7 (Relatively) Expensive Beauty Products That Are Worth Every Penny

While I’ve made the transition to certainly drugstore beauty products, there are some products that I really and truly believe are worth their high price point.
Publish date:
March 13, 2013
shoppables, beauty, expensive, sephora

The first time I went into a Sephora I was 14 on a Girls Day with my mom at the Aventura Mall. This particular trip was to get makeup for my first high school dance. I figured I’d just get makeup at Walgreens as per ush, but my mom was like, “Nah, you’re a real lady now. We’re getting you some next level makeup.”

As soon as we walked in, I was fascinated and overwhelmed, and on homecoming I felt like a fairy princess or like the queen of England or like Gwyneth Paltrow or something.

Since that day, I have been Sephora obsessed. However, a recent and reluctant view at my bank account has forced me to reevaluate said obsession. I have had to carefully consider which beauty products are worth going to Sephora/department store for and which are worth heading to CVS for.

While I’ve made the transition to certainly drugstore beauty products (CoverGirl Lip Perfection is moisturizing and comes to what appears to be a thousand different hues, Maybelline’s Baby Lips are next level, and I always buy drugstore mascara), there are some products that I really and truly believe are worth their high price point. I have tried to fight it, and I’ve tried to deny it, but I can’t. They are undeniable. You and me forever, bby.

I realize that there’s some controversy when it comes to spending nearly entire paychecks on beauty products, but my train of thought is this: As long as you’re being responsible (re: not skimping out on rent or ignoring students loans), it’s really no one’s business how you spend your money (notice I said your money, and not your parents money or your significant other’s money or the money your roommate left on the counter accidentally). The satisfaction I get from these products have nothing (OK mostly nothing. I have eyes, ya’ll.) to do with their shmancy packaging. I genuinely believe that they are quality products, worthy of their price point.

1. Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, $22.50

Open up any of my purses and you’ll find one of these babies. They’re incredibly pigmented, but don’t skimp on moisture at all. Because its packed with antioxidants and vitamins, you’ll notice that your lips look better over time. Can’t hate on that.

2. Makeup Forever HD Starter Kit, $79

You can get all of these products individually, but I think it’s worth getting the kit, just because everything here is such incredible quality. I have never found a foundation I like more than this one. I normally buy two at a time just in case I (shudder) run out one morning. It’s a lightweight formula, which is hard to come by in a powerful foundation. The HD Microfinish Powder helps to give a more radiant look. I was actually very anti-powder until I was turned on to this gem. People change, guys.

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Packettes, $88

I’ve written about my skin issues before, but it wasn’t until recently I got hooked on these little babies. If you told me that I could only use one product on this list for the rest of all time ever, it would be these. What do they do? Oh, you know, just basically everything. They reduce pores, treat breakouts, and combat dark spots from acne/aging/sun/all of the above better than any product I’ve previously come into contact with. You get 30 applications in a box, rounding out to about $3 per pad, which really isn’t a bad deal. I use these every day, but if your skin is super sensitive, you might find yourself drying out and will want to switch to every other day.

4. Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash, $49

“$49 for face wash? You’re crazy!” No. You know what’s crazy? My skin, without this stuff. This stuff. It “supports the skin's micro flora without altering the skin pH.,” which basically, your skin won’t freak out due to weather or hormonal changes or just because it wants to. It helps make your skin look younger, and even though I’m only in my twenties, I love Older Michelle and am watching her back. I is important.

5. Egyptian Magic Skin Cream, $37

I was really skeptical of this product when I first got it, but the results immediately swayed me. Its texture is similar to Vaseline than to skin cream, which made me nervous that my skin would break out. Instead, however, I ended up with glowing skin. Shout out to Egyptians and their magic!

6. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $25

When it comes to a natural, every day lip color, I am obsessed (in a borderline weird way) with this pencil in Dolce Vita. Normally, matte lip pencils or lipsticks will leave your lips dry and flakey, but NARS has somehow managed to make this formula incredibly creamy. This is another product that I buy in bulk because once I went to Sephora and Dolce Vita was sold out and it was complete bullshit.

7. Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder in Golden Nude Radiance, $32

Too oft, illuminating powders make you look like a teenager trying to look like J.Lo in her “I’m Real” days, but this powder gives that “lit from within” glow that lady mags are always talking ‘bout. A light dusting on the bridge of my nose and my cheekbones is especially helpful on those nights where I opted to parse Taylor Swift lyrics over sleeping (Feel free to email me if you want to talk about “Dear John”).

The photo of me was taking by the lovely Kait Robinson. Lemme know the products you think are worth mad $$$ below and @michellelynking