Monday, February 6

Splurge Vs. Save: Makeup Edition

Foundation & Concealer

While I'm a huge fan of Boots Stay Perfect foundation ($10) from Target, I generally think you should splurge on foundation and concealer.  Many great options are available at drugstores, but the chances of finding the perfect shade for your skin color can be pretty slim.  In the long run, you'll very likely end up spending more trying out different shades and formulas for your skin than if you just went to a makeup expert. 

I suggest going to a place like Sephora rather than going to a makeup counter like Clinique.  Sephora experts have experience with a variety of brands and have a wider selection of options to choose from.  Also, Sephora has the absolute best return policy which will allow you to try out the product for a few days and return it if it's not panning out. 

Blush & Powder

I tend to splurge on blush because I've always found that it is so difficult to blend cheap blush.  You'll consistently find that the best ranked and most recommended blushes are in the $20+ range.  Why?  Higher-end powders are ground until they are very light, which makes them easier to blend.  I use Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush.


Lips are tricky... I'm a longtime proponent of the classic Chapstick, and buy it in 3 packs for about $1 a tube.  On most occasions, I think you should just put on a cheap little balm and let your natural lip color go. 

However, there are some occasions that I find myself wanting to wear a little lip color.  While I've always heard great things about Revlon's lipstick and lip stains, I just don't have good luck with any drugstore lip product.  I splurge on Nars lip stain and Fresh's Sugar Passion lip balm.  Both offer long-lasting, saturated colors that I haven't found with any drugstore brand. 

Eye Shadow & Eyeliner

My recommendation is to splurge on eyeliner and save on eye shadow.  Most cheap eyeliner is made of wax, which doesn't glide very easily.  The color tends to fade quickly, and often you'll end up with raccoon eyes by lunchtime.  I suggest a gel eyeliner, like Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Gel Eyeliner.

When it comes to eye shadow, I think you can save as long as you invest in an eye shadow primer.  Sephora carries a variety of great eye shadow primers which will keep even the least expensive eye shadow in place for days.

I have never really seen the benefit of plunking down $30 for a tube of mascara because so many great affordable options exist, like Covergirl's Lash Blast mascara (god, who comes up with these names?). I do, however, think you can make a cheap mascara look even better by using it in combination with a cheap eyelash curler (see below).  


I think you can find some pretty great brush sets for under $15 total.  I use Eco Tools, a set available from Target for $11 for 5 brushes.  The only addition I might add to this set is an eyelash curler.  Some makeup artists swear by Shu Uemura's eyelash curler ($20), but I bought my cheap Revlon Extra Curl Eyelash Curler maybe 8 years ago, and I've never had an issue with it.

Well, there you have it!  I very rarely switch up my makeup routine, so when I do I really appreciate hearing product recommendations.  Any tips?

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