Some people find a pedicure to be worth every penny and every minute spent. For others, they want to plunk their money down on a $55 tube of lipstick or a $500 night cream. We all have our splurges, and my point is that it’s all subjective. But, there are a few items on the luxe side of beauty products and services that for me, are worth every penny, and based on their fan bases and rise in popularity, I’m not alone! Today, I’m dishing on a few.

Artis Makeup Brushes

Made with hundreds of thousands of patented man-made fibers, these brushes are incredibly soft and feel oh-so-good. They are so soft that the act of simply using them is calming. But, it’s the results that make this brush worth every penny … gorgeous. It’s fast and your makeup looks really great … better than it ever has before — at least that is what I think (along with gobs of beauty YouTubers out there). Akin to how the right hair brush can make your blowout look that much better, the right makeup brushes can do that too. Have you cleaned with microfiber towels? They clean completely differently than regular towels. Again, same type of difference comparing one makeup brush to this brush. With hundreds of thousands of fibers in each brush … it’s revolutionary, in the realm of makeup brushes. You’ll be surprised how easy and quick this way of applying makeup is, and how even the coverage is.

When I forget to use the Artis brush and use my fingers, I'll sweep it across my face afterwards and even that makes my makeup look better.

When I forget to use the Artis brush, and use my fingers instead, I’ll sweep it across my face afterwards and even that makes my makeup look better! Find it for $60.

As these are expensive, if you want to start with just one, get one that can multi-purpose. The best-selling Artis brush at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics is the #7 ($60). It also happens to be the one that I have. And, if you’ve been using a Beauty Blender for your foundation/tinted moisturizer/BB cream, you’ll use about half as much product with the Artis brush as it doesn’t “eat” the product the way the Beauty Blender does. Which means that over time, this brush will pay for itself. Of course, you could replace all your brushes with these, but if you want to dip your toe into the Artis brush world, I recommend the #7.

Lastly, the Artis cleansing pad is nice to have ($55). You just rub the brush on it after each application of powdery makeup, and it’s clean as new. For creamy products, you can use their cleanser ($25), or a good, mild foaming soap, rub the brush on the cleansing pad, and then let it dry. Drying takes less than five minutes.

Available at Dillard’s ($60)

Living Proof Dry Shampoo

For any dry shampoo above the cost of Pssst, my old standby that I still purchase in a pinch, it needs to be beyond fabulous. To garner a fanbase as large as Living Proof Proof Dry Shampoo enjoys, at $22 a pop, you can rest assured that it’s just that: beyond fabulous. You should be able to get about 10 uses out of a can, so yes, a couple dollars per use, which admittedly does add up. But it’s a great product that gives the most realistic “showered” hair I’ve found. I’m the type that needs to wash my hair every day, but I’m trying hard to be kinder to my hair and only wash it 2 – 3 times per week (hello, shower cap!) to avoid the blowdryer, flat iron, etc. This dry shampoo effectively dissolves sweat and oil and also gets rid of smells (I have no personal proof of that as I no longer hang out in smoky bars, but according to review after review, this product does reduce smells from hair). Plus, it’s a huge time saver. To extend clean hair even more, the Living Proof “Perfect Hair” shampoo and conditioner do keep my hair looking cleaner longer.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo

This is the best dry shampoo I have found. Get it for $22 – $25.

There does seem to be a thing among women today … “I haven’t washed my hair in FOUR days!” That type of thing. Well, do shower, but hey, if you can save that time and put that much less stress on your hair, I say go for it!

Available at Sephora ($25) and Ulta ($22). 

Eyelash Extensions

This is an extravagant purchase in my opinion, but one I am loving way more that I thought I ever would. You see, I’m the type that rarely goes for a pedicure or manicure, as I can do it myself and I get antsy sitting there for that long. I’ve received probably six or seven facials in my entire life … again, I just get antsy laying there … it’s just not my thing. This makes me an outlier among many women, but showcases my impatience, something I have in abundance. All that said, going in for lash extensions has been near life-changing when it comes to my morning routine. It now takes almost no time to get out the door as I apply my CC cream, a little bronzer, my concealer and … I’m done. I can’t figure out WHY lashes make that big of a difference, but they do.

They take a little getting used to. For example, if your eyes itch, you can’t just rub them the same way you’re used to as you need to be a little gentler with these lashes than your natural ones. You also need to brush them out, usually a few times a week which takes about 10 seconds or so. But, they are the one beauty treatment I’ve kept up with and I wake up every day glad I’ve done this. For me, they need to be touched up about every three-and-a-half weeks. I’ve heard some women say that they need to get theirs updated every two weeks, which would be too much time and money for me. All in all, I’m a fan, and after four months of lash extensions, no one is more surprised by this than I am.

lash extensions

These before and afters are from the @nashvillelash Instagram account, which is where I get my lashes done. Remember, there is no mascara on these lashes … you wake up like that and there are never smudges!

lash extensions

Another before and after … that’s not mascara! Image: @nashvillelash

Lash, in Nashville

Look how beautiful those lashes are! Image: @nashvillelash

Liza Graves with lashes

And … me! This is after my lashes were fresh and new! I finally decided to take the plunge after running into Landyn of Living with Landyn and her lashes looked so good … and I needed some! Image: @nashvillelash

The downsides: you need to find someone really good. This means reading lots of reviews and asking your friends and doing your homework. Someone is gluing little, tiny eyelashes to each individual eyelash, which, you know, is right next to your EYEBALL. It’s precise work and many people use waaaaaaay too much glue. They are also expensive. Most places charge between $175-$250 for the first round and then about $100 for your maintenance. So, yes, it adds up. But, if you can find $100 every three-and-a-half weeks out of your budget, or you can swap some money around, these are worth trying out.

For the record, three SB editors have tried out lash extensions and each says the same thing: really loved it and didn’t realize how much she would. Here’s a write up from our Atlanta Editor from earlier this year.

UPDATE: since I keep running into people who have read this, unfortunately, I fall into the 1-3% of people who are allergic to the lashes! After a few rounds, I kept sneezing non-stop and my eyes got red rings. I was kinda sad as I don’t usually go for regular beauty treatments and I was digging these, but hey, life’s good. If you want to try them, they were so fun and pretty!

So, now that I’ve dished on my favorite higher end beauty products, I’d love to hear yours! Please email me at [email protected] and we’ll write another article in the future with the top picks.

Happy weekend!


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