Beauty: To Spend or Save?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well, a while ago I posted on the Cohorted Blog and I thought I would share my post with you all incase you missed it. I’m sure we’re all guilty of spending a little too much on products claiming to perform miracles on our complexion, just because they’ve got a swanky brand name, only to be left a little disappointed. So I thought I would share my tips with you all, so you know when to save and when to splurge. I’ve also added in some money saving tips, so if you do want to splurge, your money will stretch a little further!

Foundation – Splurge

For me, foundation is definitely a splurge product. I grew up with very bad skin, and still suffer today, and I found that higher end foundations worked best on my problem skin. A lot of drugstore foundations (trust me I’ve tried plenty!) broke me out or irritated my sensitive skin, so I always found it best to splurge on a foundation with skincare benefits such as Nars Sheer Glow. Also, being a little on the pale side, I find that If I want a good match for my skin that doesn’t oxidise and go a nice shade of orange, I have to splurge. I find that most drugstore foundations leave me with a tide line, no matter how much I blend.

Blusher – Save/Splurge

Blusher is a bit of a tricky one for me, as about 80% of my blushers are high end. Personally, I prefer to save up and splurge on a MAC blusher as I find the shade range and longevity so much better than anything available in the drugstore. However, the isles of Boots and Superdrug do have some absolute gems when it comes to blusher. Sleek in particular is great if you want a good blusher at a measly £5 price tag, and their rose gold blusher is to die for. Also, brands such a Make Up Revolution and MUA offer cheap alternatives to higher end blushers. For me, I’d probably go middle of the range with MAC or go cheap with drugstore, but there’s no way I’d spend a fortune on a blusher as the likelihood is that it wont last on my skin anyway.

Bronzer – Splurge

I find bronzer such a hard product to get right, which is why I’ve gone for splurge with this product. I can’t be without either my Nars Laguna, Benefit Hoola or Too Faced Milk Chocolate Bronzer, so it would be wrong of me to say that this is a save product.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried my fair share of drugstore bronzers, but on the whole they’ve come out a bit too dark or muddy or even orange for my liking. If you have slightly darker skin than my porcelain complexion then you may be able to go for the cheaper options, but if you’re a pale girl like me, I’d always go high end.

Highlighter – Save

Highlighter is one of my favourite products, I just love how it can add a lovely glow to your skin and any excuse to add a bit of shimmer and I’m there! I’ve tried every type of highlighter you can get from cream to liquid to powder, and on the whole I think you can save on this product, the drugstore has some absolute gems. Seventeen do a liquid highlighter which is an exact dupe for Benefit’s High Beam at a fraction of the price, and the MUA powder highlighter is just so pretty, so If I were you, I’d really see what the drugstore has to offer before you spend all of your pennies on an expensive product.

Eyeshadow – Splurge

For me, eyeshadow is a definite splurge product. I love MAC and Urban Decay eyeshadows and they just can’t be beaten by the drugstore alternatives. I have my fair share of drugstore eyeshadows (elf’s are pretty good if you’re looking to save) but they just aren’t as buttery, easy to blend, and they don’t have the same kind of shade range as the higher end brands. I would say though, if you’re looking to go high end, I’d go for a palette – it may be an investment at the time, but it’s so much cheaper in the long run.

Eyeliner – Save

Some of the higher end brands charge ridiculous amounts for eyeliner, and no matter how brilliant they are, I’m pretty sure you’d find one just as good in the drugstore. I’m not much of an eyeliner wearer (I usually just use a black eyeshadow and angled brush) but if I do want to dabble, I’d go for either the Elf liquid liners or one by Soap & Glory.

Mascara – Save

The only time I’ve ever tried a high end mascara was when I was given a couple of MAC ones as a gift, or if I’ve been given samples, and while I’ve liked most of them, I think you can get just as good in the drugstore. Bourjois and Maybelline do brilliant mascaras and mostly, I’ve liked every one of them that I’ve tried. If you’re looking for a new mascara I suggest you hit the isles of your local Boots, they’re bound to have just what your looking for at a much better price.

Lipstick – Save/Splurge

Most of the lipsticks I reach for everyday are from higher end brands. This is because I find their shade range to be much better than anything offered at the drugstore, and their pink shades are much more wearable (I always find drugstore pink lipsticks to be a bit ‘Barbie’) however, you can find some great lipsticks in the drugstore too. My favorites are the Nude Privee range from L’Oreal for a great nude, and the Revlon lipsticks.

My Money Saving Tips

TK Maxx – TK Maxx is a great place to shop for make up and hair care products. Mostly, I just go for hair care from here because in my local branch, the make up all looks like it’s been opened or used, but they have some serious bargains. It’s also great if you’re looking for acrylic makeup storage too.
Cohorted – Cohorted is a great site for saving a little bit of money on high end brands, and they always have something I’m interested in available. Basically, the more people who buy the product, the cheaper it gets and once the cohort is finished, everyone who purchased the product pays the same, low price. They have brands such as Nars, MAC, Too Faced and Sigma available so it’s definitely worth a look!

Boots Advantage Card – If you’re a make up lover, I’m sure you all know about this scheme. Basically, for every £1 you spend, you earn 4 points which can be exchanged for the price of a product. I love to save up my points then treat myself to something high end that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

I hope you found this post useful and if you would like to see more 'advice' posts like this one, then please let me know in the comments below!

Lots of Love, 

Becky x x


  1. I agree with most of these, although I find foundation has some gems in the drugstore shelves (rimmel wake me up all the way) and there's some fab lipsticks out there too which don't break the bank! x

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

  2. Well, I'm a high end girl at heart so I tend to really select my buys but always splurge... I pretty much agree on this though! Especially mascara, I love my L'Oreal ones ;) xx

    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty | GIVEAWAY

  3. I love my high end products but I can't look past a good drugstore lipstick or eyeshadow palette!

    Tweezers and Tongs

  4. What a great idea for a post! There are definitely things you can save really hit the nail on the head!

  5. I always save on mascara too! I've been using the same drugstore mascara for years, and I honestly think it works so much better than the samples of high end mascaras I've gotten! xo

  6. I always spend good money on my skin care and foundation as I think they are what determines how nice my make up looks but everything else i am pretty sure I could find good drugstore dupes for! Nice money saving tips too; I didn't know that TK maxx sold make up storage :)


  7. I completely agree with you, bases and foundations are SPLURGE you have to have a good product at the end of the day xxx

    Blonde of carbs

  8. Great post and tips, eyeshadow palettes and foundations are the only beauty/makeup items I splurge on these days. Sadly student budgets don't allow for much splurging though :(

    Sophie x

  9. Great post idea

  10. I always tend to splurge on concealer and foundations as I really do think you get what you pay for but with other products I like to mix up budget and highend xx

    Gemma // Miss Makeup Magpie

  11. I always use a combo of high end and low end when doing my makeup. I think the one product that I'm strictly one way or the other with is definitely bronzer...The trouble I find with a lot of drugstore bronzers is that they don't blend worth a darn or they are way too warm/shimmery, which does not go ever well for someone with fair skin!


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