Drugstore vs high-end makeup: Can you get beat on a budget?

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Every day, beauty influencers are trying new looks and creating new ways to use different types of makeup. With new products comes new responsibility. The beauty market is rapidly expanding, leaving consumers with tons of beauty brands to choose from.

Makeup is sold everywhere these days. You can find makeup necessities in department stores, grocery stores and everywhere in between. Even drug stores are now carrying their own brands of makeup.

“I personally go for drug store brands because I am cheap, and I feel like drug store brands give me a decent enough look,” said communications major Katie Fitzhugh. “If it’s an everyday look, drug store brand it is.”

Fitzhugh first learned how to do makeup by mocking tutorials on YouTube. She now has her own channel where she creates her own looks and does reviews on products for her subscribers.

Since she is also a student, she believes that it isn’t necessary to spend too much on makeup when you can achieve the same look with affordable brands.

“I get asked all the time, ‘What kind of foundation do you use?’ or ‘What type of concealer is that?’ and people are surprised when I name a drug store brand,” Fitzhugh said.

In a non-scientific poll conducted on Twitter, about half of the respondents agreed that they preferred to use a mix of both drugstore and high-end brands of makeup. About a third picked a preference of drugstore makeup over high-end brands.

“I think that since people are so used to YouTube tutorials, they feel like they oftentimes have to have the higher priced brands,” said Torion Johnson, a freelance makeup artist in East Lansing. “I go for the more prestige brands when it comes to foundation and concealer.”

Johnson, who has been doing makeup since 2015, said high-end brands are great for “coverage.” When it comes to quality, she feels foundation and concealer must be bought with quality assurance.

 “I want the best for my clients. They’re trusting me to provide a service to them worth their money so it’s imperative I perform to the best of my availability,” said Johnson. “You can find quality eye shadows, lip pencils, glosses and mascara with drugstore brands. Oftentimes the best mascaras and glosses and eyeshadows are drug store products. Foundations and concealers set the tone for everything, they are the base of the makeup application so it’s worth it, to me, to splurge on those things.”

Jeanae Gist is a media and information major. In her free time she, too, is a freelance makeup artist in East Lansing.

Gist follows no strict plan when it comes to her makeup shopping trips. She looks for what will offer her the best look for her money.

“In makeup I look for quality, not quantity, and whatever will get the job done right for me,” said Gist. “For example, I hate off brand beauty blenders because they are never soft enough to blend your face makeup correctly. But the high-end beauty blenders never give me that problem.”

“I think that the driving force between the prices of drugstore and high end is the name,” said Gist. “I have seen plenty of makeup do the same two things.”

Since social media is a driving force in the 21st century, most beauty consumers are influenced by mainstream brands. Beauty brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, MAC, and Nars are at the forefront of the beauty market because they ensure quality.

When you are paying for these products you are also buying into the name of the company. They are the Gucci and Louis Vuitton of the makeup realm whereas NYX, Colourpop, and Maybelline are considered the Forever 21 of the bunch.

Affordable products found in drug stores and department stores alike are consistently overlooked due to their lack of representation in media, despite their ability to get the job done.

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