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Just_Justine's avatar

Do you think you get what you pay for in a cosmetic product?

Asked by Just_Justine (6486points) March 28th, 2010

I tend to buy more expensive shampoo for example. Do you think paying more means you get a better product?

That would also go for things like face creams, and other cosmetic products. I would also love to have a go at a “product share” if you have experienced a good performing cheap product. I saw on Youtube the other day a woman saying VO5 was just as good as her expensive shampoo.
Or even clothes, does paying more mean you get better quality?

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41 Answers

chelle21689's avatar

It can be but not always. I know that Mary Kay makeup is definitely not worth it and is super over priced. Maybelline is a pretty good makeup line and it is affordable. I would say it depends, you’d just have to test it out.

susanc's avatar

Clothes yes. Cosmetics sometimes. I just read an article in something like VOGUE (of all things) which showed that someone did a study on skincare. Crisco was exactly as effective as the $175/ounce stuff. Come on.

Just_Justine's avatar

@susanc I get so frustrated when I have never heard the product name. I think you guys in the USA have such a broad choice. Lucky. I once read ingredients were the most important thing in a skin care. I used a (I know this sounds mad) “a type of heel balm” for my face. My skin looked great!!

Violet's avatar

I use Clinique, and it’s worth every penny. I also buy salon brand hair products. “Professional products are not sold to the mass market by manufacturers. They get there by shady dealings, and the consumer ends up paying the price.”

@chelle21689 I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but Maybelline has a really gross ingredients. I hope you’re not a vegetarian. Let’s just say, I have a friend who installed machines at a slaughter house..

cazzie's avatar

I’ve become allergic to all sorts of stuff, so I had to study what the heck was in it.
Moisturisers and ‘wrinkle creams’ are a complete rip off.
Have a look at this lady’s site.. she has her own stuff,... but she has some good information on ingredients and the myths behind them.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Violet do you use their skin care range? Interesting I’ve never thought about using Clinique. Here we are very Lancome pro. I want to ask your age range but guess that is rude here? A friend of mine also swears by Clinique.

ragingloli's avatar

Two words: Snake Oil.

Violet's avatar

@Just_Justine their skin care range? Do you mean their 3-step? I have contact dermatitis, so I have to be careful with what I use. My dermatologist approves of Clinique and also Dermalogica. I’m 26.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Not really, I it depends on what kind of brand you buy…you could buy in like bonus ( like maybe Walmart there in the US.), where you buy food and stufff. There are alot of things you would go for in like a beauty salon or shop to buy which you can always buy in bonus! Just take your time and look, it doesn’t mean that when you buy something expensive then it works perfect. Take the time and experient things then choose which is the best and always use that.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ragingloli I have to laugh, because the origin of snake oil was an honest product that actually did (does) have medicinal value
I decided a long time ago that I get zero value out of most cosmetic products. I do not wear make up of any kind. I used to make my own homemade products, but have since gone back to buying simple, inexpensive soap and shampoo, and that is all.

Just_Justine's avatar

@YARNLADY I like the idea of making my own. Do you have any resources/sites you could point me to?

cazzie's avatar

I made soap and a few other body products. What is it you’re wanting to make?

Just_Justine's avatar

@cazzie I want to make soap and body and skin care, I have been googling but it seems most the sites want you to buy their stuff in order to make the cosmetic.

partyparty's avatar

@cazzie I also am alergic to make up etc. I now use REN Skincare. They also do shampoo. I wonder if you have tried it? All natural products.

Just_Justine's avatar

@partyparty REN is divine, a bit pricey here anyway.

Cruiser's avatar

Paying more in many cases you are getting better quality and by this I mean “more” ingredients that may or may not enhance the actual overall cleanliness of your hair. More is hardly ever “better” these more ingredients are there just to get you to pay more fore these more ingredients. Plus high end “poos” are smaller production runs than a Suave line which can be much of the reason for the big price difference. After all is said and done it is what makes you feel best is what matters…showers are for me the best part of the day and a shampoo that adds to that experience is worth every penny.

partyparty's avatar

@Just_Justine You in the USA or UK etc?

Just_Justine's avatar

South Africa :)

thriftymaid's avatar

No. Think about it, $19 toner is witch hazel.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

I spend almost zero on cosmetic products. I don’t notice much (any?) difference with the expensive name brands. The last shampoo I purchased was White Rain on sale for $0.69 at a drug store. I don’t use any face creams, etc and I have never had any skin problems. My largest cosmetic expense is Mach 3 Turbo blades for the razor. I spend more on razor blades than all other cosmetic supplies combined.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I think it depends on the reputation and professional research of the manufacturer. But sometime,price will define how a good a product is. In order to make a better product with magnificent result will always demand greater cost. I think I’ve got everything I wanted from my trusted products. I use a set of different product(but from the same manufacturer,‘The Body Glove’) from each of my body parts. They’re all natural and safe.

cazzie's avatar

I’m in Norway. PM me if you want some tips on do it yourself websites and some ingredient tips.

My hair takes a horrible beating this climate and my shocking diet. This winter, my dandruff shampoo didn’t make a bit of difference on my scalp and my hair is all broken… I have to cut it and have a ‘do-over’ I get welts on my head from most shampoos (yes, I’ve tried EVERYTHING.. baby shampoos, pure and natural ones, without SLSs etc) and need something really simple. There was a generic grocery store shampoo that worked really good, but they stopped making it (of course). For me, it’s not so much what’s IN the stuff, it’s what ISN’T in the stuff that makes it work for me.

Price has more to do with the marketing of a product than what is in it. I buy ingredients from some of the same companies that are on the chemist’s shelves. I know how much the chemicals and additives cost. When you pay a high price, 99.99% of the time, it’s for the packaging and the marketing.

susanc's avatar

@Just_Justine – whatever inspired you to use a “type of heel balm” on your face? oh lordy lordy – you forced me to laugh out loud on this one.

Just_Justine's avatar

@susanc loll. Well it was a dry skin treatment too, but yeah also used on heels. People started commenting on my skin. It was also used for bumps rashes, hives and so on. My meds were causing them, all these skin ailments to pop up so I was prescribed it. I really must find it, it is somewhere around my home.

TheBot's avatar

The marketing concept is called price-quality inference. Higher price => Better quality. The more technically complex the product, the higher this effect. So beware, for shampoos, which most people don’t really understand, marketers probably overprice their products quite often, just to make them appear better.

If you’re looking for a high quality product, I would assume for shampoos your best bet is to find something adapted to your hair type,and as natural in terms of ingredients as possible. Not that I am an organic all-natural freak, but sometimes the artificial chemicals are too strong and can irritate your scalp.

nikipedia's avatar

A stylist at a salon once told me that cheap shampoos and conditioners have a lot of wax in them as a filler, so you get less actual product and it slowly adds waxy buildup to your hair.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’ve used it to justify buying salon-quality conditioner for years.

Trillian's avatar

I buy the Bare Mineral makeup and I feel like I definitely get my moneys worth.

Facade's avatar

Higher price ≠ better product. I buy inexpensive natural and organic products, and they are of high quality. The majority of products that are inorganic are crap to me anyways. I don’t care how much they cost.

phillis's avatar

Hmmm…..I had to pay $8.99 for a lip liner color today because there wasn’t anything comparable that matched my skin tone in the less expensive brands. I got exactly .009 oz. (.25 gram) of product for my money. Let’s do the math.

Per standard unit of weight for the US and British Imperial, 1 oz. equals 28.35 grams. We’ll stick with round numbers, leaving off the extra .35 grams for simplicity’s sake (that’s a lot of lip liner pencils, since these are only .25 grams each).

At .25 grams, it would take 4 of these lip liner pencils to get me 1 lousy gram of product.

1 lousy gram would cost me $35.96.

Multiply one gram of product ($35.96) times 28 grams to make only an ounce of this product, and you get (are you ready?)


Gold is at $900.00 right now, even though a troy ounce is three grams less. We didn’t even include the entire gram weight per ounce, nor the TAXES ASSESSED.

Do YOU think women are getting thier money’s worth?

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I like St. Ives. It’s not that expensive.

funkytown444's avatar

Not always, most of the pricing you pay for in expensive products are for marketing/advertising. There are some inexpensive products that work just as well. But people buy for different reasons. Often times when people buy expensive, its a way to experiment with the product since testers are more readily available. Or its a matter of how the product makes you feel emotionally. I like some cosmetics because it helps me feel better about myself in regards to what i use. Some of the various products you are comparing each other to are from the same manufacture! We have a hair product distribution company in our state that not only produces high end salon products but the cheap over the counter stuff too! I wonder if its the same product but different packaging and/or bottle?

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

You could gwet a book on how to make spa remedies. They do work. You can make your own shampoo, contidtioner, toothpaste, face masks, lip balms.

cazzie's avatar

I have ingredients to make the hair conditioner… I just haven’t tried it yet. I don’t have any preservative, so I need to make it up only as I need it and maybe keep it in the fridge.

I make salt scrubs, body butter, solid lotion bars and soaps of all sorts. I also have the stuff to make lip balm and I make a face mask for myself from some lovely clays and essential oils that I should package and sell.

As for makeup pigments, there is a brilliant company in California…

I don’t use them, but I’d sure like to. They have some very cool stuff.

jca's avatar

i have been buying my shampoo from Whole Foods, 32 oz for $5 (used to be $4 but inflation has inflated it). it’s lavender and it smells great. i had bought Avalon Organic Lavender for $15 at Costco (costs way more at Whole Foods) but the Whole Foods Brand, called 365, is just as good.

i buy eyeliner from the dollar store, Maybelline eye shadow, and Loreal mascara. i had read that Loreal is owned by Lancome, and i think i checked the package and it’s true. the book i got that info from stated that therefore, if you buy Loreal you’re getting equivalent to Lancome. I wear sunscreen every day, i think it’s Olay brand, i get it at Costco, two bottles for like $15. i put a little on each day, rub in all over my face.

i would love to learn how to make soap and give it as gifts. As for soap I use i buy all kinds, usually unusual varieties because i like to try different things, not “drug store” soap, but unique things from Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

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meagan's avatar

Alright. Yeah, I’m a brand whore. I’ve said it. I’m basically a shopaholic and love spending money on cosmetics especially. I just bought a lot of MAC. I really do feel like its a lot nicer than what you can buy in the drugstore, it lasts longer, really holds up, etc. And the colors are AMAZING. You can get so many different shades to compliment your skin color rather than just.. a small palette of shades someone thought “every woman” could use.
I recently tried out some really nice Chanel lipstick and nail polish. It isn’t so expensive if you consider how pigmented it is. A little really gets you a long way. (Btw, the Chanel order came complimentary free shipping and with two free samples. Thats really a bang for your buck deal :P)

By the way, the woman that works at my salon says that a lot of the shampoos make your hair “shiny” by basically coating it with some weird form of wax. Never use pantene! And I think youre supposed to switch up brands every few months to stop build up or something like that.

john65pennington's avatar

My wife tells me the only thing she receives from these high-priced cosmetic items is a cash register paid receipt that pays for their commercials. i agree.

desiree333's avatar

It always depends on the product. For example I splurge on things like foundation, moisturizers, and eyeshadow. The quality of drugstore products as opposed to department store makeup (ex. MAC, Clinique) can vary greatly. However, there are some things that you can buy cheaper and receive the same level of quality. I find this to be true in mascaras, face cleansers, and eyeliner.

Are you wondering about a specific product? I might be able to offer some insight on what is worth it to splurge on.

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