LIFESTYLE | BEAUTY

Beauty on a budget

Erica Paredes

BeautySo, the latest issue of the biggest fashion magazine is talking about the best concealer since sliced bread. You are excited beyond belief about it and make a mad dash to the counter and shell out thousands of dollars for it. But, when you try it for the first time, you realise you don’t like it and kick yourself for spending so much money for something that will probably still be on your vanity table six years from now, and still full. Of course we never learn our lesson until it’s way to late and the same thing happens upon hearing about the next wonder product.

Make your life easier and your wallet full. Here are a few tips on how to be a budget beauty shopper:

Try the product before committing –  if it’s foundation, test on your jaw line if it’s the right shade (it should disappear), check if you like the consistency, if you’re ok with it having SPF and all that. For eye shadows and blush, check if it has strong pigment. Sometimes a color can look striking when it’s sitting in its container, but when you try it you find that you have to apply 3-4 times just to see a wash of color on your eyelids. Even worse, they sometimes fade off well before the day is over. Better yet, ask the people behind the counter if you can get a sample of the products you are interested in. Some of them may be able to give you trial sized versions that you can test out for a week before you make a decision.

Make a list – and stick to it! It’s like when you go to the grocery, you should never go without a list because you end up buying things you don’t need. Impulse buying is one of the worst ways to burn up your funds. More often than not, you come home and look at all your packages and don’t know what to do with half your purchases. Either that or you use it once or twice and forget about it. If it’s just loose powder and a new blush that you need, stick to that and don’t even look at the new lipsticks and eye shadows. Making a list of what you do need will give your trip to the mall some purpose and you will leave happy, fulfilled and with still enough money to buy dinner.

Read between the lines – don’t get carried away with product slogans that claim to perform miracles. You may just be disappointed when you buy a cream that claims to be a wrinkle eraser and you find yourself two months later, still with wrinkles. Read the labels carefully. The word ‘reduce’ is not the same as ‘eliminate’. Remember, this is make-up, not plastic surgery.

More expensive doesn’t mean better – Different products work for different people so don’t feel the need to buy the most expensive eye cream just because your best friend swears by it. Even make-up artists don’t agree with all products out on the market. What one loves, another may despise so if that $3 tube of lipstick works for you, then why not take advantage of its low price?

Ask for expert advice – Schedule an appointment for consultation with a beauty expert so you can determine what products will be right for your skin and what colors will look right on you. If you must pay for the session, remember that it will be cheaper than buying everything and relying on a hit or miss process of elimination.

When to spend
So, now that I’ve officially made you unwilling to spend for anything, I am flipping it over because there are times when spending is acceptable, if not necessary:

If you have sensitive skin some products are made especially for people with ultra sensitive skin and sometimes they cost a bit more. It is better to buy these products at a higher price than scrimping and ending up with a face full of rashes. Buy a quality item that you know you will use and is good for your skin. Usually, you don’t use too much at a time anyway so you won’t have to buy too often.

If it makes you feel smashing – there are some ‘wonder’ products out there, but all of these are subjective. If there is a certain bronzer that really lights up your face or mascara that gives you lashes for miles, then by all means, buy it! Anything that will get that much time on your face is definitely worth spending for. We all have that one favorite product that we swear by. For me it’s Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oils. It’s a bit expensive, but cleanses and moisturizes my face in a snap. I don’t even need any other products in my bathroom anymore. Think of what your must-have item is, and give yourself a break. Let that be your luxury item whenever you go make-up shopping.

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