A girl can never have too many lipsticks….

I love beauty products. Nail polish, lipsticks, eye shadows, hair treatments, face masks….the list goes on and on.

I used to enjoy wandering the aisles of Priceline or long visits to the beauty department in David Jones…but now these trips just seem to end in one big headache, and it’s not from trying on too many different perfumes.

When did there become so much choice? So many brands, so many colours, so many scents and so many promises that everything will make me beautiful? It is a consumer nightmare!

Over the years product line extension in the cosmetic industry seems to have grown and grown and GROWN.

If we take a look at two key players in the cosmetic industry we can see the evolution of this trend unfolding

“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s MAYBELLINE”

The first ever mascara released by MAYBELLINE was the Cake Mascara which was sold exclusively by mail in 1917 and not offered in store until 1932.

A waterproof product, Ultra Lash Mascara, was later introduced in the early 1960’s and their most popular product to date, Great Lash Mascara was launched in 1971.

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MAYBELLINE now offers over 40 different mascara formulas with a vast range of benefits including definition, curl, volume, length and plumping.


How’s a girl ever to decide?!! How many mascara options do we really need?!!


Not only have MAYBELLINE saturated their product line depth with their never ending mascara range, they have also extended their product line width over the years.

During the 1970s MAYBELLINE branched out into other cosmetic categories including face, lip and nail. Since then they have become an industry powerhouse and owned the number-one bestselling nail polish on the market, Express Finish Fast-Dry Nail Enamel. Whilst this product is no longer available, never fear, their latest offering, Color Show Nail Lacquer, comes in 48 shades for you to agonisingly decide over!


And MAYBELLINE is not alone in this crazy product line extension.


REVLON, one of their direct competitors, has also extended their product line depth and breadth over the years. Founded in 1932, REVLON also began with a single product, an advanced nail polish that came in colours other than red.

Their infamous Fire & Ice lipstick was released in the 1950s and their range has never stopped increasing. They now offer 11 different lipstick varieties, from Ultra HD to Colorstay Ultimate Suede, and their Super Lustrous Lipstick is available in a mere 82 different shades!


And just like MAYBELLINE and many other cosmetic companies, REVLON too have branched out into other beauty categories including eyes, face, beauty tools and hair colour. If you have a spare 100 hours to browse their entire range just click on the link below.



Combine MAYBELLINE and REVLON with their other competitors (such as L’OREAL, GARNIER, AUSTRALIAS and RIMMEL), throw in some high end brands such as CHANEL and MAC and add the budget conscious suppliers like MODELS PREFER and as consumers we are faced with 1000s of products that all claim to make us beautiful! Oh, and I forgot to mention retail stores such as THE BODY SHOP and LUSH!

As a consumer it is great to have choice but is too much choice worse than not enough!?



12 thoughts on “A girl can never have too many lipsticks….

  1. Loved this post! I am hearing you! There must have been some kind of explosion in the beauty factories – I never realised there were so many shades of lipsticks or mascaras or the rest of your list. It is only maddening for me when I can’t find my favourite. It is by sticking to one favourite lipstick that I manage to navigate the multitude of choices and it really really bugs me when a brand stops making my favourite colour making me choose another – because it takes ages and its so hard to decide – and I don’t have that kind of time. But there are those willing fashion die-hards that have different shades of everything to go with what they are wearing that day so I guess that is who the beauty industry provide for. Obviously they have more time in the mornings to decide what colour lipstick with go with their blouse than I have! Or perhaps they are more fashion savvy than me – that wouldn’t be hard. The choice can certainly be overwhelming and I think a bit stressful for some – me anyway. If they just keep making my favourite colour lippie I’ll be happy!


  2. sometimes girls do not really need the beauty product, it is somehow a habit to possess such things! for example, everytime when Dior advertising a new lipstick, I have a rush and passion to go to a shop and maybe buy one, already I have enough lipsticks with a varityof colors. it is kind of brand equity, I just like the Dior lipsticks.


  3. Great Post.
    I too am fascinated about lipsticks, mascaras, eye shadows, etc. I think girls just can’t refuse the magic of cosmetics. As you mentioned, when there are too many choices, customers will become tired and this may directly hurt sales. I experienced this firsthand at a counter of Jo Malone in airport. It caught my eye because of the insane number of perfume bottles. Not to exaggerate, but there were over 100 in all. The little bottles with nearly every scent you could imagine were amazing, I had to go and get one perfume. However, as I viewed the 100 plus bottles, I couldn’t decide which ones to try. The sales lady friendly suggested me to try on some popular fragrances, but there were so many scents, such as Orange Blossom, English Pear, Dark Amber, Lime Basil… and I didn’t even know where to start looking. The more I get the test papers from her, the more I lost my sense of smell. I was overwhelmed, so I decided to leave.
    Therefore, too many choices can be bad for sales, just like in my experience at the fragrance counter, customers can be attracted to a large number of choices, but when it comes time to make a purchase, they will delay their decision and eventually lead to fewer sales for businesses. Also, the more offerings placed in front of customers, the less satisfactory choices they will make.


  4. I hear you! I used to work for Priceline and used to get heaps of free samples of new products and colours – you should have seen the size of my make-up bag, it was as big as a carry-on suitcase! The sales people from Revlon and L’Oreal used to give us the samples so that we would wear the new colours whilst we were working and we often were incentivised for who could sell the most of a new colour or product. Women love to shop and have the “latest” and this is what I think these companies are trying to achieve with the constant launch of new products, even though they are all essentially the same.
    And what about my make-up bag now? I moved house recently and finally (it’s been 8 years since I worked for Priceline) cleaned out my bag, Most of the stuff I had forgotten I had and was untouched and very out of fashion.. so I am off to buy some new products!


  5. With respect to product diversification sometimes it really becomes messy and confusing, I had a similar experience with many products and I wonder that there should be no choices, it is such a huge waste of time, may be companies should come up with one or two standarised products. But it is now everywhere with clothing cosmetics phones, even the marketers are sharp they put two different attributes in two different products and they know that customer prefer both of these attributes and will eventually buy both of them or they will put both of the attributes in one single product but will keep the cost of that single product slightly less than the cost of acquiring the latter both.


  6. I must admit I like that they are big choices and different ‘looks’ every season. However, I must admit that especially with cosmetics once I find things I love I am very, very brand loyal. I buy my mascara from the same company every time, same with my staples like foundation. This also flows over to shopping for a new shade of lipstick I will still tend to stick to the same brands that I love rather than falling pray to the way too many choices that are out there.


  7. Interesting post! I never really realised how brands were actually saturating their own product lines and it seems so bizarre and counter-intuitive now that i think about it.

    I suppose this is where brand loyalty plays it’s greatest role. I have picked all my favourite cosmetic items and only ever repeat purchase the exact same products over and over.

    I recently ‘upgraded’ from buying my cosmetics at priceline to purchasing exclusively from MAC, I suppose merely because of purchase perception. These upmarket retailers however do the choosing for you, which is a blessing. Walk in to MAC or Mecca, ask them for a foundation/mascara/powder and they’ll take a lot of the hard work out of the decision making process.. if you’re willing to pay for the product and experience.


  8. I have similar experience with you. When I went to Myer and looking for a mask. I was totally lost,cause so many products in front of me. I have no idea about which one is suitable for me. So I just follow the seller’s recommends.
    I bought Glamglow mask and was really excited to try the mask. It dried out in a couple weeks, i shut the lid as tight as it could go. not worth the money in my opinion. The times I used it, I didn’t notice a difference. Therefor, the cosmetics industry is just provide numerous products to customers, they are not paying attention to the products competition market which cause Choice Phobia Disorder for customers.


  9. Wow… I have never realised there are so many type of cosmetics in the market. I am not a type of person who will try new beauty products that are available in the market. I just stick into one brand and reluctant to change if I don’t need to. I usually buy new beauty products after I hear good reviews from my friends. I don’t just buy any random products in the market and always ask suggestion or read reviews in the internet. I can understand there can be thousand different shades for lipsticks and nail polish but I am just wondering, as what you said in your blog, Maybelline has 40 different formulas for mascara with different benefits, do they actually work with what it says? Or is it just part of their marketing campaign?


  10. Great post! of course girls can and do have too many lipsticks I guess. but how many of them are being used frequently is a different discussion altogether. After going through this thread I realized that the above mentioned brands have been fairly successful in their business.

    Having too many choices is like a double sided sword; some customers may get sick of browsing through large number of choices, but some may like to try different varieties. But having large number of choices doesn’t mean that the consumer will walk away from the brand, may be the customer might not evaluate everything, but stick to something familiar as consumers are reluctant to put too much effort in evaluating these type of products. Because they can always switch to a different item if a particular item doesn’t work for them. That’s probably why most of the girls (I assume) have heaps of these cosmetic items.

    The brand has given them more than enough choices and confused them so that they will take a long time to realize that brand is not working for them or feel sick of it and move to a different brand. It is much complicated than this as consumers are not always rational or logical, though we pretend to be.
    The brand loyalty and the individual’s perception about the brand and the emotional attachment with the brand also play a role in consumer’s decision to move away from the brand. Therefore, giving more choices may not be a bad idea in these product categories. Giving too many choices and making the decision making process difficult is also not a very good idea.

    The below clip talks about some positives about putting more choices

    Whereas this clip talks about making the decision making process easier by giving less choices


  11. Too many and mostly useless…Having been related to a dermatologist I am aware that most of these products especially the masks, creams and shampoos are neither dermatologically recommended nor useful. As there are no strict guidelines on what you can advertise and what you choose not to reveal , most of the times these products prove to be ineffective.
    Colour cosmetics are being created with the view of creating a trend so that a fashion savvy person would throw away all the products bought in one season, the moment a new season arrives with new fashion. I still remember a few year back brown and matte was a craze and now its a taboo to even think of brown.
    The fact is that we may believe that we are being a choice but the truth is we are being controlled by the companies who first create a trend and than lure customers into buying them.


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