To splurge or not to splurge, that is the question. When it comes to beauty (or skincare for that matter) the question of “What’s worth my money” comes up again and again. And it’s an important question! Because we’re inundated with options, making a savvy choice when and where to spend your money matters. So I’ve broken down the 4 makeup categories where I think your money is best spent, and made some recommendations for favorite products therein.
Big picture: Save your dollars for the products that make the most difference. You don’t need to break out the big bucks on blush, pencils and shadows – There are great low-budget options available in all those categories. You want your investment to make a BIG difference!!
And one quick blanket statement: I’m not going to list product cost as a con. We’re talking beauty splurges, you can just assume these products cost a bit more than what you’d spend at a drug store. The beauty is that you’ll have to buy less overall to achieve a gorgeous look 🙂
Having a high-quality, natural foundation makes a HUGE difference in any beauty routine. And with higher quality (aka more expensive) foundations, a little goes a long way, so spending your money here can actually save you in the long run. Plus, gorgeous, natural, healthy foundations make your skin truly glow, even when you’re not wearing it.
Sophie’s recommendation: Foundation by Saint Cosmetics – $47 (remember to use the code Sophie10 at checkout for a 10% discount storewide)
Pros: This foundation is dreamy. In their words:
“Long wearing foundation and silky lightweight formula infused with powerful antioxidants, such as Polyphenols, helping protect skin from pollutants and free radical damage. Omega-6 and shea butter keep skin nourished and hydrated, giving complexion a youthful and healthy glow.”
Cons: It’s hard to find a con with this product, but I’ve heard some complaints from you guys that shipping can be very expensive ($20 minimum to the US). Saint is based in Canada (which is known for amazing color formulations), so that explains the cost, but it’s still a con.
If you’re prone to oily or acne-sensitive skin, mineral powder is your blessing in disguise. Not only does it help guard your gorgeous skin from the sun, it provides great coverage with less product. Mineral foundational so sits gently on the skin’s surface, and won’t settle into fine lines (emphasizing signs of aging – AAAH).
Sophie’s recommendation: Baked Mineral Foundation by Inika Organic – $65.00
Pros: Okay, a little story here. This foundation is Baked on a terracotta tile in Tuscany, Italy – Not kidding. In their words:
“Combining the healthiness of mineral make-up with the performance of a pressed powder (without the harmful chemicals), this silky-smooth, breathable formula builds up from sheer coverage and blends easily. Light reflecting technology allows each shade to flatter individual skin tones while giving a natural glowing finish.”
Cons: I heard that this product tends to favor pink undertones, and that coverage can leave something to be desired (if you prefer a lighter coverage, this is a pro). I personally like the product, but if you have any questions they have a great “Find Your Shade” tool on their site!
Full confession: Even on a “no makeup day,” I still wear mascara. It’s true! Because even one quick swipe can make your eyes more dramatic, and who doesn’t love a little attention on the ol’ peepers. And, let’s be real for a second, mascara goes on your EYES, which is something we all definitely want to keep healthy. So springing for a better product that the classic pink and green tube (you know what I’m talking about) is well worth it.
Sophie’s recommendation: Mascara by Kjaer Weis – $38
Pros: This product ticks all the healthy mascara boxes (No Butyl Acetate, No Butylated Hydroxytoluene, No DEA, No Urea, No Ethyl Acetate, No Parabens, No Petrolatum, No Phthalates, No Propylene Glycol, No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, No Toluene, No Triethanolamine). And in the words of Credo Beauty:
“Kjaer Weis Mascara’s formula glides on to create long and voluminous lashes. Specially designed wand applies just the right amount of product for a natural, clump free look”
Cons: Some users don’t love the brush, which isn’t boasting the “volumizing technology” you see in TV advertisements for drug store cosmetics. And if you’re someone who’s looking for Hollywood lashes in a tube, you may want to experiment with other products. Kjaer Weis definitely favors a more natural look.
There’s an old saying that dates back further than written history: A little lipstick can change the world. Prove me wrong, I dare you. With lips, there’s so many things to talk about: Stick versus stain versus gloss, matte, statin, long wear, healing … And don’t even get me started on color. With so many directions, it’s hard to narrow it down to one choice, but I’ve taken a good look in the mirror (get it) and made my selection.
Sophie’s recommendation: Lips by Elevé Cosmetics – $21 – $50
Pros: There’s a product for every pucker with this brand. The lip dyes are for my pigment lovers – One swipe in the morning will last you for HOURS, and i love the dramatic but totally day-friendly look. My favorite? Miami looks orange in the tube but actually wears pink, and is truly a universal shade (a unicorn in the beauty community). Looking for something lighter? Their Lip Pops are LOVELY and perfect for layering.
Cons: Hard to think of any, really. To be honest, I use a lip balm over the Lip Dyes to protect my lips and extend color, but that’s not a con, necessarily … more of a tip.