When to Save and When to Splurge on Beauty Products (According to Industry Insiders)
It seems like the days of a three-step skincare routine and/or a vanity made up of just a handful of products are behind us, which can mean one thing: larger numbers on our credit card bills. With different products to cleanse, treat and moisturize (and tone and hydrate and…see what we mean?), and a long list of tools to achieve strobing and contouring, it definitely adds up. This is especially evident when all your products seem to run out at the same time. Honestly, our wallets have seen better days.
There are often times when we catch ourselves justifying our spending habits by saying, “You get what you pay for” (a.k.a. designer beauty brands are always better, right?). But that’s not necessarily the case for all your beauty products. You’d be surprised to hear how many of the products beauty editors and makeup artists swear by are found at your nearest drugstore.
“I think that during these times ‘drugstore’ brands have put so much money into product research and development that it doesn’t matter whether a product is labelled designer or not,” says CoverGirl Makeup Pro Veronica Chu. “It all comes down to personal preference and colour selection.”
But when it comes to skincare, investing a little more time and money never hurt anyone. “Since these products are typically formulated to help improve skin from deeper within and target specific needs, finding the right formulations and ingredients is going to play a big role in keeping skin as healthy as possible,” says Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily.
So with the help of Chu and Yoon, we’ve created a simple cheat sheet to help with what products you should save on and what you can splurge on.
Mascara – Since you should be replacing your mascara every few months or so, you don’t want to break the bank. “Mascara innovation has come such a long way and there is much product development in this arena,” says Veronica Chu, Covergirl Makeup Pro. “I have always used drugstore mascara as a professional makeup artist.”
Try: Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara ($10, at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide)
Eyeshadows and lipsticks – Colours are always changing according to what’s hot that season (ie. Orange makeup is in right now). “In this situation, most women want to be able to change colours whenever they see fit, so it’s important to not spend too much,” says Chu. “Trends change fast.”
Try: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($10, at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide)
Toners – We know that toners are formulated to balance skin’s pH level. Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily says that there’s a plethora of perfectly acceptable toners out there that aren’t pricey and will get the job done.
Try: Aromatica Orange Blossom Toner ($34, peachandlily.com)
Moisturizers – Its primary function is to seal hydration and nourishing ingredients into the skin, so it’s not necessary to go over your budget. “Choose a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type and includes ingredients that work for your skin, while excluding ingredients that do not,” says Yoon.
Try: Be The Skin Botanical Nutrition Cream ($35, peachandlily.com)
Foundations – Chu believes that when it comes to foundation, it’s important to be very selective and to ensure you’re picking the right one for your skin. “Many foundations now have moisturizing or oil-controlling properties that can help target your skin’s needs,” says Chu. “So it’s important to find the best foundation for your skin type.”
Try: La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer ($250, at Holt Renfrew)
Concealers — Similar to foundation, it’s all about finding the right one for you. Often you may have to purchase more than one type to help conceal different problem areas. “For example, you may need to use something under your eyes with a bit more moisturizing and light-reflecting properties to help brighten the eyes,” says Chu. “And then you may also need a concealer that has a bit more of a drier texture to cover blemishes.”
Try: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer ($47, sephora.ca)
Treatments — Serums, face oils and ampoules are the products that go to work for your skin and really target your needs, so it makes you want to pay a little more. “Since these products are typically formulated to help improve skin from deeper within and target specific needs, finding the right formulations and ingredients is going to play a big role in keeping skin as healthy as possible—in addition to, of course, a good daily SPF,” says Yoon.
Try: Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum ($67, net-a-porter.com)