Beauty Talk: Average Makeup Cost Per Use (Revlon, Covergirl, Maybelline)


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    • Linda

      nail polish only has a shelf life of 1 year?! i didn't know that!!! although i find my nail polish is doing just fine…although that's because essie and opi cost freaking $9!

      • carolinewaxler

        What's your favorite Essie /Opi color?

        • Annie

          I love Essie Mademoiselle for manicures – it's super light, so it doesn't look bad when it chips, and Opi's ElePhantastic Pink is really fun for a summer pedicure. I've invested in these two colors, so I can touch-up myself in between salon visits.

          • Sareen Char

            OPI “my private jet” I’m obsessed! I have to buy my own bottles because I go through the bottle nearly every time! its insane.

      • Lisa

        Nail polish does not have a shelf life of 1 year – it really doesn't expire, it just dries up. There are enough chemicals and preservatives in it that it can't harbor and grow bacteria the way other makeup can. Old polish can also be easily fixed with a bit of thinner (not remover)

      • Hi Linda and Lisa,

        I think where we were going with this is simply that you can't count on your nail polish lasting for more than a year, so should budget accordingly. Personally, I find that after some time my nail polish separates within the bottle. Even when I shake it up, it's never quite the same… What's your experience?


        • Lisa


          it's definitely true that older polish tends to get a little hard to apply. I find that a bit of nail polish thinner helps a lot. I do like the idea of cost per use though – it makes me think a lot more about how much my eyeshadow is really costing me!


          • Yes, sizes of make up matter! I like Mary Kay's mineral eye shadows because they are small I can actually use one before the recommended expiration date comes up.


    • directyourmusic

      Also, an article came out in TIME magazine a few weeks ago that wrote about how makeup is shown to have toxins in it:

      If you're someone like me who rarely wears makeup except for moisturizer and to formal events, I wouldn't worry about toxins and I will gladly trade-in my makeup for these drugstore brands. However, if you're a daily wearer and are concerned for the health of your skin, I would suggest upgrading to organic makeup until further FDA regulations are passed!

    • directyourmusic

      This TIME Magazine article has shown that there are indeed toxins found within makeup, since makeup is not regulated by the FDA. If you are like me and don't use makeup with the exception of moisturizer or for formal events, then I wouldn't worry about it and am glad to have read this article so I can buy cheaper makeup. However, if you use makeup daily and are concerned about your skin, it may be worth it to invest in some organic makeup.

      • carolinewaxler

        Thank you for pointing this out. Any organic makeup you like and that is budget-friendly?

    • Sukie

      When I use a Kohl eyeliner pencil (I prefer Rimmel, better application), I run out in about 6 months. I've never gotten 18 months out of it.
      Now I use an eyeliner that lasts about a year, it cost $20 in January (and includes a brush – mine has lasted years with regular washing) and if I wear it 6 days a week that's about 6 cents per use.

    • Lauren

      I've been the queen of budgetting over the past year, but, no matter, what I can't/won't end my Sephora addiction. I've bought a lot of makeup products from drugstores, makeup counters, and “big box” makeup stores such a Sephora and Ulta.

      In the end of I have found my splurges on higher end poweder, foundation, concealer, blush, and bronzer (pretty much anything that ends on my face) have paid off in the end. My finicky, acne-prone, super oily skin has cost me (and my parents) a lot money over the past 12 years with dermatologist co-pays, prescription products, and every acne product I can get my hands on. After settling on a pricey container of Bare Escentuals foundation about 4 years my skin looks phenomanal with the additions of Neutrogena face wash, Clearsil spot treatment, and Clinique moisturizer.

      If you have picky skin like me, I'd suggest shelling out the extra $10-15 for a year's worth of foundation instead of hundreds on month on blackhead extractions, facials, and skin regimes that get you nowhere.

    • kristym

      I love Maybelline's Full 'n Soft mascara…it works a lot better than Great Lash for my eyelashes.

    • JackieAU5

      This is one area where I feel strongly about quality. I LOVE makeup, and I have done my own little experiments with cheap vs. department store makeup. I have to say…there really is a difference in quality, where department store/designer brands are in fact better and last much longer. Most designer brands don't flake and ware out too quickly. Staple products in my makeup regiment such as mineral powder, mascara and eye shadow I will not go cheap on because I've tried in the past and it's not worth it. It's not worth it because you wind up reapplying it anyway…where as designer brands you don't have to. I do buy cheaper eye liners, glosses and eyebrow pencils though because I have successfully found cheaper brands that really are of good quality. For all other items, I have not.

      P.S. People actually go 3 MONTHS with the same tube of mascara?! That's insanity!

      • Kristina M. Saar

        I agree completely…love makeup, and willing to splurge on quality items. Drugstore lip gloss is fine, but I wouldn’t dream of replacing my Bare Minerals with a drugstore brand.

        Also, I know what you mean about mascara…I can’t make a tube last more than a month and a half AT BEST :)

      • Kristina M. Saar

        I agree completely…love makeup, and willing to splurge on quality items. Drugstore lip gloss is fine, but I wouldn’t dream of replacing my Bare Minerals with a drugstore brand.

        Also, I know what you mean about mascara…I can’t make a tube last more than a month and a half AT BEST :)

      • Kristina M. Saar

        I agree completely…love makeup, and willing to splurge on quality items. Drugstore lip gloss is fine, but I wouldn’t dream of replacing my Bare Minerals with a drugstore brand.

        Also, I know what you mean about mascara…I can’t make a tube last more than a month and a half AT BEST :)

    • jroo

      I'd like to see the same study done using cosmetics that are not 1) toxic to the environment or the body and 2) tested on animals. Some of us are willing to pay more for make-up “we can believe in.”

    • lovebitesontheradio

      i have a few issues with this article. 1) drugstore brand makeup, especially foundation, eyeshadow and powder just do not compare to department store brands. the quality is mediocre at best, in my experience.

      2) with the known chemicals in makeup, i want to find more healthy solutions, and most, if not all drugstore brands are the worst offenders of this. this is one area i splurge-on bath, body and makeup products. i want the things that go on my skin to be healthy for me, not harmful.

      3) i try to buy as many products as possible that are not tested on animals. it's increasingly difficult to find drugstore OR department store brands that don't. so a focus on healthier, non-animal tested makeup would be interesting to me, and which brands are most affordable.

    • I agree with Lauren. I save money in some areas so I can splurge on others…and for me good quality skin care and cosmetics is a must have. I dress in a modest way so people will see my face and not my body so I want that face to be attractive…for years to come! Everyone is entitled to what they spend and save on but this is an area I'll certainly spend on.


    • Lisagreen8

      If you are looking for great-quality makeup at a low price, check out Avon and Mark. I find many products to be better quality than drug-store makeup. Plus, when you buy Avon, you are helping other women. Check it out!

    • I'll post the same information to my blog, thanks for ideas and great article.

    • Sun

      what drugstore eyeliners are of good quality. i cant find one i like!

      • JackieAU5

        For eyeliner, I like Maybelline Unstoppable. It’s waterproof and goes on smooth, doesn’t fade and it’s not a pencil so you don’t have to sharpen it–which is a big plus.

    • AlabamaGirl

      I couldn’t agree more! Cheap or Expensive, there are numerous toxic chemical used in manufacturing makeup, perfumes, skin care, etc. Walmart even sells an inexpensive collection of organic makeup “Physician’s Formula” I think is the name of it. nnBe very careful about what goes ON your body and INTO your body. READ LABELS! RESEARCH. A good place to start is naturalnews.comn

    • jo

      I agree with JRoo….who’s talking about testing on animals??? We should be ashamed of ourselves, all of us…we should be fighting for zero animal testing and demand high priced items be inclusive of this not for us to be paying for better quality (for sure) but for their marketing and advertising. It is true mascara, eyeliner can be bought cheaper, but there is a price someone or something has to pay, and unfortunately it’s animals who don’t get a say, don’t have a voice.

    • Sunflowerblack

      Hi, Loved this article!
       However, As a woman of color, I going to say it would be verrry difficult/ near impossible to find drugstore makeup, with reasonable coverage and the correct undertone for $5. Yes there is the Cover Girl queen collection, and Black opal, etc, but those aren’t sold in any cvs near me, and I cant test the shades online. This is a huge reason why folks will spend $25 at MAC.