Confession: I buy expensive makeup. It’s not because I have money to burn, or because I think the quality is so much better.
I choose $22 lipstick from the cosmetics counter over the $5 drugstore stuff because I’m cosmetically inept, hopelessly indecisive, and easily overwhelmed.
In my makeup bag, a healthy mix of pricey and cheap: Target makeup brushes, Sonia Kashuk primer, The Balm shadows in caught in the act courtney and luscious lani, Lancome eyeliner pencil in black coffee, Loreal Voluminous mascara, Clinique blushwear cream stick, Clinique bronzer, Paul and Joe lipstick, Clinique lipstick in Tenderheart, Mary Kay lip liner in neutral.
I love the idea of cheap makeup, but the four aisles of product at Target completely overwhelm me. I don’t know what brand to choose, which formula, what color. I can’t try it on, and I can’t visualize what it’s going to look like on me.
And I hate–to an irrational level–getting it home and finding out that the color is all wrong for me, that it smells funny, or that it’s uncomfortable to wear. And it can’t be returned.
Some of you think the thrill of the hunt is fun. You can have at it. I don’t enjoy the hunt: I just want to get it right.
I buy my $22 lipstick from the professional makeup artist who runs my favorite little cosmetics counter. He pre-selects the right products for my skin and the right shades for my skin tone. He shows me how to apply it, because I still need help figuring this makeup thing out.
Maybe the quality is better than the Target stuff; I don’t know and I don’t care. When I pay for expensive makeup, I’m paying for more than the product: I’m buying good advice, a narrowed range of choices, and the ability to try it before I buy it.
I don’t buy a lot of $22 lipstick (because, $22) but that suits my style anyway. I’d rather have a slim makeup bag stocked with products I wear all the time than a bulging bag filled with products I don’t. All I need is a neutral lipstick and a bright, maybe a red. A couple of eyeshadows, some blush. A liner or two. And I’m set.
My makeup guy said none of his reds would look as good on me as this $6 red from NYX. I appreciated his honesty–and a cheap lipstick, for once.
There are a million reasons why women choose the makeup they do, and one of them is personality. For better or worse, my personality is better suited to the pricey makeup route.
But regardless of your personality type, or your preference for the cosmetics counter or drugstore or no makeup at all, remember Anne Lamott’s words and you’ll be good:
“Joy is the best makeup.” – Anne Lamott
Do you buy $20 lipstick (at the cosmetics counter) or $5 lipstick (at Target)? Or a little of each? Or neither? Why?
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