Rimmel

Rimmel At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; the pressed bronzing powder; some of the best mascaras at the drugstore; powder eyeshadows; excellent automatic eye pencil; Lasting Finish Lipstick is a must-see.

Weaknesses: Packaging that isn't very user-friendly; average concealers; several lackluster eyeshadow options; none of the Extra Super Lash mascaras earn their impressive-sounding names; potentially problematic eye-makeup remover.

Rimmel is a London-based company that has been under the ownership of Coty since 1996. Coty's namesake presence in drugstores has vanished, but their history lives on via this acquisition. Once exclusive to Wal-Mart, the line has branched out and is now available in other drug and mass-market stores. Given the low to very low price points and several good products, this expansion is good news for cosmetics consumers! What's worth paying attention to when you come across this line are the mascaras, automatic pencils, and bronzing powder. The foundations and concealers are worth a look as well, but without testers, it's always a guessing game as to which color is best for you, and there are no options for darker skin tones. The needs-sharpening pencils are basic but worth a look, though a few of them smear terribly. There are dozens of nail polishes to consider, not to mention a pleasing lipstick and lip gloss selection. Actually, the Lasting Finish Lipstick deserves special mention for its elegant texture and fashion-forward colors, all for under six dollars.

My only significant complaint about Rimmel is the packaging. The tops to the blushes and eyeshadows are awkward and tricky to remove, though this is a minor technicality that's easy enough to live with, especially at these prices!

For more information about Rimmel, visit www.rimmellondon.com.

Note: Many Rimmel products featured on their Web site are not available in the United States; they are exclusive to United Kingdom drugstores. The products reviewed below are those that are consistently found at U.S. stores nationwide, specifically Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

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