Save, Spend, or Splurge?


People always underestimate the power of primer, but it’s important for various reasons. If you have very oily or very dry skin — it can help to combat either problem, it prolongs the longevity of your foundation, and it helps create a barrier so that the foundation affects your skin less. Personally, I cannot bring myself to splurge on a primer, simply because it’s something I use so often. It’s gotten to the point where I cannot apply — or even think of applying my foundation without a primer. So yes, if I am out of primer I do not wear foundation.

Rimmel Stay Matte primer retails for about 7CDN in Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and Wal Mart.

VERDICT: Save! Because primer is crucial — similar to a face wash or a moisturizer; you’ll find yourself buying it regularly. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer retails for about 7CDN in Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and Wal Mart.


If you hardly wear makeup, or only opt for foundation when you have a special occasion of some sort then you might want to go ahead and invest in a foundation that works very well for you — this does not necessarily mean that you will have to shell out big bucks. It is also important to keep in mind that all cosmetic items do in fact have a shelf life — after a certain period of time, you can no longer use them. The benefit of purchasing a high-end foundation is that the experts will be able to match you perfectly to one that works for your skin tone or skin type. However if this doesn’t work for you then go ahead and try L’Oreal’s True Match — even makeup artists use this one.

VERDICT: Spend! If you purchase a high-end foundation you can always return it if you find it doesn't work for you and most places usually offer a 'makeover' if you spend about 50CDN. Many drugstore foundations are also very high quality -- however you won't know if it's a perfect match until you've tried it out (and then you probably won't be able to return it)

VERDICT: Spend! If you purchase a high-end foundation you can always return it if you find it doesn’t work for you and most places usually offer a ‘makeover’ if you spend about 50CDN. Many drugstore foundations are also very high quality — however you won’t know if it’s a perfect match until you’ve tried it out (and then you probably won’t be able to return it)



If your makeup routine is pretty low maintenance, i.e. brows, mascara and liner, hiding any blemishes and then finishing off with a little lip color, go ahead and splurge on concealer. It’s such an integral part of your beauty routine, and personally I find that most drugstore concealers are a bit chalky — not just on darker skin tones. High-end concealers tend to cover up more, therefore you’ll end up using a small amount each time; a high-end concealer will last you a long time. Again you will be matched by an expert and it will most likely be eligible for return within 30 days accompanied with a legitimate proof of purchase.


VERDICT: Splurge! The MAC Pro Longwear concealer pictured here is about 23CDN when tax has been added. I’ve used this say 4 times a week for the past 6 months; one of the best items in the arsenal that is my makeup bag.


If you don’t use eyeshadow often — do not splurge. Because as much as that Naked by Urban Decay is calling your name, and you probably also think that spending 18CDN on one shadow by MAC is a brilliant idea while you’re at the mall…there are better alternatives. Go ahead and try some shadows by NYX, L’Oreal or even Maybelline. I see so many people throw out their drugstore quads, or neglect them simply because they wanted ‘a real palette’, when really all they needed to do was invest in some primer.


VERDICT: Save! Whether you’re a newbie or a junkie, an affordable eye shadow still works well. So long as it has been primed properly then the color payoff will be lovely.


I find that eyeliner tends to sometimes be a ‘hit or miss’ situation, for some people Urban Decay’s eyeliner in Perversion is the best they’ve ever tried. However I’ve tried it, and after one yawn it was off my waterline — which is why I returned it, because for 22CDN you need to be able to at least last through three yawns and 30 minutes of a very sad movie. Black Lace by The Sephora Collection works well for me, and at 6CDN (for the miniature travel size) there’s not much to complain about.


VERDICT: Spend! Go ahead and try the Sephora Collection — the color selection is quite impressive. At 11CDN a pop, I could definitely see myself slowly collecting these


This is a no-brainer, drugstore mascaras are pretty much all I use. Have I tried high-end mascaras? Yes. Did they impress me enough to have me spending on them? Nope. I can count on one hand (ahem, finger) how many high-end mascaras have actually impressed me — that’s right, the only one that has ever had me considering shelling out big bucks is Benefit’s “They’re Real!” not that I went ahead and spent 23CDN on it anyway. Maybelline has a mascara for every need you could possibly have. From The Falsies, to Illegal Lengths to The Rocket — they’ve got you covered!


VERDICT: Save! L’Oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes has often been likened to YSL’s Babydoll Mascara. The former retails for about 11CDN, while the latter is 30CDN at Sephora before HST has been added.


I think that everyone should own more than one shade of blush — because you’d be surprised to see how many different shades flatter your skintone! However, if you’re (honestly) one of those people that believe makeup should always be bought in a department store, and each item should cost more than 15CDN then go ahead and buy what the salesperson persuaded you to. Do keep in mind however, that blush does in fact have a shelf life, so before you spend 30CDN on NARS Orgasm think about how many times you’ll actually use it. Is it more 4 times a year or 10 times in a 30-day period?


VERDICT: Save! You’ll be able to try out more colours and while high-end blushes are nice, the difference is not distinct. MAC Mineralize Blush in Lovejoy works well for 30CDN, but both Milani Cosmetics and NYX Cosmetics make very impressive blushes for under 15CDN.


Lip Products

If your version of wearing makeup is simply putting on some lipstick whenever you’re feeling a bit fancy, then go ahead and splurge! Because in this case, it’s essentially a treat. Beauty junkies such as myself however, tend to collect (have slight obsessions) with various lip products. Maybe you have a ‘go to’ lip colour that you’ve been wearing for years and can’t bear to part with, go ahead and spend! If you’re new to makeup, then save and try out some of the lipsticks offered by Revlon (Black Cherry review here) and Maybelline (Hot Plum review here).


VERDICT: Splurge! I personally don’t splurge on lip products, i.e. If you’re going to cost more than 20CDN you better be coming good. Saving doesn’t always work I’ve found — some drugstore lip products are hit and miss. Revlon, Maybelline and MAC are hands down my favourite brands for lip products.


Finishing Powder and Setting Spray

Unless you’re going to be on camera quite often or taking many pictures with flash, there really isn’t much need for a finishing powder that’s too expensive — the same goes for setting spray. Many inexpensive setting powders still work very well and leave you without that unsightly white cast in photos. It’s also important to consider that you won’t always need to be setting your makeup.


VERDICT: Spend! for 15CDN Urban Decay’s travel size setting spray not only works well, but lasts for a surprisingly long time — I’ve had mine from January and now in July I finally need a new one. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil in Illuminating for 20CDN is what I use in conjunction with my setting spray — it has been lasting me since December.



Close friends of mine call me the Bargain Hunter for a reason — I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s better to just spend or splurge on something, but I also have an inkling when it comes to sales and finding things that work well for less — makeup brushes. They’re worth investing in…if you plan to use them often (at least 10 times for the month). If you’re new to makeup brushes or you’re on a budget, then you really don’t need to be spending more than about 20CDN on any one brush.


VERDICT: Save! While brands such as MAC and NARS do make impressive brushes, Spa Resource, Bdellium Tools and Real Techniques are also worth trying out. Real Techniques’ Core Collection is about $20 and you’re getting 4 brushes that are high quality and each has more than one purpose.

I know this was a pretty long post, but I do hope that is was helpful to some of you. Way too often I see people — close friends of mine included, purchase products that they hardly use. Either because they don’t know how to or they lose interest, and of course (for some strange reason) they didn’t want to return it. Saving, spending or splurging essentially comes down to your budget and what you feel comfortable with. Think that ALL your lipsticks need to be MAC even if it might do serious damage to your bank account? Go right ahead!


2 thoughts on “Save, Spend, or Splurge?

  1. Great post! I am always wondering if I should spend or save on things. For me, I splurge on foundations (MUFE HD Foundation I am looking at you) and eyeshadows (because I will forever choose a palette over mixing and matching single eyeshadows to create a look). Have you tried the RImmel Stay Matte Powder? It is so wonderful and finley milled you can never look cakey. I use the translucent colour and it is perf!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks boo! I sampled that MUFE HD Foundation and it is everything good in this life. It’s pricey, but I think it’s worth it. I agree w/the palettes too, because many of them are really well put together — especially if you get a lot of use out of it. I haven’t tried the Stay Matte powder, but I’ve heard great things!


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