Save Vs. Splurge: How To Shop For Makeup Products
Hello, and welcome to shopping 101. If you look to your right, you’ll see a million high-end formulas waiting for your undivided attention. And on your left, you’ll see the drugstore aisle and its affordable goodies made for every budget. *Drumroll, please* Which way do you go? As your beauty captains, we want to help you wade through the sea of expensive and affordable products out there with this save or splurge digital handbook. Bookmark for the future – you’ll need it before your next shopping spree.
1. For Complexion:
SPLURGE: Foundation & Concealer
Your house is only as strong as its foundation. That’s why you’ll never regret investing in more spenny formulas that don’t turn patchy or wear off over time. Plus, complexion products must come in a variety of shades and undertones, which aren’t always easy to find in the drugstore aisle. You’ll always find your perfect swatch with products like our #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation, $42, and #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Concealer, $29, that have shades for everyone! It’s a bonus that the formulas are crease-resistant and stand the test of time.
SPLURGE: Blushes & Bronzers
Typically used after complexion products, blushes and bronzers must layer beautifully with the rest of your makeup sans streaking. Expensive formulas like Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush bronzer, $46, and NARS Blush, $32, have achieved cult status for their poppin’ hues and blendability, making them worth the $$$. To make the most of your money, swipe the formulas across your lids to achieve a subtle monochromatic lewk too.
SPLURGE: Setting Powder
Applied over cream and liquid formulas, investing in a finely-milled setting powder like our Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder, $35, locks your makeup in place from noon to night without turning it cakey. In addition, it comes in nine different shades to help snatch, sculpt, and mattify, depending on where you use it. In short, she’s an investment with MAJOR returns.
You can achieve a poppin’ glow without an expensive highlighter, provided you apply it in the right spots – check out the deets here. Whether you’re after an intense shimmery powder like the Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, $7, or a liquid highlighter like FLOWER Beauty Spotlight Liquid Highlight, $15, we’re pleased to announce that drugstore comes thru!
SAVE: Setting Spray
With ALLLLL the work you put into your makeup, you obviously want it to last. Enter: setting spray. Luckily, the drugstore market is saturated with options that offer serious staying power alongside your preferred finish. If you’re about that dew, shop NYX Professional Makeup Dewy Finish Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Vegan Formula, $10, or choose e.l.f. Cosmetics Matte Magic Mist & Set, $6, for a matte finish.
2. For Eyes:
SPLURGE: Eyeshadow Palettes
Imagine nailing the most graphic eye look on your Pinterest board, only for it to fade and smudge after a few hours. That’s heartbreaking, which is why we recommend high-quality, pigmented eyeshadow palettes that a) blend well, b) have maximum payoff c) deliver all-day slay. To get more bang for your buck, invest in a multi-tasking palette like our Empowered Eyeshadow Palette, $67, that contains matte, cream, AND gel shadows.
We’re not going to lie and say there aren’t great drugstore eyeliners out there, but if longevity is something you prioritize, go high-end. Cheaper liners tend to smudge, flake, or fade as the day goes on – not ideal, obvs. Stick to liners known for their staying power like our Life Liner Quick ‘N Easy Precision Liquid Eye Liner, $19, that glides on easily and dries matte.
SAVE: Eyelash Curlers
If you’ve scrolled for this section, we’ve got good news – you don’t need an expensive eyelash curler! Drugstore options like e.l.f. Cosmetics Eyelash Curler, $3, get the job done by adding lift and curl to your lashes without the expense – yay!
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Drugstore mascaras have repeatedly proven that they can bless your lashes with whatever it needs, be it intense volume, dramatic length, or an epic curl. Even celeb MUAs stash drugstore mascaras like L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara, $13, which proves that you don’t need to splurge on one. Save your money; go drugstore.
SAVE: False Lashes
Fun fact: so many celebs wear drugstore lashes on the red carpet. This year, we saw everyone from Doja Cat to Megan Fox slay the KISS collection, ranging from natural to full-on dramatic falsies. Case in point: false lashes shouldn’t cost you a dramatic dollar.
3. For Brows:
SPLURGE: Brow Pencil
While there are many drugstore brow pencils to choose from, opting for something boujee-r with a thin, ultra-fine tip like our #BOMBBROWS Microshade Brow Pencil, $17, will give you the most realistic results. It comes with a durable spoolie at one end so you can quickly diffuse the pigment based on your brow needs.
SAVE: Brow Gel
To create the illusion of a fuller brow, choose got2b Glued 4 Brows & Edges 2in1 Gel, $6. Rivaling some of the BEST brow gels, it’s an industry-approved drugstore formula that keeps brows up, up, and up.