As someone who has very sensitive skin and who is OCD about the ways colors coordinate and clash with each other, I often splurge on makeup and creams (think a shelf lined with a three-figure number of nail polish colors). When I do venture into a store like Sephora, I tend to go in with a product in mind. Like a kid in a candy store, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the glistening colors and eye-catching packaging and end up purchasing more than you need.
To that end, I often find myself wondering how so many of these smaller brands that charge $100-plus for a cream the will last no more than three weeks survive. How are there enough people who can buy these products on a continuous basis? I’m not even talking about brands that have well established reputations, there are countless up-and-comers who have low brand recognition that are stocked in niche shops and mass retailers alike.
Reportedly, women – come 2010 – are expected to spend about 9 percent less on cosmetic purchases next year according to a survey of 600 Americans, age 25 and up, by AlixPartners’ consumer products group. However, women reported that they would “remain loyal to brand names,” which goes back to my initial consternation about how so many niche and little known brands get away with charging such high prices when their perceived value is not that high. That said I’m grateful for the wide variety of choices and happy that when I go into a store like Sephora I can discover new and exciting brands, I just hope that as people’s belts tighten we won’t lose all the exciting variety in favor of solely brands with deep pockets behind them.