High-End Makeup Is Worth The Hype — And The Price Tag

High-End Makeup Is Worth The Hype — And The Price Tag

Products do not make the makeup artist, but quality tools do make a difference.

I would never have seen myself being a makeup fanatic, even a year ago. But here we are.

The first time I ever wore foundation was my freshman year of college. My high school days consisted of knock-off Maybelline eyeshadow (yes, you read that right), any tube of mascara, bought-in-bulk black eyeliner pencils (it was not a phase, mom), and maybe some lip gloss if I was feeling saucy. Senior prom was about the most makeup I ever wore.

I always thought "quality" makeup was ridiculous for the price. I could make do with my $5 eyeshadow and the sponge brush that came with it, no sweat.

When I did get to college, I threw a little foundation into the mix, but nothing fancy. I think my $8 mascara was probably the most I paid for anything makeup-related, ever.

And then I fell in love with the art and self-expression behind makeup.

I 100% blame online influencers Kelly Eden, Dre Ronayne, and Glam&Gore for fueling my obsession, as well as my best friend Court who always SLAYED with her Urban Decay Naked palettes (and still does).

Makeup is truly an art, just as fashion is. It is a mode of self-expression and a way for individuals to let the world see a part of who they are, from the outside. I found makeup to be absolutely beautiful in this way, and I wanted to express myself through it, as so many people do all around me.

So I bought some more makeup.

Initially, it was more from drugstore brands I could easily afford without taking away a huge chunk of my paycheck. I still did not understand why people bought $50 eyeshadow palettes when I could get one that looked the same for $10. I tried to follow tutorials from my favorite makeup junkies online, but I never could get mine to look remotely as good as they did. I talked it up to my inexperience. That is, until I took the plunge and bought real makeup.

The first "nice" makeup I bought was a Glow Kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills at the ULTA that opened in my college town last year. The store was having a sale and I figured I could treat myself to something pretty because, why not?

My life (and bank account) went downhill from there.

I loved the product from ABH, and I had to get more. The product was smooth and long-wearing, it looked fantastic, it did what it was supposed to do, and it was effortless to put on. Sure, I could achieve a similar look with a cheap highlighter, but what would have taken multiple products and layers was now achievable with a single swipe of my finger.

I started shopping at ULTA religiously after that fateful encounter. My makeup collection has grown tremendously in the last year, and I never fail to be amazed by the quality of high-end makeup. I do think there are some quality "dupes" out there that do the same thing as higher-end makeup, but for the most part, their quality is unattainable.

I shop at the mid-range of the high-end makeup spectrum, and I am living.

In the last year, I have developed my style through makeup. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to makeup (SOS, someone help my brows), but I am learning every day.

Products do not necessarily make the makeup artist, but quality tools do make a difference.

Expensive makeup is worth it. Whether it is longevity, color payoff, blendability, or any other quality you want in a makeup product, high-end brands have got you covered.

It is possible to have fantastic results with drugstore brands — I swear by my Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara — but when it comes to the overall utility and quality of the products, high-end makeup is where it is at.

Cover Image Credit: Mallorie Jordan

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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What Shaving My Head Taught Me

There is no need to hide.


Some girls could never even dream about cutting five inches off of their hair, let alone shaving it. For the longest time, I was the same way. Seeing as I wasn't allowed to grow my hair out until fourth grade, cutting it all off again wasn't on my radar.

However, in my sophomore year of high school, I had my own Britney-Spears-Style meltdown and shaved it all off in my own bathroom. From then on, every time I tried growing my hair out, I'd always end up back in the same spot: shaving it all off again.

As I sit here with my hair well on its way towards shoulder length, I can't help but wonder why that urge kept hitting me.

It wasn't that I didn't like my hair. I'd come to terms with my frizzy curls long before I picked up the shaver. It's not any easier to manage at short lengths, either, especially when I tried growing it out. So, why on Earth did the urge keep hitting me? More importantly, why isn't it hitting me now?

Whether I like it or not, my hair had become a big part of my identity in high school. I'd dye it all kinds of crazy colors, and eventually, it was the first thing people thought about when they thought of me. It defined me, but I was also hiding behind it.

I realize now the only reason I'm comfortable growing it out again is that, for the first time in what feels like eons, I don't feel the need to hide. I'm at a point in my life where I can be unapologetically me. That being said, I also realize there are plenty of others out in the world doing the same thing without knowing it.

As a society, we are all trying to fit into unrealistic expectations. We fear what other people might think of us, and that fear blinds us from seeing that the only acceptance we truly need comes from within.

If you find yourself hiding, remember that there is more room outside the box you're trying to fit into.

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