Best Drugstore VS Best High End Makeup

I should start by saying that I am definitely not a huge makeup buff, but I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to some amazing makeup artists at shoots who have educated me on what products they love and use. Obviously some of the stuff is ridiculously expensive, but surprisingly you can also find some great drugstore buys in their professionals kits. I thought it would be nice to share some of the best drugstore vs best high end makeup, and my guide for when it’s worth the splurge.


Splurge: This is one thing you should try to save up for, since you are essentially putting it over your entire face. Having premium ingredients here is important since the cheap stuff can end up looking caky and potentially really scary. High-end brands often contain high-tech anti-aging ingredients, and their formulas are perfectly blended to allow for a smoother, more even finish. For liquid foundations, you can never go wrong with Chanel, especially their new Chanel – Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting SFP 15 ($70), which gives a natural finish, is great for combination skin, and has an SPF 15. The Teint line is also really loved by makeup artists.

Save: This drugstore find –Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation is really popular because of it’s fluffy consistency which helps to give more even coverage. Some reviews I found did say it could be a little bit dense, so you just have to be sure to apply it with the proper foundation brush.

TIP: I personally do not use foundation. To even out my skin I use a drugstore moisturizer (Aveeno positively radiant with spf15) mixed with a dot of Khiels tinted dark moisturizer.

Undereye Concealer

Splurge: This is also a product to be weary of buying cheap since it runs the risk of looking caky if it is too dense or a poor quality formula. I personally use Yves Saint Laurent ANTI-CERNES Multi-Action Concealer
and it’s $36 on Amazon. It blends really well and never gets flaky.





Save: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller is really well liked since it goes on very light with an easy to you roller applicator, and blends really nicely into the skin. My girlfriend just worked with a Emmy winning makeup artist who also loves Maybelline  instant age rewind eraser that has a great applicator and goes on seamlessly.


Spurge: I personally LOVE stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Peony ($25). I have been using it for years since it goes on really easily and leaves a nice dewy finish. If this stuff were to ever get discontinued, I may have a minor breakdown.

Save: This mousse blush from Maybelline is made with silicone which prevents caking, and also has jojoba oil as one of its main ingredients. It is easy to apply and goes on nice and evenly for a fraction of the high-end price.




Splurge: Bronzer is something that I use daily, and year round since it prevents me from having to get a nasty smelling spray tan. After I apply my tinted moisturizer combo listed above, I use Chanel’s Soleil Tan De Chanel bronzer on my face and neck. My best friend who used to work at the Chanel counter recommended this to me, and even though it’s pricey, it lasts forever and is not glittery (because no one needs to be looking like a 12 year old).

Save: I have many friends who use this NYC brand bronzer and really love it. I haven’t tried it personally, but it gets great reviews and is super inexpensive.



Splurge: I have grown to really love liquid eyeliner. The best one I have found so far is Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Intense Black ($20). It never dries out and is the easiest liquid liner application I have ever used.

Save: A nice alternative to the Stila brand is this one from L’oreal. It’s important to have a liquid liner with a felt tip for easier and smoother application, and many makeup artists choose this one.


Save: I only use drugstore brand mascara. I tried out the Dior Show brand and found that it was really thick and clumpy. The drugstore brands I love the most are L’oreal’s Telescopic, as well as their Voluminus line. Another favorite among makeup artists is Maybellines Great lash (famous for the green and pink container) it’s a favorite among everyone else too — someone in the US buys one tube every 1.7 seconds. It must be good. 


Splurge: I generally use higher end eyeshadow since I stick to what I like and don’t really experiment that much. The shadows I love the most are the Dior 5 coleurs iridescent ($56)and the shadows from  Stila which are super pigmented and go for $18/each.

Save: Sephora’s brand of shadows have proven to be really great, and go for $16 for a duo. Another favorite is Loreal’s HIP duos – which are half the price of that.


So the next time you’re out makeup shopping, don’t forget to try out these options based on your budget. Shop somewhere with a great return policy when it comes to makeup, especially if you’re unable to try it first… and remember, not every brand will work for you based on your coloring and skin type, so please don’t send me hate mail if you try something and end up looking like a broke-down Kardashian.


  1. I found out that the liquid eyeliner´s from the drugstore dry out fast on me. So I actually think that my 32€ Guerlain Liquid liner might last longer.. (it has a large amount of liquid -shake-up priduct) BUT I have it only for a 2 month or so..

  2. Pingback: Budget Beauty Tricks From a Frugal Model - The Frugal Model

  3. I disagree about buying under eye concealer cheap, I have one from Rimmel London, called Perfect Match Concealer. that was about $5 and it works wonders. It doubles as a highlighter too. I have tried higher end concealers too and they didn’t work as well as the Rimmel did. The higher end ones didn’t cover as well and caked up..

  4. When should we splurge and when should we save on lipstick?

    • I personally don’t wear lipstick – but in the past I’ve tried both MAC and Revlon lipsticks with the same results. I would save on this one!

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