Some cosmetics are worth every extra rupee. The colours glide on like a dream, the formula makes you glow and the longwearing versions stay on stubbornly. But sometimes, the product you’re buying is just a dud in fancy clothes. So how do you decide what’s worth your money? We asked ace make-up gurus Natasha Nischol from Fat-Mu and Marvie Beck.
Splurge Or Scrimp
Stick with better quality and texture to get a smooth, shine free look. “A high-end product leaves no trace and doesn’t cause build-up over time,” says Nischol, who picks M.A.C Blot, Bobbi Brown, Clarins and Clinique. Beck, on the other hand has found gems on the high street as well: “Revlon, Lakme and Chambor make perfectly good ones.”
Kohl, liner, kajal & eye pencils
“A cheap liner will be dry, gritty and may stain your skin. But most brand-name pencils are pretty good,’ says Beck, who picks Lakme, Revlon and Colorbar for eye pencils and liners. For Nischol, it’s Chambor and Revlon ColourStay. “Don’t spend much on a pot of gel liner either. Maybelline and L’Oréal’s versions stay true, resist smudging, are intensely pigmented and easy on the pocket,” she says.
Your eyelids are hardly big enough in area to show a discernable difference in quality. So don’t break the bank. “Revlon and Maybelline do some pretty cool ones that blend well, have nice textures and stay put,” Nischol says. Beck cautions against using no-name brands on your eyes. “When going clubbing, don’t spend too much on make-up that no one will see. Just limit your use.” She recommends brands like Inglot, Faces and Maybelline.
On lashes, cheap mascara doesn’t look much different from its expensive cousin. But Beck warns against using low-quality products near the eyes, especially if you’re sensitive. “Cheap formulas tend to clump, dry out faster and have more irritants,” she explains. “If you use your mascara well, you can stretch a good product for even 10 months.”
Splurge Or Scrimp
If you wear a good foundation, don’t spend on blush. “Regular powder blushes look beautiful over a base,” Beck says. “Maybelline, NYX and Ben Nye do lovely cream blushes,” says Nischol, adding, “Although Ben Nye isn’t exactly high-street, it does a great cream blush wheel with multiple shades to suit any complexion or mood, and is super easy on the pocket.”
“The high-end versions have better pigment, variety in textures and lasting power,” finds Nischol. Her favourites include those from Chanel, YSL and M.A.C. Beck believes in a bigger budget too. “It’s the cherry on the cake, and a good one will make a difference. Stick to mid-range and designer ones and buy only a few shades you’ll wear again and again, instead of hoarding dozens of cheap colours.”
They may not be of daily use, but don’t spend less on highlighters, primers and bronzers. Nischol claims that costlier highlighters are finer, blend better and impart just the right amount of sheen. “Try Benefit, Laura Mercier and Shisheido,” she says. Pricier primers make the skin glow and make-up last long. She also believes that a good bronzer from M.A.C or Guerlain makes your skin look warm and glowing.
Beck believes that for this one product, you get what you pay for. A high-end brand is more likely to stock your exact shade, have a smoother texture, blend better, stay longer without streaking and not turn dark by the end of the day. Nischol recommends Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Lancôme and Estée Lauder. “Their textures are gorgeous, and they aren’t too overpriced.” Dermalogica tints also blend well and combat shine.
Concealer works harder than foundation, to cover lines, dark circles, spots and scars. So buy the best you can afford. “Concealers are particularly good at Bobbi Brown and M.A.C,” Nischol says. “Combined with a corrector, they can help combat dark circles perfectly. They’re definitely worth investing in, even if you use them without a foundation for that fresh, had-10-hours-of-sleep look!”