What makes a luxury purchase "worth it" to you?

It has to perform well for the purpose I want it for, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be super pigmented or extra long-wearing, but it has work well. It’s extremely rare that I buy a product for its packaging, so as long as packaging is functional, I’m good.

— Christine


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Seraphine Avatar

I actually thought about this the other day. For me, a luxury product should meet three qualifications:
1. Color works well on me.
2. The product should have a beautiful texture, whether it’s powder, cream, liquid, etc.
3. Great packaging. I know packaging seems like a shallow thing, but if I’m going to pay big money for a product, I expect it to be in nice packaging. It doesn’t necessarily nave to look fancy, but it should feel solid and well-made.

Wednesday Avatar

I am kinda back full circle in that I look to luxury products to provide excellent quality core products; the things I reach for every day. I also look to them for uniqueness to stash. I still have products from all price points, always will, but I’m trying to be more conscious about what I have versus what I want and little luxury splurges are more satisfying than bulk accumulation of items I will not use all that much.

Lauren Avatar

If it is different and/or better performing than other products at a mid range price point then I’m interested. I buy a certain luxury mascara because it is so easy to use, doesn’t make my eyes itch (many cheaper brands do), creates the effect I want, and lasts all day. I’m way more likely to try high end mascaras, liners, and lipsticks versus powder products (like eye shadow, highlighter, or face powder). I feel like I can find lots of powder based products at any price range that work. My eyes are very sensitive to liners and mascaras and my lips are just very particular – not dry, but certain formulas just feel awful on them – so if I can find a good formula I’ll pay for luxury to keep my eyes and lips happy!

Nancy T Avatar

First of all, I expect as close to perfect quality as is possible, given the inflated price point. Secondly, it must be something that I will fully utilize and use often. This because I want it to be worth what I spent on it and not just have it sit around unused or hardly touched! Third up, I must LOVE the product. The shade(s), texture, formula, everything about it.

Eileen Avatar

The overall quality has to be excellent: A beautiful finish, excellent formulation, a modern and sophisticated color story, color nuance that makes even the most neutral shades interesting, compatibility with my needs and taste, a sturdy and well designed container. Those are things I look for in a product. Although there are good and bad products at all price points, I find the so-called luxuary brands tend to better meet my needs. Because I’ve always thought of makeup as an accessory, it doesn’t matter to me if I’m only going to use the product once or twice for a special occasion or if the product is going to be a staple. I’d rather spend more money on a stellar product that I love than have a drawer full of inferior ones that get little to no love.

Mariella Avatar

1. Good quality product
2. Colours and textures that flatter me and that I find personally appealing
3. Elegant packaging – I don’t like anything too over the top but something restrained and elegant and also functional – that appeals to me
4. Honestly, a certain “je ne said quoi” – a perfect example was the Chanel holiday e/s quad. I have dupes galore for all the shadows (and good ones, too) but that little goodie grabbed onto my heart and wouldn’t let go.

Olga Avatar

I usually only buy high-end products for things I don’t enjoy shopping for and when there are a lot of hit-and-miss products out there. Examples include concealer, of which there is a ton on the market, most of which don’t work well. I would rather buy one expensive concealer that I know will work well than spend time and money trying cheaper versions. Another example is blush, which I simply don’t enjoy using or buying.

“Luxury” products, I have little use for. The difference between “high-end” and “luxury” is marketing, and a lot of luxury products actually perform poorly (e.g., Chanel). Not to say I’m not influenced by marketing — I have an unreasonable like for Bobbi Brown products, simply because I like Bobbi’s philosophy. But “luxury” marketing does little for me.

Ana Maria Avatar

But what does luxury means I might ask… because for me a luxury purchase is not necessarily from a `luxury brand`, but it’s about paying more for a product that has a luxurious packaging, formula or texture.

Because in the end no matter if I purchase from a brand that it’s consider `luxury` or not, I do consider it worthy to spend extra money for a product that delivers a complex formula or a luxurious feeling texture which makes me feel indulgent when using the product. I don’t go too much for aesthetics (black and sleek is my vibe), but for `luxury` to be worth it, the packaging needs to be sturdy, high quality, ergonomically designed and so on.

Maggie Avatar

For me, all products I keep around must be high performance no matter the price point. I actually tend to forgo luxury items due to my sensitive skin. All the times I chose a luxury item, it was unique in some way: my sensitive skin likes it, the color & finish was done exactly right, the texture/formula was particularly pleasing, or it outperforms other products in its category.

bridget Avatar

honestly for me, it’s a matter of knowledge…which I don’t have a lot of in the makeup field.
I have a lot of in depth knowledge about skin care and hair care (after doing the curly girl method a couple of years ago). So I will buy my face creams and my hair products and I will splurge, if the bigger price justifies the quality of ingredients.
Unfortunately, when it comes to makeup, I don’t really know whether a Chanel eyeliner has better quality products than a sephora eyeliner…
I end up buying products from lines/formulas that I know have worked from me, from brands I trust (for example Clinique) and from reviews coming from people I trust (you Christine as well as the other Temptalia comments… the last purchase like this was Mrs Mia Wallace from Urban Decay, after hearing so many commentators rave about it).
I don’t give in too much to the hype. I have no experience with PMG for example. But hearing how other people reacted to her launches, the bad experiences, turned me off this brand…

Gilad Avatar

When I hear “luxury” I think expensive. To justify paying more I need to feel that the experience of using it (texture, scent, feel of the packaging) is much more pleasurable/beautiful than what I normally use. It needs to look significantly better on, and come in a texture/color that I can’t otherwise find. Off hand, the only thing I can think of that has lived up to all that is Armani fluid sheer foundation and their liquid cheek tints/bronzers/highlighters. Not sure how they are now, but Diorshow Mascara felt very special when it first came out, and Lancome Hypnose Mascara. In the 80s Lancome had a gorgeous, shimmery, saturated golden khaki stick eyeshadow/liner like I have never seen before or since. Luxury that feels worth it to me is rare.

Rachel Avatar

It comes down to what each of us consider ‘luxury’. I don’t consider MAC, NARS, Fenty, and the like as ‘luxury’., I consider these mid-range. Sisley, La Mer, Chanel, YSL, Guerlain, Burberry, Tom Ford are ‘luxury’ to me. It’s not the price tag, it’s the reputation of the company, the feel of the products on my skin, well thought out launches, etc….

Most of the luxury brands have a set of tried and true products and shades. Sure they offer limited editions for the seasons, but usually it’s a limited offering of shades. I usually buy them for the packaging, the case they are housed in, the feel of the lipstick tube, etc….

More importantly, the shades have to work out. I think this is where the sales associate really shines. I was afraid to try red lipsticks and I walked out with Chanel’s Coromandel, an orange-red I never ever thought I would pull off. I’ve gone back for more Chanel red lipsticks because the boutique counters will work with me to find which shades I can pull off and talk me through application and just generally educate me on the new products. It’s the whole customer service experience too.

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