Makeup Wars: Most Expensive Face You Can Create

For this week’s Makeup Wars challenge, we’ve decided to follow up the $20 Makeup Challenge with the direct opposite: The Most Expensive Makeup Look You Can Create. The idea sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Really, it kind of isn’t. While many of us have expensive skin care and makeup items, very rarely are these the items that you reach for most often.

We decided that we’d count skin care, makeup and tools used to create the look. In theory, I should have looked up pretty much every option in my stash, but that was going to take a serious long time. I knew that my 3Lab Perfect BB Cream was my most expensive “foundation” option, but otherwise, I just tried to use my more expensive brush and opt for (what I thought were) more expensive options. I also tried to show a few “alternatives” that I typically reach for instead, just as a FYI.

I know I am no where near the most expensive look in the Makeup Wars group. There are quite a few women that love to splurge on Chanel and Dior. My options are less expensive, though I didn’t realize they’d add up to quite this much when used all at once!

Expensive Face
Pevonia Hydrating Sunscreen $42
Pevonia “C” Évolutive Eye Gel $69.50
ProActiv Advanced Daily Oil Control $27
3Lab Perfect BB Cream $95
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer $32
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder $32
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish $29
MAC 182 Buffer Brush $52
Real Techniques Kabuki Brush $9

First I prepped by using my sunscreen lotion and eye cream. Once that had sunken in to my skin, I applied a light layer of the ProActiv to just my t-zone. Next I used the BB Cream in areas that I wanted more coverage. While I like this product, it isn’t a good color match for me, and if you look closely in the picture you’ll see that I’m a bit Oompa Loompa, especially near my forehead.

My favorite concealer and the powder that I break out for “special occasions” are both included. I also like to use a lightly colored face powder (eg- MAC Beauty Powder) all over to brighten up a bit, here I’ve chosen the Mineralize Skinfinish in Blonde from earlier this summer. My 2 Kabuki brushes are included, the Real Techniques brush is my preferred brush for the Mineralized face powder.

Dior Bronzer $52
NARS Blush $28
NARS Multiple $39 (x2)
MAC 116 Blush Brush $35
MAC 129 Blush/Powder Brush $35

I thought I’d include more than usual for my “other” face products. First, I used my super expensive Dior Bronzer to contour a bit under my cheek bones using the #116 brush. I used my NARS Multiple in Orgasm directly over the BB Cream, then set it with the powder, and then used the Orgasm powder blush over that. I’ve found that layering like this adds a bit of depth and the color lasts a lot longer. I also have a Multiple in Copacabana, which is a great highlighting shade for use pale girls! I use this on my upper cheek bone, brow bone and down my nose.

(Note about this bronzer, I bought it about 4 years ago and almost never use it. I’m pretty sure it cost me about $65, but they no longer make this exact bronzer. So, I’ve linked it’s replacement and that’s the price I’ve listed here.)

Face Alternatives
Milk of Magnesia $6.49
Maybelline Shine Free Pressed Powder $5.49
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer $9.99
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush $7.99
CoverGirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup Foundation $9.59
Milani Illuminating Face Powder $9.49
Clinique Bonus Time Blush Brush Free

I couldn’t resist showing some “alternatives”, aka, my more usually used products!

Rather than using the ProActiv I usually use straight Milk of Magnesia instead. Some people can’t stand this idea, so I’d go the ProActiv route for them. The ProActive costs more, but doesn’t leave a white residue and is a bit lighter weight.

I’ve been reaching for the CoverGirl foundation quite a bit, I’ve been loving its medium coverage that is easily built up. It’s also a much better match for my skin than the BB Cream.

The Maybelline Powder is one that I grabbed at the store about 6 weeks ago, and it’s fine. It isn’t amazing. I feel like it looks more “powdery” than I like, I wish it was finer. I’ll be buying something else next time. The concealer is a lighter coverage than I’ve used in the past, but I really love it! It blends in beautifully and covers really well. I do have a capillary under one eye that is very dark, and I only need extra coverage over that area.

The Milani is a great alternative to the much more expensive MAC Beauty Powder idea, and the Maybelline blush is one I frequently reach for instead of my NARS Multiple. I love that it is a bit pinker and the glow it creates is so pretty!

Finally, I have a couple of expensive blush brushes, but my all time favorite is my old Clinique stand-by. My mom got it for free in one of their gift with purchase bags and I grabbed it! It fits perfectly on the apple of my cheek and picks up just the right amount of product.

Left Side (Expensive):
Anastasia Brow Wiz $20
Anastasia Tweezers $28
Tweezerman Scissors $15

Right Side (Alternatives):
NYX Slim Eye Pencil $3.50
Tweezerman Tweezers $22

I fully admit that I groomed my brows a bit only to be able to add the scissors to my total! I usually use both the Anastasia and Tweezerman Tweezers, sometimes they grab things a little differently. I prefer the NYX brow pencil over the Anastasia, it’s the one I use every day.

Kanebo Sensai Collection
Total Lip Treatment
MAC Lip Pencil $15
Lancome Color Fever Gloss $26
Clarins Rouge Prodige True Colour & Shine Lipstick $24.50
Carmex Ultra Moisturizing Lip Balm, SPF 15, Lime Twist $1.89

Not much to say here, except that I wanted something kind of neutral so I went for the most expensive products I could find. I realized later that if I’d really been thinking ahead I would have also used my Vera Wang Lip Primer, which goes around the lip to help feathering. Oh well!

The Carmex is what I usually use to prep my lips instead of the Sensai. That’s a sample of it, which I’ve had for almost a year, the full size version is the expensive price.

Diorshow Iconic Mascara $28.50
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50
Make Up For Ever Eye Prime $22
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liner $18
Tweezerman ProLash Curler $20
MAC Mineralize Shadow Duo $21
Beauty Addicts Show Off Mascara $20
Tarte EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliner $18
Laura Mercier Eye Crease Brush $29
Laura Mercier Pony Tail Brush $29
MAC 266 Small Angle Brush $20
Raw Minerals All Over Eye Shadow Brush $20

So I purposefully used mostly neutral shadows and then 2 eye liners (black on top, purple and black on the bottom) thinking it would be easy to show cheaper alternatives. Except you can’t really see the purple in any of my pics. (I *may* have put too much black on top of it. Maybe.) It’s basically just a neutral eye with black liner on top and bottom. I layered 2 mascaras for added length/volume. I haven’t broken out this Dior mascara in a while, I need to get it out more often!

Eyes Alternatives
NYX Eye Shadow Base $7
Real Techniques Shading Brush $5.99
ELF Eye Shadow Brush $1
Coastal Scents Classic Shadow Medium Synthetic $2.49
L’Oreal Voluminous Power Collagen Mascara $8
CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara $8.99
Maybelline Eye Shadow Quad $5.49
CoverGirl Queen Vivid Impact Liner $7.49
CoverGirl Lash Curler $3.99
L’Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Eye Liner $8.99

The alternatives shown here includes some of my favorite items. Like that $1 ELF shadow brush? Seriously. Amazing. I have 3 of them. I have to restrain myself from buying more of them whenever I see it is in stock. I reach for that Coastal Scents brush all the time, and if you are looking for good eye brushes I’d recommend running over to their site and just buying one of everything. I did that almost 2 years ago and they are so amazing, and just… cheap. Love that.

The eye liners shown here aren’t water resistant like the more expensive options, but I think they’re more pigmented and I like their consistency a bit more for application (that MUFE is a bit too soft for my liking).

I reach for that NYX shadow base a lot. I like that it has coverage (great to cover up my blood vessels), and it does work most of the day. The Maybelline shadow quad is just one that I had in my drawer with nearly identical colors to what I used in my expensive look. I’m sure there are a lot of neutral options that would work as well.

The eye lash curler is my old stand-by, until Tweezerman sent me the newer version above. I have to be honest, for years I thought the expensive eye lash curler thing was a lot of hype, especially when Shu came out with some special version of their iconic curler and it was like… gold plated or something. For real??? Why? The Tweezerman really does seem to work better for me than the CoverGirl did. CG no longer sells the replacement pads (hate that), Tweezerman does. The Tweezerman is bigger with a different arch to it, so it actually fits my eye better. And because the pad is a bit more dense I get more of a curl and less of a bend. I’m a convert.

So, my total is probably quite a bit less than many other bloggers, but I was really shocked by the total! I think a lot of this was actually tools, which makes me feel a bit better. I’ve listed prices for brushes piece by piece, but really almost all of my brushes (especially the eye ones) came in special holiday gift sets or palettes. Somehow that makes me feel a bit better!



  1. August 6, 2012 / 2:15 pm

    You look amazing! And Whoot! That's a nice high total, but I LOVE the alternatives. I wish I had thought of that. Excellent post!

  2. August 6, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    I love that you included more affordable alternatives!

  3. August 6, 2012 / 2:42 pm

    Great job Chrsitine! I love how you found cheaper alternatives to all of your products.

  4. August 6, 2012 / 3:18 pm

    Wow! It is crazy how it all adds up.

    Thanks for providing the alternatives below as well

  5. August 6, 2012 / 4:11 pm

    I know I was shocked when I added mine up, but I knew I wouldn't be the highest! I like that you used NARS Multiples 🙂

  6. August 6, 2012 / 4:11 pm

    You look gorgeous! I'm amaze how expensive a face could get! Lol.

  7. August 6, 2012 / 4:49 pm

    Just gorgeous. I love your face. You were great too to include the alternatives. That must have taken forever.
    I didn't think about pulling out bronzer since I only use it once in a while.

  8. August 6, 2012 / 5:13 pm

    It's amazing how quickly it adds up isn't it? I'm at over $1,400 and I forgot some things! You sure look pretty though!

  9. August 6, 2012 / 8:01 pm

    Your eye makeup makes your baby browns really pop! It looks like I'm the cheapie of the bunch. I didn't even come close to breaking the $1k barrier!

  10. August 6, 2012 / 8:08 pm

    You look so cute here! I really like how you included alternatives!!! Great twist on this story!!!

  11. August 6, 2012 / 10:21 pm

    You look beautiful! I like how you also gave cheaper alternatives.

  12. August 6, 2012 / 11:51 pm

    Christine, I really enjoyed this post! You look gorgeous and I enjoyed reading about and seeing all your products–alternatives, too!

  13. August 7, 2012 / 3:10 am

    Beautiful look! I esp. like your eyes (I'm a huge neutral fan, too!) & I love the MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes! I've never tried using a Kabuki brush for those; I always grab my MAC 187. Great job!

  14. August 7, 2012 / 5:01 am

    Excellent post, Christina! Thanks for including your alternatives. That was a great twist to the makeup challenge.

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