You get what you pay for? In some cases, sure. But some of my favorite makeup products would be a bargain at twice the price.
If you want to pay more, be my guest. But I say there’s absolutely no reason to shell out big bucks for certain products.
On the flip side, there are other products that are worth the splurge. Here’s where I save, and where I (occasionally) spend.
Mascara. You can buy fantastic mascaras at the drugstore. (Yes, you can buy fantastic high-end mascaras, too, but why waste your money?) The secret to drugstore mascara success is knowing what you need your mascara to do, and navigating the lingo used by cosmetics companies. My eyelashes are reminiscent of Snuffleupagus’ — they want to hang straight down over my eyes. Because of that, I look for lengthening and curling formulas; the so-called volumizing mascaras exacerbate the problem by making my lashes even heavier. I’m currently loving the L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara, $10.95 at drugstores, and the Revlon Super Length Mascara, $5.99 at drugstores.
Eyeliner. If you’re looking for waterproof eyeliner — as in, this needs to make it through both a day at the beach and a funeral — head yourself straight to Sephora and buy the stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $22. If your day won’t be quite that extreme, you have great drugstore options. The Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pens, $7.99 at drugstores, is super black (some liquid eyeliners can look gray) and lasts through a nice, normal day of work and dinner. Even better: Colorstay Liquid Eye Pens comes in three different brush tips (Classic, Triple Edge, and Ball Point) for a customized application. I’m partial to the Ball Point version.
Translucent powder. I set my makeup with powder every day, and the e.l.f. Tone Correcting Powder, $4 at drugstores, is my favorite. Swirl the four colors (yellow, blue, green, and pink) with a fluffy brush to neutralize redness and brighten skin. Have a darker skin tone? The e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder, $6 at drugstores, comes in multiple shades, including Dark/Deep and Deep.
Concealer. This one is a mixed bag. You absolutely can get great concealers with good staying power at the drugstore — I love and recommend the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circles Treatment Concealer, $9.99, and the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, $6.49. But sometimes, battling those undereye circles requires extra reinforcements, and that’s when I call in the big guns: the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $25 at Ulta. Tarte’s Shape Tape is the best concealer I’ve ever used — it covers everything, it doesn’t crease, it doesn’t budge — and is well worth the big price tag.
Alison Smith loves a good beauty bargain — it makes it easier to splurge somewhere else. Got a burning beauty question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.