Beauty Guru Reveals: Which Products Are Worth the Splurge?

If a makeup product is truly amazing, what price are you willing to pay for it? It’s definitely something to think about when considering which makeup you deem to be truly splurge-worthy. And, while the question is rightly subjective—one might value a game-changing foundation versus a vibrant eye shadow—we wanted to find out what a top expert thinks.  

Enter Sunday Riley, the beauty guru and creator of the eponymous brand. She is here to tell us which products she thinks are the best makeup buys.

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Concealer

Because one concealer is never enough, the perfect concealer is actually a combination of two for Riley. “I have two concealers that I blend together: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($35) and Nudestix Concealer Pencil in Light 1 ($24),” she says. “I always apply the creamy concealer portion of the Bobbi Brown duo first on my under-eye area and blend it in. Then, I draw an upside-down triangle from the interior corner of my eye down to my midcheek, and back up with the Nudestix pencil and blend inward.”

2/6

Contour

The Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio ($45) blends in perfectly for subtle contouring,” says Riley. “I apply the contour [shade] in a line under my cheekbone and blend thoroughly.”

3/6

Highlight

The Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow ($38) is a very sheer, flattering wash of color for fair skin,” she says. Apply the product directly onto your cheekbones.

4/6

Mascara 

Diorshow Black Out Mascara in Rich Black ($27) is great. Mascara formulas are many and varied, but the thing that makes Diorshow stand out is its brush. It plumps lashes and gives them a bit of curl. Also, I wear contact lenses and my eyes are very sensitive to mascara, but Diorshow doesn't irritate them,” says Riley.

5/6

Lips

“On my lips, I usually use a neutral-colored NARS Velvet Lip Pencil ($26) and top it with Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Plum ($23). I line and fill in my lips with a neutral hydrating lip pencil and apply tinted lip balm on top. I then take a highlighter pencil and lightly line directly above my top lip and below my bottom lip, blending outward. A dab of highlighter in the center of my lower lip creates an allover polished finish,” she says.

6/6

Foundation

Sunday Riley Tinted Primer in Light ($48) is an oxygen primer, so it allows your skin to breathe and is full of skin-saving peptides. It's also completely buildable, so you can apply just enough for a nice, healthy, even skin tone or build it up for more coverage,” says Riley.