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Chitchat: My expectations and ‘ Non expectations’ from products; High end Versus Low End- Do I love foreign brands? All your answers are here.

A couple of days back; I met two amazing PR persons from Lakme  one of whom is a brand manager  and the other sales manager. She wanted to meet a few bloggers from Kolkata and have some feedback. There were two other bloggers from Kolkata as well and their idea, as I found were pretty intriguing as well.
 I was pretty excited about the meeting and I got the chance to ventilate my thoughts about my expectations from a brand which I am assuming is your thoughts as well (as I had observed). 

I have actually been asked my friends and readers why I do not purchase or boast about MAC?
Let me begin by saying that if you have noticed I do not feature high end brands because, first, I can’t
afford. Second, I feel happier buying good quality products in greater number and variety in the same budget (I am not judging. Please). So, I avoided talking about brands like MAC. I can definitely spend 2000 bucks on cosmetics, but I would rather buy a mixed bag of Faces, Lakme, Maybelline than 2 MAC lipsticks (unless somebody gifts it to me LOL).
I honestly feel that once I put on a lipstick all people are going to say is either ‘How it flatters you!!’ or ‘ It’s not that good on you!’. Besides that, all I care is if it feels comfortable on my skin. I have actually received plenty of compliments for various shades of red lipsticks none of which was remotely Ruby Woo or RiRi Woo or anything from MAC.
What about bragging and page views? Honestly, in my kind of circle, nobody cares if I even wear makeup. Besides, I do beauty blogging because it gives me the opportunity to explore my love for colors, share my experience of skin journey since I am genetically blessed with bad skin and take a break from the serious academic life.
I would rather find it silly to say I own this many YSL products or MAC products unless it’s a shade to own; a shade which you can readily recognize ( Read Ruby Woo, Girl About Town).  So, even though I love the fact that Beauty At Times Is Skin Deep is going stronger each day, I am not really perturbed about my page views or how many hits I get around the world ( my blog doesn’t even bring in money enough to make it that worthwhile. I feel it would be rather valid and worthwhile for full time bloggers who work really hard and take this as a profession. No kidding, it’s a 24X7 tough job).  For myself, I really won’t lose my sleep.
My expectations: This is what I normally expect from any brand.
  • ·        I expect a product to be of good quality.
  • ·        It should be available everywhere.
  • ·        It should have a wide variety of shade options.
  • ·        Above all, it should be affordable. I have featured plenty of Indian brands before they became huge hits. In fact, I think quality and affordability if the key factor. I think this is true everywhere. For example, in the US Wet N Wild products are in the line of ELF. They are pricier than ELF, but still more inexpensive (mostly) than even Maybelline!! I for myself, I am quite fond of Lakme Satin Finish Lispticks and I like them more than NYX round lipsticks.
What about boring Packaging then? As long as it does not interfere with the usage and does not affect the product quality, I am fine with it! The fancier the packaging gets, the price goes up alongside.
I have heard complaints “ Lakme is so boring! Same old packaging every time… you know we are tired of it”. If you have noticed, MAC doesn’t always come in exotic packaging as well; at least, not always when the lipsticks are concerned. Even then, most of the times the limited editions have golden casing instead of silver ones.

My Non expectations:
You can’t expect a 200 INR product to be equally enthralling in packaging, in huge quantity and as effective as a high end product worth 2000INR ( even though at time they are). I won’t spend even 500 INR only for a toner unless I am targeting a specific major skin issue. A combination of pure coconut oil and a decent makeup remover would remove every trace of makeup you wore.
 I am sure, if I don’t sound condescending not even 10% people would spend or afford to spend or should spend on high end products.
 We ACTUALLY DO have plenty of options. I would rather have a useful packaging, good quantity and effective product; which is the reason you find plenty of drugstore options over here. Fancy casings are welcome, but shall I be hoarding empty containers for life time?

If you watch youtube, drugstore products are the most requested ones in the videos.

Am I a sucker for foreign brands? I really do not purchase products only because it’s ‘Foreign made’. In fact, even a couple of my blogger friends who have known me for a long time know how I talked to them about the unsung heroes in the Indian market.  Not skin care, but colored cosmetics, these days mostly come from the same manufacturers. (Read my Sleekand Lakme post ). As long as a product works for me, it’s good for me.
What about my international hauls? Well, more often I buy them at discounted price and when the shipping cost is low, if the products are really value for money. E.g. I love NYX blush (review soon). I bought a Milani and a NYX blush which costed me, inclusive of international shipping, about 700 INR. So, on average, each blush is around 350? This is cheaper than even most of the Indian good quality brands. Plus, there would have been cost of commutation etc.But I won’t spend 650 INR on a single NYX blush.., I would never buy say, NYX grinding powder which is around $25 or 1500 INR ( approx) on cherryculture at the exorbitant price of 3100 INR ( medplusbeauty) which is approx around $51.5

So, these are the things I have in mind and these are the issues I have while making a purchase. What about you?

PS: This post is not really directed at any brand or even touting any brand or anything. It’s just my exclusive observation and opinion.


  1. I came across your post Nivedita and I agree with every single word you said .. so much logic to it.. I am also a budget make up girl... I loved the post totally!!

    1. Thank you so much Natasha. I am glad you found sense in this post and I am also happy to find that you agree with me.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Deeps! Appreciation from you means a lot!

  3. I so agree with you!!! Even I don't understand why people spend thousands on lipsticks when the same stuff is available at less than half the rates with some great brands. The staying power is either better or same.!!!
    Thumbs up for this post.

    1. True! I would be crazy if I expect a lipgloss to stay put for 10 hours! And if it goes away like any other lipgloss for example, why would I actually want to buy it?

  4. loved the post :) i agree with whatever you have written

  5. such an honest post! loved it <3

    If one can afford it, nothing wrong with going ahead for all the high end brands (if one want to, that is) but going for them because one thinks that higher price means better product is wrong, because that ain't true. :)

    PS: On a completely different note, NYX, Lotus, Himalaya, The Body Shop, probably Colorbar & Faces get extra points over Maybelline, L'oreal, Lakme because the former don't animal test. :)

    1. Exaclty. I am not really comdemning if a person like the idea of using luxury brands. But purchasing them solely to show off or to jump into the bandwagon is really silly.

      That is very thoughtful of you. But I myself doubt if Lakme does animal testing. I mean, I am not sure if they actually have such infra structure. :P

  6. I totally agree with you! I don't have many high priced produts either, just a few (i can count them on my fingers) and that too when I really needed them. I like buying things from the drugstore brands we get here.. better to have many lippy shades from a drugstore brand than having 2 from MAC or some other high end company.

    1. There is nothing wrong with high end brands and trust me I won't pull a gun on you if you bougt every thing in that range. But, I , like you feel happier to come back with tons of products which would be equally efficient. :D

  7. You have written my mind voice lol kudos <3

  8. I do agree with many things you say - like i dont go into huge brands too for one i always feel its a bit too much to spend on makeup that will kinda go bad in a short time like mascara.. i dont run off and buy something because its all high end and everyone talks about it. But there are certain things i do buy like shampoo or face moisturizer if i feel it has something really good about it and its worth the money i spend. Obviously if i am spending $50 on a blush.. it would mean i am forgoing like so much other stuff i could have bought with that money lol i am a shopaholic but a kinda careful one.. does that make sense at all LOL

    As for international brands - well i do love to try out products from all over the world!!!!!! i love korean stuff.. japanese.. middle eastern.. indian.. the list is huge.. i think its lovely to have a taste of the world but being a proud Sri Lankan i totally support my local brands (very very limited) and always try them out and write the firstestest review ever. Well like for e.g Spa Ceylon and Seri Naturals.. i would go for them anytime anywhere.

    my thoughts! also i am not fascinated about benefit, mac or ysl but if there is something i really want to try i do go ahead and buy it.

    1. You know what? I loved your comment and exactly! Say for example, I have always wanted a palette from The Balm because the products are good plus, I love their old world pictures. I am not that big a fan that just because I am a big fan of their packing, I would solely by from them.
      Same here. I have been loving brands like say Vedicline or Himalaya Herbals which are very Indian and they work amazing!

  9. This post is simply amazing! I have the same thoughts! :)
    Sometimes some people I know own maybe one mac item or so and brag so much about it!
    Also, I love any makeup as long as it's good! Sometimes when people ask me what product I use and if I tell them miss Claire or meylon or something.. They just say, " ohhhh! I use lakme and maybelline etc.,".
    That day I bought a 20 bucks Lipbalm and I think I even prefer over others cause it's that amazing!
    I don't even earn yet and hence my makeup stash consists of mostly affordable but really great stuff!
    I'd rather buy a whole face makeup with 2000 bucks than buying one makeup item. Yes, owning mac and stuff is great and I do have some expensive items but I feel there are quite a number of dupes for them! Like for oily skin girls, a good foundation is a must and a task but it's not like a 2000 bucks foundation will keep your skin oil free the entire day!
    If I buy high end stuff.. It would either be cause of the very unique shade or very unique formulation and stuff. I just love this post! Made me pour my heart out as you can see through this long comment! :P

  10. I would differ in my opinion! The Indian brands at the moment are pricing the cosmetics insanely.. While international drugstore brands are reasonably priced (read: maybelline, rimmel ) I would definitely choose them any day! As far as high end makeup is concerned I believe the base should be good! I haven't come across a good color choice when I head out to a drugstore to buy makeup (lakme I'm talking to you!) they have 3 shades and expect it to suit most skin tone.. I am not too sure.. I feel there are some great and amazing makeup in drugstore as well as high end.

    1. Hi Fiona, I would agree. I gave an example of Lakme as a drugstore brand and not as an Indian brand. And that way. Maybelline, Rimmel and even Essence ( which are not Indian ant not drugstore brands) are in my radar. I choose them because they suit my pocket and not just because they are 'international'. That is what I tried to mean if you see. :) It's not Indian brands Vs International and I agree with you on affordability which I covered in the section ' What about my international hauls'
      And about base, I completely see you eye to eye on this. Lakme ought to be bashed. :P
      At the end, if you go through the post once again, I think I pretty much said what you said. :D

  11. personally i believe in going for the product which works on me and going with that theme i would never try anything from lakme on my face because all of their face products broke me out terribly ....so at the end i guess its about the quality which comes to me first than which brand ....if drugstore can offer the same quality as high end ......guess all of us will buy drugstore or if u can splurge u choose high end ...its at the end of the day personal choice on what works best and what u can afford...
    its also individual choices and I would not be ashamed to say i like high-end brands ....why not right :)...Personally i should feel convinced abt my purchases which Im ...that does not mean I will not try Indian/Drugstore brands i will if they can offer me the same quality without affecting my skin -Im game to try ....this also means for the sake of trying drugstore brands i will effect my skin ......:)))))

    1. *I will not effect my skin :))

    2. Exactly. This is what I meant. I don;t see anything wrong with indulging in high end products and of course, if a product does not suit you, why would you buy that? At the same time, I am equally convinced there are also plenty of products which might suit you and it might not require you to break the bank either.
      I feel indulging in high end brand for the feel of it is alright. But buying just to 'brag about it to people' around oneself is silly. I mean look at the purpose. if you are doing it to make yourself happy is alright, but if you are doing it to show off , IMO that's stupid.

    3. and Nive if u look at from a person who does not like make-up at all (not us obviously)...for em whatever we r doing looks like stupidity ...they never connect with what we r trying to do anyways :P .....so its at the end what we like :) ....

    4. I think you missed the point of what I have been trying to make. :)

  12. I agree with your views... Superb Posts

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  14. Awesome Post !! Totally agree with you on this..even though I would like to stick to the drugstore brands due to budget constraints..yet love to have some goodies from the high end brands once in a while..just for the sake of hoarding/bragging/ some kinda of treating ourselves :)


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