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Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good
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Gleamy skin. Bright eyes. Dewy lips. Glittery lids. A dream board for holiday party makeup…or just another day in the life of makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. On Instagram, she dabs on sparkly shadows and shimmery highlighters and models a range of looks that transition from bold liquid liners to powdery matte crimson lipsticks to pared-down soft-focus skin for her close to 59K followers.

With such a range, it made me wonder what her makeup kit looked like, and moreover, which products she would really fork over her own cash for. After all, as the end of the year draws nearer and you begin thinking about how to start anew, there’s something that feels really fresh about the idea of buying less, but buying better. And nowhere does that feel more cathartic than a gaping-at-the-seams collection of eyeshadows and lipsticks.

So in the name of knowing how to best optimize a buck, I put Hughes on a budget and asked her how she’d spend $100 on Instagram-beloved products. Because by knowing how to budget ahead of the holidays, and which products are really worth the moola, you can take a big stressor off the table and instead focus on the good-vibes, and self-confidence boost that a swirl of blush or a swipe of lipstick can provide.

Keep reading to find out how Hughes would spend $100 on beauty products.

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Katie Jane Hughes
Photo: Lano Lips

Lano 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm, $17

“I always have one of these in my bag and I put it all over! Not only do I use it on my dry cuticles and elbows, I also apply it to my eyelids for a glossy look, and before doing my makeup, I also press it onto my lips,” Hughes says. “By the time I finish my face and eyes, my lips are ready for smooth lipstick application. And before bed, I also slather it on my lips and wake up with a seriously plumped pout.”

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Photo: Weleda

Weleda Skin Food, $13

“This is an all-natural multi-use product every woman should have, regardless of age, skin tone or type,” she says. “Here are a few, of many, ways I use it: apply a thin layer under full coverage foundation, slather on a thick layer to treat dry or rough patches, and dab it on as an in-flight, 10-minute, or overnight mask.”

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Katie Jane Hughes
Photo: Glossier

Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18

“I use this product like a tinted moisturizer, instead of a spot concealer,” explains Hughes. “I buff it around my nose, eyes, and chin with a kabuki brush and treat it like a full complexion product. Plus, it has a glow to it, so it never looks dry on the face.”

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Katie Jane Hughes
Photo: Ardell

Ardell Stroke A Brow Feathering Pen in Soft Black, $10

“When filling in brows, I prefer ashy tones, like this one in Soft Black,” Hughes suggests. “The trick is to hold the product with a light grip and draw very gentle strokes in the same direction that your hair grows.”

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Katie Jane Hughes
Photo: Farmacy

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, $34

“Starting with my eyes, I massage a quarter-size all over my face and remove with a wash cloth. It will erase makeup whether the cloth is hot or cold, but the whole sensation changes depending on the temperature. For a deep comforting cleanse, go with warm water. For a refreshing, pore-tightening effect, cold it is,” she says. “Fun fact: Whitney Port once told me to make the cloth as cold as I could tolerate to look taut and sculpted. Ever since then, I’ve made it freezing.”

For more smart makeup tips from the pros, check out how Jessa Blades genius concealer trick and here’s how a celebrity makeup artist fakes fuller brows