Do you notice a difference between high-end and budget brands?

It’s a gray answer–sometimes. I think you can find really great products at both ends of the price spectrum. It might be easier for some types of products to find an average or better quality item at a higher price point — like a really pigmented eyeshadow at mid-end (or higher) than at the budget end. I still notice a smoother, more refined texture to a lot of powders, though the difference has lessened over the last five years.

— Christine
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Biggest difference is the price tag, and probably the packaging, but the quality really varies by product. You can find both great and bad products at both ends of the spectrum.

Yes and no. The quality can certainly be comparable, ie; BH Foil Eyes, Revlon HD Lipgloss, Essence Midnight In Paris Gel Liner, many Nyx, WnW, e.l.f. products. BUT; the complexity or uniqueness of shades is a whole nuther ballgame! That’s the most noticeable difference to me. One other would have to be that mid to high end foundation shades usually have a wider shade range as well as less chance of it oxidizing and turning one into an Oompah Loumpa!

In most cases I notice a difference. But not always.
I’m not an expert, but I think really expensive fashion brands like Dior and Chanel and such perform really bad when it comes to eyeshadows! And Lancôme. Often not pigmented at all, really bad quality. I’m not 100% about which brands I’m talking about specifically because I just know I’ve swatched some of them from time to time and I’ve become disillusioned so I’ve stopped trying. I bought a Bobby Brown single eyeshadow once (in a trusted store) because of its pretty color but I just can’t use it – no color seems to come off the pan, just chalky bluish dust – non-buildable.
I’ve found low-end products that work really well, sometimes better than high-end products, but then I worry about what they put in their products so I don’t dare wearing them anyway. Probably silly. I could look up the ingredients and some high-end products have bad stuff in them too, but…well.
I usually go for MAC products EXCEPT their bases like foundation, powder, blushes, highlighters, concealer – they never work for me – maybe because my skin is so sensitive. For those kinds of products I use mainly mineral products (Pürmineral 4-in-1 powder foundation is the best! Highly recommended) But I collect Mac eye products and lipsticks – but I always check your reviews before I buy 😉
If a product does something no other product can, I always want to try it whether it’s expensive or cheap. But when it comes to like a regular red lipstick or something, I research and go for the best within my budget and stay away from cheaper alternatives and dupes.

For quick ingredients checks, cosdna could be your new BFF. They have virtually everything. It’s wonderful if you have sensitivities to rule our products, esp. for skincare.

You’re not imagining things. Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Bobbi have some of the consistently worst shadows or are hit-or-miss. I find the middle-end brands ( UD, MUFE) to be far superior, and even some budget brands brands can be awesome (ColourPop, City Color Shimmer Shadows)

I am with you on this when it comes to the higher end products you mentioned. I much prefer urban decay or makeup forever shadows. I like to use a few low-end items, like pencil liners, foundation, mascara, brow products, lip liners and nailpolish from the drugstore. I tend to “trust” major brands like l’oreal as far as safety goes-especially if made in North America , Europe or Japan.

It’s really impossible to answer with a definite “yes” or “no”. Some high ticket products are absolutely dreadful and pale in comparison to similar products from the drug store. And there’s no question – many high end products are wonderful but so are some lower priced items as well.

Given all of the YouTube videos that show one half of a face high end and one half drugstore with very little if any difference visible I think it comes down to personal preference. I love me some beautiful high end packaging and have spent way too much on it but could I make do with low end? Absolutely – and I could still feel OK with the way it turns out. I think there is often a placebo effect when it comes to real differences and the emotional aspect of feeling pampered and beautiful with high end is often the real differentiator. It would be interesting to package high and low end products in generic packaging and do a blind test.

Honestly, when it comes to eye shadows, foundations, highlighters, contour shades and bronzers, nothing beats high end. We can fool ourselves but you are paying the top dollar for a reason.
However, spending more than $10 on a mascara, liquid eyeliner, lip pencil or eye kohl pencil is downright silly. Even liquid lipsticks. Maybelline has some INCREDIBLE ones. Been using Cover Girl kohl eye pencil for years and would not give it up for anything. Recently, I felt little elitist about it and purchased a $22 Mac one. What a waste of money. Threw it in the garbage immediately (I lost the receipt) and it was too crappy to be gifted. Also, Loreals’ mascaras is God’s gift.
Its a give and take. Pigmentation, blend-ability and smoothness come with a price.

Yes, but I think it also has to do with expectations. If I pay mega-bucks for a product, I expect it to perform up to a standard worthy of the price tag. On the other hand, if I don’t spend much on a product, my expectations are proportionate to the price. Yet another reason why, if a product is prestige or higher-priced, I will not purchase it if it’s made in China.

Depends on the product, but on the whole I guess, yes. I would also say powder products having the biggest gap, particularly matte eyeshadows (there are some great drugstore blushes). I can’t really tell a difference between liquid foundations at low or high end. Same with skincare. But drugstore skincare is just a little bit behind on the trends. You can’t find cleansing oil or moisture masks or the “hippest” ingredients at the drugstore yet.

Not exactly true, when it comes to Asian, esp. Korean. They are cutting edge leaders, and many are at what we would consider drugstore prices. But USA, hell yeah.

Ginny, depending on where you live Burts Bee’s has a very nice cleansing oil. You can find it at Walgreens and Walmart both here in the States.

For some things. I really can’t justify spending $$$ on loose powder. I use Coty Airspun, $6 and I get results that are just as good as higher end powders. Plus it lasts a LONG time lol. I think higher end eyeshadows are worth the money. Also skincare and foundation.

I think it depends on the type of product. I think with things like clear eyebrow gel, nailpolish, lipbalm, most lipglosses (except I LOVE Buxom, and if I am wearing a gloss, it’s Buxom), basic black liquid eyeliner, no I don’t notice a difference between high end and drugstore. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, formula-wise between a L’Oreal liquid eyeliner and a Guerlain liquid eyeliner personally. But for me, I typically CAN tell a difference between really good high end foundations and drugstore foundations. I usually can tell a difference with face primers. And the biggest difference I can tell is usually with eyebrow products. But that’s just me personally. I can definitely tell the difference between Benefit and Anastasia brow products, and like, maybelline. I use all high-end, but if I was to use only two, it would be Nars Sheer glow foundation or Becca complete coverage, and then Benefit KapowBrow.

Sometimes It depends on the product. I think the margin has narrowed signifcantly. I am less and less inclined to buy traditional luxury lines or HE because I typically find excellent products in mid-range; unless of course the colour is quite uniquely special. I find the prices on HE have just gotten so stupid, but I’ve clearly reached the age where the price of everything sends me into convulsive sticker shock.

It depends on the items and the brands. On average, I find mid-range/high end eyeshadow primers, eyeshadows, and foundations are better than drug store. I notice less of a difference with things such as lip products, blush, mascara, lipliner, and eyeliner.

I’m with you, it’s a grey area. When it comes to eye shadows, almost ALWAYS higher end wins that battle. But with lip products and foundations/concealers, it depends on the brand.

For instance, BH Cosmetics liquid lipstick outdoes Kat Von D, Jeffree Star and Too Faced on quality and price. Milani lipsticks hold a candle to Smashbox, Maybelline foundation can go toe to toe with my Dior.

Then there is Urban Decay Vice lipsticks whose horrible varying faults takes a back seat to Maybelline or Black Opal lipsticks, and Revlon lipsticks.
With Black Radiance eye shadow palette, it’s pigment is far greater than my Smashbox by plenty.
My L’Oreal liquid liner kicks KOD and Tarte’s out the water.
Take MAC for example, I’ve reapplied my Chili three times already and haven’t really eaten anything, it’s quality is below that of my Maybellines.

It really does depend on the brand. I have my staple low-ends that I’ll buy before some higher end brands. In reality with a higher brand we’re not always paying for higher quality and that shows in lip products especially and with shadows; they hike the price for the name but the product can turn out crappy and or not worth it value wise. (ex; Dior quad compared to UD Vice for dang near same price)

You pointed out one truth that is not often acknowledged. Products from a line specifically for WOC often have far better pigment density. (Duh!). Found that out in WDC in the 80s, when I had to travel for m/u, before the net days. Always preferred the depth of them. That was was especially true in the DS to ‘middle end.’ (I’m always saying something that should be followed by ‘ring you up on my rotary dial…..)

Sometimes. I usually notice it when it comes to performance. I like long-wearing products whether high end or drugstore. But this also depends on your skin-type, environment, what kind of lotions you’ve got on your face, etc. Products can perform differently from person to person. I used to use Soft N’Full waterproof mascara until I noticed that it smeared on my eyes by the end of the day despite the fact that so many praises have been sung for that mascara. The other issue I have with drugstore products is quality of the ingredients. There are consumer reports available that list the amount of lead found in lipsticks with Loreal being the top runner for lead. The higher end lipsticks tended to have much less. I feel that the gap on performance has narrowed but one still has to go through personal testing.

Varies. Eyeshadows, definitely. Recently I’ve bought some Illamasqua glosses and some Make up Revolution ones and the difference is incredible, not pigmentation but transfer, how long it lasts, also where it fades? So many lip products give me butt hole lips when faded but I’ve found Illamasqua lip products fade gradually from all over. That said, there’s definitely some duds.
However, I’ve tried some Younique products and with most they don’t feel worth the price at all, like I can get better at the drugstore.

There are good and bad performers on all ends of the price spectrum anymore. This said, if I pay a lot for a high end product and it performs badly, then I’m doubly disappointed and assign my disappointment to the brand itself. Meaning, I won’t order their products online if I cannot check it out in store, and enough of these disappointments I just look for another, more reliable brand.

The difference has lessened. Powder products still tend to be lacking. Nail polish, lips, mascara, and eyeliner are perfect examples of how they compare. I’ve had plenty of drugstore of those that are just as good as high end. Foundation is hit or miss. I for my dry/combo/dehydrated skin that is very fair, I usually only find matches in high end or niche.

have you tried the Maybelline Fit me powder? I have similar skin type to you and i was surprised I like it a lot. 🙂 It’s great at smoothing pores and i use a small kabuki brush to apply it, and it doesn’t look cakey.

The gap has truly narrowed over the decades. Unless you are looking for unique features, you probably can find a DS product that is acceptable. As I prune my stash, I find that HE probably uses better preservatives, and lasts longer. Virtually every Avon l/s has to go. (Had a rep at work, don’t look for/at it now.)Virtually every Nars, Chanel, Dior is still good, though the rubberized packaging on that, Some Kvd, etc. does not hold up at all. DS has caught up on the fashion driven aspect and now presents a lot of LE or themed product. DS masc, which I never tried until the 2000s, has always been acknowledged as the way to go, esp due to expiration. haven’t ever gone UHE. I do have preferences at both ends.

Most drugstore eyeshadow pales in comparison to more expensive eyeshadow in both pigmentation and staying power. Drugstore lip products so often have a bad smell that I don’t even look at them anymore.
I don’t use much Drugstore makeup. There are some exceptions however.

I’ll freely admit that I only buy high-end products; I have never and will never buy drugstore. I will concede that quality is improving, as is the return policy, but I prefer to buy things will less filler ingredients, and to be able to try out and test products before buying. You can’t do that if everything is sealed and I’m not one to buy 5 different versions of something to take home, see if it’s my color and return. That’s just my preference and when I started learning about make-up, it was the best way to go to get products that wouldn’t cause major skin issues. It’s probably not the popular view, but I own it.

In most types of products, yes, but every now and then a budget brand will surprise you.

I have never encountered a drugstore brand foundation that measures up to higher-end brands. (To be fair, I don’t really buy the DS brands that are said to have good options because they tend not to be cruelty free, so I’m probably not the best authority on this.) Same with concealer, although I have yet to find a HG at any price point.

In general, I much prefer higher end shadows… they tend to be more pigmented, blend better, and stay on longer. But every now and then you can find a DS or budget brand of comparable quality (like WnW Comfort Zone or, at least so I’ve heard, a few of the BH Cosmetics palettes).

DS cheek products don’t tend to last long on me as compared with my Tarte, UD, and Too Faced blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, although the NYX powder contouring palette and WnW Reserve Your Cabana do well for the price.

There are good lipstick options at every price point, but the higher-end products tend to have more staying power or at least feel a little better on the lips. I have a Marc Jacobs lipstick sample that feels good and stays on incredibly well, which means I’m going to spring for a full size when I get out of my current state of brokeness.

I’ve had good luck and bad luck in equal parts with mascara at high and low price points.

I think it depends on the product. For me personally, I’ve found a great mascara from Cover Girl that I’ve been using and it rivals, or is even better, than the Bare Minerals one I’ve been buying for a couple years now. On the other hand, I find that high end skin care products are much more effective than budget brands.

Great question.

It is such a mixed bag. I have had my own corporate marketing company for more than 25 years, and I KNOW I still fall prey to the high end marketing messages that the HE products are better quality, better lasting, and better all around. I also know it’s true in some cases, but not in others. Marketing is a powerful thing on many levels.

My L’Oreal liquid liner works as well as Kat VD’s coming and going. A Wet ‘n Wild blush I own has the staying power of Marc Jacobs and then some. This is not attractive to admit, but I still do prefer to use my more luxe products than the low end ones. Sigh. Some of those feelings are sheer manipulation.

That said, I have never found a drugstore foundation that works for me (they all turn yellow), so I will continue using HE for that. I recently bought an Essence bronze eye palette (<$6), and it is only good to use as a cheek highlighter with one of the colors. Even thought cheap, it's a waste. Got the ABH Renaissance palette last night, and it's like from another planet by comparison.

I have very conflicting emotions about the HE vs. low end issue since I deal in messaging and convincing consumers every day. It's why, even though I love make up, I don't own a ton, ton of it. I'm pretty picky about what I buy. But I have many misses like everyone.

I love me a high-end lipstick. Some budget companies are pretty good (like Sephora) but the high end ones are so creamy and the color is smoother. So yeah, I notice a difference there.

*Foundation: High brands like Guerlain,YSL,Armani,Chanel…
*Highligter: High brands like Laura Mercier
*Lip liner: Budget brands like Kiko or Essence
*Bronzer: Both,i can like Givenchy,Too Faced or Catrice its no problem fo me
*Lipstick:Love the high end brands like Guerlain but my last purchase was a Calvin klein and i have also some Kiko so…
*Pressed powder:I only have high end brands
*Loose powder: Chanel,Laura Mercier or Urban Decay and for The HD powder i have Mufe and also Catrice who works really good too so the i use the both
*Eye pencil: My to go are budget brands even if i have some high end brand
*Concealer:My best they come from Mufe but i have some Dior and also Catrice in budget brands
*Blush:My favorites from Chanel but i buy some budget brand only for trying and they never become a to go,or maybe Benefit its an exception but it is a budget brands?

Finally i will say that for some important texture like foundation for have a beautiful result,blush for have this satin finish very blendable and highligter for have really ligth texture i’m only ok for high end brands but for the other products everywhere i can find a “beautiful baby” 🙂

Come on Chacha how have you forget? 😉
*Eyebrow: Two best Eye and Brow from Armani and Eye brow pencil from Catrice like 30euros difference for the price but same loves
*Mascara: Last loves from Clinique,Mufe and Marc jacobs but you can find good deal to drugstore im sure

Every time I go to the DS I come away with nothing, keep on wanting to like something. Only thing I bought was L’Oréal Lumi Foundation and WnW crème brulee es. If I get something HE that doesn’t work I have no qualms taking it back. For the HHE I don’t bother with because nine times out of ten you are paying for the name.

Hi Temptalia,
Well, I have to say have someone do a blind test on YouTube. Where only the person who is giving the test actually knows what is what. I have done it, and the results would shock you! Now you’d have to keep it fair, like loose powder in two containers, mascara use the throw away wonds, foundation two separate containers, same thing with blush, lipsticks and glosses and lastly eyeshadow that has been finely crushed with a mortar and pestle. Because on YouTube they are showing you what it is and what could be a possible dupe. That’s my point. And a great test to either pop up high ends, or at least even the score. Because while you SHOULD get what you pay for…it’s NOT written in stone, sadly. I mean Lancome does own Loreal. So how does Loreal Voluminous Mascara compare to Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara? IT’S a grey area indeed! Because I wasn’t the only one who choose Loreal Voluminous. Just wanted to put that out there, and also the scores from MakeupAlley. While WE all want to look beautiful or enhance our beauty, put our best foot forward and all that awesome fun..we’d go broke doing it, IF we do believe that we should get what we pay for in all fairness. I’m a Libra, can you tell. Lol. ? Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. And I chose wisely when it comes down to cash. I am sure we all are.

Depends. Milani eyeshadows and blushes are beautiful – gorgeous colors, great selection, long lasting formulas. I have gone cruelty free, and this brand has been a revelation. Foundations are a different story. I’ve done best with Tarte Amazon clay foundation – full coverage, decent selection, etc. As for lipsticks, I haven’t found anything I love at any price range. Too many mattes, glosses, and liquid lipsticks. Ugh!! I hate not being able to try on the cheaper brands, so I’ve settled on a couple Charlotte Tilbury colors. Long lasting, no feathering – and worth the price to be able to try it on.

I notice the biggest variation between high end and lower end/drugstore when it comes to eye shadows (MOST of the time, although not always), blushes, lipsticks (staying power and range of beautiful, wearable colors), and definitely foundations. But most of ALL when it comes to skincare products — you get what you pay for!!!!

In my experience it really depends on the product and the brand. There Are good and Bad high End products and also good and Bad low Price products.
I think the only product which I can say is mostly better from high End or higher priced products is eyeshadow/eyeshadow Palette. I Do not like matte eyeshadow and eyeshadows with shimmer or glitter make Are Different. Maybe not When you put them on but When you remove them. When removing low price eyeshadow the shimmer particles Are all over my Face and it is really hard to get Rid of it. I Do not have this Problem very often with high End eyeshadow.
Right now another thing comes to my mind. I Do not have much low Price lipsticks or glosses because they often smell not good or fruity and the Same is with the Taste then. They Taste really bad, I can not describe the taste, it is just disgusting. A few high End lipsticks also have this taste but mostly low Price.

I notice high-end doesn’t always have quality in skincare & cosmetics. Or good color range. Havent found a foundation that’s light enough when I’m pale, without yellow or pink undertones. The lightest color in the line is ok when I’m tan. And, formulas are too thick or too sheer. Skincare isn’t that great in most high-end brands. Usually gives me a rash or I breakout.

It depends on the brand. Since it’s so easy now to research the daylights out of products before making a beauty purchase (Hi, Christine! :D), it’s very rare now that I’ll spend big bucks on a high-end product. That’s largely because I haven’t been at all disappointed by their budget counterparts, so there’s rarely a need to. I guess that’s the bottom line for me: If the “difference” mentioned in the question is in how satisfied I am with a product, then the answer for me is No, I don’t see much of a difference between high-end and budget brands.

I think the biggest difference we expect is the ingredients used for higher end will be better and safer than lower priced options. As for quality differences foundations are difficult at drugstore prices especially with no Bourjois or Max Factor. For me they make break out except one or two and color selection is not good. Yet high end shadows lack pigment and often dissappoint. I find the best method is try as you go whichever mix of low to high end products works for you.

It depends. Foundation, I can tell a difference. I sweat profusely and have to change my primer and foundation routine for summer. My go to foundation doesn’t sweat off easily, but it’s heavy. I’ve searched for a long lasting, med-full coverage, and matte foundation, it’s slim pickings with color choices for drug store brands, especially for WOC. But for eyeshadow it’s a mixed bag, MAC’s pardadisco is the most disappointing shade I’ve tried, in terms of color pay off, it’s actually the color where I learned about eyeshadow primers and bases, years ago. I think most brands can be great with the right primer and base and can become long lasting. For primer, it depends on your skin. I use milk of Magnesia and another primer for my tzone for summer. I don’t see the point of wasting my good stuff, when it’s going to sweat off anyways. Now as for lip colors, I’m stuck on NYX products, MAC and Stila used to be my go tos, but I can get awesome quality, color, wear, and selection for much cheaper. Which is a great business tactic, because I buy more and don’t feel bad about a color not working out when it’s $6- $7.

Oh and for eyebrows, I was using wet n wild pencils since I was 15, up until they changed the colors last year. I’m still using a beauty supply pencil and my eyebrows are always slayed and on fleek. Sure, I can spend $20 on a high end pencil…but why if I get great quality from a $2 pencil with double the product. Eyeliner is the same, I’ve been using a drug store felt tip for my signature cat eye, for over 12 years. I love a fully beat face but, I don’t have to have all high end products for everything.

I pretty much wear high end, and I have tried to reduce costs by trying drug store dupes, but they just don’t work for me. I can’t find a lash primer better than Dior Show, or a mascara as good as Chanel Inimitable mascara. I will say that the Marcelle powder is a pretty close dupe to Chanel, so that’s a nice saving. Nail polish can be duped, but my Ford polish in Toasted Sugar is a year old and I have half a bottle left, still a perfect consistency. If a bought a cheaper one it could be too thick in months, and would it give me 7 days of perfect wear time? The economy is just not there for me, and plus the Ford polish goes on like butter and dries so quickly. So, for me there is a marked difference in quality, and I don’t really look around in the drugstore. If I was in Europe or Asia though, I might take a peek, there are some solidly beautiful, inexpensive well made products I would love to try, esp. Asia!

DS formulations have changed radically on the last 10 years. When one considers that L’Oreal owns numerous brands as does Estee Lauder… those high end formulstions are used in the DS products – compare the ingredient lists. BTW, there are NOT different qualities of cosmetic invredients. They all meet the same standards.. TALC is talc, Mica is mica.

Hi Sandy, That is an excellent point. FWIW, the rule of thumb proposed by the cosmetic scientists over at the Beauty Brains is this… compare the first FIVE ingredients. If they are the same, the product will be virtually identical whether it be Maybelline or Chanel. The ingredients down the line after that are often so infinitesimal, that they virtually discount them. This is true for makeup and skin care.

Now, for mascara etc., the brushes may not be the same, and that can effect application. But that’s just about the only line they draw.

I think there are good and bad products on both ends. If a budget brand products turns out to be bad it’s not as disappointing as it is when an expensive product doesn’t perform as it’s said it should.

It does depend on the product: eye shadows are definitely a lot better once you go to mid to high end brands. And even then, reading reviews like this one, is essential so that you don’t end up with a dud.
As far as lipsticks, mascaras. eye brow pencils etc. DS brands can be fantastic.
With foundations, that can be tricky, due to the limited shade range of DS brands, but then again you might be lucky and find a good one.
There are many great DS brands: Milani, Colour Pop, Sleek, Physician’s Formula, Wet and Wild, NYX that offer
an amazing range of products for the price.

I could be wrong, but it’s the wear time, and bendability that I think more expensive products perform better. Especially the wear time – from my experience. To be honest, eyeshadows last me sooo long that I don’t even look at the drugstore ones, so I cannot tell whether this is the case with them, but foundations, powders, blushes, bronzers I do see the difference.

Totally agree that the answer is “sometimes”. In general I’ve found that eye shadows are more pigmented with better application in high-end brands, but that’s definitely not the rule as there are duds in that price range too. Then there’s Colour Pop at the other end of the price spectrum that has great pigmentation and a nice formula.
I haven’t found a suitable foundation and powder outside the high end brands, but attribute that to challenging my skin (very sensitive, very oily). For lipstick I use mid like Clinique, to high end. Chanel mascara is my new best buddy. Can’t believe I waited so long to try it.

I’ve noticed a difference in foundation. After reading popular blogs and watching Lisa Eldridge’s videos, I bought Loreal Lumi Magic and Bourjois Healthy MIx foundations, and as nice as they are, they just can’t compare to my fav foundation of all – Chanel Vitalumiere where I get good coverage, excellent staying power and beautiful dewy skin.

With lipsticks I find drugstore formulations really good so have a mix of HE and drugstore. And with eyeliners I’ve found Maybelline a great everyday product but still love my UD liner.

Oh, and I forgot to say that I love, love, love (!) my Dior eyeshadow palettes and they are definitely superior to many of my drugstore eyeshadows.

It definitely depends on the product. Every brand seems to have its good and bad products. I’ve bought some really terrible high end eye-shadow, swatched it first, thought it was great tried it again at home and it was practically invisible. But for eye-shadow primer I haven’t found a budget brand that works well. I think it depends on the product and your skin.

At first I thought, yes it does make a huge difference having tried a lot of both drugstore and high-end foundations. The luxury ones do feel lighter on the skin and lasted longer, that is, until I stumbled upon (during my recent trip to Japan) their drugstore foundations – Octard and Naturactor. Oh my! My expensive foundations cannot compare to these two in terms of coverage, longevity and application. Soon I discovered how most of the Japanese drugstore brands can definitely compete with high-end make-up at a fraction of the price!

I think the biggest difference is the packaging, both lookswise and quality wise. In most cases, a high end product either has no applicator or an excellent one. No crap included. Many budget brands have crappy ones. Also, the cases of the higher end products tend to break less and close more easily.

Quality of the product itself…sometimes there is a difference. Many budget brands now have great consistencies and color choices, and are right on-trend. Foundation, I think – spending more usually makes a difference. I have yet to find anything that gives the coverage of Armani Luminous Silk without transferring all over the place.

I can tell with certain products (blush, foundations, eye shadows and Mascaras) high end has proven better by far for me. Lips, pencils I can go either way.

There is a much smaller difference in quality/formulae between lower-price and high-end products now than there was 40 years ago. I think part of the reason is one corporation often owns a high end, masstige, and low-price brand (or brands) and new products and formulae are first released in their high-end brand, then over time filter down to their masstige and low-price brands. Additionally, in the past few decades many new low-price/multi-purpose ingredients have been discovered (silicone, anyone?) that can are utilized in formulae for products at all price points. Every brand, regardless of price-point, has its hits and misses, as your product reviews have proved time and again, Temptalia. “You get what you pay for” simply does not apply to cosmetics anymore – when paying 40.00 for an eyeshadow no more guarantees a silky, highly pigmented formula than paying 4.00 necessarily guarantees a gritty, patchy one.

The only difference is the price and the marketing/positioning of a brand. For example, Loreal owns Lancome, Loreal, Maybelline….there is no difference in formulation. The formulation for a new product comes from the department store brand and then works its way down to mass. For the most part, when we buy “prestige” we are buying into a brand positioning. I have worked in the cosmetics industry for years and know how brands and developed….the only thing I would caution is “made in China” as the regulation rules for importing cosmetics are minimal.
Love your blog!!!

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