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20 Luxury Beauty Products Worth the Splurge

2018 Edition
Splurge-Worthy Beauty Products

One of the questions I get asked often across products is whether something is “worth it” or not, and long-time readers will know that I’ll very likely answer that question with several follow-up questions… because “worth it” is subjective–someone who might spend $300 a year on beauty compared to someone who might spend $3,000 a year on beauty may have very different answers on whether something is worth it or not.

It’s also about what aspects of a product you prioritize, how it complements other products you own, as well as whether it’s the type of product you’d get a good amount of use out of. These are all very personal questions, so the reality is something that is “worth it” to me might not mean it is “worth it” to you!

That being said, “worth it” to me means that, despite owning a library’s worth of makeup products, these are products that impressed me, still impress me, and that I’d definitely have ruminating in my brain as products to revisit (you know, if I had a spare moment and was industrious enough to pull them out of the archives). Here are some of my very favorite, indulgent products that I felt were worth the splurge…

You’ll find a lot of products I’ve mentioned as favorites before, like Pat McGrath’s Decadence Palette (limited edition but still available; one of my all-time favorite palettes released, period), Tom Ford Beauty Nude Dip/Platinum (two shades I’ve been using for years), Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar (a highlighting/bronzing duo I’ve kept in my essentials drawer since it launched), and Chanel Jersey (one of my most-used blushes).

I use my simplehuman Sensor Mirrors daily–my last edition was the Pro, and I’m testing their newest out presently–and couldn’t get through my routine without one at this point!  Products like Viseart Bijoux Royal (I’m a jewel-toned kind of gal, you know?) and Natasha Denona Darya (for the most glow-tastic cheeks ever) are two palettes I’ve returned to over and over again.

What have been the most splurge-worthy products you’ve enjoyed?

A

PPermanent. $89.00/1.50 oz.

Natasha Denona Darya Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades--two cream formulas, four powder formulas--in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades. Read full review.
A

PPermanent. $38.00/0.14 oz.

A

LELimited Edition. $125.00/0.70 oz.

Pat McGrath Decadence Mothership Eyeshadow Palette ($125.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette for spring that features 10 eyeshadows--nine are metallic and one is more of a satin-to-pearl. Read full review.
A

LELimited Edition. $80.00/0.84 oz.

Viseart Bijoux Royal (09) Eyeshadow Palette ($80.00 for 0.84 oz.) is a set of 12 shimmery eyeshadows in muted jewel tones. Read full review.
A+

LELimited Edition. $45.00/0.17 oz.

Platinum is a deep taupe brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. Though it is not officially listed as such, as far as I could tell by comparing the two, this shade is the same as prior releases of Platinum. Read full review.
A+

PPermanent. $79.00/0.35 oz.

Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad ($79.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains four shades of warm-leaning neutrals that go from golden champagne to dark brown. Read full review.
-

$36.00

A+

PPermanent. $141.00

Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlight Brush ($92.00) is a thinner, tapered brush. It is made out of gray squirrel hair. Read full review.
A

PPermanent. $48.00/0.18 oz.

Cle de Peau Bugatti Red (17) Radiant Liquid Rouge ($48.00 for 0.18 fl. oz.) is a bright, bold medium-dark red with cool, blue undertones and a creamy finish. Read full review.
A-

PPermanent. $45.00/0.17 oz.

Chanel Jersey (80) Joue Contraste Blush Chanel Jersey (80) Joue Contraste Blush ($46.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a muted, peachy brown with subtle gold shimmer.Read Full Review Read full review.
A+

PPermanent. $44.00/0.11 oz.

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a champagne-shimmered peach with warm undertones and a luminous finish. Read full review.
A

PPermanent. $65.00/0.56 oz.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is compact that features a bronzer and a highlighter. Read full review.
A+

PPermanent. $250.00

simplehuman Rose Gold Sensor Mirror Pro ($250.00) is the latest and greatest in the brand's mirror family. Read full review.
A-

LELimited Edition. $49.00/0.80 oz.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Tan-tastic O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan ($49.00 for 0.80 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle, warm rosy undertones and a matte finish. Read full review.

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27 Comments

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I have only one item from this whole list: Guerlain Rouge G lipstick. Actually, I have two of them and two different cases. The only other thing here that’s on my want-list is a Simplehuman mirror.

I own a Chanel Joue Contraste Blush, but not the shade from this list. I have Pink Explosion.

I would probably only nominate brushes and lipsticks for this honor. I have splurged on all types of products and some of them have been great and all… but lipsticks and brushes are really “felt.” A soft brush is so lovely to use—I have one Hakuhodo and I splurged recently on the RT Powder Bleus. Sooooooo soft. And a lipstick I reapply 5 or so times a day. It’s much more pleasant to slick on a nice texture over and over. And I have lipsticks at several price points that are “worth it,” because really, all makeup is a splurge.

NARS Audacious Lipsticks (Fanny, Anna, Barbara are my top faves);
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (shade Punjab);
NARS Free Soul blush;
Tom Ford lipstick in Nude Blush;
and I second Christine’s pick of Chanel Jersey!

I have found most things I’ve splurged on from hourglass worth the spend. I spent ages deliberating over the confessions ultra slim lipsticks in the chic holder, the ambient lighting edits and their stick foundation, all of which centred on difficulty coming to terms with the small portions you get for the price. I haven’t regretted buying any of those things though, even though the foundation is the size of a concealer it’s easily my favourite I’ve ever used.

*Lancome Teint Idole 24H Long Wear Foundation

*Guerlain Meteorites

*Guerlain Pressed Meteorites with compact

*Kevyn AuCoin The Neo-Blush Trio in Sunset

*NARS Freesoul and Fetishized

*Kat von D Saint + Sinner Palette

*Pat McGrath Labs MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette

*Original formula MUFE Artist Shadows

*Tom Ford Lips & Boys mini in Stavros (stocking stuffer from my hubby, but still a splurge).

Oh…the “old” MUFE shadows were so good. You and I aren’t alone in lamenting their demise. It’s funny how various iterations of Meteorites pop up here – I keep mentioning the Cruel Gardenia pressed version from years ago as a fave. I’m sure once I finish it (if ever), I’ll be able to replace it with one of the Dior pressed highlighters but I do wish Guerlain would repromote it (perhaps with a better compact with attached lid), maybe for the Holidays – it would be another sell out smash, just as it was the first time.

My worth-the-spend splurges would probably be NARS Dual Intensity eyeshadow palette (LE), the Hourglass loose powder I got recently (Veil-something-or-other-Blurring-something), Dior Rosy Glow blush and Glowing Gardens Pink Highlighter (LE), again (I listed this the other day somewhere here) Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites powder, Marc Jacobs black skinny liner and the Pat McGrath smaller palette I got recently (the only one that was available in-store in my neck of the woods) -Bronze Ambition or something (honestly, names are getting longer and more convoluted all the time). I’ve yet to find an expensive lipstick that was really worth the price – I have a few that I like from Guerlain, Chanel and Hourglass but the wear time on all of them isn’t astounding so it’s just a matter of colour and I can find pretty much all the shades I like (except maybe one) in less pricey brands.

Several of the Guerlain Meteorites limited edition releases. I love the glow to the skin and how they make my skin look almost translucent.

Dior Diorskin highlighter in shade 02.

Pat MacGrath Luxe Trance and Matte lipsticks. I love the formula as they go on very smooth and make my lips look less lined than they are. They wear well and that is saying something from me as I eat my lipstick off all day long. I am a real lip worrier. I am trying to break the habit but it is hard to do.

Rouge G lipsticks.

Joy perfume. I just feel incredibly memorable and sensual when I wear it.

I don’t own any of the above because they’re either not available here, the price is absolutely ridiculous or the international shipping rates are prohibitive.
I would say that the Nude Dip eyeshadows look sensational on you Christine and I have found that I have dupes for 3 out of the 4 shades, which is great.

My list of luxury products worth the splurge include:
Guerlain’s Les Gris quad – the best blues around

Lorac’s Pro Metals palette – I can’t believe I was not going to get this, but it has the perfect metallic shades for me – many of the palettes contain shades that I would not wear.

Dior’s Jardin quint – beautiful teal, copper and olive shades

Clarins Joli Rouge lipstick range – moisturising and gorgeous range of shades.

To know me, means you have got to know that many of my favorite splurge have been purple! And a few neutral shaded items, too. These have been absolutely “worth it” for me.
1.) Natasha Denona Lila palette (is anyone surprised? 😂)
2.) Pat McGrath La Vie En Rose palette
3.) Both PMG LuxeTrance lipsticks I own in She’s Heaven and Strangé.
4.) Chanel Empriente du Desert quad
5.) Hourglass Ambient Light in Dim Light
6.) Tom Ford Seadragon lipstick
7.) Lancome Teint Idole Foundation
8.) Marc Jacobs Dew You Dew Drops
9.) Nars Fetishised blush
10.) Smashbox x Vlada Rosemantic

Great list Christine! I have 2, 11, 14, 19 and 20 and like especially PM lipatrance and the rouge Gs. The CDP concealer just isn’t it for me at all though. it’s too dry and not enough coverage/staying power.

For me the best splurges have been these. Every single time i use one of them i think, oh wow, yay, i love this thing, so glad i got this thing etc. It’s rare for a Thing to bring much joy, but those that do are worth mentioning 🙂

Chikuhodo T-1 Powder brush.
So soft. Works so well. Feels so luxurious! Like a princess would have for her powder every morning. Sometimes i run it over my face without powder at random times just because it feels so nurturing, so sweet. (Hard childhoods never die.)
Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rococoette.
my wedding day gift to myself (cheers to getting married when you know you shouldn’t)
La Prarie Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection a Porter.
Admittedly bought because “this rich crap can’t possibly be _that_ good. I’ll return it” but then… oh dear, it is _that_ good. the lip balm is so smooth, not hot, melts in, conditions beautifully. The eye cream is my holy grail solution to being late 40s at 5pm with everything dry and sagging and makeup needing attention. I have very dark eye circles so more concealer doesn’t help at 5 pm. But a lightly tinted super moisture whatever that is, is heaven.
La Prarie Skin Cavier Concealer Foundation Sunscreen – This was a stop in my never-ending search for a perfect foundation. The foundation wasn’t it for me, dried me out too much. But that concealer! It is the only one that covers my dark dark undereye circles in a natural way. Strangely enough I find that using a slightly darker shade of this concealer than usual does better than anything i’ve ever tried in 30 years of wearing makeup.

My “worth it” splurges:
– Cle de Peau concealer
– Viseart Minx and Nuance Theory palettes
– Chanel Coco Rouge Shine lipstick in Desinvolte
– Original MUFE eyeshadows
– MJ highliners, in Jazz(berry) and Fine(wine)

I have 7 of these well the Sonia g I have the white edition if that counts. Haven’t used the Viseart much but need to get it out.

Bought the dayra palette and found the lavender blush too heavily golden but got it at the bib sale and was very impressed.

This and lower end products is such a great post Christine very good reads!

My current splurge worthy items are:
Tatcha silk canvas primer. I love this so much, all my other primers have taken a backseat since I started using this!
Nars Natural radiant longwear foundation.
Dose of colours five pan eyeshadow palette in baked browns.
The simplehuman mirror from Christine’s list.
Chanel Illusion D’ombre longwear luminous eyeshadow in New Moon.
Chanel eyequad in 268 Candeur Et experience.
Laura Mercier matte radiance baked powder in 3 (for bronzer)

When we redid our main floor bathroom, I wanted a wall mounted make up mirror & in brushed nickel finish to match with the fixtures. I went with Jerdon JP7507NB 8-Inch Wall Mount Makeup Mirror with 7x Magnification & Nickel Beaded Finish. Three years later, still works great!

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