High-End Brand, Low-End Product

When I saw a line of Stila mini-palettes being sold at Ulta, I was SO excited.  I love Stila’s stuff (especially eye shadows), and these were only $10 for 4 eye shadows and 1 lip/cheek color in a mirrored compact.  I bought 3 for myself and one for my daughter.  I was not-so-excited when I went to use them and realized they weren’t the quality I had come to expect from Stila.  The eye shadow didn’t go smoothly and the colors weren’t very vibrant.  When I flipped over the mini-palette, everything became clear:  “Made in China”… 

I’m Not Anti-anyone:  I’m not saying that everything made in China is bad, but sometimes it’s a way to cut corners by making lower quality stuff. (and personally, I worry about the possibility of hazardous components being used – I’m not going to take a chance with stuff I put on my skin!) If you’re concerned that something you want to order online may be made in China, you can try checking the product description at Sephora.com.  Often in the “Q & A” section, people will ask/answer about the country of origin.

Kind of Sneaky:  Beauty products are big business.  Companies are cashing in on their famous beauty product names by making lower-end products.  These are often marketed at Christmas time and are sold on end-caps of beauty stores. Yes, they’re less expensive, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for.  (Not true of all things, but some.)

Other Over-priced Products:  Ulta brand.  Their stuff comes in pretty packaging and some of it looks similar to higher-end products.  But the stuff I’ve tried doesn’t work as well, and is often made in China.  (They do have a nice line of scented body washes that are made in USA.)  Also: “Prestige” brand cosmetics – sold at Ulta.  Don’t let the pretty packaging (and the name) fool you.  I bought a “Prestige” lipliner and it was like trying to use a dried-out grease pencil on my lips.

Some Decent Stuff:  There are  lower-cost alternatives to high-end products.  The Sephora Collection line of cosmetics has some decent product offerings, but it’s kind of hit-and-miss.  I haven’t been impressed by the 2 different eye shadow products I’ve tried, but I like their eye makeup remover and have gotten some makeup palettes that I really liked.

In Summary:  If you want to buy your favorite brands and not pay as much, you probably just need to search around online and check the clearance aisles at Ulta.  Brands like Stila and Urban Decay usually have “closeout” type deals where you can get stuff inexpensively. (Unfortunately, the country of origin isn’t listed in the product descriptions.)  Once or twice a year, Ulta does a “21 Days of Beauty” promotion where a handful of high-end products are available at a significant discount.  Instead of cutting corners by buying cheaply-made stuff, shop around for a good deal on the stuff you really want.

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