Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tricky tricky! Which package contains more product? (Eye makeup edition)

Okay, I've got another one for you. This is probably easy to guess, because I have only two products to show you. But let's take a closer look to see how makeup companies use packaging tricks to make you think you're getting more than you are.

Which one of these containers holds more product?
Left: Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow; Right: NYX Eyeshadow base

I'm sure you guessed that the NYX pot holds more, because it looks smaller, and you know I'm talking about tricky packaging. If you have ever held these two products in your hands, you will know that not only does the Maybelline pot look larger, it feels much, much heavier. I wish I had a postal scale to weight these, but it's at least twice as heavy. That's because the Maybelline pot is glass and the NYX one is plastic. So by looking at the top of the containers and even picking them up, the Maybelline product seems bigger. That's why you really have to look at the label to understand the amount of product you're getting and its value.

The Maybelline product contains 4 g and the NYX one contains 7 g. It's not just the material the pots are made from that makes you think the first one is more generous - it's also the design of the package. The Maybelline pot has a wider diameter, and both pots are about the same height. But check this out:
Again, Maybelline on the left, NYX on the right.
While the well that the NYX product is in goes halfway to the base of the pot, the Maybelline product only starts at the bottom of the lid. If you look at the Maybelline pot from the side, you can't see any product at all. That's just a big chunk of glass with some shit sitting on top of it! This is a big, bulky pot that is not convenient to store or carry around, designed that way simply to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth. If you stick a pin into each product, it goes down about 3 mm into the Maybelline shadow and at least 11 mm into the NYX base.

These are different types of product, sure, but they both cost $7. I'm not saying you shouldn't buy the Color Tattoo (I happen to like it), but just be aware of how the packaging is designed to fool you, and how much product you're actually getting for your $7. They are nice little eyeshadows, but they are not generous portions. Tricky tricky!

(See the last installment of this series, on nail polish, here.)

What do you think? Would you have been fooled/surprised by these pots?


  1. Wide, shallow jars and pots get me every time, especially when online shopping >.>

    I am getting better at scrutinizing the printed amount on the package than I used to be, but sometimes, I just forget (or am blinded by pretty packaging. Shame on me). When trying to shop sensibly, whether for necessities or fun things like makeup, it's always good to be aware of cost vs. size as, now more than ever before I think, companies are cutting crazy corners to make you think you're getting a deal when in reality, you're actually getting a little ripped off (looking at you, 2/3 air in the potato chip bag). Value-conscious shopping is smart shopping!

    1. For me, the size or cost per unit is most important when it's something that I'm l'm likely to use up completely, like nail polish top coat, eyeshadow primer, pressed powder, etc. With eyeshadow like this, I like them enough that I'll go for it if I want to - although honestly, there are enough drugstore sales/coupons that I've never had to pay full price for a Color Tattoo. Mostly I'm annoyed that they saddled me with these clunky pots because they wanted to trick me. Grrrr.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...