A lot of beauty blogs must assume a bottomless budget for cosmetic purchases, because they like to focus on pricier products for reviews. There are very few department store items I am loyal to, or for which I haven’t found a more reasonably-priced alternative. (Urban Decay is one exception; I don’t mind spending a bit more when the product is terrific and delivers on its promises).
Lifetips.com offers this article on when to splurge and when to save on make-up.
When to Save:
“Mascara– You replace this product every three months, so why shell out for the expensive kind when most of the cheap formulas are the same as the expensive ones?
Lipgloss– There is not much difference here either; anything clear or sheer is going to be the same as the pricey ones.
Eyeliner– Just make sure it goes on smoothly and isn’t dry.
Nail polish– Formulas are the same and unless you use a great topcoat, neither will last more than a few days.
Trends– Anything trendy that you aren’t sure will become a staple in your makeup wardrobe you should scrimp on. That bright lime shadow that was perfect for summer and now looks a little too much like lizard’s eyelids for example. “
When should you crack open your wallet and splurge?
“Foundation– It’s just too hard to find the right color of foundation because you can’t try it on. There is also a wider variety of colors at the prestige level for almost all skin tones.
Eyeshadow- The quality and color selection of expensive eyeshadow is vastly superior to what’s at the drugstore. They contain more pigment and will wear longer than the less-finely milled drugstore kind. The color is bold and vibrant and you use less overall so they actually last longer, too.
Blush– For the same reason as the eye shadows, and drugstore blushes tend to crumble and break apart. If you drop it, it’s a goner. Department store ones will withstand a little rougher treatment in your makeup bag.
Bronzer– It tends to go on smoother and the color selection is better. Drugstore brands tend to be a little too dark or orange.
Brushes– Makeup quality brush hair makes application easier and smoother. Plus, if you take good care of them they’ll last forever—it can be a one time only investment.”
Luckily I don’t even use most of the items on the splurge list, except eye shadow. I know much of the allure of the department store brands is the packaging, the logo, the glitz, but if the material inside, and really what you wanted, is the same, I see no point to dropping more cash. I’ve been disappointed with a lot of more expensive brands, because I made the mistake of thinking that if it costs more, it should be better. In many cases, it simply isn’t.