As host of Divalicious blog (http://divaliciousblog.com), I am constantly testing new products – from every beauty brand at every beauty price point. I happen to think that more often than not, you can use whatever you’ve got to get gorge so long as you pull out your application tricks and technique.
Having said that, there are a few key beauty items you should never skimp on. Ever.
And on National Splurge day, I encourage you to do just that – SPLURGE. Because for these particular products, your beauty ROI (return on investment) will eliminate any post-purchase guilt.
You really should spend a lil extra on these quality goods…
1. Primer – If you don’t prime your canvas, you can’t expect the final artwork to look flawless. And I’m talking flawless upon application and flawless hours later. There is a reason all makeup artists begin with primer. I personally love MAC Matte and MAC Prep + Prime Skin. MAC Matte is ideal for women with combination/oily skin or anyone looking to achieve an even, matte face especially in the summer. MAC Prep + Prime Skin is amazing on all skin types as the first step preceding foundation, powder and concealer in your daily makeup routine.
2. Brushes – Quality brushes = quality application. Great brushes have the ability to make even not-so-great product look much MUCH better. It’s all about placement and blending… if you have the right tools. I love Smashbox, Stila, MAC and Jane Iredale brushes. Check out your local department store or a nearby Sephora where you will find a wide variety of different brushes for different uses. Invest in the brushes that will best suit your regimen. For example, if you only wear sheer lipgloss, don’t spend on a nice lipbrush. And if you prefer to pat concealer over a blemish with a finger, don’t buy a concealer brush. But for a smokey eye, if that’s the look you want, there are many brushes to aid in achieving it.
3. Concealer – I use all different concealers on myself and on clients. Some are creams, some are liquids, some are sticks. The key with concealer is to go slightly lighter than your perfect-match skin shade so whether you use powder or foundation it will still cover and/or brighten areas that are imperfect. Plus, there are also correcting concealers that apply color theory (i.e. green to camouflage redness) to fix more prominent problem areas. MAKEUP FOR EVER has great correcting color palettes.
4. Eye Shadow – When it comes to color, you usually have to pay a little more for a true, saturated shade payoff. Here’s why. If you fall in love with the perfect grey or green in its container, don’t you want to see that identical grey or green on your face – and not its diluted and drab cousin?! That requires a better formulation with more intense pigments. Pay for it. Otherwise, you are left admiring pretty colors in your makeup bag but not on your face. The color investment is, hands down, best spent on eye shadow. I recommend Bare Escentuals shadow for quality loose pigments that still won’t break the bank. Just remember when using loose powder to always tap and dust your brush before applying.
5. Lipstick – As with anything that gets THISCLOSE to your mouth, it should smell good, it should taste good, it should look good, it should feel good. Girls, consider that gospel! So shop around for lipsticks that do all of the above. It should have a pleasing or nonexistent scent, it should have a delicious or unnoticeable taste, it should make you look like a million bucks and it should make you feel like a billion more. And if it’s not going to stick around for a while, it doesn’t deserve your fine lips to begin with. Lipsticks I’m currently obsessing over include the BFF-approved Lip Lights, Shiseido Perfect Rouge, NARS Lipstick and YSL Rouge Pure Shine.
Where to shop, you ask??
Your local Bloomies or Sephora, or online at, maccosmetics.com, bareescentuals.com and *of course* BFFBeautyShop.com.
PS: If you are interested in my personal favorite shades or any additional info, please feel free to include questions in the comment area.