Foundation primer is something that I cannot go without, while there are a lot of people who say it isn’t necessary, and go without it. I have very oily skin with rouge dry patches, so if I don’t use the right primer, my foundation melts off the second I step outside. There are so many different types of primers (pore-filling, luminizing, mattifying, hydrating) that it is hard to speak so generally, but I have to say I much prefer my higher end primers. The Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizers are by far the best primers I have ever used. The smoothing one fills in the large pores around my nose, while the matte one keeps me from looking shiny all day. If you are someone with easy, problem-less skin, then I would say skip the primer or save your money and go drugstore. But if you are like me and want your make up to last all day despite oiliness, dryness, large pores or any other issues, you might want to check out some mid to high end brands.
Foundation is something so personal and unique to each face, so I cannot really say whether to splurge or save. I have drugstore foundations that I love for certain reasons, and high end ones I love for different reasons. When I do my face for an hour long class, I tend to reach for my cheaper products, like my Revlon Colorstay. When I know I am going to be photographed and need to look airbrushed, I grab any of my MUFE foundations. When my skin is dull and I need to look bright, I grab my Tarte Rainforest Water foundation. It all depends on what exactly you are looking for. My best advice for finding the right foundation to spend your money on it do your research, read reviews, and get some samples from Sephora! I know it can feel awkward asking for a million different samples, but when you are spending $30-$5o on something, you want to make sure you love it!
I like to split my concealers into two main categories: spot concealers and under eye concealers. There are many that can do both, I tend to prefer thin, moisturizing products for under my eyes. When looking for under eye concealer, I need something that won’t crease or look flakey, and I usually find myself buying more expensive concealers like my NARS RCC or Urban Decay Naked Skin. When I break out, I want something thick with a lot of coverage to cover up my pimples. I love pot concealers for heavy duty coverage. If you don’t have intense dark circles to cover up like me, drugstore concealers are perfect! I love using the Maybelline Fit Me on days when my circles aren’t too purple.
I rarely use powder to set my whole face, but I use it daily to set my concealer under my eyes and to blur out any imperfections. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said that the only powder worth owning was the Laura Mercier Loose Powder, but not I have a few favorites. Most of them are a bit pricey, but I have one holy grail product that is super cheap: the RCMA No Color Powder. For only twelve bucks you get 3 ounces of amazing product. I have been using mine almost daily for two months and it looks untouched. I say save your money and go for the RCMA powder!
While some of my favorite blushes are high end, I also have so many from the drugstore that I adore. The Wet N Wild Color Icon blushes are amazingly pigmented and long lasting, while also being super cheap. While the drugstore may have all the colors you are looking for, not all of them are as long lasting as some of the pricier products on the market. IF you are looking for a blush that will last you all day, I suggest finding a cream formula that works for you, and then add more powder blush on top of that.
When it comes to contouring, the perfect shade match is all that matters. I think that if you find the absolute perfect shade for your skin, you should spend the money on it. There are definitely some cheaper or drugstore options, but you shouldn’t settle for a $10 powder when there is a $30 one that suites your skin perfectly. Contouring is not necessary at all, and most go without it, but if you want to try it out, try out some different shades. A touch too orange and you look like a cheeto. A touch too gray and you look dusty and dead. There is a very specific shade for you, and when you find it, snatch it up!
I love bronzers, both expensive and cheap! My two favorite bronzers are the NARS Laguna bronzer and the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, both at different ends of the price point spectrum. Like a contour shade, the perfect bronzer shade for you is very specific and unique, so once you find one that makes you look perfectly bronzed and glowy, I suggest spending the money on it. It is easy to go overboard with bronzer, so try to find a shade that isn’t too warm, or you’ll end up orange. I suggest going mid to high end, but if you do want to find one at the drugstore, I would look at Physician’s Formula bronzers. They have the best formula and shades at the drugstore in my opinion.
Highlighters are probably my favorite make up product to hoard. They are all so pretty and different, I just can’t get enough! Up until a few months ago, I would’ve said that to find a nice highlighter, you needed to spend minimum $20. Lately though I’ve been finding some really amazing highlights from the drugstore. The new Wet N Wild summer highlights are stunning! My favorite brand of highlights though is, of course, Becca. They give you the most stunning glow, and they have different shades perfect for different skin tones. Experiment with different shades and brands and find the product that really makes you look lit from within!
Not many people use setting sprays daily, so I don’t see the point in spending a crazy amount of money on something you might only use once a week. I have tried a few, and have fallen in love with the Skindinavia Finishing Spray, which is a bit on the pricey side. NYX makes a few different sprays worth trying from the drugstore. Then there are some crazy expensive ones like the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist which seem kind of ridiculous to me, but to each their own.
Let me know what face products you splurge on!