Monday, August 24, 2015

m a k e u p ♡ cheap knock-offs vs. brands

Trying to write these long entries I have planned for such a long time, is really not having a very positive effect on my creativity, nor my ability to actually go through with it. I have repeatedly apologized for my messy brain, and surely it must be getting old by now, so I will just say that from here on out I will just write what I feel like, and what I have planned will come when it comes. Simple as that!

So, today’s topic, completely out of the blue?
The beauty of brand makeup. 

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. The reason as to why, is me growing up a dedicated cheapskate, who would rather chop her own arm off with a kitchen knife, than spend more than 300 SEK on a cosmetic product of any kind. That is, until a few weeks ago, when I finally gave up, and bought something I have literally been dreaming about for a very long time – The Too Faced Chocolate Bar nude eyeshadow palette.

Just looking at it is makeup porn, I am officially converted.

The thing – and the reason I am even writing this post – is, I learned a very valuable lesson from this experience, after going through a very stressful couple of sweaty what-have-I-done days. I have used this palette almost every day since I got it, and when I think about it, the price of all the cheap questionable quality products I have bought without feeling bad about it, probably adds up to a couple of 100 SEK bills more than the Chocolate Bar cost.

And I barely even use those cheap guilt free products.
Ironic, huh?

After the Too Faced palette, came a lip balm and cheek palette from TheBalm, as well as an eyeshadow palette from the same brand, and a foundation from MAC. Touching my savings made the cheapskate inside my skull throw a tantrum, but you know what, it has been completely worth it. (Note: All from ! Highly recommended seller, they have great offers and coupons and stuff too.)

Remember; "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad"!

So, what else is there to say about brand makeup?

Q u a l i t y : When it comes to eyeshadows, in particular, the cheap ones are far less pigmented, and do not look nice and vibrant for as long. Cheap black eyeshadows are okay – I have one from H&M, and it is completely okay – but black is black, it is technically not even a color. Very hard to mess up.

As for foundation and powder, I am never ever buying cheap foundation again. There is a major difference when it comes to how the skin cooperates with different foundations, and if you like me have sensitive, dry skin, investing in a good foundation is a… well, good, idea. My old foundation made my skin flakey and cakey, but my MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation covers everything up instead.

If your skin is not as dry and uncooperative as mine, a cheaper foundation might work, however! Just thought I would add that as well.

♡ V a r i e t y : This mostly applies to shadows and lip colors, obviously, but this is where the biggest difference shows – you actually get a lot more for your money. A basic palette from H&M comes with four or five different shades, whereas most of the bigger brand palettes come with over ten different shades. If you think about it, it could actually be that if you buy several palettes which combined add up to the same number of colors as one of them more fancy palettes, you might even be paying the same price. So the question is; which option is more worth it?

♡ D e s i g n : Let us face it, an eyeshadow palette that smells and tastes like chocolate (please Saga Malva, just shut up about this goddamn thing already) is much more appealing than one of those five shade basic palettes from H&M that I just mentioned. Not to mention TheBalm! I love TheBalm and the half-naked cowboys posing with the apple themed lip balms.

♡ F u n : I could not come up with a better title for this one, so let us ignore the somewhat pretentious feel of it. This part goes hand in hand with design, anyways. Quirky products are just as nice to look at as they are fun to play with. I can honestly say I have enjoyed doing my makeup a whole lot more lately, and it has actually been very inspirational as well. Heck, I even made a YouTube video!

♡ E a s y : Because these palettes are themed, in colors and whatnot, it is much easier to match the different shades and create looks that “make sense”, if that makes sense. Pun intended. It also helps a lot to see the colors next to each other on the palette, so you can do some combining in your head before trying it out on your eyes.

When should you go cheap, then?
Well - brushes, eyeliner, mascara, and perhaps you can live without the fanciest brand of clear lip gloss because real talk, they all look exactly the same.

Money management, when and what to invest in is another topic I could write a book about...! Surprisingly enough, I hate math, but I love numbers. Oh well.

As always, this post got quite long, but I do get quite a few questions on this subject, and I really wanted to share my experience, because converting has done so much for my creativity and inspiration!

Now, there is also a lot to say about ethical makeup as well, but I am planning to write another post on that subject, after hearing some gross things about a certain brand called Lime Crime. Too Faced and TheBalm are cruelty-free, I can say that much. Just now I discovered MAC is no longer cruelty-free, after moving their production to China (long story short), but MakeUpStore is a good alternative. I have some more digging to do, before I can publish a well thought out list. To be continued in part two.

Time for me to go offline and get some work done.
Have a great week everyone! Take care until next time. ( ´ ▽ ` )

P.S. In case you missed it, here is my new video makeup tutorial !
Shamelessly advertising myself.


  1. I don´t like chocolate very much but this chocolate bar looks awesome... I saw similar from Makeup revolution in white dark and milk.

    1. It's not meant for eating, hehe! I should look that brand up too!

  2. I have recently reached a very similar conclusion regarding the quality of makeup, so I agree with most things said here.
    However I really don't agree with cheap brushes. Most cheap brushes are crap tbh.
    Also the note about MAC selling in China makes me think you might want to research the whole cruelty-free issue more in-depth, because it's really not quite as simple as "oh well, they're selling in China now".

    1. H&M's brushes are great, and the kit I have from Forever 21 is awesome too, so I don't really know what to say haha. Annnd, I figured it's more complex, but when I read people's summaries that's what I got. So I thought it could be okay this once.

  3. I love posts like this! I too have been lusting after the Too Faced palette for a while now and I'm seriously considering buying it, aaah

    1. Yay! That makes me so happy! ♥ Thank you! You should definitely get it, it's soooo worth it.

  4. Yummy! I want that chocolate bar pallete so much! Beautiful colours

  5. I wish I was at that point already... right now the inner thrifty shit is acting up all the time and the fact that I just returned from a 5week vacation and am - in fact broke - is not having a really positive effect on me.
    I wish I could finally get myself to treat myself with some more at times... even if it costs a bit more... so next to the great looking makeup (as well on your face as in the containers) I envy you for that step a bit as well.