These miniature beauty products bring full sized joy

Smaller sizes are more convenient, appealing, and ideal for gifting.
Annie Spratt/Unsplash
Smaller sizes are more convenient, appealing, and ideal for gifting.

In terms of countries that mostly feel like home but aren’t, you can’t do much better as a New Zealander than Australia.

They’re a bit loud and brash over here, and their birds are awful, but the cultural Venn diagram is closely overlapped. My housemate taught me the nutbush not long after I moved and I sometimes say doona instead of duvet now. I broadly get it. I’ve assimilated.

Miniature beauty product fan Harriet Pudney.
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Miniature beauty product fan Harriet Pudney.

Except when it comes to something called ‘Ooshies.’ These are small plastic collectable toys (???) you get at Woolworths when you spend a certain amount. Like stamps for free flatware, except for they’re tacky little plastic lions or whatever.

People here go absolutely nuts for them. There’s currently a set of five rare ones on eBay for AU$300 (NZ$318). Last year a drought-struck farmer beheaded one on live TV as a protest against online bullying and presumably the lack of rain.

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You get offered them in the checkout and I worry that my face as I say no looks like the staff member has tried to hand me a bucket of rotten fish. They’re absolutely pointless, ugly and destined to gather dust wherever they end up before finding their way to landfill. It’s a no from me.

I’m pretty opposed to cutesy miniature stuff in general, though, so none of the above is a real surprise. Maybe it’s all the intercity/international moves I’ve done in the last five years. I just can’t get around clutter.

Apart from when it comes to beauty. In this space, I find smaller sizes convenient, appealing, and ideal for gifting. When you’re meant to replace your mascara every three months, you might as well get a tiny one, since you’re unlikely to finish a tube in that time.

Harriet always snaps up (from left to right): Benefit Georgia Blush Mini, $32, Maison Margiela Sailing Day EDT 10ml, $47, and MAC Fireworked Mini Lipstick Kit, $62.
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Harriet always snaps up (from left to right): Benefit Georgia Blush Mini, $32, Maison Margiela Sailing Day EDT 10ml, $47, and MAC Fireworked Mini Lipstick Kit, $62.

I’ve never once actually finished a blush or bronzer, or in fact a bottle of nail polish. When brands do tiny versions of these products at Christmas, I snap them up for myself and others.

Try the Benefit Georgia Blush Mini, $32, for a glowy, flattering look. Or the Maison Margiela Sailing Day EDT 10ml, $47, for those who like a salty, lively scent. Last up is the MAC Fireworked Mini Lipstick Kit, $62 for three small lip colours and a makeup bag. If you discover a new favourite this way, so much the better.

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