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    Posted on 7 Jul 2015

    Are Aussie Beauty Addicts Actually Being Ripped Off?

    We did the research.

    Anna Mendoza

    Aussie beauty addicts often feel like they're paying more than their American counterparts. But how much are they actually being ripped off?

    E4

    BuzzFeed Oz set out to discover if Aussie beauty addicts are really getting the raw end of the deal.

    ABC

    Here's how we did it.

    ABC Family
    ABC Family

    Using the current prices on both the Australian and American retailers' websites, we then added the the nationwide average sales tax of 5.45% to the American price. Using Google's currency converter on July 3rd at an exchange rate of 76 Australian cents to every US dollar, we then translated the American price + tax to Australian currency to see how the Australian price compared.

    We began with Sephora.

    Sephora

    Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con Palette

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via sephora.com

    Ouch.

    Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via sephora.com

    Tarte Cheek Stain

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via sephora.com

    Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via sephora.com

    WE'RE CHEAPER THAN AMERICA! This is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless!

    So how does Mecca Cosmetica compare?

    Mecca has a price promise on its website that states that they stay as close to America's prices as possible.

    mecca.com.au

    "The pricing of each of our brands is reviewed every 6 to 9 months on a rolling monthly basis. During times of exceptional volatility around the $AUD, Mecca may review prices more frequently," the website states.

    So what about the additional costs? The website says that "Mecca builds in an amount of 5% of the $AUD retail price to cover costs such as shipping & handling costs, and 10% for the Australian GST. To keep things simple, we round this final amount to the nearest dollar."

    We set out to test this promise.

    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via sephora.com / mecca.com.au /

    Holy shit! $4.10 is actually a pretty significant saving compared to the US price.

    CBS

    NARS Blush

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via mecca.com.au / sephora.com

    Too Faced Natural Matte Eyeshadow Collection

    Urban Decay Naked Palette

    mecca.com.au / sephora.com

    So this is definitely a better deal than buying the Naked palette online, which is nice to know.

    Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed mecca.com.au / sephora.com

    So the perfect cat-eye costs us an extra $1.38. You know what is equal, though? The struggle of achieving the perfect winged liner. We all suffer together when it comes to that.

    MTV

    Smashbox Bronze Lights Compact

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed mecca.com.au / sephora.com

    So what about the department stores?

    Myer

    From our conversions, Mecca showed that they don't put a huge mark-up on most of their items. Would the department stores prove themselves, also?

    Benefit They're Real Mascara

    myer.com.au / sephora.com

    An $6.87 price hike on an item that costs $40 is actually pretty big, and ouch. Our bank accounts felt that one.

    Bravo

    Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via myer.com.au / sephora.com

    Illamasqua Sculpting Duo

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via myer.com.au / illamasqua.com

    This is basically the best thing ever.

    FOX

    Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via myer.com.au / neimanmarcus.com

    Not great. These shimmery cream eyeshadows might be a great look, but that price hike isn't.

    Christian Dior 5 Couleurs Designer Palette

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au

    Literally WTF why are Aussies getting charged an additional $17.39?!?! Like, as if $85.61 wasn't an obnoxiously inflated price for five eyeshadows to begin with, and they're just like, "nah, chuck another 17 bucks on it, I reckon".

    FX

    And what about David Jones?

    David Jones

    Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au / bergdorfgoodman.com

    An extra $12.09 for a flawless complexion?!?! Way harsh, Chanel. Way harsh, David Jones.

    Bravo

    M.A.C. Lipstick

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via http://M.A.C.

    Okay, so Aussies are paying an additional $13.91 on every. Single. Lipstick. WTF??? That would be almost enough for a second lipstick in America! M.A.C., why do you hate us?!?!

    New Line Cinema

    Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au / neimanmarcus.com

    Lancôme Hypnose Star Mascara

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au

    Okay first, $52 is an insane amount of money to charge for mascara, but knowing that $12.64 of that is just Aussies getting fucked over makes it hurt that little bit more.

    FOX

    Laura Mercier Moisture Suprème Foundation

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au / bergdorfgoodman.com

    That is a significant amount of savings and we are here. For. It.

    The CW

    Guerlain Meteorite Pearls Illuminating Powder

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via shop.davidjones.com.au / bergdorfgoodman.com

    WHOA YOU GUYS. IT GOT BETTER. Saving $15 on a cult favourite?!?! YES, PLEASE x 1,000,000!

    The CW

    But what about the brands at Priceline?

    Priceline

    The department store brands were a bit of a mixed bag. Depending on the brand, Aussies are either overpaying up to $17, or saving up to $15. So how do the brands at Priceline compete?

    Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via priceline.com.au / walgreens.com
    FOX

    L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Eyeshadow Quads

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via priceline.com.au / ulta.com

    That is a GIANT mark up, Priceline. Thanks.

    Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal 24hr Cream Gel Shadow

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via priceline.com.au / walgreens.com

    Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via priceline.com.au / walgreens.com

    So this Naked Palette dupe may be significantly cheaper than Urban Decay's, but it's somehow got a larger mark-up?

    ABC

    Essie Mint Candy Apple Nail Polish

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via priceline.com.au / walgreens.com
    NBC

    When contacted, Priceline told BuzzFeed News that the fault lies with suppliers.

    "There is no doubt that suppliers with an international presence sell products to retailers in different countries at different prices. As a result, consumers will see different on-shelf prices from one country to another. For our part, we endeavour to give our customers the widest range, strongest value and expert service of any cosmetics retailer in Australia. To this end, we work with our suppliers to provide the best outcomes for our customers."

    And last but not least, what about Target?

    Target

    NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via target.com.au / ulta.com

    Target has a lot of the same brands as Priceline, but one brand they've started stocking recently is NYX, a favourite among beauty addicts looking for affordable dupes for their favourite cult items. Well, NYX may be affordable in Australia, but the mark up is still large.

    CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via target.com.au / walmart.com

    WTF guys, this is insane! A price difference of $12.21 which means we're paying close to TRIPLE the amount for this mascara. MOTHERFUCKING WHAT?????

    Bravo

    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

    Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via target.com.au / walgreens.com

    EXCUSE ME TARGET BUT THIS NO LONGER SEEMS LIKE A BEAUTY ON A BUDGET.

    Several of the companies mentioned in this story declined BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment.

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