Best drugstore mascaras

We had the best mascaras at all price points, now we have the best drugstore mascaras. It makes sense when mascara needs to be replaced frequently.

These products feel like splurging — minus the high price tag

11 Best Drugstore Mascaras
Are you a mascara fanatic? We are too. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll drop lots of cash on high-end mascaras (well, OK, it does, but we don’t JUST do that). Especially when there are these cheap-but-awesome ones out there. Check them out, and say good-bye to your $20-a-tube days.

Sam Fine recommends L’Oreal Voluminous Mascaraicon as an inexpensive option.

P&G is ceasing to distribute Max Factor in the U.S., but you can find its top-rated Stretch & Separate Waterproof Mascaraicon and Volume Couture Mascaraicon at

P&G to pull Max Factor from the U.S.

I was stunned – and saddened – to learn that P&G is discontinuing sale of Max Factor in the U.S.

Stunned, because P&G seemed to be investing so much into the brand, by hiring Gisele to be the face of Max Factor and heavily promoting its Extreme Lash Plumper and Vivid Impact Lipstick (which I think is very good), particularly through TotalBeauty.

Saddened, because we are losing a truly iconic brand. I do not use the term iconic lightly – it’s overused.

Business is business, however. P&G is pulling Max Factor from the U.S. because of poor sales. It’s probably the same reason that distribution of Max Factor was limited to Wal-Mart and a few other outlets (Ulta), but not to the Big Three of drugstore chains: CVS, Walgreen’s, and Rite-Aid.

I agree with SF Beauty Examiner Mira Torres that tastes have changed. Women no longer want the full coverage of Pan-Stik and Pan-Face. Then, as Ms. Torres rightly points out,

Max Factor’s downfall may be that it tried to stay “hollywood glamour,” even if the term “Hollywood” (with the train-wreck tabloids and and reality world mayhem) has become kind of a joke.

As for me, I had to reproduce this image of Elizabeth Taylor advertising Pan-Stik that graced Ms. Torres’s article:

Elizabeth Taylor for Max Factor’s Pan-Stik

This is Liz from the 50s: pixie cut; dramatic, arched eyebrows, and painted lips. Now many, including my husband, might see Elizabeth Taylor as the ultimate train-wreck (multiple marriages, her friendship with Michael Jackson), but she’s kept people fascinated for well over 60 years: no mean feat.

If anyone epitomized the “Hollywood Glamour” that Max Factor promoted, it’s Liz.
Get Your Best Lashes and Lips

Readers and Bloggers share their favorite tricks for playing up our flirtiest features

Get Your Best Lashes and Lips

Oh, those eyes! Those lips! Keep all eyes fixed on your gorgeous face with these alluring tips and tricks from’s glam-savvy readers and bloggers.

See tricks

TotalBeauty bloggers provide tips on lips and eyes in conjunction with “sneak peak” reviews of MAX Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor and MAX Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara.

Update on mass-market brands: 2007

This past spring brought several new launches of mass market brands. The Max Factor (owned by P&G) and Almay (owned by Revlon) cosmetics lines were completed revamped, while L’Oreal launched its HIP line and Revlon launched its Vital Radiance line for women over 50. The Style Page wondered how supermarkets, drugstores, and “big box” retailers (Wal-Mart, KMart, Target) were going to accomodate these new brands.

See The Beauty Newsletter for a critique of Almay’s dated eyeshadow concept.

HIP appears to have been a success – L’Oreal has recently expanded the line with two new products: Pure Pigment Shadow Stick and Shocking Shadow Pigments, in addition to new colors for its eye shadow duos(another indicator is that searches on “L’Oreal HIP” are a major driver of traffic to this blog).

Max Factor, however, has been a disappointment: many of the main drugstore chains (CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite-Aid) do not carry the line, and it is found only at Wal-Mart and KMart. Maybe the problem was the ads that featured Carmen Electra wearing scary makeup.

Revlon’s much-hyped launch of Vital Radiance has been a disappointment. Due to lackluster sales of the brand, Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS plan to cut back drastically on the number of stores carrying the brand, while Revlon believes that consumers need more time to know the brand better.

According to WWD, “Market reports indicate that Wal-Mart will trim the line [Vital Radiance] from 2,500 doors to 500, while Target will cut it from 1,500 to 500.”

My take is that consumers were turned off by the prices of Vital Radiance products, which are higher than those for other mass-market brands. Vital Radiance’s target audience of women over 50 are probably value-conscious and rejected the higher prices.

I am not the only one who thinks this way – see comments on my post Vital Radiance UPDATED 2006-02-22.

Revlon should have priced Vital Radiance lower, or issued discount coupons to entice first-time buyers. Then there’s always the dicey proposition of marketing to older women without making them feel … old. An introduction of skin care products planned for 2007 might change Vital Radiance’s fortunes.

Revlon sees a $40 million loss from Vital Radiance. Things haven’t been so great on the personal front either: Revlon Chairman Ron Perelman’s marriage to actress Ellen Barkin ended in February 2006, after five years of marriage.

Shop Etc. – Shop Talk – Fall Preview: Stila Fall in Love Eye Shadow Trios

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Fall In Love Eye Shadow Trio in Forest Clove

I want the eye shadow trio in Forest Clove (pictured above), which features shades of shimmery gold, olive, deep brown olive. Available from

I’m obsessed with olive green eyeshadow (see my profile). Other good eyeshadow trios featuring olive shades are MAXeye Shadow in Baja Bronze from Max Factor (the colors – a yellow matte, a tan “British khaki” matte, and a shimmery olive do not display accurately at all) and Vital Radiance Soft Dimension Powder Shadow in Fresh Meadows.

As a single, I like jouer Eye Compact Eye Shadow, Peridot, described as a “shimmering olive”.

NOTE: is discontinuing Jouer, along with Beauty Buffet, Diane von Furstenburg Beauty, Girlactik, Passport, Pinkie Swear, and She She. Shop now to stock up.

While olive green is complemented by golden or yellow shades, I’ve also used Joe Blasco Eye Shadow in Green Genie, available from

What’s in my makeup travel kit

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I’m off for two days of meetings. In my makeup bag: