So are expensive beauty products actually better than cheaper drug store versions?
Having been a cosmetic manager for an expensive top of the line company, I have heard the good, the bad, and the ugly of cheap versus more expensive products available on the market.
If you go into a drugstore, most will not have a cosmetic specialist available to assist you; however, I know that my local Walgreens does have one there several days a week. Meaning that if you are unsure of your foundation shade, you will have to guess and be prepared for the idea that you may end up returning the product. Compared to your local drugstore, whether is be CVS, Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. . . a department store cosmetic counter, will almost ALWAYS have someone at the counter to assist you. And if there isn't someone there, there will be someone from another counter present that is specialized in all of the cosmetic lines.
Now, working at a cosmetic counter where one of the face moisturizers costs around $200 for a couple of ounces, I've heard many statements from customers including:
"Do you know how many moisturizers I could purchase from Target for that kind of money?"
"Why is this foundation so expensive? What makes it better than the one that I'm already wearing?"
"Are you guys crazy, I would never pay $27 for a mascara!"
It comes down to the thought, are products from the department store so much better than drugstore ones?
The honest answer is no. In fact, you can find similar products in the drugstore for a fraction of the price that you'd pay at the department store. And there is one company that I know of that has a department store brand and a drugstore brand... Do you know it?
The answer is Lancome and L'Oreal Paris; both are the same company. In the past and present, I have tried out both companies products (not all of their products, but you know what I mean). I have found them to be extremely similar in quality and performance. In fact, I was very impressed with both of their foundations and moisturizers. In the end, I would still have chosen to repurchase L'Oreal's over Lancome's due to the cost difference and also being that the quality was similar.
Are all drugstore brands going to be good quality? The answer is no. I have found that there are products from each brand that I enjoy and others that I would never repurchase. You have to be careful about the brands that you use because if you have allergies, I would recommend trying out the department store Clinique. They are the least expensive of all of the department store brands and all of their products are hypoallergenic. One of my clients was sensitive to something in mascara, so I gave her sample to try (FYI, mascara samples are meant to last no longer than 2 weeks). If you have allergies, ask for a sample first before purchasing any product in a larger version.
Also due to competition on the market, drugstore brands are always trying to compete with the best. Meaning that, if there is a product that you love at the department store, more than likely there will be a drugstore brand that carries a dupe for that product.
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