Potentially expensive breaking beauty news for Australian consumers

Photo taken from kit cosmetics facebook page.

From the company behind Kit and Mecca cosmetic stores comes the announcement (via their facebook and instagram pages) that a new “beauty brand is launching into #kitcosmetics next month”

Automatically I thought of brands such as Tarte cosmetics, Cargo and Urban Decay which have been unavailable in Australia until now. Those of you who subscribe to YouTube “beauty gurus” will have heard endless references and reviews of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, Eye primer potions, Amazonian Clay blushes etc and yet haven’t had a reliable and affordable way to purchase them. 

Kit and Mecca are already, as far as I know the only (bricks and mortar) sellers of popular brands like Too Faced, Nars and Stila. 
I was instantly excited to think that i would be able to access more cool brands that i had heard so much about (during my endless hours spent on YouTube and Makeup Alley) and had  wanted to try for myself.

However, as i sit here and ponder all  the possibilities I cant help but wonder how much more we (in Australia) will be forced to pay for these items.  Time and time again I have been shocked at the major price differences in (admittedly non essential, luxury) products here in Australia.

 Our American and European brothers and sisters pay considerably less for everything from “drugstore” to high end cosmetics and fragrances (not to mention clothes, shoes, software and movies/music)   

Now as a (relatively) intelligent person I understand global economic factors such as differences in the standard of living and wages in countries will affect prices, as will things such as tariffs, taxes, costs of renting retail space and of course supply and demand. I even understand that as a much smaller market International brands struggle in selling enough volume to keep themselves viable. But do those factors warrant a price difference of sometimes $20 an item? I refuse to believe that its all due to our geographic isolation and the cost associated with transporting goods to us as often the products are produced or at least packaged in Asia.

Kit/Mecca are not by any means the ones responsible for this phenomenon, as a relatively new face in the Australian beauty scene they are simply following suit and charging what the market will take or what the brands dictate as their retail value. Brands (some of my favourites) such as Benefit, Clinique, Bobbi Brown and Revlon have been charging significantly more for the same product to us, their island dwelling friends.

That is why I and many, many other Australian consumers are heading online to source our products from overseas or intermediate sellers sourcing from the US. We take risks buying from eBay (I’ve never received a counterfeit product … yet) or sign up to U.S postal address service to take advantage of their everyday low prices. I rarely buy any beauty products from department stores. I have managed to find online sources for almost all of my favourite brands. (However, I am yet to find a reliable source for Bobbi Brown so I begrudgingly pay the $40 for their under eye corrector but that’s it! I swear!)

Some would argue that the over inflated prices of international brands is even better reason to support Australian brands and companies, keeping the dollars and jobs in Australia and all that. Plus if everything the cosmetic companies are saying (about it being so expensive to transport products here) then Aussie brands should be the cheapest on our shelves and also cheaper than they’re being sold overseas..

 but wait for it… here are some Australian* brands 

All overseas prices have been converted to the closest Australian dollar using todays XE rates.

Napoleon Perdis AutoPilot primer            Becca eyetint
Australian website price  $A59                    Australian Becca website $A42
Ulta (USA) website price $A51                   USA Becca website  $A27)

Jurlique age defying eye cream                 Lipstick Queen endless summer lipstick
Australian website $58                                  Kit cosmetics $A33
USA website $A48                                        Ulta $A25

Somethings just not right there..

Here are some more examples of how much more we pay for beauty items

Benefit benetint                                      OPI nail envy
Myer $A55                                             Myer $A35
Sephora $A34                                         Ulta  $A19

Revlon Colorburst lip butter                   Clinique quickliner for eyes
Priceline $A22                                        Aus website $A34
Ulta $A9                                                 US website $A18

Smashbox photo finish primer 30ml     Too faced sweetheart blush
Kit cosmetics $A55                                Kit cosmetics $A43
Sephora $A40                                        Ulta $A34                                  

Nars powder blush                                 MAC lipstick
Mecca $A45                                           Aus website $A36
Sephora $A33                                         US website $A17

Some of these are more significant than others. MAC is one that always stands out for me and because its a brand that is so often counterfeited I wont buy it online and therefore don’t really own more than a lipgloss or two. Clinique, Benefit and Revlon  are also guilty of  charging us much more (sometimes double) for the same products. Fortunately those brands can be bought online a little more safely.

As mentioned above I rarely buy products in store any more and tend to buy a few of the same item to stock up when I find them at a good price online. Its not difficult, it just takes time and patience and a good relationship with your Australia post delivery man.  Until Australians start being offered goods at comparable and competitive pricing i have a feeling that many Aussies will keep doing the same.

Lipstick 'n' Linguine
About me


nars hyped palette
December 06, 2019
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February 24, 2019
November beauty round up
December 03, 2018
July Favourites
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June Favourites
July 10, 2018
March 20, 2018
February Monthly round up.
February 28, 2018
February 10, 2018


Lipstick 'n' Linguine
Reply January 21, 2014

*these brands are owned/run by Australians or were established in Australia.

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