Prioritizing Products: Paint by Numbers

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So for my last trick, here’s a word of wisdom: The more you spend on getting your skin in tip top shape, the less you’ll have to use on makeup.

Now these suggestions are based on my experience, and in my experience, brands such as Smashbox and Urban Decay offer great products in the mid-range, but there are some really great things hiding in budget ranges too, and once in a while you really have to just go treat yourself. Also, this is first and foremost a post for those who need a bit of guiding in order to get through the jungle.

The first thing is a good base. Rumour has it there are some great budget buys to be had in the budget ranges, and if you can find them, well go right ahead. For me, though, getting a flawless base is important and I find that I get the best results from high-end brands. That said, there are some lovely primers to be had from Smashbox, and I quite like Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation for days when my skin isn’t misbehaving too badly.

For concealer I’d still keep to the high-end brands, and that goes for the setting powder too.

Thing about splurging here is that you’ll probably need to use a smaller amount of product compared to budget brands in order to get the result you want. Also, you can always touch up your blush or lipstick during the day, but you don’t want to cake on the powder five times before you finally can get home from work. And you want it to feel comfortable, breatahble.

Now it’s time to inject some colour. Invest in a great, not good, but GREAT eyeshadow primer. I believe you can use almost any eyeshadow with a great primer. My top picks are Urban Decay and Smashbox.

A friend was afraid to tell me she used an eyeshadow to colour in her brows. I laughed and told her I’ve one I use for sculpting and defining my brows, and as long as the shade is right you’re grand. Multi-purpose is the budget-savy’s friend.

I’ve also found my favourite tinted brow gels in the budget section, though if you’ve got dark hairs I’d definitely splurge on Anastasia’s famous dip-brow pomade and use it as an eyeliner as well.

Your bronzer too can do double duty or even triple. If the pigment is buildable you can use it as an eyeshadow and sculpting powder as well as for bringing warmth to your face.

Now thet you’ve perfected your base you can pretty much toss any blush in your purse. Especially if you’ve also shelled out for a setting spray (which can also be used as a mixing medium for turning your powder shadows into wet liners). Cream blushes, though they come in before powder, are brilliant as they can in most cases be applied to lips as well for a lovely tint. I’ll admit, some of my faves cost less than a movie ticket.

If you want a truly comfortable and hydrating lipstick, only the best will do, and you’re heading for the high-end ranges. BUT if you’re just wanting to get used to the feel of wearing one and maybe trying out a new look, then go with the budget option first. If you like what you see you can upgrade later.

For a lot of people it doesn’t make sense spending a lot of money on mascara – you’ve got to toss it after three months anyways. But if you’re spending ages applying it to get the look you’re after, or you just don’t get there with the budget one, welcome to my world. I’ve tried a few budget ones, my friend have tried a few budget ones, and our verdict is that they’re not worth the tubes they come in. Personal preference obviously comes into play here, but between us we’ve tried more than your average beauty blogger, and there’s no beating our holy grail (unless it’s a new version of said HG. Time will tell). Now, I’d tell you which that is, buuuut I’m trying to help you make up your own mind.

Last, but not least, great brushes is half the job done. Some products can be applied using your fingers, but investing in a good set of sturdy brushes saves time and product. Your priorities here should be blending brush for the eye area, brow (there are some angled brow brushes that also are great for eyeliner and lipstick application, just remember to clean them inbetween), bronzer/blush and a powder brush. The rest you’ve got ten clean applicators for already.

Hope you found these posts helpful. There are some things that are more essential than others in your quest for good-looking skin – especially for those of us that weren’t born with it. Do you concur with my prioritizing of products, or do you think I’ve put too much emphasis on some? Got any great budget buys you feel like sharing?

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