When to Splurge or Save on Beauty Products
Posted by Christina Hills on March 29, 2012 at 7:45 PM
I love fancy beauty products, but my just-starting-out-barely-afford-rent budget only allows for a few splurges. I spent a long time wondering what kinds of skincare products and makeup are worth investing in, and what I’m better off buying at the drugstore. Unlike other organs, the skin is visible — and it shows everything from freckles to open pores to acne scars. Because it’s exposed to the sun, cold, wind, and pollutants, the signs of stress will show if you don’t take care of it. The good news is that it no longer needs to cost you an arm and a leg, with more and more quality brands becoming available at the drugstore. I found however, that some products are well worth spending a bit more on.
Cleansers: While basic soap and water can dry out your skin and leave a pore-clogging oily residue, cleansers you rinse off with water will leave your skin feeling freshest. Try any of the gentle wash-off cleansers available in bars, creams, liquids, and foams, which leave skin residue-free without feeling tight and dry. One of my personal favorites is Clinique Liquid Facial Soap for a splurge; for a save, Neutrogena and Cetaphil make great, gentle cleansers.
Moisturizers: Get to know your skin so that you can select the right moisturizer. You may decide that you need moisturizer only on certain areas of the face, avoiding oily patches on the nose and chin, for example, or that you need a richer moisturizer in winter to combat the drying effects of cold weather. Also, always remember to get a moisturizer that includes SPF, like Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30. Protecting your skin from the sun will slow signs of aging and help prevent skin cancer.
Tools: Applying makeup correctly with the appropriate tool gives a longer-lasting finish, greater precision, and more natural results. While it may seem extravagant to invest in equipment, it will ensure that you always get the most out of your products. Always choose a good quality brush to avoid shedding, and look for brushes with shorter handles that allow you to get closer to the face and maintain better control. Synthetic brushes, which are easier to clean, should be used to blend cream and liquid formulas while natural brushes, which are softer on the skin, are best for powders. My favorite brands: Bobbi Brown (the eyeliner brush is awesome) and Sephora Collection.
Makeup: Foundation is your canvas, so invest in a good formula that is right for your skin. Today’s foundations are multipurpose, offering far more than color correction and coverage, with built-in sun protection and moisturizers. With eyeshadows, invest in two or three great hues. You don’t want to apply more than that, or the look gets too complicated. Neutral shades can act as a base, with contrasting colors create a pop. Nars and MAC have excellent eyeshadow colors and formulas. Save on mascara. You are supposed to replace it so often, pricey brands will hit your budget hard. Drugstore brands have been releasing great mascaras for years — opt for one that is jet black to create a dramatic look. I love Lash Blast from Cover Girl. Lastly, lip and nail color is one of the most fun and accessible areas of makeup. Go natural or pick a bold color for a glam look. Definitely save on these – then you can buy more! Multi-tasking products like stains are also great to have on hand, as they can work not only on your lips but add a smudge of color to your cheeks too.
What beauty products do you splurge on?