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Drugstore vs. Designer

I could spend hours in Sephora and I never make it out of the beauty section at Saks, I get stuck looking at all the pearl shimmers, colorful pallets and arrays of products. Designer makeup has become a booming industry and it’s hard not to get sucked into it. I love playing with makeup and have ever since I was little when my mom would make me into a little pageant princess (no worries though…only for fun around the house, no “Toddlers and Tiara’s” here!). Experimenting with various trends and brands is all the fun but there are so many out there how do you decide which one is best for you? Some of the outrageously priced designer makeup is exactly that, outrageously priced but others are actually worth the extra change. Here are a few recommendations of some that are worth those extra paychecks and others…that aren’t.

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Chanel Nail Polish vs. Sally Hansen 5-in-1 

I have Chanel Nail Polish in Vamp, a dark bourdeaux that definitely brings out your inner dark, sex-kitten, but there are other less bank breaking brands that do the same job. Sally Hansen’s 5-in-1 Manicure does just what I need it, two solid coats with an acrylic top finish and I’m good to go. They retail for anywhere from $6-$7 at Target, Wal-Mart or any CVS-type of store with numerous colors. It doesn’t ware or chip any less than Chanel’s and you don’t need to spend the $23 plus shipping (since in our Eastern part of the country we don’t tend to have many Chanel outfitters, surprise!) to color your nails. I know, I know…Sally Hansen doesn’t come with the infamous double C’s but the money you’ll save is worth it.

Dior DiorShow Mascara vs. Maybelline Stiletto

You know the “you’re stuck on an island and only allowed one piece of makeup” game? Okay, so maybe I’m the only one who plays that one. But if you were stuck on a deserted island with the man of your dreams and could only choose one piece of makeup, what would you choose? Mascara was always my choice. Hands down.  I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I turned 13 and when my mom gave me my first Maybelline mascara I thought I could rule the world, apparently my lashes held that kind of power. I’ve always used Maybelline mascara and wouldn’t change it for the world. Maybelline Stiletto not only separates and lengthens my lashes but the waterproof kind that I use doesn’t take hours of rough scrubbing to get off either. Plus it only retails for $7 at Target versus Dior’s $24 version at Sephora.

Bobbi Brown Brushes vs. Target Sonia Kashuk Brushes

Okay I admit it; I do own a few Bobbi Brown brushes, but mainly because they were Hanukkah gifts. I have nothing against them, but as a soon-to-be-college-grad who will be living on a (very restricted, right Dad?) budget I need to watch my spending. I recently bought the Sonia Kushuk Multi-Purpose brush to use as my blush brush at Target for just $18 and love it. Its super soft bristles, angles brush and formed handle make it just as comparable, and much cheaper than the $50 Bobbi Brown alternative from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Spend It:

Urban Decay Eye Primer

This eye shadow primer makes buying drugstore brand eyeshadows worth it! This purple, genie-lantern shaped bottle of primer works well to help keep creaseless, long-lasting shadows put. After 12 or more hours of wear and you still will not have any creases in your shadows. I swear by this bottle of magic! Ranging from $18-$23…it’s worth it. Trust me. 

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer

$30 may seem a little high for a 1oz. product, but when you feel its luxurious texture, you’ll understand why. This smooth, butter-like primer is just that…it feels like silk on your skin and makes any foundation, bronzer, blush, ect last all day long. Enough said.

NARS blush

With names like Deep Throat, Orgasm, Sin and Mata Hari who wouldn’t want to shell out a little extra cash? This shimmery blush flatters many skin shades while highlighting and defining cheekbones. The shimmer doesn’t overpower the hues but works to accentuate and complement the complexion.  I like this pressed-powder version versus other loose powders so you aren’t overwhelmed with too much color, just enough for the touch. The steep $26 price tag is worth it for all the pretty tones.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow

I’m obsessed with this shadow. Not only does it stay on throughout the day but it flatters everyone. These shadows come in a variety of shimmery shades but I use the Tattle Tale (Butter Cream) to make my eyes pop. A little in the inner corners of your eyes, brown bone and in the middle of your eye lid. $19 to steal the show? I’m sold.

Lancôme  Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold

Most girls tend to pack on the makeup when they’re young, just so over anxious to use all the fun tools their allowance money bought. And like the majority of these girls I used to love a shimmery dark brown to line my lids, a little too Taylor Momsen-like if I may critique myself 7 years later. But thankfully I was turned on to a lighter and much more brilliant color to complement my skin tones. Lancôme’s shadows blend to a beautiful palette on any skin. So now I choose to use Lancôme’s “Colour du Jour” to line my lower lid, it has just enough of a shimmery golden, purple to complement my brown eyes. The $17 price tag is worth the non-goth look I was apparently aiming for back in my scrunchie-wearing, pink hair days. 

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Shaina Dennis is a senior at the University of Maine majoring in mass communications and double minoring in public relations and business administration. She was born in heels, preferably 5” stilettos, and is a lover of traveling, shopping, cooking, laughing and meeting new people. She is an active sister in the Delta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi and when not obsessing over anything sparkly, Shaina can be found making sushi and taking photos. But don’t let the glitter and pink fool you, this girly-girl drives a stick and can fish for lobster like no other. Although she grew up in a small, rural town, Shaina is a city girl at heart and loves a fast-paced lifestyle of always being on the go!
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