How to look glamorous on budget: Part 2 Beauty.

australis nail polish, how to save on beauty products

In the first post from this series we were talking about clothes, bags and other external things that constitutes one’s style. However, as one of you lovelies, cleverly pointed out, the most stylish outfit will be brought to nothing by a dull face. Therefore, part two is devoted to beauty. Which skincare and makeup products we can we save on and where it is just a must to splurge.

1. Skincare. I’m a big advocate of splurging on creams. Your face is your biggest asset. That is it. You can read more about it in my previous posts here. In short, great effective eye cream and night cream is a must. Invest in these as much as you can. Day cream should ideally be from the same range but not necessarily. Make sure the SPF is at least +30. Sun is the biggest ageing factor.

2. Cleanser & Exfoliator. Here opinions may divide but cleanser is that’s where I save. I don’t see a big difference between Neutrogena cleansers and say, Lancome. So of course, I prefer Neutrogena’s price tag. Exfoliator, again, can be a chemist brand that suits your skin type.

3. Bodycare. Save. While luxury brands feel and smell nicer,  I still can’t justify paying big dollars for something that chemist brands can do as well as luxury. One of my favorites is Bio Oil used all over body twice a week. Works wonders!

4. Nails & Hands. Save. In my extensive nail polish collection the only designer bottle of nail polish is Chanel Peridot, because of its unique color. Australis, Rimmel and Face of Australia‘s nail polishes are a great alternative to more expensive OPI – well priced, last well and nice colors.

5. Makeup. Foundation is worth investing in. It’s amazing what the new generation foundations can do – lift, cover, moisturise and protect. But the main thing is that they look natural and beautify your skin! Sorry, can’t say the same about chemist brands. Lipsticks, you can easily save on them but still it is nice to have at least one silky Chanel for that special occasion. Mascara, eye shadows and pencils – save, save and save. Recently I tried Australis Killer Curves and you know, to me it’s better than Lancome Hypnose.

6. Perfume. Splurge. I think everybody agrees with me on this one.

What do you think, lovelies? Which beauty products would you consider are worth investing in? We would love to know…



P.S. There will be a third part, as when I finished writing today’s post one point appeared to be so extensive on itself that I decided to create a separate post on that subject.


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Comments 19


Thank you for taking time to leave a comment! However, the comments section has been playing up recently. It's only working if you leave your name & email. Thanks for understanding, Maria xx

  1. Lisa April 13, 2012

    Great post, I agree with so many of your points!

    I have heard it summed up before that you should plurge on anything that sinks into your skin. Everything else, you can mix up. I am with you on investing on great creams and serums, as well as foundation and perfume. I love to find bargain eyeshadows, blushes, mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks – you really can compare them to higher end brands and notice that there is not much difference! There are some exceptions around Chanel, Dior, YSL etc. who make some really unique colours. But in the end, a lot of this stuff all comes out of the same factories.

    Thanks again, I’m glad there are others who share this opinion! :)


  2. Absolute Amy April 13, 2012

    I totally agree with you on all points. And guess what? I recently switched from Lancome Hypnose to Australis Killer Curves, and I love it – never going back! Thanks to you I now have the most beautiful foundation too, Lancome Teinte Miracle. Always love reading your posts. Amy x

  3. Tine April 13, 2012

    Agree with you on all points. As for cleanser and exfoliator, I’m all for Save. My theory is that you don’t need to splurge on expensive stuff that you’ll be washing off after 10 seconds :P

  4. Nicole April 13, 2012

    Great post… I think you’re spot on about where you should spurge vs ave. Personally my fave splurge is perfumes :) I always have several bottles on the go.
    :) Nicole

  5. Excellent post. I agree with each point. Rachel x

  6. Norlin April 13, 2012

    Yep totally agree with you. I think splurging on skin care – like creams is a must. Because it does make a difference when you buy the cheaper run of the mill ones, that have probably a really small percentage of the “good” ingredients, compared to the more expensive ones. I have yet to find a good foundation though but have heard a lot of great stuff about Chanel. Is that true? Can you recommend a good foundation?

  7. HappyeverafterBride April 13, 2012

    I totally agree on all your points and I only differ in that I invest in a skin serum but use Oil of Olay as a face moisturiser.

  8. Amalia April 13, 2012

    Wow, I’d love to see a review of those mascaras!! I havent found any bargain eyeshadows, I think the more expensive ones are usually worth it, with an exception here and there. Totally agree with foundation, tried and tested too many times!

  9. The Dainty Doll's House April 13, 2012

    I agree with you. I splurge on some things like face creams and stuff like that, but nail polish I just buy the cheaper stuff as they seem to work better, unless it’s a colour that I specifically want, then I will get the more expensive one. I use natural products on my skin, that have no chemicals and what not in them after doing Beauty Therapy, I discovered so many chemicals in products that do more harm than good, so I try to stay clear of them. Bio-oil is something I use as well, it’s a great product for the skin. Keeps it soft and smooth. These are great :) Have a wonderful weekend darling girl!! xx

  10. Megan April 13, 2012

    Great post Maria, totally agree on all of your points and I love my Neutrogena cleanser does an amazing job. I really need to check out that Australis mascara you mentioned, sounds amazing!

  11. Jade April 13, 2012

    I’d say splurge on good hair cuts/colour but save on products like shampoo/conditioner.

    Oh and razors, I always buy the more expensive razors, the really cheap ones are just awful!

  12. maria April 14, 2012

    Yes ! I totally agree with you !!

  13. aelie April 14, 2012

    I came here to say what Lisa already said! I’ve always been taught that you can save on things that ‘go down the sink’ (ie. bodywash, cleanser) and splurge on the products that stay on your skin, like creams.

    Great post once again :) x

  14. Mia April 14, 2012

    Definitely agree on investing in skincare and foundation. I’m on a stricter beauty budget now that I have a mortgage so I’m looking for cheaper alternatives to what I have been using, and your post is a great guide for where to start making changes. Thanks!

  15. Maria V April 14, 2012

    Jade, you are absolutely right!!! Great haircut is a must. Can’t save here… Though, I left the hair subject out of this post as there are too many details – haircut, blow drys, shampoos and treatments :) I saved it for the third post of this Save or Splurge series..

  16. Izzy April 15, 2012

    agreed with many of your comments! your face is definitely your biggest and most important asset. I’d probably rate skincare at the top of my list, and then a foundation to cover up blemishes. For those things it’s alright to splurge a little! :)

  17. SassandSpice April 15, 2012

    I totally agree with your points. I know SA’s try to say their skin care products work best when used together, but I haven’t noticed a difference when using a different brand cleanser.

  18. Antonia-Ivana April 17, 2012

    I agree with you in almost all aspects but I like investing in eyeshadows by M.A.C.. And you could’ve listed brushes maybe or will there be a next part of this series?

  19. Aoife June 6, 2012

    Hello! This is a wonderful series, and your pieces and beauty taste show that you have a chic and intricate style. In terms of beauty, I completely agree with all your points, but I’d certainly add that Primer, BB Creams, and Illuminator aid how your Foundation works. Then, with such a great base, you can get away with a look that enhances your natural features without overwhelming your unique beauty. Otherwise, Hamilton sunscreen is worth every penny (from Chemists), as is keeping an eye on your diet — how you treat your body definitely shows on the outside.
    Thank you so much for recommending the Australia Mascara, I can’t wait to check it out!