Quite a few of you were all kinds of pissed after Queen Latifah’s poorly managed Cover Girl auditions.

I had more than one righteously angry reader e mail to tell me that they would never buy Queen Latifah’s products, threatening to get together a petition and everything.

But months have passed, and hopefully time has healed some of those wounds. And if you’re still mad, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m here to tell you that Cover Girl’s Queen Collection is surprisingly good stuff, and if you’re a bella on a budget, you should definitely check it out.

Shortly after the audition debacle, I was sent a little review package of items. The first thing that impressed me is the range of liquid makeup colors. If you have a hard time matching your shade, definitely try these out. Seriously — you should try to find a drugstore with testers, because I had a hard time guessing what shade I was.

I knew I wasn’t in their Ebony Bronze range, but Brown Bronze still didn’t blend with the skin on my inner wrist. I was all ready to give the Light Bronze shades to one of my olive-skinned amigas in the office, but when I tried the classic bronze shade lo and behold, it blended effortlessly. I couldn’t believe it.

So lesson learned — don’t try to eyeball foundation through the packaging. I would have never found my correct shade that way.

I passed along the Ebony Bronze shade to my co-worker, Raina, who has flawless, chocolate colored skin. She had a mixed review.

“Since it was my first experience with foundation, at first I loved how it evened out my skin. But then I kinda hated how it took away my natural glow and kinda made me look ashy.” Still, she would recommend it to bellas on a budget, “From a foundation virgin it seemed pretty good to me. And since it’s affordable and so easy to get it is something I would recommend.” Her experience made her open to trying Queen Latifah’s mascara or eyeliners, but in terms of foundation, not so much. “This product has made me want to try some of the more expensive (better?) brands,” she added.

Now I’ve already declared my disdain for liquid makeup, but I actually liked the way the Queen Collection blended right into my skin. It was simultaneously oil free and moisturizing, didn’t leave my skin looking cakey, and it effectively covered up my hyperpigmentation. Plus, it costs $7.49 at your neighborhood drugstore.

If you’ve been looking for an affordable liquid makeup that matches your hard-to-match skintone, I’d suggest you give the Queen a try.

I like the liquid makeup, but I LOVE the eyeshadow quads.

I already mentioned the Blue Notes quad in my How to Take a Bangin’ Mug Shot post, because the minty aqua shade almost perfectly matches Foxy Brown’s shadow in her most recent police station photo op. Of course, this eye shadow quad costs $4.99, so it’s probably not what Fox-Boogie is actually using. Although maybe she should be — homegirl hasn’t had a hit single in a while.

You all know how much I love bright eyeshadow, and shades of blue really compliment brown skin and brown eyes. I love these eyeshadows, because they’re bright but not as highly pigmented as L’Oreal HIP or Urban Decay. If you’re looking for a subtly sheer wash of aqua around your baby browns, step right up for this quad.

And if you don’t know how to use eyeshadow at all, check out the Queen Collection website. They offer detailed, helpful step by step makeup looks for the eyeshadow clueless. Check out Sheer Soul for tips on creating an effortless nude, daytime fresh face. I am also feeling Island Rhythms, and that raisin eye shadow would compliment my skin tone to a tee. Another alternative is Copper Penny, which is a deep, bronzed, winey shadow that’s classy, not trashy.

I can’t even find the shade of moisturizing lip color that I have on the official website, which is just as well, because I’m not a Peach Spice girl and I probably never will be.

If I had to choose a shade, I’d go for Bordeaux, or Toast of the Town. But the lipcolor glides on as smooth and silky as lip gloss, and it did last through three glasses of wine, so I’d recommend it to a friend.

In terms of people’s personal feelings about the Queen, I get the impression that she’s faced so many false rumors and accusations about her weight and her sexuality that she doesn’t really care what people say anymore. Can’t blame her for that.

As a big boned black woman, I have a lot of love and respect for her — bad movies aside, she’s done quite a bit to enhance the portrayal of plus size women of color, and I feel proud to see her as a Cover Girl.

All in all, I have to give Queen Latifah’s collection two snaps up. Despite all of the drama surrounding the campaign, she’s actually repping a collection that represents the changes in the makeup industry that so many of us have wanted for so long: good, affordable products for women all shades of beautiful.

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