Truth #14

There's nothing wrong with paying for the experience of luxury.

Spending a lot of money on extravagant cosmetics doesn't mean they will be better, but they can make you feel better.  "Expensive doesn't equal effective" may be a pretty obvious truth to you, the already questioning consumer who is looking for what's real in a sea of products with pie-in-the-sky claims.  Just the fact that you are a reader of Truth in Aging means that you know spending big money for a stellar cosmetic can be worth it, but sometimes it comes with empty promises that can empty your pockets. Who needs that?

No matter how savvy or educated we become, it's difficult to always resist the temptation of an alluring cosmetic. We want to believe in their beautifying powers. We want to hold our designer compact feeling special and glamorous, and will pay triple the price for it as a justified indulgence to our womanhood.  Luxury cosmetics brands know they have to compel you to dish out your hard-earned cash on something you could otherwise buy at the drugstore.  So they offer pretty pictures that invoke an emotional vacation you might like to be on. Images that spark the desire to be a young woman being dazzled by a handsome, dapper man in a mansion overlooking the Paris skyline come to mind. Or maybe it's a journey to the tropical beaches of Thailand, lounging in a hammock under thatched roofs overlooking an azure ocean. Or maybe it's an aspiration to live the lifestyle of a woman who could afford to buy anything from a luxurious brand.

My dear friend Malini, who is a self-admitted fashion lover and makeup ignorant, comes to me all the time with questions about what the people in stores are trying to sell her.  When Tom Ford's new lipstick came out, she called me in almost a panic, breathing heavily while at the store to ask if the $50 for a tube was too much.  She said it boasted "rare and exotic ingredients including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil to create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application."

I told her that we have no idea how much of those ingredients are really in there.  The cosmetics laws only state that companies have to list ingredients in order of greatest to least amount, not divulging exactly how much soja seed extract is in each tube.  So really there just might be one thimbleful of soja seed oil per gallon of formula, or less! Is that worth paying so much for?  Not in my opinion.  You'd be better off finding a natural balm and using a $10 lipstick that you love the color of.

Every tube of lipstick is essentially manufactured the same way with very similar chemicals, in very similar plastic packaging.  No matter which drugstore or luxury brand you choose, they cost anywhere from $0.50 to $3.00 to manufacture. Natural products like Primitive Makeup or Bite Beauty may have a higher cost of goods and, therefore, cost more to manufacture, but you know that you are paying for quality ingredients, not a marketing image.

We can all get swept away in a stunning package, the glittering of Swarovski crystals, and before we know it, we feel the urge and the need to acquire this gem of wonder...and then we will justify its seemingly outrageous price in any way we can. That doesn't make you a bad shopper or a gullible consumer if you fall for great packaging. Just know what you are buying and why. Makeup is part of a beautifying ritual to help you feel womanly, and there's nothing wrong with that!

If you want to have an indulgent little item that you feel particularly lovely pulling out of your bag to apply, then go for it. Hopefully you find a gem that is both magnificent to hold and effectively answers your beauty prayers.