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Ugh. You that thing where you have an idea for a post but you know you’re going to change your stance on it a billion times whilst you’re writing it? This is a subject that’s very close to my heart because I LOVE drugstore makeup. So so much. I don’t really care about fashion since I’m all about comfort and pjs, and I’m not bothered about shoes or bags or anything like that – makeup is my thing. And I like it to be cheap. Because why waste money on a product which does a brilliant job? Why am I even asking the question: can buying high-end makeup save you money?
I’m gonna divvy up this post into two parts – here’s the first one:
Can buying high-end makeup save you money? No.
I freaking love drugstore makeup. So so much. This is my favourite foundation (it’s £6 and AWESOME) from Barry M – an awesome dupe for the Oxygen one from Benefit, my fave concealer from Collection that’s currently £4…seriously high performing products that rock my socks.
When there are such great products available on the high street there is no reason to buy high end. Sure, the Naked palettes are incredible: buttery, pigmented and gorgeous, but they’re also £40, which seems ridiculous when there are dupes that are a tenth of the price (check out this one from MUA). I’m not pretending the quality’s going to be the same, and it might take a couple of swipes to build up the pigmentation, so you’ll go through it more quickly, but unless you use ten times the amount of product, you’re making a substantial saving. Bear in mind, you literally pour this stuff down the drain every night.
It’s important to remember that it’s highly likely that both high and low-end products are made in the same factories, using the same ingredients (there’s a reason Chanel and Bourjois smell the same) and the same technology. The trends remain the same: remember when Hourglass brought out liquid lipsticks? It was only matter of months before NYX and L’oreal were introducing their own ranges. You might have to wait longer for your fancy new formula, but the drugstore will develop it. Think of things like micellar water, cleansing oils and setting sprays – they were only a twinkle in the researchers eye a couple of years ago and now you can pick up decent ones for under a fiver.
There are a few instances where drugstore products are actually superior to their high-end counterparts – think of the Maybelline Color Tattoos, Real Techniques brushes, Soap & Glory hot cloth cleanser… don’t automatically think that you’re compromising performance by going drugstore.
You wouldn’t think I’d be able to pull together an argument claiming that you can save money by buying high-end makeup, but I can. Let me explain…
Can buying high-end makeup save you money? Yes.
Here’s the thing: I LOVE makeup. I may have already mentioned it…the problem I have with drugstore makeup is that there’s so much of it. I spend a lot of my spare time watching beauty YouTubers, dreaming that one day I’ll be able to afford an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (heart eyes emoji, followed by money flying away emoji) but in the mean time waiting for a decent drugstore dupe. And when they inevitably arrive, I will try them. All of them.
You see, I really want to try the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer, but balk at the £17.50 price tag. HOWEVER, I think nothing of going to Superdrug and dropping £20 on four products I’ll probably never get around to using. Do you see? I have a massive collection of cheap makeup that I couldn’t ever use, even if I was given four extra faces for Christmas. The few high-end pieces I have (hey, Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette) I cherish and use and love.
Do you see? If you’re a normal person with a normal appetite for makeup, just stick to the drugstore. Find what you like and stick with it. There’s no reason at all you couldn’t populate your entire makeup bag for under £30. Note: get your eyebrow pencil from BH Cosmetics – not the brow gel unless it’s clear, because it’s really glittery.
HOWEVER, if you’re a makeup addict like me, save up for the high-end stuff. It’ll satiate your need in a way a million drugstore lipsticks won’t.
Additional hint and tips
- Use this mascara from Essence. Mascara doesn’t last long so isn’t worth the splurge.
- OMG set a budget, or this could go downhill fast. Maybe £20 a month.
- Do your damn research – Makeup Alley and YouTube are great places for advice and recommendations. If you’re spending the money on high-end, you do not want a dud. Try getting samples – they’re often available on eBay and Feel Unique do incredible ones.
- Don’t continue buying a high-end product unless you genuinely love it. Often we convince ourselves we like something we spent a lot of money on because it makes us feel better. Also, there is a bit of a placebo effect – we perceive an expensive product as being good just because it cost a lot of money. Not necessarily the case!
- Don’t fall into the trap of buying all the new palettes. You don’t need them. This is a mantra I’m repeating to myself on a constant loop.