Metaphorically of course. After all, it’s a cost of living crisis.
If your local beauty store or pharmacy told you $100 could go a long way, what would you buy? Would you invest in a few makeup signatures, or would you stretch your money as far as possible?
We asked four of Aotearoa’s top makeup artists to share how they spend their money. The results may surprise you.
From cult-favorite miniatures to multipurpose products for faces, eyes and lips, each artist takes a completely different approach to topping up their kits within the $100 limit.
For Hamilton-based makeup artist Gabrielle, all you need is a few essentials to build a simple daytime look that accentuates healthy skin and accentuates your natural features.
This is a very divine skin prep product that has been made very affordable as it is a French pharmaceutical brand. I love to prep almost any skin with this. This is very moisturizing and plump, but it dries to the touch, so even oily skin can handle it.
If you have long lashes, hooded eyes, or deeply set eyes, tubular mascara is a must. Tubular formula ensures all-day smudge-free, smudge-free, peel-free application.
These lip pencils have a beautiful formula and are comparable to other lip pencils that are double the price. Cheaper formulas often struggle to get nude colors right, but Mecca Max Pout Pencils come in a wide variety of nude colors.
The ingredients contained in this product are quite premium for the price. It contains both hyaluronic acid and squalene, and I found it to be a very good duck to the more expensive foundations. I love using this daily on myself so far.
We encourage you to save on items that come in fun colors. For example, there are many affordable new indie brands that make great eye shadows and lip colors. Absolutely save money on clear brow gel. Basically these are just alcohol and a few other ingredients.
Some New Zealand cosmetics and skincare brands, such as Raaie, offer discounts on your next purchase if you return old packaging. This is a great way to support locals and take care of Papatuanuk while saving a few pennies.
Spending savvy, Grayson has managed to extend his $100 budget to encompass what he calls “a well-rounded makeup kit with all the essentials for your face, eyes and lips.” We tend to agree!
This foundation is suitable for a wide variety of skin types as it offers a wide range of shades from cool to warm undertones, providing great coverage while providing a natural glowing finish.
This concealer effectively covers blemishes, dark circles and uneven skin tone. For those who need even more coverage, there are also color-correcting tones available.
These affordable palettes offer a range of shades that are suitable for both everyday and more dramatic looks. I personally love the “Velvet Rose” or “Affection” palette.
This mascara adds volume and length to your lashes, giving you the option to create a natural or dramatic effect and is suitable for sensitive eyes.
This gives it a very moisturizing texture and a wide range of excellent colors. Use this on your lips and blend the dots on your cheeks to use as a blush. I like “Bear It All”.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but there are some makeup items that I always want to invest more money in, in terms of quality and performance.
Investing in a quality foundation can make a huge difference in your overall look and how your makeup lasts. First, when people look at you, they are looking at the skin that makes up the bulk of your face. So, if your skin looks great, most people don’t really notice much more when it comes to makeup. Look for foundation that offers just the right shade, long-lasting coverage, and a finish that suits your skin type.
For similar reasons, a top-quality skincare routine is the foundation for the perfect makeup look. The luxury of purchasing quality skincare products with powerful, high-quality active ingredients will improve the texture and condition of your skin and improve the finish of your makeup.
Finally, I always invest in a good brush. While it’s true that you can get some pretty good stuff at low prices these days, quality makeup brushes make a big difference in how your makeup applies and blends, and if you take care of them, they can last for years. Investing in a quality set of brushes will improve the overall finish of your makeup and make the application process easier and faster.
Of course, these items may be worth the splurge, but it’s important to consider your budget and prioritize based on your needs and preferences. Before buying a luxury item, it’s always a good idea to do research, read reviews, and test the product to see if it lives up to the hype. Expensive doesn’t automatically mean better.
Of course, everyone is different, but in my case, there are a few items that generally aren’t worth the splurge.
Mascara is important to me. Drugstore mascaras often perform as well as high-end mascaras. Add length, volume and contour to your lashes without breaking the bank. Also, mascara has a relatively short shelf life (you have to replace it every 6 months), so it’s a good idea to go with the affordable option, especially if the results are the same.
Drugstore lip liners also offer smooth application and long lasting wear. There is no need to splurge on a luxury lip liner when you can find a quality lip liner at a lower price.
I’m not a big fan of makeup wipes, but they come in handy sometimes. It’s great for removing makeup quickly, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on luxury products at all. In fact, I find drugstore makeup wipes to be more effective at removing makeup and leaving the skin clean. But always use a good cleanser afterwards.
You can also save money by reducing clutter in your kit. Experiment with minimalist makeup to see what you actually need and love. Makeup comes off relatively quickly, so buying lots of different products and shades is an easy way to waste money in the long run. Better to buy less of the higher quality products and make the most of them.
A popular freelance makeup artist and longtime friend, viva, Keekie opts for mini or travel sizes of her favorite products when she wants to keep her budget under control. Her selection of products includes cult-favorite beauty miniatures purchased from her two of Sephora’s most popular brands, Tarte and Too Faced, and her two versatile products from MAC and her local brand, Aotea.
I can’t live without some kind of quick coverage item to even out my skin tone or get rid of winter dark circles and breakouts. On the go, an easy-to-apply concealer is best. Use with a foundation brush to finish the whole.
Good lashes are one of the best instant boosters, and while the name claim is a bit quirky, it’s still a nice voluminous texture. Since mascara is the product that needs to be replaced most often for hygiene reasons, mini mascara is a great option.
As a touch of color, I love multi-use products, especially in cream form. Using this mini lipstick bullet as a blush or lip tint makes it a very economical choice. Since the bullet is small, I like to pick up the color with my fingertips and press it into my cheeks and lips to stain. For a natural shade, choose a shade just slightly darker than your natural skin tone. Choosing from mini lipsticks is also fun, so you can build your wardrobe of color at a price point that’s cheaper than full-sized lipsticks.
During the winter, my skin feels the effects of the changing seasons and artificial heating, so balms are the last thing I add to my makeup bag. It’s a great product for dry lips and irritated skin, but I love dabbing it on my cheekbones and eyelids for a dewy, refreshing glow.
The makeup items that I consider worth the splurge are great skincare that suits you. Try a sample before you buy to see if it suits your skin, and test for at least a week to get used to new formulas.
And great eyeliner! There’s nothing worse than skimping on black liquid liner and having it smear, fade, and crease right after you apply it. I like to test a liquid liner on the back of my hand and wear it around the store until it’s completely dry to test how well it holds up to smudges and how dark the final finish turns out.
of Viva The team has had the pleasure of working with Shirley, a freelance makeup artist, over the years on editorial photo shoots and Team Pick articles. She’s been trusted to make us a little bit more charming (and always does a great job). Rather than stocking up on affordable products, Shirley replenishes her make-up lightly by choosing just two. The first is from Aleph Beauty’s her go-to compression her perfector, and the second is her MAC timeless eyeliner.
The thing I’d most like to splurge on is a kit essential: Aleph Beauty Concealer/Foundation. These little pots are magical. It’s so comfortable on the skin that it can be mixed with serums and added coverage. Skin snack foundation! Unlike other “organic and natural” products, it has the best of both worlds and it really works.
I have a very boring and basic need and the other is coffee MAC eyeliner. There is something about this formula, the color is unparalleled, a beautiful rich dark brown that adds depth to any eye line. I tried camo (even if it wasn’t expensive) and couldn’t find anything similar.