You get what you pay for, or so “they” say. Who is “they” anyway?? Yes, there is some truth to this old adage, but there are also a few loopholes. Buying makeup is one of these little loopholes, to a point. I specifically want to talk about lipstick here. Does shelling out 50$ for a designer lipstick get you more than a 6$ drugstore brand?? Yes…and no. A fancy designer label certainly ups the cost drastically, but according to Danny Griffin (VP of product development at Kevyn Aucoin) the higher end products tend to outperform their drugstore end counterparts because they can afford a more vast array of specialty ingredient options that you pay for when purchasing high end.
Further elaborating, Griffin says “the biggest difference between a more expensive versus a less expensive product will always be the quality and uniqueness of ingredients used”. Makes sense right?! High end manufacturers and product developers are turning towards unique extracts, butters and skin care technologies to make superior products. Just like shopping for all organic foods can cost you a little more in the long run, you are also paying for the benefit of more all natural ingredients when you hand over that 50$ for Tom Ford’s latest tube. Cheaper lipsticks typically contain more synthetic ingredients, as they are greatly mass produced. So besides having that cute little YSL logo embedded on your lipstick tube, you are also paying for ingredients, manufacturing costs, import costs and so on and so forth.
You also need to consider how a lipstick looks and feels when purchasing. As a makeup artist I am always talking about the color payout I receive from a given product. One of the questions I receive a lot is why don’t I just use MAC, or why don’t I just use Smashbox. Truth is, while I do consider the cost of my investments, and the ultimate return I will receive, I also take careful consideration picking products from a variety of lines that I feel will give me the best of what that type of product should do. I prefer Urban Decay shadows for their payout, but MAC shadows for their feel. I like Smashbox primers, but I use a lot of NYX lipsticks because they have amazing color payout and longevity. As you can see I don’t favor one brand over one other brand. My goal is to provide a client with the best service possible, and to do that I need to know what works best (which involves a lot of trial and error). Point of all that is to encourage you to choose what is right for you, without either selling yourself short or breaking the bank. Longevity of a product, in terms of how long your lipstick will last once you apply, usually has to do with additives within the lipstick. Additional ingredients like argon oil or retinol will impact the durability and bonus benefits of a product. If you pick up a 2$ wet’n wild at Walgreens (which we’ve all done, nothing wrong with it), you’re more likely to reapply during the day than you would with let’s say, a 15$ MAC shade.
So what does it all boil down to??
Don’t let pretty packaging be what sells you. I know that’s hard to do, I’m often guilty of it myself. Look for quality ingredients. Try to avoid too many synthetic ingredients; you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have brightly colored, cakey lips. Consider your budget, it’s possible one MAC lipstick will outlive 3 tubes of a drugstore brand. I usually stay in the NYX/MAC zone, that’s what works for me. Although, a little pretty splurge never hurts 😉
Does paying more really get you more??
Usually, but not always. Now, pucker up.