• Amanda Bossi

Makeup When To Save & When To Splurge - By Taylor Mauritz

You go to the cosmetics section of a store and suddenly you’re flooded by over 100 products in just one aisle. What to pick, where to start, what brands are good, what products actually work in that brand? With so many new product launches getting thrown into our faces almost every month, it can be confusing to find what works. And even more difficult to find what works within our budget. Even me, myself, use a Pinterest search for “best __ makeup” and I am bombarded with multiple lists. So here on this little blog, I’ll be guiding you through the wonderful world of Makeup and Skin Care and when to save and when to splurge.

For starters, you have to ask yourself a few questions.

How much makeup do I like to wear? Are you more of a minimalist who doesn’t like a heavy feeling or are you a full coverage cake-it-on kind of girl? Maybe you are somewhere in between.

What does my lifestyle permit? This is a common question in the hair industry as we try to see what you’re willing to upkeep. If you’re more of a wake-up-20-minutes-before-and-walk-out-the-door gal then obviously an Instagram worthy 40-60 minute makeup routine every day isn’t for you. And if that’s what kind of makeup you love, then we’re gonna have to set that alarm clock a little earlier. Beauty is pain, friends.

What does my budget allow? Even on minimum wage, it’s still possible to look fabulous. Whether you’re dewy fresh or porcelain doll perfection. Splurge on one item, maybe 2, but the rest find comparable products so you aren't killing your piggy bank.

Here comes the fun part. I’m going to share all of my pain staking experiences with you- all my years of using anything from crappy to luxurious. So spare up some time, this is a long article...

Facial Care:

First, and the most important, wash your face! A clean canvas gives makeup the best chance possible to look great. Moisturizer is also key. There are moisturizers out there for oily skin too so no excuses here! Now this is totally optional, but for a smooth face, try dermaplaning. Also known as shaving your face. You can use an actual razor or an eyebrow razor. The little white blonde hairs (called vellus hairs) on your cheeks, chin, and upper lip are what prevent a smooth application. Plus, it exfoliates your face.

Double Whammy! Yet again, this is totally optional. If you’re a bb cream or moisturizer and go gal, this doesn’t really matter.

Now as for skin care, if you’ve already found a brand or product that works for you, great! But in my opinion you don’t really NEED to splurge on $50-$100 skin care. I absolutely love Mario Badescu. This brand was founded back in 1967 and is still around, so they must know what they’re doing. I wash my face twice a day and apply toner and moisturizer appropriate for my skin type. It takes only about 5 minutes, super easy! Mario Badescu has products for specific skin types, little starter kits to test out, and have some more high-end products in their line. You can find this affordable brand at Ulta or on their online shop.

Now for makeup, I’ll be going in the order I apply my products.

Facial Primer:

This is going back to having a good base. Facial primer is the start to a long lasting makeup application. If you have oily skin, I’d suggest a blurring effect primer. If you have normal skin (oily in summer, dry in winter) I’d suggest something that’s sticky. Dry skin, hydrating primer or brightening primer. Redness, something with a green tone. And if there’s a day you accidentally run out of your primer, a great substitute for the day is coconut oil! No, seriously!

Oily Skin:

-Benefit Pore-fessional $32

-E.L.F Poreless Face Primer $10

-Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser $6.99

-Maybelline Master Prime Blur+Smooth $9.99

Normal/Combo Skin:

-Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm (no, really!) $6.49

-N.Y.X Honey Dew Me Up $16.99

-Farsali Unicorn Essence (smells like cake) $54

Dry Skin:

-E.L.F Prep and Hydrate Balm $8

-Farsali Rose Gold Elixer $54

-Maybelline Master Prime Hydrate & Smooth $9.99


Foundation is where your lifestyle and preferences really start mattering. Light coverage, medium, or full? Oily skin, normal, acne prone, or dry? Warm, neutral, or cool tone skin? If you’re new to the world of makeup and have no idea what you like, take a trip to Sephora or Ulta (be warned only high end makeup in Ulta is swatchable). Go after the employee with the makeup on you like. They’ll be glad to give you little samples. Ask them questions. My advice for applying is to use a damp sponge, rinse it under water until it grows, then squeeze it in a towel. I recommend Real Techniques or the classic Beauty Blender.

Oily Skin:

-Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation $34 FULL

-Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation $5.99 MEDIUM TO FULL

-L’oreal Infallible Pro-Matte $12.99 MEDIUM TO FULL

-Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation $35 FULL

-Maybelline Fit Me Matte $7.99 MEDIUM TO FULL

-Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream with 2% Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment $8.99 LIGHT (set this one with any powder of your preference)


-Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation $29 LIGHT TO MEDIUM

-Make Up Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation $43 LIGHT

-Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint $26 LIGHT TO MEDIUM

-Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation $42 MEDIUM TO FULL

-N.Y.X Total Control Drop Foundation $13.99 CUSTOMIZABLE COVERAGE

-L’oreal Infallible Total Cover Foundation $12.99 FULL

-Maybelline Super Stay Coverage Foundation $11.99 FULL

Dry Skin:

-Too Faced Born This Way Foundation $39 MEDIUM TO FULL

-Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation $47 MEDIUM TO FULL

- It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Your Skin But Better $38 FULL

-Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream $8.99 LIGHT

-Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation $39 MEDIUM TO FULL

-L’oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation $12.99 MEDIUM


Concealer has evolved over the past few years in the beauty industry. What was once used to conceal under eyes and blemishes, has turned into a full face shaping product. Color correcting, contouring, highlighting, eye priming, and more. It wasn’t a beauty guru on YouTube that created this trend, in actuality we owe this highlighting and contouring craze to Kim Kardashian. More importantly, to her makeup artist. One photo of her using concealer in the middle parts of her face, and a wildfire erupted.

Light Coverage:

-Glossier Stretch Concealer $18

-Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer $29

-Milk Makeup Flex Concealer $28

-Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer Pen $7.99

Medium Coverage:

-Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Concealer (great for acne) $8.99

-NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $30

-Maybelline Fit Me Concealer $6.99

-Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer $28

Full Coverage:

-L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer $4.99

-It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer $26 (do NOT use on mature skin due to thick consistency)

-Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer $29

-Tarte Shape Tape Concealer $27

Facial Powder

A trick I’ve picked up with powder is to actually use your damp foundation sponge to set the powder into your face. If you’re more into light coverage, feel free to use a large fluffy brush to sweep and pat it on to your face. Powder is definitely something you do not need to spend a vast amount on.

Powder Foundation:

-BareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation $30

-Benefit Cosmetics Hello Flawless Powder Foundation $34

-PUR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation $29.50

Setting Powder:

-Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder $5.97 (I use Extra Coverage translucent, but they have tinted shades too)

-Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder $7.99

-Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder $38

-KKW Beauty Brightening Powder $18 (use for brightening under eyes, forehead, and nose)

-RCMA No Color Powder $12


Yet again, you don’t need to break the bank when in comes to being a sun-kissed goddess. There are so many great drug store bronzers out there. Really the only reason I use a higher-end bronzer is because I found it at Marshall’s! Having trouble finding where to contour? Make a fish face. The area is angled from the bottom of your ear to the corner of your mouth, but make sure not to bronze past the point of your pupil. Otherwise…you may be asking someone why they’re so serious. The trick to not look ‘muddy’ is to start small and build up. Always test the pigmentation on your hand or arm before applying it to your face. Whatever you do, do not use bronzer with sparkles! It may look pretty in the pan, but the point of contouring and bronzing is to create a shadow effect. Shadows don’t sparkle!

-Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer $14.99

-Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer $30

-Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer $30

-Rimmel Natural Bronzer $5.79

-NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder $2.99


Ah yes, blush. The thing that can make us look alive and youthful but also like a clown in an instant. The same rule for bronzer applies. Test the pigment on your arm, start small, and build up. Use a fluffy brush to lightly sweep it across your cheeks. Smile to find where your apples are and only apply on the top of your cheeks and sweep it back towards your temples. Applying blush too low can actually give the appearance of drooping face. If you have a lighter complexion, try light pinks and light peaches. If you have more of a medium skin tone, try a lighter coral or dusty rose. For deeper skin tones, try a deep berry, deep coral, or a deep reddish cocoa.

Lighter Complexion:

-Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Blush in Natural Glow $12.99

-Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso or Rose D’oro $7.99

-Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Captivating or Peaceful $29

-NARS Blush in Orgasm or Deep Throat $30 (I didn’t name these, but it makes me laugh.)

Medium Complexion:

-Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Blush in Plum Rose $12.99

-Milani Baked Blush in Bellissimo Bronze or Dolce Pink $7.99

-Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Sensual, Seduce, or Dazzled $29

-Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach Blush $30

Deep Complexion:

-Milani Baked Blush in Bella Rosa, Red Vino, or Corallina $7.99

-Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose $8.99

-Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blushing Bride, Natural Beauty, or Risque $29

-NARS Blush in Outlaw, Sin, or Dolce Vita $30


This is one of my favorite parts of a makeup application. Highlighter can give you a subtle glow or a full on lighthouse. It’s all in personal preference. My advice is to spray a light layer of setting spray on your face to add adhesion, then use a small fan brush or a tapered fluffy brush. An example, the Morphe Y14 brush is my absolute fave. The most common places is on the high points of your cheekbone, tip of the nose, center of the forehead, and your cupid’s bow. Any area that you don’t want to accentuate, don’t highlight. Normally I like to save on when I can but, in my experience, it’s better to look at higher-ish brands for highlighter. Sure you can spend maybe around $20-$30, but the product will last you quite some time.

Natural Glow:

-E.L.F Cosmetics Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls $4.00

-Farsali Jelly Beam Illuminator $40 (this is a jelly consistency, gives a wet/dewy finish)

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit in Gumdrop and Butterscotch $40

-Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter $38

Bright Glow:

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit in Marshmallow and Starburst $40

-Wet n’ Wild MegaGlow Highlighting Powder $4.99

-OFRA Cosmetics Nikkietutorials Everglow Highlighter $29

-OFRA Cosmetics Nikkietutorials Space Baby Highlighter $29


Whether you draw a whole new shape or don’t ever really touch them, brows are the most important factor that gives your face a shape. And hello, they show our emotion. Now as for me, my brows are naturally thick. But I do have experience with brows that are not so lucky. I’ll share with you the diagram on how to map out your brows. A little tip, don’t waste your money on eyebrow powder. If you have a matte eyeshadow that matches your brow’s color, use that instead.

-N.Y.X Control Freak Eyebrow Gel (Clear) $5.99

-N.Y.X Micro Brow Pencil $9.99

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil $21

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade $18

-Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil, Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, and ka-Brow! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color $24 each

-Wunder2 Wunderbrow $22


In this section, I’ll be discussing eyeshadow, eye primer, eyeliner, mascara, and false lashes. Eyeshadow is a definitely a product I highly suggest you go to the higher and brands for. It’s the ultimate investment for your cosmetic collection. Eye Primer you can go both ways. Both drug store and high end have great options. Eyeliner and Mascara, I suggest drug store unless you have super sensitive eyes or they water a whole hella' lot.. I’ve found wonderful options in drug store that last all day and won’t break the bank every time you run out. False lashes are something I see as something you can get at Walmart for $6 or online for $25 and definitely not necessary but are super hot when you have a big night out or an event. A trick with false lashes to hide the gap between the band and your lash roots is to use dark lash glue. Using dark lash glue also helps the blending when placed on dark eyeliner. I suggest the brand DUO.


-Morphe 350 Nature Glow Palette or 3502 Second Nature Palette $23

-Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette $38

-Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha Palette $19

-Urban Decay NAKED3 Palette $54

-Huda Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette $27

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette or Modern Renaissance Palette $42 each

Eye Primer: Always set with powder before applying shadow!

-N.Y.X Proof It Eyeshadow Primer $6.99

-N.Y.X Glitter Primer $6.49 (just apply the glitter on top of this primer)

-Urban Decay Primer Potion Original or Anti-Aging $24

-P.Louise Base $12.96 (sold as 10 pounds European)


-N.Y.X Epic Ink Liner $8.99 (This is my favorite pen, it won’t budge!)

-N.Y.X Matte Liquid Liner $7.49 (Brush and Bottle)

-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil $21

-N.Y.X Jumbo Eye Pencil $4.49 (Multiple shades, there’s room to play)

-MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack $18 (Gel Liner)


-L’oreal Lash Paradise $9.99 Volume and separation, but dries out quickly. My current favorite.

-Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $24 Volume and separation, dries out quickly. Lash Paradise is the dupe of this mascara.

-It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara $24 Lift and separation.

-Benefit Roller Lash $25 Lifts and seperates to give that natural beauty look.

-L’oreal Voluminous Mascara $7.99 An old classic for volume.

-Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara $6.99 One of my favorite for fullness and separation.

False Lashes:

Smaller Eyes:

-Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes in Shy $3.99

-Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Lashes in Little Black Dress $5.99 Allure 2017 Winner

-Kiss True Volume Lash in Chic $3.99

Medium to Large Eyes:

-Ardell Faux Mink Demi Wispies $7.34

-Ardell #600 Lashes $4.59

-Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink in Gala, Corset, or Brassiere $6.99 each


There are mainly three groups when it comes to lips. Liquid Lip, Lipstick, and Lip Gloss. For an all night event, I always recommend using a liquid lip. Yes, it is drying, but it will last you the longest. The only kryptonite for this cement setting lip is any type of oily food. So be careful! Lipstick can last decently but without liner it has the risk of bleeding. Easy to apply and re-apply, I recommend it for your every day life. There are a variety of finishes from matte, to satin, to a high shine. I normally wear lip gloss or lip balm when I’m in a lazy or natural mood. There are some brands that have a lacquer type finish that can last awhile, while others are light and easy to take off and re-apply. Some can be sheen or full of pigment. All up to you!

Liquid Lip:

-Too Faced Melted Matte $21

-N.Y.X Liquid Lingerie $6.99

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick $20

-Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick $20

-Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick $18 Eye safe, can be used as eyeliner!

-ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip $6.50

-Lime Crime Matte Velvetines $20

-Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit $29

-Wet N’ Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit $4.99

-Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick $20

-L’oreal Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick Les Chocolat $9.99


- Maybelline Color Sensational (in any finish) $3.99-$7.99

-MAC Lipstick (in any finish) $18.50

-NYX Butter Lipstick $6.50

-Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick $8.49

-Tarte Color Splash Lipstick $21

Lip Gloss:

-Buxom Full On Plumping Lip Polish $21

-NYX Butter Gloss $4.99 or Intense Butter Gloss $6.49

-Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss $16

-L’oreal Lip Paint $9.99

Lip Pencil:

-N.Y.X Slim Lip Pencil $3.99

-Bare Minerals Gen Nude Under Over Lip Liner $16

-Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Lip Liner $16 (Eye safe, can be used in waterline)

Setting Spray:

Now it’s time to set all that hard work in place. If you’re feeling a little ‘cakey’ this is the most important step that will help any excess powder melt into your face. I personally just use a facial mist from Marshall’s such as a Rosewater Mist, but you’re worth it! Go for the actual makeup spray!

-N.Y.X Matte or Dewy Makeup Setting Spray $8.49

-Milani Make It Last Setting Spray $9.99

-Skindinavia The Makup Finishing Spray $29

-Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray or Chill Setting Spray $32

-MAC Prep + Fix+ $26 (4 different scents!)

Thank you all so much for baring with me until the end. I hope you found something useful in this not-so-little article. In the end, it’s all personal preference. You do you girl! And remember, practice makes perfect and if at first you don't succeed- try, try again.




These are products I have tried myself or have heard excellent reviews about. I have pretty normal skin that varies in the seasons, so what may work for me may not be the best for you. I tried to include categories that may work for every skin type. If you would like help, I over lessons here at Live Salon.

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