Beauty Budget :: Where To Splurge And Where To Save

{Marilyn painting her face, via.}

I get asked all the time, “What beauty products are you willing to spend more money on and when can you save by buying less expensive products?”  This answer of course would vary depending on a persons individual needs, but I do have a general rule of thumb for categories of where I don’t mind spending more and where I refuse to buy anything but drugstore.

Here is where I typically splurge and where I save when it comes to cosmetics and skin care products…


{Dior at Bergdorf Goodman.}

1. Makeup brushes.  Michelangelo wouldn’t have used a plastic Crayola paint brush to paint the Sistene Chapel now would he?  You shouldn’t use those cheapy applicators that come with your drugstore makeup to paint your face.  Invest in good makeup brushes – here are my faves – your makeup will go on and look better.
2.  Eye shadows.  It’s rare to find shadows with excellent pigments and staying power from a drugstore product (L’oreal Infallible shadows are an exception to this rule).  
3. Moisturizers/serums/eye creams.  Even if I buy these from the drugstore, I buy the more expensive ones from brands like Olay and L’Oreal that contain ingredients like Hyaluronic acid and retinol that my aging skin needs.
4. Skin primers.  Skin primers make the rest of your makeup perform better and I have yet to find a drugstore eye or skin primer that works as well as my more $$ ones.


{Drugstore wall}

1. Lip colors.  This is a category where I own more lipsticks and glosses than I could seriously count.  Even though I do love to pull out a beautiful expensive tube of lipstick, I haven’t found that I love a Chanel lip color more than a Cover Girl one when it comes to the formula.
2.  Face wash.  Of course if you have super sensitive or acne prone skin, you might make an exception to this rule.  But for me with normal skin, I never buy pricey cleanser because it’s only on my face for less than 30 seconds then it gets rinsed off.
3. Mascara.  I’ve tried the gamut of mascaras on the market and drugstore mascara almost always trumps department store ones.  Especially since you should replace your mascara every 3-4 months due to bacteria.  Who can afford to do that with a $25+ tube of mascara??


Foundation and Concealers.  I use L’Oreal True Match on all of my clients (as shown on this bride) and myself.  It is amazing and comes in every color under the rainbow.  I like how blendable it is and I can layer it for maximum coverage.  However, I also just purchased this Stila foundation and love how it stays all day (plus it includes a concealer in the top!).  I recommend this drugstore concealer to lots of women, but also use MAC and Laura Mercier concealers for spot treating for my clients with extreme breakouts.  So I’m on the fence with this category!

What about YOU – Where do you splurge and save?

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