I like Clinique/Estee Lauder lines. But I'm the type of consumer who doesn't experiment with different make up "looks." I already have everything I need for doing a casual date look, a dressed up look, and a theatrical New Year's Eve look, and that's all the make up I need for the rest of my life:
1 foundation, 1 concealer, 1 pore minimizer, 1 blusher stick, 1 pressed powder
1 eyebrow crayon/brush, 2 eye shadow trios (matte earth tones, glimmering earth tones), 2 eye liners (casual dark brown, dressy deep purple), 1 mascara
1 lip liner (same color as lipstick), 2 lipsticks (glossy, & discreet)
1 liquid make up remover, 1 make up remover stick
If I was the type to have 40 different colors eye shadow colors and 8 lipsticks, I'd probably look to something less costly. But I expect an eye shadow palette or foundation to "stay new" for 10 years at least -- not changing color, not changing texture, but staying the same as when I bought it. EL & Clinique last for ages.
It doesn't cost any more to buy higher priced make up at Bloomingdale's or Sak's than it costs to buy it at stores carrying less expensive merchandise. And you get much better service, a free make up lesson, plus better "free" gifts with purchase. Yes $32 for a EL lipstick is a lot more than $7 for Revlon. But when it comes with a perfume, a good quality cosmetics/toiletries bag, a set of nice make up brushes, and a travel sized face care kit then it doesn't seem overpriced. The "worth $150" stuff is baloney, but it's worth at least $25 or $30.