Save a Pretty Penny: How to Spend Less on Beauty Products

Becoming a parent shifts your spending priorities. Luckily, when it comes to beauty stuff, you can look just as good on less.

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Bargain Brands Worth Bagging

Peter Ardito

Bargain Brands Worth Bagging

We didn't see the slightest slip in performance with these generic and private-label products.

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Clean Sweep

Peter Ardito

Clean Sweep

Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover, $5; at Target

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Smooth Move

Peter Ardito

Smooth Move

Just the Basics Shave Cream, $2; cvs.com

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Relief Effort

Peter Ardito

Relief Effort

Rite Aid Advanced Recovery Skin Care Lotion, $2; at Rite Aid stores

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A Complete Wash

Peter Ardito

A Complete Wash

365 Everyday Value Gentle Skin Cleanser for Face & Body, $6; at Whole Foods Market stores

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Color Concept

Peter Ardito

Color Concept

Ulta 10 Shade Eyeshadow Palette, $14, and Lipstick, $8; ulta.com

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Where to Spend, Where to Save

Alexandra Grablewski

Where to Spend, Where to Save

It pays to pony up a little for certain products to get the best results. Follow our guide to use your beauty dollars wisely.

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Hair Brushes (Spend)

Peter Ardito

Hair Brushes (Spend)

Boar-bristle brushes cost more, but the reward is that they increase shine by distributing your hair's natural oils. We're fans of the Angelo David Medium Paddle Brush, $55; angelodavid.com.

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Anti-Aging Cream (Spend)

Peter Ardito

Anti-Aging Cream (Spend)

But it's only worth it if you buy one that contains an ingredient proven to make skin act and look younger, such as retinol. A smart pick: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer, $21; neutrogena.com.

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Styling Products (Save)

Styling Products (Save)

"You can find excellent styling products from the major drugstore brands," says Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia.com. We like G?t2B Kinkier Gloss 'N Define Curling Spray Gel, $6; walmart.com.

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Foundation (Spend)

Peter Ardito

Foundation (Spend)

You usually get the most flawless look from ingredients in high-end brands, says makeup artist Brett Freedman. Try Lorac Natural Performance Foundation, $36; sephora.com.

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Lip Color (Save)

Peter Ardito

Lip Color (Save)

The latest drugstore options feel ultra-rich: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter, $7, revlon.com.

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Mascara (Save)

Peter Ardito

Mascara (Save)

Amazing formulas exist at lower price points. Try L'Or?al Paris Voluminous Mascara, $7; amazon.com.

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Concealer (Spend)

Peter Ardito

Concealer (Spend)

Going to a department store ensures you'll be able to test out a bunch for coverage and wearability. A top seller: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $28; lauramercier.com.

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Face Wash (Save)

Peter Ardito

Face Wash (Save)

You rinse it right off anyway! Begoun recommends Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, $6; drugstore.com.

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Cut That Out!

SARRA FLEUR ABOU-EL-HAJ

Cut That Out!

You can get by without these things, says Meghan O'Brien, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.

Facial scrubs - Chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic acid, can be found in daily moisturizers.

Eye cream - No research shows that your eye area needs something different than the rest of your face.

Leave-in conditioner - Applying a dab of your regular one without rinsing it out does the same job.

Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

Unless otherwise noted, all products are available at mass-market retailers. This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings, and availabilities are subject to change.