"The idea that expensive means better is nonsense because beauty products are all made using the same types of ingredients. There are effective drugstore products and irritating department store products and vice versa," says Paula Begoun, creator of the website The Cosmetics Cop and author of "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." She adds that skincare and makeup products packaged in jars can't keep beneficial ingredients stable, so look for squeeze tubes whenever possible.
M'chel Bauxal, a celebrity and TV makeup artist and hairstylist, says the majority of all beauty and hair products are made by two giant cosmetics companies: Estee Lauder and L'Oreal. For example, L'Oreal owns and manufactures the drug store brand Maybelline and the department store brand Lancome. "What makes any beauty product worth the money, no matter what the price or where you bought it, is if it works for you and you get the result you want," she says.
Love an expensive store or product? Consider buying a discounted gift card from a website that aggregates unused gift cards to save right off the top, says Woroch.