Splurge vs. Save: Red Lipstick and Blush/Bronzer

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Splurge v save header luxury

Lipstick and blush are the ultimate finishing touches for any beauty look, especially if you’re headed to a nice dinner or (gasp!) on a date. These two products normally last a pretty long time, but are they worth a splurge?

For this week’s Splurge vs. Save, I’m featuring luxury versions of both products, but since they’re just so expensive, I found some dupes, too!

NARS’s famous Orgasm blush is a cult fave, but also costs a cool $30. (I found a pretty convincing dupe in a previous post, so definitely check that out!) Today, we’re going to revisit that NARS blush in a contouring palette that is famous in the makeup artist world, as well as a classically chic red lipstick.

And of course, I’ve found lower-priced dupes of both products, so read on to find out what they are!

Splurge: Chanel Rouge Allure Lip Color in “Incandescente”

Chanel rouge allure lipstick1

$35 at Nordstrom

My grandmother always told me that Chanel lipsticks are the best. Well, for $35, they better make my lips look perfect and amazing! Everyone needs a signature red lipstick to use every so often, and it’s no secret that Chanel’s red colors are “true” classic reds. This is not a matte lipstick, but it’s also not shiny; it has a more lustrous finish without sparkle.

However, for $35? College girls aren’t falling for it. These lipsticks are incredibly moisturizing, smooth out dry patches, and last forever – the tube even closes with a click that reminds you of a luxury car door. While they are completely high-end, I don’t recommend spending this much money on lipstick – unless it’s for your wedding day or something totally special!

Save: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Love That Red”

Revlon super lustrous lipstick in love that red

$7.99 at Drugstore.com

Revlon makes some of the best lip products that I’ve ever used, so it’s no surprise that I love their Super Lustrous lipstick collection. I’m really happy with every shade I’ve tried, especially this classic-looking shade called Love That Red.

As with most drugstore lipsticks, you do have to take extra care of your lips, since they can be drying and can cling to dry patches. I do recommend a good lip scrub and a balm before you put on this lipstick. However, this color is beautiful, and is a total dupe for the Chanel one. Try this if you want to get into red lipstick!

Also Read: Should I Buy elf? Honest Review + Best Products

Verdict? Save!

With any statement makeup, you definitely want to try it out before you decide that it’s for you. Buying the Revlonlipstick makes so much more sense! Try it out and see if you love red before making a serious investment in the Chanel lipstick.

Splurge: NARS Blush and Bronzer Duo in Orgasm/Laguna

Nars contouring palette

$42 at Sephora

Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer are two of the bestselling NARS products, so it’s no surprise that they would put the two into one “contouring” palette. Purchasing both products separately would set you back $60, but this travel-friendly palette costs $42.

Yes, some of us use bronzer and blush every single day, but if you’re like me, I drop things… and sometimes I drop the most expensive products, and then they crack and get ruined! Because of that, I’m always a bit hesitant to spend so much money on products. However, if you want a product that is ultra-luxe and looks stunning on your skin, try this palette. It really is beautiful, if you’re willing to pay the money.

Save: e.l.f. Contouring Palette

e.l.f. contouring palette

$3 at Drugstore.com

Can I start off by saying that this is THREE DOLLARS? Because it is – e.l.f. products are famously cheap, but also famously good. This looks almost completely the same as the NARS counterpart, and I’m thinking that’s not just a coincidence. Even the packaging is similar. And for the price? It’s pretty darn good.

As with most cheaper products, the pigmentation is not going to be as good. But the colors are very similar, and look almost the same if you layer the product a bit and take your time applying it. This is also a great option if you want to learn how to contour.

Verdict? Save!

This one is a no-brainer. The e.l.f. version wins by a landslide! Save your $39 and go buy a pretty dress or put the extra cash into your Europe fund.

What do you think?

What are your favorite lipsticks, blushes, and bronzers? 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: Red Lipstick and Blush/Bronzer”

  1. Reading this post, I was hoping that the e.l.f blush/bronzer would be the dupe! I have it and love it and I swear, the picture does not do it justice because it truly does look just like the NARS orgasm/laguna.

  2. when you are going for the cheaper items, be careful to read the ingredient lists. most of them contain very harmful and toxic ingredients that are linked to diseases.

  3. As someone who occasionally splurges, I do think the Nars “Orgasm” blush is overrated. If you talk to the make-up artists at the Nars counter they would second this claim. I have a skin tone that’s about two shades darker than Rihanna’s. It is a nice “neutral” blush with a nice shimmer but Nars offers more blushes that gives more of a wow effect than “Orgasm”. As for contouring, I used a matte bronzing powder from Bobbi Brown…very impactful.

    How can I afford all of this on a med school budget?
    I look out for friends and family sales at my local department stores; it is only then when cosmetics really go on “sale”.

  4. I wasn’t impressed with the elf contouring palette. It doesn’t help that I have very fair skin, but it was way too orange and had way too much sparkle to use for contouring. Laguna isn’t my first choice either, though. I personally prefer Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil and Milk Chocolate Soleil for contouring.

  5. I love e.l.f. but I have had problems with a few of their products. Not everything is amazing. The first thing that comes to mind is their gel eyeliner. Unless I got a bad one, I would highly recommend against it. Great review though!

  6. I always forget to pick up that e.l.f. duo!

    I love red lipstick. It’s like my beauty signature (at least in my mind). I love MAC Red lipstick and have found that the Kate Moss Rimmel 01 lipstick is an incredible dupe. They’re both slightly dark, semi matte red. Even though I love MAC lipsticks, I’d have to give it to Rimmel because not only is it $10-13 cheaper than the MAC one, it feels better on the lips.

  7. These series of posts are seriously my favorite! It’s so helpful and I don’t have to go through a ton of trial and error. Thank you 🙂


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