Interview with Gianna from Nouveau Cheap

I’ve recently had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely and sweet Gianna from Nouveau Cheap. One of my daily must reads, Nouveau Cheap is a blog dedicated to bring the latest scoop on affordable cosmetics. Here you can find honest reviews of inexpensive products, news on the latest releases and lots of sales and promo codes! Read on to find out more about Gianna:

1. When and why did you start your blog?
I started Nouveau Cheap in February of 2009. The reason I started my blog was because, for many years, I worked in an office where I was given the nickname “beauty guru” by my female colleagues. I worked with an amazing group of women and I sort of became their go-to person when they had a beauty-related question or problem. One colleague in particular urged me to start a blog to share my thoughts with others, so one day I actually did it and I had NO idea what I was doing in those early days (I still don’t, but I have learned a lot in the past few years!).

2. What’s the best thing that has happened to you because of your blog?
I’ve met people whom I now consider to be life-long friends, specifically because of blogging. Also, I’ve managed to provide an outlet for a community of like-minded women (and sometimes a few men) who love a good beauty bargain and who want to read about bargains and share their wisdom with all of us. There’s nothing that pleases me more than when I see readers of my blog talk to each other in the comments and help each other. I’ve seen readers offer to buy certain things for other readers who can’t get a particular product in their area, and I’ve seen readers give people in their cities tips on great local places to score beauty bargains. It touches me so much to know that I’ve had even a small role in enabling in that dialogue.

3. What are your favourite brands and why?
For mass-market/drugstore brands, I love Maybelline, Wet n Wild, Milani and Physicians Formula. I’d say those are my top four, but I’ve got a lot of love for other drugstore brands as well. On the higher end of the spectrum, my favorites are Bobbi Brown, Chantecaille, Urban Decay and Smashbox. But of course who doesn’t love brands like MAC and Stila, right? We can’t forget those!

4. What drugstore products are your staples?
There’s not a single staple in my makeup bag that DOESN’T come from the drugstore. My top staples are Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF50 Powder Foundation, Maybelline Define-A-Brow eyebrow pencil, Maybelline SuperStay concealer, Milani Baked Blushes, Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes, Physicians Formula Color Strips automatic eyeliner pencils, and for mascara I rarely use anything other than Physicians Formula Organic Jumbo Wear and Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express (the yellow tube).

5. And what drugstore products do you hate?
Oh wow, that’s a great question! Hate is a strong word, but as far as recent products, I really didn’t care for L’Oreal The One Sweep eyeshadows (a gimmick that absolutely didn’t work for me) and Maybelline Fit Me blush (super hard texture and no pigment whatsoever).

6. Have you found any drugstore products that are good dupes for high-end ones?
That’s my goal in life! Haha! Not really, but drugstore dupes are something I try to do as often as I can on my blog. So yes, I’ve found lots of dupes (too many to mention here) but one I’m most proud of is my recent dupe discovery of my favorite Bobbi Brown lipstick–I found a near-perfect match in actress Salma Hayek’s new line called Nuance (a new cosmetic collection exclusive to CVS drugstores).

7. Let’s talk about skincare. What’s your skincare routine like?
I’m absolutely awful when it comes to skincare routines–I have no fancy products or techniques that I use, but the routine that seems to be working for me right now is cleansing with L’Oreal Go 360 The Scrublet (Sensitive Skin formula), exfoliating with St. Ives Green Tea scrub, moisturizing with Alpha Hydrox Sheer Silk SPF15 moisturizer (for face and under eyes) and then at night I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum and Cream. So yeah, even my skincare routine is drugstore!

8. What do you think are the best drugstores for beauty products? Why?
I love the selection of cosmetics at Rite Aid (they carry Jesse’s Girl and Prestige, which are two brands I consider to be very underrated). I love the wonderful natural beauty product selection that CVS offers in California. I love that Walgreens carries an extensive collection of Sinful Colors nail polish and they also carry the ridiculously affordable makeup brand Jordana. In terms of membership rewards, I think CVS and Rite Aid have the most to offer beauty junkies.Oh, and thanks to my readers, I can tell you that there are some fabulous regional retailers that tend to release new and limited edition drugstore products much sooner than the big chains: HEB in Texas, Fred Meyer in the Pacific Northwest, Meijer in the Midwest, and Duane Reade in NYC. It’s my goal to someday visit every single one of those stores!

9. Are there any other blogs you read regularly? What are your favourites and why?
I read all of the blogs in the blogroll on my site (otherwise they wouldn’t be in my blogroll!). I know that’s a politically-correct answer but it’s totally true. As far as non-beauty-related blogs, I absolutely love Vanilla Sugar (Want to drool?Just look at those photos for a minute and it will happen), Passive-Aggressive Notes (never fails to make me laugh out loud), The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (poor punctuation = hysterical), Sexy People (makes me feel good about my own portraits from the 80s) and Bookshelf Porn (not nearly as scandalous as it sounds, but pretty amazing for a bibliophile like myself).

10. And finally, are there any beauty secrets you can share with us?
Hum…another good question! I’d like to say that the best secret I can share with your readers is to not underestimate drugstore beauty products. Even if something doesn’t come in a pretty package, it just might surprise you! There are hundreds of products out there that work equally as well (if not better) than something that comes in a beautiful package and costs three times as much. You never know until you try!

Thank you so much for the interview Gianna! Make sure you all visit Nouveau Cheap now!

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Makeup Morsels, I’m glad you enjoyed it and love her blog too. It’s an awesome resource for affordable cosmetics. :)

  1. Janessa says

    I love Rite Aid too! I live in Cali also and Rite Aid seems to have the best prices where I live. Plus they always have sales. I’m going to head over to her blog.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, sounds like a wonderful store! I wish we had it here! And I’m sure you will love her blog!

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