Where To Splurge and Where To Save In Your Makeup Collection

Where To Splurge and Where To Save In Your Makeup Collection - Where To Invest Your Money In Your Makeup CollectionWe all know that being a makeup lover can be an expensive hobby. There’s always new releases, different formulas and hyped up products to try. But over the years of my beauty obsession, I’ve come to realise that there are some places where you can save and other areas where you should splurge. With some products, the budget brands haven’t quite caught up with the more expensive products when it comes to quality or shade selection. So I thought I’d share my insights on the areas of makeup that I reckon are worth investing in.

Now, as always, take everything I say with a grain of sand because I simply don’t know everything. And even though I say some things are worth the splurge, that doesn’t mean you have to. I’m a strong believer in budget makeup – if you keep searching, you should be able to find a good formula for just about any price. But there’s something lovely about dropping a couple of extra dollars on that ‘investment piece’, don’t you think?

Worth The Splurge


This one could really go in either category but if you’re after a primer to help with skin concerns such as oiliness or acne, it’s worth really finding one that works, no matter the cost. I have plenty of budget favourites but for my skin type, I’m normally not that high maintenance. But when I’m having a bad skin day, I love reaching for my higher end products that are really tried and tested.

My top recommendations include Stila One Step Correct & Smashbox Light Photo Finish Primer*.


The name foundation says it all, really. Foundation really is the base of your entire makeup. So even though there are some awesome budget alternatives if you find a base that makes your skin look absolutely flawless and it costs a couple more dollars, it’s worth sticking to it. Particularly if you have troublesome or sensitive skin. Same goes with concealer, most of my favourite formulas are a little pricier but well worth it when it comes to brightening my undereye area and concealing spots.

My top recommendations include Estée Lauder Double Wear & NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser.


I’ve yet to find a truly incredibly drugstore highlighter. Sure, there are some lovely ones, but when if you’re really after something intense, look to spend a couple more dollars on it. The formulas just seem to be a little better. They last better on the skin, they’re more intense and the shade range is normally a little more extensive.

My top recommendations include Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors* & The Balm Mary Lou Manizer.


Sure, there’s plenty of good eyeshadow formulas that can be found for a cheaper price but for a lot of people – a pretty shadow palette is the heart and soul of their collection, why not splurge a little more on it? Particularly if you’re a one eyeshadow palette kind of girl. You need something that’ll cover all of your bases with a formula that just won’t let you down. And I find that the higher end brands just get the job done a little better.

My top recommendations include the LORAC Pro Eye Palette & the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.

Save Your Pennies


Powder, for me, is an essential, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to set down your foundation and concealer. There are plenty of cheaper options available that do just as great a job. You just need something finely milled that doesn’t look cakey or powdery. Definitely achievable – a lot of my favourite powders are found in the drugstore.

My top recommendations include the Savvy CC Powders & Models Prefer Soft Touch Mineral Powder.


Every brand under the sun seems to do cheek products and just about all of them do them well. I have favourite blushes that cost me $50 and dupes that cost me $10. So this is definitely an area where you can save yourself some money. Drugstore brands seem to be doing a better job of releasing better shade ranges and better formulas so it’s well worth looking there first.

My top recommendations include Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Blush & Physicians Formula’s Butter Bronzer.


I think it’s mainly because of the 3-month expiration date on mascaras but I’ve never been one to really spend a huge amount on mascara. Especially when I know I can get a great formula at the Maybelline stand. Sure, I definitely have some higher end favourites but they’re definitely not an essential. In the end, there can only really be so much difference in the results anyway.

My top recommendations include Maybelline Lash Sensational* & Maybelline Full n Soft.


Eyeliner was one of the first makeup products, when you think about it. So it makes sense that brands have the formula pretty much down pat by now. Whether it’s pencil, gel or liquid eyeliner, the budget brands have a bunch of awesome options. I personally only reach for eyeliner every once in a while so for me, it’s a no brainer to save my extra money on something I’ll use more.

My top recommendations include Models Prefer Infinite Color Eye Pencil & Maybelline Master Precise.


For me, this one could go either way. There are so many awesome formulas that can be found in the budget market but also, there’s something lovely about having that one super fancy lipstick that makes you feel special whenever you put it on. Nevertheless, if you’re just after a reliable formula and a great colour range, the drugstore should have you covered. For a while there, the budget brands didn’t quite get it right on the matte finishes but lately, there have been a couple of awesome releases.

My top recommendations include Rimmel The Only 1 Lipsticks* & Burt’s Bees Lipsticks*.

Where do you like to invest your money in your routine?

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*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
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  • I have a budget to stick to, so generally buy drugstore. I am determined to splurge on a highend foundation some day!

    Indie// In Search of the Holy Grail

    • Totally understandable, it’s great that there are still so many awesome options at the drugstore! Hopefully one day soon!

  • You’re absolutely right about being an expensive hobby haha, I’m currently on a no buy. I agree with your list but lately I’ve been buying more high end products. 🙈

    Valeria | My Kinda Obsession

    • That’s another great way of looking at it – start off your collection with budget buys and gradually add in higher end products to the mix!

  • That’s very fair enough – skincare can get quite expensive, too! I love L’Oreal Pro Matte but Estee Lauder Double Wear definitely beats it in my opinion!