Cosmetics on a College Budget

Cosmetic culture has dramatically risen with the help of makeup tutorials, high definition pictures and reviews on social media. Millions of millennials are interested in what’s new and what’s next in cosmetics, but what happens when you can’t exactly afford the lipstick or the mascara everyone is raving about?

The answer: finding duplicates of high price point cosmetics.

Working for an international high-end cosmetic brand, I know first-hand how expensive makeup and skincare can be, especially on a college-student budget. As a college student, financially living on my own, saving $10 can make a big difference when you have bills and groceries to think of.

For As an employee, I’ve tried products from Lancôme that were given to me as gratis and I sometimes prefer alternative brands. Although I do love the company I work for, I wouldn’t necessarily know how I’d feel about purchasing their items if I didn’t receive them for free.

There are multiple high-end brands that I’ve come across that aren’t exactly worth what you pay for. When preference comes into play, to each their own. However, hyping big name brands like Chanel, YSL and Dior because of the name itself doesn’t really mean it’s worth  the price. Luckily, there are competitive names who have similar quality products for half the price.

A large cosmetic product you can save on when comparing the similarities in results and the differences in prices are lipsticks. Dior’s Couture Color Rouge lipstick has a matte and normal crème finish but so do Mac’s. Dior’s run for $37 while Mac’s go for half the price, $18.50. Mac has also started selling mini lipsticks for $10. Knowing I can get two to three lipsticks for the price of one is definitely a no-brainer.

Skincare also has its role in expensive cosmetics lines. There are pretty expensive moisturizers that claim to work wonders for a couple hundred dollars, but there are alternatives that do the same job and can help you save a few extra bucks. Some of my favorite high-end lines are Amore Pacific and Erno Lazlo, but just as there are duplicates for lipsticks there are duplicates for skincare.

Erno Lazlo’s moisturizers start around $100 but you can find a similar product, and just as good, from Khiel’s for half the price.  

When college budgets and high-end brands meet, it’s never friendly, but because consumers of cosmetics are between the ages of 18-34, you have to ask: why isn’t there a college-friendly medium?

Items trend due to popular demand, and if a majority of college students are the demographic typically hyping what’s new, then wouldn’t you assume that there are tactic marketing teams from these high-end brands that can deliver cost-effective makeup?

Marketing teams would benefit from selling cost-effective cosmetics to college students because of the correlation between cosmetics buyer ages and social media. Social media can be used as free advertisement. If the ages of cosmetic buyers are 18-34 and social media users are 18-29, marketing teams can have free advertisement from purchasers who are already buying the items.

They would become more popular if they sold cost-effective cosmetics to students.

So college students out there who are cosmetic lovers my advice to you is: think twice about your next purchase and find yourself a duplicate so you can put your extra coins toward a cup of noodles.