Highs and lows of high-end

Image via www.thehunt.com
Image via www.thehunt.com

Deciding whether or not high-end makeup is for you

By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor

The popularity of high-end makeup has risen over the last couple of years, but many people still don’t know quite how to approach it. Up until two months ago, I was one of those people. Sephora always seemed too crowded and too expensive for me. I walked into one once last summer, took a look at the eyeliners, and quickly concluded that one was not worth $25.

I decided to stay to drug store makeup, although I became quickly frustrated with it. Sure, it’s inexpensive, but many of the items just don’t quite do it right. My then-favorite eyeliner and eyeshadow couldn’t make it more than eight hours, and my foundation would melt off no matter how much powder I put on it to set it in place.

I didn’t think about Sephora again until a friend of mine got me a gift card for my birthday. I figured I’d go in and get some essentials. On my first real trip to Sephora I invested in some primer, some green concealer to cover my acne, and a highlight/contouring duo stick. Since it was shortly after my birthday they signed me up for their free rewards card and threw in a birthday gift (this year’s is a rose petal facial mask and a soy makeup cleanser.) That haul cost me about $65.

I applied these all on my face the next day and I fell in love. My face had only ever been so radiant when a make-up artist had done my makeup.

I’ve been hooked ever since, and have been slowly replacing my drug store collection with higher-end brands. However, spending hundreds on makeup isn’t always feasible for me, so I needed to make what I bought worthwhile.

There are so many pros and cons when it comes to shopping for high-end. For one, budget how much you can spend. You don’t want to go bankrupt for the sake of beauty. How much can you afford to spend at Sephora or MAC? Are there some drug store products that work really well for you that you can forego the more expensive item for? In my case, I don’t buy eyeliner at Sephora because I find that Revlon’s liquid liner stays all day.

On that note, experiment with a mix of drug store and high-end products. After buying my Tease palette by Tarte, I find that my Elf palette just doesn’t do the trick for me anymore. However, I still love my Covergirl powder. With the increasing popularity of these high-end brands also come some pretty great dupes. Be sure to look at the ingredients used in these products, since some are made with chemicals that are bad for your skin’s health.

When you do make the splurge on high-end makeup, try sticking with items more difficult to find in drug stores. Up until recently—when NYX started putting out their colour correcting concealer—Sephora’s house brand or Urban Decay was the best and unrivaled bet for redness and dullness coverage. I also still find that contouring sticks and kits from Sephora are miles better than anything I’ve ever used from the drug store.

Use items that will make your beauty investments last. Get a setting spray. By far, Urban Decay’s setting spray has been a god-send to me, but NYX also provides one. If you’re going to be extra active that day, try using hairspray on your face as well.

Lastly, consider your ethics when shopping for makeup. Unfortunately, many drug store brands test on animals, along with MAC. However, most high-end and some drug store brands pride themselves on being cruelty-free, and some are even organic. Make an informed decision before buying.