Does price indicate quality in your experience?

Definitely not–I have had plenty of high-end and luxury-priced flops and lots of budget-friendly winners. There are also indies, of course, that are often less expensive than most mid-end and high-end brands and are known for excellent quality, too. I’ve found that price is often reflective of the type of brand (e.g. designer) and can sometimes impact the packaging (custom tooled/unique to the brand, heftier, etc.).

— Christine


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Lizzie - IsolatedColor Avatar

No correlation in my experience. Most of the products I own are inexpensive and the expensive stuff I have isn’t noticeably better than what drugstore brands can make. I love being able to tell someone that the lipstick they just complimented was a $2 tube from Wet N Wild, haha.

DVa Avatar

It really depends.
Super luxury no. I think in almost all cases with those types of products you’re paying for a designer name.
While I do have some drugstore items I find I don’t reach for them as much, especially in palettes or in lip products, as I do my mid-high range products. They don’t seem (overall) to meet my expectations. There are exceptions like Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzers, or Milani blushes (off the top of my head) that I use more frequently.
Skin care:
I’ve tried drugstore brands and had good success. But brands like The Ordinary I use frequently, and they’re better value than anything out there IMO. I’ve found a few premium skin care products that I will buy again, but they are the exception, no the rule.

AJ Avatar

I think it’s rare to find really cheap makeup that is good quality (like dollar-store stuff). But I feel like there’s an upper end to how much product quality improves as price improves. You can often get a really high quality product at a drug store price. And of course we’ve all seen SO MANY products that had a big price tag and did not even have drug store quality :/ That’s why it’s so important to have reviews, especially when one can’t currently go to the store to swatch or try things on.

Ana Maria Avatar

Yes and no.

The thing is that there’s always a price. You can get a good packaging, good quality ingredients or well researched formulas without a specific costs. You can’t go too low in price without loosing the quality.
But there’s also the part where you pay extra for things that are not quality related. You pay extra for the name for luxury brands, for the marketing / advertising for mass market brands, for the shelf space at Sephora or Ulta, for the recycled or recyclable packaging and for the fair wages for sustainable brands.

The price is still an indicator of quality for some products. I personally think that you can’t get good quality foundations or face serums/treatments without at least a mid-range price. But mascaras or cleansers? Definitely rarely the price indicates quality, you can get very good drugstore ones and awful luxury ones. Eyeshadows? A good primer can sometimes fix even the lowest priced palette.

kjh Avatar

Not. At. All. And I lived through decades when DS mostly sucked. IDER, but I remember the change, when Revlon started climbing up to mid end. Around the time of the first Blush-On. Now it seems like artificial dichotomy, HE and DS. ‘DS’ has definitely closed the gap. An interesting thing about this is the strange phenomenon that DS generally does not suffer from corporate ownership, whereas the higher end products that were acquired by these major conglomerates went down the tubes or relocated at masstige level.

Mariella Avatar

Nope. As much as I love my luxury brands, drugstore and less pricey brands do indeed have products every bit as good as those with high price tags. And you only need to look at a few of the recent Tom Ford really crummy eyeshadow quads (with astronomical price tags) to see that price and quality sometimes do not go hand in hand. Still, good luck trying to pry Chanel Tisse Gabrielle or Dior Jungle away from me….

Lucia Avatar

I agree with the consensus that at high high end things really don’t approve, and I second that indie brands frequently outperform their higher-priced mainstream counterparts. With the exceptions of Milani and Colour Pop and sometimes BH, I generally turn my nose up at drugstore eyeshadows (not that I’m not still selective at mid- to high-end). If I’m wrong on this and should keep a more open mind I’d genuinely love to hear from you.

Genevieve Avatar

I completely agree with you Christine – price is absolutely no indincation of quality. When I think of some of the past Dior, Tom Ford and even Chanel products that have been quite average and then I look at Maybelline’s Burgundy Bar, which is a DS eyeshadow palette – and it is stunning.
Generally mid range eyeshadow palettes can be extremely good.
As for lipsticks, nothing is better to me than CP’s Lux Lipstick line – they often rate just as well as their more expensive counterparts.

As for skincare – again, I don’t purchase anything over the top and I find the products that I can easily get like CeraVe, A’kin, Skin Doctors, The Ordinary, Swisse, Essano, Andalou from Australia just as good as anything more expensive.

Jen Avatar

Not directly but there’s got to be high and low points where the quality or effectiveness of ingredients starts to either suffer or level out relative to the overall cost. Because of that diminishing return on investment there’s a limit to what I’m generally willing to spend on products unless I have a really good reason.

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