Tips On Shopping For High End Makeup – Lipsticks

Tips On Shopping For High End Makeup – Lipsticks

I have a lot of people who comment on my reviews stating they love my choice of colours, how is it that I pick winners always, etc, etc. Firstly, I do not always come home with winners, I have my days of duds too. It’s just that the duds don’t get reviewed as quickly or as often as the winners because when you have a winner, you want to shout and share it with all others. Having said that, I do feel that there are ways and means to do makeup shopping which could help you identify winners and ease the whole process for you and make you get more bang for your buck. After all, coming home with a 2K dud lipstick would definitely take the fun out of makeup shopping! I am enumerating some points for you, these aren’t really a be all and end all, you are free to add your thoughts to it through comments.


Identify your requirement in terms of product:

Be clear what your requirement is. The clearer you are in your head, the easier the process is and you know where to begin.


Examples of requirements could be:

  • What product do I want to buy – blush, lipstick, foundation, gel liner, etc.
  • What finish/texture do I want? Say in blush, do I want powder or cream, satin or matte or shimmer; say in lipstick – matte or semi matte or glossy.
  • I just want a YSL lipstick or I just want to try a NARS/Clinique fat pencil lipstick, etc/
  • My occasion for wear – office, Sunday brunches or parties, etc.


One or open to more?

This is a question you ask yourself whether you want only product or more. Why? Because brands can sometimes have schemes running on purchase of more than one product like GWP (Gift with Purchase). High-end brands provide gift with purchase to their customers, not all reach the customers, but with customers becoming more aware and demanding, a lot of brands are fair in dispensing them. This also means that both products have to be from same brand. You aren’t a favored customer if you buy 2 or 3 products split across various brands. Get my point?

You might even have certain discount in duty free shops if total purchase is over an X amount. To take advantage of such a scenario, you should have a shortlist of other products you are willing to splurge on rather than ending up splurging on a dud because it was pushed to you by the SA or because it looked pretty.

Know your budget:

Be clear in your mind on how much you are ok in spending and keep 10-15% buffer for price variations or for change of heart to another range once tried. Like you might go to buy a Guerlain Rouge Automatique and end up liking Rouge G more. The goodies will look so tempting with their unique packaging and lovely colours that you might lose control. So be clear on how much you are willing to spend.

Once you know your budget, identify choices within the budget. Meaning, what all brands offer their product in that range and which one you like best. Say your range is Rs. 1500 to 1800 – you have the option of picking a Bobbi Brown lipstick or an Estee Lauder or Lancome lisptick.  Which would you like to look at first. If the texture of Lancome does not work for you, you know you have options.


Save and Go:

Put yourself on a shopping ban for 1-2 months or avoid picking those 2-3 mid-priced lipsticks and buy yourself a high-end product, pamper yourself with your own savings. Instead of buying a Bourjois and a Lakme lipstick, buy a YSL one instead, make yourself feel special each time you use it!

Check Online:

Now, comes the Herculean task, check for reviews of the product online. Don’t get hyped in by a product, please do check reviews. If you check reviews across the board, say Indian and international, over a period of time, you will create your own sense of which blogs you trust more, which blogger’s skin tone matches yours more, which blogger’s pictures are closer to the actual product shades, it’s all a learning and evolving process! So I would suggest, first and foremost, check IMBB for the reviews and swatches, not only will you get accurate reviews because the writers are from amongst us who have nothing to win or lose, so the reviews are heartfelt. The other advantage is that the writers, more often than not, have Indian hue – with our skin tone, colouring and weather conditions. So, if the product works for them, chances are, it will work for you too! For makeup, I love Rati’s picks, I generally see my makeup taste matching with hers.  Invariably, a product I pick, I see it already reviewed by her earlier.


Identify colours from swatches:

Check colours online, check IMBB for swatches and FOTDs – since these are on Indian skin tone, you are more likely to get a accurate picture of how the product will appear on you. Be wary of the fact that how a shade looks on a Caucasian female is not how it will look on our Indian skin tones.  YSL Volupte lipsticks are perfect example of this, most colours look gorgeous on Caucasian skin tone and hideous on us.


Numbers not names:

Note down the shade name and number, yes number! This is because unfortunately, most SAs do not know their shade range by shade name, but by shade number. The reason for this is that the testers only have the shade numbers written on them and not the shade name and that’s what the SAs are used to (except Estee Lauder – shade names are mentioned on the testers).



Now that we have done the fun part on reading up on what we want and identified the winners (as per us) – it’s time to go shopping!

Wait! Wait! Wait for part 2 of my article before you actually go shopping!

Till then, be good and be patient!

Love, K.

Makeup Tips For Hooded Eyes
10 Beauty Tips for a Safe Holi
Easy Grooming Tips For Women
Makeup Tips for Dusky Skin Tones


55 thoughts on “Tips On Shopping For High End Makeup – Lipsticks

  1. Lovely post K andmuch needed too. I shop for Mac blushes & lippies referencing Ratis posts but it does get overwhelming when I visit sephora or macy’s.
    these days, i make a list and try to stick to it 😉

    1. *thankyou* Bee! Glad you liked it. I still remember my first couple of times at MAC – i was so overwhelmed and confused. Blindly took products basis the SAs recommendation – all LE stuff for which they have targets to sell. Not my best purchases! *headbang* *headbang*

  2. Amazing post…

    Yes, IMBB reviews help a lot and fixing a budget is important..

    Thanks for this post, will re read the point everyday, “Put yourself on a shopping ban for 1-2 months or avoid picking those 2-3 mid-priced lipsticks and buy yourself a high-end product, pamper yourself with your own savings”
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. *thankyou* Bhavna! Glad you liked the post! Select what you want – just check it out in the shop. That will give you motivation to resist buying other stuff!

    1. *thankyou* Swati! Glad you liked the post. I know it looks like a lot to remember but i tried to keep it practical – so hopefully it would be easy to do!

  3. great post, i do follow some of these steps, i always here clear budget for that time (but i should calculations for that month, which i fail always), what product i needed, but problem comes from brand, if i go to nordstorm or neiman marcus or macys where all brands are there at one place, i will be confused to buy from which brand *scared* sometimes i ended without buying anything as my hubby says time up (once one indian lady who is shopping along with me advising me not to come for shopping with hubby by seeing my hubby behaviour, great idea *hifive* ) last time there is a goody bag of six to seven products when we buy 40+$ from lancome, estte laudder, and bobbi brown, i got confused finally i didnt buy anything.

    so now a days i am preparing list with complete names after seeing reviews from IMBB

    sorry for long message *headbang*

    1. Its my dream to shop in US – even if only for 1 day – minus hubby of course! In Mumbai, even though we have quite a few brands now – its still ok to shop. I remember shopping in Bangkok Mall – i went berserk looking at all the brands which were till now only aspirational (coz they were not present in india) – i lost it – NARS, Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua, Benefit, Shu Uemura – I thought i had reached heaven. I picked so much stuff that i was banned from shopping the rest of the trip. *headbang* *headbang* But i didn’t mind that. And guess what – my wish list was already ready for each brand – so no problem in selecting stuff. problem was only in swiping the card!! *headbang* *headbang*

    1. Isn’t it a shame that SAs who have been working with a brand since ages don’t know their shade names or even their products as well as we customers do! Its extremely refreshing to see otherwise!

  4. i generally follow ratis, urs, neha for lipstick posts i decide my buys from u ppl, actually i copy rati’s style in fashion, she is such sweet *puchhi*

    1. I know the feeling Rashmita! Its just that with a little research we can get more bang for our buck. Whether it is a particular brand or a particular range within a brand or even a shade – knowing your options always helps!

  5. A much needed post KK. IMBB helps alot when it comes to shopping .In fact I did my whole Bridal make up shopping after reading IMBB reviews.

    1. Thats great Nimisha! Thats taking well-informed decision. The good part is that you don’t end up with surprises with what you have picked coz everything is shortlisted properly. Im happy that the article is of help to you!

    1. *thankyou* RAti! Glad you liked the post! YSL is steadily climbing up my popularity chart. I have to update IMBB on my last haul!! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

  6. Amazing post kk… needed it a lot… *clap* *clap* imbb really teaches us a lot. rofl . howvr i wish brands increase der availabilty at all places… be it online or physical stores.. we barely gt ny prodcts here.. *waaa*

    1. I agree! Very few brands have presence in India and that too only in select locations. Brands like YSL, Dior, Guerlain, EL – which piggy back megastores like SHoppersstop, still don’t have presence in all locations of Shopperstop or their online portal. I can understand that they have to justify demand in that location v/s the expense of putting up stock and staff, but why not the online portal? It would be a boon! *headbang* *headbang*

  7. Your post came on apt time kk, totally agree to ur points its better to skip stuffs n pamper ourself occassionally.. *haan ji* A much needed and really helpful post kk.. *clap* *thankyou*
    I will consider ur post before considering high end make up now.. *thankyou*

  8. well read. very informative. thank you so much. point noted.
    me too remember my first visit at Mac and how i lost myself ………. only later on realizing how stupid i felt myself there.
    *puchhi* *thankyou*

    1. Yes, it can be very overwhelming Archana! A lot also depends on the person at the counter – whether and how they ease it for you. I’m so happy you found the article informative! *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

  9. Superb post KK. your written skill is amazing.I go with all your suggestions.My favorites are foundation,lipstick and lip gloss and eye pencil.Usually get confused with foundation shade and lip shade to pick.When we r in a high end make up shopping,We have to have in our mind that they are not just a prettifying things in our vanity table but investment pieces.Cheers to you *pompom* *pompom* *pompom* *pompom* *pompom* .Waiting for ur part 2 and haul post.Time to make a wishlist. *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance* *happy dance*

    1. You are bang on Lakshmi! A high end makeup product is an investment and it is imperative to have the right shade and a great product each time – not most of the times. Im sure you will enjoy part 2 of this article too! Will wait for your comments.

  10. Lovely post 🙂 I agree to all the points mentioned by you … This is what much needed before we spend our bucks on cosmetics.. *thankyou* for the enlightenment *jai ho*

    1. *thankyou* for such lovely words Kavitha! Im glad that this article comes in handy. Actually, most of the points stand true to any makeup buying but more so when you are buying highend – coz thats a lot of money for 1 product – we would definitely like to get our money’s worth.

  11. finally the KK secret is out *woot* except MAC and estee lauder skin care range, no high end brand is available here and just illamasqua delivers…so i am going to watch out for duty free shops on airport in karachi….
    KK, also do a post on distinguishing dupe MAC lipstick from the genuine one because we have very variable MAC prices here. in karachi it is for 3200 and 2800…..i found it being sold at 2300 in rawlpindi and online stores ask for 2200…..which one to go for!!!!

  12. KK, also do a post on distinguishing dupe MAC lipstick from the genuine one because we have very variable MAC prices here. in karachi it is for 3200 and 2800…..i found it being sold at 2300 in rawlpindi and online stores ask for 2200…..which one to go for!!!!

  13. finally the KK secret is out *woot* except MAC and estee lauder skin care range, no high end brand is available here and just illamasqua delivers…so i am going to watch out for duty free shops on airport in karachi….

  14. KK secret is out *woot* except MAC and estee lauder skin care range, no high end brand is available here and just illamasqua delivers…so i am going to watch out for duty free shops on airport in karachi….

  15. g8 post….i make a list of items high end as well as regulars according to my research on imbb on s memo *specs* ….wait 4 my earlier cosmetics 2 gt finished(creams n face washes) n den purchase my new finds *jogging* *jogging* ..its wise n dnt end up buying wrong product… *happydance* *happy dance*

    1. Can I Bow Down to you!!! Hats off to you Amrita – to have the perseverance of waiting for product to finish before you buy a replacement! I wish i had that kind of control I sure need it!

  16. this is a great post!! i really agree to your point that instead of spending on 2-3 mid range lippies, we can go for high end ones *pompom* I already have invested in MAC and lancome, next on my list is YSL and Bobbi Brown 😀 thanks for this post KK.. it is really a great help.. *happy dance*

    1. You are welcome hon! But this rule is actually so simple and I wish more people did that. Its not like I’m saying do not buy tuff – just persevere a little and buy something awesome! That would make it more fun for you and you are likely to enjoy using it too! And honestly, how many of us actually finish a lipstick? So instead of being 2-3 “Ahem” products, buy one “WOW” one!

  17. KK, I have always been a fan of ur writing…ur reviews and this article too is bang-on! Also, i appreciate all the hard work u put in before buying and sharing the winner products…checking online reviews, blogs etc…… *clap*
    I hv recently started wearing lippies other than weddings and family functions and enjoying my phase. Got Maybelline Mandarin also after reading ur review and recco *jai ho* and love it *preen* …will rather save n buy a high- end lipstick than buying the mid- range ones..m on self-imposed makeup shopping bang now till month-end.

    1. Awwwww! Thanks a tonne, honey, for such sweet words! Im glad you are liking this phase and very proud of you on going on a self-imposed shopping ban! Way to go Gurrrl! Buy a fab lippy when this fasting period is over – something which you will use often and cherish!!

  18. Very helpful and a much needed post will keep all the points mentioned in mind KK *clap* *clap* , seriously the reviews on IMBB helps a lot, I recently bought my first Mac lipstick Mocha,I am already looking forward to go for impassioned this month , and slowly also want to explore other brands as well *haan ji*

  19. Great read!! Totally makes sense…..we need to be clear in our heads about so many things before we do serious makeup shopping rather than impulse makeup shopping 🙂 Specially at high end stores where there are people to assist you. They will, I believe, do a better job of it if we also know what it is that we are looking for. Thanks for this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *