Some time a couple of weeks ago, I was looking up the price of Hydraluron serum and I noticed that it was now RM109 as opposed to RM80 back in December 2013 when I first used it. Now, I am quite aware that a price increase over time is inevitable, and in the big scheme of things, considering the price of skincare these days, RM109 is still fairly affordable. But at a RM29 price hike, that is an over 36% increase, not including the 6% GST (Goods and Services Tax) to be levied.
It’s not just Hydraluron that’s gone up in price. Since I started this blogging lark, a lot of prices of beauty products have slowly creeped up over the years and what was expensive back then is astronomical now, and what was “quite expensive” then would be considered “luxurious” now.
And I just wondered how it has affected you, as the consumer? Have you noticed this slow creep of upward prices and does it influence your beauty spending?
I’ve actually cut back a lot on my beauty spending since the year began. Not so much because of the impending imposition of GST here, but mostly because I felt that I was drowning in too much. Yes, apparently there can be too much of a good thing! LOL! :D
For me however, it was more of a quantity rather than price issue, because I noticed that for the past 2 years, I do most of my beauty spending online. Sometimes, it’s not because they are always cheaper, or because I’m unsupportive of local economy, it was because I just did not have the time to go out to the malls and trawl the counters. There are not many local online etailers that are reputable nor carry the items I want, much to my surprise.
But it hasn’t stopped me noticing the upward trend of prices of makeup and skincare products globally. These days, I’d be hard-pressed to find a good facial moisturiser for under RM100 or a good antiaging serum for under RM200. Yes, I can go to the pharmacy (drugstore) but my skin doesn’t take kindly to pharmacy brand skincare. If you can handle it, kudos! I place great emphasis on skincare so I splurge and it’s actually getting harder to justify that splurge.
When it comes to makeup, I’ve noticed that most department store lipstick now cost upwards of RM100, when previously I could pick one up for less than that. Eyeshadow palettes now inch towards and surpass the RM200 mark and you can barely find anything to buy under RM100 at luxury brands like Dior and Chanel and Guerlain. Estee Lauder lipsticks used to be RM80 just a year ago and the new ones will be RM102 soon. Luxury brands like SK-II, La Mer and Cle de Peau, which belong in their own stratosphere, too have gone up significantly in price over the years.
Even at the pharmacy, prices have gone up. 7 years ago, I wrote a post about buying a whole face of makeup for RM200 or less. Today, I’d be hard-pressed to repeat this feat unless I go for brands like Essence or Catrice; not awful brands by any stretch of imagination, but they’re not the more established L’Oreal or Maybelline or Bourjois. Maybe I should repeat this experiment just for larks eh? :D
This is just a cross-section of the price increases I’ve been noticing over the years. As I said, rising prices are inevitable. Cost of ingredients go up, so does marketing and advertising costs and in the case of luxury brands, the need to retain the image of luxury; hence the astronomical prices. But for the consumer, it does impact our beauty budgets, because income levels rarely go up as quickly as prices.
I like my luxury but I sometimes feel it’s all too much. So I’ve actually consciously cut back. Part of the reason as I’ve said, is the quantity. The other part is because I can’t bring myself to pay some of the asking prices anymore. Well, not for a mere “I’ll just test this new lipstick/ eyeshadow/blush etc for the blog in 5 different colours” If I have the opportunity to try it, great. If I don’t, c’est la vie.
Also, when an eyeshadow palette now costs RM200 I think “It better be worth RM200 because I could buy a month’s fresh groceries with that money!” Well, ok maybe not a month – groceries have gone up in price too!
Perhaps my priorities are changing, or I’m just getting more discerning, or perhaps also a little jaded. I know it’s awkward for me to say so, especially because I’m holding myself out as a beauty blogger with a “duty” to share my thoughts on new products, but that’s the truth. Rising prices of beauty products do impact my beauty spending habits and I’d like to think, in a good way, for I no longer spend willy nilly but am more discerning and picky about my beauty buys :)
Are you affected by the rising prices of beauty products? Are you cutting or controlling your beauty spending?
I’m curious, because as in my Hydraluron example above, we’re talking a 36% increase in price. RM80 was a reasonable price to pay and while RM109 isn’t exactly unreasonable, RM29 does make a significant dent in the wallet. It means RM29 you have to divert away from buying something else, and while again, it’s not that much in the big scheme of things, it’s still money that’s hard-earned. So, how are you managing your beauty spending amidst rising prices?