How To Try High End Beauty Products Without Breaking the Bank
I am known as the Queen of balling on a budget. If you are a makeup and beauty junkie like myself, nothing is more exciting than trying new products. It can be addictive. And expensive, to say the least. Especially if your tastes veer towards more expensive brands and products. And what if you don't like something? You either eat the cost or go through the hassle of returning it - if you can. All in all it's a bit of a pain in the ass. This simple and no so secret trick is how I have been able to try a lot of higher end products without making my wallet and without having any buyer's remorse. Minis and travel size items have been around forever. But minis and travel sizes of higher end products is more of a recent phenomenon. It used to be that you either bought the full sized item or you waited until around holiday season when brands would release mini size gift sets. Now almost every brand offers a mini sized version of their best sellers and pricier products. Which is smart. It introduces their products to people who would otherwise be scared off by the hefty price tags and if the customer likes the products enough - they will spring for the full size. So the brand gets a potential new loyal customer and the customer gets to try something new for less. It's a win, win. Below are some of the great high end mini and travel sized items that offer a great bang for your buck.
Prime and Setting Products
One of my favorite ways to try out basic makeup products like powders, setting sprays and primers, is to buy them as minis. And because I am a makeup junkie and use to different primers with different foundations I rarely feel the need to upgrade to a full size of any primer. If you tend to switch between primers this may be a more economical option for you as well. With setting sprays I tend to be quite picky since I have oily, sensitive skin. I like to try a mini version first and then decided if I want to upgrade. So far I have only upgraded two: CoverFX Mattifying Setting Spray and Urban Decay All Nighter. I made the mistake of purchasing a full size of Too Faced Sweet Peach Matte Setting Spray and wish I had simply purchased the mini for half the price. Why? Because I really only use it with one foundation. I've had the spray for about a year now and am just running out. I will purchase the mini size once it's completely empty. Setting powders are another product I never purchase a full size of because my skin can be so finicky. I have purchased minis of Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (which my skin hated and it made me break out - and a prime example of why trying the mini version first saves you money), CoverFX Matte Setting Powder (which I love and has lasted forever and will be purchasing a full size of), and Hourglass Veil Setting Powder (which I am still testing out).
The Fun Stuff
One of my latest obsessions is trying high end mascaras. I have always been a drugstore mascara kind of girl (and still am), but I wanted to see what the fuss was about a few high end mascaras that recently hit the market. During the Sephora VIB sale I picked up the Milk Kush Mascara mini and the Hourglass Caution Mascara mini. So far I have been wearing the Milk Kush mascara - and I LOVE it. But will I be purchasing it's full size sister? Probably not. Because mascara expires after 3 months. I can't justify dropping $24 on a mascara that I will have to toss in 3 months time. But $12? That is the cost of a slightly more expensive drugstore foundation. That I can do. Natasha DeNona (she of the $125 eyeshadow palettes) is a fave among makeup enthusiasts. I always jokingly refer to her as Natasha De No No because her prices are so exorbitant - not to mention that most of her palettes can be easily duped for a fraction of the price. But if you are interested in trying out her eyeshadows she has two mini palettes that are "sister" or "companion" palettes to two of her larger palettes, Lila and Sunset. The mini Lila palette is only $24. And then we have Mother - Pat McGrath. Now Pat McGrath is the only makeup brand that I have no issues dropping money on. Her shadows are INSANE. And I have heard nothing but amazing things about her lipsticks. At $38 a pop they are EX-PENSIVE. And there are so many shades to choose from that every time I try to pick one out I can't decide what to get. This mini Matte Trance Lipstick trio would be perfect. It is exclusive to Sephora and is only $25 - less than one full size lipstick.
Benefit released a new foundation called Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation. And I was surprised to discover that they offer a mini version of the foundation. I think this is an awesome idea and I hope more high end makeup brands start to do this. I switch up my foundation all the time and I hate the idea of product expiring because I'm not using it fast enough. The mini is only $15 - the caveat is that the mini version is only available in 4 shades.
One trick for trying out a foundation before dropping your hard earned cash on it. Get a sample. Sephora offers free 3-day samples for nearly all of the cream or liquid products they sell. Including foundation. I never purchase a high end foundation without getting a sample of it first. And it usually lasts me a full week. That is plenty of time to decide if a foundation is right for you. And you can get more than one sample at a time. So go into a Sephora and get shade matched for a few foundations you have your eye on. And then get samples of each. When you are ready to buy that $40 bottle of foundation you will know exactly what you are getting.
Skincare and Mini Sets
Another great way to try high end items is to grab them in mini sets. Especially skincare. I was introduced to both CoverFx and Ole Henriksen products by purchasing them in mini sets. You get a fair amount of produce. And while you can buy the mini separately you actually save money by buying them in a trio or set. For example, The Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Truth Serum mini is $20. The Ole Henrisken 3 Little Wonders trio which include the serum as well as the Sheer Perfecting Moisturizer and an AHA night Cream is $25. A pretty good deal, right? The same goes for the CoverFX set - $29 for all three items. This was how I discovered both the setting spray and the powder that have become go-to for me in my daily makeup routine. And I wound up purchasing a full size of the Ole Henriksen Sheer Perfecting Moisturizer I liked it so much. I have never tried any Drunk Elephant Products. At $60-80 a pop they are out of my price range of what I feel comfortable spending on a single product at the moment (of course that can change if I fall in love with something). I recently discovered that they now offer cute mini duo sets for $23. Each set has a name like "Day Glow" or "Night Glow" and comes with products that target specific problems. I think this is rather brilliant.
I am known as the Queen of ballin' on a budget. I know that you can look your best, experience the best - and do it all for less. You just have to know how!