An unlimited budget for beauty products is not a reality for most women. But how do you decide which items to buy inexpensively without sacrificing your look? Here are some expert opinions on making those choices.
Exfoliator vs. moisturizer
Heather Reier, founder of Cake Beauty, a Toronto-based line of nourishing body products, says that although both skin-care steps are very important, you should be splurging on your moisturizer. Not only does moisturizer keep your skin looking youthful, healthy and supple, says Reier, it also encourages your skin's natural healing process after daily exposure to sun and pollution.
Concealer vs. foundation
No surprise here. Melissa Gibson, a pro artist from M.A.C Cosmetics, says you should definitely splurge on a good foundation. "It is the product that will make or break your skin," she explains. If you create a perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup with an excellent foundation, you won't need to worry so much about covering any little blemishes.
Eye shadow vs. mascara
If there's one thing that no eye should be without, it's mascara. Gibson encourages women to buy quality mascara to create a finished eye. When it comes to eye shadow, head to the drugstore and stock up on neutrals and trendy shades. The less you pay, the easier it will be to replace them often or toss them out when the trend has passed.
Lipstick vs. lip gloss
Don't spend your precious pennies on fancy lip gloss. Quality lipstick will condition your lips and last all day long. And, according to Gibson, all it takes is a little lip balm on top to give your lips that glassy look.
Shampoo vs. conditioner
Although it's tempting to splurge on a luxurious, creamy conditioner, it's actually your shampoo that should be pricey. "A low-grade shampoo will strip your hair of essential moisture and create a need for a more intensive conditioner," explains Marc Anthony of Marc Anthony Salons.
Styling product vs. styling tool
This is a tough one and there's no easy answer. Inexpensive styling products can have a high alcohol content, which leads to dry hair that's prone to breakage. But, explains Anthony, a good ceramic curling iron or flatiron will prevent excessive exposure to heat, which can also cause damage. So you might want to make the one-time investment in a high-end styling tool AND treat your hair to fancy products. However, the one item you can buy cheap without hesitation is your hair dryer. "Low-wattage blow dryers cost less and are just as effective," says Anthony.
So there's no need to empty your bank account when you replenish your beauty supplies. Cutting a few corners will keep you gorgeous and in the money. But don't be fooled into thinking a cheap product isn't a good product. More and more companies are introducing salon or department-store-quality products for lower prices. Make friends with the clerks at the beauty counter in your local drugstore. They see and try everything. And now that your beauty products won't put you in the red, you can save those extra dollars for the really important things. Like shoes.
Page 1 of 1