What is the difference in expensive makeup & cheap makeup?

Updated July 18, 2017

Price is not the only difference between expensive and cheap make-up. Consumers are faced with many options when buying make-up, but expensive make-up is not always the best option. Lifestyle and budget are just two considerations when buying make-up.


Cheaper make-up is more likely to cause redness and irritation, although buying a more expensive brand is no guarantee that you won't have a reaction. However, more expensive brands usually have lenient return policies, so you won't be stuck with a product that you can't use.


Liquid and powder foundation are products that you don't want to skimp on because they cover the entire face. Cheap foundation is more difficult to apply and is often more watery. You'll need to use more product to get the same level of coverage that a more expensive brand provides.


Cheap make-up is usually not long lasting. More expensive make-up brands offer long-wearing formulations. Busy women who don't have time to reapply their make-up should opt for more expensive make-up that won't disappear as the day wears on.

Eye Makeup

Devote more of your beauty budget to expensive foundation and lip colour. Buy cheap mascara since this type of product needs to be replaced every two to three months for hygiene reasons. You can usually get away with cheaper eye shadow as long as you use a foundation or base on your eyelids before applying.


Expensive make-up is usually available free to try at department store make-up counters. Cheap make-up does cost less, but there's virtually no way for consumers to experiment with what shades will work best. In the end, you might end up spending more money trying to find the right shades than if you had a consultant help you choose at a department store make-up counter.


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About the Author

Sharon Moran is a freelance writer who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in philosophy and a Master of Education degree in urban education. She has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her work appears on Lance Armstrong's She is a competitive Olympic weightlifter for East Coast Gold.