Walking into a Sephora or department store can be pretty intimidating. Finding the right products can be difficult and expensive when you shop at those places. I have compiled a list of products I think are worth splurging on. As well as a list of products I think you could pass on and save your money.
This is the number one product I’d say is worth splurging on. Everyone has different skin types and issues. When you go to a department store you can easily be color matched and get a quick consultation from an expert. Foundations can be expensive so I would suggest getting samples. Get samples of multiple foundations, try them out for a week, and purchase the one you like. Don’t give up on searching for the right foundation, it’s out there! Just keep getting samples! Some of my favorite foundations are Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation, NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.
There are some good concealers at the drugstore (Maybelline Fit Me or Age Rewind), but I don’t think there are any long-lasting full coverage concealers. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and MAC Pro Longwear Concealer have been my favorites for years. If you are not looking for full coverage then save your money and try out the ones mentioned or the NYX HD Concealer.
I chose bronzer because this product alone can give you a nice color and glow. Pricier bronzers tend to blend easier and last longer. There are also a lot more shades to choose from. I’d recommend getting a matte bronzer and purchasing a more affordable blush. Physicians Formula has amazing highlighting powders. You could also use a shimmery nude eyeshadow for highlight. A good all in one bronzer is Tarte Park Ave Princess and a good matte bronzer is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil.
If you don’t have issues with pores I would recommend a setting spray instead of a primer. My favorite is the Urban Decay All Nighter. If you spray this on your face before and after applying makeup, your makeup will last for HOURS! There is a smaller size available for $14, so it won’t break the bank too much.
I recommend splurging on moisturizers for the same reason as foundations, everyone has different skin concerns. Again, go to Sephora or a department store for a mini consultation (and get samples). My favorite is the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Cream.
If you have oily eyelids, I’d recommend an eyeshadow primer for sure (UD Primer Potion). Foundation primers really depend on your personal preference. It does make your makeup last longer but I wouldn’t say its necessary. However, I would recommend it if you want to minimize the appearance of pores. Primers do a great job of smoothing out the skin. Some of my favorites include Benefit POREfessional, Hourglass Veil Mineral, Smashbox Photo Finish, and Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer (for dry skin). Don’t forget you could also get samples for these guys too!
This one depends on you. If you prefer a long-lasting lipstick then I would splurge a little. Drugstores have tons of colorful options if you aren’t concerned with longevity. Some of my favorites include NARS Velvet Lip Pencils, NARS Audacious, and Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks.
Products you could save money on:
With a good foundation almost any powder would work. If you have dry skin like me then you don’t even need powder. Some of the powders I’ve tried and liked are Rimmel Stay Matte and Nutrogena Mineral Sheers.
Drugstores have awesome mascaras! L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black has always been a favorite. However, I would recommend purchasing Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara ($10) to avoid looking like a raccoon at the end of the day. For the longest time I never knew why I would have black marks all over my under-eye area, then I realized it was my mascara! That’s when I began purchasing more expensive ones (Buxom Lash & Dior Iconic Overcurl).
With a good eyeshadow primer you can pretty much use any eyeliner. If you have hooded eyes like me then you are outta luck. A lot of the affordable liquid liners do not dry fast enough for me. My favorite one is the Maybelline Gel Liner. Favorite more expensive eyeliners include Kat Von D tattoo Liner, Stila stay all day, and MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack.
Save your money when it comes to eyeshadows. My favorite eyeshadows are currently from Makeup Geek, they are really affordable ($6) and very pigmented. Investing in a Naked Palette is also a good idea. You get twelve eyeshadows for $54 which may seem pricey, but technically you end up paying $4.50 for each eyeshadow.
Brushes are a whole other topic but most of mine come from more affordable brands. My favorites are from Real Techniques and Sigma Beauty. You can often find Real Techniques BOGO 50% off at Ulta.
So there you have it, my honest thoughts on where to splurge and where to save.
A couple of tips to remember:
- GET SAMPLES! Beauty products are expensive. Don’t spend the money unless you are sure you love the product.
- Always keep receipts and packaging. I have a bag under my vanity dedicated to receipts and boxes. Places like Ulta, Sephora, and most department stores have great return policies. Sooooo… if you don’t LOVE it RETURN it!
I hope you have found this helpful! Let me know what your favorite products to splurge on are.