- We asked INSIDER employees from around the world to dish on their favourite makeup and skin-care products.
- From lipsticks to face creams, here are the 36 products that are worth splurging on.
- The list is ranked in ascending order by price.
With countless brands making too-good-to-be-true claims and new products popping up what seems like every week, the world of beauty can be really overwhelming – and mind-blowingly expensive.
However, the right products can make all the difference to your daily routine and stand the test of time if you spend wisely.
We asked INSIDER employees from across the world to dish on their favourite makeup and skin-care products, and it turns out there are plenty that are worth the money.
Scroll down to see the 36 beauty products that are actually worth splurging on, ranked in ascending order by price.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, $US18
“Glossier products work really well on clearing your skin!” said Alana, 26 from New York, adding that they’re “worth the price.”
Ali, 27 of London, said the Milky Jelly Cleanser is “great for sensitive skin and daily use without drying you out.”
MAC Matte Lipstick, $US18.50
“I’m not one to splurge, but MAC Matte Lipsticks are worth their price tag. My favourites are Mehr and MAC Red. They’re super long-lasting, they never make my lips feel dry, and they always fade nicely and evenly as I drink coffee and eat snacks.” – Paige, 22, Staten Island, New York
Clinique ‘Take The Day Off’ Makeup Remover, $US19.50
“I would spend money on a great makeup remover like Clinique’s because I think makeup remover should be treated like a skin-care product!” – Rebecca, 24, Brooklyn, NY
Too Faced ‘Melted Matte’ Liquid Lipstick, $US21
“You only need a little amount and it lasts forever, and with no dryness or cracking.” – Rosie, 29, London
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $US20
“Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (hands down) – it’s $US20, which may seem unnecessary compared to $US6 or $US7 drugstore versions; however, it’s the only eyeliner for drawing wings/cat eyes that will last all day; it’s waterproof; and the pen’s brush tip is the best (it’s like a pointed felt tip but better, the end never gets dry or frayed).” – Marissa, 22, New Jersey
Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara, $US25
“The Benefit They’re Real mascara is pretty expensive compared with drugstore mascara, but it’s totally worth it. Most mascara is exactly the same, but this one just makes your eyelashes so pronounced and voluptuous.” – Emma, 25, Brooklyn, NY
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, from $US27
“It hydrates, it smells good, it some how cures everything by the morning.” – Becky, 27, San Francisco
Clinique Superbalanced Makeup Foundation, $US27
Shona, 32 from London, called this Clinique pick “a great foundation,” and Ali, 27 from London, agreed, adding that it’s “lightweight and glowy, and feels light on your skin.”
Jennifer, 25 from New York City, said that a good foundation is worth the splurge. “Foundation that seamlessly matches your skin tone and texture is super important for a flawless look, and you tend to get what you pay for. Most other products like mascara and lipstick are just as good quality at lower prices, but foundation is usually better quality when it’s higher-end.”
DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler, $US28
“If you have a unique hair type, it really pays to splurge on products that are specially made for it and don’t contain harsh chemicals.” – Melina, 23, Brooklyn, New York
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $US30
“It’s worth splurging on a really good moisturizer – it’s not worth it to skimp when it comes to your skin.” – Shivani, 22, New York City
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $US30
Available in 30 shades, this is a go-to high-end concealer for Olivia, 33 from NYC.
Bare Minerals Loose Powder Matte Foundation with SPF 15, $US31
“BareMinerals foundation may not be the most expensive product on the market but within my budget, it’s the one beauty item I splurge on. Finding a foundation that doesn’t look cake-y, has SPF protection, and gives me a natural look is worth spending money on.” – Corina, 24, Queens, NYC
Dior Addict Lip Glow in ‘Coral Glow’, $US34
“A great lip balm – I splurged on the Dior Lip Glow in Coral Glow and don’t regret it! My lips stay super soft and hydrated with a little kiss of colour.” – Nico, 23, New York
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, $US34
“I am a huge believer in not being cheap when it comes to your skin, and since moisturizer and foundation are the first two layers that shield your skin from every other product, these are super important. I use Fenty for going out at night (dinner, bars, etc).” – Katya, 22, New Jersey
Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick, $US37
Ashley, 28 from Brooklyn, NY, said: “I think lipstick is something worth splurging on, because high-end lipsticks have a better consistency than drug store brands. I really like Chanel’s Rouge Coco ones.”
Shana, 30 of New York City, added that “Chanel lipstick in any shade” is worth investing in. “The texture is so much more appealing than cheaper brands.”
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50+, $US38
“This isn’t luxury, per se, but it is more expensive than a drugstore product. IT Cosmetics CC cream is such a great foundation for anyone with redness. The formula instantly cancels out any discoloration and leaves the skin looking glowy and even. IT Cosmetics could have a better, more inclusive colour range, but for me and my skin tone, the product is worth the higher price tag.” – Julia, 24, New York City
Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, $US39
“Spend a bit extra on a good face mask which will be a weekly or bi-weekly treat and last a while. I love the Caudalie detox mask, which gives you that squeaky-clean feeling without drying out your skin.” – Ali, 27, London
Aesop’s Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant, $US40
“The perfect exfoliant that smells incredible and leaves your skin feeling polished. Mix it with a few drops of Aesop Parsley Seed Face Oil. They cost £67 ($US87) together but will last around a year.” – Rosie, 29, London
Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment, $US45.92
Kirsten Acuna, 29 of Queens, New York, said GlamGlow’s Supermud mask is worth saving for. “It’s perfect for clearing up any breakout or unwanted blemish quickly overnight.”
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, $US48
“After washing your face it just makes your skin look and feel amazing – you can use it as a mask, or daily moisturizer. I have combo skin and it eats it up without being too much, and ladies with dry skin as well, it helps a lot.” – Mikala, 25, Los Angeles
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, $US49
Shona, 32 from London, said: “No makeup, serum, or cream should need to be very expensive, but perhaps a foundation that matches your skin tone, if you wear foundation. It looks awful even if it’s only slightly wrong.”
She added that NARS’ Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is “great for darker skintones.”
Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Dolce Vita’ Luxury Palette, $US53
Ali said that Charlotte Tilbury products are always worth the money because “the quality is hard to beat and they add a touch of glamour to your makeup routine.”
She loves “The Dolce Vita” palette, adding that “bronze and copper tones are flattering on just about everyone, and the powder stays put all day.”
Urban Decay Naked3 Palette, $US54
“Urban Decay Naked Palettes are amazing. They stay on your eye-lids all day (especially with the primer), there are so many shades to play with so you can create tons of different looks, and the palette lasts for years.” – Rachel, 26, London
OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Revealed Brightening Broad Spectrum Moisturizer With SPF 15, $US55
“A facial moisturizer with SPF is a staple of mine. SPF is super important in your daily routine so having it in a moisturizer you wear every day is good idea.” – Nico, 23, New York
Tom Ford Lip Colour, $US55
“Splurge on really good lipsticks, like Tom Ford, which come in so many bold colours and also just look really stylish,” Ali added.
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex, $US55
“I love Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference and use it daily. My grandmother, my mum, and I all use it. People have said my gran looks like she could be my mum, and my mum looks like she could be my sister, so I don’t plan on giving up this moisturizer anytime soon.” – Chloe, 28, New York City
AMOREPACIFIC Colour Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, $US60
“It is the best non foundation ‘foundation’ I have ever used. I don’t like my face to look matte and this does a great job at keeping me looking fresh. It’s $US60!” – Meira, 25, NYC
Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil Free Moisture Cushion, $US60
Carly Danner, 25 of New York, said “any of the Dr Dennis Gross products” are worth splurging on.
“The creams, serums, facewash, masks, and solutions are 100000% worth the money. My skin has never ever ever looked better.”
Tatcha: The Rice Polish Classic, $US65
“I think if you can splurge on good skin care I would recommend it. I would say a good exfoliator, like the Tatcha rice enzyme powder, or a good moisturizer, like the Tatcha water cream, are essentials for me!” – Natalie, 32, Brooklyn
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, from $US65
“I usually overspend on serums and moisturizers and underspend on makeup. I’d rather prioritise my skin in the long run than what I look like on an average day. I currently use Vintner’s Daughter, though I’ve also used Kiehl’s nighttime serum before and liked that too.” – Megan, 30, New York City
Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum, from $US80
“Splurge on a good fragrance. I love Le Labo Santal 33.” – Julie, 40, New York
Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, from $US85
Rachel, 32 from Manhattan, New York, added that perfume is always worth spending extra on.
“It’s hard to find one that’s perfect, and it’s worth the money if it will make you feel great! On that note, if there’s something else that makes you feel your best, I’d say that type of product is worth your biggest investment. There’s no sense in spending on something you’re not excited to use.
“I personally use Chanel Chance, Eau Tendre. The Chance line has a ton of different scents, though, so I guess I would recommend someone going through the line to find what suits them best.”
La Femme Prada Eau de Parfum Spray, from $US98
Ali, 27 from London, added that “nice perfume can make all the difference in how you feel every day.
“I love Prada La Femme – it’s really luxurious but not too heavy.”
Dior One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum, from $US100
“A good serum. I love this one – it’s not cheap, however, it’s the one thing I’ll splurge on, because I noticed such a difference in both my own complexion (less acne, brighter and smoother skin tone) and dry skin (especially on my nose) once I started using it.” – Hilary, 33, New York City
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $US105
“Sunday Riley Good Genes serum contains lactic acid that clarifies skin and is anti-ageing.” – Herrine, 24, New York
De Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar, $US128
“Tinted SPF moisturiser is worth investing in. I don’t use foundation as I don’t like spending too long or putting too much product on my face, so this product kills two birds in one stone. Also, you only really need it once a day so you can leave it at home.
“I’ve been using one from De Mamiel for the past few months. It’s worth the splurge as they surprisingly last for ages.” – Alex, 26, London
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