Let’s face it. As much as we love our makeup, sometimes spending $28 for lipstick seems rather unnecessary. Does a higher price tag really guarantee better quality? The fact is many drugstore products are made by the exact same manufacturers as high-priced department store brands. However, there are certain products that are worth splurging on.
When to Splurge:
If you’re ready to invest in new makeup, you should do so strategically. Great foundation, concealers and brushes are essential. Spending a little extra in these areas will actually save you money and time in the long run. Once you’ve incorporated these basics into your beauty routine, you’ll find you don’t need as much of your other makeup.
Foundation and Powder: Department store lines offer a superior selection of colors to match any skin tone. Whether you wear tinted moisturizer, liquid foundation or pressed powder, you need to find a color that precisely matches your skin tone. Top picks: Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX foundation – $38, Becca Cosmetics Fine Pressed Powder – $42, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – $42.
Concealer: Stealth and texture are two key words to remember when searching for the right concealer. Using concealer that is of poor quality will only bring attention to the imperfections or discolorations we’re trying to hide. Remember — Liquid concealers for light discolorations. Heavier stick concealer for darker spots. Creamy concealers for delicate skin such as under the eyes. Top picks: Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer – $70, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage – $28, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat – $37.
Brushes: I cannot stress this enough. Good brushes truly are a game changer. Try to look for brushes that are handmade with natural fibers. They will work better and last much longer. Cleaning your brushes once every 1-2 weeks (depending on how often they are used) will also help to extend the life of your brushes and keep them from collecting bacteria. Be gentle — wash with warm water and baby shampoo, then lay flat to air dry. Top Picks: MAC 190 Foundation Brush – $32, Bobbi Brown Concealer Brush – $25, Smashbox Crease Brush #10 – $28.
When to Save:
Although it ultimately boils down to personal preference, experts agree that there are plenty of products for which a high price tag is not synonymous high quality. When it comes to lipsticks, eyeliners and mascara, drugstore cosmetics perform equally as well as department-store brands.
Mascara: Since you’re supposed to replace your mascara every two to three months, buying your mascara from the drugstore is a smart move. When it comes to mascara, finding great formulas that are sold at the drugstore is a piece of cake. Top Picks: L’oreal Voluminous Mascara – $9, Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Flared – $8, Rimmel London Volume Flash Bold Curves Mascara in Black, $7.
Lipstick: Lipstick formulations are virtually the same at any price point. Since there are so many drugstore lipstick options out there, this might be one of those categories where it’s better to save. Of course, lipstick shades are subjective. However, when it comes to longevity, the brilliance of their pigments and the smoothness of their application, there are dozens of drugstore brands that earn a high score. Top Picks: Revlon ColorStay Soft & Smooth Lipcolor – $10, CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipcolor – $7, Sonia Kashuk Luxury Lipcolor – $8.
Eyeliner: One of the biggest challenges many women face is trying to find eyeliner that goes on and stays on without bleeding into the corners of your eyes. There are so many eyeliner options these days. Pencil liners are great for smudging (think smokey eye) while liquid liners stay on forever (ala the sexy cat eye). For under $10, you can find eyeliner that won’t smudge or disappear yet are easily removed with eye makeup remover. Top Picks: L’oreal Paris Infallible Eyeliner – $7, Rimmel London Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil – $3, Maybelline New York Expert Eyes Twin Brow & Eye Pencils $3. read more →