Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


What beauty tools aren’t worth splurging on? Share!

Temptalia's AnswerNail clippers (never found one that didn’t do the job), tweezers (good ones can be more expensive, but I’ve had good luck across the board – sharpness is really what matters), mascara spoolie brushes, hair brushes (I have a Mason Pearson, and I didn’t feel like it was worth it, but it can depend on your hair type and needs!), hair ties (they all stretch, some just faster than others!).

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54 thoughts on “What beauty tools aren’t worth splurging on?

  1. T

    Moisturizer; I find Clinique’s Dramatically Different to be the most practical for my skin and not breaking the bank either. BB cream’s; Etude house’s BB is the best and not nearly expensive as brands like Dior. Face wash; I have Kiel’s, Philosophy, Caudalie, Origins but I find Clean and Clear to be the best for just a face wash and Origins checks and balance even though it’s a bit more expensive.

  2. Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer

    Shampoo, hair ties, headbands, nail clippers, nail files etc

    • DJ

      I have pretty finicky hair, so shampoo/conditioner/product is the one thing I will splurge on, but only because I feel like I’ve found a combo (the Aveda curly hair line) that works for me and I’m scared to stray from it.

      When I use drug store brands, it requires a lot of heat, product and frustration, compared to the wash and go of my above routine!

      The rest, I totally agree with! What is with this craze of expensive hair ties, anyway??

      • Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer

        I have oil slick fine hair but I use Pantene and it works! 10.72 for a huge bottle!

  3. Brush-cleaning gloves for sure. That one is just silly.

    • Wow, that’s a thing? Amazing.

      I would add brush cleanser to the list, it’s easy to make your own or use alternatives.

      • Avatar of Moria Moria

        It’s a silicone glove with nubby textures to clean brushes on- not gloves to wear while washing dishes, haha.

        It’s a clever idea, but not worth the price tags I’ve seen for them- usually $30 or more!

      • It is a thing, sadly, and for $45, it doesn’t really do anything a piece of cellulose sponge can’t do.

      • Denise

        A Mac MUA told me they wash all their brushes in Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. Best tip ever and a massive bottle of that stuff is less than $5 and lasts forever if you don’t also use it as a shampoo. Plus it has a nice gentle scent.

  4. Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

    I’m surprised you’re not more in my boat–if I manage to not lose a ponytail holder immediately–stretching isn’t the inevitable part, it’s breaking it!

    I tend not to splurge for hair accessories in general. Most things won’t stay in my hair, my hair’s quite heavy (even at its current shorter length) and I have a small head so headbands want to slide off.

  5. Well I have hardly any hair (and I actually just shaved my head the other day) so I really can’t speak to hair styling tools – I’ve had the same cheap hair dryer since the mid 90′s and it’s still working just fine (that’s what happens when you use a hair dryer 10 times a year LOL). But spoolie brushes are kind of pointless IMO.

  6. Definitely the Clarisonic…. I mean, I can see why a lot of people like it: it gives them gentle manual exfoliation on a regular basis, removes makeup well (though the cleanup is a hassle), and cleanses thoroughly.

    But ~$150+ AND replacement brush heads for something that can be achieved with for example, a sugar scrub or washcloth, and an oil-based cleanser (respectively)? No thank you. Not to mention that chemical (describing the mechanism of action rather than the compound itself) exfoliants can go above and beyond mere superficial exfoliation. In my opinion, the Clarisonic is a no-go.

    And the notion that it improves blood circulation to the face… yeah, no. There aren’t even any blood vessels in the upper layers of the skin. They only appear toward the bottom of the dermis, and you can be sure that the Clarisonic doesn’t reach down that deeply. Besides, you know what’s the BEST way to increase circulation to the skin, and to all parts of your body… which coincidentally (not really) also has a zillion other benefits? Aerobic exercise. Mhm, I said it. :)

    • Lauren

      I have to disagree on the Clarisonic. My face has been much clearer and less red since I started using mine. I also have sensitive skin, so I could never tolerate scrubbing with a washcloth or using a facial scrub long-term, but the Clarisonic Mia is gentle enough that I can tolerate using it as often as once a day. Using the Mia and the deep-pore cleansing brush heads has definitely smoothed my skin, reduced redness, and helped clear acne in the time that I’ve owned it.

    • Avatar of Mariella Mariella

      I agree. I know a lot of people love the Clarisonic and good for them. I think it’s great that it works so well. I tried one – a friend has one – and my own experience was that I got results that were similar just using a Buf Puf. For those who love it, I say “Great” but we’re all different and one person’s favourite item will be someone else’s least favourite. That’s just how it is.

  7. Roo

    I’m generally a believer in investing in great tools which are usually pretty expensive. They’re only worth the investment if you actually use them though. The investment in quality often only pays off with long-term use.

    If somebody’s just starting out, I’d advise experimenting with more moderately priced tools to figure out what you actually use before investing. If you wear something out then consider buying a better replacement. I personally like pointed tweezers and slanted liner brushes so my expensive pointed liner brushes and and slanted tweezers really weren’t worth it.

  8. Jennifer

    Which tweezers would you recommend? I’ve tried a few of the drugstore ones but the ones I HAVE tried end up not being able to grip hairs well, making them inefficient … I was contemplating going to Sephora & purchasing a Tweezerman pair but I’m not really sure I want to spend that much on tweezers.

    • The ones I use are Slice and Tweezerman. I’ve also had good luck with Revlon and RED (all slant tips!).

    • You can get slanted mini Tweezermans on Amazon for almost half the price of the ones at Sephora. Check those out – they’re a little smaller but I like that and definitely worth their price.

    • Avatar of Susan Susan Nevling

      I love the pointed Tweezerman. I have the smaller ones right now but have used the full sized also. Not much difference for me. I just grab what’s available. I don’t get a good grip with other brands.

  9. Simone

    Curling Irons, I have fine hair but lots of it and I’ve found that using super expensive curling irons (like Cloud Nine) or super cheap ones makes no difference to the hold of the curl, and it’s the shape of the barrel and how you’re using it that alters the shape. I like Baybliss curling irons and I think I’d stick to those now.

    I also think bobby pins that cost more than the cheapest ones you can get are a waste of money, I will loose them and I’ve never found any of them to be better than others.

    • Have you tried holding the curl while it cools? Or pin curls. You curl the hair, coil it back up close to your head and pin it. Take them out when your curls all cool. Works for me and I’ve had difficult-to-curl hair all my life (sigh). Paper bag curls might work also, same concept as “ragging.”

  10. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Since Real Techniques came along, I can honestly say “makeup brushes”. Not all the RT brushes are great and certainly, RT doesn’t make brushes to replace some of my favourites but still, most of their brushes are excellent and it’s especially hard to believe how good they are in relation to their price.

  11. Uh oh! This is another one where people will have wildly different opinions about what qualifies as a “splurge.”

    For me, a splurge is anything that you can’t find in the drugstore.

    Mascara, nail polish remover, cotton balls…

  12. tantan

    Mine are: nail polish, mascara, and lip balm.

  13. Hair brushes, definitely. And hair accessories, for the most part (clips, ties, etc).

  14. Avatar of Ellen Ellen

    Hair products – shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner. My faves are from drugstores (Nature’s Gate Tea Tree shampoo, the only thing that helped my flaky scalp AND it doesn’t have sulfates or parabens; Aussie 3-minute miracle is the BEST). And I would have agreed with you on the Mason Pearson a few weeks ago, Christine, but I recently stumbled across an article talking about how metal and plastic bristles aren’t the best on hair, and since then I switched to a comb/Mason Pearson combo (I’ve had the brush for a couple of years but only used it sporadically), and I can’t tell you the difference it’s made in my hair!

    Also, body wash – fragranced ones smell good, but the fragrance never lasts on me, so I stick to my Aveeno Daily Moisture.

  15. Avatar of Shea Shea

    Honestly? Mascara. I have used high end mascara and it works just the same as most low end brands.

    • Denise

      I agree. Given that it should be tossed on average every three months or so, you don’t want to make that splurge on more expensive brands that have basically the same formulas as drug store brands. That being said, my one mascara guilty pleasure is Fresh Supernova, otherwise I stick to Revlon Voluminous Waterproof mascara.

  16. Avatar of Jo Jo

    Eyeliner sharpeners and brush cleanser. Baby shampoo does the job for me fine!
    I will pay for a good set of sharp tweezers though >.<

  17. Laura

    Makeup sponges. I know people really like foundation brushes or the Beauty Blender, but I like things that I can use and throw away (one less brush to clean). Plus, my brush shampoo doesn’t seem to get Chanel foundation out easily. I love Wonder Wedges, which are around $10 for a 100-pack.

  18. Avatar of Amanda Amanda

    Mascara! Honestly out of all the high end brands i have tried the only thing that works to hold a curl is lashblast. And it just so happens to be the cheapest i have bought. Also all hair accessories and tools other than heated tools. For tweezers i have had some duds but in general its not something that i would spend a lot of money on.

  19. Lauren

    I don’t know about tools, but here are some products that I don’t think are worth splurging on:

    Facial cleansers: No matter what you want it to do, you can find some really good drug-store and lower-mid-range facial cleansers nowadays. If you have sensitive skin, the Yes to Cucumbers line is really good, especially the Cleansing Milk. Burt’s Bee’s sensitive skin cleanser is also very good, especially if you have drier skin. If you have acne-prone skin, The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line is great, and so is Origin’s Checks and Balances cleanser. And of course, Neutrogena and Cetaphil are commonly recommended by dermatologists.

    Lotions and body creams: As much as I love Lush’s Sympathy for the Skin and Keihl’s Creme de Corps, it’s hard to stomach spending $26+ and $30, respectively, on an 8 ounce container of lotion. Especially when you can buy the same amount of lotion for $10-$20 cheaper at a drugstore/Walmart/Target/Ulta, even buying brands like Pacifica.

  20. Avatar of Geneva Geneva

    Eyelash curlers for me, I have curly eyelashes.

  21. Ninjaglamour

    My top ten:

    1) Hair gel (they all seem pretty much the same to me)
    2) Facial cleansers with “treatment” ingredients – they don’t stay on your face long enough to do anything, better to splurge on a serum or something you apply and leave on.
    3) Lip balm
    4) Dry shampoo
    5) A Clarisonic. The cheaper versions from Olay and the like work just as well, imo.
    6) Clear brow gel
    7) Brush cleanser – totally easy and cheap DIY works just as well
    8) Pencil sharpeners
    9) Eyelash curlers. They all work the same, just find a shape that fits your eye best. I really don’t get the hype around the Shu Uemura one. I bought one and I like my cheapie Revlon one better.
    10) Face Primer. There are tons of really affordable good options and Monistat Anti-Chafe gel is the SAME THING as Smashbox at a fraction of the price.

  22. VickyM

    With my student budget and since I like high end makeup I really don´t have alot of money to spare for beauty tools, so I only buy cheap things like elf brushes, hair ties that are inexpensive etc. I do however own a great hair brush since that does make a difference for me but even that wasn´t terribly expensive…

  23. Avatar of Tuss Tuss

    It depends on your needs, for example a hair brush can make a big difference for some, and for some it won’t. Same with skincare, depends on your needs. Something that’s never worth paying much for is mascara spoolies, like the MAC one… lol,

  24. Tatiana

    That classic flat synthetic foundation brush (I can live with one that costs way less than $30) and individual false lashes.

  25. Their must be something wrong with me. I can justify splurging on anything!

  26. Flat irons/other hot tools, brushes/combs, hair ties. Alternative hair colors. Some of the cheaper colors available work BETTER than the expensive stuff (Manic Panic, I mean you!!!! $14?! REALLY?! It fades quickly!). I have had the same Conair flat iron since 2008-2009. It was $35 new, but we found it at a Goodwill still in it’s box and unused (I still sanitized the plates). Sure, I did splurge *a little* on my Remington curling wand, it was $21 but it was sale from something like $25+ :P Also a birthday gift lol

    • Anya

      A good flatiron makes all the difference if you want to keep your hair alive–especially if your hair is thick and/or ethnic. Until my friend bought her Paul Mitchell iron it would take forever to straighten it and it was never very shiny. It was gorgeous with her new one.

      I have a Sedu and I would never get quite the results with a cheap Conair like I do with this beauty

      • I get perfect results that satisfy me without your overpriced tool. Sure, it’s not salon-perfect but why would I want to damage my hair more with something that a salon would use? Heat protector that smooths out hair makes a world of difference, so I don’t need your $100+ flat iron that might break. My Conair has ceramic plates; many flat irons use titanium now, which I’m allergic to!

  27. Avatar of May May

    Mascara, nail polish, liquid eyeliner

  28. Hair ties and hair clips – although I’m particular about which ones I use (love the Goody Stay Put Slide Proof hair bands, although now my hair’s too short for them). Nail clippers. Combs, maybe hair brushes (I tend to comb my hair not brush it, but I’ve never really seen a difference with whichever brush I use). I’d say cotton balls but I kinda got addicted to the Shiseido cotton squares *g*

    Everything else I think can be worthy of a splurge depending on how sensitive or problematic your skin is. But really anything s worth splurging on if a) you can afford it b) it makes you happy c) it works. I pay my bills and don’t have to justify my spending to anyone but my husband and it’s no one else’s business if I buy facial cleanser for $35 or moisturizer for $75, or whether I spend $7 on a bottle of jojoba oil instead (which is what I’m currently using as a nighttime moisturizer).

  29. Avatar of Susan Susan Nevling

    Because I have poker straight hair, I rarely use a flatiron. Usually I only use it if I have a mark from a ponytail. For that reason, I purchased a moderate priced iron. I would not buy the cheapest one because I still don’t want to damage my hair but don’t need the high end because it does not get frequent use.

  30. Telma

    I can’t bring myself to believe that a Beauty Blender is worth 20 bucks!

  31. Avatar of Brenda Brenda

    I agree with the hairbrushes/combs and hair ties, any hair accessories really. I have so much hair that either the elastics don’t stretch enough and they break or by the second use they are so stretched they’re useless. Clips are always too small and I just break them. Agree with brush cleanser, I use whatever mild cleanser or baby shampoo I have around.

    I also find eyeliner brushes, specifically the standard round, fine brushes. I just buy fine round brushes from the art store at usually half the price of a “makeup” brush. I have an ancient Rialto Naturals liner brush that I think I have had for 20 years – it would have been super cheap at a drugstore and it’s still my favourite.

  32. Claudia S.

    The eyebrow/eyelash combs. Mine always break in my makeup bag and I’m glad it was only $2 at target!

  33. Nicola

    I never splurge on
    Clear eyebrow mascara/gel
    Mascara
    Hair clips
    Spoolies
    Eyeliner pencils
    Brush shampoo
    Nail varnish remover
    Cotton buds/pads
    Hand cream for during the day – I only put it on when I seem to be washing my hands again , but I do have a more expensive one for night time.