Splurge or Save? The Smartest Beauty Buys
Generally, the more expensive the pencil is, the softer the wax and the smoother the application. So invest in a softer-wax pencil for drawing around the sensitive eye area. "Cheaper eyeliners can pull the delicate skin around the eyes or break off and crumble," says Tekeyla Perdue, senior artistic director of aesthetics at Mitchell's Salons & Day Spas in Cincinnati. You can spend less on lip liner, which doesn't require such careful application. "With lip liners, you can go low-cost and still achieve the look you desire." Recommended product: Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl ($24.50, sephora.com) is a smooth eyeliner with intense color.
If you change your eye pencil with every outfit and your collection is as varied as a pack of coloring pencils, then all those $15 sticks can add up. For a cheap but gentle liner, makeup artist Tina Turnbow suggests gel formulas or liners that come in plastic pencils, as wooden ones tend to be drier. Recommended product: Wet n Wild Lipliner Pencil in Brandy Wine ($1 at drugstores) is considered by makeup artists to be a great drugstore find for color and consistency.