Splurge vs. Save: Vol. I, No. One


When it comes to eye color, I have a tendency to get sucked in by the pretty packaging and the hype.  This Naked 3 Palette and its Urban Decay brethren are gorgeous, but at $54, they’re pricey.  These CoverGirl TruMatch palettes are a much more affordable $13.

Verdict. Don’t splurge, get beautiful eye color for less.


Casual jackets to wear on the weekends are always in season.  While this Barbour Bartlett jacket or a Burberry Ashurst jacket are splurge-worthy options, this $99 L.L. Bean jacket more than holds its own.

Plus-size?  This Calvin Klein jacket is worth a look.  Petite? L.L. Bean has an option for you.


If you’re in the market for a sexy, flirty sandal, a fringed and tasseled sandal is the way to go.  These Aquazurra ‘Wild Thing’ Sandals are a pure dream.  For something on the affordable side, these Ivanka Trump Hettie Sandal has all the details without the high price.  Need something even more affordable?  Missguided has a lovely taupe heel for $51.

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  1. Yael @ Nosherium says:

    I love the colors of those eyeshadow palettes but I’m still in love with the Lancome Audacity palette. I don’t have to use primer and the colors stay all day. I got rid of all my other eyeshadows to justify the expense!

    February 16, 2016/Reply
  2. LS says:

    I also found the Naked palette was pretty fragile and started to crumble and go EVERYWHERE within weeks.

    February 16, 2016/Reply
  3. Jo says:

    I bought this palette on birchbox and adore it, It’s a nice inbetween at $20 for a large palette. the colors are very pigmented- they last:

    February 16, 2016/Reply
  4. Valerie says:

    Re: eyeshadow, I love the rainbow of colors in a palette at first, but then I only end up using two or three of the shades. The best quality set I’ve bought is the NARS “Duo Eyeshadow,” which comes in multiple color pairings. At $35, It’s a bit pricier than the Cover Girl set, but it’s lasted me a long time and fits easily into travel makeup bags.

    If you’re looking for other mid-priced palettes with more shades (and better quality than the Cover Girl palette), I’ve heard good things about the Clinique “All About Shadow,” which is $36 and comes in different sets of 8 colors:

    February 16, 2016/Reply
  5. Jenn S. says:

    It is rare that I find myself disagreeing with you, but I’m pro-Naked. That said, I’m pro-Naked, not pro-Naked3. I think after Naked2 they’re getting a bit superfluous, recycling the same idea again and again (like the Vice palettes…)

    This is also based on the (now outdated, admittedly) observation that drugstore shadow palettes just aren’t quite as high quality. I’m not an exclusive Sephora shopper, but quality shadows are one thing I will invest in. I’ve had my (original) Naked palette for almost two years with regular use and I’ve had no issues with fragility or shattering.

    Of course, we all have our own priorities – so it isn’t to say the drugstore choice is a bad choice. 🙂 It’s just important to have realistic expectations of your purchases.

    February 16, 2016/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Naked3 definitely doesn’t work for everybody, but it’s my holy grail of eye shadows. I’m pretty pale with a blueish/pink complexion but with warmer undertones, cool shades tend to look goth on me and warmer shades tend to look too yellow/orange. The rose-gold hues in Naked3 are PERFECT. I use almost every color. The darker colors are great for lining, but even the third and fourth from the right look great over the entire lid (my lid is darker/purple-ish). With the exception of a matte black I sometimes (very rarely) use as a liner and a shimmery white highlight shade, I pretty much only use my Naked3.

      February 16, 2016/Reply
      • Jenn S. says:

        I’ve got to admit that Blackheart is pretty gorgeous. Wet a brush and apply it as eyeliner that way? Oh man.

        February 16, 2016/Reply
    • LS says:

      I agree with you, too. Buying a Naked palette was a huge splurge, but the shadow quality is significantly better than the drugstore brands I used before.

      February 16, 2016/Reply
      • Jenn S. says:

        Right. Quality is better, which means a little goes a really long way. For me personally, it’s a better value (I could wear Smog every day forever). For people who want variety in their shadows colors, maybe drugstore shadows like the ones Belle mentioned, Coastal Scents, or Morphe make better options.

        February 16, 2016/Reply
  6. Michaela says:

    Just want to say that I love this post. I appreciate that you took the time to find real alternatives to the brands many of us covet; though the comments make it clear that Naked3 didn’t get it’s reputation for nothing, not everyone will spend $54 on eyeshadow.

    I’d love a post or recommendations of tutorials for how to use a palette like this, I have one but I’m really not sure how to do an office appropriate eye when there’s so many sparkles…

    February 16, 2016/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I only have Naked3, but it has a few matte colors and some with a slight shimmer. I use those colors alone and just sweep them over my lid. I don’t remember what they’re called but the purpley browns that are 3-5 from the right look nice by themselves in the winter. But I think all of the non-sparkly ones look professional on their own. If anything, I take some of the very lightest color and use it to blend around my brown bone. I don’t do anything fancy for work.

      February 17, 2016/Reply