Then you go into the comments section and it's as though you're reading a post about why the beliefs of a certain cult (let's call it Sephorism) are false, and all the comments are written by devout cult members (Sephorites).
The majority of the comments seem to be some variation of, "Duh! Expensive makeup is better! That's why it costs more!" or anecdotes about this one drugstore thing that sucked, therefore all drugstore makeup sucks, or this one high end product that was awesome, therefore all drugstore makeup sucks. These comments betray a basic lack of understanding of the point of the article. As Jane Marie emphasizes in the comments, the point is that the more expensive products are not higher quality.
There's a measure of classism built into beliefs like these. People like to say that they outgrew drugstore makeup or that they deserve better because they work hard, which implies that people who still (choose to or have to) pay less are immature or undeserving.
Here are some excerpts of misguided, confused, or just plain wrong comments:
"For instance, a Nars eyeshadow has more intense pigmentation than anything offered at mass. The milling is finer, so the product is silkier, and applies and blends more smoothly." [Ed: No, not "anything." Just no.]
"If ingredients account for 15% of the cost, then a $30 foundation (which using the 15% average, would have $4.5 worth of ingredients) is still better than an $8 one ($1.20 worth of ingredients). I don’t think you understood your own article." [Ed: The article says that the ingredients account for "no more than 15% of the cost," which does not mean that the cost of the ingredients scales up with the increase in retail price of the product.]
"As someone who exclusively used drugstore makeup for a long time before switching over into high end stuff, I absolutely will not buy that they are the same quality. Yes some brands are worse than others, but you take a brush to a Covergirl eyeshadow vs a MAC one and if you can’t tell a difference you’re blind." [Ed: Sample size too small to be statistically significant.]All you have to do is look critically at reviews of more and less expensive brands, and you will see that there is just as much variation in performance of very expensive products as there is in cheap products. Including MAC. And Nars. (Gasp!) One of the biggest benefits of looking at more expensive brands is that there is often a larger variety of colors available. Because the prices are higher, the brands can offer options that don't sell as well, whereas at the drugstore they will tend to focus on just the most popular shades. I know this well as a very pale person, and it's a much bigger problem for people at the darker end of the spectrum. But that, again, is about variety, not quality. I write all of this as someone with an unusual curiosity and skepticism about these things and as someone who has, consequently, done a lot of research comparing makeup at different price points - both by reading about them and by testing things myself.
If you want to spend more on something, that's fine. Not everything I own is super cheap. Maybe you like the fancier or sturdier packaging or you enjoy chatting with people working at Sephora. (The testers and return policies seem less legitimate to me as reasons for price increases, since CVS has a good return policy, and many Canadian and UK drugstores provide testers.) Do what you want, but don't develop a superiority complex over it. These companies want you to believe that you are spending your money more wisely and treating yourself to something better when you're doing it. That is the whole point of the way they market this shit. (There is a whole other rant that I am going to set aside for now about the current cultural trend of presenting luxury as some kind of necessity or human right and how that seems to be a particularly troubling element of contemporary capitalism.) Just know where your money is going and why and don't be a dick about it. That's my preaching for the week.
(I was going to post about this last week when I originally read it, but it irritated me so much that I couldn't articulate much other than: ARRRRGH CAPITALISM! BRAINWASHING! LUXURY BULLSHIT! WHERE CRITICAL THINKING??? It seems like the comments are slightly more balanced by now, but only slightly.)