How to Tell the Difference Between Quality Products and Cheap Imitations

Augusta Falletta

makeup How to Tell the Difference Between Quality Products and Cheap Imitations

When it comes to beauty products, it can be rough out there. Between the incredible (or downright ugly) packaging, debating on whether you want to splurge on a product and hearing hype about every product on the market, figuring out if a product is actually a quality one can seem impossible. There are a few tricks of the trade, luckily, that can help you discern the difference between a great product and a cheap imitation. Read our beauty tips below for finding the best products possible!

It’s Not All In the Packaging: Let she who doesn’t fall for gorgeous packaging on makeup cast the first stone. We’ve all fallen for a gorgeous box or sleek tube of some product, but often times, great products come in the simplest packaging. If you’re able to test out the products in that sensational packaging before buying, you’ll be saving yourself a whole lot of regret. Of course, you’re not usually able to test products in drugstores before purchasing, but be wary of the thin, cheaper plastic packaging on cardboard. If the cardboard and plastic are incredible thin, flimsy and cheap, it’s more likely that the product inside will follow suit.

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Ingredients Matter: The ingredients you use to cook dinner can make or break the meal, and the same goes for your beauty products. When you’re reading the ingredient label, the ingredients listed first and early on in the list are the heaviest concentrations, while the ingredients at the bottom are the lowest concentration. A product advertised as using “100% natural beeswax” isn’t lying about that, but the product could just be using .05% of that 100% natural beeswax. Also, if you’re not sure what the long ingredient names mean, Google them before you buy — natural products are more easily discernible and you can make a better judgement call once you know what all of the ingredients involved are.

Read Reviews, But Take Them With a Grain of Salt: Some e-commerce sites hire people to give positive comments on products online, so take every review with a grain of salt. Usually, a product that’s overwhelmingly great will have a bevy of good reviews, because when people love a product they want people to know how great it is. In the same respect, a product that’s absolutely awful will most likely have review upon review of terrible comments, because when people hate a product, they’ll do everything they can to make sure other people aren’t as disappointed as they are. What’s the lesson in all of this? It’s a safe bet to go by the average star rating on a product, not by the one or two extreme reviews you read.

Talk to Makeup Artists — At Different Locations: If you walk up to the lead makeup artist at a makeup counter in a department store asking for their product recommendations, 9 times out of 10 they’ll suggest a product from the brand they represent. Instead, find a makeup artist at a salon or at a professional supply store, where they’re not bound to be loyal to one brand or product, to get their professional opinion. Considering how many different faces and products makeup artists work with each day, their insane amount of knowledge about the products should be taken advantage of.

MORE: 10 Tips at Being a Pro at Shopping for Beauty Products

Request Samples: When you’re on the fence about whether or not to buy a product, try calling the brand’s customer service department to request a sample. Yes, it’s only a sample, but if you’re wondering whether a face cream will be right for your skin or you want to test out an eyeshadow to see if it lasts on your eyelids longer than two hours, a sample will give you a good enough understanding of a product to know whether or not the full size is worth spending money on.

Understand Labels: “Dermatologist Tested” and “Dermatologist Approved” do not mean the same thing, yet because they look similar enough and most people don’t think twice about it, they fall for the shady advertising. Similarly, “Organic” or “All-Natural” products don’t mean 100% organic or all-natural. A label with those claims could actually mean that a product is 20% organic, but it’s legal to put the word “organic” on the label because it’s not claiming that it’s 100% organic. Flip a product over and read the ingredient label. If the first few ingredients are long, manmade names of chemical laiden ingredients, you’ll know the truth about what you’re using.

Search Social Media: Similar to reading reviews, searching social media for hashtags pertaining to the product you’re thinking of buying will pull up honest comments you can use to determine whether or not a product is worth it.

Your Makeup Shouldn’t Come Off Quickly: This seems obvious, but when you buy a brightly colored eyeshadow and it slides off or creases on your eyelid within an hour, it means it’s poor quality, not necessarily that your eyelids are too oily. The same goes for lipsticks drying out your lips, blush sliding off your cheeks or your straightener frying your ends after one session. Don’t believe that it’s you that’s doing something wrong — it’s most likely that the product is poor quality. Invest some time in finding a better quality alternative instead of suffering through terrible products until they’re used up.

Image via Imaxtree