When it comes to buying new makeup, I'm all for spending that little bit extra on the luxury products that are worth the investment but I'm also a sucker for a good old high-street bargain too. My beauty stash contains a real mix of brands and products at all different price ranges, but I tend to be as sensible as possible and only spend large amounts of money on the necessities. I thought I'd share with you the products that I feel are worth the splurge, as well as the cheaper options that are just as effective.
WHERE TO SPLURGE
As much as I love certain high-street foundations, I just don't think you can beat a high-end base. For me, the base is the most important part of my routine as it creates the canvas for the rest of my makeup. Don't get me wrong, there are some drugstore foundations that look absolutely amazing when first applied to the skin but start to become patchy after a few hours. And with working full-time, I really need something that will last all day. With most high-end brands, there tends to be a wider variety of shades and formulas and they generally feel lighter and more luxurious on the skin too.
A high quality bronzer is always a necessity for me, especially in the summer time as my face always seems to be the last place that catches a tan. I've tried many a bronzer, but nothing has ever lived up to the standards of Benefit's Hoola as not only does it suit all skin tones, but it just adds the most gorgeous, sun kissed glow to my complexion without looking unnatural. One of the main reasons for me being such a fan of this bronzer in particular is because it has no trace of orange tones whatsoever. And we all know that's not a good look.
Similar to bronzers, there's just nothing quite like a high-end blusher. Although there are so many drugstore options that do a great job at adding a tint of colour to the apples of the cheeks, the high-end versions just seem to do so much more than that. Not only is there usually a wider variety of shades to choose from, meaning there's a blusher for every skin tone, they also tend to have a much better formula than the cheaper versions. One of my favourite blushers is one from NARS which not only adds a beautiful, natural flush to my cheeks, but it has the added bonus of highlighter properties too.
I wouldn't class a highlighter as a necessity, but I feel that it does make a lot of difference to my face. It flatters my complexion and prevents my face from looking flat after the application of powder. Using a highlighter can accentuate the cheek bones, make your lips appear more plump when applied to the cupids bow and gives your skin a subtle, healthy looking glow. For me, it's important to find a highlighter with a highly pigmented, finely milled formulation that doesn't stick to the cheeks and make them look dirty and I just feel that spending that little bit extra makes all the difference in quality in this circumstance.
It may be apparent that I'm an avid lipstick lover and probably own more lipsticks than needed. I never feel guilty when splurging on lip products as not only do they have a shelf life of around 2 years, but it's something that I use every single day. Granted, there are shades that I wear more frequently than others and there are probably lower end dupes for most of my MAC lipstick shades, but the formula and quality is never the same. I've tried lip products from a huge variety of brands, both drugstore and high-end but I just find spending that little extra means more pigmentation and a longer-lasting colour pay off.
Although there are hundreds of brands out there that provide a sufficient range of eyeshadow colours, it's not so much the choice of shades that I look for when searching for my ideal palette. I'm not the most adventurous person so tend to go for neutral shades such as champagne/rose golds and truffle browns, so the pigmentation over the colour of an eye product is usually the deal breaker for me. I've always found you get what you pay for with brands at the higher end of the scale when it comes to eyeshadows. They tend to be creamier, longer-lasting and are much easier to apply and blend.
Not everyone likes to use a powder in their daily makeup routine, but I just feel that it is very beneficial to the matte look I want to achieve. As well as enhancing the effect of my foundation, it locks in my makeup helping it to last longer throughout the day and mattifies any shiny areas on my face. I tend to use a translucent setting powder as it holds all the benefits mentioned above but doesn't add an extra layer to the complexion. I'm very particular when it comes to powders as I like to go for something finely milled that doesn't feel heavy on the face or leave my skin looking looking 'cakey'. So far, the NARS powder has been a favourite of mine in comparison to most budget versions I have tried.
It's very rare that I leave the house without my brows. Although my natural brows are still acceptable without product, they don't have a huge amount of shape which is why I'll use a powder to accentuate and fill in any gaps. I've tried powder and wax products from the likes of high-street brands but I've just never found one that could compete against the Benefit Brow Zings. Not only is the medium shade a perfect match to my natural colour, but the product tends to last me around a year with everyday use which makes it completely worth the splurge.
WHERE TO SAVE
Concealing blemishes and dark circles under my eyes is a vital part of my daily routine. But spending large amounts of money on a product that is aimed to do the same job - no matter what brand, seems pretty pointless to me. I've tried concealers from the higher end of the scale and haven't found them to do anything different than one from the lower end. In fact, I've actually found that some high-end concealers can't even compete against my beloved Collection lasting perfection which is just under £5.
Along with concealer, one of my favourite liquid liners is under £5. As long as it lasts all day and doesn't flake or crumble when applying, it's a winner for me. Plus the fact that most liners have a shelf life of around six months. I tend to go for the ones with a thin, felt nib as I find they're the easiest to work with and you can achieve a perfectly neat line with no issues whatsoever. My only negative on cheaper brands is that the nib can become quite soft in time, which is why I'd recommend buying 2 at once.
When it came to writing this post, I struggled to decide which category mascara would fall under. There are a few high-end mascaras that I absolutely adore, but with so many out there, the same outcome is achievable if you look in the right places. As much as it is a staple product for me, it can become expensive repurchasing the same high-end options as they have a shelf life of only six months when opened. I tend to purchase drugstore mascaras when they are first released as there's usually an introductory offer that means you can give it a try and if you don't get on with it, it's not breaking the bank.
Once upon a time, I would never have left the house without sticking on a pair of false lashes but nowadays I like to keep them as a luxurious product that I'll only wear on special occasions. For this reason, I'd only ever spend £10 at a push and that's only because they can be used more than once. I usually stock up when I make a trip into Primark as they are just £1 a pair and amazing quality.
Painting my nails always seems to creep down to the bottom of my to-do list. As much as I love the feeling of freshly painted nails, I just never have the time or patience to paint them as regularly as I'd like. For that reason, I wouldn't be able to justify spending more than £10 on something that wouldn't be used very often. Although, if I do ever fancy a pamper or I'm in need of a new shade, I'll pop into H&M and pick up a couple of shades for £3.99 each. The quality of their polishes is amazing for the price.
Which products do you like to splurge and save on?