Thursday, November 03, 2005

When to be a tightwad: Saving your beauty bucks for the purchases that really matter

There are some things on which most of us shouldn't have to drop a bundle. If money is no object, then by all means indulge your champagne taste. The following, however, is a list for the rest of us:

1. Lip Pencil Seriously. I have one lip pencil that I paid $0.99 for and it works great. Don't bother with the expensive stuff. All you need is something to define your lips. Keep in mind that makeup counters are out to sell as much as they can, and a $14 lip pencil is a great way to boost their sales.

2. Mascara I realize that all makeup companies claim that their mascara has some brand new amazing technology that will make your lashes a mile long, but really, the drugstore variety words just fine. The question to ask is how much of a difference does it really make to your overall look? Answer: not much.

Salon Shampoo I've sampled a few of these, and I'll admit they feel luxurious. But I just can't bring myself to spend $18 on something that I have to buy so frequently. Conditioner is another matter, though. While I won't buy salon conditioner, I've been know to drop extra cash for a conditioner that suits my hair. Conditioner is a picky matter since every persons' hair type is so different.

4. Click-style lip gloss I bought one of these from Stila, and while I like it, I'm now painfully aware of the fact that I could have gotten basically the same thing for much much less. Case in point: Stila's version is $20; drugstore varieties run somewhere between $4.00 and $12.00. Some lip glosses might be worth the extra money. Again, use your own discretion. Anything that compliments your coloring and wears well is probably worth it.

5. Blush and Powder Again, some will disagree with me on this. However, if you're on a budget, buying drugstore blush and powder is a good way to save money for more important purchases, like good foundation. (Note: if you do want to splurge on powder, try Benefit's Gorgeous Georgia, about $30 with tax. It smells good and adds a hint of color to your face.)

6. Chapstick and lip balm
I don't think this needs explaining. Burt's Bees has minty lip balm for under $2 at drugstores worth their salt. Save your pennies, gals! Your kissers can't tell the difference anyway.