Beauty Comes at a High Price

Ever since I discovered the perfume and cosmetic store Sephora, I have fallen in love with it. I love how the people who work there are very knowledgeable and helpful. This says a LOT, coming from someone who is absolutely clueless about hair and makeup. I’m a pretty low maintenance gal in the beauty department. I’ve always been the black sheep of the family when it came to having knowledge in this area. Lucky for me, I’ve always had friends and family who were willing to help me out. There have been a couple of times where I have been the guinea pig for makeovers.

sephora pic

Being a frugalista for the most part, I’ve always looked for beauty products more on the lower end. However,  it was a completely different story when it came to the appearance of my skin.

Growing up, I’ve always had acne. Even now, I still get it from time to time, but not as bad as it was when I was a young adult.  As far as I could remember, it was minimal in high school.

I didn’t really start to break out until I was in university and was overwhelmed and overloaded.  Stress got the better of me and my face. I spent so much money trying different creams, soaps, lotions, prescribed medications, Proactiv and even went as far as going to an acne specialist to get cortisone injections into my pimples that were the size of golf balls (ok fine, I may be exaggerating, but they were pretty darn big!). You had to pay for those injections up front and could get reimbursed for them later.

Before drug stores started selling higher end makeup and skin care products and before I knew of better quality skin care products, I would use the lower end brands found in the store. You know, the brands that would have commercials on television with celebrities claiming that this cleanser helped get rid of acne. I highly doubt they actually used it on their own skin and probably most of them had the perfect skin to begin with.

It was like the saying, you get what you pay for.  None of the drugstore stuff really worked. Those products were cheap and left me with little to no improvement in my skin.  The same also went for makeup. The prescribed medications worked for a while, but then my skin seemed to get used to it and then they would lose their efficacy. I would then have to go to the doctor to get a prescription for a medication with a different formulation.

Another thing I noticed with the lower end brands was that in terms of foundation and powder, back in the day, a lot of them didn’t have many in-between shades for people from certain ethnic backgrounds. I had this issue, thus I had to splurge on the higher end brands in order to get the proper shade of powder that matched my skin tone.

While I tend to go for lower prices on certain things, skin care and makeup is the one thing I am willing to splurge on.  I believe that it is worth it. In many cases, I have found the quality is there and because I don’t really need to look done up for either of my jobs, I use make up quite sparingly or wear the bare minimum on a daily basis.

Heck, I wrote this post with NO makeup on. Ha. Ha.

I know that eating cleaner could probably help the appearance and condition of my skin. Mind you, I have been making an honest effort to swap certain products for healthier alternatives and eat more produce and less fast food. However, I’m pretty unconventional and so are my jobs.  I work in environments that can potentially wreak havoc on your skin and the many hours in those environments doesn’t help too much either. Every job has its hazards. Some more than others.

Do you tend to spend a lot on skincare and/or beauty products? Why or why not?

13 thoughts on “Beauty Comes at a High Price

  1. I don’t wear a lot of makeup so I don’t usually spend much on those products. I usually wear a little lip gloss, mascara and eye shadow-that’s it. I do invest in higher quality skincare products. I use the Clinique 3-step program for washing my face and I feel like it really takes care of my skin.

    • I usually buy lip gloss and mascara from the drugstore. When it comes to skincare, that’s where I tend to spend the big bucks. I used to use Clinique stuff all the time because of my mom, but lately I’ve been branching out to other brands because I feel it hasn’t really changed the appearance of my skin.

  2. I have a monthly beauty budget of £20. I love skin care products and make up. It just so happens that my skin doesn’t like any cheap products, which doesn’t work very well whilst paying off debts.

    • I never really liked makeup before when I was younger. I think it had to do with the fact that I never really knew what went with what or how to apply it properly. I love how Sephora has sooo many samples and the girls there are so helpful when it comes to helping you find the right product. I feel I learn a lot from them every time I go there. It may also have to do with the fact that I ask about 50 questions when I go there. Lol.

  3. I work for a beauty company so I get a lot of product to test for free, which is nice! For makeup, I think there are a lot of great drugstore items when it comes to eye shadow and mascara but for foundation, I usually go highend. For skincare, I usually splurge since I have sensitive skin. I think you can really tell the difference between drugstore and higher end skincare products.

    • I feel like the drugstore skincare products don’t clean my face that well and aren’t as strong compared to the higher end brands. The higher end brands most likely have more research done on their products and do a lot more testing.

  4. I’ve struggled with acne all my life too. I used to wash my face twice a day and lather it with toner, spot treatments and moisturizer almost religiously. But honestly, my face is clearer (but still not clear, sadly) now that I wash my face much less. I still use “Grease Lighting” from Lush as a spot treatment at night and wash my face in the shower, but that’s it. I don’t wear make-up besides eyeliner and mascara, so I’m sure that helps too. It’s saved me tons of money (and time)!

    • I used to wash my twice, sometimes three times a day even. Now I tend to just wash my face twice a day. The 2nd time is usually after my sweaty evening workout at the gym.

      Ironically, I spend a little bit more time trying to achieve the so-called no makeup look. I don’t wear any eyeliner or mascara but I’ll put on concealer, foundation and powder just to even out my skin and cover a few acne scars.

  5. I completely agree that you get what you pay for with some makeup and skin care. I don’t wear a lot of makeup – just foundation, blush, and concealer most days. I spring for Smashbox foundation (or BB cream), which works well for me. I always shop their online store, which offers free shipping and samples on every order. And I go through Ebates, and get cash back on a small percentage of my orders.

    • I shopped at Sephora’s online store once because they didn’t have my shade of NARs concealer. I must admit, I was quite excited to also get free samples with my order. Who doesn’t like free makeup? 🙂

  6. I’ve also struggled with acne since high school (I’m 30 now and I keep thinking: aren’t I too old for this?!). I used to use concealers, topical medications, powders, etc but now I’ve stopped putting anything but sunscreen moisturizer on my face and it seems to help. At the very least, it’s one less expense and one less thing for me to worry about/spend time on. I think I’ve just embraced my imperfect skin :). I do still use light eyeliner and mascara, but that’s it. But, come on, acne! Haven’t I done my time?

    • I know what you mean. Adult acne should not exist at all!! I guess maybe the less is more rule can help, but I still feel self-conscious about not having my scars covered up when I go out in public. I have a bad habit of picking my acne. :S

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