Beauty Saves and Splurges: A Make-up Artist’s Picks

As a well documented beauty product junkie, I can tell you that it can be extremely easy to blow cash on makeup products, especially if you shop with the mentality that expensive is better!  I know I’ve had my share of products with different price ranges and expensive isn’t always better, with some drugstore items outshining those at the department store makeup counters. For me, I find that foundation is well worth splurging on while lip gloss, not so much!  But for this blog post though, I’ve recruited makeup artist Jessica Lauren, owner of Studio Tres Joile in NYC to give us her advice on what products are worth splurging and saving on!

Splurge: Dior 5 Couleur Eye Shadow

Using the right combination of the five colors, this shadow is ideal for any occasion: casual or formal, any time of the day.  “The colors that come in the palate are rich and go on smooth, making it easy to create gorgeous eyes,” she says.  Jessica recommends using a combination of the lighter tones with a hint of a darker shade to create a natural daytime look.  She suggests accentuating the eyes for the evening by using darker shades to thicken the crease.  “Although some eye shadows from drugstores can be bought for under $10, this investment is well worth it,” promises Jessica.  Currently available at Bloomingdales for $58


Save: Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner

When it comes to eyeliner, consumers seek brands that provide easy application and long term staying power to last throughout the day, informs Jessica.  “Unlike other high-end cosmetics, there is not too much of a difference between expensive eyeliners and more affordable ones.  I find Cover Girl’s Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner to be one of my favorites as it stays in place all day and has a smudger on the opposite end of the point to create a great smokey look,” she says.  Currently available at Walgreens $4.99



Splurge: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadows

Sheer eye shadows, like this one, are a makeup bag-must-have! Their gentle radiance brightens the eyes but can also be used as an illuminator on the cheek bones to add pizzazz to any look.  “Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Wash shadows are ageless and compliment every woman’s look,” says Jessica.  Currently available at Nordstrom for $20


Save: Maybelline Falsies Volume Mascara

“My clients always ask for full lashes,” says Jessica.  Rather than splurge for the expensive brands, she recommends using Maybelline Falsie Volume Mascara which is designed to give lashes fullness while fanning them out.  “Even better than most brands on the market, this specific mascara also contains fiber enriched formulas to give the lashes extra length as if false lashes were applied,” she says.  Currently Available at Walgreens $7.99


Splurge: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Unlike other tinted moisturizers, this product helps to control oil breakthrough while hydrating the skin where needed.  “Its lightweight texture makes the skin appear super smooth and gives the skin a very natural look,” says Jessica.  The product is safe for sensitive skin types and contains SPF 20 to keep the skin protected all year.  Currently available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $42



Save: Maybelline Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil

“Filling in eyebrows leaves a more finished look and enhances the eyes,” says Jessica.  When it comes to finding the perfect brow pencil, there’s no need to look any further than your local drugstore.  Maybelline Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil blends easily and has a convenient comb attachment for grooming.  “Its waterproof formula allows for a long lasting finish that won’t need to be reapplied throughout the day,” says Jessica.  Currently Available at Walgreens for $6.99



Splurge: Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Radiance

Using a good foundation is crucial, as all women want to be sure it will give them the coverage they need without clogging pores.  “Face Fabric Radiance is a great cream to powder foundation with light reflecting properties that leave the skin sheer with a gorgeous glow,” says Jessica.  She continues, “it doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin and offers a natural, matte look with causing dryness.” Currently Available at Nordstrom for $48




Now it’s your turn!  What type of beauty products do you save and/or splurge on?

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve definitely noticed that my Lancome eye shadows are far superior to any drug store shadows I’ve ever bought. It’s so conflicting, though, being on a budget and buying GOOD makeup. I think I’m going to a model of “less is more” by buying good products for more money but buying less products overall.

    Definitely foundation is a splurge. I spent $29 on MAC studio fix but it makes my skin look awesome so it’s well worth it!

    • MJ

       /  October 23, 2010

      Yes, you can definitely tell the difference between a drug store shadow and a higher end one. To help your drug store ones last longer, invest in a good primer like Urban Decay. That definitely helps your drug store shadows stay longer!

      Foundation is ALWAYS a splurge because if I don’t wear any other makeup, I’m wearing foundation!

  2. Love Dior eyeshadow. .they are a worthy splurge. I’ve also just tried the Maybelline mascara and it is awesome!

    • MJ

       /  October 22, 2010

      I’ve heard a lot of great things about Dior eye shadow! I definitely have to try it!

  3. Hey, thanks for adding my BABB badge on your right rail! For some reason, it’s not showing. Here’s the code again…you just need to use an HTML/Text widget and drop the code in like you did with your IFB badge.

    • Thanks girl! I thought it was just my silly browser at work! I tried the code you sent me but it isn’t working! 😦 WordPress isn’t cooperating!

  4. I save on cleanser by using Cetaphil, but splurge on Creme de la Mer! Here are some others:

    L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara
    Ulta Prestige Eyeliner

    YSL lipstick
    MAC Studiofix powder

    ♥ V
    twitter: @gritandglamour


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    The advice and reviews of this blog are solely the opinions and experiences of the writer, MJ, unless otherwise specified. Products being reviewed have been obtained via free samples from featured companies unless otherwise stated.
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