Something we talk a lot about in The Beauty Diary Facebook group, is the difficulty many of us have finding beauty products that are affordable and work.
It doesn’t sound like too much to ask, but in a world of disappointing knock-offs, knowing what budget products work and what don’t can really help save you dollars and a super sad face.
Here are my top pick budget buys on the shelves at the moment, including a super impressive dupe that I’m so impressed with, I think it rivals a designer beauty brand. So let’s dive in.
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MCOBEAUTY JUST PEACHY HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE
Available at Woolworths and mcobeauty.com
MCoBeauty continue to be one of my favourite affordable beauty brands and this absolute delight is my top pick from the brand’s new limited edition Just Peachy collection, which is being stocked exclusively in Woolworths once again.
Aside from being an total steal I couldn’t help but notice it’s super similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s Glowgasm Face Palette — which would set you back $120. The formula is undeniably similar, it’s creamy to touch but applies beautifully with a brush, and the pigment is seriously next level. It also has a delicious peach smell to it.
Once applied, the glow doesn’t budge (even when rushing through Central Station in a rush hour trying to catch your train) and I’m a huge fan of the sparkly finish. It seems I’m not alone with a Woolies spokesperson telling The Beauty Diary the palette was being quickly snapped up.
“We encourage customers to get in quick on this limited edition MCoBeauty product. History has shown that the limited edition trend collections from MCoBeauty is repeatedly one of the top sellers in the beauty aisle at Woolworths,” the spokesperson said.
So I’m officially calling it, this product is a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s boujee palette — which while I adore, I can’t always afford to splurge on.
RELATED: The Beauty Diary: Best products to give you that glow
NEUTROGENA HYDRO BOOST WATER GEL LOTION 50+
Available at Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse and Priceline
We know we’re meant to wear sunscreen every day, but the fact that it’s often thick and greasy — which messes with our make-up and our skin — can be a major turn off.
However this product from Neutrogena is not only suitable for your face, but it won’t make you break out either because let’s face it, nobody has time for pimples.
My skin soaks this stuff up like it’s actually water and it leaves no nasty residue. It also feels cool on application and smells super refreshing. Plus the fact that it’s less than $20 makes it less than half the price of the popular Go-To Zincredible, but with way more plus points to it. Go-To is just too thick and struggles to absorb on my skin so it’s gathering dust in my bathroom cabinet. Meanwhile, I can easily get through a bottle of Neutrogena.
THE INKEY LIST HYALURONIC ACID
Available at Sephora
I’ve bought pricier hyaluronic acid serums before but this one does the job just as well, for a fraction of the price. If you’re sick of me banging on about hyaluronic acid, I’m not going to apologise. The stuff is has been dubbed a “moisture magnet” because it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water — making it a hydrating hero ingredient in many beauty products.
This serum is fragrance-free which I love as it others can have a real chemical smell which is a big “no thank you” in my books and it’s not tacky. My skin felt noticeably softer in just a few days, my only complaint was the basic bottle cap which, with its lack of control over the product, makes wastage quite high.
MECCA MAX FIRST BASE PRIMER WITH SPF 30
Available at Mecca
When it comes to value for money and effectiveness, I have been BLOWN AWAY with this. Since I’ve been in my 30s, my skin has become oilier than it was in my 20s and makeup doesn’t sit the way it used to. The further the day goes on, my foundation can almost separate from my skin which is why I always use primer when wearing foundation.
It’s the staying power of this product that makes me love it so much, it stops makeup from lifting and my skin from becoming greasy. It’s thick, creamy and goes on like a dream and despite being an SPF 30, it’s not greasy and leaves my makeup looking and feeling really fresh. LURVEEE this.
DR LEWINN’S ETERNAL YOUTH 24K GOLD AGE-DEFYING FACE MASK
Available at Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and pharmacies nationwide
I’m not going to lie, there are so many buzz words on this packaging it actually made me anxious. Gold, age-defying, potent, serum, luxurious … literally — how many more appealing skincare words can you chuck at someone in desperate need of their eye bags disappearing?
Luckily, I totally forgive Dr Lewinn for his faux pas as this foil face mask totally gives my tired skin back its bouncy mojo after a long hard day.
What I really liked about this was the fact it doesn’t slip like some other sheet masks and after, my skin felt super soft and had a gorgeous brightness to it again. It’s the item every tired person needs and let’s be real, it feels fancy AF too which is half the fun of a face mask.
This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.
If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you’d like to see road tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram or tweet me — don’t forget to hashtag #TheBeautyDiary.
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