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7 Cheap Make-Up Products That Will Make You Think Twice Before Dropping $250 at Sephora This Week

7 Cheap Make-Up Products That Will Make You Think Twice Before Dropping $250 at Sephora This Week
Carly Jacobs

I’m a notorious tight-ass. Quality is certainly a good friend of mine (Marimekko anyone?) but if I can get something that does the job without having to fork over my hard-earned moolah I’m all over it like a cheapskate on 7-11’s free Slushie day.

Weird side note – have you noticed that vloggers from the US always say ‘inexpensive’ instead of ‘cheap’? I reckon it’s because ‘cheap’ means poor quality over ye olde pond. Here in the land Oz ‘cheap’ just means ‘bargain’.

When I say ‘cheap’ I mean the following.

1. Under $50 

So that sounds like a lot to some people but I’ll explain that a bit in the next point. I can do a $45 fancy BB cream but $150? Nope. I had mates I went to uni with who wouldn’t buy groceries for a week so they could buy Clinique skincare. Bananas. I’d rather buy some Maybelline face slap AND toilet paper. I’m not dissing women and men who spend a lot on cosmetics (my hair takes up about 90% of my beauty budget – bitch needs specialist shampoo from the US and very cool people with tattoos who charge a $200 to cut it) but it’s just about putting your money towards the stuff that’s important to you. Expensive hair stuff makes a difference for me. Expensive skin stuff? Nah. Cheap make-up is where it’s at for me.

2. Must last ages 

My concealer is the most expensive product I own but it lasts a full year and I wear it literally every day. That’s ace value. Considering I’ve been wearing make-up since I was a teenager and writing in the style space, I should know more about make-up but I really don’t. As long as it vaguely does what I want it to do, I’m not too fussy. I do have to switch up products fairly regularly because I have what I call diva skin. It’s fine for months and then chucks a whopping great tanty and decides it’s allergic to everything. Fun.

On that note here are my favourite, cheap make-up items I’d definitely buy again.

7 Cheap Make-up Products I’ll Buy Again

Cheap Make-Up Products

1. Natio Tinted Moisturiser – $18.95

I’m on my fourth bottle of this stuff I reckon it might be love. I originally bought it because it has 50 plus sunscreen and being part vampire I need to cover myself in the stuff like a 90s teenager with Impulse body spray. It’s light, it absorbs easily and gives just enough natural coverage so I at least look like slept the night before. I’m definitely a tinted moisturiser/BB cream gal. Proper foundation is a bit much for me. Is anyone else fondly remembering their favourite Impulse fragrance? A guy I liked told me I smelled like ‘fresh-baked vanilla and cinnamon cookies’ when I wore the Vanilla one so it promptly became my signature fragrance. Much to my surprise, he turned out to be gay and that’s when I learned that very specific and poetic food-related compliments aren’t really a straight guy thing. Just a side note to any 13-year-old who might be eyeing off that sweet chorus boy you’re in the local production of Annie with. If he said you look like a modern-day Elizabeth Taylor, he’s probably going to end up married to a lovely man with a bunch of rescue dogs. Just FYI.

Cheap Make-Up Products

2. Bye Bye Under Eye from Sephora – $38

I got a tube of this free in one of the best blogger goodie bags I’ve ever received and I used it until I was sadly squeezing tiny drops from the tube. Unfortunately, when I went to replace it, 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 human 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 Make-Up Products

3. Poni The White Knight Mascara  – $30

Full disclosure – I didn’t buy this, the lovely people at Poni sent me some and I’m hooked. It has that growth serum stuff in it and since I’ve been using it, I’ve had HEAPS of compliments on Insta stories. Love it. My one complaint is that it has two brushes and I don’t really know how to deal with it. I tend to just use the volume brush because that’s the one that seems the easiest to unscrew but am I supposed to use both? I have no idea. I also feel very pressured when I have to choose between volume and length. It’s 2019. Can’t I have both?

4. Poni Cosmetics Brow Magic – $29

Since moving to the country I haven’t been able to get into a good eyebrow place. I used to get my eyebrows done at a tiny salon in Fitzroy called Eminence and the lady who owns it works eyebrow miracles. Traditional eyebrow threading and dying, my eyebrows were spectacular for a good 5 years. Then we moved and it’s all fallen apart. At the moment I’m just ignoring my eyebrows until I find a salon I like. I use this to give them a quick groom and it’s a bit of a lifesaver. It blends super well and doesn’t look like you’ve drawn a line through your eyebrow with a ballpoint pen.

Cheap Make-Up Products

5. Natio Mineral Eye Shadow Palette – $18.95

I haven’t worn eyeshadow in years and gave all my Naked palettes to my best friend who has actually managed to finish both of them. That has to be some kind of world record surely. I wanted a small palette I could travel with, in pinky nude shades, with absolutely no glitter in it whatsoever. I grabbed this from the local chemist and it’s pretty bonza. A quick swipe of the peachy nude in the mornings adds a touch of polish to my every make-up look. There are darker shades too for that one day of the year when I watch a Wes Anderson film and decide Margot Tenenbaum smoky eyes are now my new look. I do a smoky eye once a year to remind myself how much I rub my face and smear eyeliner from my brows to my jawline. I’m 100% not cool enough for daily smoky eyes but hats off the people who are. It’s a massive commitment. You guys would make excellent wives/husbands.

Cheap Make-Up Products

6. Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Colour – $20.99

My signature lip colour is hot pink and I have a few of the mega-long-lasting-a-tornado-wouldn’t-smear-it-lipsticks which I love but sometimes they’re a bit drying and serious for during the day. I wanted something a little lighter and a little more casual. Staying power is good – I kiss my 9-month old about 1000 times a day and it doesn’t get all over her. Even when I’m aggressively nuzzling into her neck and she’s pushing me away going ‘Nein, nein, nein!’. It’s a fab choice for a bold colour that’s not a big deal… you know what I mean?

Cheap Make-Up Products

7. Innoxa Line Defying Pressed Powder – $15.00

I’ve never been a huge fan of powder but I need it for events. I’m a Sweaty Betty and I get the face shine HARD after a few glasses of bubbles in a room full of people. A few little dabs on my nose (and sometimes decolletage) fixes me right up.

Every now and then I do a cheap make-up post 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 the Revlon HD lipstick and now I’m hooked.

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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  1. Louise 4 years ago

    Cheap makeup is my jam! I do love my Bobbi Brown foundation though. Here are my current faves:

    Foundation: Covergirl Active. Nice shades, lightweight and goes the distance. Definite repurchase.

    Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte in Translucent. This has been my go to since I was 13. Why fix it if it ain’t broken?

    Eyeshadow: I’m a one shade swipe kind of girl. I love Ulta3’s cream eyeshadow stick in Sunshine. I got mine from Terry White’s! Right now I have a Revlon Colourstay pot of eyeshadow in Praline. More expensive but it comes with it’s own little brush.

    Moisturiser: QV Daycream with SPF. Originally bought for my boyfriend but I got hooked too! Now we both use it daily.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I’m a one shade swipe girl too! And yes to QV – that stuff is heaven.

  2. Harlow 4 years ago

    I used to religiously shop at Mecca for all of my makeup – Urban Decay and Too Faced being my go to brands. I have a friend who always has gorgeous, flawless makeup who exclusively uses drug store brands. I was due for a makeup restock recently so I asked her to recommend me some of her favourites – Maybelline Dream Satin BB cream and L’Oréal Infallible 24hr Fresh Wear Foundation. Best foundation I’ve ever used and I’ve never paid more than $15 for it vs. $50 for the UD stuff. I also recently bought the L’Oréal eyeshadow squares which are $5…and they are every bit as good as my $70 Too Faced palettes. I used to buy the TF mascara for $30 a pop but honestly it’s no different to the Maybeline/Rimmel ones that Chemist Warehouse have for $7…So these days the only stuff I feel the need to splash out on is a SmashBox or Nars lipstick and Benefit brow stuff!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I’m the same! I’m all about those chemist brands. Most of my lipsticks are Maybeline or Revlon.

  3. J Driver 4 years ago


    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh yes! Natio is my go to. I’m stoked my local tiny chemist has a really good Natio section.

  4. Jody 4 years ago

    Sorry, NATIO!!!!!

  5. Jane 4 years ago

    Loving The Ordinary Squalene cleanser

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