Happy Friday Everyone! If you’ve been following on this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I don’t discriminate makeup based on price. I have lipsticks ranging from $1.99 to $32. And that applies to all my items. However, since most people don’t have 6 foundations, 12 mascaras and 30 blushes in their makeup bags I figured I would break down a Makeup Splurge or Save series for my Five on Friday’s. What items are worth spending more money on and which ones you should save on. Today I will breakdown the makeup splurge or save for face and next week we will do eyes and lips.
Makeup Splurge or Save – Face
Let’s start with the basics shall we?
Foundation? -> Splurge
If there is just one item that you are willing to spend money on, I would highly recommend it be your foundation. If the base of your makeup looks dry, greasy, cakey or powdery, NOTHING else matters. All people will see is that. The right foundation matters.
Although you can find some great foundations at the drugstore, the best ones are often over the $10 mark. It is also harder to experiment at the drugstore. My suggestion? Go to Sephora, Macy’s or Nordstrom and ask for samples. And don’t just ask for samples of one foundation, ask for several ones. Test them out before you commit. Pay attention to how the foundation looks as soon as you apply it and at the end of the day. Try it one day with a primer and one day without a primer. Set it with powder one day and just leave as is another. And pay attention to how it looks and feels as it wears during the day.
I often see people who have foundation applied at a store, like how it looks then and purchase it off the bat. But people, do you have the same tools as the sales associate? the same brush/sponge/primer/powder? Probably not. All these things can significantly alter the way foundation looks and wears so always try it with what you have at home. This is the only way to truly find the best fit for you.
Since you can’t really do any of this with drugstore foundations, I really think spending more money can be totally worth it. Further, I often find that the ingredients used in some higher end foundations can be better. Try finding a paraben free drugstore foundation? it’s tough and they often aren’t great. So if these types of things matter to you, I find it best to splurge on a product that goes all over your face.
Setting Powder? -> It Depends
This one is tough since I really think it depends on your skin type. For instance, if you have very dry skin, you don’t really even need a setting powder. Or, if you have combination skin and only use a setting powder in very limited areas of your face I say -> Save. There are really nice mattifying powders at the drugstore such as this one from Rimmel.
However, if you have oily or combination skin and tend to use a powder all over your face, I say -> Splurge. Similar to my philosophy above, if the powder is going all over your face you need to make sure it’s on point. You can ruin the look of a great foundation by slathering a poor quality powder on top.
I tend to favor more matte foundations. But since I don’t like looking completely flat and one dimensional, I tend to look for powders that add a little luminosity (I love these) or that enhance my foundation by blurring pores (this one is the best for the pores around my nose).
Again, ask for samples. This is impossible with pressed powders so you would have to try those at the store. But with any loose powder, you can get a little of it in the sample pots at the store. Sephora also has smaller sizes of cult favorite powders like this, this and this.
Lastly, one more reason to splurge on powders? They usually last forever. You only need a tiny bit for your whole face so a regular size powder can last up to a year (if not more). Therefore, the price per use tends to be lower.
Concealer? -> Save
Unlike foundation and powder, concealer goes on much smaller areas of our face. That in itself is a reason to save since it’s not as obvious as poor looking foundation.
Further, because of the packing’s of most concealers, the product may become contaminated with bacteria fairly quickly. Think of a concealer that comes in a tube with a wand. If you use that wand to dab concealer on a pimple, you are very likely transferring bacteria from your break out back to the rest of the product in the tube. #gross. It’s probably best to dab a little on a clean finger or toss it after a few months.
We also tend to go through concealer much quicker so it may not be feasible to spend $30 every 3 months.
One of the best drugstore concealers is $6.99 at the drugstore. At those prices you could even have a couple of different types or different shades in your favorite formula.
Bronzer? -> Splurge
Bronzer can be scary. I see so many people with orange faces, bronzer that is way too dark, muddy faces… the list goes one. This is definitely one to SPLURGE.
Bronzers are multipurpose little creatures (yes I just referred to a makeup item as a creature). You can use bronzer to warm up your face, contour and even as eye shadow. It also tends to go over more of your face than say a blush or highlighter so a better formula will go a longer way. And lastly, it will last a long time so again the price per use will actually be lower.
To pick the right bronzer, try to look for a neutral shade like this or this (not too orange and not too grey). If you use a powder foundation, you could always buy a few shades darker of whatever foundation formula works best. I would also suggest going with a matte bronzer if you are only going to have one. A matte one can be easier to work with and look more natural than something with a little shimmer.
If you’re feeling feisty, you could go with a higher end matte bronzer and get something with a little shimmer from the drugstore (such as this) to add on top of the matte one for a little more luminosity.
Highlighter & Blush -> Save
Last but not least is blush and highlighter. I lumped these together since some people don’t use blush or highlighter (tragic).
Unlike everything else we have discussed, these items go on extremely limited areas of your face (hopefully). They are also items people tend to have several of to experiment with different shades. Because of this, I say save. It’s better to have two good quality blushes from the drugstore for different occasions, or seasons, than just one high end one. Plus, there are sooo many great formulas at the drugstore that it’s really not worth spending on higher end ones (unless you are like me and have a problem). I highly recommend this and this.
As to highlighter, we tend to apply it only to the high end of our cheekbones (although some people go ham and use it on a ton of different areas). For that, you could use a very shimmery pale gold eye shadow like this one. Or either this or this drugstore highlighters.
Stay tuned for my makeup splurge or save – Lips & Eyes next week. Hope you have a great weekend!