Makeup: Where to Splurge and where to Save

October 11, 2013
Not everyone can afford spending a lot of money on expensive makeup.  I do believe that most of the time you get what you pay for, but there are some cheap makeup products that I love just as much as the expensive ones.  When it comes to my makeup kit, here are the products I always splurge on, and the products I don't.

-Eye primer
A good eye primer is going to make all the difference in how long your eye shadow stays on before it starts creasing.  Without a nice eye primer, you won't get the most out of your eyeshadow, whether it's expensive or cheap.  Primer will make everything look a million times better.  My favorite eye primers are the MAC Paints and Paint Pots.  
-Foundation primer
Foundation primer is just as important as eye primer.  Use a nice foundation primer and your skin will look nicer when you put your foundation on, plus stay looking nice for longer.  My favorite foundation primers are Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and MAC Prep + Prime Skin.
When it comes to the products we choose to slather all over our face, we really shouldn't go cheap.  Cheap foundation can cause breakouts, smother your pores and cause your skin to age more quickly.  Not to mention it won't stay on as well or look as smooth.  For a natural look, I like Bare Minerals Foundation.  For full coverage, I like Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation.
This one might seem crazy, but I'm not kidding, good tweezers will change your life.  I love MAC's tweezers.  Give them a try, you won't regret it!

I've tried all sorts of mascara, but my favorites are still Cover Girl Lash Blast and L'oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous mascara.  So cheap and they work so good!

-Lip color
Some of my favorite lip colors and glosses have come from the drugstore.  Some that I like are Cover Girl Lip Perfection and L'oreal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Lip Gloss.

Some makeup artists might disagree with me on this one.  Nice brush are definitely a great thing to have, but I consider them a luxury, not a necessity.  Cheap brushes will get the job done for every day makeup applications.  I like Sonia Kashuk's makeup brushes.
-Brow color 
90% of the time I fill in my brows with a neutral eyeshadow.  There are plenty of expensive eyebrow pencils, colors and kits out there, but eyeshadow will also do the trick.  Brun by MAC is my go to brow color.  Somehow it seems to match almost everyone.


  1. great advice :) sometimes it's better not to try the expensive one because you might not want to go back to the cheaper (in cases you have to) :D ;-) lovely hair and make up, true talent! best wishes from Poland

  2. Can you do a post like this for hair products? It'd be interesting to see what you say.
    With foundation, I have the problem of my skin tanning really easily but living further north, so I can get light in the winter but in the summer I get pretty dark, so it's hard to cover all the shades I can be.

  3. An awesome post! Now one with your top 10 favourite/must-have make-up products? :)

  4. Thanks for this great advice about saving makeup

  5. This was so helpful! Thank you!

    But I do have a question...I've tried Urban Decay primer (that everyone raves about), I've tried the e.l.f. primer, and I've used the painterly paint pot for awhile and all of those made my eyeshadow crease. Should I try the MAC paints and see if that helps? Do you have any other suggestions?

    1. Yes I've found the paints to be a little less oily than the paint pots.

    2. I have supremely oily skin and none of the usual primers work for me - I end up with creased shadow, not to mention eyeliner in the crease. But I like this one:

  6. What brand of airbrush foundation do you have in your kit?

  7. Where is the best place to buy these products? Ulta? Sephora? I'm just now getting serious about make up - it's about time! Thanks for the tips!

  8. My friend, who's obsessed with eyeliners/eye primers says she completely agrees, we should all "make a splurge" for eye related beauty products. lol

  9. Love this post and I agree totally! I have 2 mascara's right now in my makeup kit...can't remember the name of them but I got them at Walmart and they are the best! Also, I have been filling in my eyebrows with shadow forever...before I ever heard anyone else did it. I even told many about it when I did beauty makeovers and trainings years ago and it was strange how many people never thought of it. It definitely makes the brows look so natural! I have a scar on my right brow so that is why I started doing it long ago. No one has ever knew that I didn't have much of a brow there unless I had no makeup on. Great blog! Thanks!
    Susan Ramsey


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