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Beauty Splurge or Steal

Cruelty Free Beauty Splurge or Steal - Which would you choose?

I’m sharing some cruelty free beauty splurge or steal recommendations today. I often get asked which I prefer, so I’ve noted my favorites below. All products purchased by me.

Beauty Splurge or Steal

1. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer $52/$72 (splurge) vs. Nyx Angel Veil Primer $15.99 (steal)
Both of these primers have a brightening effect on the face. They have very similar ingredients. The Hourglass is water resistant and offers SPF 15. I recently splurged on the 2 oz tube of Hourglass. Both of these are great. The Hourglass is vegan.

Hourglass Ingredients – Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina. (plus has Zinc Oxide 4.20% and Titanium Dioxide 2.45%)
Nyx Ingredients – Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane , Polysilicone-1, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Nylon-12, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Laureth-12, Alumina, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil $21 (splurge) vs. Nyx Micro Brow Pencil $9.99 (steal)
ABH comes in 9 colors vs. Nyx in 8. I like ABH Granite and Nyx Black. The ingredients are very similar, though not identical. Both of these pencils are .003 oz of product, so very tiny! That’s why I prefer the Nyx. The Anastasia is vegan. I’m unsure about the Nyx.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Ingredients – Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil/Hydrogenated Huile Végétale, Zinc Stearate, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510).
Nyx Micro Brow Ingredients – Polyethylene, C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Ozokerite, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, C20-40 Alcohols, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Candelilla Cera/Cire De Candelilla, Zinc Stearate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcrystalline, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Tristearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Caprylate. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492, 77499), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510).

3. Urban Decay Chill Setting Spray $30 (splurge) vs. Nyx Dewy Setting Spray $7.99 (steal)
These two are similar, though I do think that the UD has the edge because it lasts for 12 hours and is supposed to have time release properties to prevent your makeup from settling into fine lines or smudging. Chill is 4 oz vs. Dewy’s 2 oz. Both of these are great for dry skin, but Chill is my favorite. Chill is vegan.

Urban Decay Chill Ingredients – Aqua (Water/Eau), Alcohol Denat, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, PVP, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Methyl Perflouroisobutyl Ether, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, Caprylyl Gylcol, Glycereth-5 Lactate, Aloe Barbandensis Leaf Extract, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, N,2,3-Trimethyl-2-Isopropyl Butamide, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Fragrance, Poloxamer 407, Menthyl Methacrylate Cross Polymer.
Nyx Dewy Ingredients – Aqua, Butylene Glycol, AMP-Acrylates/Allyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Methylpropanediol, Phenoxyethanol / Ethylhexylglycerin, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Disodium EDTA.

4. Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer $20 (.35oz) (splurge) vs. Jesse’s Girl Eyeshadow Primer $5.99 (.16oz) (steal)
These both have very similar ingredients. I prefer the TFSI packaging to the Jesse’s Girl, since the TFSI is a squeeze tube. This is my Holy Grail eyeshadow primer.

Too Faced Ingredients – Isododecane, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glyceryl Triethylhexanoate, Polyethylene, Trihydroxystearin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Isopropyl Lanolate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
Jesse’s Girl Ingredients – Isododecane, Polyethylene, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isopropyl Lanolate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone, Beeswax, Triethylhexanoin, PEG-40 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Trihydroxystearin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride

5. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (splurge) $19 vs Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner $6.99 (steal)
Both of these are .02 oz each. The KVD comes in 2 colors and the Jesse’s Girl in 4. The ingredients are fairly similar. The KVD version is vegan. I think both are good. I like the Jesse’s Girl more than the KVD.

Kat Von D Ingredients – Water, Ammonium Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene, Glycol, Alcohol, Beheneth-30, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Methylparaben, Polygylceryl-3 Disiloxane Dimethicone, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Carbon Black.
Jesse’s Girl Ingredients – Water, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Black 2, Butylene Glycol, Laureth-21, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Dilaureth 10 Phosphate, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Ethylparaben, Disodium EDTA

6. Face Atelier Zero Minus White Mixer $38.08 (splurge) vs. Manic Panic Dreamtone Virgin White Mixer $9.93 (steal)
Both of these are pure white, 1 oz and vegan. They’re both great to lighten your foundation to be a perfect match. I prefer the Manic Panic.

Face Atelier Ingredients – CYCLOMETHICONE, AQUA, GLYCERIN, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, POLYGLYCERYL-4 ISOSTEARATE, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, HEXYL LAURATE, POLYGLYCERYL-3 DIISOSTEARATE, MICA, QUATERNIUM-18 HECTORITE, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, CELLULOSE GUM, NYLON-12, TRIBEHENIN, LAUROYL LYSINE, TRISTEARIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN. MAY CONTAIN: TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), MICA (CI 77019), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
Manic Panic Ingredients – Water, Titanium Dioxide, Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Stearate SE, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Jojoba Oil, Triethanolamine, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate and Tetrasodium EDTA.

I splurge on the Hourglass primer, Urban Decay spray and Too Faced eyeshadow primer, all of which last me a very long time. I get steals with the Nyx brow pencil, Jesse’s Girl liquid eyeliner and Manic Panic white mixer.

Which would you choose? What are your favorite beauty products to splurge or steal?

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47 Comments

  • Whenever I see splurge prices I go numb lol. I do have to keep in mind though that they do last an awfully long time.. so it’s not too horrible in the long run!! I never have money to splurge so I don’t have any of these! I don’t have any of the steals though either!!

    • For me to splurge on the 2oz tube of the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, I waited for a Sephora sale and got money off. Any time I buy something expensive, I try to time it during a sale.

    • My skin is on the dry side. I don’t find either of them drying to me. I do think they blur imperfections and smooth out pores.

  • I have both of the Brow pencils, but for a long time I never thought I was going to be able to find a drugstore alternative to the ABH Brow Wiz until I discovered the NYX micro brow pencil. The only difference I see is that I have to press down a little harder when using the NYX pencil. I recently found even better, just as pigmented as the ABH Brow Wiz but the one drawback is that it only comes in 3 colors. The most recent, pigmented, still affordable dupe I’ve found is the NEW L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Ultra-Fine tip shaping brow pencils. I bought mines from at Walgreens while they were on sale and I used coupons! I bought 2 of the 3 shades which are Brunette and Dark Brunette. I personally love the pigmentation, but Brunette is warm while Dark Brunette leans more cool toned. I think I found something even better than the NYX micro pencils and that speaks volumes! L’Oreal is still budget friendly, so for now I’m sticking to the NEW L’Oreal retractable brow pencils.

    • That’s great that you found a dupe! Unfortunately L’Oreal isn’t cruelty free, which is why I think Nyx is still a good option.

      • Whoops, you’re totally right! I completely forgot about that. It’s so odd that the company that bought UD isn’t cruelty free. L’Oreal really needs to get with it man!

  • I’ve only tried the NYX Angel Veil and the Jesses Girl eyeliner and the setting sprays from UD and the NYX one.

    I love the Jesse’s Girl liner, and the Angel Veil primer. I thought the NYX was good, but I couldn’t tell the UD setting spray did anything for me. It was the old packaging – the Dew Me formula.

    I enjoy these comparisons and your opinions on them Thanks for doing this!

    • You’re welcome! I figured since I bought and tested out all of these, it would be fun to share. I don’t think I tried the old Dew Me formula, only All Nighter and Chill.

  • I love these kinds of comparisons. I had been looking at the Face Atlier for the ability to lighten foundations, but now I’ll take a look at Manic Panic instead.

  • Things I like about this post: 1) knowing your take on what to Splurge vs Steal; 2) the ingredient lists; 3) you’ve introduced me to new products; and 4) everything is CF! I’ve read many a SvS article, but rarely do I come across one about CF products. High five, Phyrra!

    How does the NYX brow pencil in Black compare to ABH Granite shade- and undertone-wise?

    • I’ll definitely be doing more of these Splurge vs. Steal, next time with indie! I think seeing the ingredients side by side helps you to tell how similar they are. I’m happy to hear I introduced you to new things! I’l swatch the 2 side by side soon, currently cooking and preparing for company for tonight 🙂

  • I splurge on the Too Faced eye primer too because it just works that well. I’ll have to check out the NYX brow product for sure. Thanks for the budget-friendly suggestions. 🙂

  • I just received my Manic Panic in the mail from Amazon today and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it compares to the Face Atelier. The price difference is so big and I have high hopes for this recommendation.

  • Love that you made the comparisons and did the research! 🙂 I am always wondering how some of the more affordable beauty products stack up to the more expensive brands.

  • A great post – because sometimes the more expensive product works for you, and at other times, the inexpensive product is just as good. Which is why, when it comes to neutral palettes Urban Decay is the best for me rather than the imitations. Your posts are always informative Phyrra. Happy New Year to you and your family and I hope you get to put your feet up or your dancing shoes on…..

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I thought this would be a fun post because of how similar these items are to each other. Happy New Year to you too! I’ll be spending NYE with my loved ones.

  • Very informative post! I’ve gotta find my Jesse’s Girl liners. You turned me on to them and they’re great

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