For the last 10 years, I have bought my cosmetics from a makeup artist in a cosmetics studio. My sister has been going to him for 20. He sells the private label stuff and they are much less than the what the department store sells. I'm not trying to be "chi chi foo foo" or anything, but I do feel that I get my money's worth when I go to him. He has models, beauty queens and commoners like my sister and me.
The advantage is that he works with us and tries out new colors and techniques that are flattering and the atmosphere is low key and no pressure like the department stores. The sales people remind me of a bunch of vultures. He runs sales periodically and sends promotions to come in and try the new colors of the season. I have never bought anything from him that hasn't worked and sits unused in a drawer.
Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.