Spend vs. Save

Spend Save Graphic


Fat stacks. Make it rain. It’s all about the benjamins. Mo’ money, mo’ problems. You won’t be able to live in a gangster’s paradise if you don’t save some money when it comes to your makeup collection.
I will tell you where I think it’s worth it to spend and on the contrary, where you can still get effective products and save some cheddar. Cheese. Mmm.

When it comes to where to spend, here is what and why:

  • Blush–Pricier blushes are more pigment-rich, apply silkier and wear much longer. They are also more finely-milled, making their texture silky as opposed to gritty or chalky. Smashbox and Tarte’s blushes are my favorite.


  • Powder Shadow–Like the blushes, these will be more pigmented, silkier-textured and you will use much less to achieve good color payoff. Urban Decay, Smashbox and Too Faced make excellent shadows.


  • Foundation–With foundation, you are paying for pigment. You are going to use less of a quality foundation and the shade range will likely be more diverse, allowing you to find your most accurate match. For example, if you are yellow or olive-toned like myself, good luck finding a drugstore foundation that matches. Trust me–I’ve tried. I use NARS Sheer Glow foundation and I adore it. I have dry skin and it works well for me. If you’re oily, look at Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet.



  • Brushes–While you can certain find some great, affordable brushes, as a whole, more expensive brushes tend to be made with more quality materials. The ferrule, metal part, is often more secure, the handles longer and lacquer-dipped rather than plastic, and the bristles less-prone to shedding. A good set of brushes can last you half a lifetime if properly cared for. Though many affordable brushes are effective, you will end up replacing them more often. I have enjoyed the Sephora Professional line, Japonesque and of course MAC makes excellent brushes.


  • Skincare–When it comes to your skin, you won’t get any re-do’s. With very few exceptions, a vast majority of drugstore skincare contains pore-clogging mineral oil, parabens, preservatives and other cheap fillers. Effective ingredients like omega fatty acids, retinols, glycolic and lactic acid, antioxidants, etc. are more expensive therefore many mass market products do not contain them, or at least not enough to be effective. Some skincare lines that I love are Korres, Boscia and Ole Henriksen.

save spend

When it comes to where to save, here is where you can do so without sacrificing quality:



  • Liner–Liner is another item that you go through quickly and that needs to be kept fresh to be sanitary. That’s why it’s great when you can save on liners. One of my very favorite liquid liners is from Maybelline. I’ve talked about Maybelline Line Stiletto a lot. Also, celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes’ favorite liner is a Maybelline pencil that he warms up with a lighter!



  • Nailpolish–Tell me the last time you finished a whole bottle of nailpolish? That’s what I thought. With nail trends changing so often, it just makes sense to save on your polish collection. I’ve had nice luck with Sonia Kashuk, Sally Hansen and Wet n’ Wild believe it or not!


  • Lipstick/Gloss–Lipstick and/or lipgloss wears quickly. You talk, drink, eat and reapply it several times throughout the day. If you want to be able to afford a nice little lipstick wardrobe, stick with drugstore! Revlon and Loreal make creamy lipsticks in great colors that stand the test of time. I think you know how I feel about Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butters. Loreal’s lipsticks have this wonderful, nostalgic smell that they haven’t changed. I remember smelling my mom’s tube of Plum Brulee. Also a color they haven’t changed! Loreal Colour Riche in British Red is my favorite bright red. I wore it in my drugstore pinup post. Revlon has also put out some iconic reds I bet your grandma wore like Love That Red and Cherries in the Snow. Revlon’s glosses are great as well. I also really enjoy NYX for glosses.

Did you make it all the way to the bottom of this post?! Damn. You’re a trooper. Well since you did, here is a picture of Pixel saving up some allowance money.

Many hearts. Love you guys so.


  1. Marie Martin says

    I still have my mom’s Cherries in the Snow (just to smell it, and remind me of her)!

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