Bobbi Brown on Buying Beauty Products
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Bobbi Brown on Buying Beauty Products

When to splurge, when to save.

We all know that juggling work, home, and life leaves little time for other things - like shopping! So when it comes to stocking up on my beauty essentials, I've learned that my best bet is to divide and conquer -- hitting a handful of stores, and getting the best products and options from each. Here's my guide to what to buy, where.

Department Store Investments

  • Concealer, foundation and powder. Department stores are a great place to buy cosmetics, especially products that require skin tone matching, such as concealer, foundation and powder. It's nice to be able to touch and feel the product, plus you can get a professional opinion from the makeup artist.
  • Quality makeup brushes. I always recommend buying brushes at a department store. You might want to spend a little more money since the right tool can make all the difference in application. If properly cared for, brushes can last for years. If you can't invest in several brushes, try to purchase the absolute essentials: concealer brush, shadow brush, eyeliner brush, and blush brush. Look for brushes that are soft and full and make sure to run your hand through the bristles. If they tend to fall out easily, it's a sure sign of a poor quality brush. Believe it or not, you can also pick up good quality brushes at an art supply store!

Drugstore Steals

  • Trendy colors. I recommend drugstore brands for purchasing trendier colors that you don't need or want to spend a lot of money on. If there is a shimmery powder or a trendy nail polish you will probably only wear a couple of times, you may as well as buy it at a drugstore for less money.
  • Beauty staples. The drugstore is the place to buy basics like cotton pads, latex sponges, Q-tips, and eyelash curlers inexpensively.
  • Lipsticks, lip pencils and eye pencils. If you know exactly what you're looking for, you can pick up these essentials at good prices at the drugstore. If you need to try on different lipsticks -- and would like professional advice -- head to the department story makeup counter.

Health-Food Store Finds

  • Creams. Health-food stores are a great place to find excellent creams. I often find much nicer creams at prices equivalent to those at drugstores. But because these products have fewer preservatives (part of the reason I like them!), be especially careful to store them properly -- away from heat and sunlight. --Bobbi Brown