Strapped for cash but still need your beauty fix? We’ve got you covered.
If there’s one thing that can bring me out of a midweek mood slump, it’s new beauty products. Unfortunately, the middle of the week tends to be when my pay starts to run out and I’m counting every penny. So to help you beat those ‘it’s not quite payday yet’ blues, I’ve rounded up my picks of the very best budget beauty buys.
From $4.99 to $39.95, these babies will leave you with change for some two-minute noodles to get you through the week!
Best foundation: Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-One Foundation ($20.95)
So this one is over $20 BUT it’s a primer, foundation and concealer, with medium coverage and ultra blendable, too.
Honourable mention: Lacura Liquid Foundation ($4.99)
No, I haven’t left a digit off — this creamy, medium-to-full coverage, moisturising foundation really is that cheap. I’ll let you pick your jaw up off the floor.
Best concealer: Maybelline Master Concealer ($15.95)
From hiding dark circles to vanishing blemishes, this master concealer is high coverage but totally invisible. It’s Photoshop IRL.
Best mascara: Rimmel London 100% Waterproof Mascara ($12.95)
Budge and smudge proof, long lasting and waterproof in case of emergency tears.
Honourable mention: Maybelline Great Lash ($12.95)
There’s a reason this mascara has been on so many must-have lists for nearly 45 years.
Best eyeliner: L’Oreal Superliner So Couture ($24.95)
The one budget liquid liner I’ve found that doesn’t end up all over my face by the day’s end. Hello, perfect winged liner!
Honourable mention: Covergirl’s Perfect Blend Eye Pencil ($12)
Prefer pencil? This one is one of the best thrifty options out there.
Best blush: Models Prefer Soft Touch Mineral Blush ($12.99)
Helloooooo, pigment! You won’t need too much of this vibrant powder for max effect, so your buck will stretch further.
Honourable mention: Face of Australia Colour Max Blush (from $5)
This fine, silky powder will give you a healthy glow and comes in a variety of shades.
Best lipstick: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss ($13.95)
Gorgeous rose gold packaging and, as the name says, a great, lasting finish.
Best eyeshadow: Kit Cosmetics Slay the Day Palette ($30)
Nine colours, loads of pigment, silky smooth application. If you buy one palette this season, grab this one.
Best highlighter: NYX Born to Glow Illuminator ($8)
Wanna glow? Mix a bit of this in with your foundation. Too scared you’ll look like a disco ball in the sun? Go easy and dab on your face’s high points for a gentle dewy look.
Honourable mention: Nude By Nature Highlight Palette ($39.95)
Featuring three different highlight colours (that’s $13.30 each shade), this palette will see you through a tanned summer, right through to pasty pale winter.
I LOVE this palette because the highlighter isn’t too shimmery and the bronze is totally matte so you get a really natural sculpted look. #IWokeUpLikeThis #SRSLY
Honourable mention: Nude By Nature Contour Palette ($39.95)
This only takes second place because it’s all about the contour and doesn’t include a blush to complete the set. But the powder is SO silky and really nicely pigmented.
Best beauty tools: Nude By Nature Essential Makeup Brush Set ($39.95)
Brushes can be the… well… brush that broke the camel’s back. But this new set features seven of the most versatile brushes for everyone from beginners to experts. So soft!
Best cleanser: Dove Cleanser and Toner In One ($7.35)
Two in one, with a nourishing formula? For under $10? SHUT UP AND GET IN MY TROLLEY.
Honourable mention: Neutrogena Micellar Gel to Foam ($16.99)
This tricksy formula acts like micellar water to remove makeup, but then turns into foam to get your skin squeaky clean.
Best moisturiser (face): Derma Intensive Q10 Night Cream ($4.99)
Night cream is normally one of the most expensive things in your routine so when I first uncovered the Derma cream I nearly fell on the floor. Repairs and renews as you sleep with excellent results.
Honourable mention: Olay Total Effects 7in1 Cream and Serum Duo ($24.35)
SEVEN IN ONE? Get outta town! My budget senses are tingling at this one and your skin will be, too. It’s a great all-rounder for busy people with sunscreen chucked in for good measure.
Best moisturiser (body): Sanctuary Spa Daily Escape Body Lotion ($9.99)
It smells like a day spa at home, makes your skin feel supple and smooth, and is super absorbent. Need I say more?
Honourable mention: The Body Shop Body Sorbet ($19.95)
Not your average moisturiser, this is a gel-like super-invigorating and cooling formula, perfect for non-greasy moisturising on hot summer nights.
Best mask: Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Cleanser Mask ($13.99)
This one gets top billing because you KNOW how much I love a good two-in-one! This mask does double duty as a cleanser as well.
Honourable mention: Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Mask ($15)
The only reason this beauty gets second billing is because it’s a singe-use mask, and this is about budget stretching. Other than that, it’s a luxe paper mask that brightens and moisturises your skin for a ‘day spa’ feel at home. You won’t believe how radiant your skin looks. Just don’t open the door while you’re wearing it — paper masks can look a bit ‘low-budget horror movie’ and you don’t want to terrify anyone.