Get quality beauty products on a budget

HOUSTON When it comes to makeup, there's a common misconception -- if it's expensive, it must be really good.

"One of the things that drive the price of the product, of course, is the marketing. That's the number one thing," beauty expert Rachel Gower said.

Gower, owner of the Upper Hand Salon, says you can find budget-friendly products that have the exact same ingredients as their expensive counterparts. In many cases, it's even the same manufacturer!

Here's an example: L'Oreal's color-juice lip gloss and Lancome's juicy tubes.

"It's the same company, offering the same product, at two different price points and two different locations," Gowen said.

You'll find Lancome's juicy tubes for $18 at the department store, while L'Oreal's lip gloss is $5 at the drug store.

When it comes to nail polish, many women say they can't live without Chanel's nail lacquer.

But when compared to Sally Hansen's all-in-one quick drying polish, how did the Chanel stack up?

"I prefer the Sally Hansen. I think it lasts longer on me because it has a built-in base coat. It has a built-in top coat and fits my lifestyle," Gower said.

And what a price difference! Chanel's polish is $24. Sally Hansen's is $5!

There are plenty of teeth whitening products on the market these days.

Go Smile's system is known as one of the best, but it'll set you back $89.

Gowen prefers a much cheaper product called Luster Teeth.

"You can get a very similar system with the same active ingredients at your local drugstore for about $16," she said.

Spring is here and if you want to add a little color to your skin, Clarins self-tanner is known as the gold standard in the industry.

"It is a beautiful, wonderful, creamy, rich product that uses cacao," Gowen said.

But it's $45!

So Gowen recommends this alternative self-tanner, "L'Oreal sublime," and it's only $8.

Ever heard of the skin cream called Creme de la Mer? Celebrities swear by it, but it's $130 an ounce!

But there's an alternative. A one-ounce jar of Jan Marini is $78. It's still expensive, but $50 cheaper than the Creme de la Mer, and Gowen says it produces similar results.


Splurge vs. Steal Beauty products

Crème de La Mer - $130 vs. Jan Marini - $78

YSL Touche Eclat - $40 vs. Jane Iredale Active Light - $27

Nail Polish
Chanel Nail Lacquer - $24 vs. Sally Hansen's All-In-One - $5

Self Tanner
Clarins Self Tanner - $45 vs. L'Oreal Sublime - $8

Lip Gloss
Lancome Juicy Tubes - $18 vs. L'Oreal Color Juice - $5

Teeth Whitening Systems
Go Smile - $89 vs. Luster Teeth - $16

Liquid Liners
YSL Easy Liner - $27 vs. Paladio - $8

Lancome Vibrating Wand - $48 vs. Maybelline Pulse Perfection - $8
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