I’ve confessed before that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to beauty brands. Luckily for my wallet, I’ve been testing various drugstore beauty products to share with all of you, and I’ve found some really great, inexpensive products. But overall, when it comes to beauty, I’m willing to spend a little more for a product that delivers. I’ve been keeping a list of my favorite high-end products and I wanted to share the first installment of them with you. And by “favorite,” I mean that I use them regularly (if not daily) and will re-purchase them as soon as they run out.
(I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I knew some readers would want to know why I would spend $30 on a lipstick. If you want to skip the explanations and go straight to the product, just click the name. I won’t be offended!)
1. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain ($32)
This is my favorite lip product of the season. It’s a gloss, stain and lipstick all in one. It goes on super creamy and glossy, but unlike other products of that kind, it stays on all day like a true stain. It comes in 19 bright and gorgeous colors. I wear #8, the gorgeous orange color above, and #10, a deep red that looks ah.may.zing on brown skin. I’m not even gonna lie though…I want to collect them all for my makeup collection.
2. La Mer Lip Balm ($50)
I know. This lip balm is outrageously expensive. But just hear me out. As you’ve probably noticed, I have very full lips. Because of this, I take painstaking measures to ensure that they look flawless at all times. I just can’t deal when they’re dry. For years, I’ve been using either a Cocoa Butter stick or the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm, which is also amazing, daily. But neither of those products kept my lips moisturized for long periods of time. The La Mer lip balm is seriously the best lip balm I have ever tried. The first time I used it, I put it on right before bed and I could still feel it on my lips the next morning. It starts working immediately and keeps my lips moisturized and smooth for hours. It has a minty smell, so if you’re not into fragrant lip products, I’d say skip it. But if you don’t mind, this is a product you must try at least once. It will be money well spent.
3. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant ($18)
This one may seem silly, but I actually experienced some irritation after using drugstore deodorants. My mom told me about this one and I decided to try it and haven’t looked back since. This product is perfect for sensitive skin because it’s so gentle, but it’s also great for anyone who doesn’t wear perfume regularly. It’s lightly scented with Donna Karan’s best-selling fragrance Cashmere Mist, and it lasts all day long. (I found this mini version at Ulta if you’re not ready to spend $18 on a deodorant yet.)
4. Clinique All About Eyes ($47.50)
I wrote about this eye cream briefly in my skincare routine post, but I wanted to talk about it more here. It comes in two formulas: regular and rich, for dry skin types. It also comes in two sizes: .5 oz for $29 and 1.0 oz for $47.50, but the full ounce is the better value. I use the regular formula because I have combination to oily skin, and this cream/gel formula is great for my skin. It’s light enough to use day and night and works well under eye makeup. I really suffer from puffiness and dark circles, and so far, I’ve had great success with this product.
5. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50)
If you wear lipstick, especially red or any other bright colored lipstick, but you don’t own a lip scrub, you are missing a crucial step in the lip process. I’ve read that you can get away with just brushing your lips with a toothbrush, or rolling a q-tip across them after putting on lip balm, but I’ve tried both and nothing compares to a lip scrub. I bought this particular one after using the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm for years and tried it before wearing my favorite red lipstick. I really didn’t understand the difference it would make until I saw it. The lipstick looked so much creamier and smoother and I didn’t end up with any flaky, dry patches after putting it on. This product is just so so good. And it smells and tastes amazing. Just like brown sugar, but better. Plus, it lasts forever. I use it every few days and I’ve barely made a dent in the .6oz container. I definitely got my money’s worth in this one.
6. Tom Ford Lip Color ($48)
You already know that I’m obsessed with lipstick. There’s nothing in the makeup process that feels more glamorous than putting on a lipstick. And there is no lipstick I’ve tried that is more glam than Tom Ford’s lip color. Everything from the black and gold packaging, that audibly clicks when you close it, to the TF embossed in the lipstick is pure glamour. And to top it off, it’s a product that delivers. The lipstick is super creamy because it’s made with exotic oils and butters to keep your lips hydrated. And the colors are rich and flawless. I chose True Coral as my first one because, if you’re going to spend that kind of money, it should be a lipstick that gets you noticed. I’m also loving Crimson Noir, Violet Fatale and Black Orchid.
7. YSL Touche Eclat ($40)
I’ve mentioned this product before, but I had to include it because 1. I still love it and 2. YSL has added new, darker shades to the collection! I loved the one I already had, but it had a slightly pink undertone which didn’t blend as seamlessly on my yellow-undertoned skin. I was just making it work somehow. Now, I wear #7 Luminous Mocha and it blends perfectly. After I’ve completed my base, eye makeup and powder, I dab a little under my eyes, in my inner-eye corner, under my brow bone and a tiny bit on my cupid’s bow. It instantly illuminates my face and gives me a refreshed glow without using too much highlighter on my oily skin. I’ll be repurchasing this product forever.
If you have normal, combination or oily skin, or you just like a more matte foundation, you should buy this foundation right now. Well…go to a makeup counter and get color-matched first. Then buy it. There are so many reasons why I love this foundation. First, it seriously lasts all day. I’ve worn it to an all-day vineyard tour, to the office, to a Nationals game, to babysit. It stays on beautifully. Every now and then I get a little shine on my nose, but it’s nothing compared to what I see with some other foundations. It has a matte finish without looking powdery and it doesn’t transfer (my biggest pet peeve with base products!). It comes in an extensive range of shades from the palest ivory to the darkest brown and it’s full coverage, so I don’t have to use a concealer with it if I don’t want to. Love love love it!
Whoa…that was a lot! If you made it this far, I would love to know what products you’re willing to dish out a little extra cash for. Also, have you found any cheaper versions of your favorite products that work just as well? If you decide to purchase any of these products, please let me know what you think!