Which items should you splurge on?

By: Kat Tancock

Author: Canadian Living


Which items should you splurge on?

By: Kat Tancock
Let's face it: we all want to use the best beauty products possible, but sometimes the prices for high-end brands can seem outrageous compared to drugstore staples. But you get what you pay for, right? Well, sometimes. Here, get the scoop from the experts on when to splurge on beauty products and when to go for the deals.

Cheap versus expensive: What's the difference?
It's not always easy to tell the difference between cheap and expensive brands of beauty products – and that's because the difference is often nothing more than packaging and hype, says makeup artist Carmindy of What Not to Wear fame, author of The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman (HarperCollins, 2007). "Sometimes you do have more expensive ingredients in products like foundations and skin care," she says, "but as far as eyeliners, lip gloss and powdered eye shadows, it really is all the same."

Splurge on this

So when should you splurge? Carmindy says she believes expensive foundations and eye creams are worth the price, since they're likely to contain better ingredients. She adds that sometimes, expensive brands do a fantastic job with colour, so if you find the perfect shade for your colouring, spend the money on it. And you may want to go for high-end packaging when the product's likely to make a public appearance. "There's nothing more feminine than pulling out a really beautiful compact," she says, "and they tend to cost a bit more."

Save or splurge?
Carmindy says that she loves drugstore brands of mascara, lip gloss, sunscreen, eye pencils and eye shadows. "No matter what your budget, there is something for everyone."

With that in mind, here are tips on whether to save or splurge, plus product recommendations
from Carmindy and Ginny Holt, beauty boutique manager at Shoppers Drug Mart at Market Mall in Calgary.

Mascara: Save
"Go for the brush size and not the formula," says Carmindy. "Stick with small brushes that will reach every lash." Holt adds that since mascara should be changed every three months, you'll save a lot by going with budget brands.

Carmindy recommends:
• Maybelline Lash Stylist Mascara
• Almay Intense i-Color Bring Out Lengthening Mascara

Holt recommends:
• L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara
• Cover Girl Lash Exact Mascara

Eye shadow: Save or splurge
"Make sure that the shadow is not chalky," says Carmindy. "Some inexpensive brands are very chalky. I have found nice refined shadows at both drugstores and department stores."

Carmindy recommends:
• L'Oréal eyeshadow
• Dior shadows

Holt recommends:
• Annabelle shadow
• L'Oréal Wear Infinité Eyeshadow

Page 1 of 2Eyeliner: Save or splurge
"They are pretty much all the same," says Carmindy, "and now you can even find great waterproof formulas that are cheap." But Holt's favourite is a high-priced formula that she says stays put until removed.

Carmindy recommends:
• Styli-Style Eye Liners
• Revlon Color Stay Eye Liner

Holt recommends:
• Lancôme Artliner

Blush: Splurge

"I have found that you will have a more refined powder if you spend a little more on blush," says Carmindy.

Carmindy recommends:
• Nars Blush
• M.A.C Blush

Holt recommends:
• Elizabeth Arden Powder Blush

Foundation: Splurge

Carmindy recommends splurging on foundation. "Foundations cost more because there are a lot of shades," she says, "and they work on all kinds of skin tones and contain great ingredients that help the skin. Also," she adds, "you want to be able to test the colour to see if it matches and you can't do that with inexpensive brands." Holt agrees that colour matching is key.

Carmindy recommends:
• Era Spray Foundation by
• Makeup Forever Face and Body Liquid Makeup

Holt recommends:
• Almay Line smoothing liquid
• Red Earth 2 way cake with an SPF of 23

Concealer: Splurge

As with foundation, Carmindy recommends splurging on concealer for the consistency -- the Benefit product below is her all-time favourite, she says. Holt notes that the Biotherm concealer she recommends is one of the most versatile and can also be used as a foundation.

Carmindy recommends:
• Benefit Eye Bright Concealer
• Stila Cover Up Stick

Holt recommends:
• Biotherm Forget It

Powder: Splurge

"I like to go for expensive brands just for the refined powder and the chic way the compact looks," says Carmindy.

Carmindy recommends:
• Chanel, Body and Soul, Givenchy

Lipstick: Save or splurge

"You can find quality in both," says Carmindy, adding that you should look for a creamy, nondrying texture. Holt agrees, offering a wide range of budget-friendly products: her suggestions from Rimmel and Annabelle, she says, are really moist and come in an amazing range of colours.

Carmindy recommends:
• Givenchy Essential Lipstick
• L'Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick
• NYC Ultra Last Lipwear

Holt recommends:
• Rimmel
• Annabelle
• Cover Girl Incredifull Volumizing
• Maybelline Superstay

Lip gloss: Save

"They really are all the same," says Carmindy.

Carmindy recommends:
• Maybelline Shiny-Licious Lip Gloss

Holt recommends:
• L'Oréal Glam Shine
• Marcelle Lux Gloss

Nail polish: Save

"The best around is Sally Hansen," says Carmindy. Holt agrees: "Sally Hansen has polishes that range from $3.29 to $9.49," she says.

Brushes and tools: Save or splurge

"For blush and eye shadows, spend the money" says Carmindy, "but for lips, angle brushes for liner and brows and concealer brushes, a good art supply store will have the best selection." Holt recommends the brushes she uses at work as a Shoppers Beauty Expert, those by Quo. "Quo has amazing brushes, made with pony hair," she says. "They range in price from $12 to $20, and you can often find them on sale for 20 per cent off."

Carmindy recommends:
• Body and Soul Brushes

Holt recommends:
• Quo brushes

Check out these 17 picks for mascaras -- we tested them for you!

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Which items should you splurge on?