Now that you know more about the shelf life of makeup, you may be regretting that $20 lipstick that came with a free gift. Odds are good that the lipstick is barely used and the free gift is just more clutter. Next time you hit the makeup, remember these suggestions about whether you should save or spend on makeup products.
- Blush: Spend. Not only will you find a wider range of colors, but more expensive blushes blend better. More expensive brands also tend to be longer lasting.
- Bronzer: Spend. The same rules apply – better range of colors and easier blending.
- Brushes: Spend and save. You can save on some brushes, like lip brushes that gunk up quickly, but you should spend a little more for well-made synthetic powder, blush, and shadow brushes that are easy to wash and won’t leave bristles on your face.
- Cleansers: Save. All cleansers are the same. Many dermatologists recommend Cetaphil because it’s cheap and gentle.
- Concealer: Spend. Major brands have a wider range of colors, last longer, and are easier to blend.
- Eye Liner: Go cheap. Not only do they wear out quickly, they’re often trendy colors that will look dated in a year.
- Eye Shadow: Go cheap for trendy colors. This year’s “must-have” shade is next year’s “are you kidding me” color. For traditional colors you’ll wear more often, be willing to spend more for richer, longer-lasting color. Avoid those multi-shade palettes, though. At least one of them will look dreadful on you. Instead, buy single pots of color.
- Foundation: Spend. Foundation should match your skin tone exactly, so you’ll have more options if you’re willing to spend more. Pricey brands also tend to have smoother coverage and last longer.
- Hair Products: Save. Shamphoo and conditioner are generally the same no matter who makes them, so feel free to buy major drugstore brands rather than an expensive bottle from your stylist.
- Lip Gloss: Go cheap here, too. They also tend to be trendy colors and are used up quickly. Most lip glosses are the same no matter whose name is on the label, so choose the color you want from the drugstore brands.
- Lipstick: Save and spend. Go cheap for trendy colors that will only be hot this season. If you like to wear one classic color all the time, you might want to spend more for a richer lipstick that will last longer without drying out your lips.
- Mascara: Save. Makeup artists go crazy for Maybelline Great Lash. It’s usually less than $7, and a tube lasts about three months.
- Moisturizer: Save. I’ll be honest, I splurge on Kiehl’s moisturizer because it’s so light on my skin, but I could probably find a good drugstore brand, too. Like cleansers, most moisturizers are the same.
- Nail Polish: Save. Not only are they trendy colors, but cheap nail polish is just as good as pricey polish. Sally Hansen is often considered the best.
- Pressed Powder: Spend. Cheap powders aren’t as smooth and don’t last as long on your face.
If you have very sensitive skin or allergies, then you need to be more careful, but the average woman can easily save a fortune on makeup by opting for cheaper versions when possible. Just remember this rule – the shorter the shelf life or the trendier the color, the less you should spend.