I Don’t Like Spending Money on Expensive Beauty Products

I am going to throw a pretty weighty statement out there. Just because something is expensive doesn’t make it good. There is a belief in the world and the beauty community that the more you spend on something the better the product must be. Honestly though, I feel as if people put too much stock in expensive products.

It’s instinctual to think that a $50 foundation must be the best foundation around. It must have perfect coverage, a light consistency, never break you out, and look natural and flawless, because after all the more expensive the product, the better it must be. Right?



To be fair, I think that a lot of the time expensive brands will top drugstore brands simply because of the ingredients involved. In expensive brands you are more likely to find essential oils or organic ingredients rather than the chemical cocktails that make up the majority of drugstore brands. However, just because something is expensive isn’t going to make it perfect for you.

I say this because it’s time that I admit that I don’t like spending all of my money on expensive beauty products. I mean, I wish that I had the money to buy only expensive products. And if I had an unlimited budget, I would only shop at Sephora (I drool over their website on a weekly basis). However, I am a broke college student, and when I do have extra money, I’d rather spend it on something fun like lunch with a friend, the movies, or Skinny Cow ice creams rather than forking over $30 for eyeliner.

Obviously, I make exceptions. BareMinerals is one of the products that I have always felt was worth the cost, namely because it lasts forever, and I know it works for me. However, spending $28 for a foundation that will last me 6+ months is different for me than buying a lipstick for $25 that I will only wear once every other week.

I think there is a lot of pressure on beauty bloggers to go to Sephora and ULTA, and spend a lot of money on beauty products, and to be honest, I don’t have the means to do that. I have a Naked palette, and I think it was a worthwhile investment, but to be honest, I haven’t bought eyeshadow in the three months since I bought it because I’ve barely made a dent in it. Why would I buy more eyeshadow, when I’ve invested $50 in a palette that has all the colors I really need?


I guess, what I am trying to say is three things. One, just because you blog about beauty doesn’t mean you have to go broke buying high end products. There are a lot of good products in the drugstore that are made cheaper by coupons and sales that lower the price. If you take the time to look for deals and clip coupons, buying products doesn’t have to be a huge drain on your wallet.

Two, makeup snobbery is lame. Yeah, I get it. The Naked palette is awesome, but I have a L’Oreal palette that was $6 and I like it just as much if not more than the Naked palette. Expensive doesn’t necessarily make a product better. Judge a product for what it is not how much it costs.

Three, if you don’t have money to buy makeup – don’t buy it. Seriously, don’t go broke because of your beauty blog/thinking every product is the cure-all and end-all. I buy makeup when I need it or when I have the money to spare. I save up for expensive products when I want to splurge and stay out of the Target beauty aisle when I know I need to save.


Just because big bloggers are going to MAC and buying $200 worth of makeup in one go, doesn’t mean you have to. Spend your money as you feel comfortable doing so. Buying makeup should never make you feel guilty.

It’s your life, and you are ultimately responsible for your decisions. Buy when you can, save when you have to, and write what you feel. After all, makeup is supposed to be fun, and when it becomes something that becomes a negative drain on your life, it’s time to step back, put down the credit card, and think – do I really need this?

Do you feel pressure to buy expensive products? Would you rather have six products from the drugstore or one from a high end store? What’s the most you would spend on a beauty product?


29 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Spending Money on Expensive Beauty Products

  1. nhieubeauty June 24, 2013 / 11:06 am

    I agree with you. High end does not necessarily mean good. I do love a few high end products because it’s good, not just because it’s high end. I only buy makeup because it makes me happy. In fact, being able to show how versatile you can be with few products really show your talents – not just by owning tons of products. I do envy people that can afford all those makeup products though. And it’s cool to hear about their experiences and comparisons of all those products.

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 2:23 pm

      Oh, I definitely agree. I envy the people with all the high end products! And like I said, I do think there high end products that are worth the splurge and honestly, I would spend all my money on high end if I had could. Maybe when I make some decent wages and don’t have student loans, I can make that dream a reality. ;)

  2. Jenn June 24, 2013 / 11:57 am

    I agree with what your saying! I don’t really freel pressure to buy high end stuff. I do buy more drugstore items, but I also get a lot of kick backs and freebies and discounts when I go to Sephora. I only splurge big time when I get a really good check and I have some me money. But I do have certian items that I find work better for me that are a better brand. Like foundation. I buy NARS and it’s about $40, but I use to use Revlon and they stopped using my colors and do not have a color that matches what I use to use and they changed how their items are made and does not work well with my skin. But if there is an item at a drug store and sephora that or comperable in price I will more likely go to sephora only because of their return policy, some drugstores won’t do it. But I have noticed some bloggers get all this expensive items that I would never afford. I am always seeking out new items that are more natural and more cost effect. But I won’t also break the bank either just to apease the masses lol.

    Sorry for the ramble the AC is off in our office and I decided to wear black today, I’m about to have heat stroke!

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 2:33 pm

      lol. No, I agree. I have no problem splurging on high end every once in awhile just because I’ve saved for it or I know I can afford it. It’s just painful when it comes to going to the register! Like, bareMinerals blush is awesome, and I know that it’s awesome and it lasts me forever, so next time I go to buy another blush, there is a good chance it’ll be bareMinerals. I just think that a lot of people start to get an attitude that drugstore is so subpar to high-end, when we’ve all heard people talk about high end products that cost them $50+ that they ended up hating. Nothing works for everyone!

      • Jenn June 24, 2013 / 4:26 pm

        Your right. That’s when research comes in. I do research a lot on my products now check out the user comments, that sometimes makes my decision. The funny thing is with those people who get an attitude in the drug store is that they don’t take in account that these brands have been around longer then some of their brand name, which should tell them about the quailty.

        I understand on the blush thing too, I get NARS Orgasm and that’s like $25 and sometimes it pains me to get it, but I love it and the way it looks. Since I’m so pale it’s hard to find an orangish/pink blush tone that looks right. Oh makeup how I love thee but it’s the killer on my bank account.

        • Sam June 24, 2013 / 11:03 pm

          Totally agree, makeup is a killer on the bank. I always do research too, especially when it’s high end. The idea of walking into a Sephora, picking something up, and spending +$20 without reading a review about it is just lost on me!

  3. Carina June 24, 2013 / 12:29 pm

    Hey Sam, you raised a few good points here. :) I’m currently on a No Buy (which I’m sure you already knew!) but it’s not really because of the pressure to buy more expensive makeup items. I have been buying a lot because I just started getting into more higher end makeup because I couldn’t find drugstore equivalents that worked as well. I figured this out because of a bareMinerals READY eyeshadow duo, actually. :)

    I think I also prefer higher end makeup because there is a much diverse selection of cruelty-free brands and products in that range, especially where I live. We don’t have a lot of CF drugstore brands available here. Just essence, Wet n Wild, elf, and only recently, NYX, to name a few.

    Truthfully, I’ve never really been that into makeup when I was first trying out drugstore products because they didn’t work for me. When I started getting into NARS and Chanel and what have you, I found that the formulations work better. THEN, I found reliable drugstore brands like WnW and NYX.

    Additionally, I graduated from college three years ago (sad timez) and I’ve been earning my own money since before that, so I do think I feel very comfortable spending my money on mid-range or high-end makeup, because I don’t spend beyond my means. Some of the reasons why I wanted to dial my “material” spending, particularly on makeup, back a bit was because I wanted to save up for my own car, my own apartment, and more opportunities to travel.

    Phew! That was a mouthful. While I do agree with some of your points, I still believe that a portion of the high end makeup is better than their drugstore counterparts (for example, Hourglass and Shiseido infuse long-term skincare technology in their cosmetics) and usually have a wider range of shades for different skin types, though admittedly, that’s not always the case.

    I guess the main point is that not all high end makeup is better than drugstore, though sometimes, they are. :)

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 2:44 pm

      No, I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I think what I was trying to speak to is that nothing works for everyone. Just because something is high end doesn’t mean it’s going to be great and just because something is drug store doesn’t mean it’s going to be awful and vice versa.

      I can understand your reasoning for the no-buy because sometimes everyone really just needs to cut back and save money towards something, a car, house, whatever. However, I personally feel like this is an idea that is lost on most Americans who 90 percent of the time just get another credit card when they run out of money so that they can spend more money on things they probably shouldn’t be spending money on (TV’s, phones, computers, beauty products etc.)

      Another part of this post, was speaking to all the beauty bloggers out there who feel pressure to buy all of this high-end stuff so they will become popular or something. Like, buy what you want to buy and write what you want to write about. Otherwise, it’s just silly. It’s your blog. Write about what you want to write about! You know what I mean?

      • Carina June 24, 2013 / 9:14 pm

        Lol definitely! I obviously grew up elsewhere and my parents taught us how to save. Like they literally took a part of our allowance and put it in our own savings account. I can’t bear the thought of being in debt because of SHOPPING, and when you point out that most Americans just get another credit card when they max one out is really so baffling to me. I’d be so scared to do that LOL.

        I’m glad you’re not pressured to just buy and buy whenever new things come out, just so you can write about it here. I mean, I understand why people do it (hits!) but if you can’t afford to, or if you won’t be using the items, it’s such a pointless thing to get.

        I think you should definitely do a drugstore favorites post :) I have a lot of the “higher end” options for dupes (i.e. Naked vs Undress Me) so as much as I want the cheaper alternatives, it is again pointless, as I’ll end up hoarding the cheaper versions when I already gave in and bought the more expensive options :s

        Such interesting comments on here, though. I hope more people reply :)

        • Sam June 24, 2013 / 11:06 pm

          I will definitely do a drugstore favorites post. Good idea. I am right with you with the parents teaching me to save. The idea of maxing out a credit card in general is just crazy to me. I can’t even imagine the guilt and anxiety that would come with being told that your credit card is being declined! How do you even shop that much and not realize you are getting close to the limit?!

  4. missblackivy June 24, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    I love this! The only thing I honestly fork over a ton of money for is foundation, but I don’t really purchase from MAC. Drug store make-up is good enough for me. BTW, here’s the link of a blog I think you’d enjoy: http://drugstoreprincess.com/ She’s fab!

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 10:55 pm

      Thanks for the link! I tend to splurge more on foundations rather than other products as well. Maybe it’s because foundation is literally so important in terms of the overall look. It does cover the entire face after all!

  5. Whimsical&Quirky June 24, 2013 / 7:22 pm

    Oh my goodness! This is the best blog post I have come across in a while. I completely and 100 percent agree with you! I recently went into Nordstroms and got sucked into the lancome counter. The women there offered me a makeover and I felt bad for not buying anything so I left with a lipstick and lip liner. While I adore the lip liner – the lipstick is one of the worst I have ever tried. It looks fake, the color is atrocious and the it comes off within seconds. For an expensive lipstick I expected something life changing! My favorite lipsticks are by maybelline and covergirl. I also have the naked palette but nothing outshines my covergirl shimmering sands eye shadow palette! I also agree with you on the Bare Minerals. I have been using BM for two years and I can never go back! I LOVE it – but unfortunately I have gotten paler and the lightest shade they make is now too dark on me. I recently discovered Pur Minerals which matches my skin tone 100 percent so I think I will use that foundation but everything else from Bare Minerals. There is just something about minerals that make my skin look fabulous.

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 10:58 pm

      Oh man. It’s always so hard to say no in situations like that, especially when you know they are working on commission. Like I said, I love one of my L’Oreal palettes just as much as I love my Naked palette. Like, the Naked palette is awesome, but it’s not like it is powdered gold. It still needs primer just like every other eyeshadow, but the pigmentation is top notch. I haven’t heard about Pur Minerals, but I’ll have to check them out. Luckily, I am not too pale, so I don’t have too much trouble finding a bareMinerals match. Thanks for your sweet comment :)

  6. producthoochie June 24, 2013 / 8:58 pm

    Excellent point. I have cut down on my spending and am working through all the stuff that I have. I just did a review on a $30 mascara that I was itching to try and it was a waste of money. I also find that drugstore brands are becoming a bit more on trend so it’s easier to try new colors on less money.

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 11:00 pm

      I agree. I’d rather have four Revlon lip butters for the same cost as one MAC lipstick. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my personality, but I like to have a variety of choices when it comes to makeup and, if I only bought high end, I would only have one lipstick instead of six!

      • producthoochie June 24, 2013 / 11:07 pm

        Very true. The thing I find is that some drugstore brands aren’t that much cheaper- unless you get a sale.

        • Sam June 24, 2013 / 11:09 pm

          True! That’s why I am all about the coupons. I rarely buy drugstore makeup unless I have a coupon and it’s on sale. I get a thrill from the savings :P

  7. lovethystyle June 24, 2013 / 11:11 pm

    I totally agree with you. When I see all other fashion bloggers spending ridiculous amounts of $$$$ on a shirt, it makes me scratch my head. You wont see me wear a $1000 jacket…ever!!!
    (I must admit that purses are my weakness though…. like kriptonite :))

    • Sam June 24, 2013 / 11:37 pm

      lol. I can’t even imagine spending that kind of money on one piece of clothes. Like, what if you spill something on it?! That’s $1,000+ down the drain!

  8. budziak June 26, 2013 / 5:17 pm

    I spend a lot more than I should on makeup :-( Toby once said to me if anyone saw how much makeup I had, they’d think I was really ugly. I’m still saving money but not nearly as much as I should be, sigh… Time to start saving for big girl things, I’m pretty sure my car is on it’s last leg. No better time than now for change. P.S. Completely agree with Skinny Cow ice creams, especially the sandwich ones!

  9. madeupbymakeup June 26, 2013 / 8:01 pm

    Heya! i nominated you for the versatile blogger award – details on my latest post:)

  10. Delia June 27, 2013 / 9:20 am

    As a beauty blogger, I kind of feel like I have to get products and build up a collection as diverse as possible, but I am just a highschooler that buys make-up from her own money(not her parents’). However, I think there are products that you should invest more in(like a long-lasting lipstick or a foundation with a minimal amount of chemicals) and products that are not really worth it(mascaras for example, there are tons of cheap & brilliant ones).
    Great topic, I can totally relate!

    • Sam June 27, 2013 / 9:45 am

      Foundation in particular is something that I bounce back and forth between high end and drugstore. High end is usually the better quality, but some drugstore brands will surprise you (Revlon for example). When I was in high school, I worked, but my parents paid for a lot of what I bought, mostly because I didn’t buy really anything. My mom had to force me to go clothes shopping in the beginning of the school year and I barely wore makeup then. The only thing I wanted to buy was books. SMH. I wish I still had that lack of a desire to shop now that I am paying for my own things!

  11. Jacqueline June 27, 2013 / 11:22 am

    What a great post and fantastic comments!

    As a teen in the 70s, I was from the no-makeup generation. Blue eyeshadow gone bad doesn’t rank as makeup :) With that legacy, plus the luck of some damn fine genes, I ended up in my 40s with great skin. On the flip side, other than applying eyeshadow (not blue) and mascara, I really had no clue (and not much interest) in how to do much more than that. But I reached a point where I was intrigued by other people’s artful way with makeup. And let’s face it, even good skin has its limitations as you age. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a little somethin’ pretty on yer face! So, as a birthday gift, my oldest—who knows her way around makeup something awesome!—took me to MAC for a consultation. And yes, I had my very first ever makeup lesson. That seems strange to write … but it was a lot of fun and after about three seconds, it wasn’t the least bit embarrassing.

    I do find that MAC pigments are quite gorgeous and more long-lasting than some drugstore brands, but I’m totally open to discovering otherwise. Their mascara smelt of something like rose water and was quite delicious, but I never bought it again, as Revlon works just as well for me, face and wallet-wise! So get working on that list, Sam. :)

    • Sam June 27, 2013 / 6:01 pm

      I don’t think it’s so crazy that you didn’t know how to put on makeup until 40. I mean, my mom taught me about makeup, but a lot of mother’s don’t and if you have naturally good skin, like you do, I feel like it’s less likely you would gravitate towards makeup as much.

      I have actually never shopped at a MAC before. I am not thrilled about going there because I’ve heard how wonderful their products are, and I already know I am going to want to buy everything in the store. I am a big Revlon fan as well. Cheap mascara works just as well as $30 mascara ;)

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