Expensive Makeup That Works

Remember when I told you I don’t buy high-end make-up? Uhmn unless I’ve read reviews about them and I’m 100% sure they work? Well, that’s true. I don’t want wasting my money on expensive makeup or skincare products that will not work and so I watch countless of Youtube beauty gurus. When it comes to high-end, I trust Tati of Glam Life Guru and Jeffree Star. I like their reviews and I know they’re not lying or just sucking up to brands to get in their PR lists.

My stash

From time to time, I indulge in expensive makeup (but again, so very rarely). Sometimes, I receive them through events like Sephora’s fall and spring launches. Expensive makeup for me are the high-end and mid-end stuff. High-end are those makeup from brands that has fashion lines of their own like YSL, Guerlain, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, etc. Mid-end products are what we can get from Sephora, Paris Gallery, Wojooh, etc. Brands with their own stores like Make Up Forever, MAC and Inglot are also in this category. Low-end brands are what we call “drugstore” brands that can be found in Whites or Boots like Maybelline, Wet N’ Wild, Essence and Soap & Glory.

Here are some tried-and-tested mid-end and high-ened products that I love. I believe money is not wasted on them.

1. Prep + Prime Fix+ by MAC Cosmetics

The holy grail mist

What: A lightweight water mist that gently soothes and refreshes skin and finishes makeup.
Price: SR 105
Where To Buy: MAC Cosmetics

There was a time that MAC is the only mid-end makeup brand for me. I would save riyals for their cult favorite lipstick. I thought they were invincible; not affected with inflation and trends. They remained classic and classy and expensive, even though countless of makeup brands have appeared and mushroomed and made waves in the makeup industry. However, MAC began to give in to the fads and slowly, they became mainstream working with Youtubers, artists, etc, for collaborations. That’s not a bad thing. Recently, they also lowered their prices. Once upon a time, their lipsticks were just around SR 94 or lower. Now, they’re at SR 99 (from SR 113!). Anyway, I’m not here to talk about their lipsticks; I came to talk about their best-selling prep and setting spray, Fix+. It’s just so good in priming the face (before makeup) and equally great in setting (after makeup). It hydrates and refreshes. It can be used to make eyeshadow colors pop (just wet your brush with the Fix+). It sheers out foundation for that barely there makeup look. It just pulls together the makeup in your face for a gorgeous look that lasts all day. Apart from the original variant, it now comes in Coconut, Rose, and Lavender scents.

2. Blush Bazaar Amazonian Blush Clay Palette by Tarte

The blush palette that’s worth it.

What: A delicious, double-sided palette with ten deluxe blush and highlight shades to make every skin tone glow.
Price: Blush palette is no longer available but blushes are sold individually for AED 145.
Where To Buy: Sephora

A blush from Tarte is a welcome addition to any vanity. Tarte is known for producing one of the best blushes in the market, especially their Amazonian Clay blushes. They have a variety of colors too and a few finishes. Imagine my delight when I was given this blush palette by Sephora to make up for a blunder their online store did to one of my orders last year. The Blush Bazaar Palette contains 10 powder cheek colors but it’s limited edition so it’s highly likely that this palette is sold-out and can’t be found in the market anymore. However, the 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Blush is still available in singles. The blushes in this palette comes in a variety of nice colors. They’re blendable and of course, very convenient since they’re all in one pack already. Two of them (Whimsical and Worthy) can serve as highlight already as they have some shimmer to them. My faves are Angelic, Skillful, and Endless. Now, if this was not given to me, will I buy it? No.

3. Shade and Light Contour Palette by Kat Von-D Beauty

The contour and highlight kit everyone’s talking about.

What: Featuring three shades for contouring and three shades for highlighting, this exclusive contour palette is designed to shape and define facial features.
Price: SR 210
Where To Buy: Sephora

If there’s a holy grail contour palette you should be getting, it’s this palette. It has three shades for highlighting and three shades for contouring. It does a lot of things! It defines, sculpts, chisels, slims down, slenders, defines, shapes, and balances! Yup, all that and more (you’d think this is one cosmetic surgery procedure haha). I like the shades in this palette as it suits a lot of skin tones. The contour powders go on smoothly and blends in nicely. The powder lasts a long time (I can still see it after a day’s work). The products don’t have parabens, sulfates and phthalates so it’s safe to use. Also, the brand doesn;t test on animals. I appreciate the instruction card that comes with it because it taught me how to use all those powders to my face’s advantage. I can say that I’m still a newbie when it comes to contouring but the Kat Von-D palette has helped me a lot in improving my contour skill, haha.

4. Custom Enhancer Drops by Cover FX

Shine like a goddess!

What: Ultra-concentrated illuminating and bronzing drops that allow you to customize your ideal glow with a liquid metal or sunkissed finish
Price: SR 215
Where To Buy: Sephora, Holy Grail PH/KSA

This elixir of shine and radiance has been an ultimate lemming of mine. It just looks gorgeous on various Youtubers who reviewed it. Cover FX’s Custom Enhancer Drops is available in nine universal shades including 7 illuminators (used as highlighter or eyeshadow) and 2 matte bronzers. I have the color Rose Gold, a warm pearlescent pink bronze, which complements my skin tone. It comes off runny but it’s nice on the skin. It has a silky texture and is buildable. It can be added to foundation for a luminous glow or can be put in the lids for added shine on eyeshadow looks. I’m so in love with this! I’m not in love with the price, of course, haha. Good thing, I got this on sale from Holy Grail PH/KSA in Facebook. This is widely-available in Sephora though.

5. Freedom System Eyeshadow by Inglot

So many colors and options

What: Eye shadow that contains special silicones and treated pigments. It boasts high lubricity and a silky touch combined with easy, smooth, long lasting, and crease resistant application.
Price: SR 35 to SR 50
Where To Buy: Inglot

I haven’t heard of Inglot until I saw them in the malls here in Riyadh. Seeing all these makeup in their pans made me excited! Super vibrant and colorful! I also love their Freedom System that allows customers to mix and match products and colors and create a custom designed palette. At first I wasn’t drawn to their eyeshadows but when I tried one (613), I was hooked! They’re so pigmented! I created my own 4-piece eyeshadow palette that revolved around that color. Every time I need a quick eye makeup look, I whip out the palette and voila! A little swipe here and blending there, I have on a full eye makeup! Inglot’s eyeshadows are so buttery and smooth. I’m eyeing the new Jennifer Lopez collection; not all, but some like Sienna, Copper, Olive, Pitch Black, and Bordeaux. They’re at SR 50 a piece though so… haha.

6. Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick by Marc Jacobs Beauty

Expensive lipstick but oh so creamy

What: A rich, creamy lipstick that redefines luxury with instant indulgent color while providing 10 hours of wear.
Price: SR 150
Where To Buy: Sephora

This is the most expensive lipstick in my collection. SR 150 a piece, WOW right? Obviously, this was only given to me because there’s no way I will buy a lipstick so expensive! It’s even more expensive than my foundations and that’s the most important makeup thing for me, haha. Even though it’s definitely a color-rich, creamy lipstick that delivers indulgent, super pigmented color, this is not something I can afford to buy (or even if I have the money, I won’t). Anyway, I have the color Cream and Sugar, a true nude that looks lighter in the tube than in real swipe. Speaking of its tube, the packaging is gorgeous! It’s sleek and smooth and clicks on closing (love that sound). It also has a light vanilla scent. The color didn’t last all day long as promised but it’s enough to make my morning.

You’ll notice that all of these stuff are from Sephora. This post is not sponsored. It’s just that most high-end products in skincare and makeup can be found in this store and we trust Sephora for bringing popular cosmetics brands in Riyadh. Sephora is one of the stores we always visit when we’re chilling in the mall. It doesn’t mean we always buy something (because we don’t haha), it’s just fun to swatch and try out stuff that we may, or may not, purchase in the future. I like swatching eyeshadows, highlighters, and liquid lipsticks in the store. Recently, they added Fenty Beauty and Tarte to their stores in the city. We’ve been waiting for it for quite some time and we’re glad they’re here now. Also, Reina and I are thinking of making Youtube videos on makeup. WHAT?! Haha. We’ll see. 😉

Beauty Faves and Fails Product Reviews

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The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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