Who would have thought that when I started this supermarket beauty bargains series - due to Covid only allowing us to hunt and gather in supo aisles - I would still be doing it three years later but because of cost of living crisis, not lack of open stores?
Sure, maybe an economist or anyone with some financial savvy may have picked it, but I was out here living my best beauty life. Spending up on my favourite products, booking trips to Fiji, haphazardly throwing dollar bills and being the humble economy booster I am.
So I’ve gone out and once again done the hard work slathering, smearing, masking, foaming and even buffing in order to find supermarket - and a few drug store -products that rival, if not beat their high-end counterparts.
Because while your wallet may be sunken after buying a dozen eggs, your skin doesn’t have to be.
From a needle-free filler that had me cancelling a Botox consultation to a mascara that had me batting my lashes, here are the best supermarket beauty products of 2023:
Essano Needle-Free Filler - $29.99
2023 was set to be the year of the Botox. I was ready, I booked the consult and I was about to enter my hot girl Botox era - it’s a thing, trust me.
But then I met this copper peptide complex which settled my forehead fine lines enough that I was thriving once more. Will I re-book my Botox consult in 2024? Probably. But what this $29.99 beauty has done is buy me some time and save me some cash and in this economy, I couldn’t ask for more.
Natio Infinite Tubing Mascara - $20.99
For years I had been spending up large on $54 - $105 mascaras (I did what I had to do) to get perfectly fluffy lashes without clumps. So many mascaras left me with smudges that put me on the verge of cancelling my social outings and wands so stiff I have to make an optician appointment.
But then I was introduced to this beauty and honestly, she changed everything. Her brush is the perfect size, her formula is the perfect match and if you need to top up your mascara later in the day then you go for it Queens and Kings, she’s got you.
Olay Regenerist Whip UV Face Cream Moisturiser Spf 30 - $59.99
Want hydration that doesn’t quit and the protection of an SPF to boot? Olay’s whipped formula is here to answer your protecting prayers.
Sure I’ve always seen Olay as a “brand my mum uses” and not something that resonated with my youthful pizzazz, but now that my hip clicks when I stand up from the couch and I ask Siri for the weather report before getting dressed each morning, I’ve found a joy in Olay that I simply didn’t see coming.
Bondi Sands Tropical Rum Moisturiser - $12.59
If the scent of this lotion doesn’t get you - and makes you want to revisit your 2008 relationship with Malibu and Vanilla Coke - then the texture absolutely will.
Lather it on before bed and you’ll wake up silky smooth and gorgeously glowy. It’s also in a generous-sized bottle with a hand pump that helps avoid the dreaded tomato sauce tap to extract the final dregs.
Dove 0% Aluminium Salts Deodorant - $5.99
I’ve tried a lot of aluminium and alcohol-free deodorants and most make me feel like a planet warrior for a few days before my pits start to sob as they lose their eco battle.
This option by Dove is the best and freshest I’ve found and has a bargain price point compared to the $27 version, I was previously rocking, which had branding on par with a prescription rash ointment.
Nivea Lip Balm Watermelon Shine - $5.49
The no-make-up make-up look is hotter than a GHD burn right now and this bad boy sits somewhere between a balm and a gloss and instantly elevates any look.
It’s perfect for sitting on your work desk and banging on before a meeting or even applying on top of lipstick for a fresh coat of hydration.
Lady Jayne 3D Flexi Detangler - $6.99
When I found out that a $400 hair brush was currently trending in the beauty world, I gasped, applied for an emergency overdraft and then brought myself back down to reality - I could get at least eight cauliflowers for that price instead.
So I took to the aisles of Chemist Warehouse and found myself a new brush that tackles even the most hectic tangles with ease and sits somewhere between a flexi-comb and a standard brush. I love her, my hair loves her and most importantly my accountant loves her.
Glow Lab Pro-Collagen Plumping Moisturiser - $25
There’s a reason this moisturiser is rocking those highly coveted 5-star reviews - it’s practically faultless. It’s boosted with Collalift 18, which just like the recession I don’t understand, but what I do understand is that this product works at hydrating and firming my skin.
I’m a big fan of both ingestable and topical collagen and this cream is one of the absolute best in the overloaded collagen market.
Nivea Naturally Good Micellar Face Wash - $15.99
This organic formula is simply superior when it comes to gentle makeup removal and making skin feel truly cleansed after a long day serving looks.
And just like me, it’s made of products 99 per cent natural in origin and almost rudely transparent in nature.
MCobeauty Magic Brows Fibre Gel Medium Brown - $16
I won’t tell you what product this rivals, but I will tell you it rhymes with “shimmy wow” and this one is substantially cheaper in price.
The brush picks up the perfect amount of the formula to ensure that the first swipe doesn’t deliver all the pigment at once and it’s buildable for fluffy Cara Delevingne-esque brows.
Schwarzkopf Extra Care Ultimate Oil Elixir Serum - $13
The seasons can play absolute havoc with our hair - she’s either frizzy, dry, greasy or has more splits than Selena and Justin.
But this oil is ready no matter what the season. Pop it on your dry ends, run it through your lengths for ultimate shine or use it as a treatment if you’re feeling overall lacklustre. Then pour yourself a glass of vino, pop on some Taylor Swift and shake it off.