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Are Aussie Beauty Addicts Actually Being Ripped Off?

We did the research.

Posted on

Here's how we did it.

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.

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

"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.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner

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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.

So what about the department stores?

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?

Christian Dior 5 Couleurs Designer Palette

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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".

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?!?!

Lancôme Hypnose Star Mascara

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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.

But what about the brands at 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?

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."

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Anna Mendoza for BuzzFeed via /

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

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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?????

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

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