Splurge vs. Steal: Identical Cosmetics for Less!

Airdate: 3/13/12

Discover which inexpensive makeup and skin-care products are identical to (or better than) their pricey department store rivals.

Bryan Barron: Well, good evening everyone. It is Tuesday night, March 13, and we are here with you at 6pm Pacific Time as usual, 9pm Eastern Time, and our shows are always available via podcasts. You can go to, or, click on the Community, and find the radio show page, where you can listen to archived shows and also access transcripts of past shows.
00:00:33 Tonight we are going to be talking about Splurge vs. Steal: How you can find identical, or nearly identical, cosmetics for a lot less money. So, very exciting show. We have some incredible inexpensive beauty buys to tell you about. We are all going to take a turn. I'm online here with our producer Desiree Stordahl, who is back from her vacation. Hello, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Hello. I'm a little sad I missed out on the show last week with James Todd and his hair tips. He is one of my favorite special guests. But I think I am going to download the episode on my iTunes and listen to it tonight during my workout.
00:01:12 So that is another great way to listen to our shows archived is through iTunes.
Bryan Barron: You know, I hear that from a lot of listeners. They are like, "Yeah, I listen to your show when working out, or I listen to it in my car when I am driving into work." And I go, "Oh, that's really cool." Modern technology!
Desiree Stordahl: Mm-hmm. It's great.
Bryan Barron: Also on with us to talk about some great inexpensive buys compared to their expensive counterparts is the Paula's Choice Research Team co-member, Daynah Burnett. Hi Daynah.
Daynah Burnett: Hello, team. How are we tonight?
Desiree Stordahl: This is one of my favorite topics.
Bryan Barron: We are dealing with this crazy weather here.
Daynah Burnett: Oh, it's schizophrenic here today.
Bryan Barron: We woke up to snow, at least most of us in the Seattle area did, and drove to work in the snow. Then it turned to rain. Then we got more snow. Then it got sunny, and the snow melted. And then we got more rain, followed by more snow, which then melted with more sun.
Daynah Burnett: So who knows what the evening has in store.
Bryan Barron: Oh, yeah.
00:02:14 We will see. So, before we get into the topic, I do have a bit of a rant. This is from the new issue, April 2012, of Glamour Magazine. And thank you to Daynah for pointing this out. First of all, they have a section in their beauty category called, "Your pimple-free plan: flawless face special." And the design that they used for this piece is called an Infographic. And it is essentially a really cool way to convey the content of an article, but you are using pictures and graphics as opposed to just text.
00:02:51 And I have seen some really good Infographics. And I have seen some really bad ones. And this in Glamour Magazine, Daynah showed it to me, and I recall flipping past it, and I told her, you know, it was so disjointed and hard to follow that I didn't even bother looking at it. And she thought the same thing. And also noted that some of the tips that they offered were really off-base, and certainly not designed to help.
00:03:21 But like most fashion magazine beauty advice, there is some good information comingled with bad information. And so if you take every word to heart, you are going to end up with some problems. So, one of the things that they recommend in terms of covering, what they describe as a "big, honking zit," is to use -
Daynah Burnett: I think we all know what that means though.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. I think all of us, if you have ever broken out at least once in your life you have probably experienced a big, honking zit. You can feel them coming. They hurt. And they seem to take forever to go away. Don't put a green concealer over a big, honking zit, because all that is going to announce to the world is that you have a very strong colored big, honking zit on your face.
00:04:05 So that is definitely one tip you can ignore, especially because in Glamour Magazine they say follow it with loose powder and then put skincare over the top of it. It is completely backwards. You will be rubbing off all of the concealer, although in the case of using a green concealer, that is not necessarily a bad thing. They also recommend a creamy concealer palette from Makeup Forever, which that concealer is actually not a bad one, it is just that the ingredients in that type of a cream concealer aren't what you want to put over a breakout.
00:04:39 For best results, and believe me, we completely understand your desire to want to cover up a zit. All of us want to do it. Nobody likes looking at those things. Go for a liquid concealer, something that has a thinner texture, and preferably a matte rather than a shiny finish. Shine is going to attract attention to the area. Think of putting on lip gloss and how the glossy finish definitely puts a spotlight on your lips. If you use a shiny concealer, or a cream concealer with a satin-like finish it is going to draw attention to what you are trying to hide.
00:05:11 But you want to apply a liquid concealer in thin layers until you get the desired coverage. You can use a clean fingertip or a brush. Give it about a minute or two to set before dusting on some powder, and that should work without running the risk of clogging that pore and either making the blemish last longer or creating a brand new one right next to the one that you are desperately trying to get rid of.
00:05:33 A couple other tips that they made mention of that I thought were just silly - and I know that the team agrees, is they did a section called, "Does (fill-in-the-blank) make me break out?" And they talked about prescription drugs, dairy products, stress, your cranky stomach, chocolate. The two that I thought they really got wrong was your phone. And the quote was, "A lot of people break out more on one cheek than the other." This is from a New York City dermatologist who always asks them to hold up their phone.
00:06:07 And she says, "9 times out of 10 they hold it up to the side of their face where the breakouts are." She correctly mentions that a phone can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Absolutely true. What is left out is that the type of bacteria that causes acne lurks inside the pore. It isn't sitting on the surface of your skin. It is an anaerobic bacteria that doesn't like oxygen.
00:06:30 So it actually kind of hides in the pore lining which is where it causes the inflammation, where when mixed with the dead skin cells and oil in the pore lining can lead to a clog that becomes infected, and you get an acne blemish. So, you can clean your phone to get other types of bacteria off, but don't worry about cleaning your phone to remove acne causing bacteria. It is not getting on your phone. The other tip was under makeup as far as, "Does makeup make me breakout or not?"
00:07:01 And the answer in this article is yes, if it is the wrong kind. They have another dermatologist saying, "Oil-free doesn't mean anything when it comes to acne." Again, absolutely true. There are a lot of ingredients - you can check the ingredient list and they don't sound like an oil, but in fact they act very much like an oil, and have the same potential to clog pores. So, oil-free doesn't tell you anything as far as whether or not it is a better bet for acne-prone skin.
00:07:27 What they suggest looking for is non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. The frustrating part is that those two terms, despite their helpful sounding names, are also meaningless because there is no regulatory standards behind them. Crisco vegetable shortening could advertise as being no-acnegenic and non-comedogenic; who would want to put that on their face? Not that you would.
Daynah Burnett: Yummy!
Bryan Barron: Exactly. So it is flawed advice because all of us have used - all of us who break out at least - have bought products that say, "Non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic." And guess what? They made us breakout. So, that is all the proof I need.
00:08:09 All right. Let's get into our topic. Just so you know ahead of time, the list of products that we are going to tell you about is going to be posted on the Paula's Choice Facebook page tomorrow. Right after we get through this list we are going to be moving to your calls. If you have a beauty question that has been bugging you, something you want to ask the Paula's Choice Research Team, I invite you to give us a call at 347-426-3783. We will be giving away some cool Paula's Choice products as always.
00:08:45 And Daynah is going to be starting out our list tonight of Splurge vs. Steal.
Daynah Burnett: Well this is such a fun topic. I know that we have a really good time. And it is always really exciting when we go into the drugstore and we see something that we just saw at Macy's for triple the price. And I have had that experience a few times. One of my favorites is NARS Pure Matte Lipstick, which Bryan you actually turned me onto. I don't know if you remember. You bought me that red lipstick that I tested that you liked on me so much that you bought me my very own tube.
Bryan Barron: I did! I do remember that. And that lipstick looks absolutely gorgeous on you. I'm a huge fan of the classic black eyeliner, red lip makeup look. It is clean, it's simple, and it's always striking.
Daynah Burnett: Oh, I just love it too.
00:09:34 And I love this lipstick in particular. And so I was so excited to find Wet N Wild's Mega Last Lip Color, which is $1.99. And I found that the texture, the finish, the pigmentation, even the color selection - very similar. And NARS runs $25. Wet n Wild is $2.
Bryan Barron: And a quick question for you. I know sometimes, at least this has been my experience, the inexpensive lipsticks - and this is no doubt, Wet N Wild is one of the least expensive lipsticks that you will find - does it have an off odor or a strong fragrance at all, because sometimes they do?
Daynah Burnett: You know, this one doesn't.
00:10:18 But I know what you are talking about. And I almost wonder if it is because it is not an oil-based, because it is a matte finish. So, you know, often it has got that really strong castor oil smell that you will get off of the lipstick. And this doesn't have that. And I think it is because the formula itself doesn't include those types of ingredients. And it really does have that long wear matte finish. And for me, I think the other thing about the drugstore options is the shades; they just don't ever seem to be quite as sophisticated as what you might see at the department store.
00:10:47 But in this case, Wet N Wild got it right. And there are some really lovely options that I would put head to head with NARS for sure.
Bryan Barron: And you are saving $23.
Daynah Burnett: You are. So you can buy a few!
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Buy a few. Treat yourself to some lunch while you are out.
00:11:04 And no one will be the wiser.
Daynah Burnett: Exactly. Another one that I was really tickled to find - you may have seen Chanel's new Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow. It has been in a lot of the magazines. And it is this little jar of sort of metallic spongy waterproof/crease proof eye shadow. And a couple of the drugstore brands are coming up with their own versions.
00:11:30 I know Maybelline has the Color Tattoo, which we looked at. And we don't feel that is quite as spot on as L'Oreal's Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow, which I really would put next to Chanel's, and I would dare you to see a difference in the wear time, the crease resistance. And, in fact, I like L'Oreal's shades better than Chanel's, which tend to be really frosty and sparkly. And those are great for a nice night out, but if you want something that is going to last you through the day, and you want to look like you are office appropriate, L'Oreal is a great way to go.
00:12:00 And those are $10 compared to Chanel's $36.
Desiree Stordahl: Yikes.
Daynah Burnett: Yeah.
Bryan Barron: Wow.
Daynah Burnett: And then the last one is one of my personal favorites. It is Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint, which is our tinted moisturizer. And you can find Stila's Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20 - oh, and ours is SPF 20 as well. And the formula is nearly identical and ours is $15. And theirs is $34.
00:12:32 Granted, they do have more shades than we do, but you can't beat the price, and you can't beat the people behind the product. So, if anybody out there is a fan of Stila's tinted moisturizer, ours is a much better deal. And I think, Desiree, you have got a few, right?
Desiree Stordahl: I've got some products as well. So the first one is Revlon's ColorStay Mineral Blush, which comes in at $13.99, and is half the price of Benefit's Hervana "good karma face powder" and it offers an identical sheer, radiant glow.
00:13:06 They both come - the Revlon version comes in several different colors, whereas the Hervana comes in just one singular pinkish shade. And this is also, the Revlon blush, is one of Paula's personal favorites. And it does really give just a beautiful luminescent glow that isn't too over the top - it is nice, and subtle, and sheer.
Bryan Barron: And, Desiree, I just wanted to mention, too, that Revlon typically - save for some of their lipsticks - most of their makeup is fragrance free which is always a boon, whereas my experience with those Benefit - because the Hervana is one of their blushes in a box, right?
Desiree Stordahl: It is.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:13:45 And they have some really cool options there, like the Hoola Powder, and Dallas - that is a pretty kind of brownish-pink with some shimmer. But, if I am not mistaken, Benefit tends to add fragrance to their blush, yes?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes, they do.
00:14:00 And at $28, that is a pretty hefty price to pay. And the Revlon one is literally half of that at $13.99. So it is kind of easy to see which one you should go with. Another cool product that we have to compare is the GO SMiLE 'On the Go' Teeth Whitening Pen, which rings in at $22. But for $7 less, you can get the Paula's Choice Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener. And the advantage with the Paula's Choice version is that it has more of a balm-like texture, so it adheres more easily to the teeth and it will give you better, more effective results.
00:14:33 And the great thing about either one of these is that they are really convenient. You can put them in your purse, you can put it in your car while you are driving to work. It works great to remove coffee stains. My red wine drinker friends can't go without it now because they just put it on after they have had a glass of red wine and it instantly takes away that darkish hue that red wine can add to your teeth. So it is just a really great all-around product.
Bryan Barron: And you know, I wanted to mention - I use the Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener, and I have had some difficulties getting it around some of my teeth, making sure that I get even coverage on the sides.
00:15:10 Right where the space between the teeth is. And I read a review, a customer review on, and the customer said that she applies the Brighten Up using a lip brush, so that she can literally just kind of paint it onto her teeth and make sure she covers every surface.
00:15:29 Now granted, that is a bit more time-consuming. You can apply it straight from the tube. But I tried it, and I thought that was a brilliant suggestion for those - I do it at home - but if you are on the go you can just kind of swipe and let it dissolve and do its thing, and it works in about two minutes. But, if you are having issues getting to some of your teeth, try using a lip brush. We sell one. You can find them at most makeup stores. Or any other firm, pointed brush that would allow you to get in between those areas where the stick itself may have a hard time reaching.
Daynah Burnett: What a genius idea.
00:16:02 I love our fans. They are so clever.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah. That's a really interesting tip. And that actually brings me to the point that if you go onto our website and read our reviews, a lot of times you can find out different uses for our products, and different ways that are customers are using it. And they will tell you about experiences that they are having with our products about things we don't even claim it is doing, but just amazing ways that our products work. So, get on there, look at our reviews, post reviews if you are using something.
00:16:30 It's a really great tool. Our next product is makeup removers. So, there is Bobbi Brown's Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover for $24. And that is a really good excellent, fragrance-free makeup remover. It can stand up to waterproof mascaras, lip stains, all your stubborn makeup. But you can get equally as great results with our Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover for $12.95. And you get the added benefit of antioxidants and anti-irritants.
00:16:58 And you know, a good gentle, effective makeup remover is so important to use because, for one, if you are tugging - if you are not using a makeup remover and you wear eye makeup, even if it is not a waterproof mascara, even if it is just regular mascara, you are going to have to do usually some pretty good tugging at your eye to get it all the way off. And one thing that I didn't realize until I worked here was all of that tugging, it really will add up over the years, and it can cause sagging around the eye area, which obviously none of us want.
00:17:28 And not only that, but if you are not getting all those last traces of eye makeup off, it can result in more of the puffy eyes in the morning and a little bit of irritation and redness. So, a good gentle makeup remover is key. And these two are great. But, for $12.95 you really can't beat the Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover. Our next product category is eye lash growth products. And this is a really, really hot topic right now. I know people are probably dying to find out what they can use besides Latisse, which is prescription-only.
Bryan Barron: Oh, we get emails every day.
00:18:02 You know, "What do you think about NeuLash, and Smartlash, and Lash IQ, and it seems like they are sprouting like weeds.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh yeah. And so one that actually works is Peter Thomas Roth's Lashes to Die For Platinum, but it is $125. But it does contain the same type of active ingredient used in Latisse to grow lashes and it does work, but that is a pretty hefty price tag. That is almost what you would be paying for the prescription Latisse.
00:18:30 A $50, much more of a bargain product that also works is RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum. And I can tell you from personal experience that this product works.
Bryan Barron: Me too.
Daynah Burnett: I can say from personal experience looking at you that that product works. Your eye lashes are incredible.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. I do get asked from time to time if I am wearing fake eye lashes. And, no, they are all real. It is just the Rapid Lash. You do have to use it consistently. But, it does work. The only thing is that there are a lot of eye lash and growth enhancement products out there that really don't work. And they are nothing more than clear liquid eyeliners.
00:19:07 Or, you know, even the mascaras that say they grow lashes - don't believe that. There is no research proving that they can have effect on hair growth, unless they are using one of the similar active ingredients to Latisse. So, if you are curious to try out a lash growth product that stands a good chance of working, Rapid Lash and Lashes to Die For are viable options.
00:19:28 The difference between these and Latisse, the prescription-only drug, is that Latisse is subject to intense scrutiny, proof of safety, all of the efficacy standards outlined by the FDA, whereas the over-the-counter growth enhancement products aren't. So, you need to be aware that truly the same potential side effects are going to apply here as well, which means you could have a little bit of irritation. Your eye area skin could actually turn a little bit of a bluish hue. I have known people that that has happened to.
00:19:59 Also, one of the claims that Latisse puts out is that the color of your eye could change. It is a very low percentage, and if you are using it correctly and not getting it in your eye, it is a really, really small chance, but still that risk is there. And you could experience, like I said, the irritation redness. So, if it is a gamble you want to take, and it was one I personally took, it is an interesting option to try out.
Bryan Barron: And just to add on about Rapid Lash. I have seen some information online that the company changed the formula. What we have been able to find - the ones that we have seen still use the ingredient called isopropyl cloprostenate.
00:20:43 And that is the prostaglandin analog type ingredient that is similar to what Latisse contains. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point Rapid Lash needs to change its formula because essentially they are using a drug-like ingredient off-label, so it is possible that they could get in trouble for that. But, for the time being, and if you are out looking at Rapid Lash, you want to make sure that the one that you are considering has the isopropyl cloprostenate ingredient listed.
00:21:13 If it does not, it is probably the new formula. You can email us via the Beautypedia website and let us know. We will update the review once we have confirmation that the formula has in fact changed.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. And Bryan, how about for your products?
Bryan Barron: I just have a few.
00:21:32 Some of these are personal favorites from over the years. But, I am a big fan of Lancôme's foundations and concealers, mostly because they have beautiful textures, and the color range is wonderful. They are a very good example of neutral-to-slightly yellow undertone shades that are workable for a variety of skin tones. So, one of the concealers I really like from them over the years is called Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer.
00:22:04 This is the liquid concealer that at one point had sparkling shine to it, and then they changed it back, so now it doesn't have the shine. It does provide great coverage. And it is really easy to apply. But it is $29.50. For $8.95, so about $21 less, you can try L'Oreal's True Match Concealer. Now remember, L'Oreal owns Lancôme and Maybelline, so it isn't like for their mass market brands, those are the cheaply made products and Lancôme gets the good stuff.
00:22:36 The ingredients are nearly identical across the board. L'Oreal's True Match Concealer comes in a great range of shades. Watch out for those that are labeled with a C, which stands for cool. They have C, N, and I think W for warm. The Warm and the N shades, for neutral, are the ones to concentrate on. The C shades can be a bit iffy.
00:22:58 But that still leaves you a lot to choose from. Next on my list is for cleansers, if you are a fan of Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Cleanser, which costs $32 for 6.7 oz, you will love Neutrogena's One Step Gentle Cleanser. This is $6.49 for 5.2 oz. They are both very silky, easy to use. They both remove makeup. They rinse without a residue. They are really suitable for all skin types.
00:23:29 Maybe not for sensitive skin, because I believe - I know the Neutrogena's has fragrance. I'm not 100% sure that the Peter Thomas Roth does or does not. I can look into that. But the Neutrogena one is absolutely worth a try. It has a built-in pump. And as I mentioned before, this cleanser tends to be displayed with Neutrogena's makeup, not their skincare. So, if you are not seeing it in the skincare aisle, find Neutrogena's makeup and you will probably see it there next to their little makeup remover pads.
00:24:03 Next up, and this is my last one, and then we have got a few bonuses for you. If you are a fan of Chanel's Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensional, this is their original formula, not the Inimitable Intense. It sells for $30, which is really pricy for a mascara. But, it is a very good mascara. It builds really nice length separation and some thickness. Although, when you first start using it, it does tend to go on a little wet and can clump a bit.
00:24:31 You can avoid those problems and get slight less dramatic results, just slightly, but you will save a lot of money by going for Cover Girl's Lash Blast Length Mascara which costs around $7, sometimes even less, of course, if you can find it on sale. That is the one in the slim yellow tube. The original Lash Blast Mascara in the chunky orange tube, that is also worth a go. But if you like the brush, the bristles and the shape of the brush on the Chanel Inimitable, the Cover Girl Lash Blast Length is very close to that, whereas the original Lash Blast Brush is thicker.
00:25:10 So some might find that a bit harder to work with. Okay, before we get to calls, let's tell you about a couple of bonus drugstore doubles. These were listed in our Beauty Exclusives email. There was an article a few issues back called, "Top Makeup Picks that Beat Pricier Options." If you aren't signed up for our Beauty Exclusives emails, I highly encourage you to do so.
00:25:33 Every couple of weeks we send out new articles. There is a always a new Dear Paula letter. We write about ingredients, how you use products. Really informative. You can find out about the latest Paula's Choice specials and products as well. And you can sign up simply by going to or And you will see right along the bottom of the screen you can just put in your email address. You do have to opt-in, which means that when you sign up you will get an email from us saying, "Hey, did you really mean to sign up for this?"
00:26:06 And you have to say yes before you start receiving the emails from us. We do this to protect you. We do not believe in spam. We don't sell anyone's email address to a third party company or anything like that. We respect your privacy. And we honestly truly mean that. All of us here have been plagued by way too many spam emails.
00:26:27 And we are doing what we can to stop it on our end. So, Daynah, I believe this was one of your picks from experience. You liked Sonia Kashuk's Brightening Powder vs. Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder. Is that correct?
Daynah Burnett: That is correct. And, you know, what I noticed was that the texture and the effect were identical, and the ingredients were identical. And, really what I liked most about this, which was - I think this is unusual that I liked, I preferred the drugstore packaging. Because I think that if you are willing to go for a drugstore product as opposed to department store, you do need to be willing to concede a little bit on packaging.
00:27:05 And I think we can all agree that the department store packaging tends to be a little sleeker, a little nicer. It clicks shut. It just has a certain something that the drugstore packaging tends not to have. So, if you are particular about packaging, I can see where that line might be drawn. But in this case, Sonia Kashuk's Brightening Powder, I loved the packaging.
00:27:28 It is this really flashy silver mirrored compact. And Laura Mercier's Brightening Powder is a sifter, and those can be very messy. So, I actually preferred the packaging, and I found they performed identically. And Sonia Kashuk's version is $10. Laura Mercier's is $22.
Desiree Stordahl: Nice.
Bryan Barron: And, Daynah, I think you were also a fan of this next one. I'm sorry, I hope I am not putting you on the spot.
Daynah Burnett: No, it's okay. And this is actually an instance where the packaging was identical. And it is one of those - so, what we are talking about here is a primer, Dior's Skinflash Primer, which is $42 vs. Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer SPF 15, which is $10.95.
00:28:11 And these are the types of products that dispense through a brush that you brush on your face, if you are familiar with that kind of packaging. And these two products perform identically, except for the fact that Physicians Formula has broad spectrum sun protection, and nothing better than boosting up your sun protection underneath your makeup.
Bryan Barron: Awesome. Well, there is the list. As I mentioned earlier, we are going to be posting that tomorrow morning on the Paula's Choice Facebook page.
00:28:41 So if you didn't write everything down, or if by chance we were talking too fast, just visit our Paula's Choice Facebook page and you can access that entire list. I wanted to mention real quick that the Sonia Kashuk line is exclusive to Target stores. So that is where you will find it. You can also order it from their website, although that tends to be a bit hit or miss for beauty products.
00:29:06 And let's move on to callers. We are ready - we've got some great calls lined up. Who's first?
Daynah Burnett: We do. I think we are going to start with Anna from Wisconsin. Anna, you are live on the air.
Anna: Hello?
Bryan Barron: Hi Anna.
Anna: Hi, I'm calling from Iowa, which is pretty close to Wisconsin.
Daynah Burnett: Well, no, you know what it was? It was the IW - and I thought it was an inverted Wisconsin. I thought it meant WI...but it's okay. It's fine. We are happy to have you on the air!
Anna: So I am 40 years young, and I have enjoyed some pretty clear and even colored skin.
00:29:46 Maybe like 8 years ago I started using some of the mineral based makeups, instead of the liquid makeups. And I'm starting to get some fine lines underneath my eyes. And so it seemed like the powdery stuff was sort of accentuating that. And I tried a couple liquid makeups, and it seemed even worse, so that is what I wanted your advice on.
Bryan Barron: Okay, so the powder and the liquid foundations are settling into those fine lines, yes?
Anna: Yeah.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Are you applying anything to the eye area prior to makeup?
Anna: Some moisturizer with some sunscreen in it.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:30:36 Sometimes it can help to give that a few minutes to set before putting on some makeup. For example, one of the pieces of advice I have given out in the past is that you want to wait for all of your skincare products to really kind of set before you move onto makeup. Prep the skin first, and then move on to doing your hair, whether you are blowing it dry, flat-ironing it, or whatever. And then in the time it takes you to do your hair, your skincare products will have enough time to absorb, and the makeup should go on better.
00:31:10 If that doesn't apply to you, Anna, you can experiment with some different moisturizers to see if perhaps a different texture might be in order. Do you have more normal-to-dry skin, or normal-to-oily?
Anna: Normal-to-dry.
Bryan Barron: Okay. I'm going to send you our Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 from Paula's Choice.
Anna: Thank you.
Bryan Barron: And that works beautifully around the eyes, not only because it is incredibly gentle, but also because it has a subtle brightening effect, so it can help lighten that natural darkness that most of us have under the eye, and not necessarily talking about dark circles, but simply because of how the eye is set into the skull, most of us have a bit of shadowing under the eye, and that can look worst with sun damage.
00:32:02 This will help to brighten that area up, and it has a really nice, smooth finish.
Anna: Nice.
Desiree Stordahl: And, Anna, one thing that I find, because I am 28, but hey, I've still got fine lines cropping up already is I try to look for a foundation that is not too creamy and greasy, where it is just going to slip into the lines. But I don't exactly want one that is super matte either, because that can also accentuate fine lines under the eye area.
00:32:25 So, one that works really great for me is our Barely There Sheer Matte Tint with SPF 20. It is not going to give you a ton of coverage, so if you need a lot more coverage then that is not going to be the one for you, but for me it is just the right amount, and it doesn't seem to accentuate the fine lines. It just kind of blends everything and smoothes it out.
Anna: Okay.
Bryan Barron: And, Anna, one more suggestion. If you are finding that the... - We can send you a Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. In fact, your skin tone, is it more fair, light-to-medium?
Anna: Light-to-medium.
Bryan Barron: Light-to-medium. Okay. We will send you - let's do this. Let's send you samples. We will send you Sheer Fair and Sheer Neutral.
00:33:08 And then you can contact our customer service team, and let them know which of those shades work best for you, and then we will make sure that we send you the full-size version.
Anna: Wow. Perfect.
Bryan Barron: And then, if you want something that is going to give you a bit more coverage, two that I have found that actually work really well over fine lines, assuming that this skin is sufficiently prepped, are by Estee Lauder. And one is their Resilience Lift Extreme Radiant Lifting Makeup SPF 15. That is a liquid.
00:33:42 And then if you prefer a cream-to-powder, they make one called Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra-Firming Cream Compact Makeup SPF 15. Quite possibly one of the longest names for a foundation. Don't worry if you didn't write that down. You can just go to the Lauder counter and say, "I would like to look at your Resilience Lift Extreme Foundations."
00:34:04 Test them out. Maybe do an A/B test, one on one side, one on the other. And then see which side you think looks better around the eyes. And, again, those are the options to check out for those times when you want or need a bit more coverage. All right?
Anna: All right. Thank you so much for your help.
Bryan Barron: Thank you very much.
Daynah Burnett: Next up on the line, you know Desiree, you and I were talking about this recently. This would be a good question for you. Cathy from New Jersey, you are live on the air.
Cathy: Hello.
Desiree Stordahl: Hi Cathy. What's your question?
Cathy: My question is I need a good eye shadow that is long lasting, that will work with crepey eye lids?
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Ooh, this is a good one.
00:34:58 Well, first of all, for somebody who has problems with creasing or creping, it can help to do some sort of prep to that skin. So, whether that is concealer, that is going to help your eye shadow stay on longer, or one of the eye primers that you can see sold in the stores - Urban Decay has a good one that is called...I believe it is their Eye Shadow Primer Potion. Those are going to help your eye shadow last longer.
00:35:27 A great thing for crepey eye lids though is to stick to something that is matte. Matte finishes are going to be less accentuating on those wrinkly areas and can kind of help a little bit camouflage.
Cathy: Creamy goes on better. The only one I have found that is actually working for me is L'Oreal HIP, in the little tube - Intensity.
Daynah Burnett: Oh, I'm familiar with those. Those are fantastic.
Cathy: I love them. But it is the only one I can find. I wonder if there is more? Other brands?
Desiree Stordahl: The Infallible 24-HR Eye Shadow that Daynah mentioned earlier, which is a drugstore double for Chanel's D'Ombre eye shadow, it has a cream-to-powder texture, so it glides on with that creamy feel, but then it has more of a powdery finish.
Cathy: And what was it?
Desiree Stordahl: It's the Infallible 24-HR Eye Shadow by L'Oreal.
00:36:26 So, again, a L'Oreal product. And like I said, you would want to stay away from the luminescent shimmer finishes because those are probably going to accentuate any crepiness you have, but they do have some matte shades, so I would check those out. Bryan, do you have any other recommendations?
Cathy: No, that's it.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Great. Thanks so much Cathy.
Cathy: Thank you very much.
Bryan Barron: Oh, I think the only thing I have to add to that, Desiree, is that if you are dealing with that issue and you still want to add a bit of shine, that is okay, but just make sure that you only apply it to the brow bone area, particularly right under the high point of your brow, and then kind of blend that out softly.
00:37:13 That can be a great way to spotlight the eye area, as well as offset a well-groomed brow, and get a little bit of shine into your eye makeup without putting in that area where it is going to emphasize the crepiness or an eye lid that is less than taut.
Daynah Burnett: That's a great tip. And, if Cathy is still listening, I have a suggestion on a product that is very similar to that HIP eye shadow. It is M.A.C.'s Paint Eye Shadow. Bryan, you might be familiar with that. It comes in the tube.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Yes. I am.
Daynah Burnett: And I believe it is really similar. And they do have some matte options, more matte options than the L'Oreal. You are going to be spending a little bit more. I think it is about $16, $17 for that eye shadow, but it is very similar, and you have that same sort of artist feeling where you are squeezing it out of the tube.
00:38:01 It is very artistic. But it works very similar to that HIP products. So, she should check that out. it is M.A.C.'s Paint.
Bryan Barron: So, Daynah, I know from working with the M.A.C. Paint that those are pretty concentrated in terms of just a tiny, tiny dab gives you a really nice color pay off. Is that true for the L'Oreal as well?
Daynah Burnett: It really is. In fact, I'm thinking that they are just pretty much spot on for each other. It is the same type of thing. A little goes a long way.
00:38:28 In fact, I have a couple of those tubes I have had for years, because I just can't get through them.
Bryan Barron: All right, so Cathy, check out the M.A.C. Paint which comes in a little metallic tube, just like the L'Oreal HIP one that you mentioned. And maybe they will have some better colors for you.
Daynah Burnett: Great. So we are going to move on to Gina from Florida. Gina, you are live on the air.
Gina: Hi.
Bryan Barron: Hi Gina, hello.
Gina: Hi there. The question that I have is I am 40, and in the last couple of years, I use all of Paula's products, but sometimes I get these little hard white bumps under my skin. It is not acne. And the only way they go away is if I physically remove them, like dig them out with a needle or something. And I am wondering if there is something I could do to prevent that? Or what is the best way to treat those?
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:39:20 So in terms of prevention, I suspect what you are dealing with is milia, also known as whiteheads. They can occur when a pore gets clogged and comes to the surface with that white bump. It is covered in a thin layer of skin, which is why it is called a whitehead. And the opposite of that so to speak is a blackhead where when that plug comes to the surface it oxidizes and turns back. So, just as a real quick aside, a common misperception with blackheads is that they are about skin being dirty.
00:39:58 So people think they need to scrub and clean their skin more. It is not true. Blackheads are simply oxidized sebum or oil that you can see at the opening of your pore. When you have those white bumps, the contents aren't oxidizing because the bump is protecting that from the oxidation. So, Gina, are you using one of our beta hydroxy acid exfoliants?
Gina: Yes. I use, which one am I using? The Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion with the 7% alpha hydroxy at night.
Bryan Barron: Okay. That has got the alpha hydroxy which will exfoliate, but it doesn't quite work the same as a beta hydroxy acid.
Gina: Okay. I do have a BHA here.
Bryan Barron: You are using that Skin Lightening Lotion because you have got some unevenness, or maybe a browns spot or two that you are trying to lighten.
Gina: Correct.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So you can continue to use that and apply it over - you can use it on your entire face if you like, or you can just apply it to the affected areas. It is fine either way.
00:41:01 What I want you to start using is a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant. The active ingredient in those is called salicylic acid. And one of the chief differences in how a salicylic acid works, versus how glycolic acid - which is an alpha hydroxy acid - works, that is what is what is in the Skin Lightening Lotion. Salicylic acid is oil soluble. So it is able to penetrate the oil that is causing the clog and get inside the pore lining, basically getting to the root of the problem. It is very much...
00:41:37 - Using an AHA can help with clogged pores, but it is sort of like pulling out a weed in your lawn, just from the surface. So, you know, maybe you are mowing it down and you can't see the weed anymore, but it is still there in the soil because you haven't gotten to the root of it. So, what happens? In a short amount of time that weed starts sprouting again.
Desiree Stordahl: Good analogy.
Bryan Barron: Thank you. I was trying to get that out and have it make sense.
00:42:04 So, Gina, I am going to send you our 2% beta hydroxy acid liquid. And I want you to start using that after cleansing and toning every night. You can use it all over your face, because it is going to provide benefits all over. Or, if you want to just test it out at first, you can apply it to the bumps or the bump prone areas.
Gina: Okay. Now should I alternate that with the lightening? Or can I use it together?
Bryan Barron: You can use them together.
Gina: Oh, great.
Bryan Barron: The lightening product can go on afterwards to the affected areas. If you want to alternate just for the purpose of maybe using fewer products as part of your nightly routine, that is fine, too.
Gina: Okay.
Bryan Barron: So give that a go. I will say that we have had - a lot of people have success with that. But milia, these white bumps, they can be stubborn.
00:42:59 They really can. So you have to stick with it. If you are finding after maybe 4 to 6 weeks that the product we are sending you isn't working all that well, or not as well as you would like, you can go see a dermatologist and have those bumps lanced and drained. And that should help prevent their recurrence. And then continue using the beta hydroxy acid exfoliant because that can really help keep your pores clear and prevent those new clogs from forming.
00:43:27 Or if by chance they do form, they are going to be less intrusive than they are.
Gina: Okay.
Bryan Barron: All right. So give that a go. And let me know how you are doing. And really quick - tell me what is one of the other Paula's Choice products that you really love?
Gina: I love all of her products. But I really like the serum, the Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.
Bryan Barron: That is a universal favorite. Okay, Gina, just because you are such a sweetheart, I am going to send you one of those, too, along with the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid.
Gina: Oh, thank you.
Bryan Barron: All right.
00:44:08 So enjoy. And, again, let me know how you are doing, and we will see if we can help you further if needed. And you can also consult our customer service team at any time.
Gina: Great. You guys are awesome. Thank you.
Bryan Barron: Thanks Gina.
Daynah Burnett: All right. Well, speaking of us being awesome, we have a different type of question here. This is Lisa in Illinois, and she has a question for the whole team. Lisa, you are live on the air.
Lisa: Hi everybody.
Bryan Barron: Hi Lisa.
Desiree Stordahl: Hello!
Lisa: I just first of all want to say thanks for what you are doing because I don't think that being smart and being pretty are mutually exclusive.
Desiree Stordahl: Amen.
Lisa: It takes us awhile to realize that. But, my question is what would you say makes you the most proud about working for Paula?
Bryan Barron: Oh, you dropped out a little bit there, Lisa.
00:45:05 Did you say what makes us the most proud about working with Paula?
Lisa: Yes, I did.
Desiree Stordahl: I will start. There are so many things, but if I had to narrow it down to one, I would say that throughout her entire career and the Paula's Choice brand being alive she hasn't jumped on the bandwagon of trendy marketing mumbo jumbo that she could have that might actually make her more money because it is kind of out and out lies that you hear from other companies that are saying that they can erase wrinkles, and do all of these amazing things that we know to not be true.
00:45:41 But Paula has never once jumped on that bandwagon. She would never be the one to make claims of some exotic ingredient in the Himalayans that can do miraculous wonders when that is not true. So, I think I really admire the fact that our company, and Paula herself, stands on the integrity and goes by proven scientific research. Everything is backed up by peer-reviewed published journals.
00:46:06 And just the fact that everything about our company comes down to honesty and putting only ingredients that our customers need, not throwing in the extra superlative ingredients just to make some sort of marketing claim.
Lisa: Okay.
Bryan: Daynah, do you have anything to add?
Daynah Burnett: Well, I do. I mean, the list of things is very long.
00:46:30 But, you know, actually Desiree you mentioned that Paula's favorite blush is that Revlon Mineral Stay, correct?
Desiree Stordahl: Mm-hmm.
Daynah Burnett: That pretty much sums up what I love about working for her is that Paula uses Revlon's Mineral Stay blush. And she uses her own products. And she goes into drugstores. And she really walks the walk that she talks. And that is very inspiring to see, because I feel like we see a lot of, particularly celebrities, who are endorsing a product.
00:47:02 Even though Paula isn't endorsing her products, she created them, and you know they are not actually using the things that they are saying are so great. But, Paula, that is not her style at all. She really uses the things that she recommends. And she really believes in her own work. And it is very inspiring to just be around her and be in that environment.
Desiree Stordahl: So true.
Bryan Barron: Yes. I agree with both of what you said.
00:47:27 And just as someone - I'm going into my 13th year of working with Paula, and for Paula's Choice, and it has been a really remarkable journey. And one of the things that drew me to Paula, and one of the things that definitely keeps me working for Paula is her integrity. I have, at least I think I have a very strong moral compass, because of how I was raised.
00:47:58 And I am drawn to people that also have those strong convictions. And I have witnessed Paula enjoys those moments. And I have witnessed Paula during extreme frustrations and the difficulties that formulating products can present, and all of the situations that come along with being a business owner while still trying to maintain an identity as the Cosmetics Cop, and helping you find the best products for your skin.
00:48:29 And her integrity shines through all of it. And she has a vested interest in what we are all here to do, and it is remarkable. So, I am incredibly proud to be a part of that, and I am even more proud of the team that we have assembled that allows us to keep bringing you this information, week after week, month after month, book after book. So, there you go.
Desiree Stordahl: I think we are going to have to send Paula this archived episode so she can hear this.
Bryan Barron: Yes, Daynah and I have reviews coming up!
Daynah Burnett: Well let's make sure we get Lisa some products for asking us such a great question.
00:49:08 I love to gush over everything here. So, Bryan, what do you think?
Bryan Barron: Lisa, are you still with us?
Lisa: Yes, I am.
Desiree Stordahl: Are there any new products that you have been wanting to try, Lisa?
Lisa: Well, I am actually a pretty new customer. I just recently ordered the Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator.
Desiree Stordahl: That's a good one.
Lisa: Because I have a problem, my pores get clogged, but if I don't put any moisturizer on them I look like the Sahara. So it is kind of - I really like this because it helps -
Desiree Stordahl: Can you put your phone up to your mouth a little bit more? We are losing you.
Lisa: Oh.
00:49:50 I was saying that I am a pretty new customer. I have recently ordered the Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. And I really like it because it helps - my problem is I get clogged pores, but if I don't put anything on them, my skin is dry.
Desiree Stordahl: And have you tried any of our BHA products, our salicylic acid products?
Lisa: I have not tried any yet.
Desiree Stordahl: I think we should send you one of those. Because you are talking about clogged pores. And our BHA products can do exactly what you need and help unclog them. So, overall, what would you say your skin type is? Normal-to-dry? Normal-to-oily? It is combination?
Lisa: I would say maybe normal-to-oily, accept in the winter.
Desiree Stordahl: Bryan, what do you think? Should we send her the 2% BHA liquid?
Bryan Barron: Well, if the clogged pores aren't much of a problem, I would be more inclined to start with the 1% BHA gel.
00:50:53 Because if you haven't used this type of product before, because I know the previous caller we had who was asking about the white bumps, she has been using our Skin Lightening Lotion which has 7% alpha hydroxy acid, so I went on the thinking that her skin has acclimated to it. If you haven't tried this type of product before, I always suggest, especially with the BHAs starting with 1%. Your skin may do beautifully with that, and then you don't even need to move on to the 2% version.
Lisa: Okay.
Bryan Barron: So, let's see. Let's send her the 1% BHA gel and then, Lisa, if you find that that is not working as well as you would like after a few weeks, contact our customer service team and we will arrange to send you the 2% gel or liquid.
Lisa: Oh wonderful.
00:51:42 Thank you.
Bryan Barron: Just let us know.
Lisa: Thank you so much.
Daynah Burnett: All right. We have time for another caller.
Bryan Barron: Oh, Daynah, sorry - real quick. We have a question that I can answer really fast from our Facebook fan.
Daynah Burnett: Oh, wonderful.
Bryan Barron: And her name is Wendy. And she says that she is not able to listen, but she is hoping to find out if there is a good foundation for combination adult acne-prone skin that doesn't sweat off two minutes after putting it on. Ladies, if you have particular recommendations feel free to chime in. I was going to recommend our Best Face Forward foundation, which is incredibly light, silky, and once it sets it pretty much isn't going anywhere.
00:52:26 And then the ColorStay foundation, particularly - let me double check and see if it is still available. Their mineral mouse makeup. Oh, it is discontinued. Wah-wah.
Daynah Burnett: We can post her answer on Facebook. But I think that the Best Face Forward is a really good suggestion.
Desiree Stordahl: Very good suggestion.
Bryan Barron: The formula of that does tend to be quite tenacious Wendy.
00:52:54 You want to make sure that you are not putting a bunch of slippery stuff or too heavy stuff on your face before that, because the makeup needs to have something to grab onto. And if it is not adhering well to the skin, of course it is going to sweat off immediately. It doesn't matter whose foundation you are using. So, give that a try. Contact our customer service team, or chat us up on Facebook later on, and we will get you some samples of Best Face Forward. You can also check Beautypedia for some additional recommendations. Okay, Daynah, who were you going to...?
Daynah Burnett: Well, really fast; I know we are getting a little low on time.
00:53:28 Desiree and I were talking about this as well. And we have got Deborah from Minnesota who is asking questions about primers. Deborah, you are live on the air.
Deborah: Hi. Yes. I am wondering about primers. You know, these products never used to exist. And now all of a sudden when you are out shopping for makeup and you mention some problem you are having, they say, "Are you using primer?" And if you say, "No," they say, "Well, of course you are having a problem. Your stuff doesn't work because you are not using a primer."
00:53:56 So, my question is, what can a primer do for you? And what should you look for in a primer?
Desiree Stordahl: Well your assumption, and you are noticing that those products didn't used to exist, and you see that a lot of sales people are pushing them lately. It is correct in the fact that you don't have to use a primer. I know that they are popping up in every single line. There is nothing that special about them that you can't get from a moisturizer, a lightweight moisturizer, or a really good serum. That being said, if you do want to give one a whirl, they can help with foundation application, just like a moisturizer or serum can. They can kind of help give a smooth, even surface. And so you would want to look for one that is lightweight, that goes on smoothly. It needs to enhance your makeup application.
00:54:44 If it is not doing that, then it is really not good for anything. And for oily skin, you want one that helps keep excess shine in check. And doesn't change the color of your skin. It really shouldn't be affecting your skin tone at all. But, a thing to look for, too, is that it is not just some subpar standard formula. If it is a primer it should be having some of those good skin beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or cell-communicating ingredients.
00:55:12 It really should be giving your skin an extra boost if you are going to take the time to apply this extra step. And on our Beautypedia website you can look up the best foundation primers. There are not a ton of them that we would recommend as a Paula's pick, but there is a good handful on there, and they range all over the place on prices. So, check that out. Bryan, do you have anything else to add about primers?
Bryan Barron: Not a whole lot. One of the things that you can try, Deborah, when you are looking at different primers, is take a look at the texture that they have. And find - see if you can find one that you think feels really nice.
00:55:54 And then chances are you can find a serum, which is what Desiree was talking about, because the serums are much more likely to be loaded with those beneficial ingredients. And so, such a smarter way to go because it really is more of a two-for. You are getting the effect of the primer, plus the anti-aging or skin-improving ingredients that we all need. So, why would you want to use a serum and a primer? It is not necessary.
00:56:19 But, you can get a sense for how the various primers feel, so that when you are looking at serums in person, you can look for those that feel similar to a primer that you like.
Deborah: Okay.
Desiree Stordahl: We actually have our Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serums that would be great for you to try. What's your skin type?
Deborah: Normal-to-dry.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, for normal-to-dry we can send you the Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Serum with Retinol, and that would be a fantastic option for you to give a whirl.
Deborah: Sounds good.
Bryan Barron: And, Deborah, are you wearing a sun protection product during the day?
Deborah: Yes. I am using the Resist SPF 25 which I really love.
Bryan Barron: Oh, excellent.
00:57:01 Okay. So, for the serum that we are going to be sending you, I just wanted to caution you to a pea-size dab.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah. A little goes a long way.
Bryan Barron: Yes, exactly. And I think some of our customers, they get very excited about the serums, and they tend to apply too much, especially during the day. So, you really just want to put a thin layer all over your face. And don't forget the neck, too; it can definitely go on the neck, as should your sunscreen. Skincare doesn't stop at the face.
Deborah: Can you use that one around the eye?
Bryan Barron: Yes, you can.
00:57:38 But again, keep it thin. We call them concentrates for a reason. A little bit goes a long way. It is one of the reasons they are in a smaller container. It is a waterless formula. And then, Deborah, real quick - what is your favorite Paula's Choice product next to the one you already mentioned, the Resist?
Deborah: Oh, that's a tough call.
00:58:04 I haven't tried the new Resist Hand Cream yet, and I would love to try that.
Bryan Barron: Well, we will send you a tube of it.
Deborah: That sounds great.
Daynah Burnett: That's a good one.
Deborah: Great. Well, thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: All right. You are welcome, Deborah. Thanks for calling. And, ladies, I think it is time to wrap up.
Desiree Stordahl: It is.
Daynah Burnett: That time of the night.
Bryan Barron: That hour went by fast.
Desiree Stordahl: We have some fabulous upcoming shows. On March 20 we have "Sagging Skin from Weight Loss: What works and what is just hype?"
00:58:33 And we are hoping Paula is going to join us for that. She said she will. So, tune in for that episode. On the 27th we have "Lash Extensions and Mascara: Lovely lash tips from the Pros." So we are having an expert who actually does Paula's eye lash extensions come in and talk about that. And we will be giving away other tips about mascara and lashes in general. And then on April 3, it is "Your Biggest Skincare Questions Answered by a Dermatologist."
00:59:00 And we are going to have a famous dermatologist on for that. So, tune in.
Bryan Barron: All right, everyone. Thank you so much for listening. This has been "Be Beautifully Informed with the Paula's Choice Research Team." We are here for you every week, Tuesday nights at 6pm. Tune in for our upcoming shows that Desiree just talked about. And you can visit us any time at Have a good evening.
Desiree Stordahl: Good night.
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