How to save serious $$ on makeup and achieve the same high end look

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I mean what is hula? Who is Anastasia (pronounced Annastargisia) Beverly Hills? Why does this cost $80 a bottle? Do I need to paint my face with 'brushes'? What do I even use this for?? 

So a couple of weeks ago, I bought my first ~high end~ foundation. Yes, I know... I'm a bit slow, and possibly even stingy when it comes to jumping on the cosmetic band wagon. I have been meaning to buy myself a good quality foundation for what seems like years but I could never grasp the idea of spending +$50 on a product. So years later and with still the same income and savings... I thought what the hell! And I walked into mac and bought the little thing. 

I always think about how great it would be to own such pretty & amazing beauty products and looking like I have the face of a Victoria Secret model... but I certainly can not afford to be pulling hundreds out of my wallet every week (I haven't seen a hundred dollar note since I lived with my parents, for reals) and let's face it- you can't have an Angel face and a donut body... 

And after all this, I got thinking even harder about the products that I have and the products that I want. Because of this need for high end makeup & my lack of money- I have been purchasing extremely cheap products for years to make up for what I am missing. So if you want to see how to save the big bucks $$ and still get the same (or close) out come... then keep reading! 


It felt so wrong, that it was right, when I spent $50 on a small bottle of foundation. My limit used to be no more than $25! I had been using whatever product was on special that I could find and hope that it was the right colour and coverage that I was after. 

What I did like about Mac was that there is such a huge range of different shades! What I didn't like was that I thought the girl fitted my right shade of colour, but I learnt the next day that I have just liquidised a $50 note. Great. 

My favourite drug store foundation would have the be the newest Super Stay 24 by Maybelline for $25. It have the same full coverage as Mac Studio Fix and I would say it stays put just about the same. So if you are looking for a product that is a medium coverage and won't cost you an arm and a leg, I would give one of the Super Stays a go!

I have watched what seems like a thousand Youtube videos on contouring your face, and highlighting your face seems to be the worlds biggest trend at the moment. Every cosmetic label seems to be pushing out a new product every week... But what on Earth do I buy and where do I start??

The Australis contour kit is so popular at the moment! I recently did a post when I trialled the product which you can read here. I think the kit is very reasonably priced for around $16. Although, you can use the product really quickly if you are using it everyday and you end up being left with 2 full brown colours and one highlighter that you don't use. It has taken me around 2 months to finish the kit. 

You can pick up products like the The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer for around $30 from David Jones or  target, which really isn't that expensive. Mary Lou is so pretty, shimmery and bright... but also is a cheap eyeshadow! I picked up this one (photo below) from Priceline for around $4.50. It does the same thing as would an expensive highlight. And because it's an eyeshadow, it's also very pigmented and sparkly. All you need to do to save the big bucks is a few swab test on your wrist and make sure it is nude and shimmery. Voila!

And as for a contour... just use your favourite bronzer!


Brows also happen to be the latest trend at the moment. I have adored brows for as long as I can remember... I have a face as round as a beach ball, so anything that can in some way 'alter' my face is a win! But why is there a million pencils, crayons, gels and liquid stick thingys and what do I even use?? This took me awhile to work out... 

Bushy brows
If you are like me and cursed with the Jonny Howard brows- use it to your advantage! We are so lucky... we can get them waxed into the most perfect shapes. And this also means that you really don't need to fill in your brows. Yay! Get yourself what seems to be a mascara for your eyebrows. In this case, I prefer to use high end- Benefit Gimme Brow for $40. This product works from the brow hairs and creates fibres that I guess extend the hairs. You can pick up products like Rimmel Brow This Way for around $16. They are good... but not as good as a high end product. 

Thin to zero Brows
You are best to use either a crayon or pencil. I was originally filling my brows with a pencil around $15 but have only around 6 months back realised that the $5 Essence pencils work just as well as the Rimmel brow pencils. And the cheaper product comes in about 15 different colour options as opposed to 'blonde- medium- dark' in the other brands. Winning!


Every girls dream is big fluffy eyelashes, yeah? Ok, well maybe that is just mine! I am so jealous because my boyfriend is blessed with the most beautiful, long, healthy eyelashes... Why?!

 I used to buy any mascara that was on special and hope for the best. Now, I have been using this baby (below) Loreal Paris Million Lashes mascara and I haven't looked back! It costs around $30 but just buy it when it is on sale... It really does extend your lashes, but in a nice way. The more coats- the more build. So if you are looking for the perfect mascara... look no further!

Everyone is raving about the They're Real mascara by Benefit and I will be trying once I can gather some coin together (one day...) Have you guys tried? What do you think?

A few other suggestions... 

Beauty Blenders
Save yourself! Instead of spending $25 on the original Beauty Blender- Chi Chi cosmetics makes literally the same product and for only $5.95. It's a beauty blender! You're going to need to replace it ALOT because it holds all of your old foundation. Cut one in half and you'll see!

Don't waste your dollars buying into another 'contouring kit'! Get yourself a cheap eyeshadow highlighter and you're favourite bronzer. If you don't want it to be shimmery- there are a huge range of matte bronzers or matte eyeshadows that can do the trick! You just need to find the right colour. 

What products do you like to use? 

Do you perfect high end or drug store cheap?

What are your tips?

Post a comment in the box below & link me to your blog. I love finding new websites & I promise I'll get back to you. 

Have a happy day :)

Em x 

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