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L’Oreal Had It Right, You’re Worth It.

I remember when I found out that the best makeup is usually worth its high price. For all of my teenage years and my early 20s, I only bought the cheapest makeup I could find. And I would use it and use it long after I probably should have thrown it out. The problem was that, even though I was saving money, my skin was paying the price.

I suffered from acne well into my adult years. On top of that, I would frequently get eczema on my eyelids. Lemme tell ya, that’s painful! And when I tried to “cure” myself, I usually wound up worse off than before because I was relying on drugstore cashiers to tell me what I needed to buy.

Case of pink and purple eye shadows

Just before I got married, my husband sent me a wonderful gift basket for a bride-to-be from Philosophy. I started using their Purity cleanser and Hope in a Jar moisturizer and — lo and behold! — my skin got noticeably better. Then I looked up how much the stuff cost and my jaw dropped. It was way, way more than I would have paid for cleanser and moisturizer. But I gradually realized that I wasn’t using very much of either product, and my skin continued to look fantastic. That’s when I figured out that spending a little more on cosmetics was worth the price. Nothing was more valuable than having clear skin that didn’t hurt and didn’t embarrass me.

I tested my theory by buying foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and other makeup that was a little pricier than usual. It was so soft on my skin! And just a tiny bit went such a long way! I was hooked. Since then, I know I’ve spent a lot less over time on just a handful of really good makeup products than I would have if I had bought countless cheapos that ruined my skin.

It all comes down to the ingredients. [Smacks forehead.] You don’t need to go into debt buying the best makeup, but you do need to pay attention to the ingredients of everything you put on your body. When you put something on your skin, it goes into your bloodstream. (If you don’t believe that, then how do nicotine patches work? That’s right. Bloodstream.)

No matter how much you spend on your best makeup, you have to be sure that the ingredients are safe for you to use. Just because it’s for sale doesn’t mean it’s safe. And the more careful you are with the ingredients, the healthier your skin will be.

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Best Makeup with Healthy Ingredients

Quilt square of Mrs. Weasley DHC

DHC olive oil-based makeup and skin care brand is more than worth the cost. It works as advertised and has only healthy ingredients that won’t harm your skin. You want to try the Deep Cleansing Oil, a Bazaar Editor’s Choice for the Beauty 150 Award Winner.

Aloette

Aloette is a multi-level marketing company that allows you to shop online or through a consultant (like Mary Kay). Their products are is high-quality and vegan, so you can really feel good about this brand. Aloette is a little more expensive (the theme of this post, right?) but it has a long shelf life (you can refrigerate it) and they have a lot of colors to choose from for all skin tones.

Love for Humanity Organics

Love for Humanity Organics makeup is amazing because they care about the environment, while also allowing you to show off your natural beautiful with their wonderful color cosmetics. This brand is not only vegan, but also — hang onto your butts — gluten free! They use only certified organic ingredients.

Best Makeup by Product

Eye Cream

Grrl, I been through it with eye creams. Remember how I said I got eczema on my eyelids? That includes that bit of skin between the eyelids and the eyebrows. And I had makeup counter clowns sell me all kinds of junk that burned the bejeesus out of me, until I got smart about ingredients. Now I’m slowing down the wrinkleys (at least, I hope I am) without burning my skin off.

Many eye creams claim to help get rid of fine lines but while many work, they don’t feel great on the skin. Neocutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream does everything you want. It retails for up to $100 (yikes!) but you can often find deals on Amazon. Since you use this nightly, it’s okay if it has a relatively short shelf life, because you’re going to use it up.

Mascara

Drugstore mascaras work just fine, but they often dry up quickly. I end up replacing mascaras pretty quickly when I buy cheap brands. If you want to make sure that you get to the most out of a mascara until it’s really all gone, then you should try Diorshow Pump‘N’Volume Mascara. Reviewers say it’s also cruelty-free and easy to take off without causing any irritation.

Lipstick

Women the world over want lip colors that do a couple things. We want moist lips and we want a color that stays. That combo is hard to come by, no matter what anyone says. The kind of lipstick that stays all day can be drying, while the kind of lipstick that’s moist usually comes off on everything. But, many people swear by LipSense by SeneGence. They seem to have found the magic formula to be both long-lasting and moist.

Foundation

As you know, there are literally hundreds of foundations out there, from really cheap to really blow-your-mind expensive. But, you have to look at what you want your foundation to do. Do you want it to cover flaws? Do you want it to moisturize or block dangerous sun rays? Do you need to look good in photographs?

One of the best foundations you can buy is Laura Mercier Foundation. You can get it from $22 dollars, depending on what your foundation goals are; they have different foundations that serve different purposes, and therefore have a range of prices. You can find at Laura Mercier at Nordstrom, Macy’s and other retail outlets, including Amazon.

Dark-skinned woman with pink and purple sparkly eye shadow

Eye shadow is fun to play with.

Eye Shadow

Eye shadow is super fun, right? It can be matte or sparkly, colorful or neutral, light or dark. When you want a different look every day, it might seem great to buy cheap mascara at Walmart or the drugstore, but will it really stay on? Are the colors really as rich as they seem to be? It’s always best to try before you buy to be sure.

You might not know this, but at drugstores like Rite Aid and CVS, you can return cosmetics you don’t like. You can also do that at high-end department stores as well, like Macy’s. If that makes you uncomfortable (me! me!), you can instead ask that they put some on you before you buy it so you can make sure you’re not allergic and that it looks as fine as you do. (Don’t use those makeup testers. They’re full of everyone’s bacteria. Blecch! The Penny Hoarder (one of my fave money-saving websites) has great tips for trying makeup before you buy it.)

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Spend a little more on your cosmetics and skin care. You’ll be surprised at how long it lasts and how good you look.

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