Mark-ups beyond promise

The price of beauty products is mostly about brand name with premium brands demanding premium prices.
The price of beauty products is mostly about brand name with premium brands demanding premium prices. Contributed

I COULDN'T tell eyeliner from lip liner or blush from eye shadow. Not even if my life depended on it.

But it seems I may be alone in this deficiency with the beauty industry in Australia alone worth some $20 billion.

The quest to look younger, better and wrinkle free is big business and one can hardly walk through a large department store, chemist or supermarket for that matter without noticing the hundreds of products on offer.

Big brand products that promise the earth come at a price and are more aspirational than practical.

"Some skin products cost about $2 to make but then are on sale for $300," says Perry Romanowski a cosmetic chemist who is one of the minds behind - a site that answers questions about science and cosmetics.

"And although the actual percentages of the mark-ups is a trade secret that companies don't reveal, in general, these products are not using ingredients so expensive that they would warrant the cost. No anti-wrinkle cream is worth $150.

"In fact, any product over $25 is a waste of money."

The price of beauty products is mostly about brand name with premium brands demanding premium prices.

It's also about expensive packaging and marketing costs.

After all someone has to pay for the high-profile celebrities who put a face to the campaign.

There is hope though for beauty product lovers who can't afford the big price tags.

Cosmetic experts and those in the know insist that there are offerings on the cheaper end of the budget that can also do a sterling job.



Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Cream ($13.95) - May not clear up uneven pigmentation like more expensive BB creams but will give you skin with a healthy glow.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer ($14) - Rich in antioxidants, it helps plump up lines and wrinkles while the SP30 protects from sun damage.

Roc Retinol Correxion Deep-Wrinkle Serum ($20) - Retinoids is the buzz word for anti-aging ingredients but they often cause irritation and dryness. By all accounts this Roc formulation is one of the easiest for the skin to tolerate.


Revlon Photo Ready ($37) - Uses photochromatic pigments that adapt to varying light conditions giving the appearance of flawless skin.

Natio Pure Mineral Foundation ($19.95) - Radiance-boosting liquid and talc-free tint blends with your skin's natural colour. Easy to apply and long lasting.

Maybelline Pure Makeup ($6) - Water-based foundation gives sheer coverage and beautiful glow.


Face of Australia Eye Primer ($7.95) - Keeps eye area light and bright and creates a uniform colour across the eyelid. Use as a base for your eye makeup or use on its own.

NYC Sparkle Eye Dust ($4) - If you don't have time for make-up highlighter can make a big difference to a glowing, fresh look.

Loreal Voluminous Mascara ($5) - Formula has a good consistency making it easy to fill out your lashes in one coat.


Clinique Long Lasting Glosswear ($14) - Comes in 18 shades with SPF 15 and is non-gluggy and long lasting.

Nivea Lip Balm Natural Volume (4.95) - Collagen enhancer and light reflecting pigments provide natural volume and extra shine.

NYC Smooch Proof Lip Stain ($4.99) - Easy to apply and smudge-proof in a host of yummy flavours.

World's most expensive beauty products

H Couture Socialite range - $14m for mascara and lipstick encased in 18k gold with 2500 blue diamonds and 1300 pink diamonds.

Gold Rush Couture nail polish - $130,000

Crème De Le Mer moisturiser - $3000 for 30g

Le de Peau Beaute Intensive Cream - $1000 for 35g

Kanebo Sensai Collection Premier face moisturiser - $650 for 35g


>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  beauty lifestyle makeup retail smarter shopping

Brave boy uncovers man's cow sex, child sexual abuse

A beast in the main arena at the 2012 Ekka.

Police praise boy for testimony of man's abuse and sex with a cow

DPI puts Dolphin Marine Magic 'all but out of business'

A battle over seal enclosures at Dolphin Marine Magic threatens the facility's ability to stay open, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser warns.

DPI crackdown a threat to Dolphin Marine Magic, warns MP

Country star returns to roots

LIVIN' THE LIFE: Australian-born country music superstar Gord Bamford lands at Twin Towns on October 28.

Australian born, Canadian raised.

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

Country star returns to roots

LIVIN' THE LIFE: Australian-born country music superstar Gord Bamford lands at Twin Towns on October 28.

Australian born, Canadian raised.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.