Is high-end makeup overly hyped?

/ Wednesday, March 28, 2012 /
Lately I've been thinking about all of the Urban Decay reformulations and new releases. Each of the new individual Urban Decay single eyeshadows is a whopping $18.

Yeah, I know. $18.

I know that high-end makeup is generally considered to have higher quality than drugstore makeup, and there is lots of research that goes into makeup in general. But the thing is, drugstore makeup companies are also doing research and are making new reformulations and stuff like that. But those products are being sold at prices that are affordable to the general public, and they are still making a profit.

Some people say that a lot of people buy high-end makeup and end up returning it due to allergies and stuff, and so that drives up the price of the makeup. But the thing is, people do that to drugstore makeup too, and it is still being sold and is making a profit. After all, the cheapest of the cheapest, ELF and Wet N' Wild, have things sold even at $1 each, and they ARE making a profit. After all, if they weren't, they wouldn't have been around for as long as they have; even with the sunk investments and everything in place, right?

I just wish that makeup could be more affordable for everyone.

Take for instance Hard Candy. It was originally released as a high-end brand, but couldn't compete with other companies that were already established in the market (e.g. Urban Decay, TokiDoki, Smashbox, Stila, etc), so it underwent some revamping for a few years and re-emerged at Walmart as a drugstore brand. And it's doing absolutely FINE. It's making a profit. And the company is still the same company that it used to be, just some reformulations, but still, the essence of the product is still the same as what was originally sold in a Sephora just a few years before.

What is going on?

I personally just wish that overly hyped makeup, the ones that are so constantly advertised in department stores, could be sold at more affordable prices. I barely make splurges and rarely shop at Sephora, even though I love the store, because of the prices. In fact, for the last few times I went, the only reason I actually bought something was because I got a gift card from there. As a college student who is about to go into even more debt in the next couple of years because of med school, I can't afford to splurge on things like this, even if I like it. In fact, I have to constantly think of ways to save money. Even if my mother might like buying high-end makeup. Going to sales to buy clothes and accessories. Buying jewelry from Forever21 even though after just a few months of wear, my ears (and sensitive skin) become allergic to it, so that I have to retire it. 

I'm not trying to adopt a deprecating attitude toward drugstore makeup brands; I think some of them are quite wonderful. Everyone has to make an honest profit, or else it wouldn't be worth even putting in your time to be in the industry. But ultimately, what is the difference between a CoverGirl eyeshadow single (~$3) and an Estee Lauder eyeshadow single ($20)?



{ Hannah } on: March 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM said...

Yeah, with the Marketing class I'm taking right now, pricing is just one big bundle of frustration. :c

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