Splurge Vs. Steal “Makeup and Face Products”

Splurge or Save: Eyeliner & Eyeshadow

Julyne Derrick About.com Guide

Dior 5-Colour Shadow Palette, the beauty editor’s favorite

Save on eyeliner, splurge on eyeshadow.Most pencil eyeliners are made of wax, which is not worth $18 when you can get a great pencil eyeliner for $3 from any drugstore. Don’t like the way wax won’t glide on easily? Try a kohl pencil or a liquid eyeliner. You can get either for cheap at your local Walgreens or Target.When it comes to eyeshadows, quality is quantity. A great eyeshadow (like the beauty editor’s all-time favorite,Dior 5-Colour Shadow Palette , pictured here) will stay on your eyes all day long, while a cheap, $4 palette will have faded by the time you finish your mid-morning coffee. What’s more, quality department counter eyeshadows typically have richer colors.

Don’t want to spend upwards of $20 on a pricey palette? Invest in a small tube of M.A.C. Paints, which acts like a eyeshadow primer and will keep even the least expensive eyeshadow in place for days. With a dab of this on your eyelid, your shadow isn’t going anywhere.

Splurge or Save: Foundation & Concealer

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, my favorite foundation splurge

Splurge on foundation AND concealer.While you can get a decent foundation at your average drugstore, the chances of you finding the perfect shade for your skin color can be hit or miss.

Too much money is wasted annually on the wrong shades of foundations and concealers, which is the main reason I say, “Get thee to the department store and skip the drugstore.” Nothing beats the discerning eye of a makeup expert when it comes to finding the right shade and formulation for your skin tone. A makeup expert can take one look at your skin and determine if foundation or a tinted moisturizer best suits you or if you need a lighter or darker shade of concealer.

I suggest a department store such as Sephora for foundations and concealer rather than a specialized counter such as Clinique or M.A.C. Why? Sephora beauty experts have a wide variety of brands to choose from, whereas a Laura Mercier makeup artist only has Laura Mercier makeup to try out. (That said, Laura Mercier is hands-down my favorite brand for foundations and concealers. I buy mine at Sephora).

Extra tip: You may need different shades of foundation for summer and winter. Most people have a shade or two darker skin in the summer time.

See my lists of the best foundations and best concealers.

Splurge or Save: Hair Brushes & Makeup Brushes

Mason Pearson brushes, worth every penny

Splurge on hair brushes, save (somewhat) on makeup brushes.Cheap drugstore hairbrushes made of plastic bristles can pull and break hair. Nothing beats a high-quality boar bristle brush, which you’ll have for a lifetime. Because boar bristles have become so popular, they’re popping up at some of the better drugstores these days. But they will cost you more than the plastic brushes. The $125 you’ll spend on a Mason Pearson brush is one investment you won’t regret (just don’t tell your husband).

Makeup brushes are a good example of when synthetic can actually be simpler on your life. Synthetic brushes are easier to clean and easier to use with wet makeup than their much more expensive natural bristle cousins (which can come in pony, squirrel, goat or badger hair).

That said, cheap makeup brushes won’t last nearly as long as well-made brushes. For this reason alone, I suggest investing in affordable brushes from Sephora, M.A.C. or Sonia Kashuk (available at all Target stores). These brushes aren’t “cheap” but they won’t break your bank, like my bevy of Trish McEvoy brushes broke mine years ago when I invested in them. Just as you a gourmand needs only three types of kitchen knives to cook like a chef, you need only 3-4 makeup brushes to get flawless makeup like a model.

Extra tip: Always throw out the tiny brushes that come with department store makeup. You’ll get a much smoother, flawless finish with a professional makeup brush.

See my lists of the best hair brushes and makeup brushes.

Splurge or Save: Lipstick & Lip Glosses

CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lip Color, a perfect price for a lip color

Save on lipstick and lip glosses.Let’s talk lip glosses first, because the gloss trend continues.

The fact is, lip glosses rarely last, so why spend big bucks on them? Both Revlon and L’Oreal make a great basic lip gloss. That said, you’ll find much better color ranges and a less stickiness if you splurge on Nars or Chanel gloss, the beauty editor’s favorite.

As for lipsticks, the formulations in Chanel, M.A.C., Vincent Longo, Dior and Giorgio Armani can’t be beat, but you can find a great long-wearing lipstick in your local drugstore.

See my list of the best lip glosses and my 16 best

Splurge or Save: Mascara & Eyelash Curlers

Do you really need to spend the bucks on Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler?

Save on mascara and on eyelash curlers.I say this begrungingly because I only wear Lancome brand mascaras (mascaras being one of those beauty products people find and stick by forever), but I really don’t need to be spending the money I do on mascara. Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara has gone down forever as the best drugstore buy ever. At just $7 a tube, it’s a good basic standby. L’Oreal and Max Factor also make great drugstore mascaras.

Every magazine touts Shu Uemura ($15) as The Eyelash Curler everyone must have in their makeup drawer. So why then, do so many makeup artists stockpile the much cheaper Revlon Extra Curl Eyelash Curlers (about $6)? Hmmmmm……

Splurge or Save: Tweezers & Flatirons

Tweezerman, the only pair of tweezers you’ll ever buy

Splurge on tweezers AND flatirons.The tweezers you can get at grocery stores are useless. Trust me, I am a tweezer addict. I’ve tried them all. The best one I’ve found is — Tweezerman slant tweezers. Cheaper brands just don’t have the holding and pulling power that a Tweezerman has. I have owned more than 25 pairs over my lifetime. Just one should last a lifetime (if they wear down, you can mail them in and the company will sharpen the edges for you for free), but I am so addicted to brow- and chin-tweezing that I take mine with me everywhere and constantly lose them (the woman at my local apothecary on Bleecker Street thinks people keep stealing them).

Ceramic flatirons (more than $50 at a beauty supply store) check out some great options here are worth the money if you straighten your hair on a regular basis. Not only will a quality flatiron last longer, but according to InStyle magazine, most stylists agree on the superiority of ceramic tools. They get hotter faster, smooth the hair shaft better and are less damaging to hair, according to InStyle, which consistently name ceramic tools a best buy year after year in their “Best Beauty Buys” issue.

See my list of the best flat irons.

Splurge or Save: Blush, Bronzers & Powders

Guerlain Terracotta, a great bronzer

Splurge on blush, bronzers and powders.While you will consistently find drugstore mascaras, cleansers and moisturizers on your average “Best Beauty Products” lists, you won’t find many drugstore blush, bronzers and powders. Why? Luxury powders have been pulverized to such a degree that you can layer and layer without ever looking like a clown, according to Marie Claire beauty editor, Didi Gluck in the magazine.


Molino Stucky

Jet to Giudecca

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

WHAT: Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

WHY: Heading to Milan for the shows? Fancy a detour to Venezia? Well we’ll let you in on a little secret. The views from the Molino Stucky, a former flour factory on Giudecca island, are to die for. Yes, we know, you only stay at boutique hotels so minute and secret and of-the-moment even Departures has never heard of them. But the Molino Stucky is worth making an exception. Far from the madding crowds of St. Mark’s, its Skyline bar is filled with chic locals lured by the super cocktails and the lounge-y vibe. Plus, after your bellini break you can slip next door to the Fortuny factory to snap up sumptuous pillows and lovely journals (just the thing for runway notes.) You might just run into neighbor Elton John. 

AVAILABLE: www.hilton.com



  • Ultra Luxe Online!

    WHAT: c–Pre-Owned Luxury Goods Website

    WHY: Portero Luxury is the leading curated source for ‘premium, pre-owned, prized’ authenticated luxury goods. From Chanel to Hermes to Rolex to Cartier, Portero Luxury provides unprecedented access to more than 500 of the world’s most exclusive brands at exceptional values. The company’s collection of certified pre-owned, vintage and collectible merchandise—including handbags, watches, jewelry and accessories – make it the go-to resource for scoring that perfect piece to make one’s look distinctive.

  • AVAILABLE: Portero.com

  • DO

  • Get Lucky!WHAT: Roy Teeluck Fashion Blow-OutWHY: In celebration of the opening of his eponymous salon, Roy Teeluck is offering a complimentary L’Oréal Professionnel Powerdose Deep Treatment with every blow-out through February 17. Schedule your appointment today, call 212-924-0510 or rsvp@abenyc.com.AVAILABLE: 5 East 57th St., 3rd Fl., NYC; Royteeluck.com, $50 for blowout and Powerdose ($105 value) 

  • DO

  • Let the Suno Shine In!

    Loeffler Randall x Suno Erin Lace-up Wedge

    WHAT: Loeffler Randall x Suno Erin Lace-up Wedge

    WHY: These limited-edition gold wedges are sure to become a wardrobe staple…once the temps pick up just a smidge (or you jet to Mustique for some post-Fash Week relaxation)! The wooden-heeled platform sandal is perfect for any chicette who’s loving (and embracing) the revival of all things ’70s. Made of a special Suno-designed cotton canvas and lined in leather, these wedges scream optimism. Just the pick me up we’ve been after. 

    AVAILABLE: $645, www.loefflerrandall.com

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s