When it comes to makeup, cosmetics, and skin care products, I like to use both expensive and cheap products. For me, the most important thing is what the product does as opposed to how much it costs. However, there are certain beauty products that are really worth investing in. In this post, I’ve put together the list of 10 categories of products that, from my point of view, are worth the splurge. Stay tuned for the next post of the Midweek Beauty series that will be posted next Wednesday, August 27th, 2014. I will be talking about 10 beauty products that you can save your buck on and still get the best results.
#1: Liquid Foundation
There is nothing worse for your skin than the cheap liquid foundation that clogs your pores and looks like a mask on your face. In opposition, a high quality product will cover all the imperfections that you might have and make your skin look radiant. Some foundations presented on the market do not only make your skin tone smoother, but also provide additional “services” such as protect your skin from the sun (look for ones with SPF20 or more) or slow down the aging process (retinol is a keyword for this type of foundation).
- Maestro Foundation by Giorgio Armani ($64)
- Teint Majeur SPF 18 by Yves Saint Laurent ($99)
- Diorskin Nude by Dior ($49)
I wear contacts and have sensitive eyes, that is why a high-quality mascara is a must-have for me. I do not like how most of the drugstore products smell — it reminds me oil paint and makes me sneeze like crazy — thus I stick to mascaras that I can buy at Sephora or at the department stores. An expensive mascara will not get dry as quickly as the cheap one and thus will last longer. Moreover, prominent brands really invest in design of mascara brushes — as a result, some products really make miracles with your eyelashes.
- Zoom Lash by MAC ($17)
- Volume Effet Faux Cils by Yves Saint Laurent ($30)
- Inimitable Intense by Chanel (#30)
#3: Facial Serums and Oils
I’ve explored serums a couple of years ago, and never stopped using them since then. My skin is dry, and usually I feel that it is not enough for me to use just a moisturizer and nothing else. Actually, my skin became so spoiled with all the expensive serums I am treating it with that without that extra hydration, it doesn’t seem to be as soft as it usually is. I use different kind of serums at night and during the day, and sometimes — when my skin seems to need extra hydration — I put my face serum all over the body. Recently I’ve attended a beauty class at Sephora and learned that facial oils are also working great with my skin type (you can read about the class here). Since then, I’ve been using face oils in addition to my regular beauty products — and I highly recommend you to try face oils too.
- Double Serum by Clarins ($85)
- Concentrated Reconstructing Serum by Algenist ($95)
- Advanced Night Repair Serum by Estee Lauder ($92)
In my opinion, a great expensive scent is what defines a real chic. You can wear the most inexpensive clothing and no accessories at all, but please (please!) make sure that your perfume is French and expensive. At this point, I totally agree with Coco Chanel that once said “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” May be it is my preconception, but I believe that expensive perfume opens up doors into the better living.
#5: Eye Cream
The area around the eyes is the most sensitive, that is why you need to be very careful with it. I’ve heard that many ladies use the same cream for the entire face, but I cannot agree with such approach. I also do not understand why women that start having Botox injections stop using eye cream. In my opinion, a sensitive and thin skin around the eyes requires an extra careful care with the best products you can afford, no matter how old are you and how regularly you visit a dermatologist for beauty injections. At the end of the day, the eyes are the mirror of the soul, so let’s make sure that this “mirror” is smooth and wrinkle free.
- Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate by Clarins ($83)
- Complete Eye Renewal Balm by Algenist ($65)
- Eye Contour Balm by Clarins ($36)
For me, there is nothing worse than dry and chapped lips: they do not feel or look good. Unfortunately, many inexpensive lipstick options do not moisturize your lips well enough so at the end of the day you have some unattractive dryness that grabs people’s attention. At the same time, a high quality lipstick in a color that fits you well protects your lips, hydrate them, and stays in place much longer than its drugstore alternatives. I’ve already wrote about some of my favorite lipstick options here, but I will repeat here too: a good lipstick and a good perfume are two beauty products that should be expensive just because.
- Rouge Allure Lip Colour by Chanel ($35)
- Rouge Volupté Shine by Yves Saint Laurent ($35)
- Addict Extreme Lipstick by Dior ($33)
#7: Compact Powder
There is a big difference between oily-looking and radiant skin. The latest is the one that screams, “I am healthy and just came back from vacation,” while the greasy one is just unattractive and grows. I am not the best at powdering my nose every hour, but I fix my makeup at least a couple of times during the day and every time I am in the bathroom while I am going out. I follow a similar strategy while choosing a face powder as the one for a foundation. You skin should “breathe” and be protected from the sun while the compact powder fixes your skin tone, otherwise you put yourself at a risk of premature aging and other unpleasant consequences such as breakouts and blackheads — so, please, splurge!
- Poudre Compacte Radiance by Yves Saint Laurent ($47)
- Diorskin Nude Compact Powder by Dior ($50)
- Diorskin Forever Compact Powder by Dior ($45)
#8: Eye Pencil
Same as mascara, eye pencil is dealing with your eyes and thus must be hypoallergenic and soft so it doesn’t damage a gentle area around eyes. As I mentioned before, my eyes are extremely sensitive and any “wrong” product irritates them right away. That is why I always make sure to choose a good eye pencil and to clean it every time after I used it. I rarely use a liquid eyeliner (that is why it is not on the list), but I would recommend to splurging on it too. Again, anything related to your eyes area should be high-quality which usually means — expensive.
- Crayon Eyeliner Waterproof by Dior ($29)
- Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner by Bobbi Brown ($24)
- Stylo Yeux Waterproof by Chanel ($32)
I’ve tried a couple of drugstore highlighters but I didn’t like any of them. I felt like the pigment used in cheaper products does not look good and has an unpleasant consistency. In opposition, expensive highlighters really make your entire look better. I love playing with face sculpting products and adore those that provide a soft glow. Usually, I use highlighter only on the apple of your cheek and in the middle of the nose, but there are some beauty experts that use highlighters in a more sophisticated way. I personally recommend taking a look at the tutorial by Kate from The Small Things Blog and Jen from From Head To Toe.
- Terre Exotique Healthy Glow Powder by Givenchy ($66)
- Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator by Guerlain ($51)
- Watt’s Up! by Benefit Cosmetics ($30)
#10: Makeup Primer
This product might seem to be not so important because it does not add any color to your look, but it actually makes a big difference. I use primer almost every day: in a combination with liquid foundation to make my skin look very sleek and photo-friendly, underneath compact powder to minimize pores on the sides of my nose, or on its own — it helps to get rid of the shine. I’ve noticed than many drugstore primers that are advertised as the equivalent to the more expensive options actually are not good and do not dramatically improve your look. I highly recommend to try a more pricey option of the makeup primer — you will notice the difference right away.
- Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch by Clarins ($35)
- La Base Pro Face Primer by Lancome ($42)
- Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light by Smashbox ($36)
I hope you guys found some interesting ideas in this post and look forward hearing about your favorite skin care and makeup splurges. Please share your secret splurge-worth beauty products and stay tuned for the upcoming post Top 10 Beauty Products to Save On that will be published next Wednesday.