Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tricky tricky! Which package contains more product? (Nail polish edition)

Which bottle contains more nail polish: a mini Zoya or a regular-size Maybelline Color Show?

Mini Zoya Neeka vs. Full-size Maybelline
Color Show Denim Dash.
In the photo, they look nearly the same size, though in person, the Zoya actually looks comparatively tiny. Still, if I were judging only from the photo, I would guess that the Maybelline bottle contains just a bit more polish the the Zoya bottle.
Wrong! Other way around. The mini Zoya is 7.5 ml, while the regular-size Maybelline is just 7 ml.

Compare a couple more bottles:

Full-size Zoya Zuza, mini Zoya Neeka, full-size Maybelline Color Show Denim Dash,
full-size Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac.
Maybe I am just terrible at estimating sizes (okay, not maybe, I definitely am), but looking at these bottles in a store, I would guess that the Maybelline is just a little smaller than the big Zoya or the Sally Hansen, and definitely larger than the mini Zoya. I wouldn't think it was, in fact, less than half the size of the big Zoya. And I would guess that the Sally Hansen was close to the same size as the Zoya, but it's really quite a bit smaller. Here's the breakdown:

Full-size Zoya: 15 ml for $8 (53 cents per ml)
Mini Zoya (i.e. a "Color Cutie): 7.5 ml for $5 (67 cents per ml)
Maybelline Color Show: 7 ml for $3.50 (average price) (50 cents per ml)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear: 11.8 ml for $2.75 (average price) (23 cents per ml)

It really goes to show you how important it is to read labels - something I am better at preaching than practicing. Packaging is designed to make you think you're getting more than you really are.

How did they do it? The wide cap on the Maybelline bottle contributes to its looking bigger than it is. The glass is also quite thick, though the round shape of the bottle disguises that when you look at it straight on. Look at the bottom, though, and you can tell - the wide cap also hides the thickness of the bottle when you look at it from the top.
Maybelline Color Show from the bottom.
As you can see from the comparison, the Sally Hansen is by far the best value. You're actually not saving very much at all by opting for the Maybelline instead of the Zoya, and if you can get the Zoya during one of their frequent sales, you're actually getting a really good deal. If you don't have an account already, you can use this link to create one on the Zoya site and get a free full-size bottle. You still have to pay for shipping, unless you buy two additional bottles, in which case shipping is free (the coupon code will appear under your "My Account" link). That would make it 3 bottles for $16, or $5.33 per bottle, or 36 cents per ml.

Ultimately, it's kind of like deciding whether to buy something in bulk or not. If you only have a few bottles of nail polish and you know you'll finish them up eventually, you might go for the bigger bottle that costs a little more but is cheaper per unit. If you are like me, and you have so many bottles that you'll never use them all up, it might make more sense to spend less money total on a bottle. I would still opt for the Sally Hansen, though, which comes in some gorgeous shades, over the Maybelline. That's just not a good price (though there are always drugstore sales).

Note: I got the idea to start this small series when Project Swatch posted a list of the sizes of various nail polishes (check out the link to see how your other bottles compare to these). I was baffled that a Zoya mini could really be bigger than a Maybelline bottle. I wanted to know how they'd fooled me, and I thought you should too. Tricky tricky! Stay tuned to see how this plays out with cream eyeshadows and lip glosses.

Disclosure: Affiliate links.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...