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The dizzying array of cosmetics out there really can make it difficult to decide what is best for you. How do you decide what's going to work best for you? There are several things to consider. If you're against animal testing, or prefer natural products only- that limits your selection down quite a bit. If you're looking specifically for anti-aging foundation or lengthening mascara, this also limits your choices.
Once you decide what you're looking for, what works for you and what doesn't, and also how much you're willing to spend- then it's time to go shopping. Avoid the excessively cheap brands found in dollar or discount stores, they are usually pigmented lightly, thinner products, and usually are already expired when you buy them- you really do get what you pay for.
Have a consultation done by a salesperson at one of the department store cosmetics counters- these people are trained to help you find the right colors for your skin, to help find the right formulas for you, and also give you sound advice on skincare. Once you know your colors and know what types you need, then it's time to find your cosmetics. Have fun!