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October 22, 2010

Splurge vs. Steal: Beauty Bargains

brunette applying makeup

Photo Credit: Altrendo

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Splurge Complexion Perfectors: If you're going to drop some dough on new makeup, plan on spending your money strategically—investing in great foundation, primer product, and tools can actually save you money and time in the long run because you'll find you don't need as much other makeup. "People use the wrong basics, and then they pile on other makeup trying to find balance," explains NYC makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo. "Your foundation shade needs to be perfect."

MC RECOMMENDS: Yves Saint Laurent Teint Radiance Radiance-Enhancing Flawless Foundation SPF 20, $55; Shiseido Pore Smoothing Corrector, $30; Chanel Natural Finish Pressed Powder in Beige Clair, $44.

Tools: High-quality makeup brushes can be pricey, but, as Los Angeles—based makeup artist Sarah Lucero points out, "You can extend the use of your foundation by applying it with a pro foundation brush—it will create an airbrushed look, and you'll use less product than if you used your fingers." Cleaning your brushes once a month will help them last a long time—Restrepo recommends washing them with dishwashing soap, then air-drying the bristles by letting the ends hang off a table.

MC RECOMMENDS: Sephora Blending Makeup Brush 237, $24.

Steal Mascara: "With mascara, it's easy to find great formulas that you can get away with buying at the drugstore," says Lucero. She also points out that since you're supposed to toss your tube every two to three months, cheapie mascaras won't put as big a dent in your wallet.

MC RECOMMENDS: Rimmel London Volume Flash Bold Curves Mascara in Black, $7.

Trendy Colors: "For bright, fun makeup, mass-market companies have great colors," explains Restrepo. For instance, "CoverGirl's Liquiline is genius. It has the ease of a pencil with the drama and staying power of a liquid." And go ahead and experiment with this fall's in-your-face lip colors—you won't feel guilty when you use that $5 fuchsia lipstick only three times.

MC RECOMMENDS: Topshop Lip Stick in Rosa, $14; CoverGirl LiquilineBlast Eye Liner in Violet Voltage, $8; Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow in Silver Fox, $7; Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Fiji, $3; New York Color Rose Lip Gloss in Peony Kiss, $3.

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