Style Secret: Makeup Splurge vs. Save

I have a few guilty pleasures I like to indulge in.

Chocolate, red wine, trashy television, ’90s playlists and makeup. Oh boy, do I ever like my makeup.

Like many people in this day and age, I am a contributor to the every growing beauty market. A market so large that it is estimated to reach $265 billion in 2017.


Having so many options for beauty products these days can be overwhelming. Between the drugstores, department stores, and high-end cosmetic stores – it’s hard to know where your allegiance lies, or more importantly, what your budget will allow for.

That’s why I’ve put together a makeup Splurge vs. Steal list, because after years of trial and error, countless dollars spent, and more lipstick purchases then I would like to admit, I have finally discovered what makeup products are worth spending hard earned dollars on.

Here is my Makeup Splurge vs. Save list:

Foundation: Splurge

In my opinion, Estee Lauder Double Wear is the holy grail of foundation even though I’ve heard some people refer to it as “my Grandma’s makeup”. If that’s the case, your Grandma is a smart lady because this foundation is gold. I discovered it via my favourite beauty blogger, Barefoot Blonde, and have used it ever since. It would definitely be considered a “full-coverage” foundation, so for me, it’s not part of my everyday routine but it is worth every penny when you need it.

Bronzer: Splurge

The perfect matte bronzer for my pale, or as my mother says, “porcelain” skin is HOOLA by Benefit. Warning: It’s highly-pigmented, so it might take a few tries before you get the subtle bronzed look you’re going for. But I promise it far exceeds discount brands I’ve tried.

Blush: Save

Cheekers by Covergirl is all I need. I’ve always felt blush is necessary yet never something I could justify spending money on. Therefore, this one gives me the subtle glow I need without breaking the bank.

Eyeshadow: Splurge

I don’t regularly use eyeshadow, but when I do, I want something that is going to actually show up and stay on my eyelids. The Naked palette by Urban Decay is a great starting point for any makeup kit, because the colours are universally flattering and the eyeshadows blend easily to create a variety of smoky looks.

Eyeliner: Save


Eyeink Ultra Precise by Annabelle is the ultimate liquid liner, because the felt tip applicator is easy to control, allowing you to create a soft or dramatic line. Bonus: It’s under ten dollars and Ophthalmologist approved (eg., it won’t totally destroy your beautiful eyes, if when you get some in them).

Mascara: Save

I have less than perfect eyelashes. They are short, straight and blonde, basically invisible if I don’t have mascara on. I have tried every kind of mascara in attempt to create something out of nothing but I keep coming back to Covergirl Lash Blast. I hope you trust my research on this one.

Lipstick: Splurge/ Save


I can’t choose!

I absolutely ADORE my Giorgio Armani lipstick; it is by far the best lipstick I have EVER splurged on, but I can’t afford to have a whole purse full. Therefore, lipstick comes down to a tie. If you want an everyday colour to invest in, definitely splurge, but if you like to change your look and are tight on cash, hit up the drugstore for that trendy colour. After all, this is a product that stays with you for the least amount of time (especially if you like to kiss).

Ladies! Excited to hear what YOUR favourites are – when do you splurge, and when do you save?



  1. Candice
    September 11, 2015 / 5:59 am

    My Splurge: Urban Decay Naked2 eyeshadow palette- just got this and it’s AMAZING, also Nars Audacious lipstick in Anna (dusty rose with a cool undertone)

    Save: Best mascara I’ve ever tried is Loreal Midnight Butterfly- it’s around $8.00 and better than any expensive mascara I’ve tried, I recommend this to everyone that asks if my lashes are fake 🙂
    Loreal True Match blush in Rose is great as well.

    • wanderbeforewhat
      September 14, 2015 / 3:25 pm

      I totally agree! Drugstore mascara for the win!
      Thanks Candice!

  2. Tamara
    September 11, 2015 / 6:33 am

    My favourite splurge is Nars lipstick and for eyeshadow a tie between Nars and Christian Dior, both with amazing texture and highly pigmented colour. I’ll be trying your recommendation for cheap and cheerful mascara.

    • wanderbeforewhat
      September 14, 2015 / 3:24 pm

      Lots of people are loyal to the Nars brand, I should definitely give it a try myself!
      Thanks Tamara!

  3. September 11, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    I am obsessed with my Naked 2 palette! I am wanting to try the new one too! I have been wanting to try Armani’s lipsticks for a long time now… You have convinced me to just do it! Thanks girl!

    • wanderbeforewhat
      September 14, 2015 / 3:23 pm

      I hope you like the lipstick as much as I do!
      Thanks for stopping by Holly 🙂
      Side note- Love your website! Did you get to check out the Venice Casino when you were there?

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