Are High End Makeup Brands Worth the Money?

By Jenny, age 16, New Jersey

Wandering through my local Sephora, I've always wondered if that $24 NARS lip gloss was any glossier than my Revlon one or if that $55 YSL foundation would make my skin any more flawless than my L'Oreal brand one. Are high end makeup products really worth the extra money? Or are they just charging for the brand name?

It depends. It depends on the type of product and also the company. From experience and online reviews, this is what I've learned regarding whether to buy expensive makeup or go for the drugstore brands.

For foundation and concealer, you should generally go for the higher end brands. The ones in drugstores are generally hit or miss. Drugstore foundations often use chemicals which may be harmful to the sensitive skin on your face. They often don't last long, sweating off easily. Because of this, you might find yourself having to touch up your makeup constantly. Overall, the ingredients in higher end foundations and concealers give better coverage and last longer.

Try: Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($40), Clinique Foundation Superbalanced Makeup ($22), and MAC Studio Fix Foundation $27.

Since mascaras need to be replaced every three months anyway, drugstore mascaras are often a better value. There is no point in buying an expensive tube of mascara just to have to replace it in a few months. Drugstore mascaras also generally contain the same ingredients as high end ones; thus they perform just as well as their more expensive counterparts. As a matter of fact, some of the highest rated mascaras can be found at your local drugstore, Wal-Mart, or Target.

Try: Covergirl Lashblast ($6), L'Oreal Telescopic ($7), and Maybelline Falsies ($6).

The quality of eyeliner and eye shadow depends more on the company that makes them rather than on the price of the product. Some good qualities for your eyeliner or eye shadow to have are good pigmentation, long lastingness, and texture. Good pigmentation is when there is good color payoff - it doesn't take that much product to get a vibrant color. Long lastingness is obviously its durability. Texture has to do with the actual quality of the product and its ease of use. Eyeliners should be somewhat creamy and glide on your eye easily. Eye shadows shouldn't be too dry and chalky. Knowing which brands to buy is a bit trickier. For example, even though MAC eye shadows are good, their eyeliners are nothing special. This is where experimentation and research comes in.

Try: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil ($18), CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil ($5), Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner ($4), Coastal Scents 88 Palette ($20), MAC Eyeshadow ($14), and L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow ($6).

Lip products are also tricky when trying to decide whether to save or splurge. Drugstore lip products are often high quality but the more expensive brands can also be worth it. For example, Revlon lipsticks are amazing for their price but some people think that MAC lipsticks are worth the $15 price tag. Once again, it is up to personal preference; whether you feel that the more expensive price tag is justified by its quality.

Try: Revlon Colorburst Lipstick, MAC Lipstick ($15), NARS Lip gloss ($24), and CoverGirl Wetslicks Lip gloss ($5).

When buying makeup, you always want the best value for your money. One way to get the best usage out of your makeup is to buy a mixture of drugstore and high end products. By trying a variety of brands and a variety of products, you will be able to find a balance between quality and price, a balance you will come to appreciate as your makeup collection grows. That NARS lip gloss may last a few more hours but my Revlon one is good enough for me.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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