A-beauty has made its mark on our skincare routines, with local brands championing native ingredients, sustainable packaging and innovative formulas. It makes sense that make-up bag staples from homegrown brands would echo the same principles.
Maybe it’s the weather (read: often sweaty) that has created an aversion to full faces of foundation Down Under. But many of the brands on this list favour a no-make-up make-up approach, seeing products as a chance to enhance features and express personality, rather than cover up “flaws”. Don’t forget to check the use-by date on your go-to products – especially cream and liquid formulas, and anything that goes near your eyes – to make sure blemish-causing bacteria isn’t sneaking around your make-up bag.
Flavedo & Albedo
Zero plastic packaging is the key selling point for fans of Flavedo & Albedo. The Sydney-based brand is known for its bright colours, dreamy formulas and sustainable packaging. Its products are mostly multi-use, allowing you to do more with less. Take the best-selling dew tint for example: it provides a flush of colour for cheeks, lips and even eyelids. “We never want to be part of a conversation that tells people make-up is something they need. It isn’t. It’s about self-expression and creatively extending an outfit. It shouldn’t intimidate or correct. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. And when you look at it that way, it is fun,” co-founder and CEO Emily Perrett says.
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Eye of Horus
Byron Bay brand Eye of Horus launched its second skin foundation earlier this year, adding a lightweight but long-wear option to its face collection. The flake-free, water-resistant Goddess mascara and fine-tipped Brow Define Dynasty pencil are also favourites for daily wear. And the customisable, refillable complexion duo lets you bronze, blush and highlight to your heart’s desire.
Ere Perez created her eponymous brand in Sydney in 2002, after a childhood spent in Mexico with her traditional medicine man grandfather and her mother’s home remedies and beauty recipes. Offering a small collection of make-up alongside skincare signatures, the brand has a less-is-more philosophy and focuses on botanical ingredients. The Oat Milk foundation and Arnica concealer claim anti-inflammatory properties to help protect and calm skin, avocado oil enriches the brand’s waterproof mascara, and carrot offers natural pigment to a cream blush formula that can be used on cheeks, lips and eyes.
Multi-use, everyday products fill Inika Organics’ make-up collection. Echoing the brand’s skincare offering, the range is filled with certified organic, cruelty-free, halal and vegan products. The Organic BB cream is a best-seller, alongside the lip crayon, baked blush duo and organic long lash mascara.
Naked Sundays might be best known for its Glow Mist, an SPF 50 spray that protects skin and can be applied on top of your foundation. But the brand’s expanding range now crosses over into your make-up bag. The Glow Balm sticks, which come in shades of rose, champagne and Espresso Martini, are sun-safe alternatives to classic blush, bronzer and highlighter. The new Cabana Glow serum drops also work to illuminate your complexion and even out skin tone with ingredients such as pink algae and hyaluronic acid listed on the label alongside mineral SPF 50. And the Glow & Go lip oil range promises to protect your pout without tasting like sunscreen.
Founded by make-up artist Hilary Holmes, Holme Beauty is centred on beauty essentials packed with skincare ingredients. The setting spray is a true hero product thanks to its subtle golden glow. But the brand’s new liquid blush, which comes in six pigment-rich shades, is set to become a summer favourite. Holmes’ tips for nailing warm-weather make-up? “Look for products that are water based as these are also water resistant, opt for a tubular mascara to stop transfer and use a translucent powder and setting spray to lock in your products,” she says. The brand also runs a masterclass program for anyone looking to upskill their routine.
Mco Beauty has become a go-to for its (more) wallet-friendly collection of products that seemingly imitate cult make-up favourites. Tiktok is obsessed with often sold-out dupes, including the Flawless Glow Skin Filter, Super Glow bronzing drops and Highlight and Glow beauty wand. There’s also the Perfect Pout lip liner, Creme Matte Luxe lipstick and Xtend Lash tubular mascara to round out your kit.
Founded in Melbourne by Erika Geraerts in 2018, Fluff operates on a quarterly drop model – an antidote to the constant newness “fast beauty” brings – opening its website for one week only, four times per year. You’ll need to sign up to make sure you’re in the know if you want to get your hands on the next release of signature silver refillable compacts.
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