to keep my receipt, just in case.  Good thing.

The product description claims that this item is “makeup before the makeup”, to prevent color fading, creasing, and bleed.  Sounds good, right?

I tried the eye primer first.  My first thought about the primer stick was that it just looked greasy.  How the hell would an oily primer keep eye shadow from creasing?  It applies like a lipstick, or concealer stick, and I topped it with a light dusting of powder before applying eye shadow.

My first reaction to this product was dead-on.  This primer encouraged creasing and actually made it look worse than not wearing primer at all.  I tried it a few more times, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and each time my shadow almost immediately creased and looked terrible.

I also tried the lip base, just to see if it could offset the crappy performance of the lid primer.  It ended up making my lip color goop up and collect in the corners of my lips, which is not especially attractive.  Not only that, but my lipstick didn’t last any longer with this base than without it.

I wasn’t impressed, to say the least.  I grabbed my receipt, stuffed this product back into its box, and returned it for a refund.  Out of five stars, I have to give this one a zero.  Not doing what it claims is one thing; actually making make-up look worse is downright appalling.  Save your money on this one!


Drugstore Beauty

Great products with great results don’t need to cost a fortune. The Make-Up Diva lists her favorite drugstore cosmetics in this article: Save Money on Make-Up: Review of Inexpensive Drugstore Cosmetics.

She comments, “When most women think drugstore mascara, they think Maybelline Great Lash; it has been touted for years as a favorite in the business, named countless times as magazine beauty editors’ favorite, but I honestly have no idea why.” I heartily agree. I have never found the allure of this particular product, and in fact, it’s one of my most avoided products.

I also agree with her choice of Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara, even though as a rule, I do not like Max Factor. (Maybe it’s the ultra-cheesy advertisements featuring Carmen “Striptease Cardio” Electra in loud neon make-up and abusively bleached hair…) This mascara runs about $5 and although not my favorite mascara, does a good job for the price.

The Make-Up Diva lists Olay as one of her top picks for skin care, and Olay is the only moisturizer I’ve used for years. (By the way, click here to check out Olay’s current offerings of samples and coupons.)

The biggest downside to buying make-up at drugstores is the lack of testers. I always save my receipt and am not timid about returning a product if I just don’t like it. I don’t know how anyone can be expected to select make-up without testers.

What are some of your favorite drugstore brands and products?

Favorite Products

I am not a particularly loyal individual when it comes to which beauty products I use. Generally I purchase whatever strikes my fancy at the time, what I may have recently read a great review about, or what I happen to have a coupon for. There are a few items, however, that have earned my die-hard faithfulness.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub: According to St. Ives’ website, this scrub “deep cleans pores while gently removing dull, dead skin cells to reveal smoother skin”. My skin is pretty sensitive, so I only use this about once a week. I can tell the difference as soon as I rinse my face: smoother, softer, clearer. I also use it on my feet, heels, elbows, anywhere that needs some gentle softening.

Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Time Renewal Replenishing Mask: Besides having quite possibly the longest name ever in hair care products, this Pantene hair mask has been a mainstay of my shower ever since it hit the shelves. I color my hair frequently, plus blow-drying almost every day, so I treat my abused hair to this treatment once or twice a week. My hair is always softer, easier to comb (it generally tangles very easily), and shiny after I’ve used this hair mask. I’ve tried a much more expensive deep conditioner from the salon, but I still strongly prefer Pantene.

Olay Complete All Day UV Moisture Lotion: My mom swore by Olay, and what can I say, the woman is wrinkle-resistant! I use the moisturizer with SPF 15 to ward off the aging effects caused by sun damage. The lotion is light enough to not wreak havoc with my oily skin, and I am complimented all the time on my skin. Proof enough for me. It’s the only moisturizer I’ve ever used on my face.

What are the products that have earned your devout loyalty?

Best and Worst Beauty Products

Touting herself as the Cosmetics Cop, Paula Begoun creates a list of the Best and Worst Beauty Products each month.

This month’s best: OLAY Definity Correcting Protective Lotion with SPF 15, and Paula says, “It’s a worthwhile, if not quite state-of-the-art formula (a wider array of antioxidants would have been preferred, especially given the price) for normal to dry skin.”

The worst? CLINIQUE True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer, which according to Paula, has a “dry, grainy texture and somewhat spotty, sheer application with shine.”

Paula’s website also has a searchable collection of free product reviews, as well as an ingredient dictionary, make-up tips, and skin care facts. I found the website by searching for product reviews, but this looks like a site with lots of resources, so check it out!