Thursday, August 04, 2005

Drugstore vs. Department store

It's the age old question: if it's expensive, is it better? While skincare technology is rapidly advancing, some of the best mass-market companies (like Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and L'Oreal) are actually at the forefront of research and development innovations. That means you can pay $300 for a cream from Neiman Marcus or Saks, or can pay $15 for something just as good—or maybe even better—from Olay, Neutrogena, L'Oreal or ROC. Some of my favorite hair products, such as Garnier Fructis or Aussie, are only a few dollars, but for the most part, when it comes to shampoos, conditioners and stylers, I find that top-quality products (like Bumble, Phyto, Kerastase, Terax and Fekkai) really do make a difference with my hair's texture and manageability. And I can't skimp on my foundation, concealer, blush or eyeshadow: the expensive stuff simply looks better.


Blogger Mellypinto said...

I have to say that for the most part Department store is better. Colors are brighter and last longer. Except for Wet 'n Wild eyeliner which is great.

As for my hair, I love Aveda products. Good to the earth and good to my hair. I can't use cheap shampoos. They leave my hair dry and unmanageable.

8/04/2005 1:20 PM  
Blogger Mizzou379 said...

I read an article by Paula Begoune (sp?) who took the Kerastase products and the Loreal Vive products to a lab and had them compared. They were ingredient-for-ingredient identical. You can guess where they aren't identicle - price.

8/04/2005 1:24 PM  
Blogger Jolie said...

Kerastase is actually owned by L'Oreal.

8/04/2005 1:35 PM  
Blogger PRpro22 said...

What is your opinion of Nivea products. Isn't Beiersdorf one of those cutting edge skin care companies? What's the word on them and their products? How do they stack up?

8/04/2005 2:28 PM  
Blogger Jolie said...

I love Nivea, although they have a bunch of great products in Europe that they're slow to release in the states, for some annoying reason. Still, I think their skincare products are fantastic.

8/04/2005 2:38 PM  
Blogger shimmer said...

what do you think of the dove shampoos? I generally use TIGI self absorbed but I also love the Dove line.
as far as makeup goes, I use either beauticontrol foundation (winter) or clinique (summer, if Iwear any at all...) and my eyes are with Mahya pigments...LOVE them :) (well, all pigments really...the colors are fantastic..)

8/04/2005 2:59 PM  
Blogger beautybabe said...

I like Nivea but it doesn't like me. For some reason it's too perfume -y. I love department store brands and drug store brands. I would say it's really up to the product. Here's an interesting thought -- Kohl's is carrying make-up, American Beauty, which is owned by Estee. If you know lipsticks the way I know them, you'll recognize the smell of the lipstick. Identitical. Estee Lauder lipstick? $22
American Beauty? $12.50

8/04/2005 3:01 PM  
Blogger Jax said...

The Kerastase products are almost exact drugstore Loreal, because Loreal makes Kerastase but markets it to a different group of people. Sally beauty supply sells a Loreal brand treatment called MegaMoisture and the ingredients are exactly the same as the Keratase mask.

I had a friend recently buying expensive skincare that wasn't working and she finally gave up and bought Neutrogena and her skin looks freaking great!!

Another friend works for Lancome which is owned by Loreal Corporation, and she said there are a lot of Lancome products that are idenitical to Loreal make-up...just less expensive. Honestly, there are only so many ingredient combinations for make-up, conditioner, and shampoo.

More expensive just means more expensive. But this is coming from a girl that just bought the new Dior palette of lipglosses for $46...(the colors were too pretty to pass up)

8/04/2005 3:58 PM  
Blogger Jax said...


I've just been researching Nivea. It's been around since 1911 and sounds like a great brand. I'm looking for a new skin care system. I'm going to try Nivea first because they seem to have a handle on the products for combination skin...a gel cleanser, alcohol-free toner, and oil-free moisturizer.. They're cleanser recently won an award from Shape magazine for best cleanser. If I'm not totally impressed I'm moving on to BOSCIA. It's sold at Nordstrom and's suppose to be great and free of everything!!!

8/04/2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger shimmer said...


I generally wash my face with Cetaphil and moisturize with Moisture surge....however I am thinking of checking into the Nivea. I have very dry skin so whatever I use needs to give me moisture :/

8/04/2005 4:21 PM  
Blogger Jax said...


I was using Cetaphil and it worked good, keeping my face clear. It's what a lot of dermotologists have as a top 5 pick of great products. However, I found that even though my face was clear, it wasn't giving me a have to exfoliate in addition because Cetaphil is almost TOO gentle. It doesn't cleanse enought to get rid of the top layer of dead skin each month when your cells renew. I hope Nivea works, and they have products for dry skin too. My roommate actually has dry skin and she uses Oil of Olay total effects and said it is fantastic for her dry skin.

8/04/2005 4:35 PM  
Blogger shimmer said...

hmmmmm good point ;) I do a microdermabrasion once a month. :) BUT...I must dig deeper into this Nivea idea :)

8/04/2005 4:53 PM  
Blogger Jax said...


Just curious, but why out of all the brands did you pick Nivea to think about buying?

8/04/2005 5:29 PM  
Blogger Pink Princess said...

I really like Cover Girl TruBlend. I like the texture, I love the coverage. It's super easy to apply. I wish it lasted longer, but it's cheap. So far (3 months)it hasn't made my skin break out. Cover Girl has really come a long way since the days when everything they made smelled like cupcakes (not in a good way).

8/04/2005 5:34 PM  
Blogger MizV said...

While changing planes in Europe,I have practically bought out some airport drugstore stock of Nivea skincare products! I have begged Nivea to start distributing their better-than-any-$50-cream in the U.S., but apparently they're busy taking care of business in the EU.

Airport officials are familiar with my loaded to the hilt carry-on bags, which usually push the weight limit with their stash of cleanser, facial day cream and the best bath soap I've EVER tried. And I've tried them all.

8/04/2005 5:48 PM  
Blogger Jax said...


what kind of skin do you have? and which Nivea moisturizer and cleanser are you using? Or like best?

Nivea is distrubuted in over 150 countries so it must be good! Also some products have expiration dates which is good. Facial products without expiration dates mean they contain a lot of preseratives and that means toxins. yikes!!!

8/04/2005 6:12 PM  
Blogger shimmer said...

reasonable price and good reviews. :) My lifestyle isn't going to allow me to spend $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on skin care (school starts soon for these kids :)) It's gotten good reviews from several people, so when I change skin care routines, I will probably give it a go...

8/04/2005 7:01 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Since some of you seem to know what you're talking about, I'm curious for the reason why the department store brand would be better. Other than the marketing and packaging, is there really that much of a difference in the ingredients for washing your hair?

8/05/2005 12:56 AM  
Blogger Marigot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/05/2005 12:57 AM  
Blogger Marigot said...

I'm very picky about skin cleansers. My combo skin is usually on the oily side but can become dry and flaky in a matter of days.

I found that Laura Mercier's 1 step cleanser was tops in removing makeup and leaving my skin fresh, not stripped. Even though it's my fave cleanser, I've always been open to a cheaper alternative.

Enter Dove's self-foaming cleanser. My skin having an itchy, red, dry spell due to dehydration and air travel. I tried Dove's sensitve skin cleanser but even that stung! Then I read about the self foaming cleanser in InStyle's Best Beauty Buys. This is my new friend along with Aveeno moisturizer! It didn't irritate the sensitive areas yet it was effective during humid conditions that promote oiliness. And thanks to Aveeno I noticed that my skin's texture has improved and my complexion is more vibrant.

These 2 drugstore products have given high-end results. My wallet and my skin are pleased!

8/05/2005 1:00 AM  
Blogger *Yasmine* said...

I tend to mix and match.... Skincare: I did the whole Clinique 3 step..didnt work for me. Now I have been using a deep cleansing face wash with witch hazel by Olay and Olay complete Daily moisturizer w/ spf 15...Its been working well for me ...Clinique Superdefense moisturizer spf 25 is great too... As far as makeup I do like Department stores... Trish McEvoy tinted moisturizer with spf 15 is a must !!!LOVE gives me a great even skin tone and it looks like I have nothing on my face.....Benefit's Georgia Peach and Dandelion powder..Love them. They give my skin that extra GLOW.........also a fan of Trish and Benefit Lip Gloss.......Shampoos I am always mixing and matching....if anyone has any suggestions for me let me know whats good out there..... I am been using Mane and Tail on and off..... After having 2 babies it put a toll on my hair so I heard about it(Jen Aniston supposedly uses it)..ok Cheers xoxo

8/05/2005 2:26 AM  
Blogger Jenny V said...

I actually use the skin care line ProActive Solution. Since I've been using it, my skin hasn't looked better!

8/05/2005 10:37 AM  
Blogger SuzyKelly said...

I like to interchange between drug store brands & department store. I currently work for a dept. store. So yes, I get alot of free $$$ stuff. I found out most recently that the formulas and technology are sometimes traded amongst each line as if they were baseball players or something. So it reaffirms my belief that it kinda doesnt matter what it costs. In the end, its almost like they are all on each other's team.

8/06/2005 9:48 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I work for Estee Lauder part time and I have to say that I still use Clinique's rinse off foaming cleanser, soap and toner. I do love Estee Lauder's repair and moisturizers. We get a lot of freebies so it's easy to keep up the regimen.

I do know that my skin is a lot better than it was before I started working for EL. I use to use drugstore skincare products and it was horrible on my skin.

I guess if I had to pay for makeup, I would still shell out the $$'s for cleanser, repair product, moisturizer and foundation and use drugstore for color!

P.S. -- i do love Nivea firming q10 body lotion. I am originally from Asia and Nivea products are really popular back home!

8/08/2005 1:22 PM  
Blogger rlgirl said...

There are some items in which department store is better, but there is often a "high-end" dugstore brand that will suffice (at least until payday!). The best example is from the Chanel Precision line
Age Delay Serum for face - this stuff is FABULOUS! It will totally make your face glowy, even toned, moisturized. I never fail to get compliments on my skin when I wear it ...alas it's also very expensive. So when I don't have all the cash for fork out for a replacement bottle, I go to Olay Regenerist Line Serum which does a really nice job of also keeping my skin very smooth and even toned - it's also pretty easy to catch this line on sale at Target...I found out about this one on a great beauty product review site (It means a pretty woman!)

8/09/2005 1:39 PM  
Blogger SuzyKelly said...

If you know that Olay does the same thing as Chanel, then why do you go ahead and buy Chanel?

8/09/2005 1:57 PM  
Blogger bloger18us said...

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12/23/2005 6:50 PM  
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12/24/2005 10:16 PM  

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