New Beauty Brands Boast Affordability

In an already glutted beauty product market, launching a new line successfully is a formidable task. Wide availability, great publicity, attractive packaging, and alluring names all help, but they are not enough. The products have to deliver what they promise. Many women will try an unknown brand, but they won’t be repeat customers if it does not satisfy expectations.

Let’s get the details on a few recent entrants into the makeup and skin care industry. See if any of them can tempt you to give them a whirl.

circa combinedCirca

Exclusive to Walgreens (in partnership with Maesa) is Circa, a cosmetics line that offers everything you need to show your best self. The lure is the line’s unintimidating availability in a national pharmacy chain, its promise to give women of every skin tone a professional quality product, and its price point. The products retail for under $20. The role of actress and model Eva Mendes as its creative director also adds to the appeal. I visited my local store to have a peek, and I was impressed. The Color Balance BB Cream had a silky feel and blended seamlessly, and the Color Balance Liquid Foundation gave a wonderfully natural coverage. I did not expect to like it because it is not oil free, but I have to say that it did not feel greasy at all. For the lips, the choice of lip butter, lipstick, polish, or crayon will meet everyone’s preference. Circa also sells more than one style of mascara, eyeliner, and blush. Under it all, you can experiment with the primer, concealer (two types), and powder (two types). The line includes both subtle and bold palettes; there is not a bad color in the bunch. When you shop, pick up one of the pocket sized ingredient lists near the display so that you will know exactly what you are buying. Purchase at Walgreens stores.

reba combined

Reba Beauty

There is no doubt that Reba McEntire is a phenomenal musical talent. Can she bring the same success to her new cosmetics line, Reba Beauty? Drawing on the knowledge and experience of her longtime makeup artist Brett Freedman, she debuted the project in April. The brand’s tagline is “iconic glamour,” which elicits images of fearlessly bold looks. The first item released was Deluxstick, a lipstick/lip gloss hybrid. Fancy, an attractive garnet red, can be purchased for $16 directly from her website The cautious let’s-wait-and-see approach makes business sense, but I can’t wait for McEntire and Freedmen’s next move.

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EVER Skincare

From the team behind the direct marketing jewelry and accessories company Stella & Dot comes EVER Skincare. The new kid on the block delivers clinical grade skin care made with botanically derived ingredients, which vows the “visible transformation” of facial skin. The star is LSR10™, a three-molecule complex derived from Magnolia Officinalis that is designed to fight ten signs of aging. For potential customers who want to know what to expect, the company shares the outstanding results of an independent clinical study which tested the four-step EVER regimen. Preferred customers can purchase the Cleansing Balm for dry skin or Purifying Gel Cleanser for combination skin, Biomimetic Peel Pads, Quattro Peptide Face and Eye Serum, and Hydralift Moisturize Injection Cream for $229 (a $318 value). The company stands by its claims with a 45-day money-back guarantee. It also boasts a commitment to conscious beauty by making products that are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrances and colors, chemical sunscreens, and hydroquinone. Call 1-877-263-1625 or go to to find an EVER specialist in your area.

Nonie Creme Colour Prevailsnonie combined

Creator of the butter LONDON brand Nonie Creme now has her own affordable, full line of makeup at Walgreens. Noni Creme Colour Prevails is its name, and you can bet that I sampled the products as soon as I could. Noni Creme is indeed the queen of color. My favorite item is the Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo, which comes in oodles of feminine shades. At $12 each, you can purchase several for the price you would pay for one from a prestige cosmetics brand. The Lash Ombre Mascara ($13) is such a cool concept. The mascara comes in six color combinations, each designed to enhance eye color when the application of color is followed by the application of black on lash tips. The Bashful Beauty Cheek & Lip Multi Stick ($13) does not lie. It really is multi-use. If you can’t decide which of the four shades to choose, go with the universally flattering In the Nude. Checking out this budget-friendly line (all under $20) is easy to do in the no-pressure setting of a pharmacy. Purchase at Walgreens.

cbcombinedChristie Brinkley Authentic Skincare

Former model Christie Brinkley assembled a team of scientists led by dermatologist Dr. Doris Day to bring us an anti-aging range with Bio Copper Complex and Elix IR, which work against lines and wrinkles while providing superior sun protection. The Recapture-360 Day Treatment and Recapture-360 Night Treatment are meant to work together, with the Day preventing further sun damage and the Night delivering skin repair. You may also want to consider the specialty treatments for puffy eyes, neck and chest, and exfoliation. The ten-item collection ranges in price from $32.95 to $129.00. Purchase at Kohl’s, HSN, or directly from Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare.

About Connie Donahue (28 Articles)
Connie Donahue is a historian, a former college lecturer and university administrator, a copyeditor, an artist, and a student of Italian cuisine. Ms. Donahue holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (in US history) from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts from UC San Diego. She has conducted research on black politics and has presented her work at professional conferences. She also has been active in the digitization of historical records, community representation in the public library system, and school fundraising. Ms. Donahue is a Cleveland native, but she has lived in Toronto, San Diego, Virginia, and Louisiana.