This time around, the 2014 Blogger Challenge participants are discussing "high-end vs. high street", or, are expensive products always worth it? I think nail polish is a different case than some other beauty products, and I'll explain why.
For some products, like skincare, foundation and so on, there can be a pretty big difference in the ingredients used, which can make some products worth more (or at least have the impression of being worth more). Compare the ingredients in Chapstick with those in Burt's Bees next time you're in the drugstore. The foundation, concealer and powder I use are all from Jane Iredale, which is on the pricey side, but they're designed to be beneficial for your skin (especially acne-prone skin) and avoid filler materials, like talc, which can be found in cheaper products. To me, the benefits of using this makeup are worth the extra cost.
With nail polish the situation is a little different. I've been making nail polish for about six months now, which by no means makes me an expert, but it seems to me that there are a fairly limited number of ingredients that go into making polish, and most of these aren't overly expensive (exceptions include things like real gold flake). What sets a polish apart from the rest is the way it combines those ingredients--so, the formula, color, finish and so on.
One reason high-end polishes are popular is that they're often at the leading edge of new trends and great color combinations; take, for example, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream (retails for $20), which everyone drooled over. Then we got an inexpensive near-dupe from Revlon that made Mermaid's Dream accessible to more people.
For another example, take Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily (also $20), rightfully lusted after and then duped by GAP. I thought it might be fun to try to make my own version of Aqua Lily too and see just how expensive it is to make. Obviously, I'm not going to be selling this polish; I'm keeping it for myself!
Compare KellieGonzo's lovely swatch of Aqua Lily with my polish below. Since I don't own Aqua Lily, I based the color on photos; hopefully I came close! I also don't happen to own the same shade of pink shimmer used in Aqua Lily, so I used a violet shimmer that doesn't pop quite as much (it's stronger IRL than in my swatch). That's why I'm calling my polish "Aqua Violet". :-D
|ALIQUID's "Aqua Violet"|
Aqua Lily, while beautiful, is a pretty simple mix--just pigment and shimmer. My bottle of "Aqua Violet" cost less than a dollar to make, not including the bottle itself.
So what are you actually paying for when you buy a high-end polish like Aqua Lily?
- a good formula (but not always!)
- beautiful packaging
- prestige of owning a high-end product
- prestige of owning the original Aqua Lily/Mermaid's Dream/whatever
- maybe considerations like vegan, cruelty-free, etc.
I'd love to hear what you think!
(Side note: high-end polishes aren't always the innovators. Textured polish, as far as I know, originated with OPI. And look at everything that's come from mid-range indie companies. Some really "classy" brands, like Dior, seem to stick to safe, conservative finishes. I'm sure they've done their market research.)