Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cheap thrills...

Luxe comes with a high price and it always isn't the best bang for the buck.
Take cosmetics for example...
I feel that we might be paying for the name brand or the packaging, not necessarily the product.

I've done my own research by testing certain brands and comparing them with less expensive options.
For example...

Chanel lipstick and gloss
which cost about $32 each
(the shades are brilliant and the formula lasts a long time)
~ vs. ~

Revlon Shea Butter lipsticks
which retail for about $9 each

I found the lip butters to be much more hydrating
than the Chanel lip products
 (available in 20 great shades)

I have used Lancome Definicils mascara and Aveda's Mosscara
over the years and found both to be fabulous products.

My eyes are very sensitive so I need to be careful...
Consumers swear by Maybelline Great Lash mascara which is cheap as chips but it irritates my eyes.

I am looking to replace my mascara
and wondered about the new mascara 
Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara
apparently it does not contribute to lash loss
and mine are thinning.
($27 available locally at The Bay)
I'll be giving this one a test drive in the next few weeks.

My go to make up is organic Sun Defense by Eminence
it has sunscreen with an SPF of 30
goes on easily
with the built in brush

can be layered for more coverage if desired...
lasts about a year and costs around $60.

French scents 
cheap thrill on the left, luxe is on the right
~ both are lovely ~
(Durance) retails for about $20 (Hermes) $115

My skincare products are Avene from France.
I use their sensitive line and am really pleased with the quality and the results.
They are readily available here and are sold in drug stores.

What brands and products are you loyal to?
Do you splurge or skimp?
Spend or save?


  1. I guess I am a scrimper . I use Avon for the lipsticks and gloss and also their mascara . I do have a lipstick by Lancome which I love antique rose but I find it very expensive and Avon works just as well . For my moisurizer I use Nivea Soft and go over with a Marcelle tinted moisturizer just to even things out. I do not use blush at all . For a nice scent I use Crabtree & Evelyns India Hicks Island Nights , or Vera Wangs Princess. Donna

  2. I always have a Chanel lipstick in my cosmetic bag, but I must say I find myself searching right past it for the Revlon Shea Butters you have featured here. Pretty sure i have both of those colors and a couple more. You cannot beat the price and I love them. My daughter is always trying new makeup from both the department stores as well as the drug store and these were a great find. In regards to French scents...One total luxury we discovered last summer...Creed.

  3. Aw, thank you for the shout out cherie.

    Great post idea to compare high and low. Avene for example is very reasonably priced and as far as I'm concerned I haven't found anything better.


  4. I rarely buy drugstore makeup or skin care anymore. I find their quality lacking - but many high end products aren't so great either. I bought a Chanel foundation that was just awful. That was $60 down the drain.

    My current favorite brand for skincare is by a German company called Weleda. They've been around for many, many years (over 90 I think). I also use their deodorant and their toothpastes - Weleda products are biodynamic so I don't worry about chemicals and other nasty stuff when I use them. Now if they would only start making makeup, I would be set!

    1. Chanel is excellent about returns even after you've used the product. Just tell them you don't like it, and they'll take it right back.

  5. I love the Revlon Shea Butters- have several and have yet to be disappointed, they compliment so many skin tones and at a few dollars each are my newest "treat". Lisa S.

  6. I'm a splurger. Surprise. On the other hand, since a mascara lasts me 6 months, and I wear it 5 days/week, that makes, hmmm, 120 days. So if the tube costs me $22, that's $0.18/wear. In other words, I feel like cosmetics and body goods are the biggest luxe bargain I can find:).

    And I have recently switched to Apriori skin care and love it.

  7. Over the years I have spent much on cosmetics and am trying to be more conscious of what I spend. I use Eucerin Daily Moisturizer with 30 spf and Clarins Instant Smooth. Except for the Eucerin, I rarely buy drugstore anymore and try to stay away from the department store temptation. I recently purged my cosmetics and still have way to much!

  8. I've tried it all-super high end, drugstore, department store brands, and Whole Foods-stocked stuff. I think people like to have the chic bottles and the customer service of the high-end and department store brands, and if that makes them feel good, more power to them in these days of overwork and frazzled nerves! I just found One Love Organics. Simple. Smells wonderful and makes my skin feel like it did when I was a child, and it looks better than it ever has. With hyper sensitivities, I am very careful about makeup and skincare

  9. Oh! Meant to mention (perhaps Janet from the Gardener's Cottage could weigh in on this) that, when I ramp up my veg consumption and lay off bread and sweets, my skin is clear as all get out, and less textured. Go figure. I stay away from mascara with tar. That's what dries out lashes, and it should really be banned. Just my opinion, FWIW...

  10. I find " experimenting " expensive. There is always something better and better. Therefore I favor Chanel on the few cosmetics I have. I´m satisfied with the quality and the colors. The nail polish, usually I only paint my toenails, lasts surprisingly long.
    Facial products by Helena Rubinstein. No complaint on them either. Body cream is Dove´s.

  11. How do you like the Revlon lip butter colors? Like mette, I've often found purchasing drugstore products to be a waste when I can't try them first. I've ended up tossing/giving away a lot of them.

    1. I really like them and I was able to use the testers with the help of the clerk in the pharmacy so I knew what would work for my skin tone. I don't like wasting money on products that I cannot try first.

  12. For inexpensive cosmetics that are meant for sensitive skin, how about Almay? I use mostly L'oreal cosmetics and have been happy with the products for years now. Previously, in my "money is no object" life I used Shiseido skincare and cosmetics. They are of the highest quality, but in my newfound frugal lifestyle I just can't justify the price. I'd rather have that money in a retirement account/investment.

    1. I have not tried Almay but I have tried many other lines over the years...
      if they work and you are happy with the results why not keep using them?

  13. hi leslie,

    well you know i am an aveda addict. but i think my favorite beauty basics are fresh air, a clean vegan diet, water and lots of exercise. xo janet

  14. I recently started using Vichy products for cleaning my face and love them, accompanied by an alphahydroxy night cream. I use Oil of Olay moisturizer.

    I rarely wear foundation, but sometimes a bit of mineral powder finishes off my face. It's from the drug store and I can't remember the brand. For mascara I use Almay's for sensitive eyes, but I'm thinking of trying the one Tish recommended. Lipstick - I've used Mary Kay's Black Cherry for years, but am tired of always having to order it and wait.

    Fun to read about other women's thoughts on this.

  15. Hostess

    I'm with you on the Revlon Lip Butters - great buys that outperform the more exxy brands.

    I'm also loving Argan oil spray from strawberrynet over MoroccanOil. For mascara, love Loreal. For body mositurizer, nothing beats good old sorbolene for me.

    Your French perfume find sounds great!

    SSG xxx

  16. Other than Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with sunscreen for day, I use all Chanel. Well, just blush, lipstick and mascara - I don't wear much makeup.
    Skincare - I pretty much use Skinceuticals. I've tried "no chemical/organic" brands and find that they spoil fast.
    I don't buy drugstore makeup - find that it's a waste of money. I know people love Mabelline mascara, but it irritates my eyes.

  17. Ladies, always know that any cosmetic purchases are returnable; be it Shoppers, Walgreens, Holt Renfrew, or Saks. Even if it's as simple as a shade of lipstick, that isn't flattering on you, once you get it home.

    I mix high and low, and have returned high end La Prairie, because I couldn't abide the scent, and SKII because it irritated my sensitive skin.

    For skin care, I cleanse with inexpensive Cetaphil, or Dove soap. For skin care, I use Eouko, and some Cle de Peau, and in really dry winter conditions I use La Mer, or a Pearl creme from China.

    Fundation wise, I only use Almay; but have just started using Garnier Skin Renew; which is a nice tinted moisturiser.

    I do like Dior mascaras; but I prefer the Revlon Photoready 3D Volume brush.

    I also buy Smashbox , and have no complaints, except they discontinued their BodyLights Glowing lotion, and I am desperate to find a replacement!

    Lipsticks, I have more than I like to admit to, and love Chanel, Guerlain and Dior; although I have loads of Revlon, and MAC. I also like Jane Iredale, especially the lipsticks that taste minty.
    I also prefer Dior, Chanel, and Guerlain, for eyeshadow; but I will buy Revlon, Lise Watier, and some Almay.

    I highly recommend Euoko products. I have to order them online, and they ship in a chilled package.
    They're a Canadian company and all the ingredients are food grade.

    I have used many brands over the years and the only time anyone ever commented that they could see I looked after my skin ???(I really don't ) was when I started using Euoko.

  18. I am so glad you posted on this. I am always looking for the perfect product. I have tried just about every brand. I use Bobbie Brown foundation and Kinerase and Pro-therapy MD skin are products. I have so many allergies I have to be so careful.

  19. I have a post I have been working on about mascara.(note to self, get it posted!) I've tried so many and wasted so much money on them as well as many other cosmetics. I'd much rather find something inexpensive that works great, but sometimes it is worth paying more if it really works better. My skin is very, very sensitive and sometimes even the very expensive cosmetics cause problems for me.

  20. Interesting post! Like others, I have tried all kinds, high and low with varying results. I have to be careful with products as I have combination skin - can't use anything too dry for my cheeks or too oily for T-zone. Right now I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with the SPF and Laura Mercier powder over top to set it. (MAC StudioFix powder foundation was a staple of mine for years and years too.) I use Maybelline Great Lash mascara, MAC or Makeup 4 Ever eyeshadows, Nars eyeshadow as an eyeliner, Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner (which lasts and lasts on me) and for lipsticks I like Avon, Mary Kay, Smashbox, MAC and Youngblood lipgloss. Oh and I also use the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer too.

  21. I have spent a fortune on different skin care and cosmetics over the years. Some expensive and some cheap. I always had to try the new products coming out. At this point in my life, I am just not inclined to do that anymore. I am trying to simplify my life. I am currently using the Mary Kay skin care line. Not their Timewise line, but their original skin care. My skin has greatly improved using it. I wasn't sure about it for a while, but I get compliments all the time now about my skin so it must be working for me. I use Bare Minerals foundation. A natural shade of eye color from Maybelline. I LOVE Revlon eyeliner. Can't live without L'Oreal Voluminous mascara.

    I have to buy the cheap lipsticks because my lips are oily. Normal lipstick will not stay on me. Even the 8 hours lipsticks only last a few hours. Forget lip gloss. It ends up being a mess all over my face. Cheap lipsticks are as dry as can be and they work fantastic on my lips. The plus side is that I NEVER EVER get chapped lips. I never have to use lip balms.

    Sometimes I really can't believe my love affair with cosmetics has drastically diminished, but I am quite happy using these products now.


  22. I've never spent much on make up but have always cleansed and moisturized religiously. Recently I've been using Boots #7 and it is the best I've used -ever-. For years I used Clinique, then for a few more I used Avene. I don't think I'll be switching again soon.

  23. Normally I use Clarins skincare,especially their little red miracle pot,which I am never without,hides my pores!!

    La Roche-Posay tinted cream 50+ sunscreen is my new Summer buy on my dermatologist advice. Find Giorgio Armani lasting silk foundation,light & natural looking,love it.

    Am wearing Chanel nail colour Distraction on my toes,great Summery look,never use nail polish on my fingers. Ida