Nice Make Up is Expensive!

One of the ways I wanted to save money on the wedding was to let my best friend do my make up instead of paying for a professional. I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to beauty products. I wear make up, but usually opt for cheaper products. For example, I use Suave shampoo and condition. I have heard it is like washing your hair with body wash, but I don’t really care that much. It feels clean and does the job for $40 less than the salon stuff.

So when my friend and I went to Ulta to buy make up for the wedding, I thought it would be an easy trip to refresh the items I already owned. Little did I know I would need so many things!*

Here’s what I ended up with:

1. PurMinerals starter kit, including foundation, bronzer, blush, and a brush: $34

2. Angle brush: $12

3. Ulta eye shadow, “Naked:” $6.50

4. Ulta eye shadow quad, “Girly Girl”: $12.50 

5. Smashbox Foundation Primer: $16

Grand Total: $81**

And this doesn’t even include mascara, lipstick/gloss, and eye shadow primer (who even knew there was such a thing?) which we will buy later. It is so easy to spend so much money on this stuff! I couldn’t believe that tiny little bottle of foundation primer was $16–and that was the smallest one available. The next size up cost $35. Ah! So expensive!

I bought it all because if there’s one time to spend a little extra on my appearance, it should be on my wedding day. But do girls really buy products like this on a regular basis? Am I just too cheap to invest in nice products, or are other people shocked at these high prices? 

Readers, how much do you spend on make up on a regular basis and what products do you wear daily?

*In case you are curious, I usually wear daily: CeraVe moisturizer, Loreal powder, a light generic bronzer, and mascara (whatever brand is on sale). If I’m really feeling fancy I’ll add eye liner and a brown/pink eye shadow combo.

**Thankfully I only paid $58 after a gift card and a 20% off coupon

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  • I wear very little makeup. Mostly moisturizer, bronzer, a little eyeshadow and mascara. And lip balm. Most of mine is leftover Mary Kay from when I sold it, so it cost very little to me. But to replace it, I will go back to drug store brands because Mary Kay is expensive.

  • I never comment, but I just want to pipe in BEFORE you open the products…I was married in May and it cost me $40 to have my makeup done professionally (including fake lashes). It is less expensive than you think; especially if you have to go out and buy a ton of stuff! Sure, I didn’t have any leftover products afterward, but since it is stuff I would hardly use, it would just be wasted.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up in case you were just assuming it’d be cheaper to do yourself. And, congratulations on getting married, and keep up the good work on the blog! :)

  • Hi there, I’ve never commented before either but just wanted to let you know that some MAC and Sephora stores offer great deals on getting your make-up done. Both have a deal where you pay $50 for a full face of professionally done makeup, and you get a $50 gift card in return; so free!

    I’m planning on doing that and then using the gift card to buy a few products for my bridesmaids.

    I’m in Canada but I assume it would be the same in the States.

  • That is expensive! I didn’t know there was such a thing as foundation primer. I splurge on foundation, blush and powder from MAC. I love makeup and wear all of the above every day. I’ve found that the drugstore brands don’t have as good of a match for my skin color and wear off quickly. I buy mascara and eye makeup at Walgreens. I’ve JUST discovered the clearance section there…and stocked up on face wash, mascara and eye shadow, and Pantene shampoo/conditioner for $1 each!! I was psyched!

    If you won’t wear the makeup to justify the cost, I would consider returning it and checking into having your makeup done. However, if you’ll wear it for rehearsal dinner, date nights, and special occassions, might as well keep it and have it on hand :)

  • A few years ago, I was a really bad shop a holic and would spend at least $50 on makeup every time I got paid. Since I’ve managed to curb my shopping, I don’t buy makeup anymore except for when I run out of mascara. I am trying to use up all the makeup that I have from my binge shopping days and I buy L’Oreal Voluminous mascara for about $6.99 or less if there is a coupon. And this is maybe once every 2-3 months.

  • I’m not convinced that the more expensive stuff = nicer/better stuff, so I tend to err on the side of inexpensive/on sale items. I also don’t stick to specific brands.

  • I find the expensive stuff is hit and miss so I’m more of a cheap makeup/cosmetics buyer myself too.

    The most expensive makeup I regularly buy is my foundation – there’s only one brand that makes one pale enough for my skin. Every other brand’s ivory or porcelain looks like fake tan on me! So I regularly have to shell out 10-12 quid for a small glass pump bottle of L’Oreal infallible. It’s worth the money though as it’s perfect and lasts AGES. I think Id’ flip if it didn’t last long at that price.

  • I actually really got a kick out of this post since I adore makeup :) I’ve never tried Ulta anything because I’ve never had the opportunity to go to one, but some things, like mascara particularly, are much better than the expensive brands. I love Covergirl LashBlast. I even love it more than DiorShow since it doesn’t clump so much. I like MAC fluidline, but a nice black eyeliner from the drugstore is L’Oreal Liquidlash or something like that. It’s really nice and lasts quite a long time. Also, makeup brushes are usually pretty expensive. You might want to check out Target’s ELF line as they seem to do the job really well and are extremely inexpensive. Especially if you don’t plan on using them forever. As for lipgloss, I really like the Bare Minerals/Escentuals brand, but for a drugstore brand, I love the Revlon lipglosses. They are nicely pigmented, pretty long lasting, and don’t have much of a smell or taste.

    I agree with Meghan and Jamie that it might be a good idea for you to look into MAC or Sephora to do your makeup. The MAC artists, particularly, are very talented :)

    I wear makeup most days. On weekends or days when I don’t have much time, I put on some concealer and powder. However, usually I wear foundation (Bare Escentuals or Revlon PhotoFinish), undereye concealer (MAC), MAC paintpot eyeprimer, a little bit of blush or bronzer, eyeshadow (usually 2), eyeliner (most days), mascara, and lipgloss. This sounds like a lot, but I don’t look like a doll, I promise!

  • I wear red lippy every day.

    If I’m wearing contacts, then eyeliner (wet eyeshadow).

    Sometimes a bit of foundation.

    I also cleanse and moisturise, obviously. I change skincare a lot as my skin changes.

  • I use Clinique concealer and powder foundation, bronzer, a shimmer of eyeshadow by Stila, Clinique mascara daily. And some sort of lipgloss from my stash. If I’m going out I’ll do more eye makeup. I buy in the middle range, but I always buy Clinique during gift so I get freebies I can use or give away. Eye shadow lasts a really long time, and I got my Stila one on Ebay for a fraction of the price at Sephora. Basically, yes I use the good stuff, but I take care of it and try to find deals so it lasts forever. :)

  • I spent about $125 plus taxes (mostly used reward points though, thank goodness!) on getting brand new makeup when I started working. I bought all Bare Minerals (which I was recommended over Pur Minerals because they are even more pure apparently?) and haven’t regretted it. I don’t wear it often, but when I do I love it. I got the starter kit (two shades of foundation powder, blush, bronzer, setting powder) and three eyeshadows plus an eyeshadow brush. For mascara and gloss/lip colour I’ve been defaulting to whatever is on sale or Burt’s Bees coloured gloss.

  • I actually don’t wear anything but mascara on a daily basis (blond eyelashes look like no eyelashes), and for the wedding, I just put on some tinted moisturizer and eyeshadow. My photographer said that it’s a good idea to not vary too much, and I definitely like that I look like a slightly prettier version of me and not some glamazon in my wedding photos!

  • I agree with other’s suggestions about getting it done professionally- it’s half the price of what you’re spending, a professional will be doing it, and you won’t be stuck with lots of very expensive makeup you might not end up using.

    As to my personal habits- I use Physician’s Formula Organic powder, which is usually $13 a container, but I got 4 for free over a year ago playing the CVS game and in a year I’ve only gone through one and a half.

    I curl my eyelashes every day instead of wearing mascara- far cheaper and no mess to clean up at night- and wear coconut oil on my lips for balm, or Burt’s Bees balm (also free from the CVS game, haven’t purchased any in about 6 months.) I’d say I wear mascara maybe 3 times a month, and that’s old school Maybelline in the watermelon colored container (also free via CVS over a year ago, I have 2 tubes and am only halfway through one). I am still using eyeshadow I bought as long as 5 years ago, because I only swipe some on a couple times a week.

    Hair concerns: I wash/condition twice a week (organic shampoo free via rebate from CVS), I don’t own a hairbrush, and I don’t put styling product of any kind in my hair. If I want to deep condition I go back to the coconut oil- I *love* that stuff. It’s also what I use for body lotion. Between my partner and I a big $10 organic tub lasts about 4 months, which is a great deal for all natural, organic, chemical free product that we can eat as well as slather on hair/lips/skin :)

  • This probably sounds totally weird, but Monistat Chafing Gel is the exact same formula as the Smashbox Foundation Primer. So if you’re looking for a cheaper version of one of the primers, I’d really suggest trying that. Compare the ingredients; it will astound you. ;)

  • I really only wear make-up at work and on special occasions. Right now, I’m using mostly Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse products. I have the powder, concealer and foundation. I’m still using eyeshadow that I’ve had for years and my mascara is a cheap drugstore brand because I hardly ever wear it. For lipstick, I use Rimmel Moisture Renew (in Vintage Pretty) and an old Nutrimetics one from years ago that I’m still using.

    When I need to replace my make-up, I look out for specials or head to the discount cosmetic place. For example my Rimmel lipstick was about $9! I’m looking to try a liquid foundation next and if I have to replace the powder or eyeshadow, I’ll be using generic brands.

    I personally don’t see the point of primers. I would keep the products that you would use regularly and then return the rest. Perhaps your best friend has some primer you can borrow?

  • Wow, great comments!! Unfortunately I may be stuck with this stuff since my friend has the receipt and lives in Georgia (as she had the one-time only coupon, we had to have one bill), but I appreciate all of your suggestions! I am glad to know I am not the only one who things over priced make up is ridiculous. :)

  • I buy my makeup when it’s on sale or there are mail in rebates. I’m not really brand loyal however I do have some favs. I make sure to replace my mascara and eye liner about every 3 months however my eyeshadow is about every year since I wear so little of it.

  • I love makeup! And, I do tend to wear it 4/5 days a week for work. Daily, I wear MAC studio fix foundation, MAC mineral powder, MAC eyeliner in Ebony, and some lipgloss. I also wear a eyeshadow highlighter from Kat It just depends on what I spend monthly, some months I don’t spend anything, some months I spend 20-60 stacking up on products running low. But, I haven’t bought foundation since October 1st and eyeliner since the day after Thanksgiving.