Lisa Eldridge recently launched a line of three red lipsticks in a "true velvet" finish. Not surprisingly, some people saw "red" and "velvet finish" and rightly assumed I'd be interested in these lipsticks. I've been eyeing these since they were announced, and I'm even more intrigued now that a Reddit user has posted a macro shot of her bullet's unique texture.
But no, I won't be buying them any time soon.
Truth be told, part of my reasoning is that I own more red lipstick than any one person should. I've tried just about every red Besame has produced and own a solid 75% of them, I decided to buy my first Pat McGrath lipstick in a red shade on Black Friday...really, I need another red like I need a hole in the head. But more than that, the price is too far beyond my "okay I'm comfortable with that" ceiling.
The Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lipsticks are £26 each. At the current exchange rate, that's roughly $33.34. Add to that the shipping costs (since my broke ass would likely purchase just one tube), and the total price comes to £34.50, or $44.24. And I just can't stomach anything over $25 for a single lipstick.
Which got me wondering: how did I come up with that number? What you consider "too expensive" obviously varies from person to person, after all--this isn't universal. To some people, $25 is cheap for a good lipstick, while others think anything over $10 a tube is ludicrously expensive.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my personal "price ceiling" is decided by my favorite products. Let's look at lipsticks as an example: Besame makes my favorites, and they're usually $22 per tube. Not surprisingly, most of the lipsticks I buy are in the $18-$25 range. Anything more expensive than that immediately makes me go, "Ehhhh, is it worth it? Probably not." Heck, I wouldn't buy that Pat McGrath lipstick until it went on sale for $26 because the usual $38 makes me "NOPE" right off the webpage. $38? Nyoooo. $26? Sure, no problem; that seems reasonable.
I went through my collection to confirm my theory, and yep, it's pretty much completely accurate. My favorite foundations are $30 and $39; I don't get squirrelly about foundation prices until we hit the $45-a-tube mark. The Shu Uemura Hard Formula pencil and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz are $25 each, which is my max for most brow products. $38 for a Charlotte Tilbury highlighter almost killed me because I'm so used to spend $25 or less for my other favorites. So on and so forth, the formula holds pretty well through my entire collection.
My ceiling is also greatly impacted by my career. As somebody who has worked at least two part time jobs for years, always making less than she was worth, I'm very leery about tossing my money around and will wait for months for a sale. Now that one of my jobs has made some odd changes to my schedule, I'm even more cautious about spending my paycheck. I've actually gotten to this point where I think of products in terms of hours worked, e.g., "That Lisa Eldridge lipstick costs X hours of work. Is it worth that much of my time and effort?"
So I'm curious: what is your price ceiling, and what decides it for you? What impacts that ceiling--for instance, would you pay more for a Lisa Eldridge lipstick because it seems unique, or less for a mascara because it should be tossed after 6 months?