Sunday, July 13, 2014

Drugstore Makeup vs. High-End makeup

As part of my makeup for newbies series, I've been thinking about cost vs. value and when it is a good idea to splurge on something.  So:

 Should I spend a fortune when buying these items?

No, obviously not. Makeup is found in all price ranges and in the drugstore you can also buy fantastic  items. Some of my favorite drugstore brands are Revlon and Maybelline, but you can also check in your nearest drugstore. What I don't like about drugstore products, at least where I live, is that you can't always have samples and can't always get the right shade. Other than that, you can find a lot of affordable great things in the drugstore. That doesn't mean that some luxury items are not worth it or that you should only get makeup at your drugstore. Over the years, I've treated myself to some pricey items, some of them worth it, some of them not so much, not because they're bad, but because you can find items of great quality for a lot less, and to me, that's not worth the high price.

Maybe you've heard that it depends on the product you're buying, it might be a good investment or simply something you want to splurge on. Either way, it might be worth it, if it makes you feel so beautiful and happy that when you wear it, your face lights up. That is...well, priceless, and the ultimate beauty item. (Because you look your best when you're happy). This applies to clothes, or a fragrance or jewellery...But in the more practical sense I've found a few guidelines of things you should invest and  things you shouldn't. So here's my take on them:

Skin care

Yes and no.

Face wash and makeup remover: it doesn't have to be so fancy, especially when you can find great face washes at the drugstore that are fantastic (I love Cetaphil products). I've also read that since the product stays for such little time in your skin, you would be wasting your money. I think that might be true. You should always find something that doesn't dry your up too much and that doesn't irritate you. I used to use the Clinique Liquiq Facial Soap, and I loved it, I still do, but now I've tried some other products and I think there are some great soaps in our drugstore without having to break the bank. The same applies to face toner. Regardless of the brand or price point, find something that works for you, that does good to your skin. Also, you might want to consider natural oils to remove your makeup, like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil... they dissolve the makeup right away and they might not irritate your skin as some other products.

Moisturizer? Well, that's something worth splurging. Why? because it stays with you all day or all night, and it can make a difference. Specially serums. Up to a few months ago, I wouldn't even look at them, thinking they were only for ladies of a certain age, but now, after informing myself, I've realized that they work on everybody's skin. Serums contain highly concentrated ingredients, that's why they are so pricey. As for moisturizer, if you have a specific issue, it might be worth to buy something that might help you, even if it is more expensive.

Body lotion: I know that this might contradict what I said about lotions earlier, but I don't think you should spend a lot on body lotion. All you need is something nourishing and hydrating. I don't know you, but I go through the lotion bottle very quickly, and I try not to spend too much in it. Every now and then I use something more luxurious like  L'Occitane's Almond Milk Concentrate, just to give myself a little boost when I'm feeling down, or if a special occasion presents itself.

Never forget sunscreen!! I'll do another post on day and night beauty routine, but my one product for the day, regardless of the weather is sunscreen.


Primers: I have used several primers and although I prefer more high end brands, drugstore items like the  Revlon Photoready™ Perfecting Primer is not far behind. Several other brands have amazing primers. My personal favourite: Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing. It's great, it leaves skin smooth and ready for foundation. I know a lot of you prefer to skip this step and that's alright. I use it because my skin is on the oily side and primer helps with the situation. You can always explore and see for yourself if it is worth it or not. 

Foundation: That's an item worth investing some money. I'm sure you've noticed that even in drugstore makeup, foundation is the most pricey item. Again in the drugstore you'll find very good items, but I have to say I prefer more luxurious brands. Make sure to get the right shade, one that disappear in the skin (in your face not your wrist). Texture-wise, in my experience, some of the drugstore items can be chalky and thick, and some of them might even smell like...paint! (more on that later). I bought my Lancôme Foundation Teint Idole Ultra 24H a few years ago and it's one of those items that I kept repurchasing; it quickly became one of my all time favourite items. This foundation has never disappointed me and for me, that's worth my money. 

Blush and powder: Again it depends on the product. In my opinion it would have to be something really special for me to invest my money on. Usually Maybelline and other drugstore products are great and make you look amazing! I love the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush™ and the  Revlon Photoready™ Powder, just to name a couple. Of course high end brands also have fantastic products.

Eye Shadow: I've read in a few places that people think it's something you shouldn't spend tat much money on. I completely disagree. For many years I bought cheap drugstore makeup and used it, thinking it was the same as high end brands. Dead wrong! Once I was able to afford more expensive brands like MAC, Smashbox or Clinique, I realized what I had been missing. For starters, you don't need to pick up that much product for you to see it in your eyelids, which keeps happening to me with eyeshadows like the Revlon Customeyes™ Shadow + Liner. Also, the expensive brands last longer. Once I went to a wedding and after the rain my eyeshadow was still in place. To me, they are really worth it. I love putting makeup in my eyes more than my lips, and in my opinion, there's no contest, buy high end brands.

Lipstick, lip gloss: I'm not too picky when it comes to any of these items. I'm rather self conscious about wearing too much lipstick, so I would go with tinted lip balm and that's it. I've used high end brands and I don't see much of a difference with drugstore dupes, and it's not something I would invest in, except if it is an exceptional shade. That said, there are some, lip glosses in particular, with a very bad taste. It's like solvent or something. It's just wrong!

What should I do when I decide to buy something pricey?

If you're thinking about investing in something expensive, I have to say I have never been disappointed by a pricey item, mostly by following a few rules:

-Do your research. Whenever I start hearing about a new product, I always make sure it will be worth it. There are thousands of makeup bloggers like myself, who review the latest products out there for you. So, make sure you gather several opinions before making a choice. 

-Try it on. It's the most important part, as you're always seeing all kinds of commercials that advertise the next best thing for you skin, but everyone is different and your skin might react in a different  way. When you go to department stores or other makeup stores, they might apply it on you or also give you a free sample. If you are wary about asking, don't be, that's their job. To help you. So, go over there and say you want to try that Chanel Foundation. But don't buy it yet... Leave it on for a while. Go home. Look at yourself in different mirrors, with different lights and see how much it lasts, and if after a few hours you still like it. 

- Read the label. I know it sounds obvious, but it could happen. A few months ago, in an airport in Houston, I was so excited about my favorite Clinique moisturizer being on sale that I didn't realise that  it was the lotion for dry and very dry skin, and my skin is combination!. So, double check before paying for the correct product. I know getting your money back might not be a problem, but still, isn't it better to check well before buying?

- Enjoy it! For a few years and even still now, I sometimes put too much value into some of the most expensive products I use, and I save them for special occasions. I know they're expensive, but they are meant to be used. Eventually,  they all go bad and then, you would have wasted your money. So use them and enjoy them! You deserve it!

For now that's it! I hope you like it. Share it, spread the word!!



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