In my household, I am the magazine queen. I have always loved them, right from my very first Alison Brahe-covered Dolly magazines in the early 90s, to the Mia Freedman-Paula Joye dynasties at Cosmopolitan and Cleo respectively, to the copies of Madison and Shop Til You Drop I buy today. There’s always a spare Grazia or 10 lying around at our place and I regularly donate bagfuls of older mags to a friend who is quite happy to have them, despite the pages I tear out for my look books.
One thing that annoys my flatmate though is when she’s reading a great magazine and sees something she likes at a good price, only for me to say “sorry honey, that’s a US magazine.” I’m particularly fond of Allure magazine and have every issue since Geri Halliwell appeared on the cover in November 1998. I have every Australian InStyle published and buy the US version every month as well. And Lucky, Allure’s retail driven sister, is also a must-buy 12 times a year. Sure, they’re all expensive but they are exceptionally good quality magazines.
Aside from coveting clothing I’ll never have the opportunity to purchase, international magazines often inspire significant cosmetic jealousy in me. For a beauty buff, there’s nothing better than seeing new or limited edition ranges rolling on to the shelves. I still remember when Maybelline did colour collections and beautiful ads with Christy Turlington – now, they’ll do a new product every few months but by the time it gets to Australia I’ve been reading about it for half a year in the US glossies.
The Covergirl products that feature Drew Barrymore as spokesface are case in point. I waited, waited, waited for the Lash Blast, Lush Blast Luxe, Lash Blast Length and now Lash Blast Fusion mascaras to arrive on our shores. Same to with other lip glosses, blushes and eyeshadows. It’s just not fair. But the worst part of it is that when they do arrive, I’ll probably pay twice as much as Americans do for them.
I get that Australia is on the other side of the world. But please, tell me how a Maybelline Colour Sensational lipstick can cost US$6 there then almost AUD$17 here? I does not cost around $10 to ship each of those babies down under! We pay more for chemist brands and we pay more for department store/prestige brands. Another case in point: Clinique lip smoothies that cost nearly 40 bucks here retail for under $20 (Australian dollars) in the US. What is that?! I know we make up junkies all use StrawberryNET and other sites these days for a discount cosmetics fix but nothing beats walking into a shop and trying something out. If I’m going to pay $50 for a Chanel Coco Rouge lipstick it better be damn perfect; if I’m looking at $32 then definitely count me in for a try. But it shouldn’t cost $18 to test a lipstick.
Why do we let Australian retailers get away with it? How can we even stop it? I’m all for buying local and supporting Australian business but this is a joke.
Tonight, I did a little test. Take the brand NARS. Very luxe, very dreamy make up in exquisite colours. Their multiple tints are known for their quality the whole world over. On StrawberryNET, you can pick up St Barts, Cap Verte, Malaysia or Rapa Nui for AUD$42 (shipping from Hong Kong is free). I had a look on the Nordstrom site – AUD $45.16 for one of around 15 colours (shipping from the US, unsure of price). If you want to buy local from Mecca Cosmetica it will set you back AUD $89 – more than twice the next expensive – plus $10 postage to buy one in any of the dozen or so colours featured. Mad props to Mecca, who brought many of these brands to Australia when no one else was doing it, but I find the situation nonsensical now.
I found out Nordstrom was now shipping to Australia via another blog, Gold Dusk:
and decided to take a look. I’d heard of Nordstrom, knew it was a big US department store in the style of David Jones or Myer but wasn’t really that familiar with it. Pretty much love at first click. They have a brilliant range of premium beauty brands at jaw dropping prices. They have all the limited edition products and new ranges you could want. They have things that we JUST CAN’T BUY HERE AT ALL. Estee, Nars, Clinique, Essie, Lancome, Chanel, Dior and much, much, much more at the far better US prices and it is converted on the site to AUD$. I wasted a good couple of hours just drooling over the possibilities, including this Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess liquid eyeshadow in Ultra Violet for AUD$20.80. Madness. I think I’m going to do a test order just to see how much they charge for shipping etc. And damn I look good in purple eyeshadow!
I am gagging for this one.
For Australian girls who love their lippies (and bronzers and blushers and mascaras and fragrances and other potions…) and want to save themselves some coin, I’d recommend you check www.nordstrom.com out. It’s a great browse and easy to navigate, plus there are great shoes, clothes, homewares and more that can be purchased online. It’s awesome to see more and more international brands/stores now shipping to Australia too. All we need now is Sephora and US Target (OK and Gap and Old Navy and Banana Republic too) and I reckon I might be set…
Anissa at Beautifully Glossy also has an excellent post on the criminal cost of cosmetics in this country at
Like Julia's mascara? Can't buy it in Australia yet but you can from nordstrom.com