An occasional user defends an expensive product

COSMETICS COUNTER

May 19, 1994|By Paula Begoun | Paula Begoun,Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service

Q: My opinion of Bobbi Brown Essentials is more favorable tTC than yours, although I buy it only occasionally because the prices are so exorbitant.

You drew comparisons between Bobbi Brown Essentials and M.A.C. While M.A.C. has an extensive collection of matte neutral colors, it also has many bright, frosty shadows.

Also, some of M.A.C.'s lip colors are garish; they remind me of frosted Yardley lipsticks from the '60s. (I found Bobbi Brown's 5 Rose lipstick to be a great versatile color, although I have since found L'Oreal's Rose Potpourri lipstick a close match at a fraction of the price.)

You also didn't say anything about displays for Bobbi Brown's products. It is one of the most accessible displays around because the customer can freely try testers for every product.

M.A.C. runs the gamut of all possible makeup colors, but Bobbi Brown has a coherent selection of matte colors.

A: Your comments are welcome, and I agree with most of them. However, I still stand by my comments regarding Bobbi Brown's limited colors and her overly yellow foundations.

Q: Can you stand one more question about alpha hydroxy acids? Are the Dermalogica products worth buying?

I respect your opinion on this matter and won't use them if you think they aren't good.

A: You really haven't provided me with enough information to determine whether or not these products would be good for your skin in particular.

I would need to know what other skin care products you are using and whether or not you are presently using both of the Dermalogica products you sent me.

I can tell you this much: No woman needs two AHA products; that is most assuredly overkill and problematic for the skin. Also, I am concerned that both of these products contain salicylic acid, which is not an AHA compound but is a definite irritant for the skin. In fact, the Gentle Cream Exfoliant contains more salicylic acid than it does AHA (in this case lactic acid), so I would hardly call it gentle. Even though the first ingredient is aloe vera, it can't prevent the irritation caused by the salicylic acid.

The Skin Renewal Booster is even worse; although it contains a )) good amount of AHA (again lactic acid), it also contains sulfur and salicylic acid, which both run high on the irritation scale. As you can tell, I am not fond of these products. There are definitely better AHA products on the market.

Paula Begoun publishes the Cosmetics Counter Update, a newsletter that comes out every other month. For an introductory copy of the subscription newsletter, send $1 for shipping and handling to: The Beginning Press, 5418 South Brandon, Seattle, Wash. 98118.

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