Luxury makeup kits that won't hurt your wallet

Benefit, Lorac, Hard Candy offer value in variety

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Cargo Collection, Showstopper Palette, Pink to Please

A SMATTERING OF MAKEUP KITS TO TANTALIZE YOUR EYEBALLS. Buying beauty palettes offers huge savings compared to the cash you’d have to shell out to buy the brands' full size products. It's like the Bulk Barn for makeup.

Stuck with the financial burden of too many textbooks and last month’s holiday gifts, what’s a girl to do when she’s jonesing for the sweet comfort of high-end makeup?

Before you surrender to your conscience and buy $5 eyeshadow from the drugstore, take note: Sephora.com offers palettes from some of the biggest names in beauty at reasonable prices. Below is a list of the best of the best.

Urban Survival Set, Urban Decay, $50. This all-encompassing kit contains a ton of Urban Decay’s bestsellers, ranging from primer to mascara. With a warm, shimmery eye shadow quad and two neutral lip glosses, this palette is clearly designed to flatter everyone. Including nine different products and an eyeshadow brush, this palette is a clear bargain.

Pink To Please A Woman ... Gold To Get The Guy Palette, Benefit, $32. Benefit fully uses its retro aesthetic for this palette, which features a pink plaid lining likely to be found on the apron of any 1950s housewife. Featuring shades of pink and " you guessed it " gold eyeshadow, this palette’s made for mixing, matching and blending. With three shades of lipstick ranging from peach to rosy pink, this palette packs a lot of punch in a small (and cute) package.

The Cargo Collection, Cargo, $49. This limited edition set is left over from the holiday season, which means a ton of full size products ($109 worth, to be exact) for a low price. Packaged in a fuschia tin, it was meant to be given as a gift. But there’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a gift, is there? Cargo is known for selling multi-faceted products, and this set doesn’t disappoint. Lip gloss quads, eye shadow duos and blush are just a few of the things offered in this well-rounded set.

Take Out Makeup Kit, Hard Candy, $30. This tri-level pink palette is reminiscent of the Caboodle Kits of yesteryear. Hard Candy describes this kit as “the Dim Sum of makeup palettes,” and it’s easy to see why: it’s packed with a variety of options that are inexpensive and perfect for use on the go. Each layer is devoted to separate categories of makeup, including six lip glosses, eight eyeshadows and a layer for the face including concealer, blush, and bronzer. This palette offers tons of the bright, edgy colours Hard Candy is known for, so fans of neutral tones ought to stay away.

Showstopper Palette, Lorac, $42. Packaged in a sleek black box with a sequined faux-belt, this beaded kit would look adorable tucked into your little black clutch " after all, it already looks like a purse. Lorac founder Carol Shaw and a handful of Hollywood stylists collaborated on the product and its stylish packaging, coupled with rosy blush and neutral eyeshadows, are bound to make you feel like a star. One drawback is, unlike other palettes, this kit is missing a product for your lips " a real shame considering Lorac boasts some of the best lip tints and glosses around. But lipstick-free girls will appreciate the larger sizes of eyeshadow and blush.

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