Supermarket Swapsies: Affordable Beauty Products To Buy Off The Shelf
If your favourite cosmetics are running low, re-stock with these affordable alternatives to pricier and, for now, under lockdown “name” brands
Beauty devotees think I’m mad when I say I could be perfectly happy stocking up at the supermarket if it weren’t that being a beauty editor used to keep me in tempting samples.
For sure, I’ve lapped up luxury creams and gushed over gorgeous packaging, but after much trialling of products, researching ingredients and talking to industry scientists I’m also satisfied quality and innovation aren’t the exclusive preserve of expensive cosmetics.
Good ideas from anywhere are quickly replicated across the global beauty industry, as shown by the rapid rise in popularity of micellar waters, BB creams, cushion foundations, face palettes, liquid lipsticks and skin and hair oils.
A few years back these items barely registered, now brands from varying price segments offer examples. A cross-pollination of launches within multi-nationals — including through designer brands sharing research and development facilities with less showy siblings and their acquisitions of smart start-ups — adds up to good news for consumers who have more access to the latest thinking, whatever their budget.
It’s definitely trickier to cater cheaply for those with especially problematic skin who are well advised to treat this under professional guidance. Those seeking more active intervention from prescribed skincare may also not get the “hit” they’re after off the shelf, but if your needs are fairly straightforward you can be well satisfied — at least in the interim.
You’ll have to learn to do without the attention of a trained beauty adviser if you’re in the self-select supermarket aisle, but the grab-and-go approach is very of the moment. Leave the lingering for later, or do that online by swotting up before heading out, so you have an idea of what you can add to your grocery trolley.
Here’s a few standouts examples of beauties stocked at our supermarkets, between the usual lip balms, hand creams and lotions we are all familiar with.
Maybelline Cheek Heat Colour Tubes $20, glide on a gel-cream blush of blendable barely there colour that nods to Insta-fave Glossier Cloud Paints.
Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Mascara $18, has a curved brush for easy brow grooming with a mousse formula that colours, shapes and holds brows as pioneered by Benefit Gimme Brow.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation $21, gives slick buildable full coverage that doesn’t look cakey, for when you can’t dip into Estee Lauder Double Wear.
Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink $23, in a selection of rich shades with a velvety finish that reminds of M.A.C Retro Matte or Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. This cheaper stayer is a top performer.
Wet n Wild Nude Awakening eye palette $12, sorts every day to more intense shadows at a fraction of the price (and packaging charm) of coveted Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay palettes.
Rimmel Kate Moss Highlighting Palette $18, with versatile shades to shape and shine the face, or multi-task on eyes as you might with Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette.
Maybelline Ultra Slim Eyebrow Pencil $19, is your new best friend if you’re pining for the precise shading of M.A.C’s Eye Brows Styler or the Anastasia Beverly Hills example. Sets off Maybelline’s justly well-regarded mascaras and liners.
Wet n Wild Powder Brush $7 caresses cheeks (and weighs lightly on your bank balance) while also proving a welcome colour change from the usual lineup of pricey black brushes most upmarket brands try to tickle your fancy with.
Glow Lab Tinted SPF15 Moisturiser $20, NZ made way to even out and freshen the complexion for when you can’t get your hands on cult favourite Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Skin Perfector.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover $16, removes even waterproof mascara effectively, although it doesn’t smell as pretty as Lancome’s BiFacial.
L’Oreal Revitalift Filler [+ Hyalruonic Acid] Ampoules $50. Not Botox in a bottle but a super-concentrated seven-day course of skin replumpers, similar to those celebrities swear by from German doctors. If you can’t find the ampoules, there’s serum for the same price.
Essano Advanced Brightening Vitamin C Serum $23, targets pigmentation and dullness like glow getters such as Clinique and The Ordinary. Essano’s locally made skin and body care ranges are on trend, delivering superfood ingredients and rosehip.
Garnier Organics Smooth & Glow Facial Oil $21 from a new vegan-friendly range that cossets even sensitive skins with aromatic lavender oil akin to This Works Deep Sleep Night Oil.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel $27, is a lightweight hyaluronic acid-enhanced drink for skin that quenches in a similar way to Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly.
Nivea Hyaluron Cellular Filler Night Cream $33, this re-densifying cream for mature skin has known collagen stimulators and proven moisturisers as per rejuvenators such as Clarins Extra Firming Night Cream
Goodness Break-up Make-up Balm $20 is a blend of coconut, avocado and chia seed oils designed to melt-away makeup and introduce savvy shoppers to nourishing balm cleansing around which brands such as Eve Lom built a cult following.
Swisse Cranberry Pore Perfecting Clay Mask $21.95 contains naturally clarifying fruit acids in a pink clay base making it as Insta-friendly as Alya and Sand & Sky millennial skin fixes.
Garnier Skin Active Hydra Bomb Face Mask $6, is a tissue sheet infused with gentle moisturisers and soothing chamomile extract that offers a DIY chance cheat to lying back and imagining you’re about to enjoy a pampering spa facial.
Pure by Gillette Shave Gel $10, is a soothing aid for men who might be hankering for Lab Series Maximum Comfort Shave Gel. Designed to use with Gillette’s SkinGuard razor, this minimises drag and irritation and is an alcohol-free no nasties formula.
Essano Man Smoothing Beard Oil $12, is a blend of natural oils, including argan and hemp that will condition and soften facial hair growth. The brand also makes companion men’s skincare products in Auckland.
Ahhh Bath Bomb $8, dissolves into a scented soak that will appeal to all ages, especially those missing their luscious Lush bombs. Ahhh is NZ made by a colourful brand that makes sustainable beauty seem fun.
Aotea Road Natural Deodorant $12 is an aluminium-free option recalling the likes of Dr Hauschka. In several fragrances, this is locally made, vegan and comes in a home compostable cardboard tube.
Ecostore Mint & Manuka Handwash $6, is the right mix of refreshing and soothing so might remind you of Aesop Aromatique. Ecostore also makes a terrific gentle foaming wash. Both washes are in refillable and recyclable bottles.
Glow Lab Cardamom & Oudh Body Lotion $15, is a sophisticated scent mix that fans of layered aromas such as Jo Malone London may wish to explore as an everyday option.
Ahhh Summer Melon Body Scrub $8 is a natural sugar granule exfoliator that will leave skin smooth and better yet conditioned thanks to the addition of coconut oil, similar to spa favourite Pure Fiji Sugar Rub.
Monday Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner $8, provides a pick me up for fine, flat hair that looks as sleek as Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash. There’s Smooth, Repair and Sensitive shampoos and conditioners as well.
Ethique Trial Kit $19.90 from the Christchurch-based company that is a global pioneer in zero waste plastic-free beauty. This trial kit offers access to both haircare and skincare mini bars to give the solid bar way of washing a whirl. In dry, normal and oily formulations.
Garnier Fructis Papaya Hair Food $14, is a repairing natural match for The Body Shop’s Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask.
Essano Argan Hair Recovery Serum $16, fortifies with argan oil as made popular in haircare by Moroccan Oil. Guards again damage during heat styling or can be used on dry hair to control frizz and flyaways, while adding shine. Try the shampoos as well.
L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Temporary Root Concealer Spray $20, is a quick fix cover-up for regrowth. Without the super-targeted nozzle of Oribe’s coveted Airbrush Root Touch-up Spray, it nevertheless is an instant option when salons aren’t.
Stockists: From New World, Countdown and Pak n Save, or more narrowly as specified below. (Individual store stock may vary, check supermarket or brand websites for more options). Wet n Wild from Countdown. Rimmel and Covergirl from Countdown and Thewarehouse.co.nz. Ecostore from New World and Pak n Save. See Aotearoad.com and Ahhh.nz and Ethiqueworld.com for their specific supermarket details.