Have you ever found yourself in front of a makeup palette or moisturiser thinking, “How many kopi pengs do I have to skip to buy this?”
When it comes to beauty products there is often a misconception that expensive is always better. The fact is, only a few makeup and skincare products are worth the splurge.
Makeup: What to splurge on
When buying makeup, as with buying clothes, I try to work out cost per use. For example, when deciding whether to buy the newest foundations, think of whether you’ll be using it every single day. If the answer is yes (or if you’re at least using it for every working day), then I think spending the $100 is justified. At least that’s how I work it out. For me, a foundation is the base for the rest of my makeup and it’s important that it looks—and feels—good and also lasts the entire day. Most drugstore brands, and even some high-end brands, stock foundations that don’t work for my skin type and skin tone. Yes, even in 2019. So when I find one that works for me, I don’t mind parting with my hard-earned money. Plus, with advances in formulations, a lot of foundations now come with skincare benefits. So I don’t mind splurging on something that stays on my skin the entire day—of course, I would swatch it in daylight and do a wear test for at least a few hours before dropping my cash.
When it comes to other makeup items such as eyeshadow palettes, the above rule applies, but with a few more caveats:
- Do I already have one with similar shades?
- Will I use more than half the shades in that particular palette regularly?
- Do the shades work for my skin tone?
- How pigmented are the colours?
- How long do the colours last without creasing? (This requires intensive research.)
If for some reason I need to find a specific colour that I am not going to wear regularly, I will look for a drugstore option.
I have a weakness for bronzers and highlighters but would I drop a few hundred bucks on them? It depends. I try to find value for money by only buying into ones that have a unique texture or formula, such as the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, which I found does not budge in Singapore’s punishing weather. Or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer that I know will not disappoint because I had tried other products from the brand.
Makeup: What to save on
I don’t spend much on lipsticks, eyeliners or mascara because I know you can get really great options at affordable prices or even at the drugstore. In a pinch, I would just use a lipliner over lip balm and that’s my lipstick. It doesn’t last all day, but I have no problem reapplying.
Skincare: What to splurge on
I am a firm believer that a sound skincare routine that is tailored to your skin’s needs will keep your skin looking clear, healthy and glowing no matter your age. If you’re between the ages of 20 to 26 or even, 28, splurging on skincare may seem like a complete waste of money. But trust me, it’s not. There’s also some good news: not all skincare products are made equal, and you don’t have to spend big bucks on all skincare products.
Spend your money on skincare products like serums and treatments like vitamin C, and as you grow older (in your late 20s) invest in exfoliators and skincare products with retinol. These products usually contain higher levels of active ingredients, and smaller molecules so they penetrate the skin faster. They are also more difficult to make and you’re paying for the technology behind these products. Face oil is another type of skincare product you should splurge on because you want to get the real deal.
Skincare: What to save on
Save your money when it comes to cleansers, moisturisers, sunscreen, masks and mists. You can find good makeup removers and cleansers at affordable prices at the drugstore. And typically, these don’t spend much time on your skin, but you do want them to be effective, so spend what you can without going over budget for these products. And it is important to pick the right one for your skin type.
You can get good French, Japanese and Korean sunscreen at the drugstore, so choose one that works for your skin type and lifestyle without breaking the bank. Similarly, pick a moisturiser that works for your skin type at the drugstore. Get one without SPF and you can use it in the day and night, which gives you more value for money.
When it comes to add-ons in your skincare routine such as sheet masks and mists, unless you’re looking to treat yourself, there are a slew of products that will help your skin without making you broke.