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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: I'm a beauty buff on a budget. What drugstore products do you like that I should check out?

A: I've got just the products for you! Here are a few to get you started.

Wet n' Wild has been around since, well, forever. It is an extremely low priced drugstore cosmetic line and was probably the first makeup I have ever tried. I was in the supermarket recently and happened by the Wet n' Wild display and thought, why not. I bought 3 lipsticks and 2 lipliners and spent about $8.00 altogether.

Wet n' Wild Creme Lipliner in #711 ($0.99)
This is a dark brown lip pencil. The size of the pencil is about the size of a regular #2 lead pencil. You cannot beat this deal! I really liked the way the liner went on and the color was awesome. I did not have to press hard, and it lined really well. The color lasted pretty much until I got home from work and took my makeup off, which is about a 10 hour day. If you are looking for a bargain and a good dark brown lip liner that is not greasy, runny and does not feather, this is the one for you. I also tried their liner in #715, which is a wine color. It looks great with dark reds, dark berries and wine shades of lipstick. I liked this color as well and the same review applies for the quality.

Wet n' Wild lip color (about $2.00)
This comes in a standard twist up tube. The tip is exposed a bit out of the tube, which can be a pain if you forget to twist down the lipstick, but for the price, who cares?! The first color I tried was 530B, a frost berry color. The lipstick lasts a long time and does not feather. I was not really fond of the color of 530B as it was a little too frosty for me - just not my style. The other color I tried was 522, a deep wine which I loved. It went on dark and stayed dark and true to a wine color. It blended really well with Lipliner #715. The lipstick lasted very long and through 2 meals without a touch up and no feathering. Both of these lipsticks were a bit on the moist side, but not greasy.

Wet n' Wild Mega Colors #910A (about $2.00)
This is a matte lipstick in a brownish rust color. Again, I really liked this lipstick. It did not dry my lips out, did not feather, did not bleed and lasted a long time. The color is wonderful. I really like brown tones for lipstick and this is one of my favorites. It blends really well with Lipliner #711.

Recently, I went on a quest for low priced facial exfoliator. I have to say upfront that I prefer a gritty exfoliator that feels like it is cleansing and removing dead skin from my face. This might not be the best method, especially for someone with sensitive skin, but it's what I prefer. The products I tried were from Alpha Hydrox and Freeman.

Alpha Hydrox Extra Strength AHA Oil Free Formula Facial Treatment (1.7 oz $10)
The main ingredients for this product is 10% Glycolic Acid. The idea here is that the product is left on your face to exfoliate or speed up cell rejuvenation. The product comes in a squeeze tube with a warning on the back "DO NOT USE ON Delicate/Sensitive Skin Types." Well, I have sensitive skin and have been known to break out in hives from various products. Thankfully, this product had only a good effect on my skin. I put it on after washing my face before bed. I applied a thin layer as instructed all over my face avoiding the eye area. It is a gel and goes on a bit runny. I have to admit I was leery, but pleasantly surprised. After about a week of continuously using the product at night, I started to notice a difference in my skin. It felt smoother and appeared to have fewer lines and creases, especially around my smile lines.

Freeman Beautiful Skin Raspberry & Almond Beta Hydroxy Face and Body Scrub (6 oz. $2.99)
The price was right and I was curious about this scrub. Beta Hydroxy products are supposed to be good for oily or blemish prone skin. Since this was a face and body scrub, it seemed right for me because sometimes I break out on my body from working out. I liked the product, but I am not sure just how much salicylic acid it contained because it was about the 14th ingredient in the product. This might not be the best one out there as far as beta hydroxy products goes... I did like the gritty feeling on my face and it left it feeling cool and clean. It is a finer scrub, a bit sandy feeling. The smell is wonderful and refreshing in the morning. One other point I might mention, since you are not leaving this on your face for any duration, I am not sure what the point of the Beta Hydroxy would be. But for the price I liked it.

I am also an avid Sally's Beauty Supply shopper. I get some of my best deals from this store. This is where I first found Queen Helene in the 80's. Since then you can get Queen Helene at just about any drugstore. The most you will pay for a product is about $5.00.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub
This is a gritty facial exfoliating cleanser. I use this product about 3 times a week and love it. It tingles a bit on my face and I like the gritty feeling as I wash my face. It leaves a clean feeling after use and does not dry my skin out or leave it feeling rough. This has a fresh smell to it and wakes you up in the morning. I recommend using this in the shower, so that you do not get it in your hair.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
This is a nice mud masque. It is suppose to be good for blackheads and tightening the skin. It goes on green and dries on the face. After I rinse it off my face feels smooth and clean. I don't know about a huge removal of blackheads, but it is a good mud masque, refreshing and cleansing. I don't know if I would recommend this for dry skin, as it might be to drying. If you have normal to oily skin this is a good buy.

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