IT TURNS out supermarket brand cosmetics can be just as good as department store offerings.
Styling You's Nikki Parkinson - who has made a career out of telling her readers what's good value - said beauty marketing too often seduced us into believing high-end make-up and skin care were musts.
"I'm a huge fan of the beauty aisle at the supermarket - you really could do your whole make-up and skincare on a budget while you're doing the groceries," she said.
"A lot of these companies that do the supermarket things are part of companies that also make the high-end ones - so the same research is going into these make-up products."
While mascara, eyeshadows and skincare are the easiest grocery store bargain, foundation is much trickier to colour match.
"Their formulations are improving all the time just like the big names - they are constantly reviewing and changing formulation," Ms Parkinson said.
"If you want to play around with the colours, you can save a lot on your foundation."
But she suggested going to a beauty store such as Priceline to use testers on products at near supermarket prices.
If you already buy department store counter products - you cannot go past the gift-with-purchase offerings twice a year so make sure you sign up for their emails.
"They're good value if it's a brand you normally would buy something from," Ms Parkinson said.
"But if you're specifically buying to get the gift, then I say no."
Ms Parkinson notes mascara should be changed over every three months; sunscreen should be replaced every summer and warns that natural products do not last as long without preservatives - big considerations when shopping on a budget.
She also revealed there were "dupe" websites making many of the best beauty products under a different name - just search for the product and "dupe".
Nikki's suggested duping websites:
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