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Beauty of Drugstore Makeup : In lean economic times, many women are rediscovering the shops' cosmetics for price and convenience.

January 14, 1994|CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Cindy LaFavre Yorks writes regularly about fashion and beauty for The Times

Women who never thought that they could part with their Chanel makeup in the show-off '80s are rediscovering drugstore cosmetics in the frugal '90s.

The beauty of shopping at drugstores means more than just paying less for makeup. Many women appreciate the in-and-out convenience of a drugstore, where they can also pick up pharmaceuticals, school supplies and often take advantage of free delivery. And for those who still prefer department store makeup, many brands are available at the area drugstore.

A sampling of noteworthy local pharmacies and their beauty wares:

Dana Drug in Burbank is as much a gift emporium as it is a pharmacy. The cosmetic counter spans the entire right wall. Several men's fragrances are sold, including many by Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Estee Lauder. Fendi, Chloe, Fracas and scents by Lauder and Liz Claiborne are a few of the women's offerings.

Prestigious cosmetic lines grace the long counter, including Lauder's. Also stocked are Clinique, Ultima II, Borghese, Christian Dior and Elizabeth Arden. Revlon and Max Factor are among the less expensive, mass-marketed lines, sold near the main counter. Testers are available from the salesclerk for most of the products.

There are several complete bath-product lines, including a handful of unusual names. Neutrogena, Jean Nate, Caswell-Massey and Perlier's honey-scented products are familiar enough. But products by Kneipp, Aromatique and The Thymes Limited--more often seen in department stores or fancy bath shops--lend exclusivity to the selection.

Anyone picky about their shampoo will appreciate the extensive stock of Rene Furterer, Sebastian and Paul Mitchell products. The store also offers scads of manicure tools and supplies, as well as a number of elegant cosmetic travel cases. Free delivery is available with a $5 minimum purchase.

317 N. Pass Ave., Burbank, (818) 766-9555.

Valley Clarins users don't have to fight for mall parking to replenish their supplies. At Northridge Pharmacy, the entire line is available for free delivery, as are several others often seen in department stores. Among them: Guerlain, Germaine Monteil, Elizabeth Arden and Christian Dior (only the lipstick, nail polish and mascara are available here). Revlon, Almay and Cover Girl color cosmetics are also in stock, as are the popular Alpha Hydrox skin care products.

There are fragrances for women by Givenchy, Paloma Picasso and Calvin Klein, among others. Men can choose from a selection by Yves St. Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Dior. Several bath lines, including those by Jean Nate, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Natura are in ample supply. The store also has a display of "mix-your-own nail polish" kits.

9167 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, (818) 349-7000.

An in-store beauty salon is housed inside Marks Valley Drugs in Sherman Oaks. Several prestigious hair care lines, including Paul Mitchell, Sebastian, Mastey, Pantene and KMS, are displayed in front of the utilitarian salon near the store's cosmetic area. Mass-marketed cosmetic brands such as Revlon, Almay and Max Factor are sold, as are such tonier brands as Orlane, Dermablend and Yuth, a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free line of color cosmetics.

There are scores of scents for men--Bijan, Lagerfeld and others by Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Chanel, to name a few. Women can choose from L'Air du Temps, White Shoulders, Chloe and others by Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, Yves St. Laurent and Liz Claiborne. Delivery is free with a $10 minimum purchase.

4556 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 788-5531.

PayLess Drug may lack the atmosphere of an old-time drugstore, but the service is the same, if not improved. Free home delivery is available in some areas, and catalogues are offered for easier home ordering.

Inside the new Palmdale store, the cosmetic area is a major focal point. Every conceivable mass-market line is carried, including several play makeup sets for girls.

PayLess also stocks a variety of scents engineered to mimic such famous fragrances as Escape, Red, Obsession and others. Vertical shelves arranged around a central counter often are staffed or, at the least, carefully monitored. About half the cosmetics sold are available for sampling, but the goods are kept behind the counter to avoid contamination by random passersby.

Customers are invited to sign up on the store's preferred customer mailing list. Free samples and other goodies are sent to those on the list, and their favorite products are kept on file for handy reference.

37212 47th St. East, Palmdale, (805) 272-9322 .

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