Prestige Cosmetics

Prestige Cosmetics At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; some winning products in almost every category, including foundation, concealer, powder, blush, and eyeshadow (the singles); great liquid eyeliner; excellent automatic lip liner.

Weaknesses: Many so-so lip products and eye pencils; average mascara; uneven and incomplete distribution of products, even in the same city (which is very frustrating); the makeup brushes are almost impossible to find (and as such were not re-reviewed for this book).

Prestige is a bold name for a cosmetics line that is sold in mass-market outlets and drugstores at prices that any self-respecting makeup snob would scoff at. Yet that would be a mistake, because there are some undeniably good products, especially pencils, powders, and eyeshadow. The quality of these items often exceeds the reasonable price, and is a prime example of a case where expensive does not equate with being better.

Keeping in step with its name, much of the packaging in this line is sleek and functional. All of the compacts are one-piece units (meaning no caps to twist off or fumble with) and the compact foundations include handy mirrors and sponges. Weak points to ignore or consider carefully include the liquid foundation with sunscreen, the eyeshadow duos and quads, and the lipstick, which has taken a turn for the worse since its last review.

You may still find some Prestige makeup brushes available, but these were not reviewed because their availability is haphazard and the company no longer promotes them on their Web site or in their catalog. In fact, "haphazard" is a good way to describe how this Florida-based line is distributed. Found in most major drugstores, the mix of products tends to vary greatly. For example, we had to visit seven locations in the Seattle area just to find everything listed in the Prestige catalog—and this isn't an overwhelming line. It's impressive that there are over 60 eyeshadows and 70 lipstick shades available, but you'll be lucky to find a fraction of that in any single store. The only consistently available items (and all shades were available) were the eye and lip pencils. However, if you don't insist on seeing everything Prestige offers in one place, there is every reason to pursue some essential beauty purchases with them.

For more information about Prestige Cosmetics, call (800) 722-7488 or visit www.prestigecosmetics.com.

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