You know when you see a gorgeous new lip gloss, face mask, or brow product on Instagram? And the packaging is to-die-for and the write-up sounds amazing – like it may just soothe all your worldly woes? Ok, we’re exaggerating, but seriously, some products can look the tiiiiniest bit life-changing.
So – how do you sift through the endless claims and seductive packaging to decide if that beauty product really is worth it? Well, we’ve put together a little help-you-decide guide! Keep reading for all the key categories to look for:
COST PER WEAR
The equation that works fabulously for clothing and accessory purchases also makes a lot of sense for beauty buys. Divide your potential purchase by often how you’ll wear it to decide if it’s truly worth the splurge. This will help you weed out those one-time-wear impulse buys.
Ex: our Nourish & Define Brow Pomade is $42 but lasts forever. Truthfully, we didn’t realize just how long it would last when we first developed that container. For most people, the pomade expires before they even use up the product.
So, the equation: you can wear your pomade every day for one year before it expires, so $42/365 = $0.11 per wear.
And a bonus: you can wear it as an eyeliner every day too if you like. Apply this equation to other potential beauty buys to see how much value you’re getting for that price tag.
INITIAL COST VS LONG-TERM COST
Does the product get less expensive as you use it? Or do you have to continually rebuy it with no savings? Let’s use a couple Plume products as examples:
Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum: the initial investment is $95. You use it every day for 3 months (one tube’s worth) to see maximum results. After that, you can switch to only applying 2-3 times per week to maintain results. So, those second and third tubes will last you much longer than the first one (and you won’t have to rebuy nearly as often).
Nourish & Define Brow Pencil – the initial cost of the pencil is $24. Once you use up the color, you can purchase a 2-pack of refills for $19. So now each pencil is only $9.50 each! Good for the planet, and good for your wallet.
Ps, our pomade will soon be available refillable also!
MULTI-PURPOSE OR SINGLE-PURPOSE
Can the product be used in multiple ways or is it single-use? When a product can do double (or triple) duty, you can eliminate the need to buy other products – saving space, money, and the environmental impact of shipping and packaging.
And our Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum grows your lashes and brows, limiting the need for brow filler and mascara since both are now naturally full without any help!
INGREDIENTS - QUALITY OF SELECTION
Here’s the truth: ingredient quality varies A LOT in a couple of different ways. First is the ingredient selection – is the product full of nourishing, transformative, active ingredients or is it made up of cheap fillers?
And second is ingredient concentration. For example: you might see two products with Castor Oil or Aloe Vera as active ingredients, yet one label has it listed last (which means less than 1% concentration) while the other lists it first (the base of the formula – a very high concentration). Similar ingredient lists can give drastically different results when the ingredient order varies.
QUALITY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP
In terms of beauty accessories and tools, craftsmanship is key. Let’s use our Curl & Lift Lash Curler as an example: its ergonomic design is constructed with weighty materials to last a lifetime if you take care of it. Cheaply-made curlers, however, can have a much shorter lifespan and can actually damage your lashes. So, while a bargain curler might save you money initially, the constant rebuying will cost more in the long run.
Read our blog on evaluating lash curlers for more on the topic!
The same goes for tweezers - they should be made of strong and durable metal. If you’ve had to replace your tweezers multiple times, they’re not doing their job. A good pair of tweezers should last a very long time – potentially a lifetime.
Read our blog ‘How to Find the Perfect Tweezers’.
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF INGREDIENTS
Beauty products formulated with harmful/toxic/inexpensive ingredients can cause many unwanted side effects. Products that are supposed to make you feel more confident and beautiful can actually cause premature aging, blemishes, eyebrow/eyelash/hair loss, skin discoloration, and irritation.
Many lash serums contain Prostaglandins, which though effective at growing your lashes, can cause many other side effects like:
- Darkening of the skin around the eyes
- Eyelid inflammation
- Burning, stinging, and eye pain
- Darkening of the iris
- Thinning and loss of eyelashes
- Blurred vision
- Drooping eyelids.
Considering you’re purchasing this product to feel more confident about your eyes and lashes, these side effects seem very counterintuitive. Not to mention the other toxic chemicals in these formulas that can cause long-term health effects. We shouldn’t have to compromise our health for beauty. Ever.
Read our blog ‘Hormones in Your Lash Serum’ for more on the topic.
Many brow products contain ingredients like polyacrylamide, PVP, paraffins, alcohols, and silicones that can actually inhibit your brow growth. Definitely the opposite effect you’re going for when applying brow filler. A thoughtfully created formula will enhance the health of your features, not take away from them.
Read our blog ‘How to Combat Winter Lash & Brow Loss’ to read more about it.
All beauty & skincare products
In eyeshadows, foundations, and skincare products, this same rule most definitely applies. So many formulas are created with drying, pore-clogging, toxic ingredients that are damaging your skin (and compromising your health) rather than beautifying it as you hoped. The top ingredients to look out for:
Teflon can attract damaging free-radicals to the skin and cause inflammation.
POLYACRYLAMIDE & PVP (POLYVINYLPYRROLIDONE)
Polyacrylamide and PVP create a thin coating over hair, nails, or skin and prevent moisture absorption. While it means a longer-lasting product, it comes at the expense of moisture – an essential for healthy skin and hair.
Paraffins acts as a sort of plastic wrap – impeding the skin’s ability to release toxins. This can cause blemishes, skin damage, and can inhibit lash and brow growth.
Some alcohols can be very drying to skin and hair, resulting in impaired hair growth, and premature aging in skin. Look out for: ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, SD alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.
A silicone-based polymer, methicone creates a barrier for makeup to stick to. This barrier stops oils and sweat from entering/leaving the skin. This means your skin and hair follicles can’t release toxins and function optimally.
POLYBUTENE AND OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE
Strong irritants, these ingredients can cause inflammation and irritation of the skin. Chronically inflamed skin can’t repair itself effectively.
Used as penetration-enhancers, PEGs can cause other toxins to be absorbed deeper into the skin and through the bloodstream. PEGs also interfere with the skin’s natural moisture balance, acccentuating the appearance of any fine lines or wrinkles.
Strongly linked to cancer and many other disorders, Parabens also lessen the amount of oil released from your eyelids. So, when used in an eye product, parabens can lead to new or worsened dry eye symptoms.
Since brands aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that make up a fragrance, this term can be hiding any number of potential toxins or irritants. It means you don’t know what you’re truly putting on your skin and what the side effects could be.
Beyond the toxic nature of sulfates, they also can damage the skin’s protective barrier and create irritation and blemishes.
An oil extracted from the wool of sheep, lanolin can cause breakouts and contact dermatitis.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AFTER PURCHASE
Here’s the truth: not all beauty products (even the most beloved ones) work for everyone. Different skin types, allergies, and personal preference can all play a role in how much each person will love a certain beauty product. That’s why we recommend buying from brands that stand behind their product. Not only is it a good sign of their confidence in that product’s efficacy, but if it doesn’t work for you, you aren’t out all that cash on a product you don’t love.
At Plume, all our products are backed with a 100% happiness guarantee. If, for any reason, you’re aren’t in love with your purchase, please contact us with an explanation of the problem and we’ll provide a replacement product or, where appropriate, a full refund for product returned to us in original packaging with original receipt/proof of purchase.
The best way to determine if a product is worth it (and that it does what it says it does), is to read reviews. Look across multiple sites to see the general consensus on a certain product.
Take our Nourish & Define Brow Pomade (or any Plume product) for example – browse through reviews on The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, The Organic Bunny, and Pharmaca to get a complete picture of customer experiences.
Thanks for tuning in to our blog Pluminati – we hope this guide comes in handy when evaluating your next beauty buy!
- The Plume Team <3