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Splurge or Save: Liquid Eyeliner


This weekend, while traveling to Minneapolis, I got to watch helplessly as a TSA agent dumped the entire contents of my purse on to the floor under the conveyor belt.  As a result, I lost nearly $200 in makeup to the trash.  Yay!

Among the casualties, my beloved Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen.  Spending $56 for eyeliner seems insane (and to be fair, it kind of is).  The application is smooth, the formula so velvety, and the color so dark, that it’s worth it for a winged-liner lover like myself.  And never have I so appreciated those amazing qualities.

Unable to live without liquid liner for three full days (priorities, ladies), I headed to Macy’s to pick up a replacement.  Pickings were slim, so I ended up with Diorshow’s Art Pen ($32).  What a disaster.

The tip is too long to offer smooth application.  The formula is thin and barely black.  And worst of all, it migrates across your lids and rubs off easily.  Like I said, disaster.

Sick of re-applying eyeliner twice per day, I walked to Target and snapped up my favorite drugstore liner: Maybelline Master Precise Ink Pen ($8).  The formula is thick and dark.  The applicator isn’t as fine as the Tom Ford, but it’s easier to maneuver than the Dior.

Lesson learned?  If you want to splurge, there is only one: Tom Ford.  If you want to save, grab the Maybelline.

Splurge vs. Save: Vol. I, No. One

When it comes to eye color, I have a tendency to get sucked in by the pretty packaging and the hype.  This Naked 3 Palette and its Urban Decay brethren are gorgeous, but at $54, they’re pricey.  These CoverGirl TruMatch palettes are a much more affordable $13. Verdict. Don’t splurge, get beautiful eye color for less. Casual jackets to wear on the weekends are always in season.  While this Barbour Bartlett jacket or a Burberry Ashurst jacket are splurge-worthy options, this $99 L.L. Bean jacket more than holds its own. Plus-size?  This Calvin Klein jacket is worth a look.  Petite? L.L.…

SOS: Natural Facial Masks

Splurge. Origins Clear Improvement Mask ($25 for 3.4oz). This Origins mask is a great product for acne sufferers, enlarged pores, and dull complexion.  The white clay and activated charcoal detoxify your pores while gently exfoliating the skin.  Over time, you’ll notice a clearer, more even complexion. Save. Glacial Detox Healing Clay ($35 for 2lbs). I’m always looking for cheaper replacements for my favorite products.  At a reader’s recommendation, I switched to the Aztec Healing Clay ($8 or 1lb.) But unlike the Origins mask, I found that it really dried out my skin over time.  So I switched back.  However, keeping myself in…

Splurge or Save: Clarifying Body Wash

With warm weather on the horizon, I’m thinking about how to banish the unsightly blemishes from my shoulders and chest.  Being self-conscious about acne makes looking your summer best a challenge. I love Glytone’s body acne treatment spray.  But once a breakout gets going, it takes at least a week before the spray provides relief.  To stay ahead of the curve, I like to augment with an acne-fighting body wash. Typically, I use Glytone’s Exfoliating Body Wash ($24).  The wash contains 8.8% glycol acid, so it’s powerful.  It can be used to clear acne or just to smooth rough elbows,…

SOS: Facial Cleanser

I have a confession: I am a collector of face wash.  A closeted goo hoarder.  My cupboards and cabinets are full of expensive cleansers, cheap cleansers, bar cleanser, liquid cleansers.  I should open a store. One of the biggest arguments in the beauty biz is whether you should splurge on an expensive cleanser or if any old product from the bottom of the drugstore shelf will do.  Proponents of the cheap stuff will tell you that you’re just washing it down the drain anyway.  But I’m advocate for finding a cleanser that you feel treats your skin right, because everyone’s…