We all know the feeling. You want to dash some self-care into your routine as a “treat yourself,” so you walk into your local beauty store, ready to reinvent your bathroom cabinet.
And then you get a glimpse of the price stickers. Big yikes.
You shouldn’t have to break the bank to get into beauty products. They’re a treat everyone deserves, a way to pause and look after yourself when you’re in the thick of it. Whether it’s to wind down, find a moment of joy or raise your confidence, there are a lot of ways a nice serum or hair mask can make a difference.
And there are actually plenty of budget-friendly beauty products that give you all the same perks, just at a fraction of the cost. In fact, we’ve got a bunch of recommendations ready for you!
Before I even get into this one, how aesthetic is the bottle? I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover. But luckily, this one is cute and clever.
Handy for all hair types, this everyday shampoo brings softness and shine to your locks with its hero ingredient, Baobab oil. The formula builds to a lavish foam that’s rich with hydration, leaving your hair super silky and tangle-free.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also got a dreamy scent that echoes a “sun-soaked summer walk.”
To use: Massage a gape-size amount of product into damp hair, going from roots to ends. Safe to use everyday.
Self-care nights just don’t hit the same without lathering on a thick hair mask before bingeing your comfort show (fluffy socks and all).
Whipped with creamy shea butter and coconut and macadamia oils, this mask deeply quenches and nourishes parched strands. Restorative, strengthening, hydrating, the list really just goes on.
This one’s especially gorgeous for thick and curly hair, so get those locks feeling soft and fluffy!
To use: Apply a small amount into your palm and evenly distribute into damp hair from root to ends. Leave in for as long as your hair needs before rinsing.
Do you sometimes wish you could just wave a wand and ta-da – shiny hair! Whilst I can’t recommend you any magic wands, this hair oil comes pretty darn close.
It’s a weightless multi-tasker that hydrates, softens and protects hair from damage. With just a couple of drops, the formula smoothes and tames the dreaded frizz for a glossy finish you will love.
You’ll get silky tresses with that fresh from the salon look (because who has time for the actual salon?)
To use: Dispense a few drops into your palm, rub palms together and smooth hair from mid-length to end.
Finding a cleanser that gives you a good clean whilst still being gentle and hydrating is way harder than it should be. It’s either too much or not enough, and the feeling of stripped skin is so not fun.
That’s why this gentle mousse cleanser from Go-To is just “chef’s kiss” for your daily routine. It’s silky soft and nourishing, with non-irritating willow bark extract to smooth your skin.
Perfect for any and every skin type, it’s ph-balanced, soothing and filled with clean ingredients.
To use: Dampen your face and then gently massage the product into your skin for about thirty seconds (or until your kid starts pulling your leg).
Now that we’ve ditched using soap bars on our face (thank gosh) it’s about time we upgrade from those gritty scrubs we terrorise our skin with.
A liquid exfoliant, like this one from Paula’s Choice, is a much gentler way to smooth your skin whilst getting deep into pores. It helps even your skin tone, shed dead skin cells, tighten pores and balance oil production.
The result? A radiant, plump and clear complexion that feels babysoft. It’s your own mini time machine, revealing younger and brighter skin.
To use: Use this one 2-3 times a week, either with your fingers or a cotton pad. It’s a leave-on treatment, so no need to wash off!
Here’s the deal: sunscreen is the absolute best thing you can do for your skin. Hands-down, without a doubt, zero competition.
By shielding our skin from the sun, it helps hold onto your skin’s hydration, firmness and brightness. It’s a powerful anti-ager and essential in the hot Aussie sun, which is why you need to wear it daily.
This sun serum by Ultra Violette is luminous, lightweight and hydrating. It’s swimming with skin-sweetening ingredients that brighten and soften your skin, like Kakadu Plum and Squalene.
Did I mention that it’s also life-changing under makeup?
To use: Apply it generously as the last step in your routine, before your makeup.
Nothing gets you that squeaky clean feeling quite like a body scrub, and this one by Frank Body is a straight line to silky, glowing skin.
It’s a gentle, nourishing exfoliant that melts into a cleanser for a good old 2-in-1 (we love a multi-tasker). With a superstar blend of rosehip oil, coffee seed extract and lavender oil, it tackles scars and marks whilst softening any dry patches.
The bonus subtle rose scent is just the icing on the cake!
To use: Scoop a handful of scrub and massage it into your skin using circular motions. Rub it into a foamy lather before rinsing away.
For a nourishing body moisturiser that’s also consciously made, the Body Shop always knocks it out of the park.
The Shea Body Lotion is a brand standout, as a creamy lotion that softens into skin for a silky, healthy glow. It’s made with handcrafted Community Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana and organic olive oil from southern Italy, the ultimate pairing for smooth and nourished skin.
It’s crazy how much our body gets up to in the day (from dodging the dog to going all in for kids playtime) so give it some love and much-needed hydration.
To use: a little goes a long way with this one (hello bang for buck) so start small and build it up.
Showers can feel like such a rush, as if they’re just another thing to tick off in the mornings. But what if you could add a breath of luxury to those few blissful moments you get to spend alone?
Philosophy has a whole range of softly scented body washes that linger for hours after. This one is a blend of bergamot, soft muguet blossoms and musk for a light and refreshing fragrance.
The formula itself is hydrating and softening, giving a good clean whilst being gentle on the skin. It’s a sweet way to slow down in your morning routine.
To use: Apply to wet body and/or scalp, making sure to lather. For a relaxing bubble bath, drizzle under running water, then soak.