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The Archives 2004-2020

Cosmetics: Splurge vs. Save

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Expensive does not always mean better. But let’s be honest, who hasn’t been tempted by the outrageously expensive beauty product that promises we’ll wake up looking like a supermodel? We’ve revealed when to dish out the extra cash and when to hold on to your wallet. From makeup to haircare, get the scoop on which products are worth saving on and which products are oh-so-worth-it.

Splurge on moisturizers vs. Save on cleansers

What’s the trick to healthy looking ageless skin? Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Never underestimate the power of your moisturizer, ladies. You should not only use a daily moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, you should use one with an SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that may cause skin damage and wrinkles. Shiseido’s White Lucent Brightening Protective Cream SPF 15 is a daytime moisturizer that deeply hydrates and contains Vitamin C to reduce existing pigmentation. You can find this product at Sephora or in any department store that has a Shiseido counter. Night cream should also be part of your daily skin care ritual, even if you are in your 20s. During the night, you should help your skin restore itself and repair any damage caused by the sun, pollution, or makeup. I highly recommend La Mer’s The Eye Concentrate. Although it is a bit on the pricey side, selling for $165, it works wonders in reducing puffiness and dark circles. It is not too heavy and leaves the under-eye area looking smooth and luminous.

When purchasing a facial cleanser, you need something basic and gentle that will not irritate your skin, but will clean deep within your pores. For normal to dry skin, try using Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser, only costing you $10. Highly recommended by dermatologists, this cleanser removes dirt and excess oil without drying the skin or causing irritation. For a deeper clean, I suggest using Biore’s Pore Unclogging Scrub. This cleanser detoxifies your skin by using small beads that rid your skin of blemish causing dirt, oil, and blackheads.

Splurge on foundation vs. Save on makeup brushes

While it is possible to find a decent foundation in your local drugstore, most women never know the right shade of foundation and concealer to buy for their skin tone. In this case, I would say skip the drugstore and go to straight to your department store where a makeup expert will test out different shades to find the perfect match. Not only is it important to find the perfect shade, finding the right consistency for your skin type is just as important. The makeup expert will determine whether you need a creamy, sheer formula or one that offers more coverage. Laura Mercier is one of my favorite brands for foundations and concealers. I recommend using the Oil-Free Foundation ($42) and the Mineral Powder with SPF 15 ($35) to set the foundation in place.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on makeup brushes to get flawless makeup like a model. I used to spend hundreds of dollars on professional makeup brushes from MAC, but Sonia Kashuk’s brushes are an inexpensive alternate that are just as effective. These brushes are not exactly dirt cheap, but are of good quality and sold as sets or individually. You can find these brushes at Target stores across the U.S.

Splurge on eyeliner vs. Save on mascara

Since eyeliner is applied around an extremely delicate and sensitive area of your eye, you want to make sure you invest in a good quality brand. Cheap eyeliners tend to pull the delicate skin around the eyes and may break off easily. A more expensive eye pencil will be made of softer wax, allowing for smoother application. I am personally a fan of MAC’s Technakohl Eyeliner. This eye pencil glides on easily, providing a long lasting and intense rich color. You don’t have to worry about sharpening the pencil since it is mechanical, and it is offered in a variety of shades.

When it comes to mascara, no need to splurge since there is very little difference in the richness of drugstore brands and luxury brands. The secret actually lies in the style of the mascara brush. I used to spend $24 every month on Christian Dior’s DiorShow mascara because I swore by this product! I was low on supply one night and quickly picked up Neutrogena’s Healthy Volume mascara from my local drugstore. I was pleasantly surprised to find it has practically the same exact brush as the DiorShow mascara. This mascara costs under $10 and does an equally good job in lengthening your lashes and providing extra volume.

Splurge on hair appliances vs. Save on shampoo

Save up your money, ladies, so that you can invest in salon quality hair appliances! After all the daily wear and tear our hair goes through, we want to make sure we minimize the damage as best as possible. When it comes to blow dryers, I suggest buying an ionic dryer that dries your hair in record time, therefore cutting down on heat exposure to your hair as well. As for hair straighteners and curling irons, professional stylists always stress the superiority of ceramic tools. Not only do they go to higher temperatures and warm up faster, they are less damaging to the hair and provide a smooth looking finish. Sedu’s Ionic Ceramic Straightener guarantees a smooth and sleek look, even for frizzy or curly manes, without pulling out or breaking your hair. Ken Paves Nano Silver Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron is one of the best curling irons out there, preserving your hair’s moisture to create smooth and shiny curls.

When it comes to washing your luscious locks, save your money and stick to drugstore brands. I have tried everything from Kerastase’s Bain Satin Shampoo to Bumble and Bumble’s Sunday Clarifying Shampoo, but have found that they work equally as good my $6 bottle of Herbal Essences. If you find yourself doling out dollars on expensive shampoos in order to repair extremely dried out and damaged hair, I would recommend you spend this money on a visit to the salon for a hot oil hair treatment and you will see results within your second or third visit.

Splurge on tweezers vs. Save on eyelash curlers

People often overlook the importance of well-groomed eyebrows. Well-groomed brows can drastically transform your looks since they serve as a frame for the entire face. I recommend having your eyebrows professionally tweezed, waxed, or threaded to set the shape of the brow, and then pluck any tiny hairs that grow in between visits. If you don’t already have a pair, I suggest going out and buying a Tweezerman tweezer. These tweezers are extremely precise and can grasp even the smallest hairs in one shot. I know some of you may be hesitant to throw down 20 or 30 bucks for a pair of tweezers, but it is worth every dime. And if the edges seem to be wearing down, you can simply mail them in and they will sharpen the edges for free!

No need to spend a fortune on Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler or on Panasonic’s heated curler. Before the trend for heated eyelash curlers hit, professional make-up artists used to heat their eyelash curlers with a hot blow dryer. Why spend an extra $20 when your $5 Maybelline curler and a blow dryer will do the trick just fine! —DIVYA GULERIA

4 thoughts on “Cosmetics: Splurge vs. Save

  1. I have to disagree about saving on mascara. Once I started using expensive mascara, I cant wear over the counter anymore…it irritates my eyes.

  2. I disagree with save on shampoo because I’ve tried expensive and/or salon-exclusive shampoos and they make my hair much more manageable than any drugstore or dept store shampoo ever did!

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