Lets face it makeup is expensive. Even drugstore makeup is more expensive than the past. It gets confusing which products, you can save your money on and which ones you can splurge. This is just my opinions but there are a lot of great makeup products.
Foundation: I feel that you should splurge on this item because it is the base of your makeup. Your makeup will not look as good, if your base is not good. I understand that not everyone can spend high end makeup. High end makeup tends to have a better shade range than drugstore foundations and may be easier to find one that matches. Also, you can request samples before purchasing the foundation. At least where I live, you cannot try the foundation on in drugstore before purchasing.
High end cosmetics tend to have makeup artist. They can guide you to the best foundation for your age and any skin concerns. Also, they have be trained to test the foundation on your face.
However, if you only use foundation in certain areas a high end foundation is not worth it. Also, if you know your undertone a high end foundation may not be worth it for you.
Concealer: I feel that you should splurge on concealer. High end concealers, I find cover better than drugstore concealers. They go onto the skin smoothly and easily. Concealers in high end brands tend to have more shade options. I find it is easier to find one that matches the skin tone perfectly. Depending on your concealer concerns you may need to purchase two. One for your undereyes and the other for spot concealing.
Powder: I feel it depends on what you are using the powder for. If you are using a colored powder, then I feel it is worth splurging for a powder. Especially, if your using it as an all purpose product. High end colored powders tend to stay better on your skin and have greater coverage. On the otherhand, I do not think it is worth to buy a high end translucent powder. There are plenty of great options in the drugstores. They do not change your makeup look a lot, like colored powders.
Blush: I would say to splurge on powder blush. High end blushes tend to have greater pigmentation and the product goes on smoother. I find that sometimes drugstore blushes leave streaks and are not soft feeling. They feel like a brick in my opinion. The pigmentation is not as good. You may need to swipe your brush in a lot of times.
On the otherhand, I do not feel the same way on cream blush. I think it is better to save on cream blush. Drugstore cream blushes tend to have good lasting powder and go on smoothly onto the skin.
Eyeshadow: I think it is better to splurge on eyeshadow. The pigmentation of high end eyeshadows tend to be better. They tend to last longer on the eyes than drugstore eyeshadow. Drugstore eyeshadows may crumble and not be as pigmented. However, if you are not sure you will like a certain color then save. It is better to spend less money on products that you will not use.
Eye liner: I think it depends on you. Liquid and gel/cream eye liners can dry up quickly. You may not want to spend your money as frequently. I think it is better to save on those products. On the otherhand, pencil eye liners may not go smoothly across your lid. It may be better to splurge on a pencil eye liner. High end pencil eyeliners probably won’t drag on your eyes. However, if you are going to have every color eye liner than I think its best to save.
Mascara: I think its best to save on mascara. It has a very short shelf life and there are some amazing drugstore mascara. Some drugstore mascaras in my opinion work better than high end mascaras. If you are using a colored mascara, then it may be better to splurge. High end makeup may have more color selection.
Lip Liners: I think its better to save. Drugstore brands have a large color range and tend to work very well. All lip pencils, in my opinion are drying. Lip pencils do not need as precise of a line than eye liner.
Lip stick, lip gloss, balm, lip stain, etc: I think its best to save. Drugstore tend to have a large color selection and a lot of different formulas. I found drugstore lip products that work just as well as high end cosmetics.