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The markup on most makeup is usually high, so there’s really no arguing that it’s not overpriced. But like most material things, it’s a matter of the utility to you and what your own budget is like. You might find that there are better ingredients in a pricier product, but it may not be at the same quality/price ratio as a cheaper product. Unless you actually looked at a brand’s books and saw their total costs, it’s hard to say by how much or if it really is overpriced.

— Christine

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I’m honestly mixed about this. I started buying makeup by myself when I turned 16, and I could never afford foundation–cheapest one was around $12, and I didn’t have $12 to blow at the time. Today I still think foundation is crazy expensive. On the other hand, I don’t think things like eyeliner are overpriced, there are many brands you can get from under $10. I remember my first eyeliner being an automatic pencil by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, it was only a dollar and easy to use. Would only line my lower lids but by the time school was over, it had all seeped down so I looked like Alice Cooper LOL

Makeup is definitely overpriced here in Canada.

Yesterday, I bought the Benefit Hoola bronzer at Sephora because I heard good things about it. It costs $36.00, not including tax. But in the United States, you can get the bronzer for only $28.00. Considering that the US/Canadian dollar currency exchange is almost the same, I can say that makeup is overpriced in Canada.

That is still my biggest pet peeve, especially with MAC products. They are 20% more in Canada, and they’re made here for crying out loud!!

Don’t even get me started. It doesn’t matter if the US dollar is only worth 95 cents compared to the Canadian dollar – we still pay more!!! And as Kaseycannuck said, it’s most infuriating with MAC since they used to be a Canadian brand and they are, indeed, made here! GRRRR!

I think makeup, like so many other things, follows the laws of supply and demand. If people are willing to spend the money on the product at its given price, the makeup companies will sell it at those prices. I think makeup has a huge markup, and that the value of the ingredients in it probably doesn’t come close to the total selling price; on the other hand, makeup’s easy to steal, and you can’t resell it once it’s been opened and returned, so that probably factors in somehow.

I think $48 for a lipstick is probably too much, regardless of its jeweler-designed case with a flip-top mirror, and $42 for a blush is pretty expensive even if it does come in a nice velvet pouch and have a sort of useable brush with it. On the other hand, I’ve paid those prices before and probably will again, so I can’t exactly complain. If you don’t think makeup’s worth the price, don’t buy it. There are options at all price levels, from Wet n Wild through Cle de Peau.

Here in Australia, yes, everything is overpriced, generally one and half or double the US price, if they can afford to sell a lipstick at $15 there, there’s no reason it has to cost $33 here (a small markup would be fair due to taxes/smaller market, but not a doubling of the price).

But, having lived in the US, I think most brands are reasonable. For more luxe brands (Chanel, Dior etc) they’re selling a premium product and an image- more expensive ingredients, packaging, advertising, and the consumer pays more for the luxury. The prices for drugstore makeup there amazed me, eyeliners for $1?!

But there’s a limit to ‘expensive because it’s exclusive’, I think some brands seem to put almost joke prices on to see if someone will pay- is their really that much of a difference between a Chanel lipstick and a Cle de Peau one for example? (In terms of ingredients etc, although maybe there is, because Chanel and Dior make money through other products too).

I’m always going to be biased on this, as I’m sure most non-US residents are. I can totally understand the need to mark up especially if a company uses a specialised ingredient, but the increase once it gets out of the States is crazy. For example, Revlon’s Just Bitten lip crayon things are $18 here in Australia compared to $9USD. MAC Studio Fix Fluid is $49AUD vs. $27USD. Particularly now when anyone can log onto the internet and compare prices, it’s insane that Australian retailers are having a go at the consumer for shopping online. Personally, if make-up here was comparable to US prices, I’d be much more inclined to buy designer/prestige brands, and I’d be much more likely to buy in store, but as it is I’m pretty limited by my budget.

I’ve been buying most of my cosmetics online because I just can’t afford to stock my kit paying the prices we do in Australia. It’s ridiculous. I’m happy to buy in store for Illamasqua because they’ve matched their UK prices but it PAINS me to buy MAC etc in store. $30 for a MAC eyebrow pencil – seriously! And who wants to pay $115 for a NARS foundation??

Considering my newly unemployed status and the length of my list for Archie’s Girls and the other MAC collections in April- I would say yes. The total for my items is really heinous and I have a serious moral conflict over paying so much for cosmetics when I should be saving it or could be donating it to my favorite charity. I also am old enough to recall when DS items were much more reasonably priced. Seeing MAC polish reach $17 and the price of Wulong has really caused me to rethink some of my priorities. Let me stress in NO way does this extend to others cosmetic purchases or interests, it only concerns my own. So yes, especially when something is produced for next to nothing, most likely in frightful conditions at the expense of others well being. This is something I consider before purchasing anything really. I get quite exhausted 🙁

I think for sure, some of it is, at all price points. Anything that doesn’t live up to performance promises is automatically overpriced. I was just thinking the other day how Wet’n’Wild has had the same prices for basics for as long as I can remember, and has actually increased in quality (for some items) and wondering how they do it? Must be the cheap packaging and minimal marketing. When I see high end pricing, and then I see that the packaging is only marginally better than drugstore I wonder where the price difference comes from. Maybe ingredients, but I have yet to try a high end item that absolutely knocks my socks off when compared to a drugstore item.

Yes. Most definitely, yes. There is very little real innovation that goes into the making of most products, but there is a lot of hype and marketing. One reason why professional brands (aimed at makeup artists) are more cost effective is because they are aimed at people who know what goes in to the creation of make up, and therefore are unwilling to shell out a lot for fancy packaging, or expensive marketing campaigns.

Considering how low production costs tend to be in comparison to prices of the finished product, make-up is most definitely overpriced. :/

Definitely it is and you put it very well. Especially high end makeup, I wouldn’t be surprised if their profit margins are ridiculously high. I suppose you can expect a $30 lipstick to be generally better quality than a $5 lipstick, but is it really 6 times better? I mean does it really take 6X more money to make it? (and the drugstore brands even seem to be spending more money on adverts) I am not hating on high end or saying that we shouldn’t buy it or anything, i am just baffled by some of the “makeup economics” that’s all.

Not really no.
Well I don’t often buy the $50+ a piece make up, but i am a fan of high end.

Skincare is even more expensive IMO
You can see the color/texture on makeup, while skincare is more of a gamble.

For me who used to buy lots of clothes (mid-range brands), i could get a lot more “toys” if i spend my money on make-up instead.
To give you an idea, I usually spend around $60-100 for a piece of clothing. That’s how much it costs in Australia.
Now that can buy me, what, 2-5 MUs depending what im buying! 😉

I will pay for some brands (LMdB, Giorgio Armani…). They products I buy are gorgeous and last for ages. The same with perfume. I pay higher for better and rarer perfume.

MAC is overpriced. There collections are why i don’t buy from them. They need to work on some of their permanent products before releasing underwhelming collection on top of underwhelming collection. NARS is sometimes overpried. Chanel is sometimes overpriced.

Americans complaining about how expensive makeup is always make me laugh. I honestly think makeup is dirt cheap in the US. In fact, when I first got really into makeup, I would buy MAC like it were a drugstore brand, like 20-30 products at a time. US MAC prices are still cheaper than a lot of drugstore brands are where I live. A single MAC eyeshadow is $30 here.

I’m not saying there aren’t products that are overpriced (Guerlain Wulong anyone?), but for the most part I think the prices are reasonable. I don’t feel makeup in general is overpriced, just certain products/brands. Does Cle de Peau lipstick really have to be $60? I do most of my shopping online as it saves me a lot of money. I always feel a bit guilty if I buy makeup in store here where Chanel quads are typically $90 and Guerlain quads $100-$110. Certain foundations are $160.

I don’t feel like makeup is that expensive when you compare it to other stuff. A decent pair of jeans is $200, a haircut+coloring is $300-350, a cheap new car is $50 000. Or maybe EVERYTHING is overpriced, but it’s not like we can’t afford it.

I’m not sure where you live, however I can’t afford any of the things you’ve listed in the last paragraph. Simply because MAC is cheaper in the States doesn’t mean that it isn’t overpriced, that may simply mean things are even more painfully inflated in places like Europe and Australia. I would argue its a travesty, the inflation that occurs overseas. Again, I’m not sure which $ we are talking about but I would never pay $200 for my “decent” pair of jeans, especially after working at Nordstrom. I’m responding in a particularly critical fashion because your last sentence, unless it was sarcastic, seems particularly out of touch with many who struggle to afford the basics, much less an extravagant blow out. But I think you are right on the money about everything being overpriced.

I am also confused by the last paragraph, reading print from a stranger makes it easy to misunderstand comments. That said…I live in the US and I cannot afford Mac items, although I would love to try them. I was also surprised by your comment “I would buy MAC like it were a drugstore brand, like 20-30 products at a time.” I stood in front of a 40% off display of Revlon lip butters for 30 minutes last night because I wanted to try one so badly after reading everyone’s comments but was concerned about spending the money…even though it is my birthday this weekend…because rent, utilities, gas, food and medical expenses need to be paid. If you were joking…other parts of your reply made it hard to understand that and if you weren’t please consider that not every person, regardless of location, is in the situation where “Or maybe EVERYTHING is overpriced, but it’s not like we can’t afford it.”

It may be MY complete ignorance, but traveling to other countries and reading people’s comments about purchases made in other countries has left me with the impression that most places have products sold at a variety of price points – and yes, the quality is often lower with the lower purchase price – but I’ve never heard of a country where every pair of “decent” jeans is $200 and every “cheap new car” starts at $50,000 unless their average income was higher than numerous other countries. MANY people, myself included, cannot afford a NEW car even if it is a “cheap” one.

I hope you don’t feel like I’m being mean, I just don’t understand your comments…I feel like you are not in touch with the financial challenges that many people are experiencing regardless of where they live. Or maybe I am just terrible at getting your jokes 🙂

Well Kelly, not that you asked, but since its your birthday and all if you want to exchange info I will pick up some of the Revlons and send them to you. Because I completely have been in your shoes. Every girl needs new lipstick for her birthday. If you are interested, just ask Christine for my email 🙂

Love this!!! And Happy Birthday to you Kelly….I also was in your shoes for a large part of my life. I feel like I wasn’t financially together until about age 40 if that helps.

While I agree with what you are saying mostly, your last paragraph doesn’t make much sense to me. Here in Ireland a hair cut and colouring would cost around €100, €200 max. Due to the exchange rate this works out as even less in USD.

A cheap new car is $50,000? Yikes, even here in Canada, a cheap new car can be purchased for far less than that. As for spending $200 on jeans…not somewhere I’d put my money, even though I do wear jeans – and fairly nice ones – often and to work. You may be in a whole different part of the world and if so, prices for autos and jeans, etc. may be a whole lot higher than where I am (and they’re high enough here). I just think when you look at something like Wet n Wild Brulee eye shadow and compare it to MAC Brule eye shadow and weigh out the difference in price vs the difference in quality, you can’t help realizing that a lot of the cost of most makeup products is simply the “prestige” factors, along with packaging, advertising and “cachet”.

$200 for jeans made me stop in my tracks…I have quads that are 4 times more expensive than some of my jeans. Is that the average price for jeans where you live or is that the price for designer/high end jeans?

I hope this comment is a joke, because everything you just listed is ridiculous. $50,000 will get you a BRAND NEW Mercedes in the U.S. I have never paid $200 for a pair of jeans. Then again, I don’t know where you live, but I think this comment is very insensitive.

In Sweden makeup is really expensive. Brands like Estée Lauder and Clinique cost about twice as much as in the US. Therefore I try to shop abroad or online as much as I can.

Some make up is definitely overpriced. What I hate most, is the difference in pricing between countries. Brands like Revlon an MAC are so much cheaper in the USA than in Europe. Then I feel like it’s overpriced here in the Netherlands.

Just by comparing the prices of products that are sold both here in Germany and in the US (or any other country) I have to say yes. Companies must pay shipping, taxes, currency conversion etc and still want to make profit, I know that. But the constantly upped prices give me the feeling like they are plucking my wallet unnecessarily.

The only thing I can do is buy less. And we all know how that feels.

I live in Australia. The answer is YES, a thousand times yes. But, within that, I appreciate brands that don’t mark up their products ridiculously. In general, I don’t actually know, but I would say so.

On a related note, what is the MAC Pro discount? And are there other programmes like MAC Pro which offer discounts, and how much are they? It’s worth noting just how much brands will discount their items.

Where I live, in Sweden, make up is super expensive due to (at least that’s what I’ve been told) import costs. For example, a China Glaze nail polish costs about 15 USD. Yeah. Oh well, I guess there is not much to do about it, just suck it up and use eBay instead. 🙂

sadly enough, price does not equal better ingredients. many of the high end brands; estee lauder, clinique etc uses mineral oil as a pretty major ingredient in lots of their products which I think is pretty awful, it’s cheap and very controversial and since other brands have found alternatives I think it’s plain stupid of the ones that still use it.

I think drugstore makeup, for being what it is, tends to be overpriced. Te only cosmetics line that I feel has the right to be as expensive as it is is Physicians Formula, because I personally feel it’s right around Department Store quality.

You know, I have never tried Physicians Formula because its the most expensive brand in the DS, but also because I just hate the packaging. Just looking at the packaging makes me turn around. That’s my opinion anyway. If there was an item from the brand, which one would you recommend?

Not the OP, but I’m a fan of their gel eyeliner and their face powders…I use the shimmer strips as a bronzer (they look like a BB shimmer brick), their Mineral Wear correcting powder in translucent as a finishing powder. I actually have more face powders by them, but I can go on forever about them. If you have access to PF and Milani, you don’t need high end face powder product. (Not that this hasn’t stopped me from buying Tarte or Benefit, but…)

For the most part, I don’t look at the price as the make or break when I buy makeup. It is expensive, but it is also kind of a luxury as it is something you want, not something you need. Anyway, I like to have more natural type products, but I do have regular. I try to be more natural on the things that take up more space on my face, like powders, foundation etc. I also have very sensitive, sometimes dry skin, so I have no choice in what I can’t use.

When you see really good products that are also inexpensive (Wet n Wild, NYX, Maybelline, etc.), that old chestnut about how you have to pay for quality just no longer holds true so, yes, of course, makeup is overpriced. Some of it is overpriced to create an image of luxury so that when we shell out 60 dollars for a blush we can “reassure” ourselves that we’re getting something special (I guess it’s sort of like belonging to an exclusive social or country club, in a way). I think there is no question that a lot of makeup is seriously overpriced and I sometimes wonder if the companies have a good laugh when they see what they can get us to spend for a lipstick. But I love makeup and as much as I feel that we are being fleeced by many of the “luxury brands”, I will still fall prey to the desire to own many overpriced products. What can I say? I’m exactly the sort of sucker they’re looking for!

I would like to co-sign every part of this comment.

I do think that price has little to do with quality in cosmetics…but at the same time I do get this feeling of luxury or pampering myself when I use something from a department store versus something from the drugstore. So yep, I’m also exactly the kind of sucker cosmetic companies are looking for. 😀

I believe some high end brands are a bit extreme on some products. i’ve seen $100 foundation and $45 for a lipstick and i don’t know how you justify spending THAT mutch on something you will wipe away.

I agree some of department store cosmetics are over priced.not only that they keep on increasing it. They need to keep steady the price for some time, instead of that they increase almost every other season.

I’m sure some of it is, but where else can you get that great feeling for shelling out $20 for a new lipstick?

Some of it is. It just depends on how much you are willing to spend on a particular item, or how much your budget is.
I love Mac Lipsticks and im happy to pay the price of one, while i have friends who wont even bother buying them just because of the price.
Smashbox is a brand that i find very overpriced, especially the halo powder which is £45 for a pot, when it lasts just as long and is exactly the same as a MSF natural which is £20. I refuse to even buy anything from smashbox now.

It really depends on your taste and priorities. I think really expensive eyeshadows are ridiculous (for me) because I can do really cool and diverse looks with my Fraulein38 palette that I bought 15€, for example.
In comparison, I totally understand the prices of the Mac brushes, despite the fact that I’m in love with the 224 but can’t afford it 🙁 If you take care of your brushes they are going to last you forever, so the price is worth it, I guess.

It makes me laugh all the time when people in the US complain about overpriced make-up. If you think makeup is overpriced in the US, you should come to Australia. Our make-up prices are double of what yours are. A MAC lipstick costs us $35. It would be a dream for us Australian girls to have US prices in our stores!

Make some friends in the US and Canada, pay them back, and get them to send it to you 🙂 Shipping a small package to Australia from BC is usually less than $10.

Yes, especially for certain packaging of high end products.
I sort of wonder what would happen if the demand for all makeup went way down for a while. I wonder how much lower makeup could be then!

Reading some comments is very interesting how the prices are duplicated in places like Australia or Europe. Let me tell you, I live in Mexico which is close enough to the US to avoid some of the transportation fees that are paid by the final consumer. Yet, Revlon Color Stay is over $25USD here, a Maybelline mascara is over $25USD and so on. High End brands prices are also duplicated here so maybe we can say that makeup is cheaper in the US which doesn’t mean is not overpriced even there.

That said, makeup is overpriced if it lacks in quality. I own NYX, Wet N Wild cosmetics that work better than Chanel or Dior. If I compare my experiences then I say that those HE brands are overpriced. Once I told the Dior SA that their eyeshadow quads creased on me and that other cheaper brands didn’t, she simply responded that Dior shadow may crease but those cheaper brands would kill me because their ingredients were cheap therefore they are also poisonous and that I would pay the price sooner or later.

Personally, I don’t believe that expensive makeup equals quality makeup. I think that some brands spend way too much on fancy advertising which translates into expensive products.

Did she really tell you cheap makeup was poisonous! LOL. Just lol. Quite apart from how ridicuolous that is, honestly, something is has to kill you one day. May as well be cheapo eyeshadow!

I guess she had to try to justify her company’s inflated prices somehow. Good heavens – you would think that Canada and the US don’t have standards for what can and can’t be put into products or that we don’t have safety/testing agencies.

I was there with my cousin and the SA was pushy in trying to sell me a new Dior skin care product I didn’t need. I just justified not using Dior because the eyeshadow didn’t work on me, that’s all. I suppose she got offended by my comparison but I did so she could just focus on helping my cousin who was actually trying to buy something from them.

There are tons of products that have ingredients that may be harmful. As Stacey said in a comment above, everything is poisonous at some point and there are people who react badly to some ingredients, even if they are approved.

I’m from Mexico too and think they are really expensive in comparison to the US . And even some cheaper ones are double or triple in price than the US so you buy things at the drugstore at the price of a US MAC product and the return policies don’t exist except from Sephora 🙁

It depends on body chemistry…Dior has never dissapointed me,Chanel and Ysl are even superior to that, being the two the largest offenders in my makeup collection. All the Ds I have ever used has either underperformed or made me go to the doctor with an allergic, bizzare reaction, given me pain like those hard as rock mascara balls that got inside of my eye back when I was 12, that Ds mascara gave me a huge trauma, I used mascara again until I was 17 Estee lauder turbolash it was excelent, no bad reactions. I also remember that lipgloss from NYC that gave me terrible stomach pains and that plastic flavor it had…and that Ds long lasting lipstick that landed me with the doctor, that week of school I had to lose because that reaction the Ds product gave me had made me temporarily deformed…not to mention I felt alot of pain. That Dior SA I´m afraid speaks the truth… Ds must be poison if I take my experiences into account, for High end has allways been impecable, but each person is different I guess, lets hope Ds hates me and that it really isn´t poison…

I do believe that there are things our body just rejects and that is why we have so many options. Some people choose based on what works for them, but there are others who choose based on what is trendy or what brand is “in”. I don’t judge them, is a matter of personal taste. Some others, like you have to choose based on ingredients t hat are not harmful. At the end is a matter of personal choice and if you feel okay either with HE brands or DS ones I think is just okay.

My opinion is that it is overpriced due to marketing cost and because people are willing to pay for that price….so why not make it cost more for that brand name whether it is MAC or Chanel for example.

I think it’s important to realize that part of that markup is due to things like theft and returns. Cosmetics are small which makes them incredibly easy to steal, so people do. Plus, any place that accepts returns of cosmetics is also marking up the price, because those are things that they can never repackage or sell again.

This is very true. It’s also why razors that come in big plastic sealed packs with two sets of blades are about $12, and one or two blades in a little pack is $15

I agree for drugstore, however not for high end brands at least in my area they are allways locked away under key, with SA allways around. The testers do get stolen sometimes, and thats disgusting, but I don´t think the loss of a tester which wasn´t going to be sold anyway would mark up the price that doesn´t make sense. However theft does happen with Ds and that is so sad and since the employee will have to pay from his/her own pocket for that lost product 🙁 .

Employees don’t get their pay docked for product loss from theft, at least not in the US. There might be a rare case where some stipulation in their employee contract allowed this to to happen but it would be quite rare.

I´m not from the United States, in my country it is very common for the employee to have to pay from their own pocket for lost product. It is actually well known here that small stores and flea market makeup stores make the employee in charge pay for any lost product that was stolen during their shift. It is very sad, but it´s true and this is only for Ds makeup. Ds makeup is very rarely sold in departament stores here, there are very few stores and they lack variety… For high end makeup theft is impossible here thankfully, since it is only sold in large malls and the makeup is under key, only the testers get stolen sometimes and that is gross, but the employee on charge is not affected, but like I said stolen Ds makeup, a sadly common occurence is allways paid from the unfortunate employee´s pay check 🙁 , thats how it is here.

Don’t forget High end brands are sold in places Sephora and Ulta and theft also accounts for employee theft. The loss prevention issue within a company amongst its own workers is huge.

Even id high end is under lock and key, prices are global issue not just a regional one.

It depends on the product itself. I love MAC lipsticks, and when your talking Russian Red or Rubby Woo, are you really going to find that same texture, quality and color in the drugstore? No. Some products will last, but not in the same colors I like. When it comes to eye shadow , will I find the same quality in the drugstore? Yes. Will I find the same exact colors that I love with Urban Decay? Not likely, and that is where I am treating myself. I refuse to purchase drug store foundation for two reasons. I have never found one to be a good match to my very fair skin, and the ones that were close enough for me to try always turned into a mess on my face after a few hours. In the end, 18 dollars for an eyeshadow, 15 dollars for a lipstick, 38 dollars for foundation is a lot, but lasts forever compared to the drugstore brands and I will pay it to get exactly what I want in terms of colors and quality.

It can be expensive, but it could be a little cheaper if you know where you want to spend your money on. I am more of a drugstore girl because all the essential that I need are in the DS. I don’t use eye shadow or foundation that much so it makes sense to get them from the DS. However, if in the future I were to use them, then I would go HG just because HG foundations have more range of colors and undertones. Not to say that DS foundations are bad, its just that they are limited in their color selections. So the moral of the story? Know what you use the most and then spend a little money on those items, which are usually foundation or concealers and perhaps eye shadows.

It depends on each person. My make up collection fits in one bag, 99% of it is high end. I prefer that so that I can use up everything I have and because for me, there is a huge difference in performance, beauty of the color selection, durability etc. However if a person prefers a much bigger and diverse make up collection unless you have a big budget you would go to Ds. I prefer one chanel lipstick over 50 ds ones, but there are people who will think differently. I do consider some high end products over priced like meteorites for example, since you can barely see them and I´m in college without a huge income, but again for some people they are worth the money 🙂 .

This is a very interesting question–I like reading all the responses! I have a rather different point of view than many of the other responders. I want to have high quality items that are perfect for me for everything I care about (not just makeup), but I only want a few of them. For example, I have two winter coats: one that is a nice, wool city coat, and one that is a heavy, outdoors hiking/skiing coat. That’s it. Each of the coats cost me a pretty penny, but I’ve had them for years and have enjoyed the high quality results for years. I hate buying endless cheapies that I am not satisfied with–I’d rather do my research and buy ONE. That one doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be high quality enough to meet my needs and wants. I thrift shop constantly because I can find higher quality items at the thrift shops than I can at many department stores (and within my budget). I don’t BUY a lot, however–I wait until I see something that is PERFECT. I’m the same way with makeup. I am willing to spend whatever the amount (within reason, of course! Even I have limits ;P ) to get the item that I want. For example, lately I have been looking for two specific nail polish colors: a muted gold sparkle and a creamy pea-green. My perfect gold sparkle was a $3 Wet n Wild, while my perfect pea-green was a $20 Lancome. I am thrilled with both and now do not have to look for either of these items for the foreseeable future. I wear makeup every day, so it’s important to me that I love what I have. For many items, I like going to a department store so I can try items before I buy–this is worth spending a bit more, so I don’t end up with a “dud” that just looked good in the drugstore packaging. To me, “overpriced” means I am not getting a good deal. I feel that when I am able to buy the EXACT thing I want, for a price I can tolerate, it IS a good deal and it’s not overpriced.

I do think that many make up products are overpriced; however, I really feel like it’s a matter of shopping around and knowing your price limits for certain types of products. Once I find a product that I feel is reasonably priced and works well, I don’t feel the need to continue looking for other products of the same nature especially if it costs more than what already works for me. I’m not against drugstore products, as some of my favorite everyday products are drugstore, but I never buy a drugstore product unless it is highly raved about because 1) it is usually close in price to high end products I already enjoy and 2) it can be hit and miss because there is usually no tester or samples available. When it comes to high end make up, my absolute limit for any one product is $50.00 max…no exceptions!!! My major concern with make up prices is not that they are already expensive, but that they are steadily rising! I often wonder what I’ll turn to once my favorite products become so overpriced that I just have to walk away! =/

Of course makeup is overpriced! The mark up is HUGE. And with a lot of the more expensive, high end brands you’re paying mostly for the name and the pretty packaging. For this reason I am happy to have a mix of high end and high street products in my kit. If it’s a good product, it’s a good product – who cares about the brand and price? I mean, Christine had proven on many an occasion a cheaper brand out performing a luxury brand. I’ve saved myself so much money checking out reviews on here before buying a product. I’m happy to pay AU$3 for a nail polish when I know it’s going to be as good as a AU$20 OPI polish 🙂

I think it can be overpriced. Those $70 blushes that come out? There is no way that the product itself is worth that – it’s the packaging or the brand – period. If one reads sites that rate makeup and skincare products based on their ingredients and claims – one will learn that often certain holy grail high end products are less effective than a cheaper alternative. Creme De La Mer is an example of this — it really the equivalent of mineral oil, Vaseline, fragrance and great marketing.

So cost is not always an indicator of quality. Sometimes it is, but when one considers that different brands are made in the same factories by the same companies, one quickly learns that that $4 Ardell lash can be just as good as a $25 Makeup Forever one. And in my own personal experience, I’ve preferred, say a drugstore foundation to a Chanel one.

And those sites can take a bit of the wind out of a makeup enthusiast’s sails – it’s hard to muster up enthusiasm for the latest hot thing if it’s rated to be mediocre. But it’s also freeing – the knowledge that one isn’t really missing out.

It honestly depends for me! I buy drugstore moisturizer, liquid foundation (revlon photoready, currently), setting powder, and mascara because I have relatively nice skin and I don’t CARE about having an expensive mascara or setting powder.

However, I have exclusively high end eyeshadows, blushes, & a few high end eyeliners because I feel that generally those products perform much better if they are more expensive. If you can buy the Naked Palette and get 12 full size UD eyeshadows for $50, why would you EVER buy a shitty DS palette for $12-$14? UD eyeshadows are miles ahead of any drugstore brand I have ever tried, and yes that definitely includes wet n wild & nyx. I have a few Nars blushes and I can never go back to DS now… Nars might by $28 but I have been using my Taj Mahal almost every day for over a year and there is not even a dent in the product! Worth it in my opinion. I also like high-end powder foundations, I used up a Benefit powder & now have a Mac Studio Fix.

So basically, some companies like UD don’t rip you off if you buy palettes (certain palettes) and companies like Nars offer products that last FOREVER and are so high quality that it is worth purchasing. However, I would never buy a 70 dollar tinted moisturizer or even a 50 dollar foundation. It just seems unnecessary to me as a college student. I get complements on how lovely my skin is all the time without having to pile hundreds of dollars worth of products on it : )

Some of the stuff you review on here blows my mind Christine. I’m like… people PAY THAT?? for THAT??? They must be insane. Even if I was older & more established I would never start buying from brands like Chantecaille/Guerlain that are so ridiculously overpriced that I literally could not defend buying it. I’m sure I’ll creep into the more high end liquid foundations eventually, but as I go through foundations so quickly I’m sure I’ll stick to 30-40 dollars.

I think that all makeup is overpriced, but that doesnt stop me from buying it. I would rather have a few high end products that I use everyday and replace as I run out than have a whole room full of drugstore stuff that just sits there collecting dust. But its not just makeup thats overpriced…every hobby is overpriced. Shoes, clothes, bags, accessories, sport clothes/equipment…whatever your hobby is, its not free.

Definitely! That’s why it’s such a huge business! Look at how global brands like chanel, estee lauder, lancome, etc are such empires. Advertising alone cost millions of dollars. How do you think they can afford all those celebrity endorsers? The cost of manufacturing the product and packaging them isn’t that high, it’s the branding and imaging that they need to spend on.

I definitely believe they are overpriced regardless where they are sold. The mark-up for any product is ridiculous. Not talking just cosmetics here. I remember a scandal about 10 years ago or more about a designer jeans company that made their jeans for less then a dollar, yet they would sell it for a few hundreds. It was the first time I believe I actually realized how much we pay for everything we buy.

When I used to live in Canada I still used to buy high end brands even thought the price was just ridiculous. I knew that most prices can’t be justified but I guess I do fall into the category of people that like the luxury feel of the high end products. When I got to Canada I felt the cosmetics are sooo cheap compared to what I was used to. Then when I saw how they are overpriced compared to US made me think when is this ever ending. It’s basically mark-up on top of mark-up.

We also tend to forget that even when a company announces high sales, they still make a profit. So if they can still make a profit when they have a 60% sale, how much profit are they actually making. I am making these assumptions based on my job. I’m a designer and we get lots of discount for furniture lets say. Even the wholesale price of an item is marked up, and retail is sometimes double the wholesale price.

I think some things are overpriced. For example, I don’t quite understand nail polish prices; most nail polishes are really expensive for what they are. Some brands are overpriced in general, I’m talking primarily about uber high end makeup here, like $60 lipsticks, etc. I think after a certain price point you just stop getting better quality for a higher price and end up paying solely for the brand name and exclusivity (supposedly).

Oh don’t get me going.. Australia. The most expensive place in the world to buy already expensive makeup! All high end lipsticks like chanel, ysl, cost 50+ and guerlain rouge gs cost $70! And even mac lipsticks are $45! How can they expect us to not complain??? I don’t know what I would do if there wasn’t ebay or those us mail forwarding services available so I can buy from sephora, saks, Nordstrom. Still have to pay a lot of hopping but in the end, it’s always better than the ridiculous aussie prices.

Gosh, how to answer this? I guess it depends on the product. For example, I think 80+ dollars for a Chantecaille palette is kinda ridiculous but in all fairness, I have not tried any. I do tend to gravitate toward higher end products because I think usually the quality is better. But not always.
Sometimes packaging gets me to spend more than I think I should (Dior,Chanel) but that is a choice I am making. I will say that Guerlain, while higher priced, has NEVER let me down. Everything I have bought from them I feel is worth the price. So I guess it comes down to satisfaction. If I am happy with it and use it, then it’s worth it, no matter the price. If it sucks, then it’s overpriced whether it comes from the drugstore or from Nordstroms.

I really think makeup is overpriced and rightfully so, because us ladies will continue to buy it. Imagine if the first US 50.00 lipstick never sold what would happen????? But it’s all a matter of your personal budget. Bottom line for me is that DS makeup can be really disappointing sometimes and the prices are almost on par with high end especially with pro-discounts etc. In Trinidad where i’m from I dont find DS makeup so expensive, the rate is US $1: TT $6.5 and a mascara can cost as low as TT22.00 – 50.00. which sometimes equates to it being cheaper here in T&T. Also MAC cosmetics are really affordable when converted from US plus shipping charges and taxes, it works out to be not for from the US stores e.g a mac e/s pot is TT 130.00 (final price)= US 20.00 so we’re paying US 5.00 extra for the eyeshadow. So if anyone is visting Trinidad and Tobago, you can stock up on makeup !!!! 🙂

The problem with the word “overpriced” is that we -as consumers- don’t know every little thing that goes into pricing a makeup product. Makeup can be more expensive than I’d like it to be, but ideally, I want everything to be magically free.

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