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Can you tell...Spurlge vs. Steal? (article)

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=640 align=center border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><!-- CENTER COLUMN --><TD width=640>I thought this was interesting.


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Can You Tell the Splurge from the Steal?



We created one gorgeous fall look -- first using expensive loot (from shampoo to eye shadow) totaling $577.40, then using perfectly matched lower-priced products totaling $146.09. Next, we challenged makeup artist Sue Devitt and celebrity hairstylist Charles Worthington to guess which was which. Read on for their findings -- and more savvy shopping strategies.

The Splurge: Total $577.40

Makeup:

A. $15: Bourjois Effet 3D Lip Gloss in Transparent Oniric

B. $40: Sue Devitt Studio Triple C-Weed Foundation in Tanami

C. $22: Ramy Miracle Brow to Go

D. $19.50: Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Black Lapis

E. $32.50: Christian Dior Soft Powder Blush in Precious Pink

F. $18: Lola Eye Shadow in Lucky Charm

G. $22: Estée Lauder LipCreme in Movie Idol

H. $19: Anna Sui Volume Up Mascara in Black

I. $20: Benefit Foundation Brush

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Hair:

Frédéric Fekkai Full Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, $20 each; Lancôme Hair Intense Volume Non Rinse Conditioner, $17.50; Mason Pearson Detangler brush, $60; Philip Pelusi Groom and Shine, $17.95; BaByliss Carrera 2 dryer, $99; Industrie Ceramic Round Brush, $64; Sebastian Laminates Hair Spray, $10.95; Ceramic Tools Professional Curling Iron, $30.

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</TD><TD>Makeup pro Sue Devitt guessed this look was the splurge</TD><TD>
</TD><TD>Hair pro Charles Worthington agreed this look was the splurge</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Why?

SD: "Because the skin is more perfect; I detect a bit of a circle under her left eye in number two. The eye makeup in the first image also appears to be performing better -- the color is more intense."

CW: "Number one looks more polished, and number two has a softer wave. This could be because of the products, but it could also be the way the hair is styled in each shot. In general, the hallmarks of expensive hair are body and shine, and both looks achieve this."

When to splurge on makeup:

There are three things worth spending for, according to Devitt: foundation, everyday makeup and brushes. "In my experience, you get the most flawless finish from pricier foundations," she says. "And cheaper makeup -- particularly lipstick and eye shadow -- usually wears off quickly or doesn't look on you the way it does in the package. It's all a matter of amortizing. Wouldn't you rather pay a bit more for something that will make you happy every day than pay less for something you'll use once and toss?" As for makeup brushes, Devitt believes that pony and sable brushes produce the most professional, well-blended results.

When to splurge on your strands:

"A good cut -- one that suits the shape of your face, your hair's texture and your lifestyle -- is worth paying for," says Worthington. He also believes that you shouldn't scrimp when it comes to color. "While some people can get great color from a box, what you're paying for in a salon is expertise in color selection and application." Also splurge-worthy: a ceramic straightening iron, which, though pricier than the metal variety, heats up faster and damages hair less.

$$$-saving tip: Take a picture of your color and cut right after you get it done so that when it's time for touch-ups, you can emulate the results at a less-pricey salon or with a home hair-color kit.

The Steal: Total $146.09

Makeup:

A. $3.95: Bonnebell Vita Gloss in Light Shine

B. $9.99: L'Oréal True Match Makeup in Shell Beige

C. $8: Sephora Eyebrow Pencil in Brown

D. 99¢: N.Y.C New York Color Line in #924A

E. $5.50: Maybelline New York Blush in Beach Club Coral

F. $3.95: Prestige Eyeshadow in Sea Splash

G. $6.99: Neutrogena Lipstick in Sheer Natural

H. $6: Rimmel Full Volume Mascara in Black

I. $3.99: Sonia Kashuk #12 Brush

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Hair:

Pantene Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner, $3.99 each; VO5 Detangle & Shine Leave-in Conditioner, $3.49; Denman D81M hairbrush, $8.50; Suave Smoothing Glaze Gel, $2.29; Vidal Sassoon 754 Hairdryer, $34.99; Goody Ouchless Ceramic Hot Rund Brush, $9.99; Charles Worthington Big Hair Ultra Fine Hairspray, $6; Revlon Ceramic Curling Iron, $17.99.

When to save on makeup:

"Trade off on blush, lip liner, lip gloss and pressed powder -- provided your skin is not very oily, in which case you should shell out more for a mattifying formula," says Devitt. "And never pay more than a few dollars for an eyelash curler. I didn't even develop one for my own cosmetics line [sue Devitt Studio], because I couldn't top Revlon's." She cautions against spending big bucks on a foundation primer, too. "If it's hydrating and allows you to skip moisturizer, I'm all for it, but if it's just to make your foundation work better, then you need a better foundation."

When to save on your strands:

"You can get away with using less expensive hairbrushes," says Worthington. "Nylon bristles are fine, as long as they're antistatic." (They're usually labeled as such.) Ditto dryers: "Although the cheapest hair dryers have weaker engines and may break down sooner, most dryers are built the same. Just be sure to pick something that has a cool-shot button and a nozzle," says Worthington.

The Anatomy of a Splurge and Steal

We contacted La Mer's Tyler Jones, vice president of marketing worldwide, and Avon's Andrea DiNunzio, director of U.S. skin-care marketing, to find out why the costs of their new line-lessening serums are so different, despite the fact that they've both performed well in standard industry tests.

The Splurge

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La Mer The Lifting Face Serum and The Lifting Intensifier ($285 for a 1 oz. Serum and .3 oz. Intensifier, sold together; they're intended to be layered)

The scientists had an unlimited budget.

One active ingredient, blue algae, said to encourage natural production of collagen and elastin, can only be harvested in the Pacific Northwest once a year. The other, azurite, a lifting agent, is a top-dollar mineral.

The bottle is made of thick glass that filters out UVA light.

You're getting two products, because La Mer found that layering the formulas directly on skin was more effective than combining them in one bottle.

<LI>The product is sold only in select Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman stores, because, says Jones, "When you buy a $285 product, you deserve the best service in the industry."

The Steal

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=100 align=left border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle>http://a820.g.akamai.net/f/820/822/1d/i.ivillage.com/marieclaire/beauty/skin/beautystuff/sidebar_steal.gif</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Avon Anew Clinical Deep Crease Concentrate ($32 for 30 mL)

The scientists were asked to work within a certain budget.

Active ingredients, including portulaca oleracea, said to relax facial muscles, and neem-seed cell extract, an anti-inflammatory agent, are harvested by outside corporations specifically for Avon and bought in large quantities, to keep prices low.

The bottle is a thinner (but also light-resistant) glass.

<LI>The product sells through Avon's more than 650,000 reps, which helps defray overhead costs.

Turn Any Steal into a Splurge

Upgrade drugstore concealer by mixing it with a dab of your favorite expensive foundation so it creates a perfect (think customized) match for your skin.

Improve a bright bargain blush by blending it with translucent powder to soften the effect before applying it to your cheeks.

<LI>Raise the quality of a cheap hair gel by combining it with a pea-size amount of leave-in conditioner to keep it from getting dry and flaky in your hair.

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Holy cow, i can't see any difference in the 2 pics. Great post Diane!

 
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The only reason I could tell was from the eye makeup. Just like Sue Devitt says, it's much more intense in the left picture.

 

Scarlette

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Yes, the e/s and liner looks more intense.. but you can drugstore that look much better, in my opinion. You can find a better shadow and liner if you look around a little more. Heck, I've put away my HG Benefit onyx liner and brought out my Revlon one and although the Revlon one runs down my eye a little more than the Benefit one, it's like 10 dollars cheaper! Everything runs down my eye, the Lancome one was the worst. I wanna try those smudgepots!

 

Scarlette

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Oh yeah.. I forgot to ask! Ok.. so the foundation issue, who has tried

B. $9.99: L'Oréal True Match Makeup

because it looks really good on that girl (who probably has really nice skin anyway!)

I love my Maybelline DMM, but that stuff looks pretty good too!

 
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Only skimmed the article & guessed right. The picture on the left has a certain lustre to the eyes & lips that aren't replicated well by the picture on the left. IMO, it's about the color density which often-times can't be replicated by some drugstore lines. However, both results are stunning.

 
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ooh, i love splurge vs steal articles. i could tell that #1 was the splurge, though #2 does look very nice. i could tell a difference in the pigmentation of the shadow (and heck, were they applied a bit differently?) and a marked difference in the appearance of the hair.

 

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