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High End or High Street? Does the price of your make-up really matter? Saturday, May 10, 2008

Posted by kittylamour in Cometics, Opinions & articles.
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I have been a cosmetics junkie and a shopaholic for many, many years. At the same time, I have also been relatively scathing of spending a lot of money on one product. I prefer quantity when I go shopping, so if I can get three high street lipglosses for the price of one from a beauty counter then that’s the way I’m going to go.

The only reason I really wondered if I ought to re-evaluate my opinion was when I became a make-up artist 4 years ago. When you’re doing a girl’s makeup for her prom you don’t want to be wondering if it’s going to stay in place all night or if her foundation will be patchy by the time the awards are read out. Likewise, I know I don’t mind if my makeup kit comes mainly from Superdrug, but is that necessarily what a client will think when I open up my bag? The same is true, and even more so, when you’re actually working on a set or shoot with celebrities, major or minor. My mentor, a fantastic lady called Sue (or SueSue as I like to call her) has been working in the business for over 30 years and although she has worked with some celebrities I know she loves dearly, she also has tales of people who will only touch certain brands or products, to the point where if she knew she was going to be working with a certain person she would have to ring up the brand and say, look, I’m working with so-and-so and they really love your products, and try to get sent some (yes, celebs may have the money to buy Creme De La Mer – or not as most of the time they may well get it free – but us humble artists don’t!). Bottom line is that product snobbery is rife in the industry – but is it really justified??

Personally, in most cases my answer is a big fat NO.

There are some cases in which there are degrees of exception. Foundation, for example, is not something you ought to skimp on if you really want your coverage to last all day. MAC products are fab for this. However, so are Revlon (I’m addicted to their Colour Stay foundation), and they’re nearly half as cheap. And if I really want something that won’t shift, I use professional grease paint from a company like Screenface (or a silicone airbrush base, but that doesn’t really come into it given the cost of an airbrush..). Pay £100 for Creme De La Mer?? I don’t think so!

But eye and blush colours, lipgloss and most lippies, after extensive research (including working on a beauty counter of a well known brand which is actually more expensive than MAC, although I never quite saw why…) I can conclude that the amount of money you spend is in no way linked to the quality of what you get. Yes, of course some very very cheap brands aren’t going to last long or even go on well in the first place, but there are plenty of brands that do. NYX cosmetics are fantastic overall, especially for their eye colours and lip glosses, and don’t exactly break the bank. H&M / Hennes eyeshadows as a rule have fantastic colour pay-off (although I always test first because there are some rogues in the bunch) and a 4 colour palette is £2.99! LA Colours metallic eyeshadows are also great, as are the brand Sleek, which is designed for darker skintones and so are beautifully pigmented. And if you really desperately want to have brand names in your bag to impress people, then there are plenty of websites that sell names like Hard Candy, Too Faced and Urban Decay for well under rrp. if you look for them.

What are your opinions? Do you have favourite cheapie brands? Or could you never stray from a beauty counter? Do you think image is just as important as quality, or do you not mind, as long as it works?

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