"Do I really need that?" Now listen, I get it. We all want to save money and certainly don't want to spend money on something we don't need. But there are a few things that the girls behind that makeup counter may recommend that you should probably consider buying.
The number one complaint among women that were either customers of mine when I worked as a beauty adviser, women I know, or women I've done makeup for is that the makeup never ever looks the same once they go home. They decide its the makeup artist's special skills that make it look how it does and last and that it's impossible to recreate at home. While skills, talent, and practice do make a difference, it is possible to create long-lasting, quality looks at home ... when you use the right products!
Have you noticed your beauty advisers always use a primer? Face primer, eye shadow primer, even lip primers sometimes? It's really not for shits and giggles, ladies. It's like a base coat. Your face, along with the rest of your skin, has pores. Sweat comes out, moisturizer goes in. Well apply foundation directly to your skin without a primer and guess what?! That gets absorbed too! And beyond that causing clogged pores and breakouts, your makeup doesn't last as long as it should and looks uneven, not to mention you'll end up using more to get closer to that look you wanted, which will cancel out what you would have "saved" by not buying primer. Eye shadow primer? Ever apply eye shadow that looks pigmented in the container, but disappears on your eyelid? Feel like your eye shadow looks great in the morning, but come lunch time disappeared? You should have primed, silly!
Also, yes, we really do use brushes. And I know lots of makeup artists on TV (QVC, HSN, etc.) say you don't really need brushes, but I disagree. Your fingers are skin and therefore absorb makeup so you waste. More importantly, they are skin so they secrete oils, messing with the quality and formula of your makeup and add bacteria to your foundation bottle and face. Sponges also absorb so that wastes makeup, but sponges also give and uneven distribution. When you first apply the sponge to your face you get a decent distribution of makeup, but as you drag away and the sponge absorbs, you're coverage is uneven. They also are used and reused, face to makeup bottle over and over. BACTERIA HAVEN! Not to mention you probably store them in the closet or a makeup bag .. dark and warm, perfect for bacteria. Ew.
I get it though. Money is a real issue today so look into other options. Drug stores and makeup stores, like Ulta and Sephora, sell brushes that are generally less expensive than the makeup counters, but still work great. Same goes for primers. So if you find that you LOVE your makeup when it's done at the counter, but not at home, maybe those products really do make the difference.
Beyond that, keep practicing and trying. Read beauty blogs and watch tutorials on Youtube. You'll get there, gorgeous!