The Ultimate Makeup Shopping Guide | Splurge or Save?

When I first began my makeup journey, I was overwhelmed by not only the sheer variety of products, but also their price ranges! How could a foundation cost from RM30 to RM300 or more? Is a heftier price tag a guarantee of better quality? 

After much trial and error, I’ve discovered what beauty goodies are worth the splurge and which ones are drugstore gems.

Bear in mind though, that these are simply my personal preferences based on my lifestyle and makeup needs. So use this a rough guideline and feel free to change it up as you wish!


Splurge on these



Coming in first place on the list of worthy beauty investments is unsurprisingly, sunscreen! Sunscreen is the protective base that keeps your skin protected from UV rays and signs of wrinkles, sun spots and more importantly, lowering skin cancer risks. 

Since sunscreen is so paramount in skin health, search wisely for trusted sunscreens that offer proper protection. As a general rule of thumb, sunscreens should always be broad spectrum and have an SPF of over 30. 

I highly recommend the Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk. It has an SPF of 50+, feels non-sticky, and even works as a makeup primer that sets a lovely base for the rest of my makeup!


Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk (Gold)



As a no-makeup makeup lover, I am very picky with my foundation! If they’re too heavy, too cakey or turn my face paler / more orangey as the day goes by, it’s a no go for me.

Finding a foundation that is lightweight, lasting, has just enough coverage to hide flaws and yet look natural was key – and I found it with Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation!

This foundation does lie on the pricier side but trust me, it’s worth it. One bottle will last you ages and its formula gives the most flawless, smooth and glowy complexion.


Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation SPF25 PA++


Now some may disagree with me on this, but I find that I’m particularly fussy about what goes on my lips. I can’t take anything that is too drying or has an artificial, chemical smell, which is unfortunately a problem many cheaper lipsticks have.

My all time favourite lipstick is the Mac Powder Kiss. It gives an airbrushed, feathery finish and the shade of #923 Stay Curious is absolutely an MLBB to die for!


Save on these


Eyebrow pencil


While big brands like Benefit have become synonymous with brow products, you really don’t need to fork out over RM100 for a pencil that will last you only about 2-3 months! Trust me, I’ve been there before. 

While branded brow pencils do certainly come with quality, you can find budget versions that work just as great! Take the Innisfree Auto Eyebrow Pencil for instance – it’s almost 10x cheaper than luxury brands and does a great job in keeping your brows on fleek all day.


Innisfree Auto Eyebrow Pencil



Another product that rings a popular bell – yes, are you thinking of the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder? Here is a great alternative that will do the job just as well.

Also by Innisfree, their No Sebum Mineral Powder has grown to be a crowd favourite over the years. Small, compact, affordable and surprisingly long lasting, this cute little powder can last for months (even a year) and lets your makeup tahan’ a little longer in our Malaysian heat!


Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder



For this one, take my words with a pinch of salt. I’m someone who rarely puts on eye makeup, therefore don’t see the point of spending hundreds of dollars on mascaras and palettes that I might only touch a few times a year. There are plenty of budget friendly options that deliver great results, if you know where to find them!

My favourite budget mascara is the Maybelline Volume Express Hypercurl Mascara! This baby packs a punch in its lasting power and volumizing effects. It’s also water, humidity and smudge proof so don’t worry about looking like a halloween cosplay even if you sweat 😉 


Maybelline Volume Express Hypercurl Mascara


Do you agree with my list of to splurge vs to save beauty essentials? Leave a comment below!

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About Me

Xindy Choo

Xindy Choo

A lover of natural makeup and skincare, sharing my best beauty finds and secrets.

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