Makeup: Where should you splurge or save?’s 2010 Beauty Study:

The study revealed that beauty products are considered a necessity, with over two-thirds of respondents willing to purchase products even while watching their budgets.

The study revealed that beauty products are non-negotiable, regardless of budget, because consumers view them as an important part of life and necessary to help maintain their look and skin/hair health.  (Source)


I do find that makeup and beauty products like face creams are important to maintain my skin/hair health. Without heavy moisturizers, my skin turns into an eczema patch in this super dry weather.

I also enjoy wearing a little makeup now and then, and it does make me feel better. I even spend more on makeup products than I did before, because for me, the majority of products, price does matter, especially if you want the benefits of the great properties of makeup, but in a more natural format such as not having parabens in it, or pthalates.

From my experience of trying low-end drug store brands to high-end versions, this is what I’ve realized works for me:


  • Foundation – Higher end brands have a greater selection of shades and colours, plus the quality of pigmentation and feel is much better
  • Concealer – Ditto
  • Primer – This is what you put under your makeup, and I’ve found the cheaper primers haven’t held up my makeup during the day
  • Eyeshadow – For me, I could go either way here. I’d splurge on better quality eyeshadow, but you can find drugstore versions that are just as great such as Annabelle
  • Blush – I could go either way here, the lower end brands don’t hold as much pigment or last as long, but I’m not a blush fanatic


  • Eyeliner – I’ve never found that using a higher end eyeliner was any better than my Marcelle or Annabelle liners
  • Mascara – Same with mascara. All mascaras, expensive or not, tend to clump up after 3 – 4 months of use, so you end up tossing it to buy a new one
  • Bronzer – I don’t really wear bronzers, but Annabelle makes a mean Zebra Haute Gold bronzer that is incredible for only $10
  • Lip Stuff – Again, not a lip fanatic, although I know Maybelline makes some killer lip products. I just use lip balm.

They say once you buy the higher-end brands, you just can’t go back, which wasn’t true in my case.

I never try to go cheap on my foundation or concealer again, because it really makes a difference in its coverage and lasting power.

Cheap foundations would make my face feel and look oilier, and would rub off in a heartbeat.

Brands like CoverFX or TheBalm are incredible in their range of colours and shades, plus the quality is incredible to boot.

As always, the general price range for everything above is about $50 or under. I never spend more than $50 on any one item, but if you head into higher-end brands like Chanel or Givenchy, you can rack up a big bill in no time.


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.