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Eye Cream. I notice it makes a difference. When you get to my age, you will notice. I am trying to finish the La Mer eye cream…so I can get another Sisley, but I dont think wearing La Mer is beneficial.

I’d say lipstick (or any type of lip product), my lips are incredibly dry, and only very good products work well with them. Same with eyeliner, I only wear it on my lower rim, so if it’s bad quality it makes my eyes watery all day a leave me with raccoon eyes.

But you are right, applying foundation is like preparing a canvas, and I prefer my canvas to be as smooth as possible.

Honestly, I don’t scrimp on most products; most of my stash is higher-end makeup. If I’m going to get enjoyment out of a product, and the color/texture/formula suits me, and I can afford it, I’ll usually buy it. I tend to only buy higher end for concealer (most drugstores don’t go light enough for me) and foundation (with one exception).

I don’t go out of my way to necessarily go out of my way to scimp or splurge on any one product. If I *had* to pick one, I’d go with eyeshadow, although I have products from the lowest end of the spectrum. For me, it’s all about pigmentation, and while some DS brands don’t perform well on that end, many luxury brands don’t either; however, I also realize it’s not a “fault” with the product/brand, but often it is intentional. I’ve personally found many mid-range brands to be what I’m looking for (ie, UD, NARS, MUFE, etc), although I’m planning a 40-pan Inglot palette.

Eyeshadow! My eyes are super sensitive and drugstore eyeshadows really bother me, especially Maybelline and Almay!

I am so incredibly picky and critical of foundation products. I never hesitate to splurge. Finding everything you want in one product: coverage, colour, finish, longevity is a very individualized process and a big challenge. I think individual chemistry plays such a huge part in the success or failure of one product to the next that reading reviews can be completely subjective. You never know until you try it yourself. I love how HE brands have great quality products, but sometimes ridiculously limited colour choices. Conversely, some of the most diverse color offerings end up in acceptable to mediocre results. That just isn’t good enough for me. I have lots of foundations I like and very few I love.


I completely agree with you! After trying several foundations that ended up either oxidizing or completely fading away, I tend to splurge on higher end foundations that stay true to color and performance. I still haven’t found a drugstore foundation that’s completely problem me for my skin!

Pretty much the things I consider a staple, especially products that need to have longevity and still be comfortable to wear. This includes but not limited to foundation and red lipstick.

SKINCARE!! I think the most important thing is making sure your skin is looking its best… so that you don’t rely too much on makeup to do its wonders. I spend vast amounts on cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and get facials every 4 weeks. Glowing natural skin is priceless πŸ˜‰

Concealer – years of adult acne/scarring amd melasma pigmentation patches on my forehead and cheekbones make this absolutely imperative. Fortunately, I have found my HG and even though I drop about $65NZD at a time, it lasts me at least two years (I buy 2 shades and custom mix) so it is well worth it!

Thin Lizzy Concealer Creme in Minx and Oriental Doll – I don’t know if it is avalable internationally (the main product in the Thin Lizzy brand is one of those 6-in-1 miracle powders, think infomercial type stuff) but it is a very pigmented, beeswax based product so it has great coverage and longevity… I did a review on makeupalley (embeth3) if you’re interested.

I did a quick check and it doesn’t look like it’s available in the US. Oh well, I’ll keep looking πŸ™‚

Foundation and also facial sunscreen. I wish I could find a less expensive foundation that I can count on reliably to apply well and look good throughout the day but the one I know I can count on is Guerlain Lingerie de Peau so I’ll keep buying and using that. And having a facial sunscreen that isn’t greasy but has a high level of SPF and that works with my makeup is another place where I won’t skimp. Kiehl’s has a great one and Lise Watier makes an amazing (but somewhat pricey) product called Sun Smart that feels and works like a primer but has SPF of 40, I think.

Yiu may want to check out La Roche Posay;they have a sunscreen-moisturizer-primer combo that may suit you and cost less.

Lash primer! as of lately Ive been playing around with a lot of drugstore makeup, its not as bad now as I remember it used to be years ago BUT I refuse to budge from my Diorshow lash primer πŸ™‚

I agree, I don’t mind paying more for a foundation, after all it is your second skin so it has to be perfect!

Mascara – I wear it even if I go out with nothing else on my face. I used Lancome’s L’Extreme Waterproof mascara, which I have just found out they have discontinued (I’m probably way behind the times on this one!) Now searching for a new, good waterproof mascara if there is any suggestions? I’m not a huge fan of their Hypnose range, especially for the price.

I’m in need of a good foundation that does everything you’ve just said above. I have normal to dry skin, what foundation would you recommend, Christine?

I’d be willing to scrimp on anything if the product performs well. I usually buy DiorShow mascara; I keep trying new drugstore mascaras, but I always come back to this because it works the best for me. I also have a prescription for Tretoin cream (generic Retin-A) that I buy every other month; it runs about $60. There’s just no adequate OTC substitute for it. It used to be $100 for a two-month supply, but it keeps getting cheaper! πŸ˜‰

I used to use DiorSkin and Laura Mercier Silk Foundations. Lately, I’ve been using Maybelline Fit Me or Dream Smooth Mousse. If I had to I’d go back to more expensive foundation, but you’re right, Christine–drugstore brands HAVE been stepping up their quality!

Moisturizer! Makeup looks horrible over patchy or super oily skin so having the right product to balance out my combo skin is essential. Right now I’m loving the Lancome Bienfait Aqua Vital Continuous Infusing Moisturizer Cream. I had to google the entire name, its so long LOL

Foundation as well but i prefer for mineral foundation to go indie for the best quality on I’ve found and theatrical lines for my creme foundation for pigmented one (it also afordable as well).

I use to go hi end for concealer but I’ve final found some drugstore ones I like.

Mascara! I’m allergic to so many, it’s worth the extra money to not be rubbing my eyes all day. Luckily, Benefit’s They’re Real is my HG and at $21 it’s not unreasonable. The right foundation that doesn’t make me break out is also worth it!

I always say foundation, next to a solid skin care regime. As an African-American woman, it is such a challenge finding the right shade to match our complex undertones.

I don’t scrimp on any beauty product. Once I find something I like I stick to it instead of wasting money searching for a lower priced dupe. This is especially true for skincare.

First thing for me is skin care, then concealer, then foundation. If I take care of my skin I need less concealer. If I have a good concealer, I need less foundation. After that is a good eyeshadow primer. A good eyeshadow primer will boost the performance of cheaper, lower quality eyeshadows. I find drugstore mascaras and powders to work well. Also, I think blush and eyeliners are worth splurging on too. I want those to last all day.

I agree. Foundation. I really wanted to save and tried Revlon Colorstay. It lasted all day, etc. but could finding a warm toned color that matched my medium compexion was impossible. I also found that I need a LOT of foundations so a lot of $$$ goes to foundation. I like to switch them up depending on climate and where I’m going. In the winter, I really like Tarte Amazonian Clay. Summer I like different things – this year I think my summer foundation will be Hourglass Immaculate. It is weightless and has good staying power.

(Now that I think about it I don’t really scrimp on anything) I use mostly high end products, though I hate spending $$$ on lip products. I love the lip set from Sugar that I got for my Sephora birthday gift, but won’t spend $22 on one. I am just as happy with my Revlon colorbursts or Maybelline Baby Lips. I have plenty of high end lipstick but usually because I got it for free as a GWP.

Foundation and eye-cream. Nothing works, lasts, photographs as well as Dior’s AirFlash but it’s so expensive I keep it for special occasions and use MAC or Bare Essentials for everyday.

Foundation….I’ve tried all sorts and I still have not found “the one.” I tend to get have combination skin, but get oilier throughout the day. I get patches where my make up slides off too, right at my nose, then next my forehead and cheeks. I’ve tried all the combinations of oil free/pore minimizers/matifying primers and just about every foundation, drugstore and up. I’m thinking of trying the more expensive lines, like Chanel and YSL, to see if any of those are “the one.”

BB Cream (I use Too Faced in Snow Glow) and eyelid primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion). The Primer Potion sticks to my eyelids like it’s glued on there…won’t even come off with regular water, I have to use remover. And I couldn’t believe the difference between top-of-the-line BB cream and regular drugstore tinted moisturizer. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it!

I don’t particularly scrimp or splurge on anything – as long as it’s not insanely overpriced by my budget standards, I’ll buy it if I think it’s worth it. I guess if I had to pick one thing that I generally prefer high end, it’s probably highlighters. For one, they’re difficult to find at drug store level, and second, it’s a product that requires a certain level of quality to work well on the face. I’ll also willing to shell out quite a bit for liners and concealer if it does the job, but I don’t particularly go after them assuming the higher price tag means a better application.

Foundation and skincare (although my current skincare regimen is very effective at a reasonable price). The wrong foundation is very noticeable.

I dont really scrimp on anything. I used to use a lot of drug store products but stopped now that Ive gotten used to HE ones.
I do notice the difference.

since i’ve hit 30 and have seen a few changes in my skin, i’m sooo willing to splurge on skincare & even foundation (although i’ve only been really using it for 2 years and still sheer it out with moisturizer). but i can not bring myself to shell out any big money on lippies…no matter how gorgeous the shade, i’m just that content with my Neutrogena Moisture Shine Lip Smoothers, i layer them over any cheap lippie i’ve randomly picked up.

i also definitely skimp on highlighters, being a WOC on the tan/deep border, depending on the Texas weather, i can get away with using so many products as highlighters.

Agreed! Foundation is where I won’t cut any corners. I have very pale, sensitive skin so ingredients matter and it’s hard to find a color match. Once I’ve gotten something good, I’ll pay the price for it.

In my case, itΒ΄s not one, itΒ΄s basically all. Anything I use on my face, like lipstick, gloss, mascara… all high end. I do go to cheaper brands for nail polish though more mid end in that case.

Moisturizer, foundation, and eyeshadow! I got the Murad Age Balancing Night Cream as a free sample from Ulta and have been hooked ever since. I can’t live without it, even though it is a whopping $75USD per bottle (1.7 oz) which is more than I’ve ever paid! Foundation goes without saying… drugstore products just don’t cut it in that department. I can understand them working for someone with nearly perfect skin, but I like a full coverage foundation. As far as eyeshadows are concerned, I only use MAC and UD. They are my favorite by far!

I would say blush. There are a couple of nice drugstore blushes, but overall a lot of them are hard to use. I don’t scrimp on blush because I find the pigmentation and lasting power on HE blushes are worth the money.

Probably concealer and some eye shadows. Concealer is a must (I get under eye circles and bags and I feel like I look dead without it). So, I definitely don’t mind spending more money (if needed) on a good one. Also, though there are some drugstore eye shadows which are good quality, I find I reach for my UD, Too Faced and Lorac shadows the most. I don’t mind spending money on a good palette (usually don’t buy singles) cause it’s gonna apply well and last longer.

I was very limited to certain products because of allergies so it’s trial and error for most things. Probably eye makeup is where I spend more because apart from Wet n Wild shadows and some Maybelline and CG mascaras a lot swells my eyes – even foundation.

It’s foundation and concealer for me! Although, I am beginning to ponder trying a cheaper foundation. I use CoTZ facial sunscreen daily. It basically sits on the skin and reflects sun like a mirror. It’s one of the few I have found that don’t break me out since it’s not absorbed, which is super important because I HAVE to use the sunscreen because I HAVE to use a retinoid to prevent acne. Vicious circle.

But, because the CoTZ reflects, it makes the tones in foundation really show. The only one I have found that holds it own over the CoTZ is Chanel vitalumiere cream compact, but at $75 after tax, and only lasting for about 3 months of daily use, I’m sick of it. I want to find something in the 20-40 range that cuts it. Sooo, I’ll be hunting for something new, unfortunately.

If anyone knows of anything similar to the Chanel cream to powder compact I would love to hear about it!

Compact Powder !!
I don’t like creamy and liquid foundation but I always use a compact powder to wear over my sunscreen.
The powder has to even out and complement my skintone perfectly, minimise oiliness but not flat looking and too matt and provide a glowy finish. My faves so far are Sisley, Dolce Gabbana and Lancome.

loose or pressed Powder for setting foundation. Its only the high end brands that seem to have the right shade for me, everything else in drugstore is either to pale, or if its close to my shade then its meant to be used as a shimmery bronzer. Im really dissapointed as the one i use all the time is by illamasqua and they have discontinued it! So have to find another one i guess.

Skincare, especially facial sunscreen and serums. A sunscreen from Shiseido was my first “high-end” cosmetic purchase. Because I use it everyday, I want something that offers high protection yet is still cosmetically elegant on, which is difficult to find.

If I could find the perfect foundation, I’d be willing to pay anything for it. As it is, I’m stuck with foundations that are several shades out as no one, HE or otherwise, does a decent colour match for me and I’m not going to pay a lot of money for something that isn’t perfect. And I’d scrimp on everything else anyway, hahah.

Foundation…I learned the hard way that a good foundation is the key to a long lasting face. I don’t even acknowledge drugstore foundations anymore. My holy grail is MUFE Face & Body!

Foundation of course, but also blush. Drugstore blushes are too sheer and the colors don’t have enough oomph. They usually disappear on my skin. I love my NARS and Tarte blushes.

Compact powder, foundation and skin care. A good powder makes the world of difference on my uneven skin tone.

I guess eyeshadow primer? I use Urban Decay’s exclusively. I’ve only tried a couple of other brands and I’ve got such a pile of UDPP, there’s no question.

But I’m shrewd about my purchases? One of the old genie style packaging will last me forever (I’m pretty sure that’s because I lay it down on its side in my makeup bag), so when they D/Ced that, I picked up a couple on heavy discount. And last month I got two half priced via an Ulta deal.

Other than that, I have not tried any type of product that was superior enough in a mid-higher end formula that I’d never by a lower end/drugstore product.

Face products (skincare, foundation and concealer). I have super sensitive skin so I don’t want to risk anything. That being said, high end foundations do break me out also (YSL’s touche eclat foundation) but at least the higher end brands have a shade that matches my porcelain pale skin!

Eyeshadow primer. I always get Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer. I always want my eyeshadow to be perfect because I live in a humid climate and because eyeshadow is not a part of your makeup that’s easy to retouch.

hye christine
i m wrritting this comment 2nd time THANX GOD you posted something about foundation i have been searching how to contact you so you can help me i ahve a query i purchased YSL teint resist foundation in shade 6 when i went to DUBAI and this shade has olive undertone to it πŸ™ i don’t have any olive undertones i checked the foundation when i came back to my country πŸ™ so i can’t return it or change it πŸ™ n same thing happens to me when i bought MAC PROLONG WEAR foundation in NW25 n this has orange or peach undertone to it i checked your review n u also mentioned it n as u suggested i used this foundation as buffing technique but seriously this is still dark color on me πŸ™ i don’t want to mix them with other foundations as this will ruion the finish n coverage of both foundations πŸ™ i searched alot before asking you bcz i know you also has alot of work to do and i came across FACE ATELIER ULTRA FOUNDATION IN ZERO MINUS it has good reviews and you can mix it with your darker foundations to work for you…my main problme is that its highly silicone based n i don’t even know that i am allergic to silicones or not πŸ™ i do use a face primer with silicones n it didn’t break me out but not on daily basis….kindly help me christine as i spend $150 to $200 on both above mentioned foundations bcz cosmetis is much more expensive in ABU DHABI as in USA…..so kinnnnnnddddddddlllllyyyyyyyyyy helppppppp me n save me from this guilt please πŸ™ i m waiting for your reply

kindly kindly do solve my query i m waiting bcz i know i has to spend $60 to buy face atelier one if you recommend it to me so i want to make the right decision this time

Hi Maryam!

I’m not familiar with Face Atelier’s Zero Minus, unfortunately, so I don’t know quite how it works from experience! You might try using your face primer a few days in a row, since you already have that, to see if you have any issues with silicones in higher amounts!

You could also try mixing the foundation with your moisturizer and see if that sheers out the color enough so it is not too dark!

thanxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx a millionnnnnnnnnnn christine for replying so quick and helping me you are a life saver love you <3 n ok as you suggest i will use my primer in a row to see is if i m allergic to silicones or not if yes then how much πŸ™‚

n nop christine i have oily/combo skin n can't use moisturizer with my foundation but thanx a million for helping me dear MAY ALLAH BLESS YOU N YOUR FAMILY AMEEN

In all honesty, I scrimp on every beauty product! Not that I won’t get high-end products, because I often do, but only if I have a serious sale or coupon–preferably both.

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