As Captain Cook famously said when he arrived in Australia: Makeup doesn’t need to cost a lot. (Frustratingly, he was less specific on hair care. I’ll put that down to him wearing wigs.)
I’m here to illustrate his wisdom, and smugly prove that a lady can purchase her makeup essentials and still have decent change from a hundo. Just think of the other things you’ll be able to buy with your spare coin: billycarts, gold bullion, Mexican walking fish, adjectives: the only limit is your imagination, and your bank account.
Let’s go shopping! Well, in our head for now! But still fun!
8 BUDGET-PRICED MAKEUP ESSENTIALS THAT ARE RATHER GOOD.
1. WHY, SOME MASCARA TO OPEN UP A LADY’S EYES OF COURSE.
Often cited as a ‘desert island’ product by women who don’t consider ‘food’ as a necessity, (and have obviously never heard of ‘dessert island,’ which is a far better place to be stranded, especially if you like butterscotch sauce) mascara will immediately transform your eyes to look more feminine, glamorous and alluring. All alone on a bare face, even. For an inexpensive do-it-all, try Rimmel’s Extra Super Lash Mascara ($13) or, of course, that iconic green and pink rascal, Maybelline Great Lash ($16).
2. EYELINER FOR DEFINITION AND EVENING SMOULDER ING-NESS
Try to not buy a straight up ‘eye pencil’ if you’re trying to buy cheaply here, as they’ll tear and pull. Go for silky, gel like textures (or kohl) where possible, something soft and blendable that you can draw on easily, and smoke up with a cotton tip or smudge brush for a smoky night-time look. Dramatic! Try Prestige’s Soft Blend Kohl Eyeliner ($14) or COVERGIRL’s Perfect Blend Eye Pencil ($12). Meanwhile, Rimmel’s Exaggerate Liquid Liner ($13) will thrill those clever crumpets actually capable of using liquid liner (“not me).
3. FOUNDATION OR TINTED MOISTURISER TO BRING A DAME TO LIFE
This is a category where you may be forced to spend a little more (up to the $20-$30 mark) but you won’t mind, will you? No stinkin’ way. You understand how important this product is, and how great it is at evening out your skin tone, and preparing the skin for your colour cosmetics so that they last and look their truest and best, and veiling your skin in dewy radiance, or a cloak that is perfectly matte and skin-perfecting. It will strip years and inject freshness in one simple application, and should be SUPER high on your list of essentials.
I like Maybelline NY Dream Matte Mousse Foundation ($22) to mattify oily skin/zones or to apply sparingly on just the areas you want to even out; Rimmel Recover Illuminating Anti-Fatigue foundation ($19) for radiant, natural coverage, and of course, Dove Protective Tinted Moisturiser ($10) for a sheer, (sun protective), very light base suitable for those lucky squids who prefer/need very little coverage. Designer Brands have a mineral powder foundation for $17, that can also act as a loose powder to set your makeup, or else there’s Face of Australia Loose Powder ($11.) Pressed powder? Try COVERGIRL’s TruBlend Pressed Powder ($18). I must end, however, by encouraging you to consider shimmying into the $35 range with a great Revlon (PhotoReady!), Max Factor (Second Skin!), Bourjois (Healthy Mix!) or L’Oreal Paris (True Match!) foundation. Terrific stuff.
4. A CONCEALER TO COVER BLEMISHES AND HIDE STORMY UNDEREYE CIRCLES
Yes, concealer is an essential – in fact, it’s probably the most powerful tool in a lady’s makeup artillery. (It’s all I take in my handbag, along with lip products and crème blush.) (And Werther’s, obviously.) If you can spare a little more cash, go for two – a creamy one for the eye area, and a waxier, thicker one for hiding blemishes and imperfections. Since we’re feeling thrifty, we’ll aim for one that sort of does both, like Face of Australia concealer ($9), which is terrific for hiding things, but which I would blend with a bit of foundation or even eye cream when using under the eye area.
5. BLUSH TO MAKE A LADY’S FACE BELLOW WITH HEALTH
A category where it’s very easy to get away with spending very little indeed, or nothing at all even – I use lipstick as crème blush a lot of the time, just swiping it on and blending away, like some kind of multipurpose makeup rouge. I recommend the Face of Australia (in Outback Nutmeg) for powder blush, and am a huge fan of the Australia Bronzing Powder, ($13). For those after a blush and bronzer in one at a terrifyingly low price, you could try Designer Brands Mineral Multi-Colour Blusher & Bronze ($12).
6. EYE SHADOW TO MAXIMISE THE ALLURE OF ONE’S EYES
Contrary to what Boy George would have us believe, you can get away with only owning one eye shadow palette. Go for one in simple nude and earth tones, (flatters all eye colours) like Maybelline NY Expert Wear Quad in sunlit bronze or chai latte ($14) which will give you enough to do subtle, polished one-tone eyelids, and the depth of shade and pigment to do a three-shade smoky eye. Gorgeous. For one shot, experimental colour, try Max Factor Earth Spirit Eye Shadow Pots ($13), gorgeous, satin-y shadows that are easily buildable and act as eyeliner when used with a wet liner brush. If you’re feeling all pro, grab a cream shadow too – they hold powder shadow in place and look very elegant solo: Designer Brands Whipped Mineral Eye Shadow ($9) will act as a primer and base and shade or straight up cream shadow, (Mushroom is delightful on green or blue eyes).
7. LOVELY TREATS IN WHICH TO DIP YOUR LIPS
Happily, lipgloss and lipstick (like eye shadow) exist in a magnificent universe that demands very little money is spent on them at all. Especially when it concerns high trend colours like coral, orange and fuchsia. I find Sportsgirl’s lipsticks ($10) to be wonderfully matte and modern and long-lasting, Rimmel’s Moisture Renew lipsticks ($13) wonderful for a creamy, hydrating finish (so good as crème blush too) and am a loyal of fan Face of Australia’s tube lipgloss ($11). What fun!
8. MAY A LADY ALSO RECOMMEND?
Some makeup brushes? Thank you. They make a huge difference when it comes to application, precision and staying puttyness, you know. I would suggest a big, fluffy brush, (“powder brush”) for blush, bronzer and loose powder, a fine, angled brush for eyeliner (liner brush”) and a regular eye shadow brush (“shadow brush”) for blending. Try the Manicare Artiste line, or Designer Brands.
I think that covers the essentials, but am hopeful that the friendly and generous women commenting below will share their most bestest and beloved low-cost makeup treats also, because while a lady does her best, a lady can’t try everything.
Or can she….
No. She can’t. My mistake. Carry on!