BrowPerfection Total Shaping Studio
Housed in an oversized compact are three matte brow powders, a brow wax, a tiny synthetic hair brush, two brow stencils, and an instruction pamphlet. The goal is to create salon-sensational brows at home, but what this boils down to is a brow studio with limited appeal. The brow powders are fine, but you shouldn’t have to bother with mixing all three together (as directed) to match your brows. Not only is that time-consuming, but the available shades offer no options for dark brown or black eyebrows. The stencils are OK for general shaping, but I can’t see most women using them daily as a means of shaping their brows; however, if it helps teach you how to apply a well-shaped brow that’s a plus. The colorless brow wax does tame unruly hairs and adds a soft gloss finish. All told, this kit is more than most women need, though the price isn’t bad for what you get; the issue is that you won’t, and shouldn’t, use most of what’s included.
Prestige Cosmetics At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; some winning products in almost every category, including foundation, concealer, powder, blush, and eyeshadow (the singles); great liquid eyeliner; excellent automatic lip liner.
Weaknesses: Many so-so lip products and eye pencils; average mascara; uneven and incomplete distribution of products, even in the same city (which is very frustrating); the makeup brushes are almost impossible to find (and as such were not re-reviewed for this book).
Prestige is a bold name for a cosmetics line that is sold in mass-market outlets and drugstores at prices that any self-respecting makeup snob would scoff at. Yet that would be a mistake, because there are some undeniably good products, especially pencils, powders, and eyeshadow. The quality of these items often exceeds the reasonable price, and is a prime example of a case where expensive does not equate with being better.
Keeping in step with its name, much of the packaging in this line is sleek and functional. All of the compacts are one-piece units (meaning no caps to twist off or fumble with) and the compact foundations include handy mirrors and sponges. Weak points to ignore or consider carefully include the liquid foundation with sunscreen, the eyeshadow duos and quads, and the lipstick, which has taken a turn for the worse since its last review.
You may still find some Prestige makeup brushes available, but these were not reviewed because their availability is haphazard and the company no longer promotes them on their Web site or in their catalog. In fact, "haphazard" is a good way to describe how this Florida-based line is distributed. Found in most major drugstores, the mix of products tends to vary greatly. For example, we had to visit seven locations in the Seattle area just to find everything listed in the Prestige catalogand this isn't an overwhelming line. It's impressive that there are over 60 eyeshadows and 70 lipstick shades available, but you'll be lucky to find a fraction of that in any single store. The only consistently available items (and all shades were available) were the eye and lip pencils. However, if you don't insist on seeing everything Prestige offers in one place, there is every reason to pursue some essential beauty purchases with them.
For more information about Prestige Cosmetics, call (800) 722-7488 or visit www.prestigecosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.