Dainty Alice

A pretty little LUSH, Beauty & Lifestyle blog.

Let's chat... Budget VS. Blow-Out Beauty

I'm a big fan of three sayings - 'You Get What You Pay For', 'Quality over Quantity' and 'Go Big or Go Home' (especially when regarding shopping sprees and eyeliner flicks) and I live my life and spending habits via these key phrases.

However, in the beauty world us makeup addicts are frowned upon for two things; buying really expensive makeup... and buying really cheap makeup. Both of which cancel out the other. Amidst a sea of 'dupes' and alternatives, is it true that you really do get what you pay for? Or shall we just forget about the price tag *cue Jessie J music.*

So, in the land of magical unicorns, perfect eyeliner and flawless contouring, there are two totally contrasting opinions.

"High-end brands are expensive for a reason, you pay for the quality."

and the opposing party...

"Drug-store makeup is just as good, stop paying for the high-end names."

I am most certainly the former, lavishing myself with Too Faced palettes and Benefit brow products. My mum however favours the latter opinion, telling me off whenever I buy something that I 'could have got from Superdrug.' Bah.

I decided to do some research and interview my fellow #bbloggers, along with tweeting some make-up related polls my Twitter followers could answer anonymously and got some very, very interesting answers!

Us makeup addicts are often accused of buying makeup simply because it is from a 'branded' name, such as Benefit, Too Faced or Kat Von D, however on a poll, only 19% of beauty bloggers admitted buying for the name, whilst a whopping 81% said they bought expensive products for the quality!

81% also stated that they only chose cheaper makeup because they couldn't afford high-end brands, not because they actually preferred less expensive ones.

Despite this, 91% of beauty bloggers stated they would never look down upon anyone who didn't use high-end makeup, totally contradicting the stereotype that we beauty bloggers are makeup snobs!

Read my full poll thread here! 

Now, onto the interviews!

Do you feel that buying high-end makeup is associated with a type of ‘lifestyle’ or prestige?

"Yes, I believe buying high end makeup is more prestigious and being able to afford it is associated with having a better life. I feel like big bloggers endorse and promote this." 
- Ruby, RubyRedR0ses

"I don't feel it is, although the so many people make out that expensive products are the norm, especially bigger YouTube personalities." 
Fran, FrannyMac 

"Not at all! I think younger people may buy high end to keep up with people like Kylie Jenner but I wouldn't say it's a lifestyle!" 
- Olivia, OliviaCheryl

"Hm, I'd say yes and no. Yes because "big" bloggers are often seen to have lots of high end make up. No, because people have jobs and people save their money to own high end makeup!" 
- Severina, Sweet Strawberries

"I think you do get a sense of 'wealth' when you buy high end as £40 for a lipstick is frivolous."
- Rebecca, BubblyBex3

Do you tend to buy more drugstore or high-end makeup?

"Not going to lie, I am always nervous about buying drugstore as I'm not sure if it's any good! I also get sucked in by big brand names so I tend to buy high end, thinking it would be better."

"I buy high end make-up as a sort of treat for myself. It's something I rarely do, but a treat, nonetheless." 

"I always go for drugstore makeup as I think its just as good quality. Plus I'm lazy as I don't save up my money to buy high end products."
Severina, Sweet Strawberries

"Purely because of money troubles I usually stick to drugstore, high end can be a HUGE treat to myself if I have extra money or a present for an occasion." 
- Olivia, OliviaCheryl

"Even though I don't think there's much  different between certain brands that are high-end and drugstore, I'm naturally more attracted and excited by the name and fancy packaging."
- Charlotte, The Porcelain Doll

Does buying expensive makeup make you feel good or guilty?

"Buying high end makeup makes me feel so happy. It feels like an investment piece as it's unlikely I will ever run out of an eyeshadow palette or bronzer really. People have hobbies and mine is makeup and it's nobody else's business what I spend my money on." 
Ruby, RubyRedR0ses

"It makes me feel good about owning a "branded" product but I feel guilty for spending a lot of money on one piece of makeup. Also, If you want high end make up but are worried about the price tag then look in TK Maxx. Yes half the make up there is usually a bit of a mess, but if you look carefully and are patient you can find a couple of intact high end products for a cheaper price. " 
Severina, Sweet Strawberries

"I'd feel good, but also sad for my bank account!" 
- Vicki, Vicki In Neverland

"Most of the time it makes me feel good, however other times I think, did I really need/want this?!"
- Montse, Beauteur

"A mixture of both. Like when I was angry and dropped money on a naked palette, 3 Mac lipsticks and a ted baker dress the week before payday. Regret. Regret and living on super noodles."
- Fran, FrannyMac 

Have you ever bought an expensive product solely because it was recommended / endorsed by a ‘makeup guru’ or fellow Beauty Blogger?

"Yes, Shaaanxo recommended the Stila 1 Step Correct Primer and it's one of the best primers I've ever use so I was glad she endorsed it." 
- Laura, Laura Hadley

"I prefer to make my own mind up and buy what's right for me, not what a Youtuber's being paid to push this week."
- Tore, A Tiny Mew

"All the time! The good thing about Youtube is that you can actually see the product been applied so it's easier to trust it, because if it was shit, it would show. I always, always, always, get whatever Kathleen Lights recommends. We seem to have similar skin and so far everything she loves I love too!"
Montse, Beauteur

"I wanted Kat Von D liquid lipstick simply because it was by her, I do this with other beauty products too such as perfumes. I do want to try Jeffree Star lipsticks but not because it's endorsed by him, I just like how unique it is and I feel it world work well for me."
- Charlotte, The Porcelain Doll

"Yes! I never bought from MAC until I heard how good it was. Same with Urban Decay"
- Bronagh, Bronagh Loves

Have you ever been disappointed by a product you spent a lot of money on?

"Illamasqua liquid foundation. The shade was spot on, finally one pale enough, but the formula is incredibly chalky and only any good if your skin has absolutely no imperfections or they show right up."
- Tore, A Tiny Mew

"I was a bit disappointed with the Smash Box primer. It promised brilliance, but I get the same results with an Avon one."
- Bronagh, Bronagh Loves

"The Urban Decay gwen Stefani palette. For £45 I loved the palette but I used around 4 shades daily and the glitter shades were just AWFUL to apply."
- Olivia, OliviaCheryl

"Yes. Benefit's It's Real Eyeliner. It was partly my fault because at that time I didn't know how to put on eyeliner properly. Will give it another go next time!"
- Layla, To the Stars by Hard Ways

"Everything I've purchased from Mac was so disappointing!  I was really downhearted that I'd spent so much money on their products and honestly, after one use I felt like binning the product. They're a brand I wouldn't buy from again." 
- Charlotte, The Porcelain Doll

What drugstore product were you most surprised / impressed by?

"I was really surprised by MUA's lipstick "Fawn Fancy" as it cost me £1. For the price tag its amazing as its highly pigmented and really smooth to apply. Its now my "go to" lipstick." 
Severina, Sweet Strawberries

"Makeup Revolution! Their whole range is SO affordable and I love it. The quality is some of the best from drugstore especially their highlighters!"
- Olivia, OliviaCheryl

"The entire MUA eyeshadow range! They're amazing!" 
- Bronagh, Bronagh Loves

"Collection 2000, purely on their kind lasting concealer!! 100% holy grail!!"
- Emma, Emma Langlands

"Rimmel foundations. Less than £5 and works better than some of my high end ones."
- Rebecca, BubblyBex3

Would you rather have quality or quantity?

"Quality, I don't want some cheap foundation on my face that separates after 5 minutes!"
- Olivia, OliviaCheryl

"Always quality! But remember just because its more expensive doesnt always mean its better quality!"
Severina, Sweet Strawberries

"Quality, hands down. :) Everyone's skin is different from the other, so what may work well with some may not work with me, and vice versa."
- Layla, To the Stars by Hard Ways

"Quality, though drugstore makeup is making so much progress while keeping a reasonable price you can definitely have both these days!"
- Tore, A Tiny Mew

"Quality. No point having a ton of products but only a few that you really enjoy!"
Laura, Laura Hadley

So there you have it! Real opinions from real Beauty Bloggers like you and me.

But are you #TeamBudget or #TeamBlowOut? Let me know in the comments lovelies!


  1. I loved this post and I've never read anything like it! Your photography in this is amazing as well! x

    Kate// katerosexo1.blogspot.com

  2. I'm more high end but vegan. I also try to make or buy organic/plant based makeup, too.. Which usually is high end money. But then I save up for what I want and then only buy what I need. I'm not a makeup addict.

    Tamsin | http://www.ecofluffymama.com

    1. I'm very interested in Vegan beauty, especially products from LUSH. They're not quite high-end, but they're certainly not cheap xx

  3. Aww! :) Only too glad to help. :) That makeup thing with the little hearts is so pretty. x

    1. You're very welcome! And the product is the Too Faced Sweetheart Beads highlighter xx

  4. Absolutely fab! Such an original post and I love that you got opinions from other bloggers, I feel exactly the same way about how drugstore products are improving and are staying affordable at the same time! MUA, Revolution, Rimmel, Sleek and Collection you can't go far wrong with x x

    1. You are a cutie pie! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! My favourite drugstore brands are definitely NYX, Soap & Glory and Makeup Revolution xx

  5. Absolutely brilliant, loved reading all the opinions of your interviewees. There are some great drugstore brands out there and buying a piece of high end makeup feels like a real treat :)
    Sharon x


    1. I think I treat myself far more often than I should hehe, but it's still a treat!! xx

  6. Thank you so much for writing this post! It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm just considering experimenting with make-up and I have no idea where to start! I thought I'd only get decent quality if I splashed out on high-end brands but I'll definitely have a look at the cheaper brands after reading this.


    1. Ah Sophie! You're so welcome! I'm a proper makeup snob, but the best foundation I own is Maybelline Dream Velvet! xx

  7. I'm in both team even tho I prefer high end brands not because they have a well known brand name but mostly the quality example foundation I rather invest my money and buy a high end foundation knowing it will last me for quite awhile and I don't have to worry to go to a drugstore and pray to find the exact same color. Lipstick I'm in both team some lipstick from high end brand doesn't even last for an hour and other from a drugstore can last me for a quite awhile so it's all depend on the quality what I usually do I test them out before buying them.


  8. Absolutely lovee this post! Tayla Lou - www.caniborrowthattop.weebly.com xx

  9. This is such a cool blog post! I absolutely loved reading it :)! I too am guilty for loving the more expensive beauty stuff, although I think it's mainly the packaging that sucks me in! Beth xx


  10. This was so so interesting to see peoples different opinions! You see a lot of high end in blogging but it's such a nice treat! Though it is nice to see a bit of both xx

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

  11. Love this post! I buy both high end and drugstore makeup, and I don't buy high end makeup for the brand, but for the quality! For instance if a certain high end makeup product does not do well for me as the drugstore one does, then I would just settle for the drugstore one! It depends on the quality for me really, not just the price tag :) I love my KVDs/UDs as much as I love my NYXs/CPs <3

    skinnydecxflatte.blogspot.com xo

  12. When it comes to makeup, I am definitely team budget. I have some friends that use expensive makeup and I borrowed some stuff, but I don`t think they were worth the money. I am however team splurge when it comes to skincare.


  13. I loved reading this!! Such an interesting post. I always have loads of budget products and then a few high end ones. I think sometimes certain products are better if they're high end (like foundations) but things like eyeshadows, brow pencils and whatnot the budget products are just as good as high end!

    Robyn xo


Every single comment means so much to me, thanks for making me smile! :)