beauty

I'm a beauty editor and here are 12 of my favourite products under $40.

Look, picking your favourite beauty children is never an easy thing to do. It really isn't. But since everyone (my mum) always asks which affordable products are actually good - I guess someone has to dish out what's worth spending on, right?

Watch: Remember that time I put lube on my face to see if it's *actually* as good as primer? No? Let's revisit. Post continues below.


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So! Let's get to it, shall we? 

Below are 12 of my favourite products under $40.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $34.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

In case you missed it, Selena Gomez came out with a beauty brand - and YES it's good. Especially this blush - the formula is insane. 

It's super pigmented (w-wo-woah! Start with a little bit) and blends into your skin effortlessly for a really natural finish. I love going rogue and popping it on my eyelids and lips for a cute monochromatic look.

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It's available in eight shades with either a matte or dewy finish - my favourite is 'Happy'.

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer, $32.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

Me and bronzers usually don't get along. They always tend to make my face look muddy and weird, and I can never get the placement quite right - so I usually just steer away from it. 

But this. THIS is a good time.

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer has a super creamy, smooth formula and literally just melts into the skin when blending with a brush, fingers or a sponge. I also love that it comes in a little mini stick - it's so easy to apply.

I use the shade 'Baked'.

Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Salve, $19.95.

Image: Adore Beauty/Mamamia

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I have, like, 10 of these floating around at once. I'm a walking flake, so always need some form of hydration at the ready - and Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Salve is where it's at. 

I pop it on my lips, elbows, cuticles, my weird dry earlobes - the whole shebang. Can't fault it.

Anastacia Beverly Hills Matte & Satin Velvet Lipstick, $35.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

I've never been much of a lipstick girl (too lazy), and I would usually steer clear of anything with 'matte' on it (my lips are always dry. Also, matte never called me back that time). 

But this formula from Anastacia Beverly Hills has ✨changed me✨.

It glides on smoothly, feels comfortable and doesn't dry my lips out like a lot of other formulas do. I love topping it with a lip gloss for an extra juicy look.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, $34.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

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And this is the lip gloss I usually go for! Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb. It's up there as one of my holy grail products. Worn alone or layered over lipstick, it makes your lips look plump and beautiful in seconds.

There are six different shades, and you honestly can't go wrong with whatever you choose - it's that bloody good.

My faves? $weet Mouth or Diamond Milk.

Natasha Denona Mini Nude Eyeshadow Palette, $38.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

For someone who writes about beauty for a living, it's pretty incredible how boring I am on the eyeshadow front. Like, it's honestly impressive. 

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For everyday makeup, I like to stick with no-fuss neutrals (sorry) - and this foolproof five pan palette from Natasha Denona is one of my go-to products. 

I love the assortment of shades - they're simple, but unique enough if you want to step it up and build a darker, more glitzy look. 

The formula is pigmented, buttery and easy to blend, and the packaging is perfect for on-the-go.

BREAD Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss, $37.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

My hair is thirsty, thick and incredibly disobedient. So, for me, hair oils are essential. 

This one from BREAD Beauty is amazing - I use it pre-wash, post-wash or in-between for added shine and hydration in between hair wash days. It smells so good and honestly just makes my hair look better.

(Psst... the brand just launched a macadamia version that doubles as a body oil - and it's the best thing since sliced bread. Sorry. Had to).

Sephora Collection Big By Definition Mascara, $24.

Image: Sephora/Mamamia

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Choosing a mascara for this piece was hard because there are SO many good affordable options that prove you don't have to break the bank to get a good quality formula. 

I ended up picking this recent launch from Sephora Collection because it's a good time for your eyes and your bank account. I like a lot of things about this formula, including the way it refuses to clump, how magnificent it is on the lengthening front and the way you can add layer upon layer with ease. It also doesn't go all flaky and gross. I rate it.

Avène Thermal Spring Water, $25.99.

Image: Adore Beauty/Mamamia

I always thought mists and sprays were such a rort - but then Zoe Foster-Blake told me I should be misting my face before applying serums, and I here I am. And I gotta tell you - I reckon my serums actually work better for it. 

This one from Avene is my absolute favourite. I use it every morning and also have a bottle at my desk to keep my skin hydrated and happy throughout the day. Also works as a really good baton during a relay. 

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Clarins Lip Oil, $39.

Image: Clarins/Mamamia

I've loved Clarins Lip Oils since forever, so I was stoked to hear when they recently revamped the range with new packaging and shades - and gosh, they're as good as ever.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not much of a lipstick girl, so I find these kinds of formulas are the perfect everyday option to keep my lips feeling hydrated and looking extra nice and juicy.

There are eight different shades and they're all bloody amazing - but I can't go past 'Honey' and 'Pitaya'. 

So. Damn. Good.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Cream, $24.

Image: Adore Beauty/Mamamia

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This cult French cream is EVERYWHERE right now - and for good reason. Often referred to as ‘the 24-hour miracle cream’, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré is one of those products that over-performs on every front.

It can be used as a moisturiser, primer, hydrating mask, and cleanser, and is hands down the easiest way to make tired and dehydrated skin look fresh and healthy.

Told you she was a show-off!

Ere Perez Argan Brow Hero, $39.

Image: Nourished Life/Mamamia

I will never not use this brow product. It's just part of my face now, you guys. Deal with it.

I got really lazy with brow products and started just using this gem from Ere Perez - it's an all-in-one formula and it just saves so much time. 

It's the perfect shade for my brows and it thickens them and makes them look fuller without feeling too intense. It's also perfect for styling them and keeping them in place.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Mamamia

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