Confessions of a Beauty Snob

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 8 - 2011

In the four years since I first fell in love with makeup, I’ve become a snob.  Caused by a simple case of exposure, or should that be overexposure to brands.  Without wanting to sound like someone you’d like to stab in the kidney, I’m in the fortunate position where brands sometimes send me products to try for free but I can honestly say that in spite of this… I’ve never spent so much money on makeup and beauty products in my life.

Three years ago, I would have considered a MAC eyeshadow a luxury purchase and when all is said and done, at £11.50 for a bit of coloured powder in a pot.  It is.  Of course, it’s all relative really… I don’t earn more than I did three years ago but my priorities have changed and beauty hits the top spot for those hobby spends nowadays.

So back to this makeup snobbery.  It’s like a slow rot.  I almost find it hard to believe nowadays that I’m going to find the quality I’m looking for in a drugstore purchase.  That my now ‘more discerning’ tastes (I know, hit me) won’t be catered for on the high street.  Bull.  Shit.  I just might need to look a little harder… and I’d completely forgotten the excitement to be had in uncovering awesome gems for little monies (until last night!)

Now, that’s not to say I’m going to turn my back on my high end purchases (heaven forbid!)… I’m still a sucker for a bit of luxe packaging and that superficial (and it is!) thrill of owning something horribly covetable.  I just hereby promise to spend a little bit of time having a play in Superdrug again, I genuinely forgot how much fun it was to be LEFT. ALONE. to swatch!

Do you think “snobbery” is a natural progression for hobbies that become more consuming?  Have your purchasing habits changed much over the last few months/years?


40 Responses to “Confessions of a Beauty Snob”

  1. I am certainly in the very picky, jaded category! However, I do use No. 7 face creams (with my really expensive Perricone MD serums!) and have been known to purchase the occasional Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara.

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  2. Paris B says:

    I went from Snob to drugstore and now back to snob again. Initially it was because I didn’t want to waste money on something that might not work hence the snobbery. Later I found cheaper products that did work (and these days I think its easier to find good cosmetics at pharmacies) but I do like my luxury now and I am earning more now than before so I guess it was a bit of a natural progression :) Not to say that I don’t like my pharmacy/drugstore brands too… if I find something good there :)

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  3. Andrea says:

    Since really getting into make up in the past few years I have definitely become a snob. I don’t remember the last time I bought anything from a normal make up stand in a shop rather than a specific counter.

    However, I don’t really consider MAC to be “high end”, if you think about it, it’s in the middle really. Especially as these days a mascara from Superdrug/Boots can cost about £12!

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  4. Kirsty says:

    Total snob. Do. Not. Care. Although I am pretty tired of these make up counter jockeys practically holding me ransom the moment I glance at something in HoF.

    I’m sure there are perfectly good drug store items on offer, I can’t be bothered to find them though. *stares at zero bank balance*

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  5. Duvessa says:

    I buy products I like, no matter if they’re cheap or not – usually I won’t buy high end products unless I really know they’re good (or extra good depending on the price). My foundation is probably the most expensive beauty thing I have – at least separately – and it’s by Lancome. MAC is about normal price but I do enjoy indie companies so much that I can’t really be too snobby. I buy only products I think look nice and work well no matter what the price range :)

    About the mascaras, they are damn expensive nowadays. I use Maybelline and I can’t believe it’s close to 20€.

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  6. Rina says:

    Indeed. (and especially since reading you… hello OPI, Nails Inc, Ciate, Urban Decay… most of which I love and use daily, so definitely not complaining :)

    But also, it’s great to have the internet peeps for checking up on potential purchases before spending the money. I’m having so much fun with makeup now, which was kind of impossible in the days of no-pigment drugstore eyeshadows and foam tip applicators (yikes!). I now know what to look for in eyeshadows, and I do reject indiscriminately now if something doesn’t deliver out of the tester.

    Favourite drugstore gem? Max Factor Earth Spirits single eyeshadows. Great pigmentation, a luxury-ish feel and not a bad selection of colours (although I’d love to see some new ones).

    Still haven’t graduated to Chanel & co though and I doubt I will anytime soon!

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  7. Anitacska says:

    I wouldn’t say I’m a snob, but since I’ve discovered high end brands like Guerlain and Dior (about 3 years ago or so), I haven’t really been interested in cheap brands simply because I can afford luxury brands and they just look so much prettier and I am a sucker for pretty. :D I still buy the odd make up products from Superdrug (Sleek palettes, GOSH brushes, Accessorize pretty make up, Revlon lipsticks and lipglosses, Rimmel mousse eyeshadows, etc.), but I now spend a lot more money on luxury/high end brands and a whole lot more time reading and writing about them online. Mac is also a big surce of my make up purchases because they just churn out collection after collection and it’s hard to say no. :)

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  8. Dani says:

    I’m a snob when it comes to certain products but it really does depend on what I’m thinking of buying. For example, I’m a massive snob when it comes to foundation and mascara (Chanel, you’ve spoiled me) but other things like eyeliner, nail varnish, concealer even – totally High Street.My MAC concealer is great but the cheap-as-chips Collection 2000 one does a similar job for £10 less, and the same goes for nail varnish – they’ll all chip, regardless of the price tag! I have to say though, since trying high end foundations there’s NO WAY I’m going back to drugstore brands, they simply can’t compare!
    xx

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    • Anitacska says:

      So true, I’ve forgotten about my Collection 2000 concealer which I love, and also nail polish, lol, they all chip on me no matter what brand they are. I don’t actually buy many high end nail polishes for that exact reason.

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  9. Jen says:

    I’m the reverse. I think it’s because I have always had plenty high-end products and found by dint of experience that they are not (necessarily) any better than budget brands. 2true is my latest love. Also beauty uk.

    The more you try things the more you realise that the expensive products don’t live up to their billing.

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    • stregalice says:

      Same here. In the past I built up quite a collection of high-end products (I had a spreadsheet for MAC eyeshadows!), but the more I tried the more I didn’t find they met my expectations.

      In the last six months I never spent more than 10€ on some make up item but on two occasions (UD Naked palette and a foundation for sensitive skin) and I’m thrilled when I make some great find for a few bucks :)

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  10. I think actually the beauty of reading beauty blogs is that you end up wanting to purchase from across the board – skin care for me is worth the spend, make up not so much as I am fickle and always love my new best thing the most! Whilst I consider £30-£40 as much as I am prepared to spend on a moisturiser (at 45 its fair to say any more is a case of shutting the stable door, long after the horse has left!) I am delighted that at the moment I am using one for £17 which my skin is loving, thats a result in my book! That said would never have considered a Sleek purchase in a month of Sundays I now find myself nipping into Superdrug every time I am out in case the palette (Monaco I think?) that I am desperate for, having seen it reviewed on blogs, has finally appeared!

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  11. Chelsea says:

    I think I’m a snob but I’m at least an informed one. I rarely make a high-end purchase without reading up on it a bit first. I spend ages trawling through blogs and such to find out if it’s worth my money or not. Whenever I do that I always get the urge to start a blog of my own but I end up wondering like, who’d want to read anything I have to say? :P

    Although saying that, I’m a massive Models Own fan (although my friends would say that £5 for nail polish is extortionate but they just don’t understand). I spend my time perusing the make up aisles too just on the look-out and playing with stuff that catches my eye and if I do like it, I do buy it. But those occasions aren’t often because I simply don’t have the time to spend ages looking at stuff when I can read up on it online and go straight to what I want without the umm-ing and ahh-ing. Which is a shame to be honest, because make-up for me when I was younger was exciting BECAUSE of the umm-ing and aah-ing.

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  12. Robyn says:

    I’m sure I’d be more of a snob if I had more money, ha ha! Mind you, because I’ve had to find better, cheaper alternatives, I love my indie makeup and I don’t think I’ll ever turn away from it. I’m open to purchasing anything as long as it works for me, to be honest. Sometimes it’s nice to just buy something expensive for the sheer heck of it.

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  13. cclarebear says:

    I think I probably started as a makeup snob – at least from my forays into beauty when i wasn’t in school anymore were definitely MAC, Chanel, whatever my 100% disposable income would allow me. I love trying cheaper brands though – like NYX lipsticks? LOVE. And they sit proudly, right alongside my more expensive lippies.

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  14. Kathrine says:

    Despite my spending on beauty products having increased 1000% in the last year or so, I’d say my snobbery has actually decreased by about 50% simply because, through reading blogs and doing research before I buy, I have discovered that there are some truly brilliant cheaper products on the marketplace.

    I have undoubtedly bought more high end items than I used to, but the ones I do buy are very well thought through, or I wait until birthday and Christmas time to ask for those special items I wouldn’t necessarily buy myself just because.

    The area I have definitely become more snobby about, however, is skincare. I’ve realised that for my skin needs, I do need to put the baby wipes down and use a proper cleanser and decent moisturiser instead of whatever’s 3 for 2 in Boots. In turn, my skin is a lot better and I can get away with using less base, which, again, means I’m spending less on it.

    So, basically, yeah. I know more, I buy more, but I buy better.

    Oh, and P.S. Mac Snob lipstick is my most hated lip product of all time. Closely followed by Gosh Darling. AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!

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  15. Sharon says:

    I’ve never had a lot of money, but since getting back into makeup about two years ago (and starting to read beauty blogs) have bought some high-end makeup. I don’t have access to Chanel, or many of the more expensive brands, but the drugstore I use (Shoppers Drug Mart) does have a Beauty Boutique with some of the more high-end brands. So now I have some Lancome and Benefit mascaras, Guerlain lip gloss, Stila blush… and The Bay department store has other high-end lines like MAC so I’ve gotten a few items from there as well. Having said that, there are also more affordable and decent quality things — the Coloricon eyeshadows from Wet n’ Wild are excellent for the price.

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  16. Oh yes, I’m a fully paid up member of the Snob Squad! I don’t spend half as much time (or money) in Superdrug as I used to. It’s silly too as there are gems to be found. It’s one of the few places I do got opportunity to go in without the full entourage too. I do actually have a Superdrug mission this week, I want to go in and swatch the L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows.

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  17. LOL yes I’m part of the Snob Squad too! I blame all you bloggers!!! The whole reason I started my blog was to somehow justify to myself the insane amount of money I’m spending. I don’t even look at drugstore makeup anymore as I was finding it more expensive to throw out a bunch of duds than just buy one of something I know I love…except of course I never buy just one….

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  18. kyanvi says:

    its getting harder to leave alone to swatch as my local superdrug has a lovely mua, i think, in store. although she didn’t talk to me at all, just felt less comfy to swatch around. also, the price of drug store makeup is getting higher and higher, i felt there is a smaller price difference between high street and high end.

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  19. Yazmin says:

    I wouldnt say im a snob, i just prefer mac to drugstore, i have south asian skin, and to find foundations and powders and concealers for my skintone is very hard, so i prefer the more expensive brands ebcause they provide for my skintone. Plus there pigmentation of there products are really good, ive been dissapointed with drugstore makeup far too much to even begin buying it again, And like someone said above, the drugstore brands are getting more and more expensive, so i would rather pay a few pounds extra and get high end and know it will work for me.

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  20. Geek Faerie says:

    I kinda have been a snob about my make-up purchases all my life. It’s not that I don’t like drug store brands but for things like foundation and cover up, sometimes they just don’t cut it for my combination skin with oily t-zone. Plus my Mom is of the mindset that if you want something to last spend a little extra money on it. I apply this philosophy to so many things in my life. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of NYX, L’Oreal, Sephora brand, Ulta brand (yes I consider these both to be drug store brand cause of price), and many others do fill my vanity and cosmetic cubby. And they are right alongside MAC, Urban Decay, Tarte, LORAC, Stila, Too Faced, Benefit, etc etc. I love going to CVS, Target, and Ulta to hang out in the cheap make-up section and browse. I’ve found some very cool finds and some very odd quick fix items too. They shouldn’t be forgotten.

    When your hobby gets to a consuming level sometimes it’s hard to look back down at NYX from your perch high above with Guerlain. But a true connoisseur of their craft will remember it takes all kinds and shapes, just like their readers. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find in the bargain bin.

    As for how much I spend, well since I got back into make-up a little over a year ago my purchases went from zero to, well let’s not talk about how much I spend weekly or monthly on make-up. It might make my beloved have a heart attack. I do try to keep it in perspective, I have wish lists that have “must haves” items and “I can wait on” items. I try to prioritize by limited edition and permanent. I scope for sales and use my discount cards to earn rewards. I love samples and will review those instead of a full size purchase. It’s just all about being smart with your money and not going over your budget or outside your means.

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  21. hannah says:

    I’m sort of a snob- I would use Bourjous, or No7 no problem, but I would never use the cheaper Boots brands or something like Collection 2000. I just got Nars Laguna, and it felt amazing :D

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  22. Lilmiznutcase says:

    Looking back, I used to buy really cheap mascara, not having a clue. But now I’m a reverse snob. I refuse to believe the high end brands are worth the price, and think I will only get value for money from drugstore.

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  23. Julianne says:

    I’m a snob about quality and product research, rather than the price! If I see someone looking at or using a product that I know to be inferior from bad reviews or something, I feel like running over and telling to buy x other product instead! And when I see someone with a product I love, or that has got good reviews, I feel kind of vindicated!

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  24. I can buy Nars like its going out of fashion, but a Revlon mascara/lipgloss/shadow.. hmm- do i really need it? wtf? Just mental really xxxx

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  25. Vijaya says:

    I feel like I haven’t made a drugstore purchase in years myself!

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  26. Kat says:

    Honestly, blogging has pulled me back from my snobbery. I kind of have to be a snob for my base makeup — I’m so pale that there is literally nothing available in the drugstore that will work for my skin. I have had “translucent” powders that were too dark. However, reading all of these blogs by women who can find awesome eyeshadows/lipsticks for excellent prices has made me realize that I should look further.

    I just get a little high out of having a really nice lipstick, and I really can tell the difference between a Revlon lipstick and a Dior Addict lipstick.

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  27. Katie says:

    I don’t think snobbery has to be a natural progression, but I see it in myself when it comes to makeup. My purchasing habits have changed over the last few years. I just can’t get myself to spend the money on drugstore makeup that I almost always know will be a disappointment. I’d rather buy higher end products and know I’ll be satisfied with them. If I keep buying lower end products that disappoint, I end up spending more trying to find something as good as high-end anyway.

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  28. Timperley says:

    I’ll buy it if it works and I’m not bothered where it comes from. I have had Guerlain and Clarins lip gloss that made my lips really sore so don’t buy them. I love my Boots no 17 mirror shine lipsticks (hat tip to Lipglossiping.com) which is a quarter of the price of Guerlain. I also like Chanel lip gloss but prefer Mac’s Dame blush to Chanel blush. I once bought Sisley face soap in a round tub for big money, it turned my face to tight paper I now use Nivea face wash gel which cost a few pounds and is much better.

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  29. Definitely! Its hard to compete with some luxe brands, but I do still have a few faves that cant really be beat on price. But I really, really know what you mean! With ‘drugstore’ products I find myself not as disappointed if they don’t work, even though our prices here are rather high. Actually its not that much more to buy a higher end brand if I were to buy at AUD RRP. So all in all I’m kind of on the fence haha!

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  30. I don’t think snobbery is necessarily the natural progression, I think we just figure out what we like over time :)

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  31. Sydney says:

    I completely agree with you on this.
    Since being exposed to more ‘luxurious’ brands I have begun to believe that high street or cheaper brands won’t fulfil all of my needs.

    Every once in a while I just have to take a step back and stop being such a snob and realise that most of the time you are just paying for a name and not necessarily a better product!

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    • I think I have more fun discovering a bargain gem for sure but I don’t always have the time to dedicate to it nowadays… perhaps that’s the problem?! I need to be allowed more time in Superdrug. Yes, that must be it!

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  32. kate says:

    I hardly even noticed it happening, but, yes, I’ve definitely become a makeup snob in the last year or so. I was already chiefly loyal to Mac, but more recently, I’ve moved on to NARS, Chanel and Guerlain (and more). I’m thinking of forcing myself to buy certain things from less expensive brands just to try them out… There have to be some gems in there…

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  33. Marasy says:

    I used to be a big drugstore only snob, I hadn’t tried higher end products but figured they couldn’t really be that much better and the price wasn’t worth it. Then I got the Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette from the new Sephora in my area. I began to see that sadly there is a difference. I also decided I only wanted to buy non-animal tested cosmetics and purged my collection and was left with just a few brands from the drugstore that were okay, but didn’t exactly wow me. It is hard to compare Urban Decay eye shadows to Almay and Revlon. So now I am a complete snob, but at least no animals were harmed in becoming one!

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  34. Latoya says:

    I had to respond to this as I’ve been thinking about this very same issue lately! And everyone’s responses are so interesting to read. I have definitely become a snob over the past few years, and while I like buying high end and feel good about my purchases, sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t reconsider my stance on all this. Paying $26CDN for a Chanel nail polish I’ll probably never finish IS kind of crazy when you start to think about it. And since I change my polish every three-four days without fail, it doesn’t really matter what brand I buy in terms of wear because nothing ever is on long enough for me to find out! So it would make more sense to buy cheaper labels…but there are two problems with this: 1) some of the higher end brands have really unique shades (which end up coming out later in the lower-end brands, but who can wait that long?!), and 2) a lot of the blogs I read feature the pricier shades of polish/makeup and that’s what I’m exposed to, so that’s what goes on my list of products ‘To Buy.’

    Ultimately, I think your solution to spend more time in the drugstores etc. just browsing might help – exposure and all that. I wish you the best of luck! Thanks for posing the question, it’s given me something to think about :)

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  35. Eden-Avalon says:

    As horrible as it sounds, I understand where you are coming from. Makeup is not yet my number 1 hobby, more around number 3-4 and already my expenses on the topic have triped since just a few months ago. As you learn more about your hobbies and the instruments thereof, you start to get a taste of the finer things. Powdery eyeshadow never used to bother me before, and I didn’t give a hoot about pigmentation. Now a poorly pigmented product is a pet peeve! Quality yes! But brands don’t always deliver either; so remember to keep your heart with quality but not necessarily with a name.

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  36. emily says:

    I think it’s inevitable that the more you’re exposed to the pretty packaging, higher pigmentation and ultra fashionable colours of highe end, you’re going to want it. I got seriously into makeup again when I started reading beauty blogs and must have spent hundreds every month on the latest Chanel, Guerlain, Dior items and told myself that I NEEDED to buy high end foundations to get a colour match. Each item was played with a couple of times and then consigned to the drawer, not usually to ever be used again.

    When the spending got a bit out of hand I forced myself to stop reading beauty blogs for a few months and the constant wanting ceased. I began to enjoy trawling my local drugstore for an instant hit and found that actually there is just as much fun to be had playing with Rimmel and Max Factor as Guerlain and Chanel. More in fact as my high end shopping was always done online. I also discovered that there are some very good shades and textures in drugstore foundatoons these days although the ones I like (Max Factor and L’Oreal) do work out, gram for gram the same price as high end. They’re really good products though and so easy to find!

    I can’t say what will happen in the future but as I’ve realised that it’s all about playing with pots of pretty for me and high end (the price, the expectations, the counter experience) is all just to serious at present..now, I wonder if I can fit a sneaky trip to Boots in before Hubby gets home…

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