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Cheap VS Expensive Makeup: What's the Real Cost?

Image credit @ohbuttons

In our pursuit for beauty, when it comes to cheap versus expensive makeup we may be making compromises we can't afford to make because of our obsession with instant gratification.

Choosing cheap cosmetics to look good today, but sacrificing our skin tomorrow.

Saving now but paying later.

However, when weighing up cheap vs expensive makeup, what if the real cost isn’t actually the price tag?

A cheap moisturiser or lipstick suddenly isn’t such a bargain when you consider the damage they can cause to the wellbeing of your skin, health, animals, and the environment.

Here are some questions to ask so you never get duped at the beauty counter again.

Also remember that paying more doesn’t always guarantee you will get cosmetics that contain quality, non toxic ingredients, and produced in an ethical fashion.

    • Is the product cheap because they use fillers (skin irritants which can make you keep using more of the product to cover up the inflammation it caused in the first place) to bulk up their cosmetics?


    • Are they using synthetic and toxic ingredients which cost drastically less to produce?


    • Do they contain ingredients that will plump up the skin to make it look good in the short term whilst wearing them, but doesn’t actually have any active ingredients that protect and repair the skin in the long term?


    • Is it cheap because it was produced overseas by people working in dangerous, inhumane, and often life threatening factory conditions?


    • Are they a big commercial brand that can purchase ingredients in bulk at heavily discounted prices, but unlike smaller ethical cosmetics brands with a beauty conscience, they still unnecessarily and cruelly test their products on animals?


    • Is it a well known brand that has jumped on the natural and organic marketing bandwagon, by just adding some natural ingredients to other toxic ingredients in the product?


  • Do they have any sustainability initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint to protect our beautiful planet?

In this 4 part series from Adorn Cosmetics, we'll empower you with what you really need to know to make smart beauty decisions that are right for your personal ethos.

1. Real Cost of Makeup: Toxicity of Cosmetics

It may not feel achievable to always make natural, sustainable and ethical decisions whilst living in this modern world - because, that is quite simply impossible and we just can't do it all.

Instead let's shift our focus to being at peace with doing the best where we can.

Focus on simply reducing the load, and with each small change know that it will not only benefit your wellbeing, but also collectively benefit the greater good.

The guide to cosmetics ingredients has been compiled with research from certfied bodies, to empower women how to read product labels to make informed decisions about cosmetics that are right for their own personal ethos.



animal testing on beauty products

2. Real Cost of Makeup: Animal Testing on Beauty Products

It's a cruel reality that in 2017 millions of animals are still being burned, poisoned and killed by cosmetic brands still unnecessarily conducting animal testing on beauty products.

And millions of women worldwide may unknowingly be using cosmetics produced by these companies.

The real question is why these brands are even testing on animals in the first place, as it’s simply not necessary. Nor do women have to sacrifice quality, style or luxury when choosing cruelty free cosmetics.

Here's how to find out if your beauty products have been tested on animals.




When weighing up the cost of makeup, what if the real cost isn’t actually the price tag? Perhaps we should also be paying closer attention to the environmental impact of the beauty brands we choose.

• Cosmetic packaging can take hundreds of years to break down in landfill.

• Toxic chemicals in cosmetics washed down drains ends up in oceans damaging the eco system and causing death to aquatic species.

• Brands adding one or two natural ingredients masking other toxic ingredients are rapidly depleting natural resources.

• Cosmetics with Palm Oil are contributing to rapid deforestation and climate change.



4. Real Cost of Makeup: Dangerous Overseas Factory Working Conditions