Are You a Beauty Spender or a Beauty Saver?

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The Paula’s Choice Research Team and Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun take a survey to see which beauty items women like to splurge on, and why.

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Does spending $30 for a single eyeshadow mean it will apply and look better than one that costs $7 at the drugstore? The surprising answer is no...

Does spending $30 for a single eyeshadow mean it will apply and look better than one that costs $7 at the drugstore? The surprising answer is no, yet lots of women believe otherwise. Blame the allure of high-end packaging, the emotional pull of a luxury or designer brand, and promises that this foundation, lipstick or blush is the one that’s finally worthy of the hype. But what if it’s not just hype and the belief that spending more means a better product?

The Paula’s Choice Research Team and Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun had to know more about the reasons women splurge or save on the contents of their makeup bag. A survey on the company’s Facebook page received hundreds of responses, revealing the fascinating facts of where women’s luxury beauty dollars go:

  •     40% of women said foundation, concealers, and powder were their #1 beauty splurge! Going high-end for these makeup staples was de rigueur for nearly half of the women who responded. Finding the right shade was the most common complaint when it came to shopping the drugstore for foundation, concealer, or powder. As one respondent explained, “It’s just so hard to find the right skin-tone color if there aren’t testers, and at least the cosmetics counters allow shoppers to try before they buy!” Not buying it? Check out our top-rated foundations in every price range.
  •     25% of women report that expensive eyeshadow is worth every penny. Whether forking over $61 for a trendy palette (or $25 for a single), the finish, pigment and color selection was the frequently cited reason for spending big on eyeshadows. This quote sums it up, “Shadows with a smooth application like NARS Matte are hard to find. When you find one, who wants to keep looking?” Skeptical? Consider NYX Cosmetics Nude Matte Shadow ($5). It’s a beauty double for NARS Matte Eyeshadow at a fraction of the cost.
  •     20% loved their pricey lipstick and lip gloss! The right lip color can brighten a bad mood—but for some women, that benefit is worth the splurge.
  •     Only 8% reported spending a lot on blush. Respondents cited the staying power and color choices of department store blushes as a factor in choosing these over their drugstore counterparts.
  •     7% of the ladies we polled said they indulge in high-end mascara. A common sentiment: “Big fan of Chanel Inimitable mascara - it's the only one I've ever tried that separates my lashes perfectly while adding enough volume and curl.” Chanel has some great mascaras, but a lot of drugstore brands offer excellent mascaras, too. You can find them on our list of best mascaras.

For more skin-care advice and product recommendations, visit CosmeticsCop.com.

Led by best-selling author and beauty expert Paula Begoun, the Paula’s Choice Research Team evaluates and reviews hundreds of skin-care and makeup products, in books such as Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me as well as online at CosmeticsCop.com. Combining cosmetics industry knowledge and expertise, Paula and her team have developed the Paula’s Choice line of state-of-the-art formulations based on reliable, published skin-care research. Products include skin-care, makeup, body and hair-care products, beauty tools, and accessories. All products are fragrance-free, cruelty free, and environmentally friendly.

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Tanya Wayne
Paula's Choice Research Team
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