I love cosmetics. I especially love drooling over high end makeup. Some may think it's insane to spend more on a single makeup product than I would on an article of clothing... and maybe they're right. If it's in your budget or if you are luckily enough to have a gift card in your wallet waiting to be spent, these are my recommendations for good quality makeup. I truly believe there are some things that cannot be duplicated at the drugstore. High end beauty products are so luxurious with so much thought put into beautiful packaging to make you feel like a glamorous vintage film star(or maybe that's just me?). From my own experience, I don't think any of my friends or family have been disappointed with a great quality makeup product. If you splurge on nothing else, I really recommend getting yourself a good foundation because there is such a dramatic difference in the way they look on the skin and react with the skin.
I used drugstore foundations consistently until approximately a year and a half ago, when I purchased my first Estee Lauder foundation. Base products are not my thing and I don't generally find them that exciting but trying a pricey foundation changed my mind completely. Not only do good quality foundations look more “skin-like” but also last longer on the face and tend to stay looking “fresh” for longer. Another perk of high end foundation is that you have a chance to test the color range yourself. I find that some drugstores don't even provide testers for foundations and you are left guessing your color from the look of the bottle. Purchasing a good foundation means that there is a nifty sales assistant to color match you to the perfect shade, without leaving you guessing under harsh fluorescent lighting. I recommend investing in something that you will actually wear. If you are the type of person who reserves foundations for a night out, maybe invest in a good tinted moisturzier or BB cream for everyday use. If you like to wear a full coverage on a daily basis, invest in a good high coverage foundation. Buy what works for you, don't get distracted by the latest and greatest releases at the front of the shelves.
My Top Picks: Nars, Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, Benefit.
I think a good eye primer is essential to anybody's kit. An eye primer will extend the wear-time of your eye makeup, make colors look more vibrant on the lid and lock eyeshadow in place all day (no smudges!). A good primer can also make cheaper eye shadows look more beautiful on the lid. Another bonus: an eye primer will last you a very long time. You literally need to use the tiniest amount of product to cover both lids. I use a primer daily and I could probably get at least 2 years out of a tube. This is a great investment for those with oily eyes lids that find their eye makeup seems to melt off by the end of the day. It's definitely one of those products where you don't know what you are missing until you try it. I would recommend getting a primer in a squeezey tube rather than a lipgloss (doe foot applicator) style tube so you can get every last drop of primer out.
My Top Picks: Urban Decay Primer Potion (the original, but the other kinds are good too), Too Faced Shadow Insurance and NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (good for oily lids but hate the packaging).
Eye Shadow Palettes
Believe it or not, this is the extent of my eye shadow palette collection. With these three palettes, I feel like I have the basics for looks that I like to do on a regular basis. A neutral eye palette is a valuable investment and is useful for creating a wide range of looks for day time or night time. High end eye shadows are incomparable to their drugstore counterparts. I love my palettes for their buttery soft consistency, blendability and gorgeous finish on the lid. If you are a normal person (unlike me), a neutral palette will probably be enough eye shadow to last you a life time. I would recommend buying a palette that suits you. If you wear smokey looks often, maybe consider a palette of greys/taupes/browns. If you prefer to experiment with colors, buy a palette with a range of different colors. A gorgeous palette is a great gift for anybody who wears makeup and provides the lucky recipient with endless possibilities of color combinations.
My Top Picks: Urban Decay (Especially Naked 1, 2, 3 and basics), Dior, Clinique, Smashbox and Stila.
Please excuse the blush porn pictured above. I really really cannot say enough about a good quality blush. If you are displeased with some blushes from the drugstore, it's probably because they are made with talc which makes them look streaky and causes them to fade quickly (and potentially cause breakouts/skin irritations). A good blush can last year a couple years and brighten up the face to make you look more lively. There are so many different shades and formulas on the market and I'm positive there is one out there for everybody. I have a blush problem and have enough to last until I'm 90, but I'm totally ok with that. I think a lot of people are afraid of blush but I promise that it's not scary and makes all the difference. Good quality blushes mean that they are more pigmented (so you use less product with each application), longer lasting and they blend into the skin better to look more believable.
My Top Picks: NARS, Stila, Lancome and Smashbox.
I love wearing perfume and generally smelling nice (don't we all?). Perfumes are such a personal preference and the key is to find the scent that you enjoy the most (since you will be smelling it more than anyone else). I love the look of a gorgeous perfume bottle placed a on vanity. A good quality perfume means that better ingredients where used to extract delicate scents from various flora and fauna. The perfume will last longer on the skin and will smell slightly different on each person due to your own personal body chemistry. I have my own signature scent, but there are so many more that I have sniffed and loved. Cheaper perfumes just don't smell right to me and I find they have an intense sickly smell. A great gift for a special someone that they can enjoy for years to come.
My Signature Scent: Versace Pour Femme.
I think lipstick is a beautiful thing. High end lipsticks have such gorgeous shades and feel so comfortable on the lips. Generally I find them more moisturizing, longer lasting and easier to maintain with fewer touch-ups. Taking a fancy lipstick out of my purse also makes me feel super classy (and I'm not ashamed to admit that). There is a reason people like a good quality lipstick (and probably why MAC is so popular). Pick a color that makes you feel pretty, whether that be red, hot pink or a sultry nude. Treat yourself to one and I promise you won't be disappointed.
My Top Picks: Dior, Estee Lauder, Lancome, NARS, Clarins.
I love high end makeup and will continue to purchase these staples for their outstanding quality that compares to no other. What are your favorite products to splurge on?
Thanks for reading.