"I’ve been a beauty expert for 15 years. These are the products I wouldn't waste money on."

In what’s possibly the best job on the planet, I get to test beauty products for free. Which means I don’t have to pay for them. Which means I am the luckiest of ducks. 

BUT, because I really, really love skincare and makeup, I still buy stuff anyway. It’s my hobby and passion (and it’s also a tax write-off).

So I get some products for free, I spend my pocket money on some, and sometimes I daydream about the scenario of working a job that isn't being a beauty editor and I mentally consider what I would actually pay for.

Video via Mamamia

Here’s a rundown on what, if I was not gifted with samples to try, I would and wouldn't spend my hard-earned cash on. But before we jump into it, it’s important to point out that price is not an indication of quality. So by me saying to go for a Savey product, I’m not saying to lower your standards. Affordable products can still be excellent (and Spendy ones can be average), and vice versa etcetera etcetera. 

Save on: Cleanser

A good cleanser should remove any makeup, sunscreen and excess sebum to leave your skin feeling clean and soft but not stripped or tight. You don’t need to spend wads of cash to do this. When looking for a nice cleanser I avoid anything too foamy and go for gentle cream, oil or milk textures (or even good old micellar water). 

At the moment my favourite affordable cleansers are: 

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $14.99

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Caring Wash Cleanser, $20.99

Sukin Cream Cleanser, $11.99 and 

Trilogy Rosehip Creme Cleanser, $38.99.

Spend on: Serums

More specifically, I should say spend on ‘actives’. But generally the most active step in the majority of people’s skincare routines in their serum. The serum step is your fighting change at tackling whatever concerns you have about your skin. It might be fine lines, hyperpigmentation, fading acne scars - all of the ‘corrective’ stuff. So if you’re going to invest in any one step, make it this one.

A few of my favourite serums that actually make a visual difference are:


Beaute Pacifique Defy Damage Skin Repair Serum, $80

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, $110

Avene DermAbsolu Serum, $74.95. 

Save on: Moisturiser

A hydrating lotion or cream on top of your serum is important to offer moisture and lock in the goodness you’ve just applied underneath. The good news? You don’t have to fork out heaps to get a really nice face cream.

Look for one that contains antioxidant ingredients as a bonus and you’re well on your way. Oh, and don’t bother with moisturiser that has sunscreen in it - you need to be using an SPF 50+ as a separate step (after your moisturiser and before your makeup) anyway.  

Listen to me chat more on this topic on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.

My favourite affordable face creams are: 

Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturiser, $33,

Andalou Naturals Lift and Firm Cream, $34.95

Nivea Q10 Power Day Cream, $23.99. 

Spend on: Treatments

Treatments are a bit like serums in that they’re your chance to make visual changes. It might be facials by a professional (which I truly believe you need to have regularly to make them worth the cash and effort - a one-off is like a one-off gym session, it’s not going to make you fit). Or, it might be a treatment product you use a few times a week at home, such as a chemical exfoliant or a mask. Because these products are often active, too, I suggest going for quality ingredients and effectiveness. 

Some of favourite at-home treatment products are: 

Aspect Fruit Enzyme Mask, $62, 

Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment, $63 

Mario Badescu Healing Soothing Mask, $32. 

Save on: Makeup

While there are several (hundred lol) bougie foundations and fancy mascaras I adore, there’s just as many very good, wonderfully formulated affordable ones, too. If I had to choose I’d spend more money on my skincare and opt for cheaper makeup products that still get an A+ in doing their job. 

My go-to affordable makeup brands are Flower Beauty, MCo Beauty, Rimmel, Maybelline, L’Oreal Paris and Revlon. 

Tell me in the comments - what are the products you save and splurge on?

Feature Image: Supplied

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