Navigating the makeup scene can be a difficult and intimidating task, but it doesn’t need to be. Creating your makeup routine can be similar to creating your wardrobe. If you spend a little more on a few good quality, versatile pieces you can change them to fit any look. The most important thing to do is to decide which items are worth spending more on and which aren’t.
My rule of thumb when choosing drug store brand vs. beauty counter brand is whether or not I’m trying to match a specific shade. For example, you want your foundation to match your skin tone as closely as possible so you can spend a little more on that. Your mascara you just need a generic black so you don’t need to spend a boat load on that.
Foundation- I’ve already mentioned that you can spend a little more on foundation, after all it is the base of your entire look. My skin has always been incredibly hard to match so when I FINALLY found my shade in the the Lancome long wear foundation I was completely willing to pay the $47.00 price tag. It’s a nice smooth foundation that looks flawless when applied with a sponge.
Brow Pencil/Gel- A spend for sure. because my eyebrow color is a very ashy brown and I have a hard time finding a color that matches. My gel brow liner has lasted me about 6-8 months so far and it’s only half gone. Because it lasts so long I can justify spending a few extra bucks for it. Still, I think mine is pretty reasonable at $18. You can find mine here.
Bronzer- For me, this one is a spend. My skin is so light that when I use most bronzers I look like an oompa loompa. It was difficult to find more of an ashy bronzer that helped me contour rather than create a warm glow. Don’t be afraid to be a little unconventional when looking for your color. My bronzer is actually considered a blush by Mac. If you are able to use a drugstore color though I’d save on this one.
Mascara- Save, girl! Getting a good mascara is all about the brush, not necessarily about the product. There are millions of different brush types at the drugstore so there is no reason to get crazy on this expense. You can find my mascara here
Blush- Another save for me. I find that if I get a good basic blush it works just as well as a more expensive one. I can adjust the tone by applying a little more or a little less as long as I have the right shade of pink.
Finishing Powder- This one I recently changed actually. I used to use the Laura Mercier finishing powder but just tried this loose translucent powder from target and voila, it turned out identical. It’s also a bargain and currently on sale for $11. My trick with finishing powder is applying a small amount to my brush and sort of patting it on my face rather than a sweeping motion.
Eyeliner- This one I go against my own rule a little bit and say spend. I’ve used a gel eyeliner from Bobbi Brown and Mac. I like them both a lot and notice little difference between the two. The reason I say spend a little more on gel eyeliner is because I’ve found any brand dries up sooner or later (probably because I use such small amounts) and the more expensive brands are easier to “save” or re-moisten. You can re-moisten them by simply adding a drop or two of a carrier oil, I use jojoba and stirring it up a bit. Applying gel eyeliner with a clean and damp brush also helps it go on silky smooth.
Brushes- SPEND! Good brushes will last you almost forever if you take care of them. The common misconception is that you need a ton of brushes, which is not true at all. Unless you are into some a serious look you really only need a few. A tip I use is to purchase double ended brushes so my contour and highlight brush is combined. Other than that I just have a blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, powder, and foundation sponge.
Lipstick/Lip gloss- This one I am always a little torn on. I’ve done both and there is something about an expensive lip gloss that just makes my heart flutter. That being said, I usually save when it comes to lipsticks since I don’t wear them that often. A good way to get the best of both worlds is purchase the trial size lipstick sets that come with 4-8 shades. The Sephora brand also has some really nice lip glosses for super affordable prices so definitely check those out!
There you have it, my best tips for which products to save money on and which are okay to splurge on. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good makeup look and it’s mostly about application anyway so if you’re just getting started check out some youtube videos of “dos and don’ts.” My biggest struggle was finding foundation so experiment with as many as possible. If you didn’t know already, Sephora gives samples of anything in their store! Let me know your thoughts below.
*This is not a sponsored post and is only based on my opinion as a consumer just like you.