We are overrun with cosmetic and skincare products.  From the drugstore to the department store, the Internet and all those speciality stores in between it can be confusing to find what works for you.  After all, who do you believe?  Do you believe the magazines, your friend with totally different skin from you or the woman in the smock behind the make-up counter? I’m here to help with where you can save your money and where you should splurge when it comes to the basics in skincare and make-up.


1. Cleanser goes down the drain so save your cash.  I can’t count the number of times I have heard a dermatologist or celebrity say they use Cetaphil.  That is because it works and it works on everyone.  It’s available at drugstores, Walmart and grocery stores too.  Purpose, Olay cleansers and Neutrogena brands work as well.

2.  Moisturizer is all about your skin type.  You buy one for your face and one for your body.  What are your needs in these two areas?  If you like slathering on an expensive body cream and can afford it, fine.  If you prefer and love the way RoC or L’oreal Youth Code work for your face, then buy them.  Others swear by La Mer face cream. I don’t, it clogs my pores badly. Some of the best I have found include, Kiehls with SPF for the face, Neutrogena Soothing lotion and  J.R. Watkins body lotion.


1. EYES-Splurge on the eyeshadow and not the eyeliner.  Liners are made from kohl or mostly wax.  Buy the $5 eyeliner at Target and splurge on the $40 eye palette at the department store.  High end shadows have richer, deeper colors with staying power that drugstore brands can’t match.  However, if you want to save money buy a tube of  M.A.C. paints.  It will increase the duration of that cheaper drugstore brand shadow and costs $20.  Great eye shadow palettes include Dior 5-Color Shadow Palette, Chanel Quads and Bobbi Brown palettes.

2. Mascara- People swear by that green and pink tube of Maybelline mascara but I think it’s something awful.  While I do love Dior Show mascara, I don’t like price and find that Cover Girl makes an outstanding, non-clumping, lash lengthening formula with its Lash Blast line.  Luxe is my fave and at under $7 you can’t beat it.

3. Foundation & Concealer-  Splurge on both and here is why.  You can spend a ton of coin each year looking for a good fit from the drugstore.  Colors have to match your skin and you can’t do that without testing.  Buying a $40 bottle of foundation that lasts almost a year and looks great beats spending $40 on a bunch of crap you can’t use.  Same goes for concealer. You need the ability to test the color on your own skin.  I adore Laura Mercier foundation and concealer, Bare Minerals for both and Chanel Luminiere foundation.  Worth every penny.

4. Blush- This is a splurge.  While you can find some good ones at Walgreens or CVS you can’t test them on your skin, the powder isn’t ground as fine for great layering and like eye shadows the color isn’t going to last nearly as long.  I swear by Nars Orgasm because of its gold flecks for a bit of a glow and love Bobbi Brown blushes too.

5. Lipstick and Lipgloss-  Go cheap.  Go nuts at your local Target.  You can pick trending colors, find a great red or nude lipstick at Wegmans.  I do. Long lasting formulas are found here as well.  Same applies for gloss. My favorite glosses are L’oreal Colour Riche and E.L.F. in clear.  The E.L.F. gloss beats my Elizabeth Arden one any day and it was only $1.

These are just the basics. We didn’t even cover make-up brushes, bronzers, tweezers, scrubs, eye creams or nail polish.  So if you want to know more or have a question about a specific catgory or product then please ask questions in the comments and I’ll anwser them.