Makeup Breakup: How I Saved More Than $40 on My Everyday Face

After I inform folks I used to be a goth child in highschool — you recognize, the one with the dishevelled, chain-covered pants and rainbow dye job, scowling on the cheerleaders from underneath the steps — they’re, properly, actually, not that stunned. I’m a author, in any case, and type of a weirdo.

However a decade later, I’m blissful to say I’ve dropped a lot of the melodrama. Current-day Jamie is (often) optimistic, pretty athletic, and an entire lot friendlier. She even owns one or two pink articles of clothes. Scorching pink, no much less!

One factor I did hold from my highschool days is my style in make-up: specifically, a desire for darkish eyeliner. And although immediately I intention extra for “refined” than “raccoon,” the merchandise I exploit to create the look are the very same ones you’d discover in my beat-up, Sharpie-colored Jansport in 10th grade.

Again then, I didn’t actually thoughts paying $20 or extra for a single stick of eyeliner, since my mother and father have been nonetheless footing room and board.

Current-day Jamie, nevertheless, is a bit more skeptical. And she or he additionally has payments to pay.

Drug Retailer Make-up is Completely High quality, Truly

I don’t use very a lot make-up, however the objects I do depend on are spendy. As I reviewed my month-to-month price range and financial savings objectives, I spotted I used to be paying over $60 for simply three merchandise — which appeared fairly darn silly.

In order I pulled the wand out of my newest tube of desiccated mascara, I took a protracted, exhausting look within the mirror… and determined to purchase the alternative at Walmart.

Though I’ve at all times been dedicated to my chosen eyeliner manufacturers, an ideal mascara has lengthy eluded me. I might by no means discover one which lengthened, volumized, and outlined my lashes with out annoying clumps, — and at virtually $30 a pop, it wasn’t an inexpensive experiment. I had a pair go-tos, however none of them actually wowed me, regardless of their premium price ticket.

So to organize for my upcoming purchasing journey, I did some transient on-line analysis on the lookout for one of the best mascara out there at Walmart. Lo and behold, the web did certainly have an opinion — and even a particular advice for one which diminished clumping.

It was lower than $7. And though I used to be skeptical, I used to be happier with the phrases of this gamble.

So after 10 years of poking round Sephora’s mascara endcap, are you able to think about my shock when these things — which value lower than half of even the least costly premium possibility — truly labored higher?

How I Saved $43.62 on Make-up

Excessive on this revelation, I made a decision to do the identical for the opposite staples in my (admittedly very restricted) make-up repertoire: pencil and liquid eyeliner.

I ran a number of extra fast searches and selected merchandise that claimed to be waterproof and straightforward to use.

And ya’ll, I’m so executed spending greater than $10 on any given cosmetics product. Sorry, Sephora.

Right here’s what I changed my face with — and the way a lot it saved me.

Pencil Eyeliner — Financial savings: $12.03

L’Oreal Paris’ Additional-Intense pencil eyeliner does the job at about half the worth. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Earlier than: City Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $21 at Sephora

After: L’Oreal Paris Additional-Intense Pencil Eyeliner, $7.97 at Walmart

The City Decay pencil has lengthy been the muse of my every day look. If I’m too lazy to place the rest on, I’ll simply throw it on my water line and smudge some round my eyelid.

And though the dear pencil does have fairly good sticking energy, it could at all times run at the least a bit, particularly at my eyes’ internal corners — which left me consistently checking the mirror to wipe away extra all through the day.

L’Oreal’s pencil supplied just about the identical factor for lower than half the fee, simply darkening each my water traces and lids with coloration simply as wealthy and dense because the “good” stuff. Though it did slide round a bit, the pencil comes with its personal little smudger, which was a welcome addition since smudging is an operation I often go away to my finger.

(Psst: This isn’t the primary time we’ve tried out drug retailer model make-up right here at TPH. In the event you’re on the lookout for extra different choices, try this checklist of the workplace’s low-cost eyeliner favorites.)

Liquid Eyeliner — Financial savings: $14.53

Almay has a little bit of a clunky applicator, however it’s simply $6.74 for the pleasure. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Earlier than: MAC Liquidlast Liner, $21 at MAC

After: Almay Liquid Eyeliner $6.74 at Walmart

Though the paltry zero.084 ounces you get in your $21 is definitely fairly common for premium make-up, my Liquidlast, regardless of its title, by no means lasted me so long as I needed — and never as a result of I ran out.

The issue is, I solely use this product after I need a large, showy, intense look, which isn’t all that usually. (Anymore. RIP, highschool Jamie.) So though that teensy portion would have lasted me a number of months, the product itself grew clumpy and unusable earlier than I might use all of it.

Which is why, on this case, it makes a lot sense for me to change to a drugstore model. Almay’s coloration constancy isn’t fairly as intense, and for my part, the applicator is a bit clunky — however I’ve been utilizing MAC’s uber-fine tip brush endlessly. I could want observe.

And at lower than a 3rd of the worth for one thing I actually solely use every now and then, I’m OK with making a number of sacrifices.

Mascara — Financial savings: $17.06 (and my sanity)

CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher waterproof mascara is a cheap treasure. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Earlier than: Profit “They’re Actual!” Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara, $24 at Sephora

After: CoverGirl Clump Crusher Waterproof Mascara, $6.24 at Walmart

Though I returned to the Profit product again and again, my quest for good lashes has value me greater than I’d prefer to think about. I’ve tried out mascaras starting from $24 to slightly below $30. I even patronized a Fb buddy’s Younique enterprise.

All the time clumps. All the time me hunched over the magnifying mirror, making an attempt to separate my eyelashes with a type of infuriating little combs. (That are a further expense in their very own proper, to not point out nigh unattainable to scrub.)

I’d just about resigned myself to hating mascara endlessly. So after I opened up and utilized this child, I virtually did an precise blissful dance proper there within the rest room. I couldn’t imagine how a lot better this product was than any of the premium manufacturers I’d tried, and all for just a bit greater than a latte.

Ought to You Swap to Low-cost Make-up?

Backside line: Worth doesn’t assure high quality. Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Right here’s the factor. Even if you happen to’re purchasing super-premium manufacturers, you’ll discover all types of bellyaching within the feedback on Sephora. Relating to cosmetics, everybody’s completely different — and lots of it’s about determining what works for you.

My Walmart replacements have taught me that premium pricing doesn’t assure you higher product. And even in instances the place the lower-cost manufacturers are a bit iffier, the distinction in high quality does not line up with the distinction in worth.

In fact, I’m writing from the attitude of somebody who doesn’t put on make-up each day, and who doesn’t put on a lot when she does. For some folks, make-up is a passion, even a ardour; for them, it’s properly value spending their hard-earned on.

In the event you’re dedicated to premium manufacturers, there are many different methods to attenuate your make-up price range. For instance, utilizing the best methods can prevent big-time at Sephora, and the identical holds true for Ulta.

So ultimately, as in all issues, your mileage might differ. As for me, I’m by means of spending over $60 simply to attract some black traces on my face. I assume it’s yet another nail in my highschool self’s coffin…  simply in time for my 10th reunion.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is an ex-goth child primarily based in St. Augustine, Florida. She’s written for Yahoo, SELF, Ms. Journal, the Institution, Roads & Kingdoms and different shops.

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