Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Illamasqua’s Australia Fight for a Fair Beauty Price

We are Illamasqua and we are making a stand against the global giants of cosmetics, who force Australian customers to pay up to 61% more than UK prices. It’s entirely unjust that a woman in the UK pays just $24 for a lipstick, while a woman in Australia has to pay $40 for exactly the same product.

Illamasqua is an independent British colour cosmetics brand and, in the short time we’ve retailed in Australia, we’ve heard time and again your frustration over the inflated pricing of cosmetics compared to the rest of the world.

We have listened and want to slash our prices across our range in Australia. But first we need you to demonstrate to the industry that if we can make this change happen, you’ll commit to buying our products. So please sign your name, make your mark, tell your friends, clench your fist and cry “hell no!”

Learn more about the campaign here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

123 thoughts on “Illamasqua’s Australia Fight for a Fair Beauty Price

  1. Ice

    It’s not even funny how much I love them for this. They did the same in Croatia (albeit quietly, they just appeared with their prices matching the UK ones), which currently puts their products about half the price of similar range cosmetics. Hell, I just recently bought my first Estee Lauder product when Sephora had its first (and only, if I remember correctly) 50% off sale. So I paid “only” 20$ for a product that costs 22$ in the US.Due to this policy they have me buying one product each salary I get, just to thank them. :P

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

      That’s really awesome of you to show your appreciation on a continual basis. What I foresee happening, though, is in the beginning, Australian women will be excited over this, many will probably go for a large haul, and then the purchases will slow way down. I’m quite sure many will “commit” to the supporting the effort, with good intentions, but won’t follow through. I’m not saying this as an insult, but that really is just human nature, and I truly commend you for making and honoring your commitment.

      • Ice

        xamyx Well, thanks, but trust me on this, it’s not HARD to buy Illamasqua stuff on a regular basis. :P Their products and colours really do rub all the right spots with me, so buying only ONE item is the problem here. :PBut still, looking at it like this: Illamasqua prices are out there with Chanel and alike (20-30$ lipsticks, for instance), but over here, Illamasqua is pretty much half the price of a Chanel lipstick even though, quality wise, they’re around the same (I can’t comment specifically as I’ve never tried a Chanel lipstick, for instance, but from what I’ve been reading around the net). Hell, Illamasqua lipstick is around 20$ here, while Max Factor (Covergirl across the pond, from what I’ve gathered) lipsticks are around 15$ and up.No, they don’t need to HAVE committed customers, but let’s face it, price/value ratio is unbeatable in this case.While I don’t have MAC around here (closest one is good 18h by train from me), MAC lipsticks in Europe were 20€ last time I checked (25$), which currently puts them above Illamasqua. And if they’re 40$ in Australia (ouch!), it really boils down to the consumer deciding what to do with their money.(Sorry for an essay, ugh. I should learn the value of words.)

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Adeline SpiceDropBlog

    Thats really cool of Illamasqua, I’ve always felt bad for the poor chicks in aussieland with those prices. 

  3. Dinitchka

    I had seen some chatting on here from people in Australia about the high price of make-up but I never knew how MUCH of a price hike these make-up buyers had to pay. This is unacceptable in my eyes.
    Thanks for posting this information Christine!
    Does anyone know ‘who’ sets the prices?

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Anisa LOLARIS

      Dinitchka I’m also curious how come the prices in Aussie got so jacked up. I don’t live there, nor have I been there, but reading Aussies chicks’ blogs always arouse my curiosity on the crazy pricing there.

      • Abbyu

        LOLARIS It might be because of shipping (which I somehow doubt, a lot of these brands are international), or maybe tariffs on imports to encourage people to buy local? Either way, I do admire Illamasqua for being willing to take a hit to their profits so their customers don’t have to pay more just because they live in a different part of the world.

      • LOLARIS I have heard that they charge 35% luxury tax on cosmetics, but that still doesn’t explain why a US$26 NARS blush sells for AU$62 in Australia — while the AUD was stronger, no less! :/

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin baby in a corner

          It seems like it might be a combination of tax and shipping to a certain extent at least. Like most of the cosmetics are probably made in Europe or the US.  It is a 24 hour flight to Australia from Europe and probably similar from the US, while it is only a 6 hour flight to Ireland from the east coast of the US!

        • baby in a corner Then why is it that cosmetics are sold for less in neighboring Asian countries like Indonesia or Malaysia? Not to mention, many European brands actually charge equal or less in the US than what they charge in their own country.I’m sure taxes and shipping are the justification they use, but something tells me that they charge that much only because they can. -.-

      • jilliant

        LOLARIS I think its a hang over from like 5yrs+ ago when the USD/AUD exchange rate was 56c, so back then charging double for everything was fine.Also, i’m pretty sure theres not luxury tax on cosmetics – the tariff plus get is 15%

        • @jilliant The 35% tax is just something I heard from someone working a counter at Myer’s, so I personally cannot confirm this.The change in exchange rate was one of my theories as well, but seeing that many brands charge like 300% US retail price, I really wonder if that’s the reason.It was a HUGE shock when I first moved to Australia and seeing those prices. And I thought Indonesian prices weren’t fair compared to US prices. x_X

    • Dinitchka

      I understand about tarrifs and VATS and all that jazz but how can it double and triple the cost of an item?
      I know understand from reading these posts why non American’s load up on stuff when they come to the States. I always wondered why people would come here to buy a few drug store cosmetic items or splurge at Ulta or Sephora. NOW I get it.
      —> For those who buy in the States to take back to your home country, what do you have to declare or do you even declare your goodies? What kind of tarrifs or VAT do you have to pay?

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

        Dinitchka for personal goods the only thing they checked me on was perfume, they just put a little note in my bag that they checked.  Yeah you can stock up on Sephora, not only is it waaay less expensive but also things are not so easily available like in the US.  I brought a 50 pound suitcase full of cosmetics.  

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cecilia amcm

        Dinitchka For Brazil, as long as you’re buying for personal use they won’t charge you.  Electronics and others are what gets taxed the most. I don’t really think they care much about cosmetics. There’s a limit on how much of the same product you can bring in, but it varies by product. You get the risk of getting charged import tax when you buy things online, but sometimes, even paying (it’s at least 60% of the product price, in some states they can add other taxes and increase the price to 80-100%) you can get a product for less that what it costs here.The prices in Brazil are ABSURD. And buying makeup, electronics, or pretty much anything else here is so expensive. It’s mostly because of taxes. That’s why people go to the US and just spluge, like you said. Even in Europe where prices tend to be a bit more expensive, it’s still much cheaper than over here. If we buy with a credit card, there is a ~6% tax charge, but it doesn’t even come close to what you’d pay buying the product here.Just so you can have an idea, all the prices below were taken from the Brazilian Sephora website and converted to USD using a currency converter website.Naked Palette 2 would be 118USD.NARS Blush: 53 USD. MUFE HD Foundation: 83 USD.MAC Lipstick: 37 USD.

      • Vanillasnow

        Dinitchka As a Canadian who typically has “easy access” to most cosmetic brands that are available in the States, I still save up my money to do my huge annual hauls whenever I visit America.  Yes, there’s 3 Sephoras in my city and I can always order online, but why do that when the prices are hiked up 15-30%?  Not only that, but many sales and promotions are not offered here (brand Friends and Family sales) and you cannot buy directly from companies like Tarte, Zoya or Urban Decay because they don’t ship internationally.  Worse, they won’t even accept Canadian credit cards or paypal for purchases to ship within the US.  Companies that do (the Balm) charge an insane shipping fee unless you order a large amount.  As much as I’d love to support the local economy who hire local employees, it’s just much more economical to shop if I plan on visiting the US anyway (although I admit shopping is one of the main reasons I visit).  Friends and Family sales really are named well since I have to get my American friends and family to shop for me and I will either pick it up or pay them to ship it up to me.  This usually saves me anywhere between 20-50% off the Canadian price.   We also don’t have access to discounted items that you can find in American outlets or stores like Marshall’s/TJMaxx.  Given, on a lucky day I might find a few goodies in our local Winners, but it’s nothing like the joy of walking into a CCO and seeing counters of MAC products at 30% cheaper than Canadian prices.  Every time I cross the border, I can easily drop $700+ on cosmetics/skincare alone.  Anything that’s not a gift, I remove the packaging and use it a bit to avoid problems at customs.  It’s just silly that people in the UK have to pay more for brands that came from the UK (nails inc, etc), the Japanese have to pay more for electronics that were designed and manufactured in Japan and Canadians have to pay more for brands like MAC which started off as Canadian.  Oh well, pretty much EVERYTHING is cheaper in the States.  Maybe this has less to do with the rest of the world being jipped, and more so to do with having to lower the prices for the American market.

    • Dinitchka having firneds and family visit Australia everything is tax including tooth past for $16US conversion when the same brand goes for $5US in the US …. >_< Everything inflated also because it’s shipped/aired in which is more expensive then land shipping but the same could be said of the UK.

    • Dinitchka

      It makes me sad to hear that this goes on all over the world. Cosmetics in general should not make a person go for broke, nor should the taxes be so unreasonable that it makes the product cost at least 2xs as much. AND bringing something back into your home country should not be taxed, tarriffed (is that a real word??) or VATed (is that a real word??) for a second time. Here in Oklahoma we have tax on everything but magazines and books. School time is tax free for clothing and some items for school. Everything else (including food) is taxed. I pay 8.375% on everything taxable. Now imagaine paying tax here and then having to pay another tax, tarriff or VAT at home. My goodness, it seems like it’s not even worth it IMO.

  4. Marta

    That’s great, but it’s not only Australia, Eastern Europe pays very high prices as well ( one MAC lipstick is 20 EUR). And with average wages of 600 EUR per month, it it even worse.

    • @Marta MAC lipsticks are around $30 in BOTH Australia and Indonesia, and while people do get paid more in Australia, the average pay in Indonesia is $300 per month or less. The saddest part is that MAC products cost almost as much as L’Oreal in Australia. :/

    • Catherine

      @Marta A mac  lipstick in Australia is $36 AUD, which is 30 Euros or 38 USD. I also think the claim of 61% more is modest – I’ve bought makeup and skincare that is easily 300% more expensive than in the US.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

      @Marta I feel the same way…. in Poland most of the imported cosmetics I’ve seen are really high, if I were to do percentages I’d be no doubt depressed.  

  5. Amanda

    Finally someone is doing something about the ridiculous pricing in Australia. In the short time I’ve been in the US, I’ve noticed that some of the products in Sephora are only a few dollars more than drugstore products back home. This has made my day.

  6. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jeanne jeanniesmiles

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m Australian and I’ve been avoiding buying any imported cosmetics because I know we’re being grossly overcharged here. Even “cheap” brands like Revlon charge $30-$40 for foundation and I know in the US I could get a MAC or a mid-high end foundation for that price! 

  7. LiviaZaugg

    Great petition, but they should consider doing the same for other countries, or maybe other companies should consider doing the same. The situation is unfortunately the exact same in Switzerland. Mac or NYX are usually three or even four times the price in the US. Unacceptable!

  8. Mintgreen

    I would be more impressed if Illamasqua’s shipping cost to Canada wasn’t an outageous 8 pounds 50 for one item. And we can’t order Illamasqua from Sephora because it is “Canada Restricted”. Same goes for US companies like Too Faced and OCC that charge us $15 shipping for one product. When they start charging us the real cost of shipping, I’ll be able to be more enthusiastic about initiatives like this.

    • @Mintgreen I do not blame Illamasqua for the expensive shipping charges whatsoever.  They really do need to send their packages in a trackable format and it’s expensive to do so.  In Canada, it costs almost 15 bucks to send a small packet to Vancouver.  I sell on Etsy and eBay and people complain about my shipping charges all the time, but there is no point to selling if you are losing money on shipping.  Illamasqua also offers  on-line loyalty program where you receive discount coupons for your subsequent purchases.  Also, they offer free shipping for larger orders.  I tend to ‘save’ up my wishlish and then make larger purchases to take advantage of this feature.  Anyhow, I do share your pain, but I think overall Illamasqua is one of the good guys.

  9. Y

    They need to do this for Canada , YSL shadows are $20 cheaper in US! 

  10. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin baby in a corner

    stuff in Ireland is more expensive that the UK but the price differentials are nothing like Australia, they are usually a couple of euro for a product costing say 30E. Are wages in Australia a lot more?

    • IsobelHumphreys

      baby in a corner yes I think, but the cost of living is high as well, everything is expensive

  11. Emmie

    I think it’s great that they’re taking a stand. Cosmetics in Ireland are incredibly expensive and Australia even more so. I do think it’s unfair that their statement is gender exclusive, though. Not everyone who buys and wears makeup identifies as a woman.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

      @Emmie I totally agree, it was in fact a man that introduced me to Illamasqua and I know many makeup lovers of all genders.  

  12. Hannah

    Thank you!!  Aussie prices are ridiculous.  Even Australian drugstore brands (Face of Australia, Australis) are way more than say Revlon or Maybelline is in the States.  It’s truly painful to go makeup shopping in Australia haha especially when you know you could get the same products for less than half the price elsewhere. 

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of AS AS1929

    Hannah at Pollypolish has done a really interesting and detailed analysis of US vs. UK prices for a variety of nail polish brands, including Illamasqua, and has found that even that brand gouges UK customers compared to the US!  http://www.pollypolish.com/are-us-brits-being-taken-for-mugs/

  14. joanatabata

    It’s amazing that Illamasqua is doing this for their Australian customers, hope other brands get to do something similar all around the globe.As far as I know, we don’t have Illamasqua in Brazil, so options are their website, makeup blogs and Mercado Livre (sort of a Brazilian version of eBay), where you can find lipsticks around $40.Sephora just opened their first store here and Urban Decay’s Naked is being sold at $120 -.-“

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Evelyn Evelyn1

    I am curious actually as to why the prices are so high in different places.  Is it really the companies charging more or taxes tacked on by the governments which inflate the prices?  I’d like to know before just signing a random petition.  Oh and I totally agree that they go overboard on shipping.  It’s one thing to charge a shipping fee but to tack on a service & handling charge?  If you don’t want to ship your products don’t, but don’t charge your customer for your cost of doing business.

    • Evelyn1 Yes the governments diffracts a base rate tax on anything that comes in that the seller pays. Then the seller adds to it and then we get taxed again based on the resellers rate. So basically we get double taxed on everything. It why I hate dealing with UPS with their hidden service fees that are so inflated and non nonsensical for their “processing charges”.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        The “processing charges” typically have nothing to do with actual shipping costs, ie, UPS, FedEx, etc. Companies usually charge a handling rate to help offset the costs of the employees who process phone/online orders, and the people who physically pull and box the orders in the warehouse.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sheila SheilaMaddyLoves

    I’m skeptical about this, especially because of this statement “But first we need you to demonstrate to the industry that if we can make this change happen, you’ll commit to buying our products.”What are your thoughts?

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

      SheilaMaddyLoves sounds kind of like an ultimatum, and what if the “commitment” doesnt work as planned, then what would they do, raise the prices back again?  Maybe it’s just the marketing wording though.  

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

    I have to be one who chimes in… it’s not just Australia, so if they’re going to be fair they should do it across the board. I love their products but they’re marked up at least 40% here.  

    • amalia22e We see 40% markup here is Canada, it’s just crazy and the markup is never consistent either.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

        Ani_BEE That is bad, but me too, I’ve even seen it varies in products from the same brand.  

        • paneradfisk

          amalia22e I agree, here in Sweden a MAC lipstick costs 90% more than in the US. Although, I shouldn’t complain because it’s a really good campaign and I hope it leads to something good!

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emily 18thCenturyFox

          Well I’ve gt a girlfriend outside of Gothenburg and a MaC count right by my house that no one goes to. I’m ready to play Johnny Depp in Blow II : The Powder that Stays on Your Nose

        • 18thCenturyFox LoL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ll just play with Johnny Depp, ‘kay?

  18. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emily 18thCenturyFox

    More money for Illamasqua, less for MAC and UD.

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Patricia Patricia Couto

    Oh Gosh!!!! Brazil needs a campaign like that!!! We pay three, four
    times what an american pay for the same cosmetic!! Only to cite an
    example, MAC lipsticks costs $40,00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a
    absurd!!!!!!! We are the most exploited people in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. This problem does not only affect Australia, although from what I read in the comments, it seems to be even worse there. American brands are incredibly more expensive in France than in the US… and even some French high end brands on occasion!I did a little math one day and posted an article about this on my blog, the champions of inflated price were Bobbi Brown, Clinique and Shiseido, but the really outrageous price increase was in nail polish : about 100% more than in the US for an Essie or OPI polish! And to make things fair, I made my calculation getting of the VAT difference…

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Marie Marie

      Lulle I agree, nail polishes are insanely expensive in France it’s ridiculous. No wonder Sephoras have a ton of overstock every sales season and get rid of it with a 70% rebate. Just so you know, in France:OPI: $17.Essie: $15.

  21. I know it’s not JUST Australia but funny enough, I was having a conversation about this exact topic (high prices in Australia) last night with people who don’t know a thing about makeup (so it’s not like something that was on their mind before I brought it up).

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    I’m noticing many countries where cosmetics are more expensive, also provide more subsidies and entitlements to their citizens. Unfortunately, the governments have to put higher tariffs on non-essential items, such as cosmetics (yes, as much as we love it, makeup is not an essential), since to charge more for essentials is unfair to those who are less fortunate. I don’t mean to start a political debate, but essentially, this is an effect of Socialism, and the US will likely face these types of increases over the next few years with our imported items.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kafka Kafka

      xamyx  I don’t think think it has anything to do with “Socialism.” Tons of countries that even Fox News wouldn’t consider to be “socialist” have tariffs or import taxes. India, to name just one. I don’t see a reason to bring in politically-charged terms like “Socialism” (with a capital S, no less!) into a conversation about makeup and it actually upsets me a little but, out of friendship, I’ll drop it. 

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Gina Gina

        Kafka I agree with you, 100%!

      • jktoml

        Kafka Completely agree.  When using highly charged words (or any, for that matter), one must use them correctly.  Creating conflict by simply throwing around terms does nothing for productive discussion.

      • blueraccoon

        Kafka This, yes. 

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        Socialism isn’t a bad system, so I meant no offense by the term. In fact, in many aspects, it’s a good system. I don’t know about India, but in countries like Australia, the EU, the UK, among others, there are subsidies that *everyone* benefits from, regardless of income. I just don’t think it’s fair to accuse companies of price gouging, when there are several factors that go into pricing.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kafka Kafka

          xamyx  Those subsidy systems to which you refer also frequently help corporations. There are corporate subsidy and grant programs which happen in Europe, just as they do in the US. Programs which financially benefit corporations. So, bringing up “entitlements” provided by supposedly “socialist” governments is merely a subtle dig, imo. Again, it happens here in the US, and no, not just under “Socialist,” “Marxist” Obama.  Governments have ways in which they help out companies. Period. None of this has to do with companies that are supposedly being accused of “price gouging.” Because, in fact, until your post now, the conversation was not focusing on corporate “price-gouging” so much as just general costs, usually due to government-triggered tariffs. This was not an “attack the big, bad corporations” vs “defend the corporations” discussion as you are now implying. It most certainly was not one pertaining to the political systems of foreign countries. Particularly the supposedly detrimental side effects of ghastly horrible Socialism on poor, widdle, much beleagured corporations who are always being unfairly picked on and who should just be left alone to do their stuff unfettered by anything but human nature and the wonderful free market. I truly don’t understand why you brought up Socialism out of the blue unless it was to rile people or generate an argument.  But I’ve clearly taken the bait and lost my temper.  For that, I’m sorry. I will bow out. I respect that you have a different opinion but, again, I need to go very far away from this conversation.

        • xamyx Exactly and as many have stated, Australia is not alone in this.  These are just the type of isolated bandwagons that annoy me because to properly assess the situation, you need a masters in economics. 

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

          Again, I apologize, and I had no intentions of politicizing this discussion. In fact, it was another comment that mentioned price gouging at the counters that set *me* off. As for subsidies and end entitlements, again, they’re necessary things, be it corporate or individual, and I have nothing against them. I was merely pointing out that countries that have higher tariffs, taxes, etc, also have lower income tax rates, free or low cost medicine, post-secondary education, etc, regardless of income. These are *positive* things. The US has one of the world’s highest income tax rates, so it kind of (though not completely) balances out.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

          While I don’t have a Master’s in economics, it is something that I do follow, passionately, and I’m also aware that Australia is not alone in this. I also want to clarify that no government or system has all the right answers, and neither is better or worse, they just have different ways of doing things.

    • jilliant

      xamyx  fyi – its a 5% tariff for cosmetics and then 10% for GST (like the VAT in UK – on just about everything except fresh food, but always included in the sticker price).  Australians pay higher income taxes (up to 45%)

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        In the US, many of us have about 10% added to the sticker price, and as far as income taxes, we have a *much* lower reporting threshold ($8,000 compared to $18,000). It may seem thins are less expensive in the US, but we also have less disposable income.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        In the US, many of us have about 10% added to the sticker price, and as far as income taxes, we have a *much* lower reporting threshold ($8,000 compared to $18,000). It may seem thins are less expensive in the US, but we also have less disposable income.

        • xamyx But then consider why they’re sold for about 50% more in Asian countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, where people have even LESS disposable income? (Seriously, you’re pretty lucky if you get paid $500 a month in Indonesia)And while Australians get paid more, living cost is also higher than in the US. Rent is about 50-80% more, for example — so that’s not a very good justification. That’s still basically them charging more because they can.

        • i_weep_for_frost

          xamyx + RYIU+0013+ I travelled to South East asia last year and their MAC eyeshadow is $25 while lipsticks are around $24 depending on the exchange rate. Although there are alot of people that don’t get paid as well as in the western countries there are ridiculously rich “Class A and B” that do well because of successful business in manufacturing or inherited from colonial ancestors who acquired their wealth through land. It’s a widening gap between the rich and poor. That’s reality. I’m not going to use Marxist dialectic terms but basically those that have more money there were able to make more money because they were given opportunities to acquire wealth in a system patterned after the US. The point being is that not all countries that have ridiculous mark ups on cosmetics are “socialist” as xamyx said. 

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

          The point is, it isn’t the companies or brands that are setting the prices at the counter in any particular region. While it’s true rent 50-80% higher in Australia, discretionary income is 200% of that in the US. Imported items are going to cost more, no matter where you live. Years ago, when one actually had to buy music in the form of a CD, cassette, etc, we had to pay upwards of 3X the amount of a US album for an import, and since most of what i listened to came from Australia or the UK, I had to pay higher prices. Many years ago, I worked in a vintage clothing store, and one of the products we sold were used Levi’s. Buyers from all over came and bought them in piles. One day, I was talking to a woman from Greece (I’m of Greek descent, by the way-first-generation American), and I the topic of costs in Greece came up she explained that the reason why they were hard to find there, was because the taxes the Greek government put on the goods were so high, that the costs had to be passed to the consumer, and therefore the demand for the average consumer went down. Although the jeans were a desirable product, most merchants decided not to carry them. I just find it hard to swallow that retailers or companies are intentionally charging exhorbitant prices, and there are many aspects that factor into pricing. I personally find it highly offensive that Illamasqua would resort to using terms like “extortionate” & “exploited”. I feel this isn’t an issue to be taken up with the retailers or manufacturers, but rather with governing parties.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

          At what point did I say *all* the countries with ridiculous mark-ups were Socialist? I believe the word I used was *many*. Again, the bottom line is, alot of the pricing has to do with costs of bringing a product to market.

        • xamyx I’m at as much of a loss as you..  I did not read any policitcal agenda in any of your comments.  Were I to use the word Socialism in terms of a type of Government, I would capitalize it as well.  If I use the word, it doesn’t mean there is a sneer in my voice either. I think anyone would be astute to know there are pluses and minuses to ALL types of Government.   I would just like to add that people who are on my friend list do not care about 1.  my skin colour, 2. my religion, and 3. my political beliefs.  This whole Illamasqua things smacks a bit of ridiculousness to me and yet another bandwagon for people to jump on without any knowledge as to how/why prices are where they are at.  Gets their name is the news and makes them look like good guys, which I do believe they are, but this is silly.  I live in Canada and pay a premium for ALL nonessential goods.  The majority of my healthcare is free.. One of my prescriptions costs $5,000 a month.  I would rather pay the premium on the nonessential goods and not complain and be thankful the government at least covers a small part of these medical costs.  Again, pluses and minuses.  

        • xamyx Oh and just for clarity’s sakes..so everyone does not believe healthcare is free in Canada based on my previous statement.  Our system is rather complex and when I stated the Government covers a portion of my drugs costs, this is true.  However, I was required to follow a stringent protocol in my treatment in order to ‘qualify’ to ‘eventually’ receive the high test $5,000/month injections.  Even if I wanted to take the high test drugs and pay for them myself to aggressively treat my illness, down the line I would NOT be eligible for any support if I did not follow the standard protocol.  Fortunately/unfortunately, my particular case was graded as SEVERE by 3 separate specialists and I was therefore eligible for application sooner than people graded in the Mild to Moderate categories.  Indeed, most people in the mild to moderate categories will never see support for the ‘better drugs’ ever!!  I read a lot about this frustration on-line and it’s not easy to listen to people suffer.  I spent almost 3 years on drugs that did absolutely nothing for my condition(s) and it was beyond frustrating as I would have been happy to pay for the ‘good’ drugs out of the shoot on my own and wait the pre-requisite time for the support.  Please also understand during this time, I was practically bed-ridden. Unfortunately, this was not an option.So, in some respects, I believe this actually may be similar to some of the healthcare issues in the states with insurance.  Pardon my ignorance on same. The only difference here, is the protocol belongs to the Government and not the Insurance companies..  Please also understand I am grateful any programs exists which supports any Canadian in the event they are facing what they term ‘catastrophic’ medical expense..or medical expenses exceeding a set percentage of an individual’s primary income.  Every citizen is eligible, but your case needs to be rock solid and the proof has to exist that aggressive treatment is necessary.On that subject of standard of living, I do believe Canada rates quite high, but consistent with other countries in the world with a high standard of living, we are taxed at much higher levels than average across the G7 and I do believe we are quite a bit higher than USA in terms of tax rates.  Plus, our housing costs in major urban centers rival those in the USA in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fran.  A small bungalow (one level) house, or semi detached home will cost at least $700,000 in Toronto.  This year, money from China put huge pressure on the housing market in Toronto and a small bungalow in the north end of the city sold for over 1.2 million dollars.  Gah!What am I trying to say here?  Just that small issues about the cost of cosmetics are just that SMALL small potatoes and are completely an elective good. Yes, I know I say I’m DYING for certain products all the time.. *wink*   Every country is differerent and some view these products as a way to grab money in tax form.  This is not the fault of the cosmetics companies themselves.  What may seem like a horrendous injustice and expense to one person in one country, can seem like a total bargain in another.  It’s not a level playing field whatsoever.  And now I am going to STFU and let this rest.  Thanks for listening :)  And peace to everyone!

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

          *Exactly* my point. Thank you.

  23. cclarebear

    I’m an Aussie who just recently moved to London, and I’m SO PLEASED they’re doing this. Cosmetics back home are insane – the average price for a medium to high end lipstick can range from $30 to $50 or more. I just became used to the prices, but so many people I know have for a long time (at least 10 years or more) resorted to using shipping/forwarding services from the US to get makeup from Sephora, etc. Thing is, Illamasqua sell their products online often with free shipping, so if you are an Aussie as far as I’m concerned you might as well wait and buy directly from their UK store to take advantage of the cheaper prices. Although that said, UK prices aren’t that much cheaper than Australia, but the US is always always cheaper.On my blog I’ve always indicated the prices and availability for products in the US, UK and Australia, just so my readers can see the difference and to also point out products that are actually cheaper if you buy them Australia in AUD (Paul & Joe on ASOS, for example).In terms of the questions someone asked about salary, yes Aussies do get paid more but that’s only been a recent thing, when you factor in the exchange rate. I don’t really think it’s a valid argument when companies try to justify their prices. I’ve also heard that the govt taxes contribute to the prices, but nobody has ever been able to satisfactorily explain this to me. Mostly I think it’s price gouging, and I’m really pleased Illamasqua are prepared to drop their prices if the petition is successful.

  24. Lutigs

    I went to Australia last year and could not believe the price of cosmetics compared to where I am (UK), especially brands like Clinique and MAC!  A lot of things were nearly £10 more than here.

  25. joanatabata

    I don’t know where my first comment went but anyways…Yes, Brazil has insane taxes and tariffs and,unfortunately, makeup is not an essencial item but, in my opinion, it’s ridiculous to see a $50 product being retailed at $120 (I’m still looking at you, Naked palette!).Truth is, cosmectics here are super expensive, even mid-range Brazilian ones, and people keep buying themGosh, quality wise, even our Avon products are “worse” :/

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emily 18thCenturyFox

      I am honestly feeling guilt as I just let my GF go to Brazil cosmetically empty handed. Those prices are robbery, plain and simple.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emma ElloMello1

      joanatabata WOW.  I seriously did NOT know that!   Honestly if you want to buy something from Sephora I’d send it to you if you’d pay for shipping.  I live in the US.  I don’t know if that would be worth it but it’s gotta be less than like 175% price hike!

  26. Go Illamasqua, go! Fight for those fair prices! I’m thankful to have the prices we have in the US. Can’t imagine what it’s like for you ladies where prices are sky high. :(

  27. I think it’s really great they’re doing this. It’s always nice to see a beauty brand put their customers first–rare to find these days!

  28. For Christine:  I will not be insulted if you choose not to post my comment by the way :)  I’m in a mood today and vented and I really do not want to start any arguments with people.  I should have worded what I had to say in a more distanced and unemotional fashion..  I’m actually not trying to be political, just trying to say there are better and more important things to champion and consider than this.  No hard feelings.  Enjoy your day :)

  29. brigittedsm

    I already know off the bat my comment does not pertain strictly to cosmetics but… on luxury goods, prices are usually cheaper in Europe than in the US. And I only mention this because so many in the comments are saying cosmetics are cheaper in the US than Europe/Aus/Canada, etc. It’s strange to me that for luxury goods it’s more expensive here in the US. On forums I frequent most people buying designer goods (non-cosmetic) purchase on overseas websites to get the better price. I think prices should be similar in every country according to exchange rates so that prices remain stable and the same across the board. :

    • Emmie

      brigittedsm  Where have you been in Europe that’s cheaper than the US? I live in Ireland and have been all over Europe (France, Holland, Belgium, Germany to name a few) and they all are so much more expensive than the US.

  30. Alice Stockton

    am i the only one who finds it odd that the price listed with the UK is dollars? im sure its just for comparison purposes, but as a brit i am offended -.-

    • EmmaMcCorry

      Alice Stockton No they mean the UK can buy an Illamasqua lipstick for 24 Australian dollars whereas in Australia its 40 Australian dollars. They are just showing the substantial increase in price!

  31. forgotton0memory

    Were the prices already converted into the same currency? Because 24 british pounds, when converted is aproximately 35 australian dollars so charging 40 australian dollars for something that you charge 24 british pounds for is nearly equal. It’s a little more expensive, which can be expected if it’s an import.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brydie Brydie

    This is great, and. I will definitely be signing, however for me and many other Aussie girls it is hard to committ to buying illamasqua (or many other brands eg Benefit, Too Faced, NARS) purely because there is nowhere outside the capital cities to buy it!!! Every time I go to Sydney (over 2 hours drive away from me), I go crazy and buy all that I can of these brands because I know my next chance probably won’t be for another 3-6 months! Not saying every town should have a counter, but some of the main regional centres would be good- we have other brands such as a new TheBalm counter, which is regularly out of stock because people are loving it so much! Online is not great either, as these brands are often exclusively in department stores, who refuse to stock the full range of products online. But I digress anyway, glad a brand is beginning to do something about this, and I can stop spending up to $70AUD on something as simple as a lipstick haha! : )

    • Lena

      @Brydie well you guys need to have more people, to make it pay to erect counters around the continent. i can’t believe how few people there is in australia. once i drove around the snowy mountains, and in 2 hours i just met 4 other cars. made me wonder if there’s something going on that i don’t know, you know. like world war or something, that people are staying home. lol.

  33. April Sakeenah Morrison-Young

    It’s about time!!!

  34. Meg

    It is strange to me that Australia, a country with a minimum wage of almost twice that of the US, is looking for prices to be lowered. 

    • zainab

      @Meg Yes but prices here are higher for most things: a chocolate bar in the US is about 80c, in Australia it’s more like $1.20. Chanel eyeshadow palettes can get over $100. Average clothes prices scratch $100 (for normal chain-store garments). Our minimum wage is higher, but you’ll still be living in poverty if you have to pay rent, petrol prices etc. I do remember that when I lived in the US they voted down a 50c increase on the minimum wage (which would have made it $5 or something) and we all agreed no-one could possibly live on that. 

      • Meg

        @zainab I disagree.  Minimum wage and price control go hand in hand.  With a large portion of the country being paid $15/hr, inflation on goods is inevitable, that’s just economics. 

    • Leila

      @Meg What you’re missing is that Australia’s relatively high minimum wage recently is only because of the extreme weakness of the US Dollar. For the past year, the AU Dollar and US Dollar have been near parity, whereas just before the financial problems of 2008, the US Dollar was twice the value of the AU Dollar. This would have made Australia’s minimum wage similar to the US wage back then.It is only the weakness of the USD, Euros and GBP that have suddenly made Australian prices seem so high in exchange rate when previously, they would have been more similar. I mean, the AU$ has even gone over the US$ these past few months! From half the value it always was, to being stronger!Unfortunately, companies are pricing the Australian goods as though the AU$ was still as weak as it used to be and so are now getting greater profit margins than before, when the price they were charging Australian customers would have been similar to ours when taking into account exchange rate.Sorry this is so wordy, I hope it helps everyone undestands at least a part of the problem:)

      • Meg

        @Leila I see what you’re saying, but it’s up to Australia’s government to either lower wages before lowering prices, or keep minimum wages high in order to compensate for inflation. Pricing can’t work both ways in favor of the consumer, that’s impractical.

    • jilliant

      @Meg yeah but in Australia we don’t tip ever – our minimum wage accounts for that

      • Meg

        @jilliant a 7 dollar difference in minimum wage does not account for “not tipping” in my opinion. Especially when tips are really only relevant in the food and other services, not across the board of jobs.

  35. It’s not just Australia that is suffering. In New Zealand, we still often pay MORE when you consider the exchange rate. It’s awful, and makes it harder that a lot of sites refuse to ship here because of restricted items from NZ Post. It’s nice to see that a company is taking a stand, but I do hope that the awful prices stem outside of Australia too. 

  36. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Anka Ankatrinka

    It´s such an difficult problem everywhere. I can just speak for europe (germany), but here is make up more expensinve than in the UK or USA. If you think of a MAC lipstick it´s in USA 14,50$ and here you pay about 23$. Every brand is doing it that way. So yes, I think it´s not right but it´s not only a problem and anoying for the Australians. In the past, many years ago the €, $ and had a different value on the worldmarket. But now the euro is more worth than the dollar, but the companies keep the prices the same and don´t adapt it to the actual value. I also notice, that some companies are now trying to close the US-market for us. They open internetsites spacially for our market and your not able to reach or/and order on the us-site anymore. That way they try to avoid the comparisson of the pricedifferences and also make more money. I would be happy to see that everything is the same value everywehre, but to be honest, I can´t imagine any brand will do so. :(

  37. fraylling

    Prices in Australia are insane for things like clothes and makeup, it’s probably hard for people from America to understand, but right now the Australian exchange rate is on par with America, so there’s not need to worry about conversions when you’re looking at those prices. For me the hardest to swallow is the price of nail polish (because I’m a nail polish addict). In Australia Illamasqua nail polish costs AU $34. In Britain the same nail polish costs £13.50, which converts to AU $20, and in America it costs US $14 (i.e. AU $14)… yet Illamasqua nail polish is made in Australia!!! So no one can say that the difference is due to the price of imports, unless they’re shipping it to the UK then back to Australia, and that would be there problem not ours. We also pay around $20 for OPI and $15 for Revlon, so the problem defiantly isn’t just Illamasqua, in fact already love my Illamasqua, regardless of the cost, but I have the upmost appreciation for Illamasqua being the first major brand to address this issue and try to change it.

  38. NishaSivaji

    Great news! I pay $65 dollars for my Bobbi Brown loose powder here in Oz. 60 fricking 5 Australian dollars. When I lived in Singapore, I paid around the same in Singapore dollars. I pay SGD78 for Makeup Forever’s Allmat Primer and AUD69 for the same. The inflation is ridiculous!  It’s good to know that Illamasqua has addressed this issue.  

  39. HannahMarshall

    Hooolllyyy crap yes it is ridiculous. I went to America last month, and almost everything is DOUBLE the price back here in Australia. I buy pretty much all of my cosmetics and beauty products online, because you can get them much cheaper. And then the retail stores complain that they aren’t getting enough sales because internet shopping is killing business. But who can blame people for buying things online for 1/2-3/4 of the price as in stores locally?Strawberrynet is currently my favourite store, free shipping!

  40. Lena

    i was just in australia for more than 3 weeks, and prices in general make my stomach churn. i don’t dare go near a mall. everything is 2-3 times the US prices, and don’t even compare to australia’s neighboring asian countries (singapore, thailand, indonesia, malaysia, etc). australia really needs to look into their exchange rate policy. unless this happens. i don’t think a campaign like this will do any good. it’s not something one company, or even a groups of companies and consumers can impact.

  41. Alison

    Surely the only influence Illamasqua as an individual company has over fairness in pricing is their mark-up.  If they are charging a massively different mark-up in different countries, then yes, that is unfair, but are they now going to drop the mark-up in Australia to less than the mark-up in other countries? That would not be fair. What is a fair price for a lipstick anyway?  The cheapest price?  The price charged in America?  The price that represents the lowest percentage of disposable income? The price that represents the lowest percentage of minimum wage? Or median wage?

  42. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Deanna AstroD

    I’ve spend about 6 months in the US over the last 18 months and went crazy purchasing makeup. I refuse to buy MAC in Australia now (the brand I used to buy from the most) while I still have friends or family overseas. Drugstore brands like Revlon and L’Oreal are so much more expensive here. Revlon Lip Butters are about $8 in the US (full price, but Fred Meyer always had some deal going) and here I think they are about $22. I usually purchase “safe” items off strawberrynet (they can have heaps of MAC and Nars at times). Kit/Mecca have been really smart with their release of the BareMinerals Ready line, they are selling them at prices similar to the US ($27AUD  for an eyeshadow duo which is $20USD). This is on par with drugstore brands. I support Illamasqua’s efforts and would definitely start purchasing their products if I thought their prices were fair.  

  43. alinka_kolju4ka

    There’s the same thing in Russia. Our average salary is much less than European one, but we have no choice. And many collections also miss our country or come too late – in several months or even in half of a year. At least Australlia is very far away, but what’t the reason for Russia – i cannot understand. 

    • casey23

      alinka_kolju4ka Also the same holds here in Turkey! The prices are like 2 or 2.5 fold than the usual prices. Cosmetics prices in here is killing use but we have to buy from here because it is now banned to buy any cosmetic product from foreign countries… 

      • alinka_kolju4ka

        casey23 That’s awful! We have no opportunity to choose where to born :(

        • casey23

          Yes it’s such a shame!!! We here don’t have all the products I read from foreign blogs, we are banned to buy them online and while US citizens pay 20-30 dollars for a foundation I have to pay 50-60 dollars :(

  44. For really insane prices you should come to Sweden. Though I live here I hardly ever buy any cosmetics in local stores, I just dont feel its ok to pay the amount I am asked knowing how much the same product costs in the UK or the US. 

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Andrea Andrea

    Fine – but then, Illamasqua, why do you, a UK company, charge your UK customers £13.50 for nail polish and your US customers $14.00, when the exchange rate is about £1/$1.56?  The US price should be $21 or the UK price £9.

    • fraylling

      @Andrea That’s a good question as well. However, that nail polish is actually made in Australia. Given that the price of imports is often cited as one of the reasons for the price difference, it does have me wondering… what do they do? Ship it to the UK and then back to Australia? Obviously not (I would hope), but given that nail polish is $34 in Australia (US $36, £23), it’s certainly a pertinent question.

    • hwendy

      @Andrea i am actually always wondering why some european makeup brands are even cheaper in US.

  46. hwendy

    order online from an UK website. your tax will be deducted and delivery charge really isn’t high at all.so all together, i believe you would save lots of money. but i know some countries. ex Russia, you might possibly have problem to get through custom. I really don’t know the detail but i know some retail companies here avoid doing despatch to certain countries.

  47. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lorenda Lorenda

    Nothing beats Brazil and a $20 NYX eyeshadow, a $30 Revlon foundation, or a $37 MAC lipstick. Don’t even get me started on the high end products.

  48. Luiza

    We have the same problem here in Brazil. Due to taxes, a simples MAC lipstick can cost as much as the equivalent to 90US$..

  49. Naiara

    Hope they do the same in Brazil some day. We pay much more than 100% on beauty products.

  50. Emily

    I am really annoyed reading people saying “oh you have a higher min wage” and “its worse here”, we should be looking at this as a start, a movement that may move to other countries. Yes our min wage is higher but we don’t tip and our cost of living is unbearable. Electricity bills are astronomical some of the highest in the developed world and grocery, petrol and clothing costs are crazy. So really, in Australia it is about time we get some slack as right now its becoming impossible to get work supplies (makeup) with prices. $37 for a Revlon foundation is crazy in any language.