Makeup: When to Splurge, When to Save


It’s a common beauty dilemma: Should you shell out $30 for that name-brand lotion or $3 on the drugstore stuff? When it comes to products, there’s a time to save and another to invest in the long-term. Follow our savvy shopper’s guide, and both you -- and your bank account -- will continue looking good.

Splurge or save on … trendy color?
Scoring today’s makeup trend for a few bucks means you won’t feel guilty when you must have tomorrow’s “it” shade. Consider shadows, glosses and nail polishes from drugstore brands, such as Wet N’ Wild and E.L.F.

The catch: These steals tend to have less saturated pigments than their pricier counterparts, so you may need to apply more than one coat. To make shadows last, apply a primer or creamy foundation on your lids first. Also top your nails with a fast-drying clear polish to prevent chipping.

Splurge or save on … blush?
Splurge. Cheap powder blushes often contain larger particles from ingredients like talc, which can result in streaky, caked-on color. Pricier formulations, like those by Nars, impart an even distribution of color and smoother finish.

Splurge or save on … face wash?
Save. Ask any dermatologist what she uses to clean her face, and 90 percent of the time she’ll name a drugstore brand like Cetaphil. Why? These well-known brands have big budgets for research and development. The result: Their products have effective formulas that cleanse and remove makeup with little irritation. Similarly, lower-priced moisturizers can deliver hydration without breaking the bank.

Splurge or save on … foundation?
The key to wearing foundation is to look like you’re not wearing any makeup at all. Some inexpensive options can cake on and settle into fine lines and pores, which may lead to breakouts. Prestige brands, like Armani Fluid Sheer, not only have more shade ranges and varying degrees of coverage, but they also provide a lighter feeling finish. For the best investment, head to your local Sephora or department store. Ask the consultant to help you find shades that match your skin tone. (Note: You may need to switch up the weight or color, depending on the season.)

Splurge or save on … removers and blotters?
No point in spending extra for blotting papers. Instead, absorb excess moisture with a tissue; just gently pat it across your face. Bonus: These tissues also double as makeup removers. Dab the tissue into a petroleum-based makeup remover and swipe across your eyes, lips and cheeks.   

Splurge or save on … brushes?
Toss those free-with-purchase makeup brushes. Invest in three to four pro-grade, synthetic brushes, which will last longer. They also distribute color, powder and foundation more evenly, thanks to their larger surface area. Keep them bacteria-free and wash with a gentle baby shampoo once a month; set to dry on a few layers of tissues.

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

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