Splurge vs Save on Your Beauty Products

A common question I get asked by my clients is what should you spend your money on and what can you can you save on when it comes to your beauty products?

When it comes to my makeup and hair kit and my own personal stash, I’m more on the “splurge” side than on the “save” side. I charge a pretty decent amount when it comes to doing a client’s hair and makeup, and I feel that by providing luxury services for my clients, I should use the best of the best when it comes to beauty products.

During my VIP makeup shopping trips with my clients, I always take them to a Sephora or high-end department store that carries the best cosmetic brands. Mostly because I’m recommending the products I know well, but also because I want my clients to have amazing products that will give them the best results.

Most of the hair and makeup products I buy end up in my kit. I like to have the best and most luxurious items to treat my clients with. I also like to have the best products for myself, since I’m a walking billboard for my business.

But by experimenting with some high end and not so high end products, I’ve discovered that you don’t always need the luxury price tag on all your beauty items. So even though I mainly follow the “you get what you pay for” theory, there are some things you can buy cheaper if you’re looking to save a little money.

The important thing is to play with different brands to see what works for you and what you like. And if you try something new and you don’t like it, take it back. You don’t need to have a makeup graveyard sitting around in one of your drawers. Nordstrom, Sephora and Target all have great return policies.

Today I'm sharing with you what I think are the most important things to spend your money on, and what I think you can save a little money with. Whether you're an all luxury girl, or one who likes to be more conservative with her wallet when it comes to beauty products, I think you'll like these shopping tips.

Things to splurge on:

Foundation- For a really good foundation to cover what you want it to cover and not looked caked on, you need a quality one. You want a foundation that has good ingredients that isn’t going to clog your pores.

Bronzer- Good bronzers will make you look sunkissed, not like you spent hours in a cheap tanning salon. My favorites are by Nars, Laura Mercier, and Charlotte Tilbury.

Blush- I’ve found that many cheap powder blushes don’t always have enough pigment in them to show up on the skin and not look chalky. I like the ones by Nars, Bobbi Brown, and Dior.

Lipstick- Lipsticks should be creamy and highly pigmented, and should look pretty similar on the lips as they do in the tube. Your lips should feel hydrated and not dried out, especially since you’ll probably be wearing it all day. My experience with drug store lipsticks is they often look like a completely different lipstick when they are put on than you think they will. And I haven’t found a brand that feels as good on as the luxury lipsticks do. I love lipsticks by Nars, MAC, and Chanel.

Eyelashes- I use Ardell eyelashes in my kit, and they are actually from a drug store. The difference is they are a higher quality than many others that you get from drug stores, cheap beauty supply stores, or dollar stores. You want to make sure they eyelashes use real human or mink hair, and not synthetic hair. The higher the quality, the more natural they will look. If you really want to splurge on lashes, check out Velour lashes. They are sooo luxurious and pretty!

Skincare- Skincare products at the drug store are not going to be as effective as ones you get from a luxury or clinical skincare line. The reason is they are going to use cheaper ingredients so they can keep the price low. They are also not going to use as much of an active ingredient (like the ones that promise you’ll see dramatic results in your wrinkles or collagen) because to get the results you want to see safely you would need to be advised by an expert on how to use it and make sure it’s right for you. I always recommend to my clients that they visit an esthetician for regular skincare treatments and can recommend good products that they know will give results.

Nailpolish- There’s nothing worse than nailpolish that chips right away or needs more than 3 coats to show up on your nails. I love polishes by OPI, Essie, and Chanel.

Shampoo and conditioner- We can be so hard on our hair, with all the hot tools we use daily and sometimes rough brushing and teasing. So many of my clients complain about having dry or dull hair, split ends, or hair that won’t grow. Using high quality salon or organic shampoos and conditioners, in addition to getting regular hair cuts and using heat protectants will help keep your hair healthy and shiny.

Things to save on:

Mascara- While I do have some luxury mascaras that I love (Lancome Hypnose and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Extravagant), I often don’t see that much of a difference between the different mascaras. In fact, I use Loreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black and Maybelline’s Volume Express in my kit.

Eye shadows- This one is a maybe. I usually prefer luxury brands for my eye shadows because the pigment in them is usually better, meaning they actually show up when you put them on and don’t have specks that fall all over your face. I have found that Maybelline and Loreal as well as NYX Cosmetics have some great shadows at affordable prices.

Concealer- Concealer is also a maybe for this list. My favorite concealers are from luxury brands like Laura Mercier, Nars, and MAC, but I have found a few from drug store brands that work well. Maybelline, Revlon and Sonja Kashuk have some great options that look nice on the skin and cover up what needs to be covered.

Lipgloss- I typically use lipgloss when I want shine on my lips over a lipstick, or something sheer and glossy. I think there are some great drug store lipglosses that you can save on rather than having to spend a ton of money on something you’re probably going to be replacing every month or so. I like the ones from Revlon, Loreal, and Burt’s Bees.

Hairspray- My favorite hairspray is Elnet by Loreal. It’s a staple in most makeup and hair artists’ kits. It gives great hold but still feels soft and natural in the hair. It can be easily brushed out to change styles and you can spray a lot in the hair without it feeling stiff or sticky. I also like the ones by John Frieda, which are now sold at Target.

Do you have any great beauty product steals you can share? Or splurge products you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments below.