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Welcome to the latest beauty installment from professional makeup artist and Converse hoarder Amanda Storey.
Expensive, but worth it
I admit I spend a good chunk of my income on beauty products. I have to try the newest lipstick, I buy every must-have eyeshadow palette and I collect multiples of everything I like. But here's the thing: I don't like spending more than $50 on a product. That price point makes me sweaty and stressed out. What if this pricey item becomes my new favorite? I would almost rather not try big ticket items than risk shelling out for them every few months.
But I have given in to curiosity (and temptation) a few times and these are the beauty products I've found are worthy of the splurge. Read on to find out where to buy them in San Francisco and how they saved me money in the long run.
Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer Stick, $70 at Neiman Marcus in Union Square
For years I averted my eyes from this award-winning concealer. I would quickly grab what I needed from the Neiman's cosmetics department and run out, avoiding eye contact with Amanda Seyfried and her flawless face. But one day I realized the 10 concealers filling up my vanity either creased, got cakey, faded really fast or were totally the wrong color. It was a pile of more than $100 in concealer that didn't work for me. I put on my giant sunglasses (the best concealer!) and made a bee-line for the Cle de Peau counter. $70 later, I have never looked back. It provides full coverage, it's long wearing, and the tube lasts forever. I could have actually saved money if I would have splurged years ago.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $50 at Sephora on Union or Powell
Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a cult product that first entered my radar when I noticed celebrities listing it as a must-have. But I've never been into spritzers and toners so I ignored the claims and went about my business. Then one day I was waiting in line at Sephora and there among the travel-sized products was an $18 mini bottle. (Those Sephora folks know exactly what they're doing.) I bought it. I liked the smell and it felt refreshing on my skin, but I wasn't completely sold for the first few weeks. But by the time just a few sprays remained, I fell in love. I began craving the tingle it gave my skin. The smell is intoxicating and it made me feel downright radiant. I went a week without and couldn't get it off my mind, so I bought the $50 full-size bottle. I am a believer now.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, $62 at Macy's Union Square
A bottle of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair had a place in my Omi's (German grandmother's) makeup cabinet from the time I was born until she passed away. This year I turned 32 and became hardcore dedicated to skincare. No sleeping in makeup, no skipping steps in my routine, and I've seen great results from this dedication. With Omi's approval and after reading amazing reviews, I shelled out $62 for this serum and it's now an essential part of that routine. It evens skintone, smoothes lines and pores and even combats breakouts. I bought it about four months ago and I probably have one more month of product still in the bottle—and I don't skimp on how much I use. A little goes a very long way. Looks like I'm taking after my grandmother—Advanced Night Repair will have a home in my skincare collection until the end of time.—Amanda Storey
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