As Seen on The TODAY Show: When to Save or Splurge on Beauty Products

As Seen on The TODAY Show: When to Save or Splurge on Beauty Products featured image

In the wide world of beauty, one of the most important aspects of being a mindful and effective consumer is understanding how to get the most out of your money. From luxury beauty products to drugstore staples, there’s endless discourse on when to opt for a “dupe” and when to go high-end, but that doesn’t make the decision any less confusing. If you’re someone who struggles to understand when to save and when to splurge when it comes to beauty, we’ve got you covered.

Ahead, senior editor-at-large Sarah Eggenberger walks us through the basic rules for what beauty products you should be saving your big bucks for, plus, some product recommendations to get you started.

The Science Behind the Splurge

When it comes to splurging on products, there are several things to consider. First, think about the cost per use—divide the cost of the item by the number of times you anticipate using it to provide your cost per use breakdown and insight into whether or not it’s worth the splurge. Next, consider the results. If you believe in the product and see a positive outcome, its worth the price. Factors in the cost may be attributed to the quality of the ingredients, ingredient sourcing and packaging that all accumulate to provide a better result and experience with the product. Lastly, consider which area of concern the product is addressing. If breakouts, aging, or hair loss, for example are your primary concern, prioritize those products and use more capital on those items as opposed to makeup and nail care.

Below, find a more comprehensive breakdown of what to splurge and save on across different aspects of beauty, complete with product recommendations to kick start your shopping spree.

Skin Care: When to Save

Eye Creams: Eye creams can boast a hefty price tag, but affordable products like CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream ($14) feature patented controlled-release technology to help replenish ceramides and deliver long-lasting moisturization, thus reducing puffiness and the appearance of dark circles, making eye creams one product you can save on.

BUY NOW – $14

Hydrating Serums: Nowadays, there’s a serum for everything, and many of them can be pricey, but tons of brands feature hydrating serums that are incredibly effective and budget-friendly, making them a safe save option. One great option is Vichy’s Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($19), which provides long-lasting hydration for even the driest, most sensitive skin.

BUY NOW – $19

Skin Care: When to Splurge

Moisturizers: If there is anywhere in your skin-care routine where you don’t want to skimp out, it’s on your moisturizer. The size of moisturizer jars and the amount of product you get out of them makes spending the extra money cost effective, plus money spent on a high-quality moisturizer will always be money well spent. One great option for treating yourself to a moisturizer is First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream ($38), proven to relieve dry skin, even eczema and improve the skin’s barrier.

BUY NOW – $38

Antioxidant Serums: While both hydrating serums and antioxidant serums make a significant difference in your skin, the antioxidant compounds in antioxidant serums are more difficult to formulate which leads them to be more expensive and are worth investing in to assure you’re receiving high quality, high-concentration formulas. One to try is Dr. Dennis Gross’ Vitamin C Lactic 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum ($85).

BUY NOW – $85

Makeup: When to Save

Eyeshadow: Eyeshadows that are pigmented and provide long-lasting color are now available at affordable price points, making them a great option for saving in your beauty routine. L’Oréal’s La Palette Nude ($20)—inspired by makeup artists’ must-have palettes and featuring 10 highly pigmented shades ranging from light to dark, complete with three shadow finishes—is a prime example of a high-quality eyeshadow palette for a drugstore price.

BUY NOW – $20

Lip Gloss: Lip glosses have been having somewhat of a resurgence as of late, but that doesn’t mean that you need to spend big bucks to engage in the trend. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine ($9) is an under-$10 option for giving your lips lasting hydration and pigment without the high cost.

BUY NOW – $9

Makeup: When to Splurge

Eye Pencils: Most eye pencils are made from wax and you want them to glide gently across your eyes. If they don’t, it’s like a record scratching on your delicate lids, which can cause damage to the eye. So, you want to splurge on well-made, high-quality eye pencils, like the Diorshow 24H Stylo ($34).

BUY NOW – $34

Lipsticks: Finding lipstick that doesn’t crease, flake or dry out the lips and provides long-lasting color is no easy feat, which is why lipsticks are a great product to splurge on in order to ensure you’re using high-quality, proven ingredients that won’t punish your pout. YSL’s Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm ($43) comes in a super-luxe package and delivers hydration and pigment that is unmatched.

BUY NOW – $43

When to Save: Hair

Shampoo & Conditioner: While a hair wash routine is imperative to health, luscious strands, shampoo and conditioners are products you can easily save on while still benefiting from effective, healthy ingredients. Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo ($21) and Conditioner ($23) purify, reset and add shine to the hair without the hefty price tag or harmful ingredients like parabens and synthetic fragrances.

Hair: When to Splurge

Hair Tools: Not only does a good blow dryer save you time, it also cuts down on heat exposure, and less drying time means less damage. A good blow dryer can last you forever, making it a great splurge item. One to try? T3’s AireLuxe Blow Dryer ($200) which maintains the perfect balance between quality and price.

BUY NOW – $200

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