Luxe VS. Less: The MAKEUP Edition

14 September 2017

If I had to choose a child, makeup would be my favourite. Now although I love bodycare and skincare (haircare is the child I’d be happy to send off to boarding school), makeup is the most fun and defs the prettiest. If you haven’t read my bodycare segment, well you’re naughty. But you can find it here so go catch up…

Read it yet? Good lass/lad. So let’s move onto makeup. Below you’ll find items you would find in most beauties makeup bag with luxe and less options.




NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer has superb coverage skills without getting crusty or cakey. The shade range is extensive so everyone can find a colour to suit and it actually lasts a substantial amount of time, making the $44 price tag easier to accept.  Buy here.


All the gals at Showpo HQ are loving the LA Girl – HD Pro Concealer, and not just because of the $12.95 price tag. It rose to quick fame after Shaaanxo started singing its praises and now we’re lucky enough to stock it on Showpo! Buy here.



Benefit really do brows like no other and the Brow Zing, which retails for $55, has completely changed my brow game. The compact contains pigmented wax for shaping, natural shaded powder for setting, discreet tweezers, hard angle brush, blending brush and mirror.  Find here.


My favourite Ardell pomade is an absolute steal at $14.99 and lasts forever! I love the shade and the formula makes it super easy to use. Because it lasts so long it can get dry so I spritz a bit of makeup setting spray into it to moisten it up.  Find at Priceline.

TIP: Buy the Benefit Angled Brow Brush & Spoolie ($35) and you’ll NEVER have to buy another brow product again. It’s that good you can shape your brows with any product; old pomade, eyeshadow, ever bronzer – this little wand will work wonders! 




Yves Saint Laurent Touch Éclat is a cult product I banged on about in this video. It’s so easy to use and visibly makes your under-eye area brighter instantly. $55 and available at Myer.


At only $22, the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream works like a bloody dream. It smooths the eye area, covers dark circles and hydrates the area. Plus you don’t need to hunt it down, you can buy it from your local Priceline.




Every lass deserves to have a special lippy for nights out. All you need is the perfect LBD and a slash of this bad boy from Bobbi Brown to feel your hottest self. PLUS, the ‘Imperial Red’ shade comes housed in a crest-embossed gold tube making it the ultimate handbag essential. $55, available from Bobbi Brown.


The formula of this Rimmel lipstick in ‘Muse Red’ feels much more expensive than the $13.95 price tag suggests. The colour is vibrant and intense while applying smoothly with zero amounts of patchiness. Grab yours from Priceline or any ol’ chemist really.




If you’re after a luxurious, creamy nude lip colour with the perfect amount of pink undertones… you can’t look past the iconic ‘Pink Dusk’ shade by Tom Ford. The lip colours are $78 but you’ll feel like a million dollars every time you get the luxe tube out for reapplications. Go on, treat yo’ self. Available at David Jones.


A true nude shade, the Sephora Collection ‘Boy Oh Boy’ is a creamy, ultra-matte lipstick delivering a fresh dose of pigment on your pout. It’s good quality and $20 so run, don’t walk towards the pretty lights.




Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick in ‘All About Pink’ is SO pigmented and comes in the prettiest housing compartment. Make a statement in this bold shade or just shake up your usual beauty look. Available from Myer for $52.


Australis don’t do anything half-assed and the Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in ‘Twerk’ offers a splash of highly pigmented colour for just $13.95 at pharmacies.




It probably isn’t the most practical palette on the market, but who needs practicality with all these pretty colours! The HUDA BEAUTY Textured Palette Rose Gold is a gorgeous array of highly pigmented eyeshadows you need in your life. At $95, it might seem steep but my justification is that it’s $5.20 per shade… not too shabby! Available from Sephora.


Maybelline has some beautiful palettes now on the market but the ‘Nudes’ collection has to be my fave. With such pretty colours, it’s rude not to buy this palette for $29.95. Run, don’t walk to Priceline.




Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Compact sure hurts the wallet at $118, but the matte, silky finish it gives your skin is worth it. You can dust it over your foundation to set it and give your skin radiance, or you can build a fuller coverage. Available at Myer and Sephora.


Milani is one of those great brands that flies under the radar sometimes despite having really amazing and well-priced products. The pressed powder is only $12.95 and loved by vloggers all over the world. Buy here.




KEVYN AUCOIN The Matte Bronzing Veil is free from glitter and glimmer, so brings life and radiance to your complexion without the tell-tale sheen. Available from Mecca for $70, it’s a quality product worth investing in.


I’ve been a fan of ModelCo bronzers for many years as they’re one of the only bronzers that don’t cost the earth minus shimmer. It brings warmth to your face and you can also use it to contour so at $24, it’s pretty good bang for your buck. Available here.




I was first introduced to the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation in the states and have been a convert ever since. The foundation leaves a flawless finish thanks to a formula that provides medium to buildable coverage with a lightweight, second-skin texture. $67 and available here.


L’Oreal True Match Liquid Foundation is a cult drug-store foundation for good reason. At only $29.95 (which wouldn’t be considered ‘drug store prices’ in any other country bar AUS), the colour and texture blends in beautifully with your skin making it look like you just have an amazingly flawless complexion. Find at most pharmacies.



I couldn’t choose between powder or cream so here’s both! 


The Nars Illuminator is perfect for a fresh and dewy finish; PLUS a little goes a long way so the $44  tube lasts agggesss. Find this fella at any Nars counter.

Champagne Pop by Becca has been my fave highlighter ever since the kween herself (Jaclyn Hill) released it to the makeup world.  It’s $68 at Sephora and worth event cent.


Although the pigment isn’t that strong, the NYX illuminator offers the prettiest subtle glow wherever you dust it. It’s $17.95 for a massive pan and available from Priceline.

Another goodie available at Priceline is the Maybelline New York Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter (now THAT is a long-ass name). Swipe on the high points of your face for a beautiful, glowing finish.




Givenchy Acti’mine makes you glowy AF. Sometimes I just wear it solo to brighten my skin on ‘no makeup’ days as it also evens out my complexion. Get yours at Sephora for $58.


I have this $13.95 Rimmel primer at my desk and whenever people borrow it they’re surprised at how smoothing it is. Available at most pharmacies, it’s a must-have.




I wish I didn’t love the Sisley So Curl mascara so much because at $75, it’s just a touch exxy. But it’s bloody amazing and one coat has my lashes looking like I’ve got extensions. Available from David Jones.


I only just started using the Revlon Dramatic Definition Mascara and it’s gone into my everyday loot of beauty arsenal. It creates really thick lashes without the clumpiness and sits at a pretty reasonable $21.95. More info here.




The Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Liquid Liner allows for SO much accuracy and control. The $48 pen is blackest of blacks and you can buy refills which is super handy.

I love the formula of the $39 China Doll Eyeliner by Napolean Perdis. It’s really smooth, with great consistency. Buy here.


I’ve been using the Australis Eye Pencils since I was at university. The colour is so rich and they go on so smoothly. Available pretty much everywhere and at $9.49, it’s rude not to own one.

With the intensity of a liquid eyeliner and the precision of a pencil, the Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Eyeliner is a great buy at $23.95. Available at Priceline.




M·A·C Mineralize Blush is bloody beautiful. Sheer and oh-so pretty, the light reflecting particles gives you a beautiful flush. It takes ages to hit pan on the $45 product as you only need to sweep each cheek lightly. Buy here.


You never know what you’re going to get for $5.95 as with cosmetics, low prices can sometimes mean a product will be hit or miss. Luckily, ulta3’s blush is phenom. You only need a light tap of powder, it’s THAT pigmented and offers a really pretty finish. Available at pharmacies.

NOTE: I do apologise to international readers for the AUS RRPs and stockists. Please leave me a comment if you can’t find something in your region and I can help hunt! 

Words by Kelly McCarren.