Im interested to hear what beauty products you guys use. what will you splurge on and what can you find on the cheap? personally I wont spend big money on lipstick- my personal favourite is rimmel long last lipstick in shade rosetto rouge- nice light red color. For skin care I will always splurge and I find ultraceuticals vitamin a sheer cream is worth every penny. what about you guys?
I stay pretty low on the beauty product expenses as long as it works for me. My makeup is all by Cover Girl (foundation, eyeliner, mascara). I also use St. Ives apricot scrub, Olay day cream and night cream. Shower products...Pantene shampoo and Dove beauty bars. All effective for me, low cost, and accessible at Walmart :)
MAC eyeshadows and Dior mascara are always worth the price. For blush and foundation and whatnot, I usually go pretty cheap. For lipstick, it's MAC again. Glosses are easy to cheap out on. I love Nexxus ProMend for my hair. I wash my face with a mix of grapeseed and castor oils, so that's pretty thrifty, and leaves my skin so soft (and it removes makeup better than anything I've ever found).
Oh, crud, I forgot to mention brushes! Brushes are super important. Without good brushes, I could never do half of the eye makeups I love. Good brushes, cleaned regularly, are the secret to a good application.
Oh, I should also mention the hair color I now use :) Been using L'Oreal Feria for about a couple of years now since the Herbal Essences brand of hair color (which I've used for years) is no more. When I couldn't find Herbal Essences, the search was on for a new brand. First I tried Garnier Fructis. I tried their "no wash out" color protecting shampoo before and didn't like it. Although it does work, it smelled horrible and couldn't stand it! So I switched my to my Pantene ;) I thought I might give their hair color a shot though since as advertised, it was supposed to be good for your hair. Only used it once, and never again. I've been coloring my hair since I was 17 and used a few different brands, NEVER had anything on my hair that smelled as toxic as that shit did! The color itself dried my hair out soooo much (first for that), and with other brands I always got a generous tube of condition with each box. The little packets of conditioner that I got were not nearly enough. I don't normally condition my hair on a regular basis, just right after coloring and rinse out. I had to purchase more conditioner and treat my hair with it for about a week or two. So all in all I would say from my experience.. stay away from Garnier Fructis! After that I tried L'Oreal Feria hair color, loved it and never looked back :) It smells pretty, doesn't dry out my hair and comes with more than enough conditioner for me :)
I have to second a comment made earlier, splurge on brushes! I have Mac brushes and they are worth every penny, it makes applying makeup a thousand times easier. Never use the the little sponge applicator that comes with eyeshadow, they're crap.
I have a bunch of Mac eyeshadows, lipsticks, and glosses. My blush is also Mac. I don't wear foundation, just powder to de-shine my face. I get a lot at the drugstore too, my favorite lipstick is MIlani "rose hip" and its about $4 at the drugstore. If the color is pretty, I will probably buy it even if it is super cheap. I have never bought like $50 mascara or anything, Mac is the most expensive I'll go.
For skin care I use benefit and Aveeno stuff. It seems to be working pretty well, no complaints :)
I splurge a bit on hair care though, I dye my hair to a bright red so I want to take care of it. I got pretty damaged from the bleaching and coloring.
I use a variety of high end and drug store make up. I am a bit of a make up whore. :) I would describe my skin as combination - it's sometimes oily and sometimes dry. For my foundation primer I use Monistat Chafing Gel - no lie. It's actually for athletes to use to prevent chafing (duh as it says) but some brilliant being found it has the same ingredients practically as Smashbox's Foundation Primer! Monistat is about $7 for a big tube. Smashbox is about $42 for a smaller amount. Foundation and concealer I splurge on because I think it's important to have quality stuff. And I've yet to find a drugstore brand I love. For foundation I use Benefit Hello Flawless and I apply it with a kabuki brush (it's a powder). Love it. You can build coverage or just use a little. And it lasts quite awhile. If I want a heavier coverage I use Make up Forever HD foundation - it's pricey so I only use it occasionally and it's lasted awhile. My go to concealer of the moment is Lancome Waterproof. It gives me the best coverage so far (I get under eye circles) and doesn't settle into my fine lines. I splurge on eye shadow primer - I use Urban Decay's primer and I swear by it. And it lasts a long time since you don't need too much. I use drugstore mascara - I actually use two kinds - CoverGirl Lash Perfection for thickening and L'Oreal telescopic for lengthening. I also recently tried one called "Buxom Buxom" after reading about it on a blog - it's pricier and while I like it I will stick to my drugstore brands. I use Urban Decay eyeshadows. I think they are worth the extra $$- I generally use the Naked Palette. Love it. I also purchased a palette from Physician's Formula (drugstore) that worked well too - I basically wanted some nude/white/cream matte options. I've tried all kinds of eyeliners. I have a hard time getting a nice clean even line with liquid liner so switched over to Bobbi Brown gel liner - it's pricey but I love it and I really don't use a ton of it so I can see it lasting awhile. I use a Revlon cream blush. I use a bronzer from Benefit from Hoola for contouring and a little color. For my browns I keep going back to Cover Girl brown pencils. I've tried other things and I just don't love them. I use some brown powder to soften the lines of the pencil. I use drugstore lipsticks. I recently splurged on MAC Russian Red but otherwise I usually use Rimmel lipsticks. I like their "Vintage Pink" color. And I use good old carmex chapstick over my lipstick. I don't usually do a gloss because I don't like the sticky feeling. Is that everything? I think it is. :) I use a face soap called Lanoline Agg Tval which is an egg white soap from Sweden. I slather my face and hair and skin in coconut oil every night. I'm still looking for the perfect shampoo and conditioner. My hair gets super dry/static-y/flyaways in the winter (thanks Minnesota) so I'm still trying to find something that tames that. Currently I'm using tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner from Trader Joe's. I use to use Moroccan hair oil and while it helped my hair dry faster it didn't blow my mind so I stopped spending my money on it.
I love reading everyone else's recommendations. I may have to try the Neutrogena foundation/powder. I've heard other good things about it as well.
Just seen your comment about morrocan hair oil - about 6 months ago I very almost bought the expensive original version, and thought quite prudently I'll see if a cheaper one works for me before committing. I looked at some reviews and went with Avon's Morrocan Oil which costs me less than £5, and I love it! I'm really pleased with myself now that I decided against the one that cost 5 times that!
I smiled at your 'Minnesota' comment: I travel there a few times a year for work, and the cold and dry plays havoc with my hair and skin too!
I can second a lot of comments here - lipstick & blush I always buy cheap. I only really wear red matt lipstick, and even when I've spent £15 on them in the past, I find they don't usually last any longer. My go-to lipsticks are a mixture of Rimmel, Maybelline and Avon. No.7 from Boots in the UK are really great too - usually a little for expensive at about £8-£10. Regardless of the lipstick I'm wearing, I swear by Lipcote lipstick sealer - it works wonders on sealing lipstick to last all day. I did have a friend that suffered from dry and cracked lips, and she said it irritated hers - but I have never had any issues personally from using it daily. It won't work with glosses or shimmer/high shine lipsticks however.
Mascara is really a very personal thing - and it all depends what you require. Again, I have used more expensive Dior brands and cheap 'drugstore' £7 ones too. I have long lashes, but they're very fair and quite fine. I find a mascara with a large, thick 'traditional' brush works best for me instead of the newer plastic or comb brushes. I would definately advise to change mascaras every 3 months for hygiene reasons.
I suffer from ezcema around my eyes, so I avoid foundations. I think if you have good skin on the whole, use a tinted foundation instead of clogging your pores with a heavy base. I use Nivea tinted foundation. If I'm going out and want better coverage, I use L'oreal mineral power. It's good for sensitive skin although it may not be too great for mine if I were to wear it daily. It is a great product to adjust your own coverage level with it - you can start at light coverage and build it up if necessary.
I also don't wear eyeshadow, but my 'splurge' item is a Estee Lauder eyeshadow compact. There is a cool brown colour that I use for shading and shaping my eyebrows. I personally think if you are a blonde, a powder like an eyeshadow is better for defining brows, as pencils can look a little too heavy on fairer skin/hair types.
I have converted to a gel eyeliner over the last year or 18 months instead of a pencil or liquid for my eyelids now. I definately find a more expensive one is better than cheap to avoid smudges throughout the day. Currently I'm using Elizabeth Arden, although I think I will switch to Bobby Brown or Mac for my next purchase. A small pot of gel liner will last me about a year, so the return on a product even if it does cost me £20+ will still be pretty amazing. Brushes are very important however especially to get a good line.
Make up aside, I use a dermatalogical face wash called cetaphil - again great for sensitive/dry skin. One product I was lucky to find a couple of years back is Elizabeth Arden 8 hour rescue cream. It's an orangy coloured gel like substance which is pretty much a wonder product. It's great as a moisturiser for dry or irritated skin, soothes lips, adds a bit of gloss -and even has a slightly medicated property (according to legend Mrs Arden herself developed it for the recovery of her racehorses legs!) As you have probably gathered, my skin is pretty delicate - but it's also great and soothing for my small ezcema patches too!
My nightcream is Bodyshop's hemp protector - it's not marketed as a nightcream, but it feels really luxurious on and absorbs really well - again perfect for sensitive skin.
I'm currently also using Estee Lauder's night serum, which is pretty darn expensive - if anyone here can suggest any alternative night serums they've had success with, I'd be interested to hear! I bought it because of the rave reviews, but to be honest I haven't really seen much difference since using it. I'm approaching my big 3-0 later this year, and I have fine lines starting to appear that I can't stop noticing!
Shampoo and conditioner: I tend to go at least mid-range here, as a lot of cheaper shampoos contain silicones and parabens that although they give an instance result, they can actually do more harm to your hair rather than good. I used to bleach my hair and it was a dry wreck to be honest, so I used to have to buy higyh end shampoos and conditioners to offer the right protection. Now I've ditched the bleach and only dye every few months now, my hair is in 10 times better condition, so I found I no longer have to buy the expensive shampoos I used to. I'm currently mixting some salon brands in between a shampoo called 'A Touch of Silver' - it's basically a shampoo designed for grey and platinum blonde hair (although I'm neither!) but it's great for keeping blonde hair ashy and cool rather than getting warmer tones coming through. As I mentioned, I occassionally colour my hair (albeit only 1-2 shades lighter than my natural now) and this really helps blend my roots to my coloured hair, meaning I can go 2-3 months before re-colouring.
It varies for me. If at all possible, I try to make some of my beauty products (toner, facial scrubs, etc.) to save money. If I can find a cheaper option for stuff, I will ultimately go with it:
Brushes (splurge/save) - I do have 2 MAC brushes, but I've also found that E.L.F. brushes are fairly good too (depending on the line that you buy)
Primer (splurge) - This is one place that I have to splurge. Urban Decay Primer Potion is the only one that works for me. I don't use face primer.
Foundation (save) - Revlon Whipped Creme. The colour match is perfect for me so that isn't a splurge at all.
Eyeshadow (splurge/save) - I have Urban Decay's Naked palette 2 (which I love), but I am also a fan of L'Oreal's Infallible shadows and a few NYX shadows.
Eyeliner (save) - NYX 24 hour liners and Milani eyeliner.
Mascara (save) - I've never used an expensive mascara.
Lipstick (save) - Revlon. This is one place where I definitely won't spend a lot.