My most recent, not-so-wallet friendly addiction has been MAC products. My foray into the Cult of Cherry collection via the Spiced Chocolate quad completely converted me and I definitely found out what all the hoopla was about. In terms of pigmentation, staying power and quality, their stuff basically spits on everything I own, so, yeah, I’m converted. But I have found ways to fulfill my MAC addiction on a budget. First, there is the Cosmetics Company Outlet. These little outlets are normally a small section of another outlet store such as Saks Off 5th (the Saks Outlet at my local mall). They sell MAC products, and various other brands as well, at about a 30% discount. Like your average clothing outlet, these will be items that are often no longer carried at your regular MAC stores or counters but are of great quality nonetheless. I have purchased MAC paints (awesome eyeshadow bases, by the way, but more to come on that in another post) for $11.25 vs. $16.50 full price, eyeshadows for $10.00 vs. $14.00, and lipglosses for $10.00 vs. $14.00. There are definitely great deals be had, so be sure to check it out!
Another way to save, if you’re not going to spring for pricey makeup at all, is looking to oft overlooked brands. I did a post about ULTA eyeshadows and how they are of such great quality for the price. They are my favorite affordable eyeshadow brand. Their shadows are huge, thoroughly pigmented, and have the smoothest texture. Paired with a good eyeshadow base like a MAC paint or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, they will last all day. Plus, ULTA regularly has these are on sale as BOGO free or just $3.00 a piece (they are normally $6.50). The only downer with these is that I love them so much that I have a ton and they can become a pain to store. The thing I love about the MAC shadows is that you can depot them and place them in palettes for easy storage. Well, chulas, I have got you covered! I found empty palettes you can buy online that fit these shadows perfectly, so you won’t have to fumble with those little pots. And these shadows are a breeze to depot because they are only held in their pots by a small bead of glue. Simply insert a small, sharp knife (be very careful) or hair pin along the size of the pan, pry the pan upward, and they’re loose. I’ve actually been able to remove some sans knife or pin, so that’s worth a try.
Another great way to save on eyeshadows is to only splurge on colors you are likely to get the most use out of. (How often are you really going to wear a lime green shadow?) Then if you want to branch out and try a funky look, look into a cheap eye shadow palette with a ton of great, funky colors to play around with like the 78 color palette from Coastal Scents. These shadows have great pigmentation and can give you great bang for your buck if you put them over a great base.
My last tip is to know when to splurge and when to save. For products with a short shelf life like mascara (yes, you with the mascara that you’ve been using since the dawn of time, you’re supposed to toss these puppies every 3-4 months), I would not spend a ton. There are great drugstore options like Covergirl’s Lash Exact, Volume Exact, and Lash Blast (my new favorite!). Maybelline has some great ones too but I’ve been using the Covergirl one’s lately. I would splurge on things like foundation, which is harder to match and has a long shelf life.
That’s all I have! If you have any great tips, please do tell in the comments!