Can you tell which face has the more expensive products on it?

Which one looks better? (Image credit – Superdrug)

New research claims that half of your customers can’t tell the difference between designer and budget makeup when they are applied to the face.

Beauty and health retailer’s Superdrug and A.S. Watson Group claim that 48% of those surveyed could not tell the difference between one look costing £10 and the other £100. Apparently, only 12% of shoppers could accurately identify the premium products once they’d been applied.

Two looks were created using five products from both budget and premium brands (the one on the left was created with budget brands, while the one on the right uses designer brands), with look one costing just £9.97 and look two costing £100.50.

“You’d have to have a real eagle eye for premium beauty to tell the difference between a £3 lipstick and one costing £40,” a spokesperson for the beauty retailer told Daily Mail UK.

“This test proves that when it comes to makeup, paying more isn’t about the face you’re wearing, it’s about the packaging and being swayed by million pound advertising campaigns.”

“If savvy women are just after the latest looks then this research proves it really isn’t worth paying more.”

There have been multiple cosmetic comparison tests throughout the years, with Cosmopolitan USA, Bustle and Allure resolving that packaging and marketing plays a major role in price variation rather than ingredients.

“As ItsMyRayeRaye (beauty vlogger) points out, many drugstore and less-expensive brands have a lot in common with their high-end counterparts,” writes Allure beauty journalist Lauran Hubbard.

“Many are owned by larger corporations that also control prestige brands; others use nearly identical ingredients or are even made in the same facilities, as we found out with the big Kylie Lip Kit and Colourpop controversy earlier last year.”

“So, price aside, drugstore brands don’t necessarily have the short end of the stick when it comes to quality formulas.”

Online retailer Beauty Pie recently identified this gap in the market, releasing a line of factory-priced cosmetics in response.

An online site that’s available in the UK and US (for now) allows consumers to buy cosmetics, like that lipstick, for a fraction of the price – $2.46 to be exact. Beauty Pie’s mission is to bring its members the world’s best beauty products at a transparent factory cost. No mumbo-jumbo, no middlemen, and no markups.

In fact, at the bottom of each product page there is a table labeled ‘Price Transparency’. It details the money spent on the actual product, packaging, warehousing and safety testing. For example, the company’s Everyday Great Skin Foundation cost breakdown includes $5.15 on ingredients and assembling, $0.22 on storing, and $0.04 on safety testing.

According to US financial publication Money Crashers, there are five reasons why customers pay so much for designer makeup.

Brand name – It’s a status symbol.

Fragrance – Fragrances are added to more expensive products to heighten the user experience.

Better applicators – Designer makeup is more likely to offer better application devices, such as eyeshadow brushes, which can make a big difference in how makeup looks on customer’s skin, hence adding value.

Packaging – Fancy packaging speaks to the idea of status in the makeup world. Customers feel more ‘special’ using a tube of designer lipstick, hence customers are willing to pay for it.

Increased pigmentation – Often better makeup brands have better pigmentation which means improved colour payoff and using less product overall.

As we mentioned earlier, ingredients aren’t a major factor in price difference, however, added pigments, fragrance and beautiful packaging is. It’s up to customers if the extra cost justifies the benefits, but not everyone has the same priorities. In the end, it’s up to your customer and what makes them feel best.

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