$PEND-O-METER: Steals and Splurges

When it comes to the trends of the season, we always promote experimentation.  To save you the legwork, we’ve pulled out our $pend-O-Meter and honed in on the hottest beauty gems that are worth the splurge and the steals you can’t afford to miss.

Color Blocking Palettes – You've probably heard this term tossed around, but if you are still in the dark, let us break it down for you: Color Blocking is essentially blocks of solid colors put together.  Seems pretty simply, right?  Get ready because you have no idea just how pretty it can get...
Splurge: Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette – $95.00 at
Palettes are a great way to add color diversity to your beauty routine.  MUFE has packed their rich, creamy color blocks into a vibrant palette, so let your creativity run wild.  With twelve different hues, there are unlimited opportunities to create personalized eye shadows, blushs and lip colors.
Insider Tip: Less is more – a tiny bit of the creamy color goes a long way.

Steal: mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes All Over Face Palette  $16 at
Get the most bang for your buck with this multi-tasking face palette.  This avant-garde block combines 9 color cubes for long-lasting luminosity - that averages out to only $1.77 per square!  Sweep the shades on your lids or dab on your cheeks for a soft, warm glow. 
Insider Tip: Double the fun by adding a drop of water to the palette to transform the powder into deeper pigments.

Fragrance Fete – Scent and memory are closely associated, so when picking a perfume always choose a light, delicate smell that evokes uplifting feelings – and avoid cheap, counterfeit perfumes that call to mind the frustration of walking behind tourists on 33rd Street and Broadway (aka counterfeit perfume central).
Splurge: Clive Christian ‘No. 1’ Pure Perfume (1 oz.) – $2,350 at
Yes, you read that right - at over $2,300 this scent has been deemed "the world's most expensive perfume".  Originally developed for Queen Victoria, this scent embraces both tradition and modernity.  It gets the jaw-dropping price tag because it was created without reference to cost, and therefore has the finest, rarest, most precious ingredients.  Leave the handmade lead crystal bottle (which of course, has a single brilliant cut diamond in gold collar) on your vanity as a conversation piece – well, more realistically just leave the link open on your web browser and tell your friends how you can’t wait to buy it when it is no longer backordered…at least that is closer to the truth.

Steal: philosophy amazing grace spray fragrance (2 oz)  $40 at
We hate when you can smell someone’s pungent perfume before you see them, so in the search for our steal, we were quickly amazed by philosophy.  This uniquely feminine blend of soft, floral blossoms is a gentle caress of fragrance that won’t enter the room before you do.  This is easily one of the more recognizable scents, and for a while it was the number on selling fragrance in Sephora.  So while you probably won’t be the only one in the office wearing it, at least you can agree that you all have good taste.

Express Yourself – When Madonna came out with Express Yourself, we think she was talking about the nail art trend.  We love nail laquer, so when she sang, “don’t go for second best, baby…” we decided to put our love to the test and found the perfect polishes that will “let you know your love is real.”

Splurge: Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday  $18 at
We like a little sparkle, but we love a lot of sparkle – so you can see why we’ve fallen in love with this celebration in a bottle.  We are crazy about the rainbow assortment of glitter because you can match it to literally any outfit.  The one downside to the glitter party is that it is extremely hard to get off – so get ready to soak your hands in nail polish remover, followed by some hard scrubbing.

Steal: Nails Inc Camden Crackle Top Coat – $10 at
This British brand has finally crossed the pond to provide outrageous nail effects to the Yanks. We poured over the wide variety of options in the aisle, then decided tackled the crackle.  We were amazed how quickly we saw results.  Simply add one coat on top of a solid base, an watch the pop of pizzazz materialize on your paws.  
Insider Tip: Experiment with painting in different directions to maximize the special effects.  

Hair Repair – One of the most obvious elements of A-Lister beauty is a thick, full mane of healthy, gorgeous hair.  While many stars have their own personal hair stylists, don't feel like you can achieve the look at home.
Splurge: Black 15-in-1 Miracle Hair Treatment– $20 at
Ever wish for a magic potion to transform fried, frizzy hair into romantic, luscious locks?  This high-end hybrid instantly replenishes hair as it styles.  It is an instant multi-tasking wonder product that has fifteen different benefits including boosting shine, repairing damage and enhancing natural body – the list goes on (and on and on…). This type-a, overachiever is loved by a-list stars including Ashlee Simpson, Odette Yustman and Vanessa Minnillo - that's some good inspiration.

Steal: Finesse Clean & Simple Hypoallergenic Shampoo + Conditioner – $4 each at
Sometimes the key contributor to oily hair is a sensitive scalp.  What happens is that scaly dandruff “crumbs” get trapped in the follicles, causing the particles to settle under the surface and become irritated and itchy.   You’ll then find yourself scratching your head, adding extra dirt and oil to the problem.  Wipe the slate clean with Finesse – we recommend using both the shampoo and conditioner to see maximum results.  Try using it at least three times a week for shiny, clean, beautiful hair that cascades into a sexy wave when you shake your head.

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