Beauty Money Wasters

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What's in your makeup bag? Probably more than you need. The billion-dollar cosmetic industry is known to preach the value of fancy foundation, eye cream, wrinkle cream - you name it. And more often than not, we buy into it.

To help with the makeup madness, we tapped Desiree Stordahl, co-author of the book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," and a beauty editor for

Stordahl has a list of products that are called "must haves" but are, in fact, money wasters.

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Under Eye Cream

At the top of the list are eye creams. "There's nothing in the research showing your eye needs anything different than the rest of your face," says Stordahl. "The thing with eye creams is that they give you half the amount of product, charge you twice the price and there's nothing better about them. In fact, sometimes they're worse," she says.

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Instead of eye lotion, stick with face lotion but a particular kind. Stordahl suggest using a product with retinol, antioxidants, niacinamide and ceramides. "You want a potent blend of these ingredients that have been proven to make a difference in skin," she says. "We're talking about peer-reviewed published research, not studies that the companies put out there." According to Stordahl, the best ingredients are highly sensitive to air and light. Look for a lotion with opaque, airtight packaging - not a jar that will expose the product to air and light regularly.

Designer-Label Lipstick and Eye Shadow

Next, she says skip designer-brand lipstick and eye shadows. You can save a ton at the drugstore and get essentially the same quality. For example, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain costs $32. A very similar L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain goes for just $10. And guess what: L'Oreal owns YSL and both lipsticks have the exact same ingredient list, she says. You can also save by avoiding upscale eye shadows that often have the same ingredients as their drugstore counterparts, as well.

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Now, you can get away with buying most makeup at your local drugstore but what about the all-important foundation? "Generally there aren't testers at the drugstore," says Stordahl. "That would be one area where I might splurge at the department store so you can get a good color match." If you want to get the drugstore price for your foundation, she says you're not completely out of luck, however. Most major stores will allow cosmetic returns after you've tested it, if you're not satisfied.

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Conditioners & Split End Repair

The hair industry is rife with myths about what your hair does and doesn't need. The biggest complaint many women have is related to split ends but, according to Stordahl, no one particular product is the silver bullet, so avoid paying more for false promises. From Kerastase Paris, there's their Chroma Riche conditioner at $61. On the lower end, she recommends L'Oreal's $6 Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm - it's one-sixth the price and has a nearly identical ingredient list. "I put one on one half of my head and the other on another half," says Stordahl. "I did it for a week to see if there were any differences. Absolutely not!"

What are some other beauty money wasters? Connect with me @Farnoosh, and use the #finfit.