There is nothing that breaks my beauty-loving heart more than spending up on a product, then going home and hating it. And knowing I can't take it back.
IT. IS. THE. WORST.
So it really pays (ha!) to do your research on which products are worth the money, especially because us Aussies are #blessed to have ridiculously marked up prices on beauty products, so the old adage of you get what you pay for isn't always accurate!
And because I've got your back with these things, I've rounded up 7 types of products that will always be worth splashing the cash on, as well as those that you can get away with buying their cheaper alternatives. You and your wallet are welcome!
Splurge - Moisturiser & SerumOr pretty much any skincare product that you don't rinse off! Moisturisers and their exxier (but totally worth it) counterparts, serums, will always be worth the extra dollars because these products sink into the skin to give long-lasting effects. Plus as the prices get higher, so do the quality of the ingredients and the number of benefits, such as added SPF, evening out your skin tone and helping your makeup go on smoother.
Save - CleanserThese are literally only on your skin for a minute at most, before it gets washed down the drain! Unless you are allergic to certain ingredients or have particularly sensitive skin, any old cleanser will do to wash your face with. Those delicious-sounding ingredients in those expensive formulas? They won't be on the skin long enough to have any effects before they get rinsed off, so don't bother!
|My favourite: Albion Exage Moist Crystal Milk II, $30 - $50 approx|
Splurge - Face Primer
Think of primers like the base coat for your makeup - no matter how cheap the base products you use are, a good quality primer will instantly transform the way your makeup applies and looks for the better. Cheaper primers are often thicker and can clog pores, so it's worth investing in a more expensive one as they are usually thinner and easier to blend, and many also counteract any redness in the skin, are flash photography friendly and even make your makeup waterproof!
Save - FoundationIf you have a good primer, it doesn't really matter what foundation you use as the primer will help it blend, as well as go on smoother and more evenly. Affordable brands like Maybelline New York and Rimmel London both have a great range of foundations for around $20, and keep in mind - many of your favourite affordable brands are owned by high end makeup companies, and often their stellar formulas will trickle down to their cheaper labels, just repackaged!
|My favourite: Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, $25 - $69|
Splurge - Face Powders
The giveaway for how high-quality a face powder is, is how finely milled the powder is. The higher price point is usually an indication of the time spent processing the powder, and the finer the powder, the easier it is to blend it seamlessly into the skin. Especially with setting powders, bronzers and highlighters, cheaper versions often use glitter to create that illuminating effect, which usually don't apply or blend as well as their more expensive counterparts that use tiny shimmer particles to get a softer and more natural effect.
Save - BlushWhile there's nothing like a gorgeous NARS or MAC blusher on your vanity, if you have a big collection of lipstick, you can easily use your lippy as a cream blush and save yourself the cash.
|My favourites: NARS Bronzer in Laguna, $49 and Hourglass Ambient Powder Wardrobe, $76|
Splurge - Eyeshadow
I have yet to find a drugstore eyeshadow that I well and truly love, because nothing really compares to the buttery smooth texture and pigmentation of more expensive shadows. I recommend getting a palette from a brand like Lancome, Stila or Urban Decay, so you get more value for money as eyeshadows are one of the most expensive beauty products you can buy.
Save - Eyeshadow PrimerThis is a fairly new product to hit the market, and as a result they're pretty expensive and hard to find in drugstore product ranges. But while they're nice and all, you can get the same effect by using a liquid concealer or cream eyeshadow applied lightly to the eyelids before adding your powder shadows. EASY.
|My favourite: Urban Decay NAKED3 Palette, approx $54|
Splurge - Makeup Brushes
If there's one thing beauty lovers agree on, it's that a good makeup brush will always be worth the spend! The bristles will be softer, easier to clean and better at applying your beauty products. Cheaper alternatives often drop their hairs on your face, apply streaky and generally don't last as long. I've even heard of horror stories where the brush dye leaks out from some cheaper ones when you wash them! #eek #yougetwhatyoupayfor
Save - Brush CleanerUnless you're a makeup artist who needs to constantly spot clean brushes, you can totally get away with washing your brushes with gentle dishwashing liquid and olive oil, or a simply formulated shampoo and conditioner. Both methods will effectively clean and condition your brushes and it is much cheaper than buying a special product.
|My favourites: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, $19.99 and Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush, $46|
Splurge - Hair Styling ProductsWhile styling products such as salt spray, mousse and oils are by no means essentials to your beauty routine, they certainly do help make doing your 'do a lot simpler! Investing in a good heat protectant spray - even if you don't use hot tools - will benefit your hair in both the short and long term to keep it healthy with the multiple blow dries it endures each week (or day, if you're so inclined!). And most hair products come in large bottles and sprays, so if you think about them in terms of cost per use, they're actually quite affordable!
Save - Shampoo & ConditionerUnless you have coloured hair, any combo is going to work just fine! Skip the pretty bottles and go straight for brands like Schwarzkopf or Garnier which are very affordable and do a fantastic job (and come in a huge range of types!). Don't forget, these products get washed away in the shower - so keep it simple!
|My favourites: muk Beach Muk, $23.95 and muk Hot Muk, $23.95|
Splurge - Top & Base CoatIt really doesn't matter what nail polish you use - if you have a great quality top and base coat, your manicure is going to last. A good base coat will help stop coloured polish staining your nails and many have the added benefits of strengthening and whitening your nails. And a top coat will help seal in your colour and prevent your polish from chipping as quickly as it would without one. You could use a discount bin $2 polish, but an amazing top and base coat will make it last like a professional manicure!
Save - Coloured Nail PolishWhile brands like Essie and OPI have beautiful polishes, it's pretty easy to find dupes for them in more affordable ranges. I highly recommend the Maybelline Super Stay 7 Days polish range which retail for $7.95 each and last two weeks on my nails!
|My favourites: Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in Invisible, $6.95 and L'Oreal Paris 7 In 1 Saviour Miracle Serum, $8.95|
What beauty products do you think are worth the splurge? Let me know in the comments below!