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Affordable vs. High-End Beauty — Does It Matter?

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The cosmetics industry is a big one, generating close to $59 billion in revenue yearly. With everything from mascara to nail polish being sold at either exclusive and high-end brands or department and drugstore stores, there’s no shortage of products to buy and places to buy them from.

However, when it comes to high-end beauty products and those that are priced more modestly, how do they really compare?

Are designer makeup products really worth double or triple the cost of their drugstore counterparts? Well, the answer comes down to a few different factors.

1. Brand Name

Just like in fashion, purchasing a designer beauty brand is going to cost you simply because it signifies a higher status symbol.

2. Fragrance

This is a major area where designer brands surpass their less expensive counterparts. Hight end brands add or remove fragrances from their formula to enhance the user experience.

3. Better Applicators

High-end makeup brands offer better application devices, which include eyeshadow brushes, foundation sponges, mascara and powder applicators. These make a big difference and add significant value when it comes to applying makeup especially if you purchase applicators separately for your makeup.

4. Packaging

With high-end and affordable beauty brands, when it comes to packaging, the difference is clear. High-end brands usually invest in prettier and more aesthetically pleasing packaging which adds to the high-status symbol but costs extra.

5. Increased Pigmentation

High-end makeup brands usually have better pigmentation, which means improved color payoff, requiring less use of the product overall. For instance, if an eyeshadow or blusher was highly pigmented, you won’t need to use as much.

You’ll notice that ingredients aren’t considered a factor because most high-end makeup brands, use the same ingredients as their drugstore equivalent, because even though features like pigments or fragrance maybe slightly different, the other components are basically the same.



We recommend buying skincare products, foundation, lipstick and a well-made set of brushes, from high-end brands. As these tend to perform better on the skin, last longer and are designed for a variety of skin tones.


Products like mascara, eyeshadow palettes, blushers, highlighters, and eye pencils you can purchase at drugstores and from more affordable brands. These days, you can find a wide range of products to fit your budget and needs at most drugstores.

If you’re a huge fan of high-end/designer products, the worth or value will be greater in your eyes. But just because you purchased high-end product doesn’t make it far superior to the ones sold at drugstores. You may find that what you’re paying for is the pretty packaging.

But whether you prefer drugstore brands or high-end makeup brands, it’s always best to focus on what suits your skin. Consider everything from the price to the wearability of the product because in the long run, the best makeup brands for you are the ones that help you look and feel your best.

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