Gianna Banish
Final Paper Draft
Finding Bad FSEM
The Effect of Quality on Prices and Ratings of Makeup Foundations
The United States Cosmetics and Makeup industry is considered “the most valuable beauty personal care market in the world,” generating close to eighty-four billion dollars in 2016 (Duncan, 2016). Foundation sales generated nearly one-hundred and fifty-six million dollars of total income for the industry. It is the premise of a makeup look because it holds it all together. It is similar to the foundation of a home, you need to have one to build upon, and a simple mistake can ruin the entire look of a house. Applying foundation makes it easier to layer on products like highlighter and contour, and for them to be applied smoothly and to adhere for longer. It is used to cover imperfections on the face and to even skin tones. It also helps protect from sun damage because you can achieve a tan without laying out and absorbing the sun’s harmful rays. Some even contain SPF to protect the face while in the sun. There are close to ten different types of foundations such as cream and powder, but this research will focus on liquid foundations. When picking a liquid foundation, you must keep in mind that they can have many different purposes. There are foundations made for dry skin, oily skin, and normal skin. If you have dry skin, you should choose one that is hydrating and will moisturize your skin, or you may have cracks in the foundation. If you have oily skin, you may want to choose a matte foundation because it will help make the oily areas look less glossy. People with normal skin can choose either or one that indicates it is made for normal skin.
I chose makeup products as my topic because I am a strong makeup enthusiast. I am very passionate about makeup, I feel that it is a way of expression and a way to make yourself feel even more beautiful. If someone has a scar that they are apprehensive about, they can lessen their insecurity by covering it and making it disappear. I love all types of makeup from lipsticks to highlighters, but in my opinion, foundation is the most important type of makeup there is. It is the base of your entire look, so it is fundamental that you use a high-quality product, or your entire look will be ruined. There are so many kinds of foundations and a lot of them are unflattering or do damage to the skin. Many women experience breakouts and acne after using comedogenic products. This happens because makeup clogs your pores and can cause bacteria build-up. Breakouts caused by makeup is so common that is has its own name. It is referred to as “acne cosmetica” by dermatologists and is seen mostly in the cheek and chin areas. To avoid this, you can use a water-based foundation opposed to an oil base foundation, because oil clogs pores and irritates skin. It is also helpful to steer clear of fragrance infused products.
They are the most personalized product because you must match it to your skin tone and skin type. Anyone can recreate an eyeshadow look, but not many will be able to match your skin exactly. Many colored women run into the problem of foundations not having enough range for them to find their match. Some companies only have eight colors to choose from, and others have forty or more. People are more likely to gravitate toward the one with more options because they are more likely to find their perfect match. There is an overall understanding that you pay more for higher quality in the makeup industry. When items are highly priced, one assumes that it’s quality is promised to match the pricing. Foundations range from hundreds of dollars to less than ten. Many more people would rather pay thirty to fifty dollars for a foundation that makes them look amazing by hiding every flaw, than to buy one that is cheaper and unflattering.
Ratings by customers are the best way to categorize the good and the bad because they rate on their experience with the products and on whether the product delivered the quality that they expected. Ratings can come in the form of written reviews, stars, and YouTube videos. The “good” products will be those that have a rating of 3.6 stars or above. A good product should be able to grant full, long-lasting coverage without causing damage to the face. Damage entails clogged pores, acne, rashes and breakouts that occur after application. I expect there will be correlation between prices and ratings and quality on the items because the quality will depend on the price and the quality would influence the ratings. In saying this, I expect that the higher priced items will have better quality and that would make the ratings higher as well. I expect this because the ratings are based on the quality of the foundation, which would make their foundations the overall “good” products. The pros that people voted on were whether the foundation is blend-able, is easy to apply, lightweight, and has good pigmentation. The “bad” products will be those that have ratings of 3.5 stars or below. They will have poor coverage, and cause more acne or breakouts than the good. The “bad” products will also be the lower priced products, also referred to as the cheap products, because their quality will not meet the competitions standards. The cons people voted on are that it doesn’t stay on, it is difficult to apply, has poor coverage, and it is too greasy and heavy. If there is a choice between a five-star foundation and a one-star foundation at the same price, buyers will always choose the higher rated because it is assumed to have better quality. But, since they are not the same prices people end up spending twenty or more dollars for the highest quality makeup.
The star rating is accompanied by a personal comment from each rater that gives a better understanding of what one can expect from the product. Companies that are associated with luxury like Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, and Marc Jacobs can sell their products for a higher amount that regular brand names like ELF and Maybelline because they are known to have very high quality. The may not have started out with makeup, many high fashion labels started with clothes and then branched out, but everything the sell is luxurious and expensive. You are paying for the name of that high fashion designer. The reason they can sell at a higher price is because they invested in their brand and have established over time that they make high quality products that have always sold at high prices.
An allure best of beauty award winner, Giorgio Armani’s “Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25,” has a rating of 4.6 stars on the companies website. It costs sixty-four dollars. A five-star review reads, “I purchased this foundation for prom night in particular, and it wore beautifully throughout the night” (Sephora) She also emphasizes that it stayed intact through sweating and dancing throughout the night, and that it had full coverage. She even goes on to say that she receives compliments on her skin while wearing the foundation. Someone reading this will be more persuaded to buy the product because of the glowing review it received. The same way that someone reading a negative review would cause them to doubt the quality of the product and think twice about purchasing it for themselves. A one-star review of the same product reads, “coverage is not that great, and it made me break out” (Sephora) She explains that the product is oxidized, which means that the foundation turns darker when reacting with oxygen. This can cause your foundation to become darker with the more oxygen that it reacts with and it will no longer match your skin tone. She also adds that it is not buildable and did not work for her at all. Someone seeing this review may question the product best s quality, but because two-hundred and seventy-five more people gave the product five stars with positive reviews rather than one star with negative reviews, people will believe the majority when they say that the foundation is worth buying.
If we cannot differentiate good foundations from bad ones, then there are a number of things that could happen. The first being that if we have mistakenly correlated better quality with higher pricing, then we could be overpaying for good quality. If an eight-dollar foundation has just as good as quality of a sixty-four-dollar foundation, then why are people paying fifty-six extra dollars for the same quality. If the average quality is higher than price, then there will be more demand for the product. Secondly, people would become skeptical of the products average quality if there was no way of differentiating between good and bad and prices would drop. If the market is filled with bad products the supply increases, but inversely the prices and quality would drop. A foundation that costs one dollar, would people buy it? No, because the price is so low that it makes the quality questionable.
My hypothesis is that higher rated foundations based on reviews will also be higher priced. They will also- offer more coverage and look better on the skin- have better quality. Correlation is a measure of the direction and strength of the linear relationships between two quantitative variables. The two quantitative variables I used to test my argument are the prices and ratings of the foundations. I found both the reviews and the prices on Sephora and Ulta’s websites, they were compiled based on the average of all the ratings received on a scale of one to five stars. No foundations that I researched received less than a 3.5 star rating, so I made that the high point for bad products, and made the good foundations 3.6 and up. Some foundations had fifty ratings while others have over a thousand. There is no correlation between the variables. My hypothesis is not supported because my p value us higher than 0.05. there is no relationship between prices, ratings, and qualities of different foundations.
In conclusion, my hypothesis is not supported by the data. Possibly because everyone has a different skin type and each foundation will not cater to each specific skin type. Foundations that have full coverage, are applied smoothly, goes on smoothly, and it blends well. Even though people prefer full coverage foundation, they do not like when it looks cakey. A brand, like Giorgio Armani, who has a reputation of high quality products will sell them at higher prices because people are aware of their reputation. A less known brand is not able to sell their products at high prices because no one knows about their quality. So, their prices are low because they are trying to attract customers by being affordable. In all, that method is flawed because people are likely to equate the monetary value of a product with the quality value. They assume that they are paying for quality. When they pay more they will have higher quality product. If a foundation is sold at a drugstore or grocery store opposed to a beauty store, then people generally view its quality to be lower because it is cheaper and is sold in a place that carries more than just beauty products. However, beauty stores specialize in carrying only beauty products, so people assume they have better products. If a Giorgio Armani foundation prices dropped, people would continue purchase it because the quality would remain the same. Now they are paying less for the highest quality and the demand would increase. Inversely, if the price of an ELF foundation dropped, people would not purchase it because the quality is still not good. The lower the price a product is, the lower the quality is assumed to be. These assumptions may always be in place and that will lead for people overpaying for foundation quality that they can achieve at a much lower price.

Works Cited
Cosmetics, Beauty Products, Fragrances & Tools | Sephora. (n.d.). Retrieved Novermber 20, 2017, from
Cosmetics, Fragrances, Skincare and Beauty Gifts | Ulta Beauty. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from
Duncan, E. (2016). Topic: Cosmetics Industry in the U.S. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from