June 29 2020

The Ugly Truth: What You Need to Know About the Beauty Industry

Makeup on a budget

Iknow I’m not the only one putting tons of makeup in my online cart just to dream of being able to actually buy it.

And sure, if we save up enough over the next few months we can afford to splurge a little.

But when we go on our shopping sprees, what are we actually paying for?

You might want to sit down for this — it’s gonna hurt to hear.

Unfortunately, you don’t get what you pay for in the cosmetics world.

I know. Ouch.

The high prices you’re paying — you know, the ones that make your palms all gross and sweaty — aren’t worth the hype. Your money isn’t going towards that rich, drool-worthy, shimmering highlight. In fact, 90% of the cost usually comes from expensive marketing and brand campaigns. Sometimes, you’re even paying for the “pleasure” of buying the product from whatever department store you’re in.

But the betrayal doesn’t end there.

You’re also providing the brand with a fat, juicy profit.

Sure, you can spend hours defending your ridiculous receipt. But when it comes down to it, you’re not treating yourself at all.

I’ll admit, the crack of opening a brand new $25 gloss is hard to get over. But is that really worth it when you have a perfect dupe sitting on your bathroom counter right now? Is it worth emptying your pockets when you know your money isn’t as “well spent” as you thought it was?

If you ask me, I say absolutely not.

I’m gonna tell you some super well-kept secrets of the beauty industry. Then you can decide for yourself if you still want to spend hundreds of dollars a month on these luxury makeup brands.

Let’s just say that by the end, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me. 

Makeup on a budget

The Upsetting Lack of Cost Transparency in the Cosmetics World

Listen. That new sleek, sexy designer lipstick you just splurged on? It actually costs less than $3 to make.

So why did you pay $30 at the counter?

And get this. That outrageous price of your pretty pink pout? Only 15% or less of it comes from the actual ingredients.

Well then, what the hell are you paying for?

When you check out at Sephora, you’re not really paying for that lipstick. You’re paying for sample production, brand prestige, and retailer markups. Oh, and celebrity marketing, middlemen, and big fat bonuses for the brands’ executives.

All of that BS inflates the price of a tube that’s the length of your pinky. And let’s be honest — you’ll never use the entirety of that shade anyway.

If you’re tense about shelling out $100 for a “luxury” anti-aging cream, you should be. The brand is making an insane profit on a formula that’s made and packaged for maybe $10. But these beauty brands know you’ll buy into their name, and they use that to their advantage. They’ll charge absurd prices simply to make a profit off of what you don’t know.

So why should you work your butt off all year to spend thousands of those hard-earned dollars on brands that are literally taking advantage of you?

You shouldn’t. And you don’t have to. Some brands are cutting out unnecessary costs to bring you affordable quality cosmetics.

Cost transparency is still a huge issue in the makeup industry. With the influence some of these brands have, they’re able to get away with these absurd markups. But people are finally starting to get fed up with it.

These makeup brands shouldn’t be selling just to see how high they can charge you.

You should be able to get fresh, fun looks without breaking the bank. 

Makeup on a budget

But Can I Get Quality Beauty on a Budget?

All of us automatically think that the more expensive things are better than the “cheap” stuff.

Ugh. Even I just cringed at the word “cheap.”

I mean, if it wasn’t better, why would it cost so much more?

They must use higher quality ingredients. Their sources must be more ethical. You’re paying a reasonable price for better blending ability, pigmentation, and coverage. Right?

Wrong. Contrary to your assumptions about those nauseating costs, the quality of the makeup doesn’t really correlate to the price tag.

What’s worse is that many manufacturers produce for both high and low-end brands. They’re making all of their products in the exact same places, but slapping upscale labels on some of them.

To break it down, let’s say a company has a foundation priced at $9 for their drugstore bottles and $47 for their “luxury” bottles.

That’s a 422% increase in price for the same formula. They just put it in a different package, with a different name on it, up the price, and call it a day.

What if the real reason your dupes work so well is because they’re the same exact formula as the original?

With this, we now know that a lower price does not automatically mean the makeup has lower quality or that it isn’t ethically made.

In a lot of cases, expensive and affordable products have the same ingredients. Same formula, same factory, wildly different rates. Which means the cost doesn’t play a role in whether you’re gonna wake up with whiteheads or not.

So next time you opt for the higher price tag, at least check the ingredients on the back to see if your money’s well spent. 

Makeup on a budget

Now That You Know the Confidential Info...

The beauty industry isn’t the glittering, marvelous thing you thought it was, is it?

These tried, true, and trusted brands are really just in it to gain, not give. No matter how “for you” they may seem, most of the time, their makeup isn’t worth the $20 extra. Not when that money doesn’t even alter the actual item.

You should be spending on a product, not a brand name.

Some newer beauty brands are rejecting these age-old tricks and are making excellent products at super affordable prices. Some, like us, are even vegan and cruelty-free.

This just goes to show that not everything affordable is “cheap.” Despite what you might’ve thought, it’s clear now that you can get quality makeup for less.

So. Are you still willing to spend your savings on a lie?

Click here to see Our Story


hand holding pearl color liquid highlighter in a small tube
hand holding pearl color liquid highlighter in a small tube
smiling girl looking down holding two tubes of liquid highlighter in two different shades
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four tubes of liquid highlighter in different shades lying in a circle
color swatches of liquid highlighter in four shades from moon to mermaid tears



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See Details
two hands holding matte liquid lipsticks in shades spring and cherry st respectively
two hands holding matte liquid lipsticks in shades spring and cherry st respectively
girl wearing matte liquid lip in shade queens holding the product next to her mouth
a full collection of ten matte liquid lipsticks and fount mini nyc taxi car randomly arranged
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matte liquid lip in shade Spring (pink nude)
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matte liquid lip in shade Soho (rose pink)
matte liquid lip in shade Cherry St (fuchsia pink)
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matte liquid lip in shade Plum (dark purple pink)
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hand holding a vegan, cruelty free moisturizing lipstick in white packaging
hand holding a vegan, cruelty free moisturizing lipstick in white packaging
girl looking up pouting her lips holding red moisturizing lipstick toward the lips
winky smiling girl wearing moisturizing lipstick in shade uptown
ten moisturizing lipsticks in different shades lying down in two horizontal lines with nyc themed blocks in the middle
red lipstick on influencer, shade Everyday is Christmas
brown nude lipstick on lips
color swatches of moisturizing lipstick in ten shades from light to dark
moisturizing lipstick in shade Born with Shine (nude)
moisturizing lipstick in shade Bubble Gum (Barbie pink)
moisturizing lipstick in shad orange juice (orange)
moisturizing lipstick in shade Mocha  (brown nude))
moisturizing lipstick in shade Dumbo (red bean)
moisturizing lipstick in shade Milk Tea (brick red))
moisturizing lipstick in shade Uptown (scarlet red)
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