When it comes to budget beauty buys, I’m a bit of a trainspotter.

I can’t help monitoring the annual beauty award lists published by the glossy magazines for cheap and cheerful beauty products and cosmetics.

Beauty editors get to sample, analyse, and compare everything on the market, so these lists are a great summary of their findings.

Since I’ve had kids, I’m especially on the look out for items recommended by the beauty experts that I can pop into my trolley while I do the weekly grocery shop.

My obsession can be broken down into four parts:

1. Buying in the grocery store means I can avoid dragging the kids to the beauty counter with me. I once had a very bad experience involving a display of MAC eyeshadows, a baby’s bottle, and a rusk that I’m reluctant to repeat again.

2. Like most mothers, I don’t really splash out on many things for myself. I like to spend any spare cash I have on treating my boys.

3. Somehow, a $50 lipstick just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Actually, that’s a lie. I just can’t afford to spend $50 on a lipstick anymore!

4. In my mind, anything that is bought in the supermarket is a boring old household essential. Therefore, if some makeup, skin care, or delicious smelling pampering girly treats happen to find themselves wedged into my trolley among the bread, carrots, milk and baby wipes, they must also be ‘household essentials’.

Clearly it’s an obsession based on a solid, rational, fact based foundation…right?!


Given this obsession, and my love of a beauty award list, I’ve created one for Fox in Flats.

The only qualifier is, the product must be available in any mainstream grocery store. I bought these from my local Coles Supermarket.



The Inaugural FoxInFlats.com Beauty Awards from Aisle 5.


Clockwise from top left.

1. INVISIBLE ZINC Tinted Day Wear SPF 30+. $31.

Zinc sunscreen, mineral makeup, and sheer coverage all in one. Emily Taylor, Beauty Director of marie claire keeps this in her cosmetic stockpile, and so do I. It’s great to know your skin is protected well when you are outside playing tag with the kids.


2. COVERGIRL Outlast All-day Lipcolour. $21.50.

COVERGIRL sponsor America’s Next Top Model, which I have watched every Tuesday night with my niece Jacqui for the last 5 years. Given my frequent exposure to the brand, you would think I had trialed their latest products sooner, yet it was only last week on impulse that I tossed this into my trolley while at the supermarket. I applied it before I went out for drinks for Jacqui’s birthday on Saturday night, yet many many hours, and many many champagnes later, it was still perfectly applied to my lips. Love it! Bought another one yesterday, in a different shade. Be warned though, the colour saturation is pretty strong, so if you do try it, go for a nude or neutral colour on your eye, or your kids will think you are Lady Ga Ga.


3. Garnier Skin Naturals Caffeine Eye Roll On. $11.50.

Winner InStyle 2011 Best Beauty Buy. I’m yet to try this, but it claims to reduce puffiness under the eye. Given the lack of sleep I’ve had lately, my sordid love affair with caffeine, and the kudos surrounding this award, I’m giving it a try this week.


4. BIO-OIL $16.

Like an eraser for scars and stretch marks. Caesarean scar? Pffft!


5. St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub. $9.99

Voted Best Face Scrub, Teen Vogue Beauty Awards, 2011. Gotta love stealing beauty tips from the ‘youth of today’, right?!


6. Nivea Touch of Happiness Body Lotion. $5.40.

Crowned Best Body Product Steal in the 2011 Prix de marie claire Beauty Awards. Feels lovely and smells divine.


7. L’oreal Paris ELVIVE Total Repair Deep Hair Treatment. $9.95.

After a summer in the sun, my hair needed some TLC. This is 200ml of love. Awarded Best Haircare/Styling Product Steal, 2011 Prix de marie claire Beauty Awards.


8. OLAY Complete Defense Moisturiser SPF 30+. $14.95.

The Olay brand always performs well in beauty and skin care awards. At this price I never skimp on an application, and it seems to work just as well on my skin as the more complex formulations.


9. Rexona Women Crystal Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. $5.50.

Ensures you don’t get those pesky white marks on your black clothes. And it’s strong enough to use before exercising. If only Rexona made something to prevent pesky marks from grubby kids!


10. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. $5.

This product has such a cult following, that the Australian Vogue Forum has a thread with 85 fans raving about it. Use it on lips, dry heels, cuticles, rough elbows, ingrown hairs, or to add shine to your cheek bones. Even cracked nipples and nappy rash are sorted with this. Some of the fans claim this is a great cheap alternative to the cult beauty product, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, which is nearly eight times the price.


11. COVERGIRL smokyshadowblast. $17.95.

Looks like a double ended crayon. Application is easy and fast. Just keep the kids away from them. Voted best eye shadow, Teen Vogue Beauty Awards, 2011.


12. MAYBELLINE Great Lash Mascara. $15.95.

Has pretty much won every beauty award, ever.


13. COVERGIRL shineblast lip gloss. $13.50.

Kind of watermelon flavoured, a subtle shine, with a pleasant texture, and lasts. Best lip gloss, Teen Vogue Beauty Awards, 2011. Cheap enough to buy a few, and stash them in your baby bag, the car console, your handbag, and the pram.


14. MURINE Eye drops. $8.50

I don’t know if it is the sleep deprivation or just old age, but my peepers won’t even open in the morning without a few drops of this.


What is your favourite beauty product from your local supermarket? Anything that should be added to this list?


  • Blistex Lip Conditioner – in the little white pot. Best lip balm ever and it has SPF – and it’s less than $5. I don’t leave the house without one in my bag.

    ps. couldn’t agree more with your point no. 4 that anything bought at the supermarket is an essential household item. That’s how I justify the many, many magazines I purchase each month.

    Cheers, Sarah

  • Wow great list! I’m printing it out to take with me to my next supermarket shop. I must admit, I’ve not tried Covergirl since I was a teenager, but will try that lipgloss for sure.

  • Paw Paw Ointment is great stuff for just about everything. Not great for putting on cracked nipples while breastfeeding without wiping it off first though. I had a horrible experience with my day old daughter regurgitating a bolus of during the night together with most of a feed.

    Fabulous list though and Bio Oil will eventually work on the caesar scar. Vitamin E oil mixed with lavender and rose oil is good too.

  • Great list! I never feel guilty about buying beauty products from the supermarket – they’re like groceries! I love the Lux range of body washes, especially the Indulge one – delish!

  • Great list! I don’t have any to add – I use loads of those and love them.

    Though I’m a little afraid to try supermarket brand mascara… It always seems to end in panda eyes for me. Can someone vouch for Maybelline Great Lash staying put on eyelashes? I know it’s $15.95 but I haven’t got the spare cash to experiment right now! X

    • As long as you buy Maybelline in ‘waterproof’ rather than ‘washable’, it’s a go. The washable will give you panda eyes if you blink funny, but the waterproof doesn’t come off – ever!

  • As a follow up, I just did my groceries today and bought the Cover Girl smoky shadow blast, plus one of their mascaras, and a foundation… oops – but it was all on sale for half price, so really I only bought 1.5 products…

  • Louise, I’ve not tried that hair colour…sounds like “it’s worth it”.

    Law and shoes, you poor thing!

    Does anyone know a product you CAN use on cracked nipples that the baby can consume without getting sick?

    Re body washes, I always end up with most of it running down the drain instead of on my body. Any tips for application so it’s not so wasteful?

    Retrobella, I’m totally vouching for the mascara. Been using it since I was old enough to be allowed to wear the stuff. Have tried LOTS of other brands, but this does not smudge, and gives a good finish (not clumpy). Buy the waterproof version though. I’ve tried most other mascaras that are recommended by beauty editors etc and this is the bomb. (It’s also what most makeup artists use).

    Guys, except for the Garnier eye roller which I’m yet to try I have used these products for ages…this isn’t a sponsored article or anything like that. If I’m ever paid to write about stuff, or am given things to review I’ll let you know.

    Sarah, next thing you know, you’ll be around here on Tuesday nights watching Top Model with me and Jacqui! Covergirl is really good huh?!

    • Lansinoh nipple cream – from the pharmacy. It’s the only one that midwives recommend for use that is safe for baby.

    • You can use a ‘buffing cloth’ (or that’s what dermalogica calls it) for very efficient use of bath products. I use the dermalogica “the ultimate buffing cloth”, but since purchasing it – not THAT expensive – I have read that the inspiration, the orig. japanese versions, are readily available in oriental markets in various incarnations. The most well known brand (to bloggers, anyway!) is Salux, which you can also get on amazon for a couple of dollars. Its a slightly roughly woven cloth, partly or wholly nylon, which is long enough to use on the back and anywhere else. You need less product, get a really good lather and they exfoliate VERY well. Mine is 12×36 inches, the japanese ones apparently usually a bit bigger.

    • I actually find those packets of cleansing wipes the easist – not sure of the brand right now though… Pink ones, not the green (helpful, hey?)

        • Hey there, I just use Cetaphil.
          Usually cant get from supermarket, but all chemists have it. It is super cheap, and great as an all over cleanser.

          ALWAYS on the lists from beauty editors as a ‘budget’ cleanser, and ALWAYS recommended by dermatologists.
          Works for me x

  • Palmers Cocoa Butter for all over, any of the Olay products and Rimmel seem to happily find their way into my trolley all in the name of convenience!!

  • Love St Ives, L’Oreal and Bio Oil! Absolute hits! Tried Maybelline, CoverGirl and Garnier – don’t know what to say about these brands to stay diplomatic? Garnier used to be quite good bt about 3 years ago the quality of their products dropped significantly.
    Marusya V
    p.s. New post on my blog about magical anti-ageing treatment. It’s pricey but it lasts and if super effective! Check it out:)

  • I’m a huge fan of Lucas Paw Paw both on myself and on my babies. It gets used for everything.
    Am also a fan of Bio-oil for stretchmarks and scars.
    Re a good eyemakeup remover – any cheap moisturizer is great for removing eye-makeup and you don’t need to waste money on buying specific eye-makeup remover.
    I must try the invisible zinc tinted SPF – thanks!

    • I agree with the moisturiser-as-makeup remover, and have used many, many different ones for this purpose – cold creams, olive oil (that’s a moisturiser to me!), and vaseline. Somewhat by accident (I’d forgotten remover or anything like it) I tried the coconut oil I use for my hair before showering. It is brilliant!! It’s cheap, you get a lot of it, it doesn’t clog pores.. it even smells good! Seriously, try it. Mascara ACTUALLY melts of in flakes with this – all eye makeup is gone withing 20 seconds.

      Sorry about the raving, but I have seen the light(!!), and it wants sharing 😀

  • Oh the minute I saw this tweet I thought of Cover Girl lipstick. I love the pale shiny colour ones and have in three shades. Gorgeous colour and texture and definitely on a par with my $50 Chanel lipshine! ( yeah I only have one of those)
    Love paw paw ointment too, it gets used a lot by all in the house
    And Maybelline waterproof mascara

  • I’ve never considered Cover Girl before, I thought it was for teenagers. I’ll try the lip gloss, sounds great!

  • Miss Fox after seeing your trolley of beauty products and hearing you talk about Covergirl, I was doing the groceries and Woolworths had all Covergirl products at 50%off. Given that Mascara is my make-up staple I thought I would try it out. Gotta say for the full price of less than $18 (Or for me about $9!!) I will buy it again! Nice long lashes that are not coated thick and gluggy and heavy looking, witht the bonus of being separated really really well!! Easy – breezy!! 🙂 xx

  • Great article!

    I love Cutex Quick ‘n Go 45 sec nail polish! I get it from the make up aisle in my local Woolworths & it costs about $6. I tend to put it on thickly (& not very tidily!) about half an hour before I go to bed. It dries super fast and the messy bits wash off in the shower the next morning. My favourite colours at the moment include Night Run and Tangerine Twister.

  • Woolworths sell exfoliating towels in their Select range which are great for bodywashes / scrubs. A Zoe Foster tip is to apply your body polish on dry skin before you get in the shower.

    Garnier sugar scrub is fab. I’ve recently started using Olay Regenerist eye roller and face exfoliator. Good stuff.

    I buy the organic petroleum free papaw cream. Don’t like the Lucas one.

    Also don’t like Great Lash. Quelle horreur! Too wet. Love the Rimmel one with lash growth serum.

    Love Cetaphil. O for Awesome!

    Love Covergirl Olay concealer and Maybelline Age Rewind makeup with sponge applicator. Also buy both Maybelline and Covergirl primer. Great!

    Tried their shadows. A fail from me. Mac for moi but can buy it with money saved from supermarket essentials! 😉

  • I hear awesome things about the Olay Regenerist night cream, Andrea, but I’m loyal to my Trilogy (although wouldn’t recommend their new eye roller. Great product, terrible packaging).

    Whack some Cetaphil cream (not lotion) over Bio Oil as a cheap but effective night cream. 🙂

  • ANDREA!!!  Congratulations for being a Finalist on BD Star Awards!!!  I was reading through the list today and saw your name pop up and this article – I feel fab to know that we met at the PBevent 😀 …and then I saw my name too as a Finalist and I was like – YAY!!!

    Anyway, read through this post and love your style of writing!

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