8 High-End Makeup Products You DON’T Need to Buy - QC Makeup Academy

Ask anyone—makeup is expensive. And as a professional makeup artist, you feel the pain of forking over a small fortune for foundation more than most. Your kit has to be big enough to accommodate every client, and you’ve got to have the best of every product to keep the looks you create as high-end as possible.

Or do you?

It’s absolutely true that there are some products you just should not skimp on. Good-quality brushes and tools are always worth the extra money, and cheap foundation, concealer, or eye shadow often won’t get you the same results as something a little pricier. But for some products, it’s just not worth the extra cash.

Read on to figure out where to save your money when you’re building your kit (or shopping for yourself).

1. Toner—of any price

Okay, so this wouldn’t be going in your kit anyway, but if it’s part of your own daily beauty routine it might be time to ditch it. Soaps today don’t leave behind the residue that toner was originally designed to remove, so aside from making your face feel clean, it doesn’t actually do much.

Of course, if you love the feeling of freshly toned skin then stick with it by all means. Otherwise, save yourself a few bucks by just sticking with your favorite face cleanser.

2. Mascara

You don’t need high-end mascara and neither do your clients. A fancy product isn’t going to get you noticeably better results than its cheaper drugstore cousin, so don’t bother. For most people, it’s really the brush that matters anyway; just look out for a good brush (for yourself) and good spoolies (for your clients).

Woman applying mascara in a mirror

Since mascara is a staple of many women’s everyday beauty routines we tend to go through it fast. Buying an expensive brand over and over again just isn’t worth it.

3. Pencil eyeliner

High-quality gel or liquid liners tend to last longer and have more color, but when it comes to pencils, stick with a cheaper brand. There’s very little difference between an expensive pencil liner and your average drugstore pencil—both will smudge and blend in pretty much the same way. All you’re really paying for is the designer name.

4. Lipstick

A more expensive lipstick will tend to get you the best results, but you can pick up a perfectly good substitute for a way better price. Any drugstore will have a huge range of colors and formulas, making it easy for you to build up your kit without breaking the bank.

Same goes for lip gloss and lip balm. Sure, a fancy product might be nice, but it’s definitely not a necessity, especially since many people go through these products fast from frequent applications through the day. And for lip balm in particular, the ingredients don’t differ all that much between prices.

5. Makeup remover

Yes, you need some kind of makeup remover, but definitely stick with the cheaper stuff. As long as you can find a drugstore variety that works for you, stay away from the expensive stuff. It’ll work just as well (or even better)—and besides, makeup remover is pretty boring. If you’re going to spend big money on a luxury product, at least buy something exciting!

Girl putting makeup remover on a cotton pad

6. Blush

Drugstore blush can get you good results, so why go pricier? Buying a cheaper product also makes it easier to switch out your colors a few times a year to match the change in seasons, or just let you expand the colors you can offer to your clients by letting you bulk up your kit.

7. Highlighter

How much do you use this, really? If the answer is all the time, then yes, you may want to hang onto your highlighter. We’re betting that’s not the case for most of you, though, so unless you truly love it, consider cutting it out of your professional kit (or your personal stash).

Can’t live without it? Again, you can easily sub in a cheaper drugstore product for something unreasonably expensive.

8. Those fancy false eyelashes you might wear one day

Feathered false eyelashes, bright glittery eye shadow, glossy orange lipstick… when exactly are you going to wear that outrageous impulse buy?

Now, we’re not trying to prevent the impossible. Impulse buys happen—we’ve all been there! But when it comes to expensive, totally impractical makeup products, do try to exercise a little bit of restraint, whether it’s for yourself or your kit.

Before buying a pricy product that’s a little on the wild side, try to think of at least one situation where you would actually use it. Drawing a blank? Put it back on the shelf and think on it for a day or two. Go on, put it back. You can do it. We believe in you.

Girl wearing feathered eyelashes

But I love my fancy mascara/lipstick/blush!

That’s totally fine. Everyone has areas where they’re willing to spend a little bit (or a lot) more to pamper themselves with a product they adore, and if you’re tearing up over the thought of parting with a high-end staple, don’t sweat it!

Just be aware that for many makeup products, a higher price tag doesn’t actually mean a much higher quality. If you’re trying to cut down on your makeup expenses, there are lots of products you can pick up at your local drugstore, often for under $10.

And just to be clear, we’re not suggesting you cheap out altogether. There are differences in quality between products, as you’ve probably experienced yourself. Looking at online reviews, asking drugstore beauty counter staff for recommendations, and testing out products yourself are all good ways to help you figure out which low-budget products will actually work for you.

Ready to start your career as a makeup artist? Check out QC Makeup Academy’s range of courses to start boosting your makeup skills!

Author Alicia Haniford

More posts by Alicia Haniford

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  • How to deal with hooded eyes. I am enrolled in Master make-up class and hair styling. I would love to have more information about hooded eyes. Your examples are nice eyes to work with. Thank you for your time. Hope to hear from you soon. Kimberly

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