Spectrum Talks: High-End vs Affordable Beauty
It’s always a tough decision knowing whether to splash out on a little luxury or go for the more affordable option. Is high-end makeup and beauty really worth the price tag, or are cheap beauty products almost as good? Can we even tell the difference?
As always, we turned to our Spectrum Talks for answers! We wanted to know which luxury products you can’t live without, the brands that are hitting the mark on either side of the scale, and what the differences really are.
So when it comes to luxury vs budget beauty, who wins? Let’s find out.
High End or Affordable: Can We Tell the Difference?
If you’re investing in something luxurious, it has to hit the mark – and it has to be special. Is it always that easy to tell the difference though? What is it that makes high-end beauty products different?
Some of you honestly said you can’t tell the difference.
Formula-wise, I cant really tell the difference between high end or affordable (if it's a good formula).— Jenna Menzies (@fayebrgr) July 20, 2021
And as it turns out, quality by itself isn’t a hallmark!
Just by the quality of the product, sometimes I can’t tell the difference, there are really good affordable products— Ilean Angulo (@alienUnicorn__) July 20, 2021
It’s true - there are loads of great beauty brands at both ends of the scale. On the other hand, some of you said particular products seem to vary more.
I can usually almost always tell the difference especially with the formula of a higher end product as it's not as heavy, has a lightweight luxurious feel to it when it's makeup but with mascara & eyeliner I can't tell until after using it a few times. 💕💕— 🖤✨Leanne 🖤✨ (@MissBlissLashes) July 21, 2021
Which Luxury Beauty Products are Worth the Money?
There’s nothing worse than treating yourself only to be let down by your new product. On the other hand, sometimes that little luxury is exactly what we need – and we can’t live without it. So, which high-end brands get our vote?
My Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde palette, it’s my favorite palette of all times, I think it could have been a little cheaper but it’s totally worth it🙈💕— Ilean Angulo (@alienUnicorn__) July 20, 2021
We can’t say no to beautiful eyeshadow palettes, and as it turns out, neither can our Spectrum sisters.
My most expensive product would have to be my Pat Macgrath palettes. I don’t use them often at all but they are pretty good.— Reviews_byLiz (@RByliz) July 20, 2021
We savour our luxury products too – the longer it takes to hit pan, the better!
My most expensive is my shu uemura Anti Oxi + Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil at £70 😱...it may be expensive but my skin looks amazing I mean I'm 30 & still get ID for alcohol 😂 plus a little goes a very long way. 💕💕— 🖤✨Leanne 🖤✨ (@MissBlissLashes) July 21, 2021
We are officially sold on this review alone. Sign us up for glowing, youthful skin!
Is Luxury Skincare Better Quality?
Luxury and quality go hand in hand, don’t they?
It’s pretty natural to expect high-end products to be better – both inside and out. We wanted to know whether this is actually true though. It may surprise you but the answer from our Spectrum sisters is a resounding… No.
Not at all. There are so many awesome products that are affordable.— Ja-Nee| Curly Head (@whoisNee) July 20, 2021
This is so true. There are loads of affordable skincare brands these days, with ingredients and formulas surprisingly similar to their high-end rivals.
No I dont. I believe you can get really great skincare for a really affordable price.— Jenna Menzies (@fayebrgr) July 20, 2021
I don’t have much experience with high end skincare because I’ve found that lower priced skincare has worked great for me. I think I had one expensive gold mask it was like $100 and I didn’t see much difference honestly.— Reviews_byLiz (@RByliz) July 20, 2021
Yes – it’s all about what works for you and your skin. If budget is a top factor, our top tips for finding the best affordable beauty products are:
Do Your Research
What are people saying about the brand and the quality of their products?
Look at the Ingredients
Are there goodies listed here that you know your skin will love? Also, check whether their concentrations are high enough to have an effect!
Try One New Product At a Time
Avoid switching up your skincare and beauty regime too much in one go – or you won’t be able to tell what each new product is doing. By trying one new, budget product on its own you can see whether it works for you – then later maybe try the rest of the range.
Are There More Top-Quality Budget Beauty Brands Nowadays?
Having a choice is so important – but when it comes to beauty products that don’t break the bank, are there enough options?
Yes! Totally! Plus some are cruelty free and vegan, for us girls who are against animal testing ❤️🔥🐰🌱— Ilean Angulo (@alienUnicorn__) July 20, 2021
Yes, babe! We’ve talked about conscious beauty on the blog before, and as you all know, here at Spectrum we’re proud that all of our products are vegan and cruelty free.. We love to see new brands sharing our values and there are more than ever it seems!
Yesss!! Definitely I feel like more affordable brands are doing the work to improve and their products are showing it one for example is elf the products lately have been very good.— Reviews_byLiz (@RByliz) July 20, 2021
It’s true, ELF are killing it when it comes to both products and ethos. One of our favourite affordable makeup and beauty brands for sure!
Which is Better Overall: High End or Affordable Beauty?
Now it’s time for the big question: do we vote luxury or budget? Let’s hear some views before the big reveal…
Affordable… I don’t want to spend a small fortune on a product and then not like it or be the wrong shade etc— Becky Shepherd (@BeckyShepherdd) July 20, 2021
If I’m gifted something more expensive and love it I’d defos repurchase though!
I prefer a mix of both it's more about what works best for me, like I bought a £40 foundation that was terrible but found one at £3 that works unbelievably good. I think some brands ( not you ) charge more than they should especially to reach everyone. 💕💕— 🖤✨Leanne 🖤✨ (@MissBlissLashes) July 21, 2021
Can I simply want high end stuff at affordable prices? 😂— India may (@Pandamayy) July 20, 2021
Nothing wrong with that – we can dream! But now let’s get to it. The results are in, and it’s a bit of a landslide.
We can’t give up our luxuries, but our love for affordable beauty is undeniable! And to be honest, we’re not surprised. Small beauty brands are killing it these days – with great products that really work and don’t hurt your bank balance. Honestly, what’s not to love?
The Wider Picture
Outside our Spectrum bubble are the results the same? We took a look at the whole of the UK to find out.
As it turns out, the UK as a whole seems to be more interested in budget beauty products than high-end options. Trends from the last 12 months show searches for ‘cheap beauty’ are almost double the ‘luxury beauty’ searches! But really, what matters is your preference. If you want that luxury palette or balm, you go for it.
Luxury Without the Price Tag
It’s the dream isn’t it – the best beauty products at prices you love. We’re all about balance here at Spectrum, so don’t miss our hot new makeup collection and tell us what you think!
And as always, if you loved this Spectrum Talks recap, join us on Twitter for new topics. We chat every Tuesday at 12pm.