What annoys me the most is when people buy cheap bad quality products and expect a miracle to happen for them, build a house with bad quality materials and your house will not be stable and will eventually fall down. Its the same with your body, eat bad food all the time and......... well we all know the outcome of that :)
Of course not all products work the same and in order to gain the best results you need to know your skin type etc and any respected brand such as Clinique, MAC, Origins, Dior will have a stand where you can get a free consultation to determine what products will suit you. Of course you must remember these people are out to make a sale and will try and sell you any new product so its good to do research for yourself.
Clinique for example is 100% fragrance free so if you have allergies its a good one to use because its products will not irritate your skin (test first though.) They have a wonderful 3 - step system that is formulated for each specific skin type. I personally use their type 2 system for Dry-Combination skin. Head over to the website and take their online questionnaire to find your perfect foundation for your skin type or go to one of their counters located in department stores.
In all honesty if you're not too familiar with MAC I would suggest you stick to only purchasing their lipsticks, eye-shadows and lip-glosses because I find that their products are highly pigmented and when you're sitting in their chair getting it done it looks so perfect but once you've purchased it and gone home it comes out looking rather different than what you expected it to. Reason for this is that when they apply everything the tools they use are superior to the tools we normally use at home. Its a big commitment to get good brushes and look after them well and expensive too.However I do suggest using their primer or Urban Decays primer (what you put on after moisturising but before foundation.)
For all of you green fingers out there Origins has a natural skincare range that uses only potent plants, organic ingredients and essential oils. And its packaging is green too, not just the colour but its very eco friendly. The smell alone will convince you to purchase it. I'm a big fan of their Drink-Up Intensive overnight mask, its creamy and smells of apricot. Its blend of Japanese seaweed ensures when you wash it off in the morning with any other product its moisturising benefits will last you. And you only have to use it once or twice a week.