Save vs. Splurge: A Collegiette's Guide to Makeup

Between Sephora, Ulta, and your local drugstore, you have hundreds of options when it comes to purchasing makeup. The tricky part for collegiettes on a budget is deciding which products to splurge on and which products to dig out of the clearance bin. Follow these guidelines to look fabulous and keep your wallet happy!

Save on: Mascara

YSL’s Babydoll mascara is perfection but, with a $30 price tag, is it worth it? No. Any CoverGirl mascara from the drugstore will do. Pick some up from Target for $8!

Splurge on: Foundation

Foundation is just that: the base for the rest of your makeup. If you start out with a product that won’t hold up in the heat or wear into the night, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Shop around until you find a foundation that works with your skin type and don’t be afraid to be a little spend-y. A good foundation will do wonders for your whole look!

Save on: Blush

There aren’t a ton of blush options at the drugstore but Makeup Geek offers a range of high-quality products for reasonable prices. Milani (found at CVS) and NYX (found at Ulta) also offer beautiful blushes that won’t break the bank.

Splurge on: Brushes/Sponges

There isn’t enough high-end makeup in the world to compensate for bad brushes. Using well-made brushes and sponges will make your makeup glide on and give you the control to do any look you want. Sigma makes amazing brushes and, while they are a little expensive, they will last you a lifetime.

Save on: Lip Products

Drugstore makeup can be hit or miss, but the lip products are always on point! You can get liners, glosses, stains, and lipsticks for under $9 and still look like a million bucks…trust me.

Splurge on: Eyeshadow Palettes

Many people are scared of the $50 price tag that often accompanies a good eyeshadow palette. The truth is, if you are getting 14-20 quality shadows in one convenient set, it’s worth the money. If you’re looking for a bargain, check out this season’s holiday palettes. For $56, you can get Too Faced’s “Everything Nice” palette complete with 20 shadows, 2 bronzers, 2 blushes, 3 mini brushes, a mini mascara, and a makeup bag. That’s less than $2 an item!


Be savvy and save where you can!