Tried and tested beauty products – is expensive really the better choice?

No matter how savvy we are as consumers, our optimism is sometimes enough to lure us into dropping all the dough!

Despite the joy we get from placing those expensive, exquisite bottles on our countertops, we still wonder – is the money we spend (or would like to spend) on skin care really worth it? 

As a consumer, I look for evidence that a product works and if I look at a brand that actually puts forth the effort to create clinical tests, and shows me evidence that their product actually works, then at least I know I’m buying something that the company put money into proving.

Before investing in a super-luxe product, take the time to do your research.

Smaller brands might not have the funding to carry out studies which is when you could rely on your own beauty knowledge and learn to read an ingredients list like a cosmetic chemist. Look for tried and true ingredients that work – Retinol is one of them – so much science has been done on the value of it. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid have all been proven by science to work.

If you’re in the market for a face cream and are willing to splurge you should first think of the three things you’re trying to prevent or repair, then look for ingredients that are proven to help.

The ingredients list always shows them in the order of the amount present in the product up to 1%. The takeaway is people should just note the main ingredients in the product they’re buying, do the research and look for proof that it works.

Which brings me to this blog! What have I got, used and tried?

I’m not a beautician or done any courses in it that much is obvious – I’m just trying products to make myself feel better and sharing it! I’ve been sampling both expensive and cheap products to see what the difference is – if there’s any – adding some to this blog piece although there’s been SO MANY it would overcrowd to add them all at once! 


Is quality better than quality?

For many of us, makeup has become an important part of our daily routine, and for a good reason: makeup boosts our self-confidence and it gives us a fresh, appealing look that lasts the entire day. Nonetheless, just like it happens with perfumes, clothes and basically any other type of product on the market, you can opt for cheap makeup products or you can invest in expensive ones.


Here are 3 reasons why you should invest in expensive makeup products:

  • They are properly designed to match your skin.
  • Expensive makeup products can last longer – cheap makeup is usually not long lasting. More expensive makeup brands offer long wearing formulations.
  • The quality of the ingredients isn’t lacking – most high street hair/skincare products contain lots of alcohol and synthetic ingredients which can be drying and irritating to your skin and hair, while higher end products tend to be made with real, natural ingredients (real shea butter or coconut milk, etc) that since they are natural work with your skin and hair a lot better. This does not mean that you can’t find good skin and hair care in a drugstore, just that you have to pay attention to the ingredients and know what your particular hair and skin needs.

Here are 3 reasons to invest in cheap makeup products:

  • Can be difficult to distinguish between expensive products.
  • Saves money.
  • You can just be buying into a label when high street things are the same – the company that makes L’Oreal owns Maybelline and in turn, Garnier, and Essie as of last year. They have a big corner of the hugh street market and products shouldn’t be sold if unsafe!

Some popular makeup brands today!


A lot of these makeup brands offer several must have products (that’s why they’re called the best). 

Behold, some of the most popular makeup brands around:

NARS – created with the intention of empowering women to experiment and have fun with makeup. Today, the brand still maintains this mission and prides itself on teaching ladies how to enhance their natural beauty and individual characteristics.

Urban Decay – If you like your makeup to be daring and dazzling, then Urban Decay is for you. The cosmetics brand is as edgy as it is innovative and has amassed a huge following of fans. Now a cult label, Urban Decay is famous for its iconic Naked Palettes, high-performance formulations, vibrant colour explosions, and must-have products.

NYX Professional Makeup – I have NYX lipstick featured on my instagram and its long lasting and smells great.

Chanel – glamorous and sophisticated as Coco herself when wearing CHANEL makeup. The brand’s luxury beauty products are just as chic and stylish as the clothes that it creates. Although a single lipstick may set you back around AU$50, the quality of this cosmetics range is well worth the extra cost.

L’Oréal Paris – When it comes to beauty, L’Oreal is a global leader. The French company offers women everywhere luxury and superior quality cosmetics at affordable prices. Whether you need foundation, eyeliner, lipstick or any other makeup product, you’ll never be disappointed with L’Oreal.

Maybelline – started out as a small, family-owned business, is now the top cosmetics company in America. The brand continuously delivers scientifically-advanced products in the latest trend-setting shades.

Guerlain – since its creation in 1828, Guerlain has been exploring, innovating, and enhancing. Whether it’s makeup, skincare or fragrance, this Parisien brand offers some of the best beauty products on the market.
Laura Mercier – a world renowned makeup artist, and her namesake cosmetics brand translates her knowledge, skills, and talent into top products. Many items in the line have even received awards, such as the Tinted Moisturizer, which has repeatedly been named one of the best.

Clarins – amongst the many reasons to get to know Clarins as a makeup brand is the brand’s values and passion. While other businesses are sometimes just in the industry to make money, Clarins really cares about delivering premium beauty to women everywhere.


What about supermarket brands

Aldi – the cheaper choice

So, I had tried all these products from Aldi and price wise they are amazing.
  • Charcoal mud to foam cleanser was surprisingly really good, didn’t have the foam I expected but after a couple of uses I felt like it cleansed my blackheads at least.
  • 3 in 1 face wipes only bought as I’m a new mum again and my self care routine has been terrible so thought this may make life a bit easier although I’m not sure if they are actually great for the skin as it doesn’t feel as though it’s adding much to it.
  • The cream is actually for mature skin as I’ve been struggling to find something that makes my skin actually feel nourished – I found this cream just sat on the skin rather than soak in but perhaps it was just the wrong one.
  • Body lotion I buy it cheap as use it every day so wouldn’t even know if it makes a difference! It’s very thick, lovely scent, you do feel as though you’re adding to your skin.
  • Body spray again was a 99p buy just for on the go as I’ve been finding myself just not bothering with roll ons as it’s extra effort (I’ve got 3 children and find it hard enough sometimes to deal with them let alone roll body roll on!)

Some of my experiences:

Lacura mud to foam cleanser £5.99 Aldi


Lacura Q10 day cream – cheap and cheerful.



Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub – Boots.



60 minute st moriz fake tan

I’ve tried the normal one before and I like it, this is another version which actually smells better, applies the same and I really like it and the price too. Price wise is great!!
Some fake tan products that are actually cheaper and actually really good.



Garnier products with Rose Water

Garnier is a popular brand that works well with my skin and is neither expensive or cheap in my opinion.


Dermologica Superfoliant

I do like these products, the more expensive brand – your skin does feel refreshed, they can just be expensive, nonetheless, you do get good results and as I enjoy them it’s value for money to treat the skin to that luxury.





Bourjois Paris

I love Bourjois products and always have since my youth. The eyeliner is so defined and easy to use. It’s the more expensive option compared to ones out there, however it is longer lasting and better on my skin. Buy cheap mascara since this type of product needs to be replaced every 12 months (so it says on the tube) for hygiene reasons anyway. You can usually get away with cheaper eye shadow as long as you use a foundation or base on your eyelids before applying.



Cath Kidson
Burts Bees
Benefit Triple Performer 
Cath Kidston is a popular product with a lovely scent – medium price range.
Benefit cream is amazing although expensive – higher price range but you are buying a label.
Burts Bees smells fantastic! More expensive than a normal lip balm but worth it if you want to treat yourself.



 I love minis that are great for travelling!

When or if you’re travelling these little minis are handy! Pantene, Nivea, Radox, Aussie, Sudocrem and Dove. Minis cost more so you’d be better off buying the products large.




Lipstick pens have been around a few years now, this one is actually in pen form and I do like them as I prefer the matt effect not gloss. Price wise you can get them averagely about £7 in Superdrug but I have known the more expensive brands be a lot higher and achieves the same thing.




Aussie is amazing, really smells great and you feel as though your hair is being treated well, there are cheaper versions I buy that smell the same although I’m no expert and don’t know how it’s all produced – I personally think Aussie is amazing but I use a lot so for me I prefer the cheaper choice.



The face masks are Superdrug goodies – so cheap and cheerful if bought whilst on offer.


The summary.


Some brands work better for you and some don’t because there are so many variations of skin which is due to genetics, lifestyle etc.

Some skin types are normal, oily, dry, sensitive then you have different parts of the skin that requires different treatments.

I had tried several products in my time and it really does depend on you because cost is not the only difference between expensive and cheap makeup as consumers are faced with many options when buying makeup but expensive makeup is not always the best option as lifestyle and budget are just two considerations when buying makeup!  

It always depends on the product you buy – it doesn’t matter if it’s high end or not, some high end products may have nicer ingredients though because they are spent more money on but high street products can also be just fine for the skin (I feel!) 

Organic and eco friendly products I’ve noticed cost slightly more but that’s because of the ingredients used and time to make therefore worth it (I think)

Skin care products give us hope that with the next night cream purchase our appearing fine lines will disappear, that with the perfect eye cream our dark circles will crawl back from whence they came from.

You may need to do some research on the best and safest brands and also what ingredients to look out for if any answers here aren’t clear enough as there’s lots of options into cruelty free too.

There’s also different skin tones such as brown, cream, fair and black – melanin, the skin’s brown pigment, is a natural sunscreen that protects tropical peoples from the many harmful effects of UV rays which cause sun damage, however, when a certain amount of UV rays penetrates the skin, it helps the human body use vitamin D to absorb the calcium necessary for strong bones but that also links into a whole other detail about health.

Giant brands will often take a formula from one brand that’s doing really well, and they’ll just decorate it and repackage it for another brand so although the main ingredients may remain in the higher end product, the base can be exactly the same.

If you have a red velvet cake and everyone likes it but one particular company makes it with a cream cheese frosting, then that frosting is signature to that brand, however, you can still use that cake base but you can make it for cheaper and it tastes just as good!

Rimmel  and Aussie and Superdrug offer better prices and I’m on a budget so I scrimp literally all the time so buy when on offer, reduced or when I’m in a shop they are just cheaper.

Blog post beauty reviews

14 thoughts on “Tried and tested beauty products – is expensive really the better choice?

Add yours

  1. A brilliant informative post I have learnt more about Male-up in the last ten minutes than I have ever learnt in my life Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m probably not the most qualified person to be commenting on these products Bryony but what I can say is it’s seriously well presented with huge prep work clearly gone into it and for that, you’re getting 5 stars from me.


  3. I tend to “happen” onto things that work well. Seriously, for color–eyeshadow, lipstick, blush–I don’t find the price difference makes that much differnence. Skin care, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tend to take a mix and match approach. I like to spend a bit more on foundation so that it is helping my skin as well as providing coverage, but most things I will buy cheaper if possible so that I can save money and spend it on facials which I think produce much better results. I also rate my good skin range at boots. #thesatsesh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that’s a lot of products and brands! I don’t tend to wear much makeup but if I did, I’d go for higher end things that last and don’t irritate my skin. We’ve all been there where we’ve scrimped and gone for budget and it’s just been a waste of money. Thanks for linking to #LetsLinkUp

    Liked by 1 person

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