Makeup: When to Splurge, When to “Steal”

With so many different makeup brands out there, it’s often hard to know what to buy. It can also be challenging to know when you should pay for quality, or when you can get away with a good steal. This is a quick guide to help you know when it’s a good idea to spend more money on a better brand, and when you can get away with drug store brands.

1. Primer & Foundation

SPLURGE. Think about it: these products are going all over the skin on your face. You don’t want something that’s going to clog your pores or cause an imbalance. You also don’t want something that’s going to “melt off” the second you get oily or sweaty. Cheap foundations are notorious for getting streaky and gross after a few hours.

My Favorites: MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Base, $42 & MAC Studio Fix Fluid, $29

2. Contour & Highlight

STEAL. Whenever you’re using products that layer on top of your foundation, I think it’s safe to go with a steal. As long as you find one that blends well and does the job, I don’t think you need to look beyond your Walmart aisles for Contour & Highlight.

My Favorite: NYX Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette, $12

3. Blush

STEAL. Again, just like with contour, if it sits on top of your foundation, you can use a drug store brand.

My Favorite: Maybelline Fit Me! Blush, $4.97

4. Eye Shadow Base

BOTH. Ok so, to me, this is a trade-off. Either you pay for a SPLURGE Eye Shadow Base and wear STEAL Eye Shadow, or get a STEAL Eye Shadow Base and wear SPLURGE Eye Shadow. Quality Eye Shadow Base will make just about any shadow stick to you like glue and pop like crazy. However, good Eye Shadows often pop even when you have a lesser quality base.

My Favorite SPLURGE: MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot, $22

My Favorite STEAL: E.L.F. Pro Eyeshadow Primer, $4

5. Eye Shadow

BOTH. Again, I think this is a trade-off. It’s really easy to get away with cheap Eye Shadow if you have a really good primer to back you up! However, there are certainly some pricey shadows worth the splurge, especially if you have a cheaper primer.

My Favorite SPLURGE: Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, $54

My Favorite STEAL: Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadow Quads, $4.99

6. Eyeliner

SPLURGE. I have yet to find a drug store eyeliner that doesn’t run, smudge, pull, or smear. (If anyone else has found one, please let me know!) Having an eyeliner that stays in place and goes on smoothly is worth a splurge, in my opinion.

My Favorite: Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen, $21

7. Mascara

STEAL. I think there are some very good drug store mascaras out there. You can especially get away with a STEAL if you curl your eyelashes before application.

My Favorite: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara, $9.99

8. Eyebrow Pencil

STEAL. Unlike Eyeliner, you’re not relying on an eyebrow pencil to be quite as precise–there is a little bit more room for error. Therefore, if it doesn’t glide on completely smooth, it’s not going to ruin your look. You can go with a STEAL for your brows.

My Favorite: Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Precise, $6.99

9. Finishing Powder

STEAL. Just like contour and blush, finishing powder can be a cheaper option because it’s going over the top of quality foundation. You definitely don’t need an expensive powder to give you the finished, matte look that it adds.

My Favorite: Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation, $12.99

I hope this guide will serve to save you a little money and show you some of my favorite makeup products out there! When you know when to spend a little bit and when to save, your overall makeup look will improve, and your pocket book will thank you.

Happy weekend, everyone!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. lyndsonline says:

    This is super helpful and I think I’m going to try a couple of the products you mentioned! Great post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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