If you haven't noticed, I'm very frugal about things that aren't on sale. I love makeup but it never ever goes on sale, so I rarely opt to buy things that are expensive and not tried-and-true for me.
These are all things I had other versions of so I thought I could skimp on the good stuff and be the same. After all, a makeup sponge is a makeup sponge, right?
Wrong. Getting good versions of each of these things has totally changed my beauty routines if not my life, and I'm so glad I finally decided to splurge.
$19.95 for one of $28.95 for two at Sephora, Photo Credit: Sephora
I've tried the cheap versions. They were okay, but it was just a sponge. I don't know what it is about the real thing but it just gives incredibly flawless makeup application with so little product. Where I'd normally be caking foundation on to get coverage over redness, the Beauty Blender easily helps just a tiny bit spread far without losing all coverage, blend into your skin without just sitting on top. It really has made my morning foundation routine so much quicker and more efficient, and I just love the airbrushed final effect.
$41 at Sephora, Photo Credit: Sephora
I have had tons of highlighters in my time and I thought I knew all they could do for you - brighten a bit, add some depth, wake up your face, but I had no idea how well they could do it. Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat handily beats out Benefit's Girl Meets Pearl, Watts Up and High Beam, generally considered to be the contenders for top spot, as well as all the powder highlights that I thought were superior. The first time I used it I was blown away by the difference it made - it wasn't subtle brightening around my eyes, it was an all over appearance of being awake and alive. It also doubles as a fantastic concealer, something I wouldn't dare do with any of my other highlighters. Shade No. 2, Luminous Ivory, is my jam but I highly recommend getting the sample set at Sephora that lets you try out three shades to find yours. This stuff was so life changing that when I finally got the full size I passed along my extra samples (remember, I'm a hoarder) to a fellow makeup addict friend so I could share the wealth.
$47.99 (down from $139.99) at Amazon.com, Photo Credit: BaByliss US
For those of us with mostly-virgin hair, drying can be a real pain. It takes forever, it's never even really fully dry, my arms hurt by the end, and I end up just flipping my head over and doing a half-assed job like that because I just don't have the patience. I went through my Con-Air CVS bought dryers until they died and would just buy a new one. I didn't think there was any difference between a cheap dryer and a good one since they all do the same things, but it was incredible how much faster I was able to dry my hair with this BaBylissPRO hair dryer. I got it because it was on sale and I'm a sucker for a sale and when I turned it on it sounded like a jet engine. It was heavy enough to give me a good arm workout while drying my hair but cut the time it took easily in half. I shower at night now because of my work schedule but I can't believe that I used to shower in the mornings and blow dry my hair before work/class without using this thing. No wonder I was always rushing to class to avoid being late.
I was fine before all of these things, but the addition of them has really made my life as it pertains to beauty products so much better and in many cases, easier. What are some products you've tried that seriously changed things for you and convinced you of their worth?