Splurge vs. Save: Foundation and Concealer

Discover the drugstore dupes for YSL’s Touche Éclat Concealer and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation – don’t pay full price again!

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Splurge v save

Buying luxury makeup is fun, but it’s not always the practical choice. Sure, walking around Sephora or the beauty section in a department store is tempting, but since I’m on a college student budget, I know I can’t always give in.

Because of this, I decided to start a “Splurge vs. Save” series. In it, I’ll review expensive, hyped-up products, then share my picks for drugstore dupes.

Two of the most expensive high-end beauty products are foundation and concealer, so I wanted to find the best drugstore foundations and concealers. The two “splurge” products below are blogger and YouTuber “holy grail” favorites, but are they really worth it? Read on to find out:

Save: Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation

Rimmel's match perfect foundation

$5.79 at Drugstore.com

This foundation is one I always hear about, so I decided to give it a try. Rimmel’s products are always pretty good, and this was no exception. I do think the packaging is quite cheap-feeling, but hey, it only costs $6!

Although it doesn’t provide full coverage, it is good for light makeup days. The foundation also has a luminous finish, so I do find myself needing to touch up with a mattifying powder every couple of hours. However, if that doesn’t bother you, this foundation literally does match and blend into your skin perfectly, and has a nice sheer to medium coverage.

Splurge: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

NARS sheer glow foundation

$45 at Sephora

This foundation is $45, which is pretty darn pricy for the average college girl. But, NARS’ Sheer Glow foundation is basically theperfect sheer foundation. It’s not too luminous, but it’s not matte either. It’s hydrating, and smooths over dry patches. 

This is one of those foundations that will last you forever, however, if you’re on a budget, I really can’t justify the price tag. If it was full coverage, I might be able to justify it.

The Verdict? SAVE!

The Rimmel foundation will do most of the same things as the NARS foundation. Although you may need to touch up a bit more, you’ll be saving almost $40!

Save: Physicians Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Concealer

Physicians touch of glow concealer

$11.63 at Walmart

Let’s talk about the packaging for a second. How cute is the rose gold? I’m obsessed! Besides the packaging, this is an incredible product. Physicians Formula is one of my absolute trusted brands, and this product was not a letdown.

I use it right below my eyes and down my nose, and it blends perfectly and conceals imperfections. It also brightens my skin.

It is a bit more expensive than most drugstore products, but compared to it’s über-expensive splurge counterpart, it’s worth it. Keep an eye out at your local drugstore – sometimes they run buy-one-get-one-free sales on Physicians Formula!

Splurge: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Concealer

Ysl touche eclat

$41 at Sephora

This is probably one of the most-hyped products I’ve EVER encountered. The packaging is stunning and feels so luxurious, but to be honest, this is no better than the Physicians Formula one.

Yves Saint Laurent is one of the most high-end makeup brands out there, so this concealer definitely feels “expensive,” but it’s not worth $41.

However, the good thing about this product is the number of shades that are available. If you have a hard-to-find skin tone, you might need to try this out. It’s still a great product, and it does last longer than the drugstore equivalent, but it’s not always worth the splurge.

The Verdict? SAVE!

My advice? Go for the Physicians Formula concealer – it’s a Touche Eclat dupe. However, if it doesn’t fit your skin-tone, you may want to try the YSL version to see if you can find a match.

What do you think?

What are your favorite concealers and foundations? Have you tried any disappointing luxury products? Would you like to see more posts like this? Remember to tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment!

9 thoughts on “Splurge vs. Save: Foundation and Concealer”

  1. Hi girls!

    I think this is where personal skin types come into play. For me, Nars Sheer Glow is not full coverage at all, but more of a light-medium coverage. This might be due to my application because I use a dampened beauty blender to apply it which can sheer it out. Also, all products that I review I have personally tried or have had friends try (if I can’t use them due to my skin conditions) because I am not trying to mislead.

    Touche Eclat is a concealer; however it’s more or less a brightening concealer. I find that the shade I use (the lightest) cancels out blueness under my eyes. I personally haven’t ever used a “splurge” concealer other than Touche Eclat, but if you know of any good ones let me know!

    As usual, thank you all for your comments!

  2. I like this! It’s really helpful as I’m always confused by the sheer amount of stuff out there. Hope you’ll make more of these posts.

  3. I’ve tried the YSL Touche Éclat before and I have to agree that it’s not worth the hype. I didn’t use it as a concealer, but as a highlighter and it didn’t do much for the skin. Also, the product went bad before I even finished it! What a waste!

    NARS Sheer Glow is a favorite. It’s actually not as sheer as the name suggests, but the coverage is buildable and wears very well. However, I’ve found that it actually does cling to dry patches, even though it’s a foundation meant for normal and dry skin types. A good scrub is a must beforehand!

  4. Nars sheer glow is not sheer.. It’s a full coverage foundation and should be treated as such

    -Former Sephora Employee

  5. Also, the Yves Saint Laurent touche eclat isn’t REALLY a concealer but rather a highlighter.

    I’ve heard lots of good things about Rimmel foundation but unfortunately they don’t suit my skin at all and turns it orange. I think I’m cursed with that brand… 🙁

  6. I agree with Sam. NARS Sheer Glow is not sheer. It is the opposite of sheer, despite the name. It is also matte. While the name of the product is misleading, I feel like your review of the product was written without actually trying the product and just based on the name.

  7. Touche Éclat is not a concealer but a brightening/luminizing pen. It works better when used with concealer since it gives the brightening effect rather than full-coverage concealing.

  8. I don’t understand not getting the Nars foundation for $45 just because it’s not full-coverage (when built, it is definitely medium-full coverage). Not everyone wants full-coverage as it can get heavy, and plenty of people have nice skin that they don’t need to cover up much, which is why sheer and medium coverage foundations exist. I understand personal preference, but in my opinion, that’s a silly reason to get a lesser quality product that isn’t full coverage either.

  9. Go ahead and read the product description for Touche Éclat on the YSL website. It does not include the word concealer but “complexion highlighter”. It is often reviewed by “gurus” as a concealer, but that is not correct. It is not meant to conceal. Maybe a little product research wouldn’t hurt.


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