5 January 2011

The Makeup Size Swizz

I think it's fair to say most of us don't look at the volume of product in cosmetics before we buy or if we do, it doesn't sway if we purchase the product or not - most of the time. 

I know from personal experience my eyes only seem to notice the amount if I'm getting more product than I expected there to be - like the Bourjois Bronzing Powder at 16.5g. 
However my eyes far from lit up when I happened to notice the measly amount that is in the YSL Easy Liner For Eyes, a teeny tiny 0.6ml for £22 (yes that's £3.66 per 0.1ml of product)! 
Yet annoyingly Yves Saint Laurent L'Eyeliner  a very similar product (again priced at £22) contains 3ml of product.

Which got me thinking if other products varied so much...

All the above blush/bronzers all come in at around the £6 mark, yet one powder can give four times the amount of product than the other!

But I also found like YSL that other brands provide similar products with very different amounts. 

With Bourjois I guess it's harder to compare as one is liquid and the other is a pressed eyeshadow, however per use I'd say I use exactly the same amount for both - as with the liquid eyeshadow I need the smallest of amounts, so it works out about the same. So I'm sure I will be hitting the pan of the Bourjois little pot before I'm scooping out the last of the liquid eyeshadow. 
Ofcourse this all depends on which type of product you prefer to use - Personally I like both products so would now consider purchasing more Bourjois Shimmering Shine liquid eyeshadows before the Ombre a paupieres eyeshadow pots

I've also noticed alot of packaging can be quite deceptive especially when it comes to the use of thick plastic or glass. It seems to be most common with gel eyeliner pots and lip gloss, the plastic/glass is made thicker than normal which creates a magnifying effect of the product inside. 

Which is why a Barry M Lip Gloss tube can look so similar in size to another standard size lip gloss, yet contains alot less in the way of volume.

I did expect the Barry M gloss to be a little less than the Natural Collection lip gloss thinking around 5 millilitres or so, but 3ml does seem a little on the low side.
However it was also nice to see more than generous amounts in some of the products in my makeup collection, like the Bourjois Bronzing & Highlighting powders and the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

 I guess most of the time looking at the volume won't stop me from buying a product, however I now feel I could be swayed to try a similar product if the amount was alot higher in that product. 

However I definitely will be looking more closely at higher end products to see if it is in fact worth the money! 



  1. Thanks for pointing this out! It's nice to be reminded to have a little look at how much you are getting for your money, I never really look at that! Now I can see why I haven't even made a dent in my Bourjois Bronzing powder, I have had it for 4 years (opps) and it's still going strong! xx

  2. wow great post, i hardly ever look at the amount i am getting in the product. I just buy it without thinking..I will look more closely in the future!!

    thanks xox

  3. i usually notice this with moisturizers. you find that the tub itself looks like a good amount and yet you open it and find there's actually a few mm's of solid plastic all around it; therefore: you get less product than you think you are.

    at this point, i'm probably so jaded about it that it doesn't bother me anymore :p. unless, of course, i find myself looking at a 0.6ml product that costs £22... even if it is YSL.

  4. It's not something I generally pick up on while shopping (I look at this more with skin/bodycare) but I have noticed when I get home and look properly. On one occasion the higher end product was better value then drugstore. I agree about lipglosses especially being very deceptive.

  5. Really interesting, thanks! :) xx

  6. I noticed that the YSL Rouge Pur lipsticks are tiny when I splashed out on mine. I never realised until I bought it and that was £22. I wish I never bought it. It's tiny!

  7. This drives me mental - like Rimmel nail varnishes seem like good value, but you get half the amount you'd get in a China Glaze bottle, so if it was actually measured ml for ml the China Glze works out better value.

    I agree with the gripe about misleading packaging too - Clinique are a nightmare for this!


  8. genius post, I think make-up junkies need to familiarise themselves with this. Some products are so misleading :/
    I admit it's not something I tend to pay attention to; if the product is of outstanding quality (pigmentation, staying power and as limited chemicals as possible) I suppose I wouldn't mind the amount as much. But then again very rarely do I find such products lol.

  9. this is such a great post :). I have never really looked at it that way but def will now!

    I used to use benefit hello flawless and avoided mac msf because I thought it would be so expensive. In reality you got so much more product from mac for a lot cheaper.


  10. Too true - Dazzleglasses and the like Waaaaaaaaaaay less then regular glosses! x

  11. Good point well made. Worse still if you multiply up that ruinious YSL eyeliner price per 100g it makes you realise just what an expensive product it is comparatively - £300+ worth of eyeliner anyone?!

  12. Great post- I know it varies a lot and I have noticed it with some of my own products but not between the same rnge that YSL comparison, that's just crazy.

  13. Thats really interesting, I'd never even thought about it before! xx

  14. Fab post! I have that YSL liner aswell never looked at the amaount b4 what a rip off! x

  15. This is a brilliant post, thanks! I definitely never look at amounts for makeup which is so strange because I do it for absolutely everything else! x

  16. Great post, i never look at the volume and i think i really should.

  17. Very useful information! :-)

  18. Great post, I have never take any notice of volume before!


  19. Great post. I mentioned something along the same lines about a very expensive eyeshadow which turned out to be not only more expensive than other eyeshadows but also about half the size. It made it a whopping £26.67 per gram if you bought the pot version. I know that less frequently equates to less wasteful but it certainly doesn't mean value for money!!
    Jane x

  20. I was just thinking about this since I'm thinking about buying a new eyeshadow primer. I was comparing my lip balms the other day, and my c.o. bigelow rose salve has like 5x more product than my burt's bees lip balm! So crazy.

  21. I notice the amount of product you get and this has stopped me from purchasing before. I've just bought a Barry M lip gloss wand but that is because it was on sale for £3.85 with an eyeliner pen. I haven't bought the lip gloss before and I doubt I will because of the amount of product.

  22. Its funny because we take such an interest in perfume sizes, but like you say not make-up! I was had terrible buyers guilt after purchasing the Chanel cream bronzer, but the amount of product and quality vs price works out to be very good! Considering i use it even day, and have done since August,i haven't even dented the amount!

    Great post fee xxx

  23. Brilliant post! I only tend to compare size when I'm considering a high end cosmetic purchase, but not very much for drugstore products. I never realised there was such a variation, even within brands! x

  24. You made me laugh - my sister and I always get teased by my hubby for scrutinising nearly every product in the supermarket for the cheapest by 100g/1kg etc. I can't trust The Hubby to go and get something coz I know he'll just grab whatever's on offer whereas I work out what's cheaper in the long run. Yes, even on toilet roll. I'm THAT bad!

    But I don't think I've given it a second thought when it's come to makeup! Great post!


  25. Helpful post as always - I try to look at makeup a bit like cost per wear with clothes and the most expensive bit of kit is the one that sits in the makeup bag not being used, and how many products do I have like that??? Too many to mention! Thanks for this Fee and happy new year Jan x

  26. Great post Fee.
    Will definitely be thinking about this when I next decide to try something different.
    It's strange because the majority of us do it in the supermarket with food so why not makeup?
    Ain't we strange :-S

  27. it's funny that you mention this because I always check product size. I don't care about size when I know something works very well, but if I'm trying something new I do a size/price check :)

  28. Wow. I've never actually thought about that!

  29. I have found Benefit Cosmetics products to be disappointing as hell! Granted, I don't use too many high-end products, but having my powder foundation and cream concealer hit the botton of the pan in a mere two months (max) is ridiculous, especially when neither product is marvellous.

  30. @Mariko - It's strange that you should mention Benefit products as I was thinking the exact thing whilst writing this post..but decided not to mention it for some reason!

    I remember purchasing a cream foundation afew years ago (think it was called Hello Flawless) it was quite a good foundation...except for it only being a month before I 'hit pan' from using it daily...really was shocked so looked at the product amount on the back and it made sense...it was only afew grams. Which for a face product was really surprising!

    Thanks for the comment by the way ;)

    Fee x

  31. Yes, I meant Hello Flawless! It's good, but it ran out too fast for its price. Never again for me. And the concealer is boi-ing - although I might have hit pan very quickly because I was using a lot everyday.

  32. Great post! And comments are interesting to read as well.
    I actually look for amount of foundation and powder, and also for other products, when I start to hesitate what to choose. Sometimes I pick the product which is more expensive per amount silently hoping that it would work better. *giggling by myself how silly one can be*
    And I check amount of nail polish, always.
    Also as far as I remember myself I try to avoid 10 ml or bigger lip glosses, because I'm lipstick girl and I see no way how to use up such big amount.

  33. Thank you so much for the brilliant post! I'll definitely be looking at the amount of product that I can get for my money.

    I'm so glad you involved the Urban Decay Primer Potion - I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over this for a while but now I know it's worth the money I'll be picking one up as soon as I can!


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