Today I thought I might tackle an issue that I get asked about all the time. My friends comment on my makeup and ask me how much the products I use cost. In my makeup bag there is a definite mix of higher end to cheap drugstore products and the products that I continually use are the ones I love, and in the end, I have products that have cost me £1 that I prefer to the far more expensive counterpart.
For me it all comes down to (as it should) how well the product works for you. For me, my most expensive products are those that I use all over my face because I see this as caring for my skin. Cheaper foundations have a tendency to make me break out more than usual, dry my skin out and make it more oily - none of these things are appealing to me. Since I switched to a higher end product - I use Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation - my skin has been better. The same goes for powder.
I have also recently switched to a high end mascara. I went from using possibly the worst mascara I have ever used (Loreals Million Lashes Mascara, which was like applying black powder to my lashes, it had so much fallout I ended up with more of it on my face than on my lashes) to the best mascara I have ever used (Lancome Hypnose waterproof). But my Mum only ever uses Maybelline mascara and she couldn't be happier - those products work for her, and she loves them.
The cheaper products that I love are usually eyeshadows and pencils, I also have some really great nail polishes from dirt cheap brands. The eyeshadows that I really love (due to the unparalleled pigmentation and longevity) are MUA cosmetics eyeshadows - theyre available from most Superdrug's here in the UK and theyre basic range (which features every single eyeshadow mono) is priced at £1 a product. I currently have a collection of their colours and use them probably more than any other. They have some really good MAC dupes as well, such as shade 11 which is an excellent likeness to the MAC blue/brown pigment.
I also really like Barry M dazzle dusts and glitters - theyre really well pigmented and you get a decent amount of product for your money. My favourite pigments from their range are Bare (a yellow gold dazzle dust) and Opal (a black and green glitter). And I cant mention Barry M without noting their waterproof eyeliner pens, if you havent checked them out yet, you really should!
I know people that wear nothing but expensive products, but look like theyre using the dirt cheap stuff, and people who use exclusively drug store brands and look amazing! I think the trick is to find a good mix, and play around with products until you find whats right for YOU. Its all well and good going on what someone else uses, but if it doesnt work for you then its not going to stay in your makeup bag.
Hope this has been helpful and a little bit of an insight to what I like to splurge on, and the products I consider a steal.