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?

02.

02. LuxeTrance Lipstick Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath

DCDiscontinued. $40.00/0.14 oz.

A

The formula is supposed to have a "intense color payoff" with "comfort" and "rich hydration" that has a "satiny sheen." Of the shades I've tried, they...

The formula is supposed to have a "intense color payoff" with "comfort" and "rich hydration" that has a "satiny sheen." Of the shades I've tried, they...

03.

03. Liquid Lip Velvet Burberry

Burberry

PPermanent. $34.00/0.2 oz.

A-

The Liquid Lip Velvet formula is described as having “rich pigment, smooth application” and a “velvet finish that lasts up to eight hours”...

The Liquid Lip Velvet formula is described as having “rich pigment, smooth application” and a “velvet finish that lasts up to eight hours”...

08.

08. Air Blush Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Beauty

DCDiscontinued. $42.00/0.282 oz.

A

According to the brand, Air Blush is supposed to offer buildable coverage with a “luminous finish” that wears for “24-hours.” Each shade...

According to the brand, Air Blush is supposed to offer buildable coverage with a “luminous finish” that wears for “24-hours.” Each shade...

09.

09. Worker One Sonia G

Sonia G

PPermanent. $36.00

A+

Sonia G. Worker One Brush ($36.00) is a larger, denser eye brush that's is made out of dyed Saikoho goat hair, and it was intended to be an "eye...

Sonia G. Worker One Brush ($36.00) is a larger, denser eye brush that's is made out of dyed Saikoho goat hair, and it was intended to be an "eye...

10.

10. Z-2 Highlight Brush Chikuhodo

Chikuhodo

PPermanent. $141.00

A+

Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlight Brush ($92.00) is a thinner, tapered brush. It is made out of gray squirrel hair. The brush head is 1.5 inches or 3.5...

Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlight Brush ($92.00) is a thinner, tapered brush. It is made out of gray squirrel hair. The brush head is 1.5 inches or 3.5...

15.
A

It's supposed to be a “lip stain with an ultra-glossy finish” that has “intense, vibrant color” and is "long-wearing." The formula feels...

It's supposed to be a “lip stain with an ultra-glossy finish” that has “intense, vibrant color” and is "long-wearing." The formula feels...

17.

17. Rose Gold simplehuman

simplehuman

PPermanent. $250.00

A+

simplehuman Rose Gold Sensor Mirror Pro ($250.00) is the latest and greatest in the brand's mirror family. I'm so, so pleased with what they've done...

simplehuman Rose Gold Sensor Mirror Pro ($250.00) is the latest and greatest in the brand's mirror family. I'm so, so pleased with what they've done...

19.

19. Rouge G de Guerlain Lip Color (2018) Guerlain

Guerlain

PPermanent. $33.00/0.12 oz.

A-

The formula is supposed to have "intense colour" with a hydrating base that includes things like jojoba and mango butter as well as hyaluronic acid...

The formula is supposed to have "intense colour" with a hydrating base that includes things like jojoba and mango butter as well as hyaluronic acid...

20.

20. Ambient Lighting Powder Hourglass

Hourglass

PPermanent. $48.00/0.35 oz.

A

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more...

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more...

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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).

I agree on Saint & Sinner Palette, La Vie En Rose (Purple Reign all by itself would have been enough to make this palette totally worth the splurge), and Meteorites!

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.

Chanel Bronzer Soleil Tan

Tom Ford blushes. Old formula

Hourglass Mood Exposure Blush

ABH eyeshadow palettes

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

Empreinte du Desert….when I think that I came close to leaving it behind at the counter (when we had a Chanel counter….), I shudder. One of the best e/s purchases!

I’m gonna have to check out that feature. I was wanting to buy a high end palette Pat M or ND but I honestly could never decide which I was going to get Decadence from pat m but it’s sold out.

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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