I’ve been travelling around Europe a bit lately, and before heading to each country I’ve been looking up lists of beauty brands and products to look out for. To return the favour for all of those awesome recs, I’ve decided to compile a list of my favourite Aussie buys for skincare, make-up and nails…
In the realm of skincare, Australia is dominated by local organic and natural brands. Here are a few of my faves:
– Rose hip oil – High quality, minimally refined rose hip oil products are cheap and plentiful in Australia (though perhaps not quite as cheap as in the US – it’s $15-20 a bottle here). There are a lot of brands to choose from: Trilogy (from New Zealand), Kosmea, Sukin, Rose Hip Vital and A’kin are all good quality oils I’ve tried so far, though there are more appearing all the time. You can find these in any pharmacy or in many department stores (Myer, David Jones).
– Sukin – This is a budget-friendly natural skincare brand. If you want to smell like a spa and your skin isn’t sensitive to essential oils, this line is for you! Sukin is stocked in many pharmacies including Priceline (stockist finder here)
– Kosmea – Kosmea were one of the first companies to start the rose hip oil craze. These days they’ve expanded their line beyond RHO, though most products still contain it – their Purifying Cream Cleanser and Daily Moisturiser are particularly nice. It’s stocked at David Jones and a bunch of pharmacies (find a stockist here).
– A’kin – A’kin is another prominent Aussie brand with many natural skincare products. Their gentle exfoliating scrub uses jojoba and corn beads rather than harsher scrubbing grains or microplastics. They’re found in many pharmacies including Priceline (stockists here).
– Jurlique – My bestie’s favourite brand. Their products are great for girls who want natural and have day or sensitive skin. Their Skin Balancing Oil is a more spreadable alternative to rose hip oil, and their hand creams are to die for. You can find them in department stores David Jones and Myer, at many pharmacies, and in their own standalone stores (stockist info here).
– La Mav – La Mav are a newer brand on the market, who have natural-based products containing ingredients that have good scientific backing. They’re available in a handful of pharmacies (find them here).
Other brands and products I have less experience with that you may want to look up: Aesop, Natio, Lucas Paw Paw, Milk, lanolin products.
– Australis – This is one of the iconic midrange Aussie drugstore brands. Their Velourlips liquid lipstick is a cult favourite, and their nail polishes are top-notch. You can find them in many pharmacies and department stores, including Priceline, Kmart and Big W.
– Face of Australia – This is another iconic Aussie drugstore brand. Face of Australia have many fans thanks to their consistently good products and budget-friendly price points. The face primer and lip crayons are Aussie favourites, and their frequent limited edition products (including nail polishes) sell out very quickly. You can find them at Priceline, Big W and Kmart.
– Models Prefer – This is beauty/pharmacy chain Priceline’s higher end in-house beauty brand. Their products are generally really high quality and on trend while staying affordable.I particularly like the Moisture Lust lipsticks.
– Becca – I haven’t tried many Becca products yet, but the few I’ve tried have been lovely, and I’ve heard enough raves about them for them to need a mention here. Their products are great for the ladies who prefer a subtle less-is-more look. It’s a little tricky to track down Becca products in-store in Australia, but there’s a stockist finder on their site.
– Essence (not Australian) – If your country doesn’t stock Essence, you’ll be glad to hear we have it here, in Priceline and Target stores! The trend editions are out of sync with the European releases, so even if you’re from an Essence-enabled country, you might get lucky and pick up a limited edition product you missed out on while you’re here.
– ulta3 – This cheapie-but-goodie brand has excellent creme formulas and some really on-the-money glitters. Look out for the ones that are made in Australia or Taiwan for really good standard formulas, or the made in PRC cremes and shimmers for very thick stamping polishes. You can find these in many pharmacies (especially Terry White, Blooms and Soul Pattison in the bigger cities). There’s a handy map of stockists on their Facebook page.
– Sportsgirl – Sportsgirl is a fashion chain which stocks some really interesting polishes – glitters, scented polishes and a whole host of lovely cremes. They also have fun skincare and beauty products in cool packaging – the SG accessories stores are the best for beauty hauling. There are usually some big silver bowls in the sale section full of discounted polish!
– Aussie indies – Australian indies are some of the best in the world, but unfortunately this is only really an option if you’re here for a little while and have a stable postage address, or a handy mule! Check out the comprehensive Aussie indie list here for store links.
Australis, Face of Australia and Essence have some excellent polishes too.
On the whole, international brands are more expensive in Australia than anywhere else (except perhaps Switzerland). You can sometimes find good sales at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse pharmacies that cut the price by 50% – however, usually this is still above the retail price in the US! Department stores (particularly David Jones and Myer) sometimes have excellent gift with purchase deals worth checking out.