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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 am tempted to try an expensive brand of foundation such as Bobbi Brown; is it worth spending so much money? Are they really any better?

A: You raise an excellent question, and I would have to reply both "yes" and "no" to it. I have been gifted with good skin, but I require foundation to even out my skin tone and add a tinge of color to my very pale complexion. For quite a long time, I used Christian Dior's liquid matte foundation (approximately $38). It offered flawless medium coverage, blended easily with my own skin tone, and added just the slightest hint of pink for a soft glow. Now that Dior has discontinued this product, I've tried many others. My next choice was their crème-to-powder base; I found it much like Lancome's pricey version, but I can't say either was exceptional in any way. Prescriptives' oil-free liquid is excellent; it is not sold online because a Prescriptives' representative matches it as closely as possible to your own tone so that your skin looks wonderful, not your foundation. Lorac's oil-free makeup ($30, available at offers even, lightweight coverage and a lovely finish. Profaces has created something I call "liquid velvet," a liquid-to-powder product dramatically different from any others I've ever used ($24.50). With beeswax and silica as two of its ingredients, it glides on, leaves your skin feeling baby-soft, and yet maintains a flattering matte (not cakey) look for hours.

I also experimented with less expensive foundations: Revlon's ColorStay fluid base did last through my long days, but it was obvious (even though I always use a sponge to blend well) and my face felt "grainy." Even Neutrogena, whose products have rarely disappointed me, offers a mediocre product (the greatest benefit here is that it helps in clearing blemishes). My biggest surprise came when I visited a nearby drugstore in July and grabbed Oil of Olay's Complete Radiance crème-to-powder foundation on a whim because I didn't want to spend much time with makeup during the summer. At the price of approximately $10.95, this magic in a compact offers remarkable (not heavy) coverage, controls oil, and truly allows my skin to look luminous, all at the same time! I'm on my third compact, and I rarely finish anything. My point? We women have the difficult (yet enjoyable) job of sorting through many products before we find the "right one." For me, I'm still switching between Olay, Profaces, Lorac, and Prescriptives, but that's because I have a tendency to be fickle :) . Good luck on your search!

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