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- Lipsticks and lipglosses are the easiest way to change up a look, so it makes no sense to spend a lot on a product that's basically an accessory for your face. To find the perfect shade for your colouring, test colours on your fingertips (the skin texture and tone there is closer to your lips than the back of your hand is), then hold up different colours to your face to see which you like best.
You can save even more by buying a balm stain: it's buildable, long-lasting, and it can double up as a creme blush. Win win!
- Eyeshadows and eyeliners are great fun to experiment with. Like lipsticks, there's no point paying too much for them. Also, some high-end brands are actually made in the same factory as cheaper brands, and sometimes even use the same formula.
What's more, how long eyeshadows and liners last on you depends on your skin and whether you use a primer, not how much you pay. Instead of paying top dollar for something you're not even sure will last, spend less money on more fun colours!
- There are some great "holy grail" high-end mascaras out there. Diorshow by Dior has a cult following - but so does Maybelline's Great Lash. Really, you can find mascaras in Watson's, Mannings and SaSa that are just as good as the fancy ones in department stores. Generally, anything with tube technology to prevent smudging, and a waterproof formula, offers great results.
- The most important thing to any look is the canvas: your skin. If you're going to spend serious dollars anywhere, let it be on skincare. It's also an investment! There is no such thing as taking care of your skin too early, so find a moisturiser which offers plenty of hydration. And don't forget to use sunscreen during the day, and cleanse at least once at night!
- The next layer that goes on your face is also worth spending a bit more on, because a good foundation should look and feel like skin. That's not to say there aren't good drugstore foundations out there, but the reason high-end foundations are more expensive is that they often have a more refined formula that makes it easier to blend them, which is what creates flawless coverage. Also, high-end brands often have a bigger selection of shades for a wider range of skin tones.
- Here's the reason you shouldn't overspend on products like eyeshadows and blushes: with primer, even cheap products stay put and look great. Invest in a good one to help ensure those rosy cheeks don't fade away, and that smoky eye doesn't turn into a panda eye.
- Four-time Australian Make-up Artist of the Year Rae Morris once told me, "I can do more with good brushes and bad products than I can with bad brushes and good products." And it's true.
Not all make-up brushes are the same and you need different ones for different products and parts of the face. A good quality brush will help you look flawless no matter how much you spent on your makeup. (Here's my selection of must-have brushes.)
This article appeared in the Young Post print edition asTo save or to splurge?