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Nail 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!).

— Christine

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54 Comments

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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.

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??

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Wow, that’s a thing? Amazing.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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. 🙂

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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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…

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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