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You can separate all cosmetics into three categories:
Mascara- You replace this product every three months, so why shell out for the expensive kind when most of the cheap formulas are the same as the expensive ones?
Lipgloss- There is not much difference here either, anything clear or sheer is going to be the same as the pricey ones.
Eyeliner- Just make sure it goes on smoothly and isn't dry.
Nail polish- Formulas are the same and unless you use a great topcoat, neither will last more than a few days.
Trends- Anything trendy that you aren't sure will become a staple in your makeup wardrobe you should scrimp on. That bright lime shadow that was perfect for summer and now looks a little too much like lizard's eyelids for example.
Foundation- It's just too hard to find the right color of foundation because you can't try it on. There is also a wider variety of colors at the prestige level for almost all skin tones.
Eyeshadow- The quality and color selection of expensive eyeshadow is vastly superior to what's at the drugstore. They contain more pigment and will wear longer than the less-finely milled drugstore kind. The color is bold and vibrant and you use less overall so they actually last longer, too.
Blush- For the same reason as the eye shadows, and drugstore blushes tend to crumble and break apart. If you drop it, it's a goner. Department store ones will withstand a little rougher treatment in your makeup bag.
Bronzer- It tends to go on smoother and the color selection is better. Drugstore brands tend to be a little too dark or orange.
Brushes- Makeup quality brush hair makes application easier and smoother. Plus, if you take good care of them they'll last forever—it can be a one time only investment.
But pick and choose what works for you, and your budget. A combination of the two can save you money and will definitely round out your makeup collection.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|