The cheap makeup brands we can’t get enough of
Great price and zero compromise on quality - we like!
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / April 25 2019
If you’re anything like us, you like to change your makeup with your mood and experiment with different looks on the regular. Unfortunatelym this means you need an epic and diverse makeup kit...which costs money. Lots of money. But luckily there are some seriously affordable makeup brands out there that compete with the best (and most luxe) of them. These are our favourite budget-friendly makeup brands.
#8 / Flower Beauty
New to Australia, Flower Beauty is Drew Barrymore’s makeup line that features eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, mascaras, foundations and well, every makeup product you need in your kit - all at super affordable prices. When we interviewed Drew Barrymore during her recent trip to Australia to launch Flower Beauty, we asked her which Flower Beauty product she thinks Aussie gals will love in particular, to which she answered: the Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation. “The way it works with the skin is incredible, and it’s light but has this perfect coverage.”
The review: “When it comes to cheap foundation I love the Flower Foundation by Drew Barrymore for its cheap price, great yellow undertones, staying power and glow factor.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
Price range: $3.99-$13.99
Available at: Chemist Warehouse
#7 / ColourPop
If you like colour, ColourPop lives up to its name and delivers pigment-rich makeup in the most vibrant shade ranges. They have a huge selection of products across lips, eyes, face and even brushes, and their products are vegan and cruelty-free. ColourPop is based in America so you can only buy their products through their online store, but if you spend over US$50 they offer free shipping overseas.
The review: “ColourPop is an amazing budget-friendly range that I can't get enough of. I love that the brand is cruelty-free...a must for me when I know I have a choice and that no animal suffers for sheer human vanity. The item I love the most? My ‘Yes, Please’ palette. It has the most beautiful sunset shades of gold, orange, peach and corals that you can get. It is a mix of matte and shimmers that is summer in a palette (and 12 hues, thank you very much).” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
Price range: USD$3-$85
Available at: colourpop.com
#6 / LUMA Cosmetics
The radiance-enhancing makeup and skin care line founded by Aussie model Jessica Hart, LUMA Cosmetics is all about complementing your natural beauty. Instead of bold colours, expect to find nudes and neutrals that help you look like you, only better. Think a bronzing primer, illuminating highlighter, brow grooming gel and cheek and lip tints, most of which comes in gel or cream formulas for a natural-looking finish. LUMA Cosmetics is a curated collection, which has all the bare essentials for those who love a minimalist ‘no makeup’ makeup look.
The review: “I love LUMA Cosmetics, the brainchild of Australian beauty, Jess Hart. It has a minimalistic, beach-beauty ethos behind the brand, and the whole range is under $40. My favourite product is the Just A Touch Lip & Cheek Tint, it’s a multitasking must-have. It gives cheeks a subtle glow and I keep it in my handbag for a touch of colour on my lips.” Toni Hynes, Who and New Idea’s Beauty Editor
Price range: $14.95-$39.95
Available at: Priceline and lumabeauty.com
#5 / e.l.f cosmetics
This cheap makeup (and skin care) brand carries everything our makeup kits could possibly need, including false eyelashes, setting sprays, an acne-fighting foundation and an Active Collection that’s formulated to withstand even the most intense workouts. Their formulas use high-quality vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, but the price point averages around the $15 or less mark.
The review: “I’ve never met an e.l.f cosmetics product that I didn’t like. Their formulas feel great on the skin and stay put throughout the day, and their offering includes everything you’d need in your everyday makeup kit. My favourite products are their cream formulas, such as the Beautifully Bare Cheeky Glow Blush and the Concealer, which look natural and enhance skin with a healthy radiance.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
Price range: $3.00-$149.00
Available at: Adore Beauty, Kmart, Big W, Target, select pharmacies and elfcosmetics.com.au
#4 / Nude by Nature
If you’re after a budget-friendly natural makeup brand, stock up on Nude by Nature. The Australian brand is cruelty-free and made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, including Australian natives like vitamin C-rich Kakadu plum and anti-ageing lilly pilly. Similar to LUMA Cosmetics, the colour ranges favour nude and pink hues that accentuate your natural beauty. One of their OG products - the Natural Mineral Cover Foundation - sells every 100 seconds, and one Nude by Nature product is sold every 22 seconds in Australia.
The review: “One of my favourite brands for high-quality makeup that won’t break the bank is Nude by Nature. The range is made with 100 per cent natural ingredients and is also cruelty-free, which is amazing. I also love that they use Australian ingredients in their products. One of my favourite products is the Natural Mineral Cover Foundation. It’s only $39.95 and it provides a really beautiful radiant finish with sheer coverage.” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Assistant
Price range: $14.94-$99.95
Available at: Big W, Chemist Warehouse, Myer, Priceline, Target, Adore Beauty and nudebynature.com.au
#3 / NYX Professional Makeup
NYX Professional Makeup is a discount makeup brand that has a cult following - professional makeup artists love it, you’ll often see it used by beauty bloggers and vloggers, it is constantly raved about on Reddit (their Makeup Epic Ink Liner received glowing reviews for being the best waterproof eyeliner), Zoe Foster Blake loves their Tinted Brow Mascara and our Beauty Editor Iantha lists the NYX Professional Makeup Full Throttle Lipstick as her go-to long-lasting lipstick. The cruelty-free makeup brand offers both on-trend and everyday essential makeup products in its extensive range.
The review: “NYX! So cheap and with a huge range, it has some amazing products that have become staples for me. I have tried so many brow products for unruly hairs, and my favourite is NYX's Control Freak Brow Gel. Lasts all day, holds everything in the shape I want, and no crusty, flaky gel feeling.” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
Price range: $7.95-$44.95
Available at: Priceline, Princess Polly, ASOS and nyxcosmetics.com.au
#2 / Australis
Australian brand Australis has been dishing up affordable makeup products for over 30 years. Their products are cruelty-free with a selection of vegan formulas, and they have a range of classic products (like their AC On Tour Powder Contouring & Highlighting Palette) as well as on-trend finds (such as their scented blushes and bronzers and Unicorn Drops) and cutting edge formulas, like their Match Maker Shade Adjusting Drops.
The reviews: “Australian-owned and cruelty-free. Has a huge range of products, all at fantastic prices. The quality of many products is actually very high and the packaging is cute. The product I always buy from Australis is the Bronzing Powder. Adds a warm, deep, buildable glow that looks great on both cheeks and as an eyeshadow.” Milan, SUPERcrew member
“My favourite cheap makeup brand is Australis. There are so many hidden gems within this Aussie brand that I keep reaching back for, with some of their products being higher quality than more expensive substitutes. My personal favourite product is their Fresh and Flawless Pressed Powder as it sets my makeup to last ALL DAY and gives the most gorgeous full coverage.” Alex, SUPERcrew member
Price range: $4-$79
Available at: Priceline, Big W, Kmart and australiscosmetics.com.au
#1 / Maybelline New York
Affordable prices with luxe formulas and a range of makeup products that are always at the forefront of the latest trends, it’s hard not to fall in love with Maybelline, even if you’re not on a tight budget. So many of their products have cult followings: the Fit Me! Concealer, the Lemonade Craze Eyeshadow Palette, pretty much *ALL* of their mascaras...It’s one of the world’s leading makeup brands and not only has a wide range of products, it also has a massive selection of shades - their Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation comes in an all-inclusive range of 40 shades.
The reviews: “I’ve always been a long-time fan of Maybelline, but I’ve found they’ve really picked up their game in the last year or two. Their products go beyond just being on-trend but great quality, too, with staying power and excellent pigmentation. One of my favourites is the Master Chrome Highlighter. The illumination and glow it delivers is next level (without being overly sparkly) and for just $20 it feels like a steal!” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
“The best makeup and my go-to brand is Maybelline. I am and have been a long time fan/user of their foundations. Currently, I am using the Fit Me! range, I especially love the Matte variety. The products are always consistent in quality and the range is always being updated with new products to fit current trends. It is a widely sold and stocked brand in all major supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores, which makes it super easy to purchase. (not always a benefit when your weakness is makeup purchases, lol). I think Maybelline has something for everyone regardless of age, gender and skin type.” Amanda G, SUPERcrew member
Price range: $2.76-$29.95
Available at: Amazon, Big W, Target, Kmart, Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Coles and Woolworths
Want to up your skin care game? These are the best-selling skin care brands at MECCA, Priceline and Myer.
What’s your favourite cheap makeup brand? Share with us below, we’d love to know!
Main image credit: @gigihadid
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.