There were sticky pink stripes marking the floor, vibrant patches of sparkling color sprinkled across the couch, and tiny black paw prints leading from a smashed smokey eye palette to the cat tree. The cats had evidently played beauty shop. I mean, after all, who can resist playing with designer makeup?
After scrubbing my designer makeup off every surface in the house, I made the decision that I would no longer invest vast amounts of my monthly budget in “high-end” makeup where it wasn’t necessary. Crack the code for cheaper beauty with these:
Happier Beauty Budget
What’s the Difference?
The hype surrounding high-end cosmetics is real, but might it be misplaced? While high-end products appear to produce more glamorous results, these formulas hardly differ from drugstore brands. That’s right, aside from the fragrances added to high-end makeup, most of the ingredients used are also found in drugstore versions.
So, if my high-end blush isn’t made up of fairy dust and is instead made with average blush ingredients, why is it that it looks more heavily pigmented and holds longer than drugstore makeup? It turns out, the main reason high-end makeup creates such a professional look is due to the high-quality applicators attached to it. Better materials and designs allow makeup to glide on skin smoothly and last much longer.
My philosophy is: invest in brushes and few other high-quality accessories–such as face wash, primer, and a long-lasting makeup setting spray–and stock your makeup bag with less expensive alternatives to designer makeup.
Pro tip: you can save even more money ordering makeup online instead of purchasing it in the store!
How to Pick High-End Makeup Brushes
I cannot stress what a difference it can make when you use the right brushes. I upgrade my collection of high-end makeup brushes so often, some might call it a hobby. Although I used to be in love with these, I have, like, a million other suggestions, including some brushes on my wish-list.
Here are some things to look for when picking out makeup brushes:
- Dome-shaped brushes tend to glide across the skin better than flatter brushes
- Natural bristle brushes (rather than those with synthetic fibers) are generally better because they have cuticles (like our hair) which help to hold and distribute makeup pigments well
- Brushes with flexible bristles fit better in the contours of your face
So, which brushes are worth your hard-earned money?
Here are my suggestions:
Pretty Much Any Brush from Morphe Brushes
Morphe Brushes are vegan, meaning they aren’t made with any animal products. Despite the fact that the bristles are synthetic, these beauties are great for applying makeup. Many of the brushes form a perfect dome shape, which helps you apply and blend makeup evenly without harsh lines or globs. I rarely recommend buying brushes in sets, but this particular collection is the perfect starter kit for makeup junkies who are new to Morphe Brushes.
Powder Brushes with Blue Squirrel Hair
Blue squirrel hair is the best natural hair you can find in makeup brushes. It’s softer and finer so it disperses powders evenly.
These Brushes That Totally Take Getting Used To
Okay, I know you’re all like: ‘what is that even?‘ But I promise you these brushes will totally improve your foundation application experience! These silly looking brushes help you apply liquid foundation evenly around your face. The small brushes can be used for more detailed application, including contouring. The bristles on these makeup brushes are so soft it fits well in all of your face’s contours. Once again, this is a set with synthetic hair, but the bristles are so soft and flexible you can hardly tell the difference!
What High-End “Makeup Accessories” Are Must-Haves?
Are you wondering which products are worth the splurge? I pay a little extra for the extras. If it’s something your makeup routine doesn’t absolutely need (think primer, foundation mixers, makeup setting spray…) it may be worth the extra bucks.
Splurgies in my makeup bag right now:
Just a tiny bit of NYX Pore Filler goes a long way. This stuff fills pores (without clogging them), making your pores invisible under your foundation. This isn’t a product that makes your pores looks smaller or less noticeable–this magic goo obliterates any traces of pores on your face. If you like the look of porcelain smooth skin, you might want to spend a little more to get this guy!
Everyone knows Smashbox Photo Finish Face Primer! This primer eliminates shine for a nice matte finish. Primer is totally worth the extra money, check out the benefits of primer and find your match here.
Eyelid primer helps your eyeshadow stay in place, resist visible creasing, and appear more pigmented. This primer is really effective and I find it can be worn without eyeshadow (due to its natural matte finish) to hold eyeliner in place.
I love this stuff. It’s not even that expensive! Add a few drops of opalescent foundation mixer to your normal foundation to create a beautiful opal-y finish. When you use a foundation mixer, you don’t need to use as much foundation. So, this actually helps to prolong the life of your foundation bottle!
You know those days when you just totally nail your makeup. You just look way awesome and you hope it lasts forever. On those days I need my Kat Von D Makeup Setting Spray. This spray is light, doesn’t feel sticky, and really helps your makeup last all day and all night. Sometimes I spray a little of this onto the eyeshadow I am applying to set it and enhance the pigmentation.