We know makeup can be a fun way to express yourself and enhance your beautiful self. If you go to a department store, you will likely be mesmerized by the vibrant colors of eye shadows and gorgeous lipsticks, all beautifully packaged with the labels we love—Chanel or Dior, for example.
You may be tempted to think that one peach designer gloss looks great on you once you try it on, which is what your new best friend behind the counter confirms, complimenting you on how the gloss plumps your lips. So while you decide that one gloss (a mere $25) won’t break your bank, your new bestie behind the counter advises there is a special going on and if you spend $50, you get a free gift bag filled with mini samples. You want to resist the temptation and say no. Then she has you try on a new popular blush you were eyeing, and once she applies it under the flattering lighting in the store you agree it does make you look younger and brightens up your look. She then shows you a lip liner that looks great with your new gloss, and before you know it you’ve spend nearly $100 on three products, partly just to receive your new gift bag which, once you get home, realize the mini products are indeed mini—perhaps good for one or two uses-- and not even in flattering shades. Ironically, if you had done about 15 minutes worth of research you could have bought some great products for one fifth of the price.
Read on for best buys that are just as great as the more expensive brands, and will cost you less than a week’s worth of mochas. Before we get started:
* Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of the following products, nor affiliated with any of the stores and cannot guarantee quality. This is from my personal experience only.
* Also, prices are not guaranteed—they were the prices at the time of this article. All products were found at Ulta, Walgreens, Sephora and Walmart. Other places to check out reasonably priced products include Rite Aid, Target and CVS.
> Foundation: Cover Girl and Maybelline both sell excellent foundations for under $10, while at a higher end store you may end up paying around $40.
(Dry Skin) Cover Girl Powder Foundation--$5.99
(Oily Skin) Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation--$7.99
(Ethnic Skin) Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Liquid makeup --$5.00
> Powder: You can find either pressed or loose power for under $5 at most any of the locations I researched.
Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder—$4.99
>Eyeshadow: You can often buy one shadow for the price of a duo or even a quad. When the shadows are packaged together, it makes application easier because you know which colors go together to create a polished look.
Prestige Beauty Bar (Highlight, Color and Contour with 3 shades)--$3.99
L’Oreal Studio Secrets, Professional Color Smokes Quad--$4.97
>Liner: You can find just about any type of liner (pencil, liquid, gel) for under $7.00.
Sephora Long Lasting Metallic Liquid Eyeliner—$5.00
Wet n Wild Coloricon Eyeliner Pencil--$.99
>Mascara: Mascara is one product I often recommend spending for quality, but the mascaras below are tried and true.
(Normal lashes) Maybelline Great Lash Mascara--$4.24)
(Thin lashes) Covergirl Professional Superthick Lash Volume Smudgeproof Mascara--$4.99
>Gloss: Whether you want clear, shiny, scented or shimmer, there is an inexpensive gloss to meet your need.
LAVANILA The Healthy Lip Shine--$5.00
Jordana InColor Lip Shine Summer Glaze Brush on Gloss--$1.99
>Blush: You can find either single blushes like the Wet n Wild blush below, or find duos that instruct on the packaging how to apply the blush and contour.
Wet n Wild Icon Blusher--$2.99
If you are on a tight budget, you may not even need all these products—for your eyes, you can just use liner and mascara alone. Always start with staple colors (neutrals) and buy more vivid shades as your wallet gets a bit bigger. If you did want to purchase a product from each category, you can still come home with a bunch of goodies for $25.00 or under. Also, most of the products have won readers choice awards or are rated highly amongst the beauty buyers!
Check the websites—both Ulta and Sephora have a Sale/Clearance section on their sites that have incredible buys—and even though most people don’t even use coupons anymore, check out your Sunday paper! Walgreens is one place that frequently has Buy One Get One Free or other great deals.
So you can see how it doesn’t take a lot of money to buy makeup. All the products above are good staples if you are just starting out with a makeup kit, and they can be mixed and matched so you can change around your look from daytime to a night out. Although splurging sometimes can be fun, I have my Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers sitting right next to a Chanel Glossimer in my purse, and I find myself reaching for the Lipsmacker more often! Expensive does not equal better.