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So lately I’ve been hearing a lot of talk in articles and on YouTube about when to splurge and when not to splurge on makeup. I believe the talk comes from drug store products stepping up their game lately and becoming direct competition for high-end and professional brands, and in some cases becoming duplicates. So I thought I’d weigh in and share my take on when I would recommend splurging on high-end makeup or when I think it’s best to stick to the drugstore favs.

Foundation: Splurge. Not that drugstore foundations aren’t good enough. Revlon Colorstay Foundation, for example, has been recognized by makeup artists and beauty gurus alike. But how many bottles do you have to buy before getting your exact color? Some drugstores will let you return makeup if you don’t like it but not all of them. It is so much easier to go to a makeup store and just try on the color that best suits your skin tone. And high-end foundations offer more variety when it comes to your specific skin type and needs (oily, dry, matte finish, satin finish, etc etc).

Concealer: Splurge. I purchased so many concealers at the drug store before finally giving up and purchasing a high-end concealer.  I use concealer not so much to cover up my dark circles, but more because I have several dark veins around my mouth area that aren’t very flattering. So I prefer a heavy-duty concealer. And for this I use Kat Von D’s Tattoo Concealer which is amazing. It provides a flawless coverage that lasts all day and works well covering dark eye circles too.

Face Primer: Splurge. Drugstores don’t really offer much to choose from when it comes to face primers. So for now, until they do, I say splurge.

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Powder

Face Powders: Don’t splurge. My favorite go-to face powder is Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Powder. It offers great coverage, lasts all day, plus contains .5% salicylic acid which treats acne. It does all this for around $12. Well-known drugstore brands such as Covergirl, Almay, Revlon, Maybelline, & Loreal offer a wide variety face powders that are also tailored for a variety of skin types.

Eyeshadow: Don’t splurge. (Both of my Urban Decay Naked Palettes are giving me the evil eye right now.) As much as I love my Naked Palettes, truth is you can get similar colors if not dupes at the drugstore. Drugstores have really stepped up their game when it comes to eyeshadows by improving their color payoff and pigmentation. And we are now seeing a lot of longer lasting eye shadows coming to the drug store, such as Loreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows and Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Eyeshadows.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Eyeshadow Base/Primers: Splurge. Two products: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion & Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Enough said. These will make your eyeshadow last until tomorrow. Drugstores don’t have much to choose from on the range of eyeshadow primers but since I haven’t been able to restock on Primer Potion, I am currently using NYX Skin Tone Eyeshadow Base, which is good but not as good as these high-end eyeshadow primers.


Eyeliners: Don’t splurge. Eyeliners are meant to be disposed of after six months because they can develop bacteria that can be harmful to the eyes. Drugstores offer a wide range of eyeliners to choose from. There’s liquid eyeliner pens, gel eyeliners, waterproof eyeliners, pencil eyeliners. You name it. And with such great eyeliners like Milani’s Liquif’eye Eyeliners (read product review here), there really is no need to buy anything better.

Mascara: Don’t splurge. I have tried a couple of expensive mascaras (post on my mascara collection coming soon) and I always keep coming back to my Maybelline Falsies Mascara. It is awesome. Just as eyeliners, mascaras are “supposed” to be disposed of after six months of its initial use because it can develop bacteria that can harm your eyes. So spending a ton of money on mascara every six months isn’t really practical, especially with so many great drugstore mascaras to choose from.

Lipsticks / Lipglosses: Don’t splurge. There are so many different lipsticks in the drugstore to choose from. There’s a variety of color ranges, textures, lasting power, etc etc. I admit that being able to try it on before you buy it at a makeup store is great, but if you’re like me and don’t wear the same color everyday, then the price of a lipstick outweighs the benefit of being able to try it. I’d rather pay less than $10 for a lipstick and bear the slight risk of not liking it than paying more than $10 and only use it every once in a while. Plus, quick tip: if you’re not sure if you’re going to like a specific lip color on yourself, purchase the same or similar color from a cheaper brand first. This way you avoid spending too much on a lipstick you didn’t like.

Blush: Don’t splurge. Well sometimes. Personally I have a hard time finding the right blush at the drugstore. Since I have a naturally tanned colored skin tone it is harder for me to find a blush with enough pigmentation to show up on my skin. I have, however found a couple and plan to stick to them. But, with worldwide famous blush (drumroll please) Nars Orgasm, it is impossible not to splurge on it. It is simply amazing and beautiful on all skin tones. It is a must have in my makeup collection. Covergirl has a similar blush in their Cheekers line called Rose Silk but it has silver-toned shimmer in it instead of the gold-toned shimmer that Orgasm has.

Bronzers: Splurge. I choose bronzers very, very carefully. The have the potential to be orange looking on certain skin tones. And for this matter I would rather try it on first. Especially since I use it mainly for contouring. If not careful when selecting the right bronzer you can end up looking like the latest cast member of the Jersey Shore.

Do you have any drugstore or high-end makeup favs? I’d love to hear about them.