Here at Gritty Pretty, we enjoy the finer things in life. Chanel, La Mer and La Prairie are all on high rotation in our beauty editors’ daily routines.
However, there comes a time – usually just before pay day – when a lady’s bank balance will not accommodate her high brow taste. No matter. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of affordable beauty products that punch way above their weight.
Skincare brands such as The Ordinary and The Inkey List have made a name for themselves by selling efficacious formulas at a dirt-cheap price point. Whereas old-faithfuls ModelCo and Revlon have you covered from a makeup standpoint. Over-achieving budget buys are out there if you’re willing to do your research.
Here, we’ve done the hard work for you. Without any further ado – 10 of the best beauty buys under $40, according to Gritty Pretty.
MCoBeauty Xtendlash, $22
Not familiar with tubular mascara? You’re in for a treat. MCoBeauty Xtendlash lengthens and defines lashes using an innovating no-smudge, no-flake formula. To remove, simply apply warm water and gently slide the tiny mascara ‘tubes’ off your lashes.
For an explainer on tubular mascara, see here.
Did you know that hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000x its weight in water? This powerful moisture-binding acid deserves a spot in your skincare regime. The Inkey List’s hyaluronic acid serum hydrates skin and, over time, creates a plump and youthful effect. Its packaging may be plain and its formula fragrance-free; however, The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid gets the job done.
The Ordinary Serum Foundation, $12.70
At $12.70, foundations don’t come any cheaper than this. The Ordinary Serum Foundation was the brand’s first foray into the world of makeup. This lightweight serum foundation offers medium coverage with a very natural finish.
For a quick (and potent) hit of hydration and skin-changing botanicals, try Go-To Skincare Transformazing Sheet Mask. In 10 minutes, this impressive mask transforms tired skin into glowy, luminous skin. Use before an event, wedding or anytime you’re feeling bougie.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid + HA, $12.70
Consider this serum your ticket to brighter, more hydrated skin. The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid + HA contains two dermatologist favourites: lactic acid and hyaluronic acid. As one of the gentler AHAs, lactic acid dissolves dead skin cells and increases cell turnover – making your skin look more youthful in the process. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid boosts hydration levels.
Not all moisturisers are created equal; Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre is a cut above the rest. This French pharmacy favourite has a cult-following – and for good reason too. It’s a makeup primer, face moisturiser, treatment mask and makeup remover in one. Apply a generous slather tonight and wake up to radiant skin tomorrow.
Coming in at just under $40, Salt by Hendrix Body Glow in Golden Hour is one of the more affordable ways to fake an I-just-got-back-from-Santorini glow. Part moisturiser, part bronzer, this nourishing body oil leaves legs bronzed and glossy. Apply all year round for an instant pick me up.
Revlon Kiss Glow Lip Oil, $19.95
On our never-ending question to find the perfect lip tint, we stumbled across this new beauty. Revlon Kiss Glow Lip Oil nourishes lips – with a little help from natural crambe abyssinica seed oil and moringa oil – while adding the perfect hint of colour. Try it.
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, $19.95
Would it be too dramatic to describe Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo as life-changing? It gives dirty, three-day old hair a new lease on life. Its gentle spray disperses easily and won’t leave hair looking chalky.
Fortunately for us, Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo now comes in an XL size (150ml) – meaning a bottle will last that little bit longer. The new and improved bottle is on shelves from September 2.
Face Halo Original, $30
The gift that keeps on giving. These non-toxic and reusable makeup removers are the eco-friendly alternative to face wipes. Each one can be washed approximately 200 times, replacing up to 500 of the old-school disposable makeup wipes. The best part? They actually work. Using water only, the Face Halo Original can take off a full face of makeup.
These images were shot on location at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney – a luxury hotel with elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, award-winning dining experiences, and CHI, The Spa.