How do your expectations change as price goes up?

I have less room to forgive–on a personal level, not with respect to reviews–weaknesses in a product. The higher the cost, the less a brand can justify missing; it has to do what it says it’s supposed to and do it well with less and less room for error!

— Christine
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Amanda Avatar

For me, the more expensive the product, the less fussy it needs to be. It needs to apply perfectly and not need another product to make it work. For a lipstick, it needs to apply easily and not need a lip liner or gloss to make it wearable. I also don’t expect a $50 lipstick to go rancid in less than a year. I am more forgiving with a powder product because those last forever.

Mariella Avatar

Pretty much what you said, Christine. I don’t like wasting money, whether it’s 10 dollars or 80 dollars, which is why I rely so heavily on Temptalia and also Makeup Alley because I want a quality product. But when I see really highly priced (to the point of “over-priced”) companies like Tom Ford, etc. release products of poor quality that don’t even measure up to a 10 dollar eye shadow, well, I am just really glad I have resources like Temptalia to know about the shoddy quality before I waste my hard earned dollars. So, yes, I set the bar much higher (for packaging but far more so for performance) with higher priced items.

Ana Maria Avatar

With a higher price, I expect everything to work as marketed, but with a little extra.

I expect the packaging to look good and be sturdy, not to break easily with regular use, with almost perfect finishing touches (no cuts or rough edges), pumps and dispenser to work smoothly. I can accept a cheap thin plastic on a drugstore brand skincare item or a spoolie to fell after 2 months from a drugstore eyebrow pencil, but not for something more expensive.

I expect the formula to work as it is advertised, but come with higher quality ingredients and/or with more expensive active ingredients (or in higher concentration). I also expect the texture to be elegant and luxurious. If the product is expensive either the ingredients cost or the formula (since the chemists doing the research need to be paid) need to justify it.

Frozendiva Avatar

I agree with the comments so far: packaging that is sturdy, doesn’t break easily, isn’t already broken the first time you open the package, not too heavy and cumbersome or awkward to tote around. It does have to live up to the marketing hype plus more. I expect value for my money, or what I perceive is value for my money. I have no desire to spend more money to fix things. It turns me off the product and the brand’s future products. I might not expect much for a $10 product, but I should be able to use it. After all, it is $10 that I spent. I expect more for a $100 product.

Some luxury brands sell skincare refills. It’s a good idea and it saves packaging and money. It makes little sense for a drugstore brand, and it probably costs more and doesn’t save all that much plastic. Also respect that the consumer doesn’t need excess packaging. It is nice to feel special and have a nice two or three layer box, but really? Across the board, stop decreasing the package’s content size and increase the price.

If I am paying a lot more money for X product, I expect better design. I don’t enjoy mascara container plastic all over my hand, no matter at what price point I buy it. I expect a pump to work. I expect a lid to close properly. Please make tube cleanser or other tube products better, so the tubes work til all the product is gone, or maybe make more see-through or clear tubes for products. I shouldn’t have to cut a package/tube open to find at least a month’s worth of product remaining and put a sandwich baggie around it so it doesn’t dry up. I don’t like thinking a tube is empty and discovering it is not. For brands that still include foam eyeshadow applicators, maybe make a small brush instead, for a bit of luxe in the product. I do know that some products with pumps do have extra product in them because the pump will not work at the very bottom and you normally can’t remove the pump from the bottle.

Some makeup brands have probably learned a lot from consumers who complain about shoddy packaging and lack of quality control. The consumers will find other places to take their wallets.

Maggie Avatar

This post came just in time! I kept debating on whether to keep two high end lipsticks I bought: one dried out my lips and the other settled into my lip lines. I kept trying to find work-arounds (apply with a brush, blend with a moisturizing lip color, etc) but you said the magic words! “…it has to do what it says itโ€™s supposed to and do it well with less and less room for error!” I like applying lipsticks straight from the bullet and not have to worry about it drying out my lips into a flakey mess or settling into lip lines. And I shouldn’t settle for less especially when I paid top dollar for it! Thank you, Christine!

Denise S. Avatar

If a company charges a premium price I expect a premium product. The higher the price the higher my expectations are that I will get a great product. If the product is cheap and not that great I’ll toss it. But I return higher price products if I can. Lately I’m reluctant to return stuff because of the pandemic and sympathy for wasted merchandise. Now days they take so long to ship, receive returns and issue a refund that I’m more reluctant to order stuff than I used to be.

CeeBee Avatar

If I’m paying for a luxe, high end product, I expect it to be perfect. Excellent formula, colour payoff and lasting power, pretty designs or product embossing also a bonus.

I am not forgiving of bubbled or pitted lipsticks, wobbly mechanisms, compacts that don’t close or click shut properly, misaligned orientations (my MJ Jet Girl pan is ever so slightly off horizontal and although I love the colour and finish, it still annoys me every time I open the compact!), wonky labels or stickers, anything that has an off-putting scent or stupid bulky packaging that is hard to store easily.

Gilad Avatar

Yes absolutely. The more I pay, the more I expect. At the higher price points I pretty much expect magic: a sensual delight to apply, excellent wear time, reliable packaging, and most of all, feeling beautiful when I wear it. If not, it’s just makeup – and that I can get at a much lower cost.

Genevieve Avatar

If a beauty product is expensive, I certainly expect it to be really, really good! I expect the ratings from you Christine, to be, at least, a B+ or an A. I don’t want any C’s or D’s in, say, an eyeshadow palette.
I don’t buy expensive lipsticks, because I have found that they don’t perform any better than a CP or Lipstories one that you have rated well.
Expensive eyeshadow palettes need to have a mirror and an excellent eyeshadow brush for the price. The packaging has to be functional and sturdy – not necessarily decorative.

Kate Avatar

As said above: with a high price tag I expect a high quality product, which does what it promises. I understand there is no one size fits all, so any product would work for one better than for other, but an expensive product should have a generally high rating.
I’m not fussy about packaging, but it should be sturdy and functional. But from the other side, I won’t pay much more just because the packaging is extra, like Pat McGrath palettes (would love to try them, but I can’t justify the price).

Rachel Avatar

I think this is why I prefer to buy from brands that have a good return policy. I know Chanel will take returns on lipstick and products right now due to COVID because you cannot try them on in person.

I’ve been also expecting more of the virtual ‘try on’ apps for higher brand cosmetics too, although some are incredibly painfully off (MAC virtual try on looks terrible and not the same as the real product looks on me).

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