Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beauty of a Buy--Update

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat: There IS no substitute.

Last April I posted a link to a New York Times article "Beauty on a Budget: Advice From a Stylist", which offered economical alternatives to high-end beauty products. Professional makeup artist Ann Orcutt took the Times reporter on a tour of Duane Reade, pointing out drugstore products of comparable quality to more expensive deparment store brands.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. Here was an artiste, vouching for Voluminous mascara, crowing about Colorstay eye shadows--swearing that she used them in her professional and personal life. In the piece Ms. Orcutt assembled a makeup palette for $66., which was quite a savings from the $175. the items would have cost at a department store.

So, I thought I'd give a few of these items a try---I was particularly interested in her suggested
alternative for $40. YSL Touche Eclat highlighter (Maybelline Double Face Perfector, $9.) and her recommendation for "the best" mascara (L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, $8.).

The verdict: Um, no.

While I was impressed by the Voluminous mascara--it went on easily, didn't clump, and wore well throughout the day--it was certainly not "the best" mascara I've tried. (Frankly, it wasn't **that** much better than cheapie Maybelline Great Lash. Didn't begin to measure up to YSL , or even Bobbi Brown, for that matter.) Was it a bargain? Yes. Was it the ne plus ultra? Meh.

The Maybelline Age Rewind Double Face Perfector was a disappointment. Ms Orcutt touted this as "practically an exact copy of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Highlighter." She liked that the product featured a concealer wand on one end, a highlighter brush on the other for "mistake-proof blending". I found it fussy, and the blended results unimpressive. Why not just provide the right shade out of one end? The highligher brush took up too much product, so it was difficult to apply sparingly. Worst of all, the product itself smelled noxious.

I'd rather spend the $40. for Touche Eclat, which lasts me a couple of months.

While the article was informative, and offered some decent suggestions for saving money on makeup and beauty products, some things are in a class by themselves: Touche Eclat is one of them.


While I'm not a makeup artist or stylist or beauty expert, I AM on a budget. Here are some of my favorite economy beauty buys:

*Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder, $8.99. Lives up to its name--minimizes shine, giving you a translucent, almost glowing finish. (Available at Target)

*Revlon Colorstay Undereye Concealer, $9.99. Fairly thick coverage that lasts for hours. Might be a bit dry for some skin types. (Available at

*E.L.F Professional Eyeliner Brush, $1.49. This is especially good if you cut the bristles down a bit--gets in very close to the lash line. No, it's not Trish McEvoy, but for $1.49 you cannot beat it! (Available at

*Aubrey Organics Rose Hip Oil, $13.99. Love the roller applicator--like a lipgloss, so you are not getting oil on your fingers. Smells clean, absorbs instantly and moisturizes beautifully. (Available at

*Alba Hawaiian Plumeria shampoo, $9.49. Smells expensive, gently cleans and conditions your hair. (Available at

Back to Blog

Summer's just about over. I enjoyed it immensely.

And now, it's back to blogging.