As a working student, I often find myself torn between splurging on products and looking to save my hard earned money. Here’s my list of products to save or splurge on! These are only my suggestions, deciding what you want to spend on is up to you. And of course every persons idea of splurging or saving is personal as well so it will be different for each person. In general, I’d recommend using the rule of taking the cost of an item and dividing it by the amount of times you think you will wear it. If you buy a $100 pair of jeans that you plan to wear twice a week for two years that is about a dollar per wear. But if you’re thinking of investing in a $500 party dress you’ll only wear twice a year that’s $250 per wear. With makeup, think about what you use so don’t splurge on something you’re only going to use once.
Shampoo – Most shampoos do the same tasks, just with different prices. Your hair will be just as clean.
Mascara – There are designer mascaras, like the Dior ones, out there but I’ve found that drug store mascaras work just as well, if not better. My favorite drug store steal is L’Oreal Voluminous Millions Lashes.
Moisturizer – Most moisturizers will do the same things no matter how much you pay for them. There are special ones like firming, tanning, shimmering ect but the plain ones do the trick for me. The only moisturizer that I would spend a little more on would be a moisturizer with SPF.
Speaking of SPF – Although this is one of the most important steps in your beauty regime, a sun screen from CVS is going to do the same as one from Chanel.
(Sometimes) Foundation – If you don’t use foundation very often or only use it on one part of your face, like your chin or nose, a cheaper drugstore foundation will give you what you want at the fraction of the price. A great drugstore foundation is Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse.
Lipstick/Lip gloss – I have this on both sides because it really depends on what makeup you wear. If you rarely wear lip gloss or lipstick then a cheap and simple product will work just as well.
Makeup Remover – Although people don’t usually think about splurging on makeup remover, there are some pricier option out there. But you can find the best removers in the drugstore without a doubt.
Curling Iron – A cheaper curling iron will almost always do the same job as an expensive one. The only drawback may be the time it takes it to heat up but other than that you’ll get the same curl either way. Beauty stores like Ulta have a great selection to chose from.
Conditioner – All conditioners are not all equal. Having a good conditioner can completely change your hair. The key thing to look for is the conditioner that matches your hair type and can give you what you want like frizz ease or volume boost. I use PHYTO Phytosésame Express Hydrating Conditioner with Sesame Oil for split end repair.
Eyeliner – Having a long lasting eyeliner can actually save you money because you don’t have to keep reapplying it and they usually don’t break as easily. Look for ones that suit your taste like a gel or a pencil. My favorite, love-of-my-life eyeliner is MAC Fluidline Eye Liner Gel
. It won’t budge all day or all night and it will last you a long long time (I’ve had one pot for about a year).
Eyeshadow – There is a huge difference between a department store eyeshadow and a drug store one. They go smoother, crease less, and will stay on longer. Drug store brands tend to crumble and don’t have a very rich color. If you want to save even more, splurge on eyeshadow colors that you wear every day, like browns and shimmers and buy drugstore eyeshadow for colors you don’t wear very often.
Foundation – Finding the right foundation that is suited to your skin tone, type, oiliness and specific needs can be a hard search but can have a huge payoff. Having an amazing foundation will mean you don’t have to splurge on other face products because you already have a perfect base. My favorite is Lancome Teint Miracle
Lipstick/Lip gloss – If you wear either of these two (or both) on a regular bases then splurging on both of these will make a huge difference. Higher end lip glosses and lipsticks give better staying power and are usually creamier.
Makeup Brushes – Having a good brush can make any makeup look better. Drugstore brushes tend to be made of synthetic hair which usually shed and don’t give you very smooth coverage.
Hair Straighteners – They seem like a pretty basic design but the difference between a high end hair straightener and the cheaper option is huge. The cheaper options usually don’t heat up as fast and can snag your hair and break it.
Simple T-Shirts: I work in a clothing boutique and it blows my mind everyday when people come in a buy $150 white v-neck t-shirt. I always find myself thinking that they could get the same shirt from the gap for around $15.
Crazy, Fun, Not Everyday Shoes – Having a variety of shoes at your disposal to go with your every outfit whim is awesome but save on the shoes that you’re only going to wear once or twice like those 5 inch bright pink heals or leopard print boots.
Party Dresses – Every girl should have a couple of fun party dresses in her closet that you’ll probably wear once or twice or will only wear for one season. Save on these dresses at places like Forever 21.
Fun Blouses and Tops – As a teenager I find that I wear a top a couple of times and then it gets pushed to the bottom of my dresser to make room for new ones. My style is still changing and finding cheap and pretty tops are perfect for that.
Crazy Jewelry – Save on funky, loud, fun jewelry you wont wear very often. It’s fun to dress up outfits with them but you’re not going to wear them everyday.
Sunglasses – Alright this one might just be me because I end up losing/breaking about 10 pairs of sunglasses every year. I find that I can find perfectly useful sunglasses for a cheap price. If you do splurge on a pair, make sure you take care of them so they last you a long time.
(A Great Pair of) Jeans – Having one or two pairs of jeans that fit you perfectly, have the right wash and style, and make you look fabulous is worth the splurge. Jeans are a staple in most women’s wardrobes and a well made pair will last you a long time.
Everyday, Classic Shoes – These are your black flats, black high heals, great pair of leather boots, or running sneakers. Invest in shoes that you’ll wear a lot, are made of good material that will last a long time, are comfortable and don’t give you blisters, wont go out of style next season, and can go with every outfit.
Staple Dresses – Basically any version of a LBD (little black dress) can go in the splurge section. These should be your standbys for any occasion and that you know will last you a long time.
Everyday Handbag – Having one amazing bag that you carry everyday will pretty much set you for the rest of your life (alright but for a couple years at least). Go for one in a neutral color to go with everything and one that is made to last.