How do your expectations change when purchasing a high-end product compared to a drugstore product?


How do your expectations change when purchasing a high-end product compared to a drugstore product? Share!

Of all things, I expect texture to be on point. I also expect the product to generally perform as it’s supposed to–good color payoff, long-wear, etc. but after trying a lot of high-end and drugstore products, texture often is what separates them. (Texture can sometimes then play a role in pigmentation and wear!)

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The fragrance/smell of the product should be understated or not there. Besides, I somehow expect longevity from the product in the sense that it should not go bad too soon! Besides the quality of the product like streakiness in nail paints, bleeding or patchiness in lipsticks should definitely not be there!

Yes I do. Especially for mascara and lipsticks, because you can find good one at the drugstore.
For eyeshadows, usually the drugstores options are super powdery, so I don’t bother.

Since I am paying more for the product, I expect better quality (longer lasting cosmetics), and higher grade ingredients (no mineral oil).

Yep, I expect even more than a good product. They almost never are perfect(or at least almost, if I’m talking about foundation) when I swatch them, so that’s why I haven’t bought one yet.

The longevity, texture, packaging and scent of the product has to be top notch. I’m not a big fan of having scents in my makeup, but I really love the violet smell of Guerlain’s powders.

Yes, I do. I obviously expect much more from a high end product since I’m willing to shell out more money for them. Whenever I buy a high end lipstick I always look for the opacity, texture, and wear. With drugstore products I’m more lenient on products but some brands like L’Oreal and Revlon have raised the bar so high so I judge their products almost at a high-end level.

Absolutely. If something is expensive then there isn’t any good reason for it to under-perform. The higher price in an ideal world would ensure that better quality ingredients and good manufacturing processes can be used.

I honestly expect any product I get to be decent, my expectations for higher end stuff is all in the packaging. I can’t abide any product that performs terribly, but I can put up with bad packaging if something cost me less than $5. Okay, so this $4 lipstick won’t retract perfectly and I have to be careful not to nick it with the cap? I can deal. If I spend over $20, I want good product AND a perfect tube that retracts the bullet fully, stays closed even when tossed in a bag, doesn’t get gross on the outside (NARS!!!!!!!!!!!), doesn’t fall apart (UD, I shouldn’t have to glue the cap of your lipgloss back together, you were in a zipped purse pocket next to one pen), etc.

And that’s without going into some of the palette packaging issues. Like cream products just chilling next to powders without any dividers.

It is ridiculously awful when higher-end products don’t perform, but I get mad when cheap ones don’t, either.

First, I’d like to say that I think this is a great question.
Second, my answer: When purchasing any product, my expectations are equally for that product to be what it claims. I can only hope that I’ve chosen wisely. I want it to work with me for the reasons I purchase it!
– High-End: At times when I purchase high-end products from brands that have only proven to be exceptional to me, if I’m shelling out the dough, I expect nothing less than that quality I’ve come to find consistently. But if I’m risking my money on new high-end products & brands I’m not so familiar with (on drugstore as well, though mostly high-end because I stand to be out of more cash if the products turn on me, unless returns are gravy), I really hope that I find what I need and my expectations are up to par with the research I’ve put into those products.
Lower-End: I research. There’s purpose in my intent to buy. Sure, I expect to get what Im buying and if I don’t, it’s not like I’ve lost too much so it’s not that bad, but, “not that bad,” can and will add up, just like anything else. Hence, I put work into the research, work for the bucks, and My expectations are for the products, regardless of their status in the market, to succeed performing whatever they are supposed to.
– The catch: I’ve learned that brands I’ve trusted will unknowingly change ingredients or something that alters product to a point that has a detrimental effect. Not all batches are the same. Quality control is often absent and not ubiquitous world-wide. Therefor, I’ve also come to not know how to set my expectations. I just really hope I keep in mind to check that there is a decent and valid return policy which will accommodate refunding me for purchases that don’t live by what they’ve sold & represented them to be. It’s only fair, right?
– I hope that made sense. ๐Ÿ˜€

Sorry for length, I’ve recently had to change almost everything & find new things, so the conceptual expectations are kind of all over the place. That’s basically why I began coming here.

This question is a tough one for me because no matter what the price point, I just don’t like wasting money. I like to get a good product, whether it’s a 5 dollar eye shadow or a 50 dollar one. But, having said that, I can be a lot more forgiving when a drugstore product fails (recent case in point was a Physcian’s Formula Happy Blush – it was even on sale, but still, I was miffed that it was lousy). When a more costly product is a let-down, I guess I do have higher expectations and am even more disappointed if it doesn’t perform.

Agree with all your points, Christine. Another point: HE, I expect some sophistication in the pigments building the product colour. Good quality pigments are more expensive and while the price reflects this, the quality of the product should reflect this as well. I’m drawing on my experience with budget versus quality paints here.. where the proof comes in the mix.

I expect the quality of high-end products to be impeccable. I also want to feel like there’s something special about the products that can’t be found in drug store brands, which for me would help to justify the price tag. There are a lot of excellent DS products out there that can give high-end a run for their money already, and the quality of DS brands seems to keep getting better over time.

The one thing I always struggle with drugstore makeup is long wearing. I can make do with not-so-perfect texture, the longevity HAS to be there.. It is something I dont like to compromise on.

If I buy a high end product I want it to beat any drugstore comparisons. It seems wasteful to shell out for a pricey high end product when you could be getting the same effect for a quarter of the price.

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Agree with you. I expect pigmentation, texture and performance. My expectations are very high, so I’m far more prome to return if the product doesn’t perform as expected.

The main thing for me is that a brand, regardless of pricepoint, perform consistently well. I love my Maybelline products as much as my NARS, for different reasons, and I know what to expect from each based on previous experience, and would be equally disappointed if either brand failed. Having said that, my biggest peeve is when any brand changes formulations… Estee Lauder & Lancome were once favorites, but have have changed several times over the years to the point I rarely even look at either brand.

I expect quality.and i expect the product to perform well. i expect high end products to have better ingredients and little to none fillers. i also expect high end stuff to not freak out my skin which it hasnt so far even when there is fragrance, but drugstore stuff even physicians formula and neutrogena breaks me out. Personally i dont even buy drugstore makeup or skincare and havent for years.

I agree with texture but I’m only really looking for that in cream and powders. I do think that high end foundations also have an edge in technology. It takes a year or so for it to go to mass.

Considering the prices of high end cosmetics, they better be wonderful. While an underperforming drugstore product is disappointing, a high end one it even worse! Unless there are noticeable difference of the way they look and how long they last, I’ll almost always go with cheaper brands like NYX and Milani for things like eyeliners and lip products. This is not the case for eyeshadow primer and eyeshadows, which I will almost always do mid to high end brands. Foundations… I’ve yet to find my HG, so I have a large rotation of low and mid end brands e.g. Lancome, UD, MAC, Revlon.

I’m a compulsive researcher so I rarely end up with a product that’s a flat out disappointment. With drugstore products I am forgiving of a few flaws. The scent can be bad, there might be an ingredient like talc I try to avoid… A high end product better be perfect before I spend money on it though!

Talc is found in 90%+ of HE products, as well as mineral oil & parabens. More often than not, the ingredients lists of HE & DS is more similar than not.

I always expect better textures and wear time out of higher end cosmetics. Drugstore makeup has really improved these days so I expect a lot more from higher end. I want everything to be comfortable and pretty long lasting

Honestly, a high-end product has to be absolutely perfect (or else I take advantage of Nordstrom’s return policy, only used once)! For drugstore I might forgive one of the following: packaging, or slightly less wear time. I won’t compromise on scent, wrong/outdated/lack of color, or texture – these three things get under my skin! For high end I want color to be exactly as promised, even coverage, gorgeous and sturdy packaging, no scent or a subtle scent, and nice texture, and I don’t want it to quit until I do!

it took me years to figure out but the single most imp reason that shell out more money for high end makeup is that they don’t go bad as fast.

when you are an aficionado, you go through your makeup at a much slower rate than a normal person cos you have a lot of it. and if i m chunking out stuff cos the smell is bad then it’s annoying. i have lancome ls that i received as a gift a few years ago. and they still smell fine.
you can find great products at ds now, but the fact that they go bad faster is the reason why i don’t buy them, that is the reason why i still haven’t bought any of the maybelline vivids yet, i can’t stand the smell of maybelline ls.

i don’t care if they have out of the world pigment.

i also expect them to have straight up opaque coverage unless it specifiies sheer. i still haven’t bought your beloved givenchy ls, cos they don’t seem opaque enough to me.

also, the fact that i get to swatch it before i buy it, i just hate owning makeup i feel “meh” about. i need to be absolutely in love with it. cos i could have invested that money into something more expensive that i really really wanted.

when you have a lot of makeup, you are more willing to shell out 30 dollars for a ls you erally like versus 6 ls that you aren’t that nuts about. cos you have all the colors you want already. now you’re just buying for quality.

I feel like my expectations change big time. I am paying much more than a product I would just get at the drugstore. Therefore, I will get much better quality that lasts longer as well. I’m sure most people agree with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

If I’m paying $20-$30 for an eyeshadow I expect it to have great pigmentation, little to no fall-out, and be nicely blendable. With foundation I expect it to last all day and not settle in my pores. For eyeliner I expect it to go on smoothly without tugging or skipping and not smear or smudge (unless that’s the purpose, like with kohl liners). For lipstick I expect it to be smooth, not patchy, not settle into lines, and last for a good while on my lips without bleeding. I also prefer lipsticks that are hydrating, but if nothing else I expect them to not be drying at all (long wearing lipsticks don’t need to super hydrate for me, but if they dry out or irritate my lips that’s a no-no). For powders I expect them to be finely milled and sit well on the skin, while not containing ingredients that irritate skin or clog pores.

I forgot to say that these are my expectations when purchasing high end. For drugstore I’m impressed if it does any of these things, but usually surprised if the product performs as well as a high-end product. I wait to see reviews on drugstore products before purchasing because I generally don’t purchase anything but high end unless it’s got a lot of good reviews.

Yep they do. Especially with a foundation. I expect the texture, finish and color match to be perfect on me. I’m not going to be bothered with mixing shades at a HE price point…heck I don’t even do that at a ds price.

oh and the game changer for foundation for me was Revlon Nearly Naked. The Cappuccino shade is a PERFECT match in every way sooooo, yeah I demand that from a HE also.

My own personal expectations are very high when purchasing a high end product. Most of the time I’m not easily impressed, and often disappointed, but I do like to give a chance and there are some I can’t live without.

I definitely expect more from a high-end product! Sometimes the pricey brands don’t live up to their cost – but I think that is more the exception to the rule.

I want to complain about Nars,
For this price they should change packaging as it’s looks horrible after a week in the makeup bag & their lipglosses STINK so bad !!!
For their price tag quality should be definitely higher

I have over 100 NARS compacts, several which are over 5 years old, and the packaging on most is as if they’ve never been removed from their boxes. The *only* exceptions are those that were in the same drawer as Cyprus, which inexplicably shattered, and even those aren’t so bad; a simple swipe with a baby wipe fixes the problem…

I sort of instantly expect the scent-spectrum to shift from plastic/makeup base/nothing to heavily floral, somehow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to find the higher end stuff has a more heady fragrance to it.

Otherwise, I tend to expect that things will be a nicer texture and longer lasting (eyeshadows) and be more moisturising (lipsticks). As to colour range and pigmentation, I find it’s a total grab-bag between the two groups (at least based on what we have available here, since we never get all of the colours for most ranges anyway).

If it makes certain claims, it better do what it says it will do. Fragrance free. Highly pigmented. Okay for sensitive skin.

I definitely expect the packaging to be nicer and to hold up to the rigours of being dumped in my handbag a bit better.

I expect it to smell nicer/less artificial and have a nicer texture (though I guess nice is pretty subjective). With colour products I tend to expect better pigmentation, though certain drugstore products have been pretty amazing. I also expect a better range of foundation/concealer shades, but that’s only sometimes true (how some high end brands only have five or so shades available is beyond me).

I think the big difference is probably the experience I expect when selecting the product. I expect to be able to get advice from sales assistants when buying high end, whereas with drugstore I’m usually on my own a bit more. I also like the feeling that buying high end is a bit of a treat or ‘spoiling myself’ whereas I don’t get that so much at the local chemist or grocery store makeup aisle. So customer service is a big point of difference between HE and drugstore for me.

If I am going to spend a lot of money for a high end product, I expect it to do what it says. Don’t get me wrong, many drug store products work better for me than the high end version. Two examples: Lancรดme Teint Visionnaire Skin Correcting Makeup Duo & Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer. Both of these products were over $50. They did absolutely nothing for me. The reviews on both products were good. I keep kicking my self because I could have spent $100+ on something I could have found at the drugstore.

I expect to get what I pay for…at the very least. The packaging should be intact and solid. The product should be long-lasting and made with higher quality ingredients. And I love when the company is also eco- and animal friendly.

I don’t think my expectations change at all: I have very specific tastes in products. What does change is my reaction when things don’t work out. It’s easier to shrug something off if you paid two dollars for it, but if it was expensive, it feels worse because you wasted a decent amount of money.

The main thing I expect is lasting-power. I really do notice huge differences in some “high end” products but, to be honest, I have minimal experience with “drugstore” makeup and it’s been many years since I’ve tried any of it. However, I buy a lot of Ben Nye and Graftobian products which, these days, tend to be even less costly than drugstore lines, but their quality is excellent. I try not to be bothered with have to do many “touch ups”, and I’ve found that “higher end” products tend to last longer on my face, and last much longer before they’re used up.

I have never, ever found a low-end mascara that did anything for my lashes. I’ve always been amazed that they work for anyone because they’re so so bad for me. Another thing I expect from higher end products is unique, creative shades. Sure there are some products that can be “duped” but dupes are very rarely the “exact” color. The teensiest difference in shade or tone can make a huge difference. For example, I have come across supposed dupes of MAC Ramblin’ Rose, Costa Chic, etc. The “dupes” may look similar in their packaging, but on my skin they wind up being completely different. (That’s just me, of course.)

For me, I have to think “is this something I can’t find in the drugstore?” I don’t like to spend money on something that I could have gotten for a much lower price at a very similar quality. There are only a few high end things I am willing to spend money on because I cannot find something similar in the drugstore.

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