Do you feel price correlates to quality?

At this point, my experience says not so much when it comes to quality of the product itself. The packaging is likely better in some aspect: more complex/interesting/different, sturdier, and/or heavier, but the actual product? Could be total garbage or a new holy grail.

— Christine
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I’ve been trying to think of how to answer this question for awhile. But after reading your answer just now, Wednesday, I couldn’t possibly come up with anything better! 🙂

When I think about this answer, I’m also thinking about my relationship with brow products:
The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is very similar to Anastasia Brow Wiz (and actually the spoolie is better quality, my Brow Wiz spoolie always break easily). The Wet’n’Wild Ultimate Brow is very similar to the Anastasia Brow Definer and the Hourglass Arch Sculpting Pencil. All good quality products, no matter the price. But in a line-up, I slightly like better the quality of and if I can afford I will always purchase the Anastasia or the Hourglass.
Does price correlate with quality, no? But it seems not to correlate with preference either. 😀

Maybe in the past but right now even packaging can be beautiful in cheaper makeup. I’m currently living in Asia and the local brands, the made-in-China ones, have stepped up their game impressively. Any day you walk into the local night markets and where you would have normally found knock offs in the past, now display the brand’s name proudly, their package is sturdy and nicely designed, the products deliver and even the color story and arrangement of the pots is beautiful. Honestly I’ve seen more interesting palettes there than in many launchings that only have “that pop of blue”. In the same way I’ve seen local Mexican brands deliver better than average quality for products that are no more than 10 usd.

Basic packaging is indeed quite cheep to make, I think the issue appear when brands try to incorporate different functionalities and innovations.
For example, the basic pressed powder case is just very basic; the design is there, you just need good quality plastic or metal (which is cheap) and a good glue to stick the mirror and pan. But enter the world of loose powders… there are so many things you can do with the sifter, the dispensing mechanisms, research into the size of the wholes, etc; some people just don’t care and pour powder on something else before applying, some appreciate more intricate dispensing mechanism.

This is so interesting! I hope I have the chance to go back and see these changes, I remember the knock-off cosmetics were certainly a wonder all of their own!

I once looked on youtube the names of the brands and in the “West” people buy them on Ali Express. Some of my favorites are Sivanna, Odbo and Novo. They packaging and the quality of the products will not disappoint you!

Absolutely not. I’m very impressed with Sydney Grace’s eyeshadows. I will love Fyrinnae forever. Coloured Raine makes the best red lipstick for my skintone. I have some crappy expensive products that came in really nice packaging.

There was once a time — my pre-Temptalia, less educated days — when I would have said of course. Now I know it’s less automatically true. Probably more reliably in the packaging, and maybe customer service.

Since “quality” is so subjective, definitely not. I also find so many higher-end brands tend to use really cheap ingredients (talc, petroleum byproducts, etc…), while some very low-end brands won’t… For me, personally, I’d rather buy the product will be there ingredients, regardless of price, as that is where I determine a products “quality”.

Quality is indeed subjective and broad.
Let’s just take a basic ingredient: argan or maracuja oil. What goes into quality? Just the quality of the nuts? And maybe thhe way oil is extracted? How about how the oil is stored both pre- and post-packaging? How about the quality of the way the workers are treated in farms and factories?
I do find it funny sometimes when big brands sell expensive argan or maracuja oil, or tea trea oil, at 4x the price at the regular store. While I do agree the big brands might have access to better quality ingredients and better quality versions of some ingredients, there’s a limit when the extra price is not justified.

I’m referring more to using cheap “filler” ingredients, in general. For example, Becca uses petrolatum in their powdered highlighters, and charge$40 USD, as opposed to e.l.f., which uses seed oils, and charge <$10 USD… Talc is talc, mineral oil is mineral oil, period. There isn't a difference in quality, no matter how a brand spins it.

I’ve noticed this a lot, too. It may be excused as an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, but there have been a lot of advances in microspheres for example that these luxury brands could employ and often choose not to. Whereas a brand like Wet & Wild, they use surprisingly expensive ingredients.

That could be a valid “reasoning” if brands weren’t constantly reformulating, which almost never actually improves the product…

Yes and no.

Yes, because good quality ingredients and good quality packaging have a bigger price. Yes, because the research and effort put into formulating a good product should be sustained by the price; the chemists and researches need to be paid; investment needs to be done in research. Yes, because treating workers fairly and being environmentally conscious adds to the cost of the brand. Yes, because the artists that design the aesthetics of the packaging and the engineers designing the functionality (and durability) should be paid with good money as well.
All these (and many more) contribute to the overall quality and you cannot get the overall good quality until you put everything together.

No, because some ingredients really don’t cost that much; while some good quality ingredients are expensive, some are not (it’s like when it’s worth to buy organic and when not). No, because you sometimes pay for the name of the brand or the name of an influencers.
No, because the price of a product doesn’t make it work for you (color wise, formula wise or lifestyle wise).

I think the premise of your first paragraph is false though. It assumes that the higher the price, the more of ‘this’ is happening. Unfortunately that’s not the case. A thirty dollar eyeliner could have been made in Indonesia and the workers were paid extremely low wages with poor working conditions to make it.

Not from what I’ve seen it doesn’t! Between my own purchases, swatching products in-store, and also reviews of products, I’m convinced that one can find gems at almost any price point. One can also find utter crap at every price point, too! One perfect example was those HORRID Guerlain eyeshadow singles housed in coffin like packaging; obscenely expensive, yet worse than dollar store e/s. Nyx is fairly inexpensive, but always has products that either dupe or even exceed the quality of HE products. Sydney Grace is giving EVERY other e/s producing brand a nervous breakdown because hers are so superior to just about everything else!

Nope. I think brands like Colourpop and The Ordinary have shown you can get excellent quality, innovative products at very affordable price points and yes, brand marketing and luxe packaging all cost “more” but not THAT much more!

I don’t mind paying top dollar for a high end item but it had damn well better be perfect – no loose, flimsy packaging, bubbles or smudges in lipstick bullets, crappy pigmentation or dodgy textures, etc because the value I place on an expensive luxury item like a Guerlain Rouge G is obviously higher then what I put on a $7 Lux Lipstick from Colourpop. But in terms of actual quality, I’d say those two are pretty much on par for me.

Like, 30mL Drunk Elephant 100% luxury virgin marula oil is currently $124 NZD on Mecca Cosmetica… or for the exact same volume from The Ordinary, it’s less than $18.50 (converted from AUD on Beauty Bay) for 100% cold pressed virgin marula oil.
Is the quality of the oils the same? Debatable. But also probably negligible. It would not surprise me if they were sourced from the same supplier but either way, I very much doubt DE is 500% better or more effective than TO. And I LIKE nice things and I’m prepared to pay for them but I’m also not going to drop and extra $100+ on a single product so a multi-millionaire can buy another yacht or whatever…

I don’t think it correlates as much in makeup as I feel it does in other areas. I think that clothing tends to be better quality when you pay a little more for it but I also think that when you pay a lot for something you tend to take better care of it, or at least I do. I purchased a pair of snakeskin heels in a slightly pink, mauve opalescent tone in 1981 and I paid a boat load of money for them. I purchased them from I Magnin’s in San Francisco. I had and wore those shoes until 2010 when I just couldn’t wear heels anymore. I have definitely purchased DS makeup that was stellar and HE that was crappy but I think I am a bit of a snob because I don’t get the same thrill from picking up a Maybelline blush as I do a Becca/Nars/Chanel blush!

Definitely no. Look at all of the duds higher end brands release all the time. The only things that make the product “””worth””” more money are the name, gimmicky ingredients that do nothing, and packaging that took more man hours to design.

Not necessarily. There are some things that I will pay up for, as that is my preference. But when The Ordinary sells products that are so reasonably priced I cannot ignore that savings. The performance is there and speaks for itself. That happens with many brands, so if it works for you, go for it.

20 years ago, I would have said yes. Not anymore. I’ve been broken from expensive skincare and makeup. There are so many good drugstore-level options now, and more diversity in colors for various skintones. I actually have a great shot at finding a good match and it won’t break me out.

Not any more!
So many drugstore & cheaper brands are really upping their game as far as quality products go. I’ve bought amazing quality products from Milani, Nyx, L’Oreal, Hada Labo, Catrice, Jordana, & Essence.

Unfortunately cost often doesn’t reflect the quality of the product. As I have become older and more savvy, I tend to check out both high end and less expensive brands. The containers in the high end brands are usually lux. However, I am most interested in what is inside and will it perform to my satisfaction.

You get what you pay for always seems true of mascaras. If I shoot for not spending more than $30ish on a mascara I often get the performance and brush I really wanted. If there are mascaras out there that perform like those dramatic Lancôme ones or defining / lengthening one’s from Armani or Kevyn Aucoin, pretty please let me know!

Essence’s mascaras. They give the same effect as long as you brush them out, in my experience–my Essence princess mascara actually gave me more length than my Lancome definicils. While a bit clumpier, all I had to do was quickly brush it out to get that long, fluttery, fan-like look.

Thank you! I’ve been meaning to order some of them. I think I was being a mascara snob and expecting them to be frustrating to wear because of the low prices.

Certainly not… will the ingredients differ? Most of the time. Does it affect the end look? Barely. I’ve found my favorite foundation is from a pricier drugstore brand (Physician’s Formula), Milani and Wet n Wild blushes continue to beat some high end brand’s, Wet n Wild eyeliners easily trumped Urban Decay’s, and the best lipsticks I’ve ever used (indeed, the ONLY ones I’ve worn for over two years now) are from Besame, a midrange brand. Excluding lipstick, basically all of my makeup needs can be met with carefully selected drugstore products. I tend to up it to midrange just for aesthetic value (i.e. having a pretty eyeshadow palette out on display).

Absolutely not! We have been treated to some stellar products from budget niche brands like Sydney Grace, City Colour and of course, Colour Pop – who have low cost products of excellent value. Similarly we have seen some absolute duds from HE brands like Dior, Guerlain, Tom Ford etc.
Having said that, it could be that a particular shade is exactly the one you are looking for, especially when it comes to foundations, and therefore regardless of the price, you are going to get it.

I’ll be the lone voice of dissent here. I’ve had extremely dry, sensitive skin since I was a baby. I used to believe that drugstore was just as good as high end, and refused to pay more for products, and then felt frustrated that nothing seemed to work for me. Now that I’ve switched to mostly high end, my makeup works. Clinique lipstick is the only one that doesn’t make my lips peel; Estee Lauder foundation is the only one that doesn’t make my skin peel; high end eyeshadows are the only ones I can use without serious, obvious creasing, etc. I had used various drugstore skincare for twenty years with frustrating results. The first day I used a high end moisturizer, my husband said, “Your skin isn’t flaking off. You look great!” I don’t think everyone has to use high end products, but I think for those of us who have seriously problematic skin in one way or another, high end products can make a huge difference.

Not always, but usually. I’ve found that you can have great pigmentation with lesser priced eyeshadows, but they tend not to be silky smooth or blend as well as more expensive ones with equal pigmentation.

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