Some mornings when I’m doing my makeup I start adding up the dollar value of the products I’m using.
I never get that far, because I have an English degree and can’t do much mental arithmetic, but also because it quickly becomes depressing.
Makeup and skincare are shockingly expensive when you consider them all at once. With that in mind, it’s worth considering the products that are worth spending money on, and the ones you can pick up on the cheap.
If you base makeup doesn’t look any good, you’re going to be hard pressed to fix things with colour cosmetics, and for that reason, I’d argue it’s worth spending a little on your foundation.
Look for a buildable formula like MAC Face and Body ($50) or Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Luminising Foundation ($69). You want one that you can either layer up for a polished look, or thin out with moisturiser when you want less coverage.
When you’re just trying to get makeup off your face, though, there’s less of a need to get fancy. Cetaphil comes in a formula for oily skin as well as a gentle version, and it’s $26 for 500ml. Wash your face with this and a clean flannel. Job done.
Along the same lines, there’s no point spending heaps on makeup wipes. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes are $10, and excellent.
I’ve tried a lot of affordable eyeshadows over the years, and as a rule, they don’t stand up to their higher-priced counterparts. That’s not to say there aren’t expensive duds, but a brand like Lancome or Elizabeth Arden is unlikely to let you down. Try a Lancome Hypnose Palette ($108) next time you need to re-up your supplies.
The main drawback with cheaper lipsticks tends to be a smaller shade range. If you can find a Chi Chi Viva La Diva ($22.99) colour you like, though, you won’t be disappointed. They have the pigmentation, texture and staying power of a much more expensive brand.
Revlon have long been known for their well-priced, quality lip products. If you like a moisturising formula that still has a decent punch colour-wise, try a Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain (also $22.99).
UST THE THING … for when you want to pay your lower lashes some attention
Mecca Max Eye Max Power Couple Mascara ($42) is double ended, with a tiny wand that fits right into the base of your lashes.