Beauty Comes at a Price: Make-Up Prices are on the Rise

Erin Holley investigates the reasons behind why some of our favourite make-up products are costing more than they used to.

Erin Holley
19th February 2018
Image Credit: @anastasiabeverlyhills (Instagram)

Spikes in make-up prices are often unexpected and frustrating to consumers. When it comes to high-end cosmetics that are already pricey, we could all do without the additional bump up.

Make-up lovers were taken aback when one of the best companies for brow products, Anastasia Beverly Hills, ratcheted up the prices of their massively popular dip-brow. Many customers have expressed their annoyance and disappointment as they found that the product was no longer ‘affordable’, forcing customers to shop for certain beauty products elsewhere. Companies such as MAC annually increase the price of their make-up as they are a subsidiary company owned by Estee Lauder and therefore are obligated to follow certain guidelines set out for them. However, in the US this increase has been noted to be around $0.50, unlike the £8 price jump of the ABH Brow Definer from £16 to £24. This came after Anastasia Beverly Hills reportedly told UK sellers such as Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty to increase their prices, as the UK ABH website was increasing their prices. Customers remain mystified as to the cause for such a sharp mark-up in price, and as the company has not publicly announced anything regarding their price increase, it seems ABH lovers are just going to have to speculate and splash out for their favourite items.

The US dollar to GB pound exchange rate is a key dimension of price increases and can often cause customers buying in the UK to lose out financially, more so than buyers in the US. Yet, the fact that the exchange rate could cause such a significant price increase is still being debated. The increase in RRP could perhaps have something to do with the brand’s cult popularity status, with a plethora of celebrity users such as Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Ashley Tisdale and many other influential individuals. Celebrities attract a great deal of media attention, particularly from women’s fashion and beauty magazines, and this can work almost as free advertising for a company such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, as readers are more likely to buy a product that is an essential of a favourite celebrity of theirs.

High-end products are often a favourite of social media make-up gurus like Carli Bybel, NikkieTutorials and Jeffree Star can often be seen using make-up brands such as Urban Decay, ABH, MakeUp Forever, Tarte and many more. This exposure of high-end products in their videos can lead to an increase in sales, and as the product gets more popular, the company behind it has more incentive to increase the price due to the high demand (as was the case with Urban Decay and their bestselling setting sprays).

Some cosmetic companies consciously change the prices of their products (more often higher than lower) to prevent what is known as fixed-pricing. In some areas, this is illegal as it can be damaging to the growth of an economy. Yet these changes usually go unnoticed remaining under £1 in most cases, to avoid what Anastasia Beverly Hills is now having to deal with - a sudden loss of customers who simply cannot afford to buy their products on a regular basis as they did before the price increase. It is unlikely that price increases of make-up are going to be a one-off thing, as every year more and more people are contributing towards a booming beauty industry. However, there are many different dupes to replace any essential cosmetic, that are often cheaper and almost identical to the high-end original, so you will never have to be without your favourite items.

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