Recessionista's Guide to Buying Make Up

The recession seems to be receding, (or is it?), but there were some valuable lessons to be learnt from it. Not only corporate but even fashionistas like you & me could easily use the lessons we learnt during the recession to shop wisely in more extravagant time. 

So here is a quick recap:
1.The best powder shadows (read: MAC) are expensive because they have higher quality / more intense pigments and  finer consistency. That means they will be richer in color pay off (small quantity – more color)  and easier to blend. They might even last you longer as you have to use so little.
2. As for cream shadows, don't spend a lot  since it won't make much of a difference in the quality (try Jordana or Star Cosmetics for cream eyeshadows)
3. Spend the most on colors you wear often. They will make the most difference in your everyday look. If unsure invest in matt colors like taupe, slate, navy, or chocolate. These suit most eye colors. For trendier shades that aren't as easy to wear, a bright blue, green or yellow for example, spend as little as needed.(this is of course assuming that you work in an office like me and have to wear professional make up).
4. Try to buy eyeshadow in matt colors. You can always buy glitter (gold, silver) as an extra and turn your matt eyeshadow into shimmer by layering it on top for night wear. This is assuming that you don’t wear shimmer on a daily basis.
5. If you are unsure about whether you really like a particular color, buy the cheap one first to experiment. Once you decide if it suits you, buy it in a better brand.

Foundation & concealers:
1.Buying foundation is extremely personal as all of us have different concerns, skin tones & types. If a 100 buck bottle of Lakme soufflé foundation matches your skin and feels great on, then you're a very lucky person. 
2. However, if it takes the Rs. 1500 bottle of Estee Launder foundation to blend in seamlessly and not cause you to break out, then you may have to just decide whether you can live without it or no and scrimp somewhere else. After all a clear canvas is the best way to highlight your features.

How much should you spend on blush? It all depends on how much you actually use it
1. Rarely -- Don't spend a lot on blush at all.If you prefer cream, double up a pink/mauve/peach lipstick as blush or a salmon colored eyeshadow as powder blush.
2. Occasionally -- You can probably get away with skimping on a cheaper brand. Any product costing less than Rs. 150 - 200 max  will suffice for that random moment when you need some color.
3.Regularly -- Invest in a top brand. The best blushes cost the most because just like expensive eye shadow they will have more pigment, more intense color and a finer texture. What that means is that you can apply less product and get more color, fewer streaks and a smoother feel.
4. If you can't spend at all on a blush, consider using an inexpensive lipstick They create rich color without streaking and they cost a fraction of the price.

1. Do not spend at all on a bronzer -- unless it's a staple item in your makeup bag. This may be the case if you have naturally brown undertones in the skin and opt out on blush. This is an optional product and can be replaced by creamy eyeshadow/lipstick.

1. Find a brand that you like regardless of the price range. Mascara, no matter which brand makes it, has the same ingredients. You don't have to spend a lot to get a quality product so just find a brand you like or want to try out.

1. Go for quality over price. Eyeliner lasts a long time, even if you use the same pencil day after day. When you consider the cost over the long run, just remember that it's often worth it to put out some extra cash to get something that will treat your eyes with care and has been formulated with the right preservatives.

Lipstick & Gloss:
1. Get to know your skin and how it works with certain colors through experimentation with cheap brands to start with (Try Tips & Toes). If you don't like the color you won't feel guilty for wasting money. Once you find your favorite shade, don't skimp on the essential hue. High quality lip sticks are well worth the money and since you will end up ingesting a lot of it buy good quality bees wax lipsticks.

Lip Liner
1. Go with a brand you trust. Lip liner, unlike lipstick,  is just about the same in quality across the board so you don't have to spend a lot on it. Simply find a brand that you can trust and that is in your price range.

Nail Polish
1. Most brands and types of polish all use the same ingredients. 
2. Your nails are dead to begin with, so protein, formaldehyde, and other growth ingredients are not really going to make any huge difference in your nails. 
3. Also, all brands (Lakme, Maybelline) usually start to chip or crack after three or four days, except for the quick-dry formulas that might break down even faster. 
4. What you do to try and maintain and protect your nails from wear following proper application will directly determine how long your manicure will last. The price you pay for a polish won't.

5. So invest in a good quality top coat & rubber gloves for doing the house work.

What are your favorite tips when buying make up? Do share them with me!!


  1. I totally agree with yu !
    I think expensive paints are total waste !
    rather than that we shud invest in a good base and top coat !
    I like oriflame's top and base coat :)

  2. Hi Tanveer,

    I honestly follow a lot of things mentioned by you. I invest money in buying a foundation especially. FOundation is a base and can make or break your overall look. And MAC might be the best brand in the town, I would not buy it until and unless I am just dying for a specific product in its range.

    Lovely tips. Keep them coming. :)

  3. I was checking out the Mac website today. Trust me, their products are tempting.I guess one of these days, I would forget all about saving money and end up emptying my wallet at their store. :P

    I have read some rave reviews about their skin finish powder (compaq). Cost-Rs 1350

    Gosh!! it's hard to control yourself from buying more and more makeup. lol!!

  4. Oh tanvi, here u r glad u r bak! 200% agreed and wud luv to follow all the above :)

  5. V useful useful guide Tanveer. Sometimes when I'm in a makeup store I forget what 'spend wisely' means :D I also think bronzer is a waste of money too..but I still hope that i can pull it off when i find 'The One' I like how great it looks on some pple.

  6. Tanvi, thnq for the sweet msg! Where on earth r u, darl? peekaboooo...

  7. Great tips Tanveer, I love em! Regarding Dark Angels, if you use the size of a penny, you won't get spotting like I did the first time. And it does recommend using 2x a week, but I've been using it like 3x and its not hurting my skin, only helping, so you can get more use out of it in 2 months. I exfoliate it for 1-2 minutes then wash off. Make sure you don't have like an opaque layer of black mask on your face--that's too much and can lead to that spotting I mentioned. Hope that helps!

  8. Regarding MAC, I just want to point out that although you spend a bunch of money upfront, their products last forever, and you'll most likely be in love with them. I wasted money buying 2 drugstore eyeliners, and finally bought the Fluidline. I could've SAVED money by buying Fluidline the first time. To me, buying cult classics from MAC saves me money and time. I just save save save and then splurge on a very well-vetted list of products.

  9. Can I make a confession please? I but two Mac products today. Will write about the haul tomorrow.

    I must also confess that i have not come across better makeup than this before.

  10. Hey Everyone! Sorry to have been away for so long! Just been busy with work... Thks for all the lovely comments :D

  11. @ Palak: took your advice and bought a strengthening top & bottom coat.. Thks for the same!

  12. @ Rati: I know wht u mean.. and its ok. after all wht is more precious than you... really awaiting your reviews :D

  13. hey CZ! Thks for the shoutout.. Even though i have written this post myself, i confess tht sometimes i too get waylaid by the sheer colors & variety! :D

  14. Hey Ashwini! Thks for the quick review on MAC... liked it a lot and helped changed my perspective... maybe u cld do a post on wht u think are the must-haves/best buys frm MAC.. will really help clutzs like me!

    Btw... Thks for the tips on black angel... will pick up some on my nxt trip!

  15. Very useful guide. even i totally agree with you.
    never tried MAC. Will look for it next time. thanks a lot.

  16. @ Ani: Thks for the appreciation :D Glad to be of help :)


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