Ruby's Corner

Paint Your Face. For A Price.

So I was dragged into Sephora the other day because my mom wanted to see if they carried a certain shade of plum colored lipstick she likes and if it was on sale, because she gets excited about discounts and sales and stuff. While she was doing that, I looked at Katy Perry’s new nail polish line by OPI – the crackle nail polish – and the stuff was so cool. Like really, really cool. So I stared at it awhile and imagined applying it and I felt fancy in my head for a second.

And then I got distracted by a really cool blush brush. Now two things:

1. I don’t wear blush.

2. My Mom doesn’t wear blush. She only wears lipstick and eyeliner.

But still. That blush brush? It looked so cool, and  it made me think, maybe blush isn’t so bad, right, especially when the brush looks so awesome, like a fun toy? And then I looked at the price. It was $29! That’s like 6 weeks of my allowance and probably a little more with tax.


Why does it cost so much to paint your face?  A really crappy lip-gloss could be $20 because it looks so cute and the design is cool. In my opinion, I don’t think this is very fair. I get that there are these make up “malls” where they carry expensive make up and stuff and make it easy to shop for everything you need, but really? Why does it have to cost so much? Why can’t Sephora and those other places carry more cool stuff that is affordable?

I don’t wear makeup on my face (or really know anything about it) and maybe someday I will but right now, I can tell you that in my opinion, just because the packaging looks cute doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gonna  make you look better or edgier or whatever you’re goal is, when it comes to putting make up on your face. Like, why can’t you just go to your drugstore and buy the normal priced cosmetics? Sure, they won’t have a fancy name but why spend so much money for a red lipstick? Like I said, don’t know a lot about makeup, but I do know a little bit about how to spend my allowance.

And I’d rather get the Katy Perry crackle nail polish that I can afford instead of the fancy one that costs twice as much.

That’s it for now. See you next week, and all the time on Twitter @rubykarp!

  • Minu Ferdows

    I agree completely! Interesting that OPI are marketing the crackle nail polish as Katy Perry’s nail polish line in the States but they’re not in the UK. At least not that I’ve seen anyway.

    I think it’s ridiculous that OPI sell their shatter nail polish for £10.50 when you can buy the exact same thing from Barry M for £3.99. You’re essentially buying the name.

    • Samantha Tindall

      It’s only marketed as a Katy Perry Polish because it was released with the collection that she and OPI collaborated on. Now that’s just what everyone calls it.

  • Kayla Gugenberger Richmond

    Oh, you innocent little girl. I used to think the same things. But then I lost my perfect high-school-peaches-and-cream complexion, and learned that sometimes, there really is a difference between the $4 drug store foundation and the $34 Sephora one. Foundation? Worth the splurge. That crazy red lipstick you buy for your friend’s bachelorette party? not so much.

  • Barbara Bullemer

    they do have awesome products like primer that will make really cheap makeup last as long as the expensive stuff! that’s what i splurge on in those stores!

  • Melissa Lambert

    I totally agree!! And most of the time, I’ve found expensive makeup to be not-much-better than the cheaper makeup. The only expensive makeup items I’ll buy are eyeshadow and eyeliner. Also, eyeyshadow primer, to keep my eyeshadow from creasing. I’ve found those items ARE worth the extra money, because I have oily skin and cheap items don’t last long on me…they wear off too easy. I defintely thing most beauty items are WAY overpriced, and probably a waste of money. Good for you for not wanting to spend 6 weeks allowance on a stupid brush…I know many young girls who would do that!

  • Lyndsay Jenness Becker

    Well when you’re young you certainly don’t need a $29 blush brush, drugstore ones do just fine. Actually my blush brush was cheap and it does a great job! But the quality really is better in the the more expensive stuff. I spent $50ish at M.A.C. about two and a half years ago and got blush, an eyeliner pot, an eye liner brush and lip primer. The only one that is gone is the lip primer and I use all of those things every single day and they look perfect and go on nice and smooth! I bought an identical looking eyeliner pot/brush at Target and I might as well have thrown $9 in the trash.

    Some things are worth the extra money, some things aren’t. You’ll figure out what is worth it to you, takes lots of time! But for now stick with the nail polish!

  • Matthew Caws

    “…but I do know a little bit about how to spend my allowance.”
    this is excellent, great going ruby!

  • Laura E

    I totally agree with you, I mean I love Sephora but I just can’t bring myself to spend $30 on a brush !! Though I do also agree that with certain make-up it does make a difference. It’s kind of like clothing it’s quality versus quantity but you really should have to worry about make-up now your still so young and beautiful :)

  • Julie Birdsall

    As a makeup artist for the last 9 years I can assure you that with certain brands you get what you pay for. I am a former employee of a well known cosmetic line and not getting that discount anymore can really hurt. S naturally sometimes I stray from the line I know and love only to find that the only money I wasted was on the cheap stuff. Makeup brushes should be hand made and of natural hair (though synthetic brushes are a must for certain formulas). Sure the cosmetic line needs to make money or they wouldn’t be in business. But think of it as an investment. This is your face we’re talking about. A well made blush brush that is taken good care of can last you at least 10 years and then some.

  • Amy Wallace

    Hey Ruby! Great article! It sounds to me like you already know how to handle your money. Generally, I find that when it comes to some things in my life, I’m willing to spend a little extra money for a product that is a little better than others. You may find later that make up is one of those things for you or maybe it’s something else. Either way, I think spending $30 on a single blush brush is a bit much. Did you get the crackle nail polish? I just finished putting on a coat of the silver OPI crackle myself!

  • Natalie Addimando

    I cant speak about the nail polish, but when it comes to face make-up, ladies, i think its better to pay more and ensure that you get safe products. I personally am a makeup freak and i refuse to buy cheap products. As for the brushes, they are expensive because the material is waaaaaaaaay better and allergic-free. A friend who studies makeup chose me as her model to practise her makeup once, and she used cheap brushes and products. The next day my face was full of zits and i payed three times the price of an expensive brush+blush at the dermatologist.

  • Elizabeth McDonald

    I treated myself the other day (and when I say treated, I mean about £50) on a full new set of Bourgois makeup: eyeshadows, nail polishes, blush, mascara, lipsticks, liquid eyeliner… I’m all set. But really, if I didn’t look so darn pretty, I would’ve felt bad about spending so much, whereas Sephora would want me to spend the same amount on two blush brushes?! Sephora be tripping…

  • Emma Tukdarian

    I completely agree! As a student , and a girl, you feel you should wear make up. And honestly, it feels pretty nice to wear make up. But when you’re dealing with school, and don’t have the money for nice make up yet you want to go to Sephora and get a concealer or eyeliner. It gets kinda disappointing when you can’t.

  • Kaitlyn Woehler

    People pay more for brand names because they’ve become victim to product marketing and schemes. It’s really quite simple. Celebrities endorse products which make those who idolize them want those products. Thus selling products not because they are actually good, but because consumers feel that the product will make them like that celebrity. It’s sad because people think they’re getting better quality when they spend more but most of the time that’s really not true. You’re just paying for the label. I think it’s ridiculous anyway that women find it necessity to wear make up, why hide who you really are? The whole concept of makeup is ridiculous to me because no one wears makeup for themseleves. They wear makeup to look better to others, which in my opinion is completely ridiculous. You shouldn’t care about what others think of you and by putting on gobs of makeup you’re hiding your true self, instead of learning to love it. Unfortuantely most people fall victim to the marketing industry and have no idea, blowing hundreds of dollars every year on makeup to paint their faces. What’s sad is that $20 someone spent on some silly mascara could help provide clean water for someone in another country. Imagine all the money that could be used for a good cause if women didn’t waste it on makeup.

  • Chelsie Jordan

    I couldn’t agree more, Sephora is RIDICULOUSLY over priced! They have liquid eyeliner for nearly $30.00!!! I could barely believe it. I found eyeliner that works just as good at Walmart for like $6.00! I don’t know how they stay in business. Even if I were rich I wouldn’t shop there. All they do is sell a name and fancy packaging, I can’t imagine anyone stupid enough to shop there frequently, but apparently there are people that do. I’ll admit every once in a while I’ll buy something from there, but it’s only because it’s something that only they have, like the Hello Kitty perfume, which is priced about the same as most good perfumes. But when it comes to everyday things like eyeliner, mascara, foundation, and powder, I’ll stick with Walmart.

  • Jennifer Hilton

    Sephora has no problem making money. All the little teenage girls who have no bills like to go to Sephora and spend the money they earned from their part time jobs. And older women go there too. I love Sephora online. There selection is massive, just don’t order from their swatches. You can usually get free shipping polus all kinds of goodies with your order. Sephora also sells their own line of products which are good and decently priced. There’s good drugstore stuff and bad, and there’s good high stuff and bad. It’s about finding what works for you. But I do think every woman should own something from Chanel, fragrance,
    lipstick, nail polish, whatever.

  • Laura Dilnot

    Great article Ruby, sounds like you’ve got it all figured out. I think drug store make up is fine, personally I spend money on some bits and not on the others. Foundation from NARS and my brushes all actually came from the body shop which are really good and not too pricey my friend works for MAC and she says they’re nearly as good. But while you’re young make up should be for fun and allowances should be used for more exciting pursuits. I wish I was as cool as you when I was your age! x

  • Kaitlyn Ganapini

    I’m a makeup artist and sephoras makeup is high quality, doesn’t clog pores, stays on, doesn’t smudge because the materials its made out of so it is worth the extra bucks. I do agree on the expensive utensils, i buy my brushes actually at Micheals Craft store. They all work the same in my opinion.

  • Marysol De Anda

    Try CVS essence of beauty brushes I’ve been using them forever and they work great, if you want to find something similar to a Sephora try ULTA they carry both high-end cosmetics and drugstore makeup also, they have a free ULTA card program in which you earn p0ints and get discounts on items.

  • Amilyn M. Gabbard

    But the OPI Katy Perry crackle nail polish IS the fancy one that costs twice as much…

    • Marcelle Karp

      (I steered Ruby towards the not-name brand crackle style, which was under $10, because you’re right, the KP brand was more expensive/Ruby’s Mom.)

  • Laura Mendez

    you are most definetly right, Ruby! As long as you know what you’re getting, buying the drugstore stuff is just as good as the expensive Sephora stuff. At least according to my mom, who also get super excited about sales and stuff. I wouldn’t know. hehe 😀

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