When To Skimp And When To Spend On Beauty Products

by Gigi Engle

When it comes to buying makeup, temptation is everywhere.

First, you convince yourself purchasing $20 eyeshadow is a good deal, and soon you've spent the equivalent of a week's worth of groceries at Sephora.

Women's beauty products are expensive -- even scooping up a few drugstore-brand items add up.

And there are so many different items we think we need -- with prices ranging all over the spectrum -- and so, we've gotten really good at rationalizing each cosmetic purchase as a "necessity."

Indulging in your makeup fetish can really break the bank.

The trick is to figure out which products to invest in and which products you can get away with buying at your local Walgreens.

But when do you spend the cash and when do you stick to your budget?

Elite Daily teamed up with professional makeup artist Sarah-Jane Beatty to find out, once and for all, which products are worth your paycheck and which you can skimp on.

Beatty tells us it's important to know what you're putting on your skin because "a portion of whatever product you apply to your face is going to be absorbed -- proving you really are what you paint yourself to be."

So here's the key to giving really great face, ladies.


When it comes to foundation, should I skimp or spend?: Spend

When buying foundation, it's critical to choose a product that matches the exact pigment of your skin and gives you flawless cover.

Beatty suggests going for a high quality, more expensive foundation because it's the base of your makeup application.

Using a high-quality foundation will give you the coverage and finish you'd expect from a professional quality product. When applying foundation, less is more, and you won't need to apply as much as you would with a drugstore version.

Our staff pick?: Giorgio Armani 'Luminous Silk' foundation. It provides great coverage and photographs beautifully.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $64, Sephora 


When it comes to lipstick, should I hit up Sephora or stick to CVS?: Skimp

Beatty assures us there's very little difference between expensive and budget lipsticks. She swears by NYX lip products ($4-$6), which have an amazing variety of shades and are still great quality. You can also get away with a range of shades, styles and 'sticks you see at the drugstore.

Our staff pick?: We love Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, $8, Ulta 

BB Cream

When it comes to BB cream, should I spend the cash or save it for my BFF's bridesmaid's dress?: Spend

As Beatty puts it,

Anything that is going to be absorbed directly into your skin should be high quality with the purest ingredients and least amount of fillers.

So when it comes to the first layer of makeup, you're going to have to pay for it.

Our staff pick? Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. We love it, and Beatty's been using it religiously for two years.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $44, Sephora 

Eyeliner and Mascara

When it comes to these two products, should I invest or go cheap?: Skimp

When choosing an eyeliner and mascara, it's OK to take the cheap route and save your money for other items actually worth splurging on. A great lash mascara from a drugstore won't ever fail to make your eyes pop.

Our staff pick? Maybelline pencils for a smudgy, smoked out look, and Maybelline gel liner for a precise line. They're affordable and fabulous, and Beatty swears by these two picks.

Maybelline Expert Wear Twin Brow and Liner Pencils, $3-7, Amazon; Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner, $6-10, Amazon

Bronzer and Blush

When it comes to bronzer and blush, should I fork over the dough or spoon it back into my wallet?: Skimp

Your bronzer and blush are essentially additions to your beauty product collection -- they add contour and highlights to your face.

Beatty says her personal philosophy is to spend on products touching your face first, but to save on color products. When it comes to blush and bronzer:

To warm up your complexion, use something in a brown shade with some shimmer.

Our staff pick?: We consulted with Beatty on this and she suggested E.L.F. bronzer,  golden used in conjunction with some E.L.F. blush.

E.L.F. Sunkissed Glow Bronzer, $2, E.L.F.; E.L.F. Blush, $3, E.L.F.

Spending less than $10 to look like more than $100? We'll take it.