Testing brand name beauty goods

November 11, 2008 5:24:05 PM PST
Many women are willing to pay a pretty penny to look their best. While the beauty industry normally fares well during tough economic times, this year, sales are sagging. You can save money on the beauty products you love simply by switching from the national brand to the store brand. You might think the quality is not the same, but with some products, our women testers couldn't tell the difference.

Janet Carley always picks up name brand beauty products. Like many women she worries switching products may do more harm than good.

"I guess sometimes you just hate to change because it's doing OK, and then it gets expensive if you change and you don't like it. Then you have this whole bag of stuff," she said.

But after testing the Dove body wash and Walgreens' version, Carley reported back.

"Really I couldn't, I really couldn't tell the difference," she admitted.

But Carley noticed the difference in the price. The Dove body wash costs $9.49. The store brand was just $5.29. That's a savings of $4.20!

Over at CVS Pharmacy, we pick up L'Oreal's collagen filler for $19.99. The CVS store brand costs $15.99. That's another savings of four bucks.

We also pick up Oil of Olay face cream for $6.99 and compare that to the CVS brand for $6.49. This time we only save 50 cents. For Laura Murphy, that's not enough to go generic. She'll stick to the brands she know.

"There is still that stigma that you think it will work better," she said.

At Target we pick up Ponds make-up remover towelettes for $5.19 and the store brand for $3.45. We also buy L'Oreal's eye make-up remover for $5.49 and the Target brand for $3.98. This time make-up expert Sandra Castillo tests the products on my face. Without her knowledge, Castillo first tries the Ponds cloth on the right side of my face, then cleans the other side with the store brand.

"I feel like this one is taking your makeup off a lot quicker," she commented.

Castillo prefers the Target brand over the national brand. Next she tests the eye make-up remover and notices a big difference.

She noted, "The second one is making it tougher to take off the eye liner."

Castillo found the L'Oreal eye make-up remover worked better than the Target brand. She wasn't the only tester who preferred the name brand over the store brand. At Walgreen's Claudia Morales tested the Aveeno lotion for $6.79 versus the store brand for $5.99. Morales normally buys generic, but after seeing the results...

"I would go for the national brand," Morales decided. "When it comes to certain things, if I can see the difference then I will (spend the money)."

Bottom line -- some products are worth it, but others are not. But by switching to generic brands on six products we saved $12.75.

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