As a teenager, I had an Aunt who was a makeup artist. I remember her taking me aside one day and giving me a little Caboodles box and filling it with what were probably her old samples of stuff from work – but I distinctly remember being given a Lancôme eyeliner pencil in a surprisingly flattering banana color. When she gave it to me, she told me I could just go to the drugstore and buy L’Oréal’s eyeliner in a pretty close shade for something within my teenager’s budget.
While I didn’t realize it at the time, my Aunt had just let me in on one of the worst-kept secrets in the beauty/fashion industry… Huge multi-national conglomerates own many of the smaller fashion/makeup/accessoriy brand companies and they tend to share their technologies, secrets and formulas between the expensive brands and cheaper ones. The expensive brands will tend to use a higher quality ingredient or have a unique element to them, but if you’re on a budget this is one easy area to save. I thought I’d share with you three of my favorite “Luxe for Less” brands of brands owned by the same company selling virtually identical products under different banners:
- Save money by purchasing L’Oréal products if you love Lancôme as they are owned by the same company. Think of them as the same thing but with one having fancier packaging and being sold at Department stores versus drugstores. Many makeup sites (such as this one) will tell you all about how the ingredients are largely the same, just one line caters to a higher clientele. So if the packaging and customer experience matters to you, check out Lancôme. Otherwise, like us, check out L’Oréal’s line to save some pennies. One example? Lancôme‘s Color Fever Gloss (around $26) is pretty much the same thing as L’Oréal’s Color Riche Gloss (around $8-10) for a fraction of the cost.
- Luxxotica makes sunglasses for some of the world’s top luxury brands: Chanel, Prada, Armani, Tiffany & Co., Burberry… But they also own and produce them for Vogue Eyewear. While they won’t have the interlocking C’s or the Italian Prada logo, Vogue does have a stylish new face of the brand (Eva Mendes) and the glasses will be made from essentially the same materials and often using the same machines on different days. At the rate that I seem remarkably able to destroy sunglasses, a way of saving on everyday pairs is a very welcome suggestion.
- Badgeley Mischka, Tadashi Shoji and J.Mendel have some stunning costume jewellery on display during their runway shows, but if you’re anything like me it kills you to pay high prices for stuff that’s not even “real” jewels. Luckily for us, a little website called Sequin-NYC.com sells pretty pieces – and they make the jewels for the designers! Another great way to get similar pieces made with the same craftsmanship as the runway pieces well within a budget.
So if you’re not all that interested in the brand name attached to things and are willing to do a little research, there are some deals to be found – and within the same (luxury brand) family.