Aussie pharmacies have come a long way in recent years. No longer do you need to jet off to Paris to stock up on the crème de la crème of pharmacy beauty buys. Now you’ll need to find another excuse (#croissants).
Your local mega pharmacy can be a bit of a sensory overload, though. With so many products promising to give you lush hair, smooth pins and perfect pores, how do you sort the great from the not so good? To help you on your next budget beauty binge, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best pharmacy buys you need in your life. Bellabox and celebrity approved.
#1 – Avène Eau Thermale Skin Recovery Cream
Speaking of all things French, make sure you have this super-gentle skincare brand on your radar. Containing 67% Avène natural spring water – renowned for its soothing properties – this wonder cream is the business when it comes to calming irritation. Free from parabens, fragrances and colouring agents, it is ideal for sensitised skins needing a little TLC, and helps to strengthen the skin’s own barrier function against air conditioning, wind, sun, harsh cosmetics, and other irritants.
#2 – Isocol Anti-Bacterial Solution
Not the sexiest product around, but an essential for any bathroom cabinet. This little Aussie-owned green machine had one of the catchiest jingles of the 80s, and it’s still going strong as a household favourite. The uses are almost endless: it can be used as a hand sanitiser, zit zapper, body rub, aftershave, bathroom cleaner… and that’s just for starters.
#3 – Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick
The gorgeous Miss Emma Stone rocked this lush lippie in Gladiolus at this year’s SAG awards. It is literally the PERFECT shade of pillar box red, with a gorge creamy finish. Ultra HD uses wax-free gel technology and comes in a whopping 17 shades.
#4 – Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
If you’re not a supermodel, and weren’t born with sky-high, flawless legs, this handy pin perfector will be your new BFF. Airbrush Legs is a tinted spray, available in four, natural-looking shades, that covers freckles, scars, veins and other marks. It easily washes off, but won’t come off on your clothes. Perfect for those balmy summer days when you want to go tight-free.
#5 – Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
An oldie but a goodie, you’ve no doubt heard every celeb makeup artist under the sun rave about this cheap-as-chips mascara. It’s the most popular mascara in the States, and with a lineup of celeb fans including Kim Kardashian, Kate Beckinsale, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift, we’re gonna believe the hype.
Safe for use by the whole family, this local range of natural products contains no petrochemicals, parabens and PEGS, sulphates or silicons, is not tested on animals, and uses recyclable packaging. The lovely Nourishing Facial Moisturiser is non-greasy and packed with natural oils, antioxidants and vitamins, providing 12 hours of continuous hydration for soft, smooth skin.
#7 – KORA Organics Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil
If it’s good enough for Miranda… The supermodel mum swears by this nourishing organic body oil, formulated with Noni extract and organic rosehip oil. Warm between the hands and apply to the body after a shower for nourished, soft and healthy skin, or pop a few drops in the bath for an indulgent mini spa sesh.
#8 – Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
Oatmeal isn’t just for your breakfast – this ultra hydrating lotion is formulated with naturally active colloidal oatmeal for softer, smoother, hydrated skin in under two weeks. A must-try for dry skins. (I also swear by the Stress Relief Body Wash – the lavender smells amazing!)
#9 – Brauer Paw Paw Lip Shimmer
If you’re concerned with what you put on your skin, this lovely lip shimmer is refreshingly free of petrochemicals. Enriched with nourishing shea butter, honey, vitamin E and grapeseed oil, Paw Paw Lip Shimmer does double duty – moisturising your smackers while adding a touch of sheer colour. Great for dry or sensitive lips, choose from six on-trend colours.
#10 – Face of Australia Blush in Primrose
When the divine Ms Foster Blake speaks, we listen. And she has been proclaiming her love of this pharmacy blush find all over town. To quote from Zotheysay, “I usually have at least one FOC product kicking around in my kit… I particularly like their powder blush in Primrose, which is ‘known’ in makeup and beauty blog circles. It looks a bit intense and shimmery in the compact, but is in fact wildly flattering (I have olive but relatively pale skin). It’s a rosy, ‘I’m blushing’ flush of pink, with a subtle sheen but very HIGHLY pigmented, so for the love of Liam Hemsworth, use a quality blush brush (I use the Bobbi Brown blush brush because of the dome top) and go easy.”
#11 – Bioderma Sensibio H20
If there’s one cult pharmacy beauty buy you should know about, it’s the micellar water beloved by UK makeup artist extraordinaire, Lisa Eldridge, to name just one of its famous fans. “In place of wipes, for a quick clean… I’ll use Bioderma Crealine (now Sensibio), which is probably one of my absolute must-haves in my kit and also at home, because I use it to take my eye makeup off every day. I love this product. I discovered it in the beginning of the ‘90s when I was living in Paris, and when I wasn’t working as a makeup artist I used to spend days looking around French pharmacies. This is one of the brands I absolutely loved, and I still use lots of their stuff today.”
#12 – ModelCo Tan Mousse
When it comes to celebrity ambassadors, the stunning Rosie Huntington-Whitely certainly shines in her role for ModelCo, with an enviable glow that looks 100% natural. Loving how self-tan “makes your skin glow on camera”, she credits the Tan Airbrush in a Can and Tan Mousse for her caramel complexion. I’ve been trialling this one at home in prep for a beach holiday and can hand-on-heart say it’s one of the best options out there for fair maidens like me.