When It Comes To Beauty Products, What Do You Save And Splurge On?

Note: You’ll notice that I didn’t do many product reviews this week. I’m having one of those I-cannot-be-arsed-reviewing-a-product week so please do excuse me. Regular posts on product reviews will resume next week. Although I do have to ask, do you prefer my blog posts to be more about product reviews or question-y posts like this?

When It Comes To Beauty Products, What Do You Save And Splurge On?

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Okay, I’ll say it. When it comes to skincare and makeup, I can be a bit of a snob AND a stinge. There are certain things that I will splurge on. There are also certain types of beauty products that I simply cannot justify spending a lot of money on. When I see certain skincare products in the pharmacy, I must admit that it takes me a while to consider buying it because I don’t know how well it’ll work on my skin. Most of my skincare are in the departmental store price range and while I have discovered many drugstore gems, my mind automatically goes towards more expensive brands when it comes to certain beauty items.

However, there are also certain items when I’ll go “ARE YOU CRAZY $40 FOR A MASCARA?” and “$100 for an eyecream? Okay take my money.” I’m weird that way.

This makes me wonder: what do you save and splurge on when it comes to beauty?


Cleanser: Save. As long as it doesn’t strip my skin dry, I’m not about to fork lots of dollars out for something that’s washed off my skin 10 seconds later.
Makeup remover: Save. Face of Australia’s Gentle Makeup Remover, Garnier and Bioderma’s micellar lotions are more than good enough for me.
Toner/lotion: Save and splurge, depending on the product. I love SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence (that’s a splurge) and I also like the toners by Simple and Bioderma.
Serum: Splurge. I can splurge hard on this without batting an eyelid.
Eye cream: Save and splurge although these days, I tend to splurge more. It could just be me but I find that the more expensive ones do a better job than drugstore versions. However, if you know of a really good drugstore one, please share it with us in the comments!
Moisturiser: Save and splurge. I find I tend to save more in this department. As long as the moisturiser does a decent job in keeping my skin well hydrated, is light and oil-free, I’m happy to stick to ones from the pharmacy.
Sunscreen: Save. While this is one of the most important steps in one’s skincare routine, I find that my favourite Biore sunscreens rarely go over $20, they’re good enough for me to save on. I’ve tried expensive sunscreens and they still don’t work as well as my cheapie Biore ones.


Foundation: Save and splurge. My favourite foundations are both in the drugstore and high-end department. There are really good and cheap alternatives so I go for whatever that works best on my skin.
Concealer: Save. I prefer the cheaper alternatives from Maybelline and Revlon as they work just as well as their expensive counterparts.
Powder: Save. There are good, finely milled powders in the drugstore that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Primer: Splurge. Sadly I haven’t discovered drugstore versions that are really good just yet.
Eyeshadow: Save and splurge. My favourites are from Maybelline (the Colour Tattoos), Urban Decay (NAKED palette) and LORAC. It’s hard for me to find good eyeshadows that stay on my oily eyelids (even with primer on) that come from the drugstore, which is why I adore the Maybelline Colour Tattoos.
Eye liner: Save. I can get my favourite ones (Rimmel, L’Oreal) from Priceline.
Mascara: Save. If I have to pay more than $15 for a mascara, I’d scream bloody murder.
Brow pencil/gel: Save and splurge but I find myself splurging more for this these days.
Blush: Save and splurge. I don’t discriminate when it comes to blushes. πŸ˜‰
Lipstick/lipgloss: Save and splurge. Mostly I save in this department but when I feel like treating myself, then I’ll get something slightly more expensive.
Makeup brushes: Save and splurge, but mostly splurge. Take care of your brushes well and they can last you a long time. I used to buy a lot of cheap ones but in the end, I realised that I only needed a few for my makeup routine, even if it gets quite complicated. If only I didn’t spend the money on those el-cheapo brushes and saved it for better ones. Sigh.


Shampoo & conditioner: Save. Nothing wrong with Pantene (my hair loves it!)
Serum: Splurge. I love the ones by bHave, Kerastase, Paul Mitchell, Joico and L’Oreal Professional.
Tools (e.g. hairdryer, flat iron, etc): Splurge. I’ve spent a lot of money on cheaper alternatives but none of them work as well as my ghd Air hairdryer and Cloud Nine flat iron. If you take care of these well, they’ll last you for years.


Body wash: Save and splurge. Save for the husband, splurge for me (I hide the luxurious ones from Tim. Ahem.).
Body lotion: Save and splurge. I typically use the cheaper ones during the day and the more expensive ones at night.

Phew, that’s a lot of saving and splurging, isn’t it? I like to know that I can splurge on certain items if I save on most of the rest. Not everything needs to come from the drugstore and certainly not everything needs to be high-end. A good mixture of the two is always lovely.

What about you? What do you typically save on? What would you splurge on?

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12 comments… add one
  1. Mel

    I agree with most of yours, except I’ve been in a bit of a makeup splurge mood recently πŸ˜›
    Mel recently posted..Violet Box April Review 2015My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh that’s a dangerous (yet very fun) mood to be in! πŸ˜‰

  2. Natasha

    I splurge on moisturizers, serums and sunscreen for my face. Sunscreen for my body I get in big economy bottles at Walmart. I don’t buy the hype about cleansers and just use Cetaphil which is inexpensive, mild, and does the job for pennies. But I am a sucker for exotic ingredients in the other skincare steps…

    I definitely scrimp on mascara — its shelf life is too short to justify spending more than $10.

    I just happen to love CeraVe body lotions, which are mid-range at the drugstore.

    ANd I do splurge on BB creams, blush, eyeshadows and concealer. And I save on eyeliners (some of the cheapest also last the longest), some eyeshadows and lipsticks/lipbalms.

    There’s a little reason behind my decisions… at least I like to think there is…

    1. Tine

      You know what Natasha, there’s no need for reasons behind your decisions. You like it, you do it. You want it, you buy it. That’s how I feel anyway about my purchases. πŸ˜›
      But good one! I’m with you as well on that. By the way, a lot of “exotic” ingredients (e.g. plant extracts) don’t actually do anything for the skin. More often than not, we’re paying a lot of money for what I call fluff ingredients.
      Okay, getting off my soapbox now. πŸ˜›

  3. Liv

    I pretty much scrimp & save on everything except lipstick (Tom Ford’s range is wonderful) and night cream/eye cream (love the Trilogy range).

    1. Tine

      The Trilogy range is great. Oh and Tom Ford’s lipsticks? DIVINE.

  4. Dr. Fred Clarke | DIEP Surgeon

    There are lots of beauty products out there that promise ‘magical’ results and one should be wise in finding the ones that can live up to what they promise. Skincare products are essentials. For me, proper care for the skin can leave you with beautiful results with or without makeup.

    1. Tine

      I agree. Better to splurge on good skincare than just good makeup. Good and expensive makeup will not do much on a bad canvas.

  5. Beauty Box

    Fun post. I’m quite similar with you on most products except that I would spend a bit more on hair care as my scalp is more sensitive. Def splurge on serums! They are super-charged with great ingredients. I also save on mascara and eyeliner – but I am spoiled for choice in the Japanese drugstore. I don’t know what I will do when I move away – where will I get my super waterproof won’t budge an inch mascara??
    Beauty Box recently posted..Lancome Spring 2015 My French PaletteMy Profile

    1. Tine

      OMG Japanese drugstores. LOVE THEM SO MUCH. You’re definitely spoiled for choice! πŸ˜€
      You stock up that super waterproof mascara like the world’s coming to an end, that’s what you do. Heck I would. πŸ˜›

  6. Cocoa

    Hi Tine, is there a way to follow you on Wordpress, rather than subscribe through email? Thank you.
    Cocoa recently posted..One half each and the relationship will not sourMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hmm I’m not sure. I’ve never actually had anyone ask me that, to be honest. You can follow my blog on Bloglovin or Feedly, if you prefer not to subscribe via email?

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