Here’s five inexpensive and affordable makeup products that are all tried and tested and are now staples in my makeup kit.   In NZ (and Aussie) makeup costs a fortune due to the huge costs associated with transporting it into Paradise. So I’m insatiable with my quest for beauty bargains!


Rimmel Stay Matt Powder:  Rimmel claims this pressed powder is a great oil-absorber and pore minimiser.  I wholeheartedly agree. Lightly dusted with a fluffy brush over the top of my foundation, this little ripper leaves my oily-prone skin flawless, shine-free and minimizes my excessively large pores.  In my (very humble) opinion Rimmel’s version is better than the MAC Pressed Blot Powder I saved up for – and it’s less than one third of the price. Bugger.
Buy: At Farmers, The Warehouse, Kmart and pharmacies that are smart enough to stock Rimmel (I fricking love Rimmel).
Price: NZ$14.50

Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil:  Your brows: Do it. Please.  This pencil is as good as any other brand I’ve tried.  If you are a ‘lighty’ (blonde/auburn) then the colour Hazel should work for you. Darkies (like me), go for Dark Brown. See above for where to buy Rimmel.
Price:   NZ$10.50

Jordana Blush: This blush is so cheap you should buy two.  This super-blush is highly pigmented and lasts as long as any other brand I’ve tried. I’ve got the colour Blushing Rose (No 37). Just make sure you use a light hand as a teeny bit of colour goes a long way – you are better to build the colour up instead of being in the dicey spot of needing to take some off.
Price: NZ$4 – $4.50 from your nearest $2 Shop or 1,2,3 Shop.

Jordana Foundation:  This oil-free foundation comes in a bulk of colours, is CHEAP and provides a gorgeous medium flawless finish. I recommend this a lot to young ladies getting into makeup, it’s a kick-butt first foundation.   I tried this reluctantly as I was convinced it was going to break me out (my oily skin is prone to breaking out in protest of new foundation). No breakout. Nada.  Just a flawless medium coverage that had people commenting my skin was looking great. Hmmmm.  My only criticism is that it doesn’t have super lasting power (e.g. at best it’ll do 6 hours). That said:  Some of my more pricey foundations only last that long too!
Price: NZ$4 – $4.50. Get it from your nearest $2 Shop or 1,2,3 Shop.

Maybelline Eye Studio 24 hour Colour Tattoos: I did a review on these long-lasting cream eyeshadows a few months back (click here), but they proved their weight in gold in Thailand. They stood up to temperatures in excess of 35 degrees and swimming – which reminded me how much I love them. ‘Bad to the Bronze’, ‘Bold Gold’ and ‘Pomegranate Punk’ are staples in my makeup bag that I wouldn’t be without. These badboys are great on their own on the eyelid, or, my favourite way to use them, used as a base/primer (e.g. under powder eyeshadows). These are an inexpensive alternative to MAC’s Paint Pots.
Buy:  New World, Farmers and pharmacies stocking Maybelline. Note: You can get these at Kmart but they charge like a wounded bull for them, so be aware! I’ve emailed and complained, but they’ve not remedied it!).
Price: $18.50 (compared to $24 at Kmart!) but you can often get them on sale for $12