They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m beholding, and I have to say, ShopGirl readers are the fairest of them all.

A few weeks back, I asked you to tell me about your favorite beauty products. The response was overwhelming — I heard from readers from New Jersey to New Brunswick — even as far away as Washington state.

And I did see a few trends. For starters, you’re wild about mineral makeup, specifically the Bare Minerals line from Bare Escentuals. Becky Reed of Houlton asks, “Have you tried Bare Escentuals makeup? Love it, very natural-looking and you don’t even feel it on your face!!! If you haven’t tried it, check out the starter kits they offer.” I have, Becky, and I completely agree.

But Bare Minerals offers more than just foundation. Swanville resident Brandy Marriner’s favorite is “Bare Minerals Buxom Lips-plumping gloss that leaves you with tingling lips and just enough color for anywhere.”

Kathy Griffith of Levant writes: “My favorite new product is the eyeliner brush in the Bare Minerals eye collection. I bought it on vacation at a Target in New Jersey. The brush is perfect for its intended purpose but I am using it to fill in and lengthen my overplucked eyebrows. The Bare Minerals powder lasts all day, far better than any of the many pencils I have tried.”

Target did carry Bare Escentuals starter kits for a while, but I think it was a limited-time-only sort of deal. That’s OK, because as Alfreda Pietka of Presque Isle writes, “I was happy to read the column where you mentioned Bare Escentuals and that they have a place in Bangor. It is cheaper to buy there than online. My sister-in-law lives in Bangor and we both thank you.” Thank you, Alfreda!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can buy Bare Escentuals at Skin Necessities (19 Penn Plaza, Bangor,

My sister, ShopGirl Jr., just went there and emerged with a flawless complexion — the gals at Skin Necessities showed her exactly how to use the powder foundation, which is great, because it can be a little tricky at first.

Lisa Morine of St. John Plantation is “totally sold on Mineral Wear makeup” by Physicians Formula. Same idea, at a drugstore price, which is awfully nice.

Another trend that emerged in your answers was a fierce brand loyalty. I can relate. I went 15 years wearing nothing but Clinique. And it’s still my go-to brand for the staples. Linda Pinkham of Corinth prefers L’Oreal products. “I have tried different brands but like the way L’Oreal works. The foundation lays really nice, I am happy with the creams and lotions, and the hair products are easy on my hair.”

Almay blendable eye pencils and Cover Girl Lash Exact mascara also got a shout-out, as did Bobbi Brown’s new mauve palette. For Meghan McCloskey, the one beauty product she can’t live without is Rimmel Kohl Eyeliner in sable brown. “It works wonders and is incredibly cheap.” Now that is a thing of beauty. A reader named Judy isn’t a brand loyalist, per se, but she was glad to see QVC mentioned, because that’s where she does most of her shopping — you can find Philosophy, Clinique, Smashbox and other higher-end brands there.

Kate Meyer “stalks MAC’s site and magazines with glee searching for new products and colors. I am a MAC LOVER. Their eye shadows are really spectacular — long-wearing, no creasing, and so many colors it can sometimes be overwhelming (in a really fun way!)”

I can’t say that I blame her. Nothing beats MAC for pure color.

Virginia Victor of Bangor swears by Clarins transparent loose powder. It’s her “one and only indulgence,” but she sometimes gets it for half-price on eBay. A shopper named Lynn is a bargain hunter, but she’ll splurge on Arbonne.

A reader named Jennifer writes: “I am a recently converted Stila girl. The Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 30) is wonderful. It is lightweight and keeps my skin hydrated without making it greasy. Also, Stila’s eye shadows and liners are to die for. Especially the liners. They’re a bit pricey, but worth the extra cost because they go on and wear so well. The Convertible Color compacts are fantastic, too. My cheeks have almost no flush to them at all, and I’ve always had a hard time finding a blush that would look natural, and this does. Plus, I love the creme formula SO much more than a powder!”

Jennifer gets great deals on Stila at “It’s just hit-or-miss, so you can’t always find what you want. But it’s nice for trying things you normally wouldn’t, I think, because its so much cheaper.” Thanks for the tip, Jennifer. Darci Dickinson also shared a favorite site: — a great beauty destination.

Like many other readers, Bare Minerals is Karen Stack’s favorite product, but Estee Lauder Fruition Extra Multi Action Complex is a close second. In fact, many readers mentioned favorite skincare products. Kate Roffey swears by “anything by Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts” (the line is available at All About You day spa in Bangor). Elyse Socker of Camden writes, “I, too, have tried lots of moisturizers filled with promises. One I feel really did make a difference is Olay’s Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream.”

Barb (who did not include her last name) loves Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream and eye cream. Colleen Lancaster of Pittsfield likes Neutrogena daily facial moisturizer with sunscreen and Neutrogena’s sunless tanning foam: “It goes on easily, doesn’t streak and dries fast. No heavy smell either. It sure does disguise those ghostly legs!” I sure could use that after this rainy summer.

Pat Jenkins found her favorite anti-aging product through a Consumer Reports article — I should’ve read it before I tried every eye cream under the sun! Jenkins uses Olay Regenerist daily regenerating serum “especially around my eyes, but it is a good overall moisturizer too. … Can’t say that I’m looking any younger, but I really like that it takes away any tightness without leaving any shiny or greasy feeling behind. And it doesn’t irritate my skin at all.”

Ruth Thyen loves the facial products by Earth Science and she wears a light powder foundation by Aveda. Fellow “product junkie” Mary Townley of Franklin writes, “Love the Smashbox line. Philosophy is a must. Laura Geller’s Baked line is wonderful! Victoria Principal’s Reclaim skin care system works!”

When it comes to cosmetics, there are loyalists, to be sure, but there are generalists as well. Kathy Williams is a woman after my own heart: “I too love anything with sparkle and shine, and have a basket full of blue nail polishes!”

Muriel Davis of Kenduskeag shared a great beauty tip: “I mix my foundation with my moisturizer in the palm of my hand. It goes on much more smoothly and evenly.”

As I said, ShopGirl readers are the fairest of them all. Or is that the fairest of the mall? Either way, they’re beautiful.

We have a winner — or five!

Congratulations to Lisa Morine, Deborah Ladd, Karen Bouchard, Lillie Ambrose and Rhonda Lavoie, who were chosen at random to win one of five beauty product goodie bags.

Change of address

The ShopBlog has moved, to a more user-friendly address. Check it out at for all the latest sales, deals and trends. And please feel free to post comments — I want to keep the conversation going online, and now, it’s much easier for readers to post. Plus, in the next week or so, I’ll do an online-only giveaway. So visit early and often. And, as always, happy shopping!