Splurge or steal: 7 beauty pairs to pick from pending your bank balance
Are you in the mood to spend or save?
By Ruby Cotton
Content Producer / April 01 2022
With all the steps in our makeup and skin care routines, we can sometimes need up to 10 different products just to get out the door (and that’s keeping things lean). Which is why, to avoid burning a hole in our pocket, purchasing said items requires a little bit of research and a lot of strategy to determine where to spend and where to save.
Depending on who you ask, there are certain products you can’t skimp on, while others make no difference whether they’re from the drug or department store.
For example, some of us insist on having a lip balm within arms reach at all times, believing any on-counter Chapstick at the chemist will do. But picking up a lipstick while we’re there? Forget it.
On the other hand, one woman’s Chanel foundation might be classified as an investment in their happiness, but when it comes to concealer, they’re scoffing at anyone splashing anything over $20.
For others, only that luxe $100 jar of moisturiser from their facialist will touch their skin. But their cleanser? Anything dermatologist-approved from the supermarket will do.
Basically, what we’re saying is, no beauty bag is the same. And nor should it be. We each have different needs, different insecurities which we believe require more attention, and most importantly, different budgets. Hence why we need to be strategic over which ones are worth splashing the cash on and which we can pull back and save.
To make the process easier (we hope), we’ve compiled a list of all the best splurge and steal products for you to consider. From cream bronzers to toners, here’s a guide for if you need to reign in your spending this month or perhaps you’re overdue for a little luxe treat. Either option won’t disappoint.
Both of these best-selling foundation formulas have been infused with the skin care hero hyaluronic acid for a hydrating, silky, and skin-like finish. While L'Oréal’s foundation may not have been rumoured to be Megan Markle’s favourite, (apparently she’s a huge Luminous Silk fan), it makes up for it with a blendable, buildable coverage that looks luxurious on the skin.
Let’s talk lip balm. If you’re a real connoisseur, you’ll know that it’s an unwritten rule to keep one in your handbag, car, work drawer and bedside table. The need for multiple chapsticks naturally makes us lean towards the budget-friendly option. That said, we're not opposed to mixing and matching. Your splurge can take prime position in your handbag, and the more affordable Blistex can live everywhere else.
Protect your face, at any cost. Both options offer SPF 50 and a matte finish that won’t clog your pores. Cancer Council’s version offers the classic SPF cream texture, while the splurge from Naked Sundays has an irresistible and unique silky serum formula. But hey, most importantly, both will protect you from damaging UV rays, so don’t beat yourself up if this is one you’re going to save on.
If you follow the blush headlines closely, you’ll know this isn’t the first time a Dior and essence blush have undergone a side-by-side comparison (their Mosaic Blush, which isn’t available in Aus anymore, is often touted as being a Dior dupe). However, this essence version will satisfy those who love the appearance of sun-kissed cheeks, while its expensive counterpart favours a softer, rosier flush. Our suggestion? Splurge on Dior’s cooler-toned blush in the winter, and because it’s only $5, pick up the essence blush once summer rolls around.
It's hard to deny this splurge option when it's been dubbed "Jesus in a bottle" and "liquid Botox." However, is there anything scarier than the words “price on application”? Uh, not really. The K-Beauty crowd pleaser from COSRX, however, sits loud and proud under the $45 dollar mark and has been proven to deliver equally as impressive skin-enhancing results.
Splurge: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, POA at The Skincare Edit
Steal: COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Lotion, $41 at Adore Beauty
Mascaras undoubtedly divide people, and as with every step in your routine, it’s a totally personal preference. If this is a category you refuse to skimp on, power to you. The same goes for those who have found their beloved formula on the unassuming shelves of Chemist Warehouse. After all, there’s a reason this under $20 L'Oréal mascara has such a cult following…
Splurge: ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara, $42 at MECCA
Steal: L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara Black, $16.49 at Chemist Warehouse