Scrimping & Splurging on Cosmetics: Powders & Creams, Eyeliner & Mascara

As I discussed in our first article in this series, there is a time to scrimp and a time to splurge on beauty supplies. It is a fact that higher-quality brands cost more for good reason, and that not all cosmetics are created equal. But in this age, having the best of everything can be impossible, or it can really strain your budget at the very least. In the first article, we have established that investing in great skin care and a high-quality, treatment-based foundation and/or mineral powder is the way to go. Now, here are some more products that you can scrimp or splurge on: Powders & Creams, Eyeliner & Mascara.

Guerlain shadow palette

Blushers, eyeshadows and highlighting powders from the expensive brands are more finely-milled than drugstore brands, meaning easier blendability and a satiny application. You can also get by with using less product, so you save money by investing in the better brands, but sometimes it’s hard to justify spending $90 on a Guerlain eyeshadow palette, above, despite its luxury formula and stunning packaging.

In addition to the powder being more finely milled, the colors of expensive brands are often much better as well. Cheaper cosmetic companies do not capture the essence of nuanced tones. Colors are often more obvious and amateurishly executed, and metallics can look foiled instead of luminous. Therefore, when bargain shopping for color you must go forth with a very discriminating taste.

Blush need not be costly. My number one tip is regarding color, and my number two tip is regarding application, and my number three tip is regarding the formula. First, you must choose a subtle color, not a garish one, and use sparingly across the apple of the cheek from directly under the pupil swept toward the ear. Be judicious. Nothing looks more desperate and crazy than a girl all dolled up with too much blush, or with misplaced blush, which can widen the face and make it look fat. Finally, powders always go on last, and it is often best to use the same formula that you last left on your face when dealing with powders and creams–ie.–if you put on a cream-based foundation, you can use a cream blush, unless you powdered it down. In that case, use a powder blush. And did I say be judicious?

Sonia kashuk blush

Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk makes great powder and cream blushers for Target, $9.79. These blushers are a bargain compared to MAC blushers, which cost more than double that price, or Tom Ford blushers, which sell for $56. It is just not necessary to spend that kind of money on blush. Sonia’s colors are excellent and you will use a small amount.

It really is nice to work with eyeshadows that are finely milled with the consistency of confectioner’s sugar. But these eyeshadows can break the bank. If you can afford Dior and Guerlain, go for it…Those are two of my favorite brands.

Sonia kashuk eye quad

But if you’re working on a restricted budget, choose to invest in your skin first and foremost, because Sonia Kashuk also makes great eyeshadows, $13-$20, in lovely palettes above and below, that resemble Urban Decay’s Naked collection you’ll find at Sephora.

Sonia kashuk eye palette

My favorite eyeshadows actually come from a cosmetic and brow boutique in Southern Cal. It’s the ever-fabulous Senna Cosmetics, founded by cosmetic giant, Eugenia Weston. Because I am not a working makeup artist, I am completely content buying single eyeshadows in lieu of a palette of shades. Eugenia’s eyeshadows come in never-ending finishes and the hippest colors. The singles are $18 each. Invest in two or three and you should be good to go. If the price point is still too high, you can always get a palette by the aforementioned Sonia Kashuk.

Eye m glam model

The highlighting powder you use on your cheekbones and eyes should be a shimmering flesh tone, and it’s great to have a bright white highlighting powder as well. These are good basic products to have that will give you a highly-dramatic glam look, as seen above or, a casual dewy beach glow all year round. You are using an infinitesimal amount, remember, but the subtlety of the color is everything. The shimmer should be rich and warm, the texture, silky smooth so that your skin looks radiant and flawless. Darker skinned women and the fair-complected can both go for the custom blended pigments by Giella. You will need the peachy-pink, golden-coppery hue, Eye M Glam, below right, and the brilliant white B-Dazzle, left. I’ve shown swatches below.

B dazzle and eye m glam

I loooove the Eye M Glam–Giella’s custom blended highlighter, created by one of my absolute favorite makeup artists–Kim Kardahshian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic. It’s $35, and it is awesome! Worth every cent.

Kim and mario

Do you see the radiance of Kim’s skin in the photo above, where she is pictured with Dedivanovic? Look at the highlight on her brow bone and cheeks. That’s Mario’s Eye M Glam at work. It’s not too frosty or too metallic. And it is so fine that it practically melts into the skin. Gorgeous. If you prefer a cream highlighter, you absolutely must try SeneGence International’s liquid Pearlizer. A bottle of this stuff should last you, literally, at least two years. I’m not even exaggerating. You just need a teeny bead of product and it gives the same effect as the Eye M Glam, but in a luscious cream formula. Read my review about the Pearlizer here.

These highlighting products are necessary splurges, and the product will last hella long so it’s worth the investment.

Maybelline liquid black eyeliner

It is best to have a collection of both kohl and crayon pencils and one liquid liner at the least. Pencils can be from the drugstore. Maybelline Ultra Liner waterproof liquid liner in black is a must-have. It’s six bucks at Target. And I also like the felt-tip pen liquid liners made by MAC and Senna Cosmetics. With these products you should be able to create any desired outcome on the eyes.

Sisley mascara

Mascara is worth investing extra money if you have it. Sisley’s mascaras are awesome, and the wand for their So Intense mascara, above, is very specific, meaning it traps every single hair, and it comes in a cool assortment of colors. I like the blue one. It’s a really great formula, and I love it, but it’s $66. Ellis Fass makes a very nice mascara, although it is hard to find in America. I believe you can only get it at Net-A-Porter. I get most of my makeup free from the cosmetic companies, but I sometimes have to buy mascara because it’s that one thing that goes bad rather quickly, and should be replaced regularly before it dries out.

L oreal mascara

If you don’t want to spend a ton on mascara, L’Oreal makes good ones. I like their Voluminous Mascara. It’s a good choice.

This concludes our second segment on scrimping and splurging. Next stop: Lips. I will summarize the best in beauty at pleasing price points. Until next time…Peace. Love. Beauty.

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