On straight current exchange rates, £23 is equal to $36 and Aus$42. So why isn't that what they cost respectively? With Australia, the argument is that the cost of getting the product to the consumer is high due to distance, and so that has to be added on to the cost of the product. Similarly, there is a cost (although lower) of distributing a US brand in Europe. As well as the shipping costs, there are nearly always going to be import taxes on luxury goods, and purchase taxes vary by country (and in the US, by state.)
I accept all that to a certain extent, but in the case above, Australian consumers are still getting kicked.
The simple fact is, brands charge what the market will accept. Generally, most cosmetics are transfer priced at £1 to $1.50ish, and stayed at this level even when the pound was nearly at $2. That makes sense - why would Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown drop prices for us when they could just make extra profit? On the flipside, it was difficult for established brands to start charging more in the US, which is why you had the anomaly of UK brands like Jo Malone (arguable to still call it a UK brand now that it's a Lauder, but still,) costing more in the UK than they did in the US.
The store in the UK that takes the biggest liberty with transfer pricing is SpaceNK. Quite often, $1 will nearly equal £1 in the SpaceNK pricing policy, and that's pretty cheeky. Examples include:
Oribe conditioner for brilliance and shine is $47 in the US and £43 in the UK.
Kate Somerville antioxidant serum is $65 in the US and £59 in the UK.Lipstick Queen Medieval is $20 in the US and £19 in the UK.
I could go on, but I'd probably bore you to tears. SpaceNK can do this because they bring over exclusive brands you can't find anywhere else. I'm really pleased to see that their position as the place to buy beauty exclusives is being challenged by online beauty retailers like Zuneta, Content and Puresha, who generally charge fairer prices for non-UK brands - an Hourglass lipstick costs £18 at Zuneta, and $24 at Sephora in the US, and an RMS Lip2Cheek costs £28 at Content, and $36 from RMS in the US.
My personal, all-time, I will never order from that brand again because of their dodgy pricing policy, goes to Bionova. This is a US line that has a UK website. The prices are about £1 to $1, but I accepted that, grudgingly. What really made me cross was that what the website doesn't tell you is that your UK price will then be converted into dollars on your credit card, at the credit card exchange rate, and you will end up paying even more than the published price plus whatever your credit card charges you as a foreign currency fee. Shame, as the products themselves were pretty good, if strange-smelling.