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2011’s best beauty buys under $20

Meld Magazine

Tue Nov 22 2011


OUR resident beauty expert Emily Quak cleanses, scrubs and lipsticks herself to exhaustion to bring you this year’s best beauty buys that won’t break your budget.

You know the saying, “the best things in life are free”? Well, I can’t give you free, but I can get you close! Here are 2011’s best beauty products that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but will produce almost identical results to the high-end brands.

These products have been tried and tested by yours truly. So believe me when I say they really do produce results.

Best Moisturiser
For moisturisers, you can’t get any better than Nivea Creme, $9.16. This moisturiser has been around for 100 years now and gives you the softest, most dewy, smooth skin you’ve ever seen.

Best Mask
Clean & Clear In-Shower Facial, $10.79, defnately deserves a mention. This one minute mask sloughs away dead skin cells to give you clear, radiant skin. It feels tingly and refreshing on your face and smells great too. It’s a fantastic way to get yourself feeling fresh and awake in the morning.

Best Foundation
I’m a sucker for a good foundation and I can’t go past Face of Australia’s Mineral Therapy Liquid Foundation, $11.95. This formula is light and gives me a gorgeous dewy glow. It has medium coverage and with a natural, smooth and even finish it is the closest thing to makeup perfection you’ll find in a chemist. Definitely one to look out for!

I love to apply foundation with a buffing brush, so it’s buffed well into your skin instead of just sitting on top of it.

Best Lipstick
Two days ago I would have given you a completely different answer, but Face of Australia have knocked this one right out of the park with my latest discovery – their Lip Quencher Lipsticks, $9.45. I tried one in Lychee Crush recently and it was love at first swipe! The colour range is fantastic and the formula glides on and stays on. Not to mention, it moisturises lips and has SPF 30+ protection, so there are no obvious cracks in the lips.

To make your lipstick last longer, try drawing in your lips with a lip liner first or simply carry your lipstick along with you in your purse for touch-ups.

Best Eyeshadow
There is simply no competition in this category – Sleek Cosmetics make the most divine eyeshadows ever. They are pigmented and buttery smooth, and, honestly, a dream to wear and blend. Most of their eyeshadow palettes cost $12.23 plus postage and handling. You can get them on eBay or from the official Sleek Cosmetics website.

If it’s an Australian brand you’re looking for, then head over to the display for Australis’ Paparazzi Perfect range of eyeshadows, $15.95. They have some great palettes and shades on offer.

Best Blush
Once again, I have to mention Sleek Cosmetics’s blushes. Their colours are exquisite and great dupes for some higher-end brands. At $9.50 plus postage and handling, they’re a fraction of the price too.

Another brilliant brand is Bourjois – a baby company of Chanel. Their blushes are wearable and feature a pretty large range of shades and finishes. Just smile and apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks for a rosy, healthy look. While Bourjois blushes come in tiny pots, they last a long time and are really pigmented, so a little goes a long way. They’re a bit pricey though, retailing at $20.

Best Tanning Lotion
Oka, so I have to admit, I haven’t actually tried this one, but the word of mouth around it has been phenomenal. The Le Tan in Le Can, $12,99, is a great spray-on self-tanning lotion. You can match it with the Le Tan Face Tan, $7.99, to make sure you get the same colour from top to toe. Both tanning formulas stain gradually, so you can avoid messy streaks and an unsightly, uneven skin tone.

Best Exfoliant
I highly recommend St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $9.99, for all your exfoliating needs. I have been using this since I was 16 and I absolutely love the feel of my skin after I scrub my face. I exfoliate once a week and my skin is baby smooth after just one minute of scrubbing the granules into it.

Remember not to exfoliate too hard or you risk damaging your skin. St. Ives also has a medicated version of the scrub for those of us who are acne-prone, but I wouldn’t recommend you scrub if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Best Nail Polish
Once again, Face of Australia takes the cake in this category. They produce a large range of colours and release fantastic limited edition shades every season or so. Their latest limited edition range is set to hit stores in December, so look out for some colourful, gorgeous shades in store soon. Most colours retail for $6.95.

When applying nail polish, remember to apply a good cuticle oil and push down your cuticles beforehand, so the end result is a polished, salon-like look.

Have I piqued your interest? Are there any other brands or products you think deserve a special mention? Let us know in the comments box below.