7 Cheap Makeup Products I’ll Buy Again

7 Cheap Makeup Products I’ll Buy Again
Carly Jacobs

When I say ‘cheap makeup’ there are two criteria a product has to meet to fall into this category.

  1. It has to be under $50 – I know that sounds like a lot of money to some people (this will be explained in the next point) but I can swallow a $45 price tag on a fancy foundation. I can’t fork out $150 for a product though. It’s not that I can’t afford it, I just can’t spend that much money on my own vanity, especially when there are much cheaper alternatives that work for me. That’s not a dis at women (and men!) who spend lots of money on cosmetics (most of my beauty budget goes towards good haircuts and importing specialist shampoo) but it’s about prioritising what works for you. I’ve never found that spending $150 on something I can get for $40 has made much difference for cosmetics for me so I don’t bother. Cheap makeup is where it’s at for me.
  2. It has to last a REALLY long time if it’s over $20 – My concealer and eyeliner are the most expensive products I own but I only have to replace them once every year or two and I use them most days. That’s good value in my book.

To be honest, I’m not a huge makeup expert or wearer. ‘Feels nice’ and ‘looks good’ is pretty much the only feedback you’ll ever get from me about a makeup product. The purchasing of makeup is always stressful for me. I never know exactly what I’m looking for so coming up with my perfect kit of cosmetics has taken many years, lots of trial and error and often some skin issues along the way. Does anyone else have total diva skin? Mine is fine for months and then all of a sudden it gets red and itchy for no reason. Such a drama queen. This means I end up having to switch products regularly because I never know when my skin will decide to kick a product out of the bridal party. To be honest, though, I don’t actually care about makeup that much. I like my makeup to look good and do its job but I have no interest in finding miracle products myself. I’d rather someone just tell me what to get. I love a makeup expert because they make the whole face of slap process so much less painful for me. Hot tip: Read Amazing Face by Zoe Foster Blake. It’s awesome, total no bullshit advice for people who don’t really know what they’re doing with make-up.

7 Cheap Makeup Products I’ll Buy Again

cheap makeup

1. Natio Tinted Moisturiser – $18.95

I bought this from Chemist Warehouse (just about my favourite place to get cheap makeup) and I bought it purely because it has 50 plus sunscreen in it. I’m fanatical about sunscreen but I’m also kind of lazy when it comes to grooming so if I can get coverage and sunscreen in one product, I’m ALL over that. I wear this every day and I’m on my second bottle of it. I definitely see a third bottle in my future too. It’s light, it absorbs easily and gives just enough natural coverage so I don’t look like my face is caked in makeup. I’m definitely a tinted moisturiser/BB cream gal. Proper foundation is a bit too intense for this low maintenance gal.

cheap makeup

2. Bye Bye Under Eye from Sephora – $38

I had my first tube of this for years until the entire label wore off and I had no idea what brand it was. I took to social media to see if anyone could recognise the tube and some random heavenly angel recognised it as Bye Bye Undereye from Sephora. I then called every Sephora in Melbourne and couldn’t find the shade I needed so I went on eBay and managed to get it super cheaply from a lady in Germany. It’s really creamy, it smoothes on beautifully and doesn’t look cakey and weird. It also lasts for AGES. If they ever discontinue this product, I’m going to be pissed. I fully intend on calculating how much I’ll need for the rest of my life and bulk ordering it. I actually love it that much.

cheap makeup

3. Instain Blush from The Balm  – $41.50

I just randomly grabbed this one day from David Jones and it’s pretty ace. Just gives a nice little rosy lift, particularly in winter when all the colour goes from my face. I do have red-ish cheeks naturally so this isn’t an everyday product for me but it’s great to add a touch of colour if my face is looking a little flat.

cheap makeup

4. Australis Colour Clique in Pink Lady – $16.95

I’ve always been a fan of primer. It’s like face spackle. I usually use Benefit POREfessional but the last time I ran out of that I couldn’t be assed going to the city to get more so I just grabbed this Australis one from the chemist. It’s bloody good. I got the Pink Lady shade to ‘brighten and illuminate’ and I reckon it works. I’m almost out of this but I’ll definitely be buying it again.

cheap makeup

5. Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil – $19.95

I’m very much of school that embraces pale skin but for a special occasion where I don’t want to look totally translucent in a fancy dress, I’ll slap this stuff on after my shower for a few days leading up to the event. It’s light enough that it looks natural, it’s not streaky and it’s one of those gradual tanners so you don’t get that just-rolled-around-in-a-bag-Cheetos look. The best part? It has an extremely mild smell which is ace. Stronger fake tans smell like cat piss to me and I can smell them a mile away. The odour of Bondi Sands is bearable. It also doesn’t stain clothing or sheets. It’s easily the best fake tanner I’ve used and I’m extremely fussy with fake tanners. I’ll also use Sally Hansen Air Brush Legs Spray on the day of an event – it’s like body make-up. It just smoothes and gives a light tint. It also stops me from destroying every photo with glowing legs that bounce the photographers flash right back at them. #palegirlproblems.

cheap makeup

6. Marc Jacobs Liquid Liner- $44

I got two of these for free in a goody bag from Sephora and I’m totally in love. I didn’t even know that Marc Jacobs did make-up and then these things came into my life. Hands down the best liquid eyeliner I’ve ever used and I say this because I’m rubbish at applying liquid eyeliner and this stuff is foolproof. Even though I didn’t have to pay for my first two, I’ve become so addicted to them, I’ll definitely buy more. $44 is creeping dangerously close to my no-go zone but it lasts for ages so I don’t mind springing for it.

cheap makeup

7. Nude By Nature Moisture Shine Lipstick – $22.95 

I’m on my second tube of this stuff and it rocks. Have you read Eccentric Glamour by Simon Doonan? It’s fabulous. He recommends finding your ideal lipstick shade and then buying 20 tubes of it so you never run out of it if it ends up discontinued. I generally wear a hot pink lipstick but more recently I’ve had a nude/rose pink one on the go that I use instead of lipgloss. The Bare Pink shade of this lipstick is such a great everyday colour and just makes me look a bit more polished when I haven’t done a full face of make-up.

I do a cheap make-up post every now then to let people know what I’m using but also to get advice on what everyone else is using. The last I wrote a post like I discovered Tarte cosmetics and they’re awesome. So please let me know what cheap makeup you’re using and in particular, what products you’ve totally finished and then bought again.

What cheap makeup are you using right now? What’s your number one recommendation?

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20 Comments

  1. Paula 3 months ago

    I love my Natio tinted moisturiser… I wear it every day… Sunscreen and a smoothing out the colour on my face.. I only use Foundation on top on the odd occasion when I have an important meeting.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      How great is it? I’m already on my second tube and will definitely get more. It’s the sunscreen that I love. Don’t have to double down.

  2. Emmams 3 months ago

    Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara is my everyday fave – it comes in brownish black which looks quite natural on me and is true to the name. No clumps!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      Oh I love the sound of that! Will try that next time!

  3. Kimberley 3 months ago

    It’s over $50…just, it’s $58…BUT it’s two products and there’s a mirror! Stila stay all day foundation and concealer is so good, not too heavy and great coverage. I use it everyday and it lasts me approx 6 months. Highly recommend it! Thanks for the natio tip too, i want to have one product for a low maintenance makeup day.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      I’ve heard great things about Stila prods – I had a Stila eye palette that lasted FOREVER it was so good. Must visit their counter again soon.

  4. Jessica 3 months ago

    The only thing I wear every day is Olay Total Effects BB cream (always get it on special ~$23) and then my basics are mostly MAC- Next to Nothing Pressed Powder (though I’ve had a good Revlon powder for years to), Technakohl Liner in Photogravure (dark brown) or Graphblack (goes on so smooth, never dry or scratchy), Powder Blush in Springsheen for a warm peachy glow, Eye Shadow in Mystery (med grey brown). My favourite and cheapest item though is Maybelline Full N’ Soft Waterproof Mascara, it’s $10.50, is exactly what it says and I’ve been using it for probably 10 years, replacing every 6-12 months. The MAC items are all under $50 each, still not cheap but I’ve also had them all for years, only the eyeliners get replaced annually when I use them up, so overall I think they’re excellent value having found basics that I love.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      Cheap mascara is the bomb – I’m such a supermarket mascara buyer. I think MAC prods (and NARS too actually) are generally really amazing value.

  5. Missy D 3 months ago

    I’m pretty cheap when it comes to mascaras and eyeliners. But I did just discover that Revlon discontinued my favourite red lipstick. Why do they always do this??????? So hard for me to find lipstick reds that aren’t too orange or pink (these colours in lipstick look like clown makeup on me). But I’ve found someone who sells it online and bought five sticks. 😉

    I’m interested in the Nude lipstick you have… I really want a nude/pink one, but have never been able to find the right colour for me in this look.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      That’s so annoying! I’ve the same, I really struggle to find a good red. Haven’t actually found one yet! I lean more towards pink nudes because my skin is very pale and nude nudes make me look like I’ve dipped my lips in putty.

  6. Vanessa 3 months ago

    I love the Natio tinted moisturizer. I have very temperamental skin and the thought of wearing anything less than a full-coverage foundation to hide it used to freak me out. But when I took the plunge and tried this, not only did it look so much better than a full face of cakey makup, but my skin settled right down. It’s the perfect natural-look product and if I want a little more coverage then I will put a dusting of powder over the top. I’ll never look back.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      How good is it? It’s that light, natural, non-cakeyness I love the most.

  7. Cheney 3 months ago

    I got a tube of Kevyn Aucoin’s The Volume mascara last Christmas, and it’s the only mascara I’ve ever re-purchased. Makes my eyelashes look awesome, doesn’t flake off, and when you rinse with warm water at the end of the day, it comes off easily in little tubes. My skin’s pretty sensitive, so not having to pull at or rub the skin near my eyes to remove it is a big plus. It’s under $50, but not exactly cheap for a mascara. 100% worth it though.

    • Jacq 3 months ago

      Cheney – if you’re looking for a cheaper option of tubing mascara, I highly recommend the Last Xtend one (in a pink tube) from Model Co – you can also get from Woolies (currently on special for around $14!). I would never use a non-tubing mascara again, they are the best!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      I’ve been wanting to try a tubing mascara for ages! Must get on that.

  8. Jody D 3 months ago

    My 18 year old daughter and I use ALL the Natio products, makeup and skin care. We have converted MANY friends and family too!!!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      I’ve always loved Natio stuff and I’m so pleased to see they’ve expanded and lasted the test of time!

  9. Kathryn OHalloran 3 months ago

    I recently got the Two Faced Lip Injection. I was a dubious about the lip plumping effect but it had good recommendations. Not only does it noticeably plump my lips up but it intensifies the natural colour which is awesome. I rarely wear lipstick because I’m hopeless at applying it so having a better natural colour means no worries about that and no smudging.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 months ago

      I bought a plumping gloss called Lip Venom and it was really disappointing. The tube was tiny, it was super expensive and it didn’t seem to plump anything, just made my lips annoyingly tingly. Must try this one instead!

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  1. […] though (and by recently I mean the last decade), I’ve scaled my make-up routine waaaaaay back. These days I slap on a handful of sunscreen, primer, tinted moisturiser and mascara. Maybe a quick […]

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