High End Vs. Drug Store Makeup

The makeup industry today is overloaded with an array of products, with prices ranging from as little as one dollar to extreme prices of one hundred or more. 

For the beauty community and many makeup users of the world, the question of whether high-end or drugstore-based makeup is better for use and for your budget is a difficult one. Many find it challenging to decide how much money they should be spending on makeup and the choice between splurging or saving money. 

Although the majority of people who purchase makeup may believe that high-end makeup products provide more benefits and differ greatly from drug-store products, the truth is that some drugstore products are just as functional as high-end makeup for only a fraction of the price. Some high-end versions of products may not be worth emptying your bank account for. 

It is often assumed that one of the major differences between drug-store and high-end is the formula: ingredients put in the products. However, the ingredients aren’t the major difference between the two. The design and packaging of a product greatly contribute a large part to the increased price of high-end makeup. The ability of high-end makeup brands to manufacture with packaging that looks more designer and established, compared to drug-store packaging, makes the product appear more luxurious to the target audience. 

An expensive price and design also add to the idea that the product is more “exclusive” than its cheaper counterparts. Using makeup’s price tag as a social status increases desirability, demand — and even prices. 

However, regardless of the price, high-end makeup lasts much longer than a drug-store product would and offers its benefits. 

Examples of the many high-end makeup brands include Charlotte Tilbury, Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder, NARS, and MAC. Drug-store makeup brands include Essence, e.l.f, NYX, Milani, Wet ‘N Wild, and Maybelline.

Through social media apps, mainly TikTok, beauty influencers and users over the last year spread the term  “dupe,” which means duplicate. These users and influencers would take an expensive high-end product and a cheaper drug-store product they find that offers an almost exact appearance when used and compare the two. This has had a heavy influence on the audiences and often causes the products to sell out quicker, whether high-end or drug-store products. 

An example of said comparison is the “Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter,” a high-end product priced at $46, and the “e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter,” a drug-store product priced at $14. Although both have drastically different prices and ingredients, both products offer the same sheer coverage and a light-filtered glow as intended to give users what they want. Furthermore, Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter is often out of stock, leading many people to try the similar e.l.f product. 

Despite a significant price difference, drug-store products are still known to work well, though they might last a shorter time than high-end products. Adding both drug-store makeup and high-end to your collection can be the best option, but it all depends on what you prefer.