The best cheap makeup products in Australia, according to two top celebrity makeup artists

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If you’ve ever walked into your local Sephora, Mecca or department store beauty counter, taken one look at the soaring prices and walked straight back out again, we’re here to help.

We were sick and tired of forking out $95 for a fancy eyeshadow palette or $50 for a mascara, only to have them not actually live up to their expensive price tags.

So we asked two top celebrity makeup artists to spill the beans on all their favourite budget beauty buys that still perform like high-end products.

Tobi Henney, or @tobimakeup as she is known to her 62,000 Instagram followers, has made up the faces of models Ashley Graham and Barbara Palvin, as well as Aussies Shanina Shaik and Bambi Northwood-Blyth.

Tobi believes we should invest our pay cheques in good skincare and sunscreen, while saving our pennies on cheaper makeup.

“I definitely think spending money on skincare to suit your skin needs is key. When you have beautiful skin you don’t tend to want to wear as much makeup,” Tobi told Now To Love.

“Spending less on a drug store mascara is always a great option! It is the one product you should replenish regularly in your makeup bag.”

READ NEXT: The best sunscreens for acne-prone skin

Tobi’s handiwork on American model Ashley Graham.

(Credit: Instagram)

Max May counts Aussie celebs Jodi Gordon and Olympia Vallance as his regular clients, and even did Jackie O’s makeup on The Masked Singer.

Max says he’s got a range of cheap makeup products up his sleeve that he regularly uses instead of more expensive buys.

“I definitely have my favourite ‘dupes’ that I’ve developed over the years and often would prefer to use rather than some of the more expensive products on the market,” he told Now To Love.

“Having a career in the beauty industry, I’m buying twice or three times as much product as the usual person and so really appreciate having my go-tos.”

READ NEXT: We’ve tried every high-end mascara and this supermarket buy beats them all

Max May with longtime client Jodi Gordon.

(Credit: Instagram)

So we asked Max and Tobi to list their favourite cheap beauty buys, and boy, did they deliver.

Keep on scrolling to read about the best affordable makeup products on sale in Australia right now.

READ NEXT: Three editor-approved concealers that won’t settle in your wrinkles.



Australis Fresh & Flawless Foundation, $19.95 from Priceline

“I recently tried the Australis Fresh & Flawless Foundation. It is super light weight yet has incredible, buildable coverage. It reminds me of Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation,” Tobi said.



Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Volumizing Mascara, $14 from the supermarket or chemist

“I’ve been using this mascara for years,” Max said. “I just love the bristly brush. It gives the best separation and fanning effect to the lashes that I’ve ever seen from an affordable mascara. It’s inexpensive and available at Kmart or Target on AfterPay.”


Lip Crayons

Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons, $15 from Priceline and ASOS (available with AfterPay)

“I love a crayon style lip colour for summer or for shooting on the beach,” Max said.

“It’s a lip pencil, colour and gloss or sheen in one! It’s all about that care-free product that can still be high-impact and with four awesome shades to suit most skin tones they’re always high on my re-stock list. They even work great on cheeks – giving a youthful pink glow! I get mine through ASOS online using where you can see the whole colour range.”

TIP: If you’re drawing attention to your lips with a bold colour, ensure any dark stains on your teeth are removed with a whitening toothpaste. Try Colgate’s Optic White.

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Flower Light Illusion Perfecting Powder, $7 from Chemist Warehouse

“I love this budget buy for brightening and setting areas like under the eyes, top of the jaw line, around the nose and the centre of the forehead,” Max said. “It mattifies and sets foundation and concealer but also illuminates the skin (in a matte-kinda-way) making it perfect for brightening these areas and making them look more air brushed!”



Garnier BB Cream, $10 from the supermarket or chemist

“Garnier’s BB Cream is a great dupe for It Cosmetics CC Cream,” Tobi said. referring to Sephora’s cult $70 base product that always sells out.


L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise, $24.95

“This is a cheaper version of Marc Jacobs’ Velvet Noir Mascara,” Tobi said.



Glam By Manicare Foundation Brush, $18 from Priceline.

“The is one of the most-used brushes in my kit,” Max said.

“It buffs, builds and blends like a dream. I even have a second one to apply cream blush, bronzer and highlighter! Think Shu Uemura Foundation brush minus the price point and cruelty free!”



Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, $13 from the supermarket or chemist.

This is a favourite product of Tobi’s that she always has in her kit.



Australis Eyeshadow Palettes, approximately $26, from Priceline

“So many fun colours including some glitter shadows!” said Tobi.


Nivea Micellar water

Nivea Micellar Water, $10 from the supermarket or chemist.

“I love always having Nivea micellar water to remove makeup and body lotion to moisturise in my kit,” Tobi said.



Nude By Nature Virgin Blush, $19.95 from Priceline, Adore Beauty or Nude By Nature’s website.

“This universal blush is the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universals Lip Gloss of blush (when you know, you know!),” Max said.

“It suits every skin type and is the perfect final touch to any summer glam. It adds colour, shape and enhances a tan! Plus, Nude by Nature has Afterpay for flexibility around payments if you can’t afford the cost upfront.”


Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Polish

Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Polish, $25 from the supermarket or chemist

“I have been loving this lately,” Tobi said. “The texture is a mixture of crushed lipstick and lipgloss.”

TIP: Ensure your lip colour stands out, not any discolouration on your teeth, by using a whitening toothpaste like Colgate’s Optic White.



Revolution Cheek Kit, $10 from Priceline

“Make It Count is my quad colour palette of choice,” Max said. “It’s a four-pan palette of highlighters in yellow gold, silver, white gold and a beautiful peachy-pink to light skin up. They’re high-impact shine that are super soft on the skin to blend and last a treat. Think Anastasia Beverly Hills but for a quarter of the price!”


Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner, $5.50 from Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, ASOS, Kmart, Target

“I love this liner for doing the inner rim/water line of the eyes or for smudging along the eye line. It sits beautifully in the water line (being water proof) and once it sets on the skin it holds tight,” Max said.

“Tip: Make haste with the smudging when you apply. You have under a minute max before it sets.”

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