May 2, 2014

Drugstores Makeup at Premium Prices Are You Paying Too Much?

Drugstore Makeup

When I started Musings of a Muse several years ago I really wasn’t a fan of drugstore makeup. Actually I was a snob about it! I just was never really happy with the quality of products and felt like my money was best left to higher end and mid-range brands.

In some ways, I still feel like a high end fan girl but drugstore makeup has evolved so very much in recent years. I think the packaging still has a way to go if I’m honest but the quality, pigmentation, and just the overall selection is quite good compared to several years ago!

The fun thing about going to drugstore is you can AFFORD to grab six different lipsticks without feeling guilty. Try that at a Guerlain counter! We love the steals, deals, and beauty on a budget atmosphere at our drugstores but…are things getting a little too high?

Sometimes you have question drugstores makeup at premium prices. If I’m going to go to CVS and spending $9.99 to $11.99 on mascara well, I might as well just go to MAC for that or even Sephora right?

Are you paying too much for your drugstore makeup?

A good example of drugstore premium pricing is the recent Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Foundation at Walgreens. This foundation is marked at $17.99. I believe there is a sale this week and I THINK it might run you $13.99 but don’t quote me during that sale.

That’s one of the great points about drugstore makeup, there’s always a sale, there’s always coupons to be had, you can always get a deal.

However, sometimes there isn’t a sale, sometimes there isn’t a coupon to be had. I’m an instant gratification kinda a girl! I’m not likely to play a waiting game for something to go on sale that I really want to try or I might need to replenish. Say you needed your favorite drugstore moisturizer but it typically it costs $19.99 or more. You ran out! What do you do? Wait for a sale!? You likely won’t be sitting around waiting on the Sunday paper to come so you can pillage it for coupons and the sale flyer or would you? That would mean you’d be sitting around without moisturizer. So yes, the sales are brilliant but sometimes they aren’t always practical.

Which brings me to the point on pricing. At $17.99 for a new foundation that may or may not be worth the price would you rather give your money to a drugstore brand or for a few dollars more get something that will likely work out of the box from Sephora. It’s a gamble with some brands at the drugstore and I’m a firm believer that concealer and foundation are splurge items.

There are other things that shock me as well when it comes to beauty at the drugstore. I find mascara vastly overpriced as well as some of the newer chubby pencils that I’ve seen marked as high as $10.99 each! Ouchie!

Are drugstores getting a little too highly priced?

I won’t shop anywhere but Harmons for drugstore makeup lately as I think CVS and Walgreens takes me to the cleansers with their pricing. Even after a sale you aren’t getting much of a deal. Just yesterday I realized I ran out of toothpaste and stopped at Walgreens and it cost me $6.99 for a tube! For toothpaste? What?

Where do you get the best deals on drugstore makeup?

Do you feel like drugstore makeup is going premium with their prices lately?

Are you ok with paying more for products you like at the drugstores?

Or are you of the mentality that it should be a little cheaper, because hey, it is the drugstore after all and not Ulta or Sephora.

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Katie

    Girl I am loving this post! Just yesterday I was all excited to cash in some coupons & BOGO offers at CVS…ended up spending 70 bucks on just a handful of products! WHAT?!?! That same lipstick I bough at CVS for $9.99 was $4.99 4 blocks away at Target. Coupons be damned. From now on, I’m going for either under $7 drugstore makeup or Sephora all the way. #qualityoverquantity!

    • Avalith

      I used to love CVS for all their coupons and such, only to realize that Target and Walmart are way way wayyy cheaper! I only go to CVS to find super rare Limted Edition stuff that I can’t find anywhere else for the time being. I frequent Walmart and Target, but I don’t shop a lot in CVS anymore. Or Walgreens for that matter! Ulta is another favorite when they’re doing amazing sales like 40% off on select drugstore brands (they did one few weeks ago, it was amazing). Only brand I won’t squint in paying high bucks for is Sonia Kashuk, and her products are premium quality at less than higher brand price. Still tad expensive for regular drugstore pricing though.

    • Isabella Muse

      happy to hear it katie πŸ˜€ I do that all the time and I question how the hell I spent $100 plus dollars on drugstore makeup! haha! I agree completely quality over quantity!

  • Amy

    I try to buy “drugstore” brands at Kroger–it’s usually the cheapest place to get staples like mascara and nail polish. The only down side is it takes a while to get new items sometimes, and limited editions don’t usually show. Still, if I can get my mascara there for less than $6, then I feel less salty paying $9 for LE maybelline color elixirs at CVS! πŸ™‚

    • ASnowbunny

      I shop at Kroger-owned Fred Meyer and agree on all points. CVS and Rite Aid are the highest IME.

  • Karina

    Mascara here in Maxico can cost you up to $17 dlls or more!!!

  • PixieWitch

    I only buy drugstore when it buy one get one half price…

  • Fancie

    I’ve definitely noticed that some drugstore makeup is kind of expensive. Not too long ago I bought an Iman lipstick for $10. While the formula was really impressive I still thought that was a pretty steep for a drugstore lipstick. Just a few bucks more and I could have scored a MAC lipstick. Drugstore brands have definitely come a long way though so I can’t knock companies for bumping the prices a little. But once they become too high I’ll probably stop hauling as often. I do catch a lot of great deals at CVS though! I recently signed up for their Beauty Club and they send me 20-25% off coupons at least once a week. Plus, they often have BOGO half off on my favorite brands (Milani and Revlon). You also get $5 extra care bucks for every $50 that you spend too. It definitely helps!

    • Isabella Muse

      I couldn’t agree more CVS’s beauty club def helps a lot!

  • Sarah S.

    Hey Muse! I cannot believe the premium these drugstore brands are charging lately. The packaging quality is just NOT there and their distribution is so large (meaning mass production is cheaper) that I think they can’t really justify their higher prices even with the quality improvement. Unlike you, though, I think plenty of women wait until they have buy 1 get 1 half off and coupons to indulge in collecting every shade of a lipstick line, for example (that’s what I did when I was in collector mode a few years ago). The idea of finding dupes has pretty much been lost recently, though… might as well shell out a couple bucks more for the original, right?

    • Isabella Muse

      hey sarah! Def agreed on all accounts! and I’ve been there myself with buying several shades at once during a sale but sometimes they just aren’t all that great to indulge in so yeah, might as well just go with the original :-/

  • Mary

    I’m with you, I’m kind of a snob when it comes to drugstore makeup too. I haven’t used much from the drugstore in years, except for Revlon lip butters! I mainly stick with midrange brands like Tarte and Mally, and when you get their TSV’s from QVC the pricing is comparable, if not better, than the drugstore! I haven’t bought a mascara from the drugstore in years because they seem to always be in the sets I get from QVC. But I do love Tarte’s and Mally’s mascaras better than any drugstore brand I’ve tried. It does surprise me how expensive some of the drugstore makeup is getting, and if I’m going to spend that much I’d rather buy something that I know works!

    • Isabella Muse

      hey mary! sometimes you get such amazing deals on QVC really it’s worth indulging versus going to the drugstore!

  • Raincouver Girl

    $17.99 sounds outrageous for a drugstore product! and I’m with you on the instant gratification. If a product isn’t on sale this week, it’s likely to be on sale the next, but sometimes I just don’t want to wait LOL!

    I’m strictly a drugstore girl at the moment because I’m pretty new to makeup and am still learning what works for me. The few higher end cosmetics I’ve tried didn’t work well for my skin though, so I think makeup is all about finding what works for you, regardless of price. That said, if these higher drugstore prices are going to be the new trend, I probably move to higher end brands because the packing is usually nicer, and I’m such a collector

    • Isabella Muse

      Rebecca I’m the same if I want it I want it now πŸ˜€

    • Stephanie

      You can ask for samples of skincare and liquid products at Sephora, Ulta etc to find out what works for you before you buy.

  • Christine Joy Luikuo

    Most of the time I buy cosmetics in an online shop because they sell it quite near to the original price. The malls in the Philippines sell most of the cosmetic products almost double or more than double the original price. Example is NYX. The Love in Paris eyeshadow is Php 400 in the online shop while in the mall its price is at Php 900. Malls will very seldomly give sale on makeup, so I never rely on it. But when I need an item instantly, I have no choice but buy in the mall.

    My willingness to spend more depends on the uniqueness or the performance of a product. But there are lots of products to choose, with different pricing. It’s a matter of wise decisions.

  • Thea

    Hi! I definitely feel that drugstore prices are getting kind of ridiculous. I’ve been turning to Sephora more and more lately because for not that much more money, I can get a product I’ve either tried out in the store or can return if it ends up not being for me (which is amazing when buying foundation & concealer especially).

    • Misha

      I totally agree! Rising drugstore prices, plus being able to try on and return products is the reason I now buy most of my makeup from Sephora. Makeup is even more expensive here in Canada, and we rarely get 2 for 1 deals. If that now $10 drugstore eyeshadow doesn’t work, that’s a lot of money to waste.

  • Rose

    Try Australian prices it can be extremely painful to buy makeup. We also don’t really have coupons or many crazy sales πŸ™

  • Vicki

    There are some drugstore items that are STAPLES in my life. That being said though sometimes I want to try some of the newer stuff that is expensiv for drugstore, in that case, I will probably go to sephora instead and pay a little more for something a little more “high end”

  • amy

    If it’s a product that I plan to repurchase at some point, and I go through it fairly quickly (i.e., mascara, sunscreen, skin care, etc…), I will double-up on a good sale or coupon. It still ends up cheaper than buying one HE product of equivalence, and more often than not, the ingredients are nearly identical. Sometimes, even generic is better than some DS brands, so I often go with those.

  • Jamie

    I love Harmons! And in case you didn’t already know, you can use your Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons at Harmons as well and save even more!

  • Cindi

    Yes, a lot of drugstore prices are soo close to higher end that I will often just pay a couple more bucks and splurge for the Urban Decay or Lorac. I grew up on drugstore makeup and I balk at department store prices, but I do a unit by unit comparison to get the best deal for my money. Sometimes the higher end palettes are actually a better deal because you get more product, it has more pigment and less fallout thereby lasting longer and going farther for your dollar, or it has more wearable colors, or is great for grab and go. I do tend to wait for sales and get items with a coupon, or if you have a savings membership card you can earn dollars off coupons, or buy one get one deals, or as in the case of Ulta I make a wish list and wait for the 20% off sale they have twice a year. I do tend to stock up and buy more than 1 if it is a favored item and I can get a deal on it. I also hit the dollar stores and outlet stores to find clearance sales and deep discounts. I picked up the most beautiful plum eyeshadow with golden shimmer in it by Revlon for only .99. It was originally sold for nearly $7. I also picked up some L’Oreal Hip pigments for only $1, and they are dupes for M.A.C. shadows. My H.E.B. has great deals on cosmetics and often run in store coupons and you can use them in addition to the manufacturers coupons for even more savings. I also hit up Sally’s Beauty when they have deals and use my membership savings card there too. Often I can find items on blog sales and they are new and unused, sometimes they were simply swatched for a review but the seller will say so.

  • Deb

    Yes Muse, drugstore makeup is definitely getting overpriced. I understand that companies have to raise their prices over the years to make a profit, but it seems like the drugstore brands are trying to sneak counter prices onto us. And it’s making it harder to make choices IMHO because the drugstore brands are getting too expensive to just experiment with. And don’t even get me started on the hike in prices for skin care in the drugstore! I was shocked at some prices I saw in Walgreens. I really, really wish we had a Harmon’s but CVS and Walgreens are pretty much it for us. Or course, there’s always Target. And Walmart which I refuse to set foot in.

  • Tara

    I usually purchase most of my drugstore items at CVS, Rite Aid or KMart. I enjoy couponing and I have learned the art of stockpiling things that are staples like cleanser, toner, moisturizer and cotton pads. I usually won’t purchase color items unless they are either on sale or I have some sort of coupon or rewards to use towards them. The drugstore has gotten very pricey! I saw that new CG foundation and was shocked at the price! I would love to try it but I will wait for a major sale plus coupon deal on that one!

  • Kate

    Prices are definitely higher, like you I only buy at Harmon, I used to buy at CVS, but their sales used to be run differently, now you have to Bogo half off, sometimes I don’t want to buy 2, so I generally stay away.
    PUt the prices up too much and the customer will resist.

    Thanks for this topic

  • Anne

    I am so glad to read this post, I thought it was just me. I only purchase drugstore products when they are comparable to high-end ones. I don’t see the drugstore as a place to buy a lot of products, as I’ve always preferred one HE product I love to several drugstore ones that I’m meh about. Anyway, I’m really happy lately with the quality of some drugstore products I’ve been trying out as substitutes for HE ones. I’ve saved quite a bit by switching from the Makeup Forever HD concealer to the NYX one and I think I am on the verge of switching to L’oreal’s Magic Lumi foundation from (my HG) Armani Luminous Silk. I think there is still room to save if you are looking at DS versus HE, and not just at DS versus mid-end.

  • Heidi

    Drugstores are charging way too much for makeup. I used to buy more Revlon, L’Oreal and CoverGirl products but those have all gone up, so if I want something from them I go to Kroger, Meijer or Bed Bath & Beyond or wait for a good sale. (I have usually more than enough of everything anyways.) Plus the CVS stores near my place are all super dumpy, so I have essentially stopped shopping for beauty products there because they look awful and in my area they charge more than their competitors. Walgreens and Rite Aids at least try to make their stores look more attractive, but they still charge too much. I mainly go to them to find New York Color or Sinful Colors or Wet n Wild products. Another thing that bugs me is how some drugstores, in the same chain, sometimes two miles apart, charge different prices for the same product. I assume it’s due to theft or something like that, but they’re just not going to make a sale from me when I know it’s cheaper down the road.

    • Sue

      I also don’t like it when drugstores in the same city charge slightly different prices. For example, a Maybelline CT will be $7.49 in one Walgreens and $7.79 at another Walgreens. I also don’t like it when employees complain about coupons or have obvious difficulty doing basic things like scanning.

    • Cathy

      Are they in different towns/cities? I’m in a really rich area, and the prices of EVERYTHING are way higher than in the city next to me. Gas is 60 cents cheaper, drugstores are $4/$5/$6 cheaper, food is $5-$10 cheaper. I was shocked the first time I walked into a CVS that wasn’t in my town, I must have spent at least $150, just because I was in awe of how much cheaper it was than at home!!

  • Sara

    I used to shop at CVS for makeup a lot since it was right next door to my gym (so I could scope out the really good sales and coupons). But I was still spending quite a bit. I prefer to buy my drugstore brands at Ulta with coupons and sales. I miss Harmon so much! I try to go every time I’m visiting my family in Jersey.

    I recently switched from L’Oreal True Match foundation ($13 regular priced I think) to Clinique Even Better foundation. I was skeptical if it was worth the extra cost (twice the price), but it totally was! Better coverage, doesn’t look greasy and stays put. I’m sold… I feel better spending $27 (plus the free gift!) on something I use daily than one lipstick I’ll use only occasionally.

  • Nina

    Oh, Muse, I love this post. THANK YOU. Please. I have been shocked as I have received the total due on my purchases at Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens lately. It has made me question: Gosh, I think: I’m trying all of these little things out (and can’t really know how they’ll work as they usually don’t have testers!)—I don’t know if I’ll even like them—why am I not saving that money to spend on one palette I KNOW I will love- or that Bobbi Brown product I keep lemming but putting off! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the reminder! Wish it could truly be more economical.

    But I guess a lot of it is amount common sense and self-discipline. Even with the truly low-end lines: Yes, those Wet and Wild or NYC or Jordana products might only be 1.99, 2.99 or whatever…but when you are trying 10 of them, ha! you have no excuse. And Milani has really creeped up. I forget, I throw a few of those in with the others (because the display racks are very similar and proximate) and that really sends the cost up!

  • A.

    I am with you on this. I live extremely close to a Rite Aid, so I’m always in their beauty department out of convenience. I think it’s ridiculous how much they mark up their prices compared to places like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. Just the other day I bought a Garnier hair product for $7.99 at Rite Aid and saw it a few days later at BB&B for $3.99! And a few days before that, three of the new limited edition Maybelline Color Elixirs cost me over $30 with tax! I find that even BOGO sales don’t save me that much because I could have just gone some place like Target where it was cheaper to begin with. And this is all in addition to the fact that drugstore brands are hiking up their prices. :/ I think $17.99 for a CoverGirl foundation is madness. And the skincare! So much of the brands like Olay you can’t even get for under $15 or $20 now.

  • Crystal

    I totally agree! I’d say I usually go for more mid-range make-up brands. While I like some drugstore mascaras and lip products, the prices can be so high that I’d rather just go to MAC or Sephora and have a chance to swatch the product to make sure that it will work for me. I think if they want to keep charging higher prices on drugstore make-up they should at least make the experience more like buying a mid-range or high end brand. But if I have to pay $10 for a lip product or a mascara at the drug store, I’ll pay a little extra and get it from a counter or Sephora.

  • Sue

    I think there are a lot of great lip products at drugstores these days, but foundation is more hit or miss. I also hate how US drugstores don’t haves testers. How are you supposed to pick out foundation without trying it on first? BBB/Harmon’s is great, they have low prices, take manufacturers’ coupons, and periodically offer $5 off $15 coupons as well.

    • EliCaroline

      Oh my gosh. I just commented about this on another post. It really bothers me that there are no testers for drugstore products. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t have them.
      There have been a few times that I have come home with a foundation that was the wrong shade/oxidized really bad/broke me out/made my pores look huge/pilled.
      I didn’t have the option to test out foundation before I purchased it.
      $13 for one foundation, $16 for another, etc. It really adds up.

  • Jane

    Drugstore prices have definitely gotten out of control; I wonder if we all shop so much they think they can get away with this indefinitely? Because it does seem that not only are the drugstores hiking the prices, but the companies’ price point for lots of new products is just nuts to begin with. Decades ago Revlon and similar were sold in department stores; maybe they’re trying to make the jump back? I can’t imagine how that would work practically, but I would pay if the product and packaging were tweaked to be better and I could try out in store. Frankly, MAC has been such a disappointment to me for approximately the last three years, I’d almost be ready to say goodbye to them in the department store.

  • Ashley

    While I take your point, I’m a big believer in doing my homework before I buy. Just because a product comes from a higher end brand doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. I’d rather spend $18 for a product I know is good than chance $19 on a product I don’t know from a brand with a fancy rep. For me it’s all about finding the best deal on the best product no matter where it comes from (which is why beautypedia is my best friend!).

  • Gabriela

    I can write a book about overpriced drugstore makeup. You might heard about Revlon prices outside Usa, there’re absurd!But the story doesn’t end there… I’m from Chile, here’s the US$ translation of the prices of some drugstore and highend product.

    Revlon Color stay foundation: $12.000(chilean pesos)=US$24
    Maybelline Fit me foundation: $7.000= US15
    Nars sheer glow foundatio : $35.000= US$70
    Christian Dior bb creme: $42.800 = US$84

    Don’t let them rise their prices, otherwise we’re (the rest of the world) screwed!!!!
    ps. I heard one the the chanel foundation cost around US$100, but I’m not sure though.

  • Heather F.

    The rise in drugstore prices makes me much less likely to experiment or impulse buy–I’ll only buy a product if it already has rave reviews online, and usually just in one shade. (And I wait for coupons, since none of my daily must-haves are drugstore.) It just seems so weird to spend $10 on a drugstore lippie when I can get MAC for $15! If I feel like randomly spending money on an untried product, I’m definitely going to go to Sephora or Ulta and spend a few extra dollars to avoid a dud. On the other hand, I feel like some drugstore/store brand products have really upped their game–Sonia Kashuk lipstick is divine, and a total steal at $10. Good luck finding a nice lipstick at sephora for $10!

  • Sonya

    Great post! I agree that drugstore prices for cosmetics have been on the rise over the past year or two. It sucks for us Canadians because we can’t apply multiple coupons and discounts for a single product that’s on sale or not.
    Foundation and concealer are my favorite part of makeup and I’m always wanting to try new ones at the drugstore after seeing Youtube beauty gurus raving about certain ones. 90% of the time I’ll cave and buy the products that sound perfect for my skin, but they end up not working for me as I had hoped. It sucks. My favorite drugstore foundations are the Revlon Colorstay and Colorstay Whipped, which in Western Canada, run anywhere from $15.99 to $20.99. I’m not excited to see how much that Covergirl + Olay Facelift foundation is when it comes to Canada.. if it’s $17.99 for you guys, it’ll probably be in the low $20 range for us! And, like you said… with prices that high, I may as well just stick to my favorite MAC and Sephora products!

  • Justin

    I always feel drugstore makeup is for preteen sand products you don’t necessarily use a lot ( because if it goes bad before you use it it’s not a big deal) I think should invent in things that work well that you use on a daily basis.
    MISS MUSE: I am curious from your perspective is there any drugstore products that are HG or staples to you?

  • Suz

    Like others, I’ve been noticing the increase in drugstore prices, yet I can’t completely stay away. I get a ton of coupons from CVS ($4 of $20, $3 off $15, 25% off everything) in addition to the Beauty Club. There are frequent BOGO-HALFOFF sales for brands I love, including NYX, which recently came to CVS.

    But I’ve noticed that Target is often a lot cheaper, even with coupons, than CVS. There are also items on that I have never seen in my local stores. That’s why I’m thankful for my Target Debit REDcard. I get 5% off everything AND free shipping on So, if I want to buy an eyeliner, and nothing else, shipping is still fast and free.

    I also have a ShopRunner membership, which means anything I purchase from or also gives me free shipping. A lot of times, I don’t see deeper foundation or lip shades in my local stores, so it’s nice to have an option online, w/ free shipping.

    When did drugstore moisturizers get so expensive? Certain Neutrogena and CeraVe offerings are about $20! I’m thinking about just bumping up to HE to see what’s what.

    Oh, and Harmon’s/Bed, Bath, & Beyond take expired coupons. I’ve asked multiple times and they keep saying yes. I even used an expired one at BBB last week. So, don’t throw them away if they’re expired!

    Sorry for the long post!

  • Cathy

    Ugh, it’s ridiculous! I live in an affluent town in Fairfield County, CT, so something that’s %5.99 elsewhere is like $9.99 here!

    • Stephanie

      Oh God yes! I live in Farmington and if you don’t want to go broke buying anything you have to go to Bristol which sucks because I’m disabled and can’t drive so I have to plan this whole big trip if I want to buy more than three rolls of toilet paper lol.

  • jess

    I am glad you said this! I feel like drugstore makeup has been cheap my whole life but in the last few years its gone up! I’m only 29 btw. I definitely think the quality has gone up which makes me happy and I don’t mind spending a dollar or three more if something is high enough quality I like the product and don’t’ regret it which used to happen to me all the time. If drugstores had testers they would give department store makeup counters a run for their money! I really enjoy Revlon products and MAYBELLINE color tattoos, lip elixirs and trend collections. I love that Revlon works with Gucci Westland, it really brings a high end feeling to a collection if a key makeup artist designed it. I also enjoy being able to buy 3 lip elixirs and not feeling guilty about it! I buy one thing from Sephora and I feel guilty. I have my core favorites from Sephora and such that I have to have like foundation, eye shadow and blush but lips and mascara I have no problem going cheap! We got though makeup so fast that I can’t justify a $30 mascara for 3 months, cough, diorshow. And I have no problem returning something if it sucks. I work hard for my money and I expect quality no matter where I shop!

    • Stephanie

      I’m 27 and I remember being in middle school going drugstore hopping with my sister. My $20 could give me a decent haul back then…those WetShine lipsticks were my jam, especially the Diamonds ones.

  • Katmary

    Like others, I tend to wait for sales. I agree that it’s not like we can grab few products and expect a low price any more, it takes planning which takes away the fun of just searching out a couple items while waiting for a prescription. The other object that’s priced into a higher price realm is drug store skin care!

  • telle

    happy friday, Muse! its snowing here…le sigh (hello Maui next week tho!). This is a great call out about pricing in the drugstores; i have definitely moved away from most drugstore makeup because, for many reason including the pricing, i can get a bigger and better experience from a retailer like Sephora or Mac with return policies that allow me to return a product that i used and i didn’t like, for a few dollars more; the drugstores, this sure has not been my experience. If there is something i want to try at a drugstore, i will wait for a sale because I know it will be featured at a special price eventually; but hey, i always have 5-6 mascaras unused and ready to go at anytime, so i have the luxury to wait. πŸ™‚

  • dia

    Yes! With a few exceptions, pretty much all my makeup is either high-end or super-budget (like Wet N Wild). It just doesn’t seem worth it to bother with the other brands. At least at Sephora, they have testers so I can get the right colors! And if my $0.99 WnW lipstick looks awful, at least it wasn’t a $7.99 Revlon!

  • Rotem

    I live outside the US and payed for my revlon lip butter 12 $ on a special sale for members . The full not sale price is over 25 $ and unlike L’oreal Rimmel that I can find british sites that ship here I can’t find Revlon .
    Luckily for me my sister lives in the US and is flying here twice a year .

    • Isabella Muse

      thank god for sister’s in the US πŸ™‚ she can grab those lip butters for cheaper here and bring them over!

  • El

    For me it REALLY depends on the product. My OTL (one true love) in drugstore makeup are the Maybelline color tattoos. I think I have 15 of them. Those I can almost always find for 5.99-6.99. My holy grail primer is the Nuetrogena mattifying primer, and it’s like 11.99-13.99 a tube. Typically I’ll stock up on it whenever Rite Aid has Nuetrogena 30-40% off (which they do about every 3 months) HOWEVER when I consider that this primer works far better for me than any higher end mattifying primer I tried (and I tried them all) I don’t mind paying even full price for it.

    But I often think drugstore lipsticks are over priced. The quality just isn’t there for me.

    I also cringe to see a drugstore mascara cost 10-12 dollars. I can get higher end ones for 18-19 so why wouldn’t I? (That being said I love to death the CG Flamed Out Waterproof mascara but I typically buy it for 6-7 dollars.)

  • Trish

    Great article, Muse. I am at an age where I only want and use higher end cosmetics, especially foundations. My girls are grown and living on their own, one has graduated from college and my younger daughter is almost finished. I did the time, so to speak, so now I want good foundations. Foundations, my biggest downfall. I have purchased high end and much less expensive. I only like and use JM serum foundation. It’s the only one I can get a good match with. I have gone to every makeup counter in my area for a foundation color consultation only to realize it is yellow on my fair- pink skin a week later. Drugstore foundations are usually too thick and on the yellow side and as most of the posters mentioned, a little expensive for “drugstore” brands. I do, however, like a few drugstore brands. I use NYX blush in taupe for just about everything…shading, brow color, eyeshadow at times. I order from their site. I love a discontinued Revlon nail color, Grey Suede…I can only find on ebay. I have a seller who keeps me informed when they have a few bottles. I have used Butter London “All Hail the Queen and Yummy Mummy” in it’s place but still love the Revlon much better….Drugstore prices used to be the most afforable, not anymore. I’d rather add a few dollars and go to Sephora or a dept. store..or order online.

  • Alison M.

    I will agree that while I’ve seen some improvement on the quality of the offerings when it comes to drug store brands I really don’t think it’s enough of a leap to justify spending the much high price tag. While pigmentation and performance have been improved I am with most of the other posters. If I am willing to pay that much for a drug store product that I have had patchy and mixed results with (and is laden with chemicals and other things that are bad for my skin) I’d much rather pay the slightly higher price tag and get a higher end product with vastly better performance and a more natural and skin friendly ingredients list.

  • LM

    I use a fair amount of drugstore products because there are some very good ones (elf, nyx, pixi, some revlon items), but when it comes to most beauty items, I’d rather shell out for something I can try on and even take a sample home of first, than gamble on whether or not something works from the drugstore. It’s so disappointing to bring home something from the drugstore that stinks and you can’t return it. It’s like throwing money away. Whereas at Sephora or a dept. store you can go try something on and think about it, and even come back the next day if you want to see how it wears over time. You end up saving money in the long run. Most of the time, unless I’ve read or researched about something specific, I don’t even look at the makeup section in drugstores anymore. I’ve wasted so much money!

    • Stephanie

      It definitely helps that my drugstores do returns but I try not to do that often. I got a Rimmel primer that was amazing but the smell made me sick so I gave it to my girlfriend. She’s starting out and it was pretty cheap. However, when I got the Pro Matte which was awesome but so dark I was orange, I returned it.

  • Vanilla

    Agreed, drugstore make up is now too much to snatch up new or seasonal products “just to try”. Most lipstick and mascara will easily run at $9.99 in Canadian Walmarts and I would opt to read reviews and wait for sales. I’m also a lil bit of a make up snob too now that I’ve used make up for 15 years. I know how it use it and what a quality product should do. I’m in no rush to pay $8.99 for a Maybelline make up remover when it costs $9 at Sephora during the FF sale

    Given, I have so much make up and skin care already I never run out of anything, so I am adopting the “quality over quantity” philosophy. I know what I like, so I’ll do the research and make myself wait a month or two first. Then if I still want it, I’ll invest in one or two good products at a time, rather than slurging on a batch of subpar products when it comes out that will most likely never get used.

    • Stephanie

      When I was in Montreal I bought some Annabelle stuff and Baby Lips I couldn’t find in my town. The Annabelle shadow pencil is AMAZING but it’s more of a teen brand…I paid $10! Mind you, I’d pay it again but I didn’t like a lip product and I was just out of luck.

  • Dee

    Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond or Ulta are the stores where I get my drugstore fixes. But the prices are really going up. Coupons and sales help. I have never found a drugstore foundation that works as well as a just slightly higher one at the mall or Sephora. I do like Olay Regenerist or some Neutrogena products for skincare, but the Olay prices are getting crazy high even with coupons.

    • Isabella Muse

      I do BBB and Ulta too Dee! Their prices are the best for sure! But yeah, Olay has def gotten super HIGH!

  • Mari

    They’re definitely more pricey! I just bought lipstick at a Walgreens yesterday for $7 and visited a Target a few hours later (wearing my new lipstick) and it was only $5 regular price! And I had purchased it on sale at Walgreens. I also usually find CVS to be more expensive than Walgreens.

  • Belle

    Mascara like maybelline sells for 20 in my country. Meh

  • Kenna

    Yes! It’s getting crazy! Whenever I walk into CVS, I always think “Hm, I can get a L’Oreal Lipstick for $10+ or a MAC Lipstick for $15!” I choose MAC just about every time! I’m more then willingly to spend more money on a high end product if its amazing and an investment, like a foundation or a everyday lipstick. But, I mainly buy my make up from MAC now, since it’s not a drugstore brand, but its not high end either. If I have a lot of coupons, or theres a great deal, I’ll buy make up from the drugstore. But if I need just a really cheap beauty fix, I’ll go buy from Big Lots or Grocery Outlet, where I can get Revlon, Maybelline, etc. for insanely cheap prices.

  • Dusty

    I’ve had this conversation SO many times! Whenever people ask me “why don’t you do more drugstore reviews?” I respond with “HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRICES LATELY?!” The price point gap between the drug store and the department store is just too small these days. Add to the fact that if you qualify for a professional discount (which drug store brands DON’T offer) your department store makeup is often cheaper than drug store items.

    Drug store brands are completely out of control with their pricing – I just don’t think many people notice because people who’ve been shopping at drug stores for years because it was what they could afford are still ASSUMING that their products are still a lot cheaper.

    I think it’s WONDERFUL you posted this! xoxox πŸ™‚

    • Isabella Muse

      Couldn’t agree more and even after sales the price point gap is tiny…you can get mid-range for around the same price with better quality. It’s a bit absurd. The point of drugstore makeup is that it is budget friendly but the gap is getting smaller and smaller and you’re looking at more mid-range pricing ouchie! Aw thanks mister πŸ™‚ thanks for commenting!!!!!!!!

  • Tracy

    I’m really happy that I came across this post. Here are my thoughts. I’m a HE gal all the way BUT I’m a sucker for a good deal. That being said I have tried to substitute or dupe HE and it just isn’t the same. The quality tends to be not as great especially pigment/longevity wise so the higher price tends to be in my favor. I do however shop drugstore mascara because I change mine every 3 months. The only point I’d like to make about the increasing cost of drugstore make up is that consumers have been demanding better quality for years and now that drugstores are answering their call people are balking at the raised prices. I do think almost $18 is steep. Sephora/Ulta may not be accessible to everyone either so they have no other option than to go to the drugstore. I have noticed Target/Walmart have better pricing than CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid unless there is a sale. I’m also a believer in stacking coupons. I bought $45 worth of nail polish, mascara, moisturizer and paid $6. That’s the only way it’s worth it to me.

  • Kaja Elisabeth

    Living in Norway, it’s almost funny to read this. Everything is so expensive here, including drugstore make-up, which I believe are quite overpriced here. If you compare L’Oreal to MAC, a lot of their products cost almost the same. Most L’Oreal products are about 30 USD here, including mascaras and foundations (yep, they cost the same here). Even though there are alot of good drugstore products, I hardly ever buy any here because I know they’re often over double the price as in the US, and I just don’t think it’s worth it.

  • Janki

    I agree! If you calculate product costs, most of the bogo sales are still on the high side compared to Target (or I find deals at bed Bath and beyond and our local grocery chain, HEB). It seems the time to buy is during clearence sales at CVS or ulta’s recent 40% off sale.

    I have a few HG items that I find through the grocery store including the Maybelline Fit Me concealer and Revlon Lip Butter. Most of my drugstore leanings are NYX, ELF, and Wet n Wild (eye shadows).

    I can get the sephora brand lipstick for $12, a Mac for $15– why spend $10 on covergirl?

    I do wonder if the rising costs are due to the heavy celeb endorsements (not seen by the other discount brands as much)? Maybe drugstores are charging more to recoup the easy return policy too?

  • Linda

    I stay away from drugstore brands because of the lack of testers. I really, really need to see the color on my skin and feel the texture. The only way I buy drugstore is if you have raved about it, muse, like Revlon photoready primer or moon drops lipstick. The only line I really like is NYX and they’re cheap! I like their liners as much as urban decay!

    • Isabella Muse

      they are improving a little with this as lately they have foundation samples available! wish they’d do the same with color cosmetics!

    • Stephanie

      My mom says drugstore testers won’t work because people are so messy. My Walmart cosmetic section looks like a paintball fight gone wrong.

  • Lisa Adams

    I skip drugtore purchases and go for high end because I get it right the first time every time at the Beauty counter where I can test, get experienced beauty advice deluxe samples, etc. I don’t end up with products I don’t use or have to return. I prevents me from wasting my money and wasting my time with returns, etc. Ends up being cost effective in my mind.

    • Stephanie

      Yeah…Sephora gave me samples of three concealers to test to see what I liked best for my fair skin. The samples lasted a long time! I wound up buying one in both stick and liquid…$26ish for a great color match vs. wasting time and money finding and returning things…is totally worth it.

      I do have some drugstore concealers that I use casually or when I’m not wearing foundation etc but nothing I’ve found, not even FitMe…compares to my NARS

  • ggggg

    Drug store pricing is way out of control and has been for quite a while now. I don’t care what kind if quality or packaging or research they do on their products, drugstore cosmetics were never meant to compete with high end pricing. I would never pay $17.99 for a DS foundation and it’s gotten to the point where you need to take out a second mortgage to purchase a skin cream. It’s crazy.

  • ruthlessrocks

    Oh I hear you loud and clear. Every time you review Physician’s formula I wince-it’s literally double the price here. Those glow flush heart things? 21.99. Why on earth would I pay that when I can buy online?

    Honestly since I discovered Essence makes 5 dollar mascara I haven’t bought anything that costs more since.

    • Isabella Muse

      oh yea PF has been crazy lately with their prices! as much as $15.99-$16.99 on new products! They do have those stick on coupons, that helps, but just barely!

  • Majick

    Great post! I used to shop in the drugstore (Harmon’s forever lol) when I was a kid. I’ve always been a makeup and skincare freak so my skincare started with aloette, aloe charm?, and Clinique. I started working for the same company I work for now at 18 so my skincare and makeup came more from midrange department store as I moved through the ranks. I’ve kept some of the Clinique products in my repetoir to this day. other brands have been tried (shiseido, estee, lancome, YSL, dr brandt). I think i will always spend more on skincare until i throw in the towel. when i do that i have a fantastic organic body butter that costs $20 for a 4oz. tub. in fact ive been using it alot and jt may just replace a few of my body products now. I am still working and love to get a deal but I have to admit I really enjoy a beautiful lipstick in a beautiful package.

    That said, I am also getting closer to retirement (thank goodness) and have occasionally ventured back to the drugstore to try a less expensive version if what I’m using and either I’ve spoiled myself or I just don’t see the benefits/ savings. I have to say for a few dollars more I get way better (for me) products.

    I refuse to step foot in wallyworld (I do not think they are helping the economy or ecosystem with their business practices) And, because I am forced to use CVS for my prescriptions, and they mess them up MOST of the time, I BOYCOTT buying ANYthing else there ever.

    I find the best deals at ulta, sephora, Harmon’s, and a companies home site. I also appreciate the liberal return policies. I understand that this does contribute to the higher price tag but I’ve noticed things at say target that cost just as much and guess what? Once you’ve paid for it, if its cosmetic, you’re not returning it.

    In general I think everyone is charging astronomical prices for mediocre bs. It’s sad but I don’t see it getting better. (Debbie Downer signing off lol.)

    • Stephanie

      My insurance (Caremark…ugh) forces me to use CVS and they use cheap meds that suck and mess them up most of the time. My Walgreens was much more personal, they rarely made a mistake and they delivered to my house because I’m disabled. /rantrant

  • Ari

    If the choice is between a $17 foundation that I must buy unswatched – or a $30 high-end equivalent that I can return if the formula or shade don’t work for me –

    Well, the decision seems like a pretty obvious one to me.

    Wet’n’Wild is one of the few drugstore brands that still hit the combination of price-point and quality that’s right for me. I live on their single eyeshadows, and find their bronzers irreplaceable. But other than that?

    Nail polishes tend to be reliably priced and reliably on-sale. And that’s pretty much it. $18 for a drugstore foundation? Seriously? That’s robbery, and I lay the blame for it directly in the lap of cosmetics companies who’re seeing a recession-based boom in the sales of their drugstore-genre lines and don’t know what to do with it.

  • Claudia

    What a great post! The more I go to the drugstore too look for deals on makeup the more I have decided to start buying my makeup from department stores

  • Eve

    I agree with most of what you’re saying. It’s gotten to the point where I only really purchase lipstick, mascara, and blush from drugstore brands. Even then the only lipsticks I’ll buy are the Revlon Super Lustrious line. At $6.99 they’re still at least half the price of department store brands, and Ulta often has buy 2 get one free or sometimes 30-50% off sales, and I actually like the formula better than some higher end lipsticks. I haven’t tried a department store mascara yet that I thought was so much more amazing than drugstore brands,and the prices are still low enough it doesn’t bother me. For foundation and eye shadow, I do think higher end especially around Christmas is a better deal. If you end up buying 6 shades of a drugstore foundation to find your match now, it’s way more expensive than just getting swatched and purchasing 1 high end foundation with the ability to return and try again if it ends up not working out. I get that as drugstore brands improve formulas they feel like their prices should go up, but it alienates their customers who want the lower price at the same time. Although imo the biggest sticker shock for me has been Mary Kay. It used to be fairly cheap, and now their lipsticks are the same price point as Clinique’s. Crazy.

    • Stephanie

      A lot of times I wait until the holidays and try out things with those beauty kits Sephora and Ulta have…four mini Tarte blushes for $35? Sure, because I’m never going to finish one!

  • Monica

    I work for a DS that is only in my state. Our prices for Revlon, L’oreal, CG, etc are almost always cheaper than what Ulta sells these same items for. However, Target & Walmart has our prices beat (except for perfume), but sometimes only for maybe $.05 less. We run big sales 3-4 times a year (right now Prestige is 50% & so on). For example Physicians Formula goes 40% off about 5xs a year. Muse, the CG foundation you mentioned we sell for $14.99. I’ve noticed huge price increases on several items, Neutrogena & Olay being the biggest hikes.

  • Iris

    For me, the best place to get drugstore makeup is Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. They have a points card program and regularly have sales. I’ve gotten face powders for more than half off. For regular prices, though, they are a bit expensive. I prefer to wait for sales or promotions but will purchase a drug store product at full price if it is limited edition.

    Otherwise, if nothing’s on sale, I’d rather pay a few dollars more and purchase a mid or high range makeup item.

  • Joann

    In Canada, drugstore makeup can range to $20 or more. It is definitely ridiculous. To the point where I sometimes say ‘well if the drugstore foundation is $18… if I spend a few more dollars, I can go to Sephora and buy this other foundation instead’
    Drugstores do have sales often, so that’s always a plus.
    But definitely, they are becoming really expensive.

  • Maggie

    Interesting post. My response:

    “If I’m going to go to CVS and spending $9.99 to $11.99 on mascara well, I might as well just go to MAC for that or even Sephora right?”

    NO–NOT RIGHT AT ALL. At least for me.

    Beauty has high mark-up, period. Drugstore or High-end. So I do myself a favor: try to ignore the marketing hype around prestige (after all, i despise being manipulated) and focus on all products equally. As long as the product has a superior performance–I’ll be happy. If the superior product happens to be DS, I’ll save money too.

    I learned the hard way that the superior product for ME is not necessarily the HE one. For example, I’ve tried dozens of HE mascaras only to discover in the end that a couple of DS one’s work well on me. Also, mascara is so disposable–I’ll be saving dollars every time I shop at DS over HE–no matter if the DS is on sale or not.

    I also beg to differ when it comes to foundation–one of the new-ish DS one’s work best on me and I’ve tried dozens of HE formulas. Same goes for eye liners, lip liners, nail polish.

    Don’t get me wrong–I won’t be very happy with if DS keeps raising their prices until they are unquestionably mid-ranged brands but I must say I appreciate DS stepping up its game.

    Ok, now for tips.

    If you don’t feel like waiting for a deal or couponing beforehand, ulta, target, kmart or walmart are probably best bets. You can check for coupons on your phone while shopping. Try the store website and coupon websites.

    For couponing and deal-watching in advance, CVS is actually wonderful. You can stack CVS extrabucks, a Bogo deal a manufacturer’s coupon, dollars off amount of purchase store coupon, altogether on one item! I’ve paid pennies many many times. You can get store coupons through the in-store coupon machine, the cvs weekly sales booklet, or through your inbox if you sign up.

    I have a wish list and a restocking list–I just pay attention to when things get low. Most major makeup brands have some sort of deal every month or so

  • Bonnie

    I very rarely buy from the drugstore because products like Revlon, Olay and Maybelline which are drugstore staples are tested on animals. Some drugstores in Canada sell cruelty-free brands like Live Clean and Cover FX,also Danish brand GOSH, which is a great move forward in the fight against animal testing.

  • Madaline

    Loving this article!! I totally think drugstores are charging too much! I am totally with in you on why pay so much at a drugstore when for a bit more I can get something proven better at a beauty counter or the mall ( plus samples!). I kind of think this about target (the clothes) or any store that’s suppose to be a little cheaper!

  • kellly

    I hate to say it but I think the prices of EVERYTHING are or will be soon going up. The same cans of Campbells soup that I bought 2 months ago for $1.50 each are now $1.99, no apologies, nothing. Same store, too, and nobody has it for the lower price any more.
    I think the next wave of inflation is going to slam us pretty soon here. Drug store cosmetics are more costly compared to their higher-end cousins right now but I’d almost be willing to bet we’ll see the prices of higher end stuff climbing pretty soon, too. I’ve been wishing for the Dolce & Gabbana Perfct Finish Powder Foundation but $60? for foundation is a little out of my range. $30 for a foundation is pretty much a splurge for me, too. $200+ for skin treatments…. that’s always going to be a no-go for me and I don’t care how good it works. Some stuff is just out of my range and the more the prices of everything keep climbing, the tighter my budget is going to get. I don’t see myself getting a 20% cost of living pay adjustment any time soon!

    • Isabella Muse

      oh gosh Kelly yeah I know canned soap is absurd. I tend to avoid it due to sodium but sometimes for a quick lunch it is handy to have! But yeah it’s about $2.99-$3.50 here in New York. And tuna? forget it! Canned Tuna is priced like sushi haha! It’s like $4.79 per can lol!

  • Majick

    I can’t beleive I wrote a big long BLAHDY BLAH BLAH and it didn’t post. grrr…

    I definitely don’t see much difference between prices at the drugstore and mid-range brands so I don’t bother anymore. I stick to the mid-range brands that I like, I might try a drugstore something if it’s a unique color or could possibly replace a HE brand.

    IT makes me crazy to have to stockpile to get a good deal on something. To me it’s not worth it because by the time I get through the first product the othera are already old or I’m looking for something new.

    If I do shop at a drugstore it’s Harmon’s and that’s it. I won’t step foot in CVS unless I’m picking up a prescription and that’s because I’m forced to use them and they screw up everything so I boycott them as much as possible.

    I find my best deals, service, and product comes from Ulta, Sephora, or the cosmetic website of choice. I also like that I can return a product without any hassle.

    my other post was much more thought out but I guess I didn’t have enough coffee to press the submit tab. LOL

    • Isabella Muse

      hey majick it might still be here as I am just getting to replying to comments today! Sorry for the delay! Typically the appear and get sent to my approval box so they disappear at first but reappear “magically” haha when I approve and reply to them! Thanks for sharing your comment!

  • sjgs

    I worked for CVS for 2 years. Anyone who pays full price for makeup there or at any drugstore is, quite simply, an idiot.

    The sales cycle at least once a month and it’s the same sales over and over. Physicians Formula in particular goes on 40% off at least once a month AND there’s often also a coupon at the coupon center for up to $7 off! I don’t have anything PF that I paid more than $2 for.

    There are websites that list all the sales of beauty stuff at all the chains at the beginning of the week. Honestly, it’s not that hard. If you really need instant gratification, go to the dollar store and buy a nail polish. Having grown up in a small town with very limited access to high end makeup in the flesh (which probably applies to half the US), I’m glad CG et al have stepped up their game. If you’re too lazy to make the deals work, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    • Isabella Muse

      guess that makes me an idiot as I have and likely will pay full price for drugstore makeup in the past. Sometimes I want to grab things up and review them on my site and not wait for several weeks for a sale to pop up. Sometimes I can’t always wait on sales and coupons so I purchase as I see them. Also LE collections sell out fast around here so I can’t wait a week or two for those items to go on sale as they will likely be gone by the time the sale runs around. I don’t think anyone is an idiot if they pay full price. There are certain circumstances where you can’t wait on coupons and sales to pop up. No one said it was hard finding sales, I was merely pointing out that product prices have risen considerably at the drugstore lately and even in some cases after coupons and sales you kinda break out even sometimes.

      • MC

        ALSO, whenever those sales do pop up, I usually show up too late and the shades leftover are typically ones that are unwearable or products that have already been opened. Sale or no sale, drugstore prices have gone up for sure.

  • Maria

    I think one of the reasons the drugstore prices are so high is to pay the high salaries for the celebrities salaries like Ellen DeGeneres , pink ,Katy perry , etc. to advertise the products. Years ago there were models advertising the cosmetics. Consumers should complain or boycott the products to the companies.

    • Stephanie

      …or feature consumers in their ads. If I like the product, I’d totally do it.

  • Yen

    Whoa $17.99 for foundation? I’m guessing it’s expensive because it’s covergirl and Olay. I generally see Olay skin care being marked for $20+ at drugstores. Still… I never remember seeing foundation for THAT much. I don’t blame brands for upping the prices. The quality of drugstore makeup has greatly improved. I can actually find eye shadows that arent stiff and colorless! Mid-range and high end brands increase their prices on some items slowly over the years, but I feel like recent drugstore makeup releases are overpriced and the quality is not there.

    I stopped by walgreens a few days ago to buy milani’s new briliant shine gloss and saw the new covergirl lip glosses for $7.99. I spent forever trying to decide whether I wanted to buy one. I went for just milani and I’m glad I did. I just read your review on covergirl’s colorlicious gloss and was sad about it being more expensive with such a short wear time. Give Me Guava was so pretty looking in the tube since pinky golds are my favorite.

    I only buy my drugstore makeup at bed bath beyond since I work near one with a beauty section. I had to go to a grocery store on the weekend last minute to buy eye makeup remover and was shocked to see it was $8.99 when I could’ve bought a bottle for half the price at bed bath beyond. It was $9 something after tax! Bed bath beyond is like heaven for my cheap self. I can’t buy mascaras or any new released items at walgreens anymore since they hike the price up by $2-3. Target is also cheap but the one near me won’t accept returns on opened cosmetics. Im exaggerating but it’s apocalypse the day bed bath beyond prices go up.

    • Isabella Muse

      me either! Even though it is covergirl/olay still seems super pricey! LOL agreed! Eyeshadow use to be terribly dry but it has def come a very long way ;-D I’m glad you did too because Milani def has the superior formulas. the packaging is kinda ugly but the quality of makeup is excellent πŸ˜€ it’s really crazy how highly prices products are lately!

  • Fuu

    If it is more than $10 I pass. I honestly cringed every time I repeat buy my Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara at $8 for a drugstore mascara. BUT it works like a $20 mascara, and has better ingredients(panthenol, biotin, hyaluronic acid, etc) so I end up getting over it.

  • Bx

    In the UK (and I know Oz as well) drug store prices are absurd.
    LOreal Studio Secrets Primer is the equivilant of $25 USD here! What I dont get is that our home brand No7 is sold in Target in the US for 1/3 less than the UK. Pricing is crazy!

    In fact it is driving our drug stores to source brands like Sleek, MUA and Revoloution which are pretty much no different to budget China 100 colour palette manufacturers.

    • Isabella Muse

      anytime I visited the UK I try to avoid purchasing makeup because the pricing astounds me! but sometimes I can’t help it because you guys get stuff we don’t πŸ˜€

  • Suz

    I wrote a really long post on this the other day and it didn’t get approved πŸ™ Guess it was too long.

    But I pretty much co-sign what everyone is saying. I’m starting to peek more into high end makeup if I’m going to be spending that much for makeup.

    • Isabella Muse

      hi suz I have about 249 comments to get through with no ones popping up top! Sorry I didn’t get a chance to reply/approve it yet but it will get approved shortly, comments are never deleted for being too long, it’s just that I am running the site myself so I have to approve and reply to them and sometimes I get a bit swamped, just be patient with me, it’ll pop up soon! thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!!!!!

  • Andy

    I am so glad you posted this, Muse. For awhile I was trying to temper my department store spending by shopping more “economically” at Target. Instead I came home unable to explain to my fiance how I spent $70 for dish detergent, 1 little candle and makeup! It’s ridiculous. I can’t find a drugstore mascara for under $9 and I can absolutely remember when my favorite mascara was $4-6 (and I’m only in my 20s. I’m not like, from the 1920s). Its bull.

    I will go makeupless before going broke for cheap mascara. That’s what these companies need to remember. Makeup is a nice to have, it’s not a need to have — and guess what? Their high prices are reminding me.

    • Isabella Muse

      I totally agreed Andy, I, too, cannot find mascara anywhere less than $9!!!!!!!!! If I’m going to spend $9 on a mascara that I know will disappoint me I might as well head to a counter and grab something for a few more bucks!

  • Sara

    I remember when Walgreen’s and Rite Aid would have BOGO free sales. Now it’s BOGO 50%, which just isn’t a bargain in my book (25% off when they are already priced much higher than Target or Wal-Mart). I’ve also noticed that makeup prices at drugstores are venturing into the realm of higher end makeup from MAC, Urban Decay, etc. I’ve wasted SO much money on make up that I bought without testing first (even with the best of intentions, I don’t get around to returning things). It’s worth it for me to pay a little more and be able to test out the products first, as I end up with things I enjoy using over and over.

    I also saw the $17.99 Covergirl foundation and said “nope!”

  • Vivian

    I’m starting to think that drugstore makeup is getting overpriced as well. I remember seeing polishes and lipsticks for under six dollars; now, they’re over nine or ten dollars! Man, isn’t a MAC lipstick fifteen or sixteen? Might as well get a MAC one if drugstore is bumping their prices up so high. I mean, Rimmel lipsticks are normally within the four to six dollar range, but CVS overprices them to about eight or nine dollars. It’s absolutely ridiculous!

    It sucks because whenever I do go drugstore shopping with my dad sometimes, he thinks CVS is better quality because their things are nicer and packaged (although a lot of lip products I see tend to not have stickers) and not rampaged like WalMart or Target (WalMart and Target is like Black Friday for cosmetics; it’s hard to find shades I want sometimes). The thing is, WalMart and Target price their drugstore items for so much cheaper, but they’re farther away from my area. CVS is within walking distance.

    Coupons don’t help either. It’s a mere two dollars on a minimum spend of fifteen dollars; I don’t think that’ll help along with the high taxes in California.

    • Stephanie

      Same here…big box stores are farther away. I go to Target by my parents’ house an hour away usually because where I live, the Target has a poor selection that is always sold out.

  • Monica

    The reason a lot of drugstores do not have testers is because they either get stolen (I live in a small town & where I work perfume testers get stolen weekly) and because it looks extremely messy. Target has testers for makeup & IMO it looks disgusting where all the testers are out & also in the lower priced range at Ulta. Also attempting to keep them clean & sanitized is a job in themselves & takes up precious time when you have 3 days to unpack 5000 bottles of body wash, shampoo & lotion & order 8 makeup lines. The good thing about Target, Wal-Mart, & where I work is that you can return your makeup (even if it’s been used) with no questions asked. I know America is very lenient when it comes to returning cosmetics compared to other countries.

  • Kathleen

    I would agree that the DS prices are getting higher. I used to buy make-up like it was necessary for living. πŸ˜‰ The older I get, the less I use, and I’m getting a bit pickier about what colors I like on me. I do use the coupon/sales combo, but it seems like I’m less satisfied with my purchases. Just bought some of the new CG lipsticks, and one was awful–color and dryness level. I told my husband it’s time I just pay more and buy where there are testers.

    I do buy some skincare items at Trader Joe’s, and that’s pretty good stuff. Takes a few dollars off my skincare routine.

  • Kathleen

    Of course, a really good way to know if something is worth it–read a review by your trusty beauty blogger!

  • Catherine R.

    This article is spot on! I totally agree with Vivian about lipsticks too! I am not going to pay $10.99 for a L’Oreal lipstick when I can go to MAC and get one for $15.00. Plus I can save up empty containers of MAC products and get a free lipstick when I turn in 6 of them. I have gotten to where most of my makeup is from various “prestige” brands but honestly at this point most of them aren’t that much more expensive than drugstore brands.

  • MC

    This definitely strikes a cord with makeup lovers everywhere! I agree with others who purchase something specifically after seeing a blogger/vlogger review. I feel like in the long run it will save my time and money. I also try to be super frugal about keeping an eye out for deals and upcoming sales. Drugstore prices are getting very close to department store prices and it’s already such an over-saturated market! Also, I’m a huge fan of TJ Maxx beauty section. I’m able to find quality products at bargain prices.

  • Sarah

    I completely agree that CVS and like drug stores are way over priced! Target and Walmart are cheaper as well. If I wand drug store make up I order through amazon prime! Prices are lowest, and if the shade isn’t right for me I can ship back for free with their A-Z guarantee and get a refund. Plus they have little perks like their (sometimes drastically but not always) add-on items if you spend 25.00. Some of those items are high end as well. It’s win win for me. Prime with 2 day delivery included!

  • Stephanie

    I will only buy L’Oreal if I hear solid raves…like the Silkissime pencils and even still I only have one…but I have five NYX ones. I get Revlon if it’s on clearance.

    My skin tone is tricky and I’m in the store with terrible cell reception trying to get pics of swatches lol.

    I’m in CVS’s Beauty Club and get a lot of coupons and ExtraBucks, but at Walgreens I get nothing and they’re the same marked up price. I like seeing what I’m buying too.

  • beautywithmadeleinelucy

    This is SUCH a sore spot for me cause I live in Australia and the markup here is ridiculous. Like with brands such a small ELF, L’OrΓ©al and Revlon is Aussies get at least a 200% markup. It’s just so rude!