One thing you notice when you work in the professional beauty industry is the distinct increase in the price of everything. So, is paying professional prices worth the money, or is the cotton wool being pulled over your eyes?
The first thing to take into account is the fact that swapping from your supermarket face cream to the latest innovation from a cutting edge brand will always bring about a sharp intake of breath. There is sure to be a significant mark-up, but is it worth the extra?
The simple answer is yes, sometimes. When you buy from a salon or spa you are not only paying for the product, but also the expertise of your beauty therapist. After a treatment, your therapist can advise you what will suit your skin best and target any problem areas. This is not only true of your first treatment, but also ongoing. We are all guilty of choosing our favourite product and sticking with it for decades, but this is not necessarily a sensible approach. As the products take effect, your skin type will change and you may have to update your products. Your therapist can identify this for you and guide you towards the best options.
We have all seen the celebrity laden adverts for skincare which promise the earth and throw in ‘the science part’ just to convince you. Whilst every brand will contain these mystery ingredients, it is the professional ones which will have the greatest concentration of them. You will notice the difference the first time you use them, as a little goes a long way. Cheaper brands will often be watered down in some way, so whilst the professional products seem expensive, each tube or pot or will last you much longer than normal.
Be warned though, your beauty therapist might have an ulterior motive when they recommend sixteen different products to target that dry spot under your eyes. Big skincare houses now insist on minimum orders from salons that they find impossible to recoup and therefore feel obliged to try and retail more products. Instead, ask for samples of the products they suggest, which they should be able to give you, go home and try them for yourself. That way you will know which item is worth spending your hard earned money on.
The one place I feel that professional products do not live up to their price tag is nails. I have a special talent for chipping nail polish. Within minutes of them drying they have large chunks missing and I haven’t even moved! I have only ever used cheap polishes and so when I got the opportunity to try a premium brand I jumped at the chance. After never spending more than a few pounds on a polish, I was convinced that the £18 big name was sure to stay put. How wrong can you be? Whilst it was nicer to apply, no amount of preparation, basecoat, top coat and expensive polish was going to make it stay put any longer.
The moral to this tale? Try before you buy. Test the products you are advised to use and then think of your subsequent purchase as an investment. Look at the product and ask yourself if it can really have anything different. If you are doubtful, it’s probably for a good reason.