It’s no secret that I’m a beauty product junkie. It started early – when I was five watching my mom apply the iconic gold metal tube of Estee Lauder lipstick (wow, looks a lot like the Charlotte Tilbury tubes, huh?). As I got older – and before YouTube and blogs – I loved spending hours perusing the skincare and cosmetic aisles of CVS, reading every product’s claims and trying all the new display items. Once I started working and could splurge on higher end makeup, my first eyeshadow was a lime green metallic shade from Urban Decay at Sephora when I was 16. …And so it goes…
Over time, I’ve learned that as much as I love a good high-end product for its quality and typically nicer packaging, there are certain categories of makeup that perform just as well from the drugstore than their high-end counterparts. When I have friends ask what is worth the splurge versus where they can save a few bucks on their makeup collection, this is how I break it down…
// SPLURGE //
In general, I like to stick with higher-end makeup if it’s going on my face. If you start with a quality base/foundation, the biggest ‘feature’ of your face (your skin) it going to look flawless. What you’re paying for is more finely milled pigments, which means you’re going to be using less over time to get the desired effect. Also, the product’s binding capabilities tend to be stronger – which means the product will tend to last longer on the skin. I used to go through foundations from the drugstore in a month or two with daily use, but since switching to higher end versions, they last me six months or more.
- Foundation // Urban Decay, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Charlotte Tilbury, Laura Mercier
- Powder // Clinique, MAC, Laura Mercier, Jane Iredale
- Blush // MAC, BareMinerals, Tarte, Benefit, Chanel
- Highlighter // Becca, TheBalm, Benefit
Brows are super important these days and if you weren’t blessed with a full arch, you should invest in higher end brow products. No one wants their brows melting off halfway through the day and even worse, no one wants to look like their brows are painted on! Higher end brow products have a more realistic shade selection. They’re more ashy-toned, which more realistically mimics natural brows. They also are less waxy and more dry – which may sound bad, but it’s better to have a dry product in your brows because it won’t slide right off in the middle of your spinning class.
Mascara is a product I have discussed on my blog as something I prefer to purchase from the drugstore. I believe there is more variety at the drugstore for mascara and with the frequency in which you should be replacing tubes, it’s not worth splurging for high end mascaras.
Eyeshadows are another category that the everyday woman won’t need 50+ shades in her collection. For an everyday wash of color, there are many good options at the drugstore in powder or cream formulas. Unless you’re a makeup junkie or want to create more complex varieties of looks, the offerings at the drugstore these days are great (especially if you’re using a primer).
- Mascara // Maybelline (1, 2, 3), L’Oreal (1, 2, 3)
- Eyeshadow // Maybelline (1, 2), L’Oreal, Wet n Wild (1, 2), Hard Candy
- Lipliner // NYX Slim Lip Pencil, Milani Color Statement Lipliner
- Lipstick // Maybelline, Revlon
- Lipgloss // Revlon, NYX
I hope this helps get your feet wet when building your collection! Remember, if you live in the US, most major retailers accept returns/exchanges on used products, so if you hate something or it doesn’t work for you – save your receipt and return/exchange (just try to make educated purchases so it doesn’t become a habit).
Happy makeup shopping,
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