Do you think drugstore brands can really compete with high-end brands?

Do you think drugstore brands can really compete with high-end brands? Why/why not?

In certain ways, yes. I would say a mid-end brand is better positioned to really compete, because when you reduce price, you have to reduce costs somewhere else. You might not get the fancy packaging of high-end makeup, but I think the products themselves can compete. Many of the drugstore brands come from conglomerates that own high-end brands, and a lot of the technology that the high-end brand develops will trickle down to other brands within the parent company.

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It depends on what you are looking for. Alot of the cost from the high end brands are due to its advertising and packaging in my opinion. It is almost like buying for the name rather than the product. Some high end brands are just not all that great…and I think MAC is an example. There may be a MAC cult following, but to me UD has better eye shadows textures for applications. The likes of Diors, Guerlain and Dolce N Gabanna, Lancome, YSL all have beautiful packaging but some of their products are just not there. As for mascaras, I cant tell the difference between Loreal and the high end mascaras. Another example are nail polishes. I am not going to spend $25 on Chanel when I can find a lower price version somewhere. Skin care is what I dont compromise. If Sisley’s $500.00 price tag for skincare claims to do what it can do, I would certainly purchase it to stay away from the knife.

Yes. I think that, in general, a lot of cosmetics companies are more concerned with ensnaring impulse buyers than gaining repeat customers. Therefore, they’re not necessarily motivated to produce a high quality product – as long as they can make their stuff initially attractive with gimmicks, packaging, or weighty promises, they’re going to move product. I’ve used a few high-end products (YSL Golden Gloss) that are attractive but very bad quality, particularly for the exorbitant price. But since there are people who want both looks and performance, a brand like NYX that generally delivers both is going to build a big fan base – the fact that NYX is inexpensive is just a bonus. As to how the myriad of drugstore brands that are both unattractively presented and low quality stay in business, don’t ask me.

I think certain items can, but others are much better high end. For instance I’ve just gotten into eyeliner, because I was experimenting I didn’t want to spend a lot so I got some good drugstore stuff, but I find that it’s very good, and I can’t really imagine how a higher end eyeliner would be better, it’s smooth, goes on nicely and lasts all day.

I think drugstore brands can absolutely compete with high end cosmetics. While there are some products where extra money definitely buys you more than just fancier packaging, there are others where I don’t feel there’s much incentive at all to go up market as opposed to sticking with bargain brand. Nail polish is an excellent example of this. Chanel and Dior might put out some excellent colors, but their formulas don’t necessarily perform any better that the lower priced salon and drug store brands. I also don’t find nearly as much of a performance gap between cheap and high end mascaras as I feel there should be for the price, and rarely buy high end mascara because of it.

To me, one of the big competitive edge between high end and low end cosmetics is the high end’s ability to keep up a wider variety of shades than drugstore brands who compete with one another for shelf space. Mid-end and high-end brands are sold in venues where they’re guaranteed a certain amount of space in which to display their permanent and seasonal items which means they can offer a wider range of formulas and colors. Drugstores are constantly squeezed out of space, so much so that it can often be a chore to hunt down their new collections because no one’s guaranteed space for their new product displays. That’s a problem I seldom experience with the mid and high end brands, and does make a big difference in terms of brand experience which I consider to be almost as important as product quality.

I don’t think certain drug store items can compare with high end brands. For me, my skin is really fussy, so I have to be really picky about foundation.

However, $30 mascara is just ridiculous. There’s a million cheaper, and better, options.

Yes, I definitely do. Wet n’ Wild eyeshadows are a prime example of that. In some areas of course the high end brands are going to have the upper hand, but there are definitely some gems in your local drugstore.

Honestly, 95% of people I know don’t use high end make up at all simply because they don’t have the money. Even for me getting something from MAC or Urban Decay is a special treat, so from a financial point I believe drugstore brands have a huge market.

Personally, I think it’s really a product by product issue. I’ve had lipsticks from a drugstore brand before that I wouldn’t trade for all the high-end products. If a product works well people are going to buy it.

Yes, Drug store brands have so many dupes for High end products at way more affordable prices. In my opinion the only product that is worth spending a lot of money on is foundation, anything else can be bought at a lower cost, and will more likely perform the same, if not better.

I’ve often found drugstore brands are a bit rough (thin formulas, lack of pigmentation), although sometimes there are some nice surprises (I have some reasonable memories of Maybelline and Revlon) – but then lots of high-end stuff is grim, too, and not worth the often massive difference in price. Always searching for the perfect item – eyeshadow that looks the same all day as when it was first put on, instead of nothing left but a small smear! I’ve had some luck with specialist/pro lines, like MAC and Illamasqua – they are not as expensive as the ‘designer’ brands, but for me often perform as I’d like them to.

For people who are fairer than me, i would say yes.

I have got south asian skin tone, and its in the medium section of the shade spectrum, and i find it so hard to find foundation for my skin, or products that are even pigmented and compliment my skintone. High end brands cater for my needs by providing pigmentation and opacity, plus the wide range of shades and colours and finishes.For example the foundation i was using before i went to mac, was max factor colour adapt in toffee. It was the last colour of the shade spectrum, and it was still far too pale for me. Some brands in the uk, like sleek have started releasing makeup that caters for people of colour, but im a bit sceptical.

And nowadays, drug store brands are getting just as expensive as high end brands.

I agree. When Wet n Wild can produce the Comfort Zone palette and Cover Girl can make the Lip Perfection line, I think that they can get pretty close to the mark. The place where they fall short, in my opinion, is still foundation. They’re getting better, but it’s hit and miss. I think that the retailers may share some of the blame, though. If a manager takes a chance and leaves foundation out that is too old or heat-stressed, rather than send it back or put it on an expired list, no wonder we don’t like what we get. I’ve seen bottles separating like milk at my local drugstore and I had to wonder if they were making yogurt, because no one was going to buy that little science project and use it on their face!

The new Jordana eyeshadow singles are awesome. It kicks all the other drugstore brands out of the water.

The NYX Mega Shine lipglosses are also great. They apply so smoothly to the lips unlike any highend brand that I own.

Yes, if a high end brand comes out with some revolutionary new technology or a new concept which becomes ‘holy grail’ status for a lot of people, then people will probably be looking for a cheaper alternative which, if the brand actually pulls off, can be a huge hit. But if the drugstore’s version is noticeably cheaper quality then it doesn’t really do much for them. But if a high end brand has a new concept which doesn’t live up to the hype and the drugstore manages to fully utilize that concept then that’s a big win.
But a lot of ‘innovative’ drugstore concepts don’t really do much (roll on foundation), maybe they need a concept that works to give them ideas on how to tweak it juust a little…

It really depends on the drugstore brand. I have tried a lot of them, and yes, some of them can really compete with high-end brands. But a lot of them, I end up not using, and just sits in my makeup drawer as they are THAT bad that I wouldn’t even want to touch them, and I don’t want to return to the store as I swatched it already. Ah well. 🙁

Yes: Revlon Colorburst lipgloss is amazing. I love their lipgloss more than any other high end lipgloss i’ve tried including Chanel, dior, etc.

Mascara is pretty much the same DS to HE. I have short sparse lashes, so nothing really makes THAT much of a difference. I kinda like the clumpy look of DS.

But everything else: blush, foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick… i’ve found I like high end more.

I’ve been really impressed with Wet ‘n’ Wild lately. The packaging is not as good as MAC, but I think some of their eyeshadows are better quality than comparable MAC ones. I love the formula of their nail polishes as well. I think there are items from the drugstore that can compete with high end brands, but they can be harder to find if you don’t read beauty blogs and watch youtube. Revlon Colorstay foundation works better for me than MAC Pro Longwear, but I would never have known about it if not for youtube tutorials. Pencil eyeliners seem to be a thing that high end brands always do better. And skincare – drugstore skincare is abysmal. Either you treat acne or you treat aging – there is no inbetween! What about those of us with dry combination young skin? There seems to be nothing out there for us in drugstoreland.

Yes I do. for example I quit buying those 20 or 30+ dollar mascaras… certain drugstore mascara work just as well or better than some of those high end ones..

Yes…and no. A I’ve been watching drugstore cosmetics approach the quality of high end brands I have also seen the prices of drugstore cosmetics skyrocket.

NYX, Wet’n Wild, Revlon, Rimmel and Covergirl all put out great products and some that are not all that great. The same can be said for Lancome, Guerlain, Channel, Tom Ford and MAC. The differance is that when you get a not so great drugstore product, you shrug your shoulders and are not terribly disappointed. When your disappointed in a high end product it can be frustrating and heartbreaking. With the competition from drugstore lines I find it more and more inexcusable for high end brands to disappoint.

I do find that my favorite mascaras are high end brands, but it wouldn’t break my heart if all I had access to were drugstore brands. When it comes to nail polish, I’m all about the color and I do get sucked in to the new unique colors of high end brands. Lines like Sinful that simply copy another lines colors and publicity (OPI), just irritate me and I won’t buy on principal, AND I don’t love OPI.

I DO think their competing and I’m not liking it ! Well the quality is I guess getting better and look very similar to the things coming out in upscale brands ,but the prices have hiked so bad over the last 10 yrs . I’d rather pay a little more for the brand name .

I shop both drugstore and high end brands. I have found that for lip and nail products, I can get away with drugstore brands and like them just as well as products I could go to Sephora and spend two or three times as much on there. However, I cannot find a drugstore foundation that I think looks natural on me- or if it does, it doesn’t 6 hours later after half of it has worn off. I think I am going back to a more expensive foundation formula. On any given day, I wear a mix of inexpensive and expensive products; I just want products that work, and if I can get them cheaper at the drugstore, then yay!

Absolutley! I was a beauty advisor for Lancome for 4 years and needless to say, there are at least 2 drugstor products I know of that are just as good as theres. #1: Revlon Colorstay Foundation works just as well if not better than the Teinte Idole Ultra foundation from Lancome (plus there is about a $30 difference in price). #2: L’Oreal Lineur Intense is just as good as Lancome Artliner! It has the same felt tip, same color, same texture, and same wear and is about $17 cheaper!!!

I believe I’ve read that, in many cases, the low end brands and the high end brands are owned by the same parent company. I believe the products themselves are often the same. The higher end brands just “upmarket” their stuff…it gets in the high-end stores, the packaging is more luxe, it’s advertised differently.

But not in every case, obviously.

Depends. I know a lot of people (and I’m one of them!) say the one thing they’re willing to spend money on is a good foundation and concealer because those are your base products. Funnily enough, I have never found a high end foundation that I liked. How weird is that? About a year ago I tried some from the drugstore, and now the only two foundations I own (both of which are awsome for me)are drugstore foundations! Salley Hansen Natural Beauty inspired by Carmidy Air Brush Makeup in Light (what a mouthful!) and Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse are awsome!

I think yes, but only for certain products. I’ve bought fantastic drugstore eyeshadows, lipglosses, lipsticks, and nail polishes, but not so much foundations. I guess it could be argued that there probably is a great drugstore foundation that would suit my skin out there, but without testers, the cost of trial and error would be the same as the high end product anyway. That said, lately, I’ve been buying more MAC and less drugstore in general, just because some drugstore products are getting pricier and the price difference between that and high end seems smaller in comparison.

Sometimes. It’s really a matter of trial and error and being able to spot the winners in the lower cost spectrum. The nice thing about low end brands is that you can have a dud and only be out a couple dollars, but a higher end brand that falls short of expectations carries a mean kick in the gut. I own a couple of Maybelline eye quads, for instance, that I use almost as much as my UD and Sephora palettes. My Covergirl lipsticks get more use than some of my higher end ones (especially since I can toss them into a bag and not get upset if I lose them). And no high end brand has yet to prove a reasonable excuse to dump Maybelline’s Stiletto as my go-to mascara.

This being said, I do think there is an unfortunate matter of race privilege to take into consideration when answering a question like this. I’m a white woman, so drug store brands are specifically oriented toward my complexion. Women with darker skin tones, especially black women, are still waiting for the industry to catch up and recognize they’re an avid part of the cosmetics base now. I think it’s getting a lot better than it used to (a lot of stores in my area now carry lines specifically aimed at darker skin tones), but it’s still not quite where it should be. That’s the biggest obstacle I see for some women in finding a good middle-ground in cosmetics.

I really wish some drug store items work like revlon color stay foundation. Too bad my face broke out horribly from it and looked like a grease stick. I went back to clinque and mac studio fix foundation and my skin has never looked better. No more break outs and lasts all day!
I wear contact lenses and my eyes are very sensitive. I used to rave about my fave loreal and rimmel mascara. The biggest issue I have with drug store mascara is their flaking. I am forever in love with Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and there is a huge difference. It’s the mascara that doesn’t quit for my lashes and no flaking. The last thing I need is a piece of dry mascara scratching my cornea. I’ll pay an extra $10 to avoid something like that.
Like other posters said, I always reach for my “high” end or overall better quality make up in my draw than drug store makeup.
One item I do love is physician formula’s gel eyeliner, the stuff doesn’t quit and for $12 you get 3 colors. You don’t need very much, especially my eyes are small, and the color pay off is awesome.

I think yes, to a certain extend drugstore versions are better or comparable but to exceed a certain type of product. I don’t know. Hmmm??? My mascaras and some foundations are from drugstores but such things as great foundation and eye shadows i tend to go more high end.

I think drugstore products can be hit or miss. I’ve never noticed much difference between drugstore and high-end mascara, so I’m still buying my cheap Hard Candy one – and I love it. I also use drugstore makeup remover wipes. My brushes are cheapos too – the one-dollar ones from E.L.F. at Target are quite nice!

However, even though it took me years to try high-end makeup because of the price, I do find that in many cases, you get what you pay for. I will never use another junky, crumbly, hard-to-apply Wet ‘n Wild eyeliner pencil ever again now that I’ve tried UD’s 24/7 pencils. It used to take me several minutes of tugging to get my eyeliner on, and it always faded in a few hours. UD’s glides on like a dream in a few seconds and doesn’t budge all day. For me, that’s worth the money.

I’m also generally unimpressed with the drugstore eyeshadows, lipsticks/glosses and concealers I’ve tried – the ones I’ve used just haven’t had much staying power or color payoff. So yeah, I do buy high-end for several products. It lasts me a long time, especially since I’m not constantly reapplying like I was with cheap brands. I’d rather pay more for something I love than pay less for something that doesn’t show up or work so well.

I won’t buy makeup from China if I can at all avoid it. Its a matter of principle. Cosmetics are one of the few things I can buy that are consistently made in the USA. That’s also why I buy paula’s choice skincare…it’s also the best on the market. Makeup made in the USA is some of the best in the world. Why not give jobs to our fellow Americans?

I have used all kinds of make-up from drug store to high end department store brands. I honestly do find there is a huge difference in Mascara performance wise, as far as longevity, flaking and smudging goes. Lancome has the best mascaras hands down. I personally like a finely milled powder that leaves the skin looking very soft and not cakey and have found that the main stream brands just do not have the same finish as some of the higher end ones. Same goes for foundations and Im not even going to get into skin care. Companies have come so far now with all the different technologies most foundations that used to clog pores now act as treatments and protectors and actually come with benefits!

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