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5 beauty products to save money on & 3 worth the splurge

It’s an unfortunate reality: Looking good can cost a lot. There’s the body washes and lotions, the face creams and scrubs, not to mention all of the makeup. Department store and designer brands make grand promises – “Look younger!” “Lasts longer!” But we all know a higher price tag doesn't necessarily translate to better results.

We picked the brains of our Yahoo Beauty colleagues to get their take on which products you can save money on and which products you should feel good about splurging on.

SAVE

Sunscreen

Our beauty team reminds us “mass sunscreen undergoes strict testing for efficacy,” so the cheap brands are just as effective as the expensive. Plus, because you’re meant to use a lot of it (think a shot glass worth on your body), it’s a good thing to save money on. You don’t want to have to choose between saving money and skin cancer, after all. Brands like Neutrogena and Hawaiian Tropic get excellent reviews and are affordable to boot.

Body lotion

Much like sunscreen you’re slathering the stuff everywhere, especially in the dry winter months, so why worry about cost? Yahoo Beauty gives their thumbs up to Jergens and Nivea, which cost around $10 or less for giant bottles.

Mascara

We know the eyes are the window to the soul, so you might be tempted to spend a bit more framing them, but there’s actually no need. Yahoo Beauty points out most formulas are very similar. We tested a formula by drugstore brand L’Oreal, which is owned by the same people as upscale brand Lancome. In addition to L’Oreal you can also try Flower – the makeup line started by actress Drew Barrymore and sold at Walmart (WMT). Flower boasts “the same ingredients used in luxury makeup” at a lower price point.

Hairspray

We’ll let you in on a little secret: the hair and makeup team at Yahoo Studios uses L’Oreal Elnett when styling our hosts and guests. The product retails for $12.99 and should be available at any Walgreens (WBA) or CVS (CVS). If the professionals are using a drugstore product, why should you pay more?

Face wash

Chances are you’re washing your face twice a day – and going through a bottle of face wash every few months. So it’s a great opportunity to save a little cash. Dermatologists recommend Cetaphil, which is an affordable drugstore brand famous for working well on even sensitive skin. If dermatologists are telling us to save money, who are we to object?

SPLURGE

Fragrance

We know perfume can get expensive, but it may be worth the money. Cheap fragrances often smell intense when first applied before fading away relatively quickly. Pricier brands, however, tend to stay on longer and blend with your body’s natural scent. From our Yahoo Beauty expert team: “Instead of several cheaper fragrances, treat yourself to one luxurious scent you won’t tire of.” Which brand you go with is a personal preference. We took a look at which perfumes were the top sellers at Sephora and tested out Giorgio Armani Sí ($70 for 1oz) as well as Tom Ford Black Orchid ($112 for 1.7oz).

Lipstick

Designer lipsticks tend to have more pigment in them. While each brand is different, the more expensive ingredients in high-end brands usually means your lipstick will go on with a more intense color and stay on longer. So while you may want to buy cheaper tubes when experimenting with new colors, it’s probably worth it to invest in your go-to shade. We tested out Chanel lipstick ($37) color 152, "Insaisissable," while making the above video and taking the color off between takes required makeup remover – talk about staying power! In addition to Chanel, our Beauty team recommends Nars, Tom Ford and YSL.

Concealer

An informal office poll showed that most of us were most likely to skimp here and buy a drugstore  concealer. But Yahoo Beauty says not so fast! Cheaper formulas tend to sit on top of the skin instead of blending in (reverse raccoon eyes, anyone?) and since you’re putting concealer on the delicate skin around your eyes, finding something that blends easily can be key; it will help you avoid intense rubbing. Try YSL Touché Eclat.

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