Grab a snack, guys - this is going to be a bit of a long post. I talk about a lot of different products on this blog, some high end and some drugstore. I thought it might be helpful to share my opinions on when I think it’s best to splurge on a product and when it’s perfectly acceptable to get the drugstore option.
Starting with base products, I really think a foundation is a splurge-worthy purchase. High-end foundations usually have better formulations and less “filler” chemicals than cheaper options. I find that using a high end foundation (my favorites are the Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup and the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation) on a day to day basis never feels like it’s clogging up my skin, but using a drugstore foundation everyday does and can cause breakouts (for me though, but this doesn’t mean everyone will have this experience). Concealer is another story. I’d say it’s a bit of a tie - you could go either high end or drugstore. My favorite do-it-all concealer is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but my all-time favorite undereye concealer is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a good do-it-all option as well, and it was my go-to before I fell in love with the NARS. If you want to go high end with your undereye concealer, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter is amazing for covering and brightening up those undereyes.
I forgot to include my blush picks in the picture, but here we have another tie. My favorites come from more high end brands, like Tarte, Hourglass, and Daniel Sandler (see my Top 3 Blushes post), but you can get some great ones from Nyx and Revlon as well - I adore both brands’ cream blushes. Contour and bronzer are places you can save as well - as much as NARS Laguna Bronzer gets raved about, I’m perfectly satisfied with my Body Shop Honey Bronzer (it seems to have gone up in price since I last bought it though??). It comes in more than one shade so it’s easy to tailor to your skintone. Although I rave about the Anastasia Contour Kit constantly and think it’s one of my best makeup buys ever, I probably could get away with using the Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe as an everyday contour. This is the perfect cool-toned shade for paler skintones, but one that I’m not sure would work on darker skin. For highlighter though, you have to go high end - I’ve found that most drugstore options contain chunky sparkle rather than shimmer and can be chalky. The cheapest of my favorites is theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, and I also adore the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and Benefit’s Watt’s Up.
Moving on to eyes, for brows you can’t go wrong with Anastasia Beverly Hills. I swear by the Dipbrow Pomade and Brow Wiz for my brows. I’ve found that a lot of drugstore options just don’t get the color choices right. Everything in my shade of brown is just too warm and appears orange - not a good look on me. For powder eyeshadows, I’ll always splurge - you can’t beat the quality of shadows like Urban Decay’s. I’ve found it’s hard to find eyeshadows from the drugstore that are just as buttery and pigmented. But cream shadows are another story. Instead of dropping loads of money on Tom Ford or even MAC, try out the Maybelline Color Tattoos. They come in so many shades and stay put all day - even on my hooded, oily eyelids! For liner and mascara I’d say save as well - the Rimmel ScandalEyes Kohl liners are perfection, and my favorite mascara of all time (L’Oreal Miss Manga) is a third of the price of some high end mascaras.
And lastly, for lips, we have a tie. You can’t beat MAC for their lipsticks and liners, but you can also find some great picks from the drugstore as well. Nyx and Revlon are my two favorite drugstore brands for lip products.
Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post, I do apologize for it being so long. I hope it was helpful though and helped you put together your next wishlist! Do you agree with my picks?