Makeup Monday – Save or Splurge?

Makeup can be expensive! Ask Tom…he has created spreadsheets showing me how much I spend on makeup.


(This is actually how excited Tom gets about spreadsheets)

Therefore, when I can save some money on makeup, I like to! There are certain items where using drugstore products is just fine but there are other products where you really get a superior product if you splurge on the professional brands.

So should you SAVE or should you SPLURGE?


SAVE – There are some really great drugstore foundations available now so unless you have complicated skin issues or really sensitive skin, you likely can save on this one and go for the drugstore brand. The only downside to drugstore is usually their shade range is more limited so you have to learn some blending techniques if it isn’t the perfect match for your skin.

My favourite drugstore foundation is Revlon Colorstay.



SPLURGE – If you splurge on a foundation primer you can definitely save on your with your foundation because you can get your foundation to last longer.

My favourite primer is Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. And while it’s a splurge when you buy it, it last forever!



SAVE – Although I’ve talked about my love of MAC skin finish natural, if you are just looking for a powder to set your foundation you can definitely save. A powder really is just a powder. And paying $30 isn’t going to give you a different effect than the $8 drugstore brand.

My favourite drugstore powder is Rimmel Stay Matte



SAVE & SPLURGE – In my concealer smack down post I think I really proved that more money doesn’t always give you a better product. And in fact it was a drugstore product that came on top for under eye circles. However, when it comes to face concealer for covering up blemishes, I think you should splurge. (If blemishes are a big concern for you).

For undereye concealer my favourite is Maybelline Fit Me Concealer


But when it comes to covering up blemishes, nothing beats MAC Studio Finish Concealer.

mac studiofinihs


SPLURGE – Drugstore blushes tend to be too powdery with little pigment. They are filled with a lot of talc meaning you have to use a lot of product to get the desired effect. They also tend to not last very long. If you buy a high quality blush, you you will only need to use a little bit due to high pigmentation and it will last way longer. Definitely worth the splurge so you don’t have to reapply every couple of hours.

It’s hard to pick a favourite blush. I love blushes by Illamasqua, Nars or Tarte.


SPLURGE – The story with eyeshadow is the same as blush. You will do much better with a higher pigmented longer lasting eyeshadow than with a drugstore brand. And while a drugstore brand may seem cheaper, you use way less product with a high quality eyeshadow so over time the cost really isn’t very much.

As you already know, my favourite eyeshadows come from MAC.



SAVE – While professional brand lipsticks do tend to last longer, I still think this is an area you can save on. Drugstore brand lipsticks are great and come in such a huge shade and texture variety. You can get way more bang for your buck and lipstick is something you touch up often already.

I don’t really have a favourite drugstore lipstick. I just buy whatever is on sale typically.


SAVE – While I do love Benefit They’re Real Mascara which is a splurge, I can’t justify buying it all the time. Other than that mascara, high end mascaras rarely impress me. Drugstore is the way to go.

I have two favourite mascaras. The first was a long, long time favourite of mine which I think is a great mascara that gives you dark and intense lashes. It is the Loreal Voluminous Mascara.


While I love the Loreal mascara, I have stick straight lashes and in order to hold a curl I need to user waterproof mascara. So my favourite waterproof mascara is Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Waterproof.


So there you have it, hopefully you know where to put your money now!

What items do you save or splurge on? What are some of your favourite drug store products?


13 thoughts on “Makeup Monday – Save or Splurge?

  1. Hi Jen, why would you use a foundation primer? Just to make your skin smoother underneath? Do you use the same amount as you would your foundation or is it just intended to be a very light base under your foundation?


  2. Great post Jen. I totally agree … and we share some of the same loves except I will say I just found a NYX blush that I love and it is pigmented and not too powdery, but I know that is the exception and not the rule.

    • Good to know! I hear such great things about NYX products but they are so hard to find here. I have only ever seen them at Target and I don’t know what it is but every single time I visit the Target beauty section everything is empty! I’ve all but given up on that store.

  3. What makeup item usually you Splurge or save on Liquid foundation Mineral foundation Concealer Face powder Tinted dampness Eyeliner Bb cream Face primer Mascara Eye primer Brow pencil Eyeshadow Blush Bronzer Lipstick Lipgloss It will be truly help in the event you tell that firm, but you don’t have to Thank we thus much for helping

  4. Hi Jen
    Just came across your blog – I love that you are involved in what people put on & in their body – I’m a Registered Dietitian & Arbonne Consultant & this has become my passion too. I was initially drawn to Arbonne by their nutrition (gluten, dairy, soy free with no artificial sweetener, color or preservatives) but the skincare & cosmetics have opened my eyes to the toxins we get from personal care products. As an RD I spent years focused on what clients were putting in their body but now offer the whole package for health as what we put on our bodies is just as important. Consumers are more often reading the ingredients labels on both food & skincare – it’s like the small print on a contract & it’s so important! ~ Lyn

  5. Reblogged this on lisa sherin and commented:
    I thought I’d briefly share one of the best guides I have read about Saving or Splurging on makeup. It’s honest, well reasoned with some of my favourite products mentioned.

    Definitely worth a quick read.

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