Whenever I go to a TV studio to do a ShopSmart consumer segment, I get a great perk: A free make-up lesson! The stations have the best makeup artists who pull all sorts of products out of their bag of tricks to make us look good—and not washed out—for those high def cameras.
On one of my last appearances at Fox, the makeup artist pulled out a gorgeous shade of Chanel blush to sweep across my cheeks. I loved it. The hair stylist (yes, we get our hair done too!) noticed too, and asked her why she sprang for such a pricey blush.
That got us talking about what makeup products the pros think are worth splurging on and what products they skimp on. Of course, this turned into a ShopSmart article where we asked a number of makeup artists around the country to weigh in on the same question.
I know it's changed the way I shop for makeup—from now on, I'm heading to the drug store for a bunch of stuff! Here’s what we found:
When to splurge:
Blush. It’s worth paying extra for highly pigmented powders that blend easily—especially because powder blush has a shelf life of two years. Pricey favorites: Nars blush, $28; Mac powder blush, $20.
Concealer. Pay more for this beauty staple which can hide discolorations and fine lines. Visit a department store beauty counter with trained specialists who can color-match concealer to skin tone. Pricey favorites: Make Up Forever HD Invisible Coverage, $42; Armani Maestro Fusion makeup, $62.
Liners. A lip or eye pencil that doesn’t sharpen easily and create a nice point for precise application is a waste of money. Because lip liner and eyeliner pencils, vary in size, shapre and ingredients, it’s also worth buying a sharpener from the same brand. Pricey favorites: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel eyeliner, $22; Urban Decay 24-7 Glide-on pencil, $19.
When to save:
Lipstick. Drugstores and mass retailers are packed with great, budget-friendly lipsticks that are often just as good as pricier versions. Cheapie favorites: Maybelline Color Sensational, $8; CoverGirl Lip Perfection lipstick, $7.
Makeup brushes. Anyone who doesn’t do makeup for a living doesn’t need to stock their kit with expensive brushes. Keep brushes clean and they can last a long time. Cheapie favorites: Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes, $2 to $21; E.L.F. makeup brushes, $1 to $8.
Mascara. Cut corners on this eye-lash enhancer since it needs to be replaced every six weeks to prevent clumping. Cheapie favorites: Maybelline Volum’ Express One by One mascara, $8; CoverGirl LashBlast Length water-resistant mascara, $9.