beauty

We review Aldi's makeup range. Yes, ALDI has a makeup range.

Image: Cherry Beale goes undercover (okay… not really) in the ALDI makeup aisle

According to ancient wisdom, there is a time for everything.

A time to buy hand-made chocolates in the shape of penguins from the David Jones Food Hall, and a time to stand in Aisle 1 of Aldi and stare at the little jars of preserved sausages, which resemble teeny tiny penises in formaldehyde, and consider, if I worked these into a casserole somehow, I’d have time to express milk AND work on my blog.

There is a time to duck into Sephora for a splurge during your New York City jaunt, and there is a time to discover the Aldi house brand of makeup, Lacura, and think, “now that my maternity leave payments have ended, maybe I should stop impulse-buying makeup at Priceline and get some of this Aldi stuff instead. I hope it doesn’t make my face fall off.”

You’ll never guess the top selling product in Priceline right now

Ladies and gentlemen, that time is now.

"Don't I look helpful?"

Maybe you’re broke; maybe you left all of your makeup on the train; maybe you are the Indiana Jones of makeup, and you are in search of the Holy Grail – the ultra-cheap, ultra-cult item, and you want all the credit for discovering it. Or perhaps, you just really, really love Aldi. There are multiple reasons to start buying your makeup at Aldi, but of course, it all depends if the products are decent. This is where I come in to help you.

Here are some of the beauty buys available at other supermarkets:

I’ll be reviewing the entire Lacura makeup line, which is BB cream, foundation, mascara, pressed powder, blush and lipstick. The staple Lacura makeup line does not have a concealer, eyeliner or eyeshadow. Aldi occasionally releases limited edition makeup items like cream eyeshadow through their weekly Special Buys, but you need to read their catalogues in advance - like it’s Nostradamus or something - plus you have to lurk around the Special Buys bins like a brain-hungry zombie, in case the item sells out on the first day. There’s no slacking off for the true Aldi devotee!

Read on for the verdict.

Visual merchandising

“I had no idea that Aldi sold makeup,” said all of my friends while I was writing this review. I don’t blame them for their cluelessness (they can probably afford Chanel, anyway), as Aldi have no posters of models or celebrities to draw your attention to their beauty products. Their makeup is presented in no-fuss cardboard boxes, on similarly Plain Jane shelves, without fancy lighting.

My suggestion is that they use the lady from their coffee pod ads to also promote their makeup.

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Look at her! She is aristocratic and fabulous. She even uses the same Aldi coffee pods as I do. The women buying the Aldi skincare and makeup products were around the same age as this woman, and their skin was beautiful. Plus, I would totally trust this woman to give me makeup advice. I always listen to the beauty advice of older women. If a 99-year-old woman with dewy, bouncy skin told me that she massaged her face daily with the scratchy side of a Velcro strip, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be hightailing it to Lincraft to get me some of that.

Packaging

Dare I say it, the Lacura makeup line has elegant and chic packaging. This surprised me, given Aldi’s cheap and cheerful reputation. I kind of expected the makeup to be packaged in old burnt sticks, or at least some cardboard and neon-coloured plastic.

Instead, most of the makeup items have a matte, black plastic theme. The blush and powder compacts have this great, rubbery, matte black finish, kind of like a slinky little Catwoman outfit for your makeup. The only item that looks a bit tacky is the mascara, which is in a bulbous, super shiny, super metallic, gunmetal-coloured tube, resembling a sophisticated robot’s penis. All of this stylish packaging gives the impression of quiet luxury, while also disguising the fact that you are using makeup from Aldi.

Price

These products are very cheap, with the lipstick, powder, mascara and blush costing $4.99, the foundation costing $5.99 and the BB cream costing $7.99. I checked out the prices of similar products by Maybelline, Covergirl, Rimmel and Garnier at Woolworths, and I found that their products were often twice or three times the price of the Lacura products.

 "The life-changing $16 beauty product I found in the supermarket"

Formulas

My main concern with using Aldi makeup products was that they would be made from horrible, cheap ingredients and therefore destroy my skin and features forever, as I have very sensitive skin. I was pleasantly surprised with all of the Lacura products that I used, as they were very comfortable to wear, and caused no reaction at all to my skin. The blush and pressed powder are paraben-free, and the BB cream and foundation were both SPF 15.

The BB cream and foundation have a thick formula, and don’t glide on easily. However, both products create a fresh, glowing and poreless appearance. Despite the thick formula, the BB cream is fairly sheer in coverage.

Cherry wears Lacura BB Cream in Medium Tint.

In contrast, the foundation applies quite heavily, which I actually liked. It was so thick that you could build it up to conceal areas, which is useful if you are in a pinch and don’t have a concealer on hand.

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BB, CC, DD, EE – your guide to ‘alphabet creams’

The BB cream and foundation shades that I chose have a yellow undertone, which is great if you are olive-skinned like me. I have found that many of the “drugstore” brands have face makeup with pink undertones, so it is always exciting to find products that don’t make my face look like a giant wad of fairy floss, as delicious as that may be.

Cherry wears Lacura Foundation in Tan

The first thing that I noticed about the BB cream and foundation was that they had a very strong floral scent, and this smell lingered on my face and in my bathroom for several hours. My husband described the scent as “off rose” and “weird”. Now, I’m all for scented products – part of the reason why I use the Garnier BB cream is because it has a fresh, fruity scent that I love – but I wasn’t a fan of the Lacura BB cream and foundation scents, especially because they really lingered. As The Cranberries sang, "Do you have to, do you have to let it linger?"

Pressed powder

This powder added warmth with a matte finish, and gave an overall impression of flawless skin. For a powder compact that’s only $4.99, that’s pretty damn good. Like the foundation and BB cream, the powder has that strong, exaggerated floral scent which sticks around like an unwanted guest. I would use this powder at home if I wanted to set my makeup with a matte finish, but I wouldn’t take the compact out and about with me, as the formula was very soft and crumbly, and had a tendency to get everywhere.

Cherry wearing Lacura Pressed Powder

Mascara

The Lacura mascara is pleasantly effective, and impressive for its price. I used the waterproof formula, because I use eye drops a lot, and also because waterproof formulas are better at holding a curl (my lashes are naturally stick-straight - #asianproblemz).

When applied, the Lacura mascara is a velvety, matte black and it creates dramatic volume while still having a natural, clump-free appearance. I really liked the fat, old-fashioned bristle brush, too, which did a great job of separating and coating my lashes. The mascara formula would have been perfect if it lengthened my lashes more (I have short lashes #moreasianproblemz), and if it held a curl as anti-gravitationally as my usual Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express. This mascara was also scented with a strong, forest-y smell, so if you are into bushwalking, this is the mascara for you.

Blushes

The blushes were my favourite discovery of the Lacura brand. I was delighted to find that the blushes provide a beautifully sheer wash of colour that is both blendable and buildable, and the colour lasts for several hours.

Cherry wears Lacura Duo Blush in Soft Rose-Rose

The Rose colour gave me a pink, natural flush, as though I had been exercising, which is my favourite way to wear blush. It is very romantic and Jane Austen-y to look like you have been running about in fields all day.

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Cherry wears Lacura Duo Blush in Soft Coral-Coral

The Coral is for those of you who love your bronzer. I actually wore the Rose blush several times after I purchased it – I liked it that much! The blushes have that rose smell that was found in the BB cream, foundation and powder, but it was not overpowering, and faded after awhile.

Lipsticks

The Lacura lipsticks are a curiously pleasing hybrid product. The colour is fairly sheer, like a gloss. When applied, the lipstick has the texture of a lip butter, and feels very similar to the Revlon Lip Butters, only more moisturising and comfortable. The overall formula is creamy and slightly glossy. The lipsticks smell and taste like chocolate, making them the most pleasant-smelling products of the Lacura range. I found that the lip colours worked best with only one or two coats, because with any more than that, the colour would slide around and become uneven. The lipsticks also worked really well as a cream blush, so if you are the type of girl who likes their products to multi-task (raises hand), then consider picking up one of these lipsticks on your next trip to Aldi.

The 2-second cheat to getting your lipstick right, every time

The Papaya shade is a limited edition, which of course made me snatch it up immediately. On me, the shade is a peachy-nude, but I think it would look brighter and more orange-y if you have a paler complexion. I loved wearing this shade as a cream blush.

The Antique Rose shade is a very on-trend musk pink, and again, it also worked really well as a cheek colour. I think that this lipstick shade would look fantastic on a blonde (grinds teeth with hair envy).

Left: Papaya. Centre: Antique Rose. Right: Blackberry.

The Blackberry shade was the most intense colour out of the lipstick range, and is basically an ode to the 90’s in a tube of lipstick. Apply one coat, and it could be the cheap younger sister of Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick, which was my personal high school obsession. Apply several coats, and the deep, purpley-red tones that emerge are reminiscent of Chanel Rouge Noir, otherwise known as Vamp, which was the cult lipstick and nail colour of the 90’s. This vampy effect would be extremely useful if you are going to a costume party in a couples costume as Gabi Grecko and Geoffrey Edelsten, and maybe one of your friends could wear the Antique Rose shade and be the ghost of Brynne Edelsten.

You can thank me later when you win “best costume ever in the universe”. I’m just here to help.

Have you ever tried Aldi makeup? What did you think?

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