I love a pretty pack and an indulgent designer lipstick as much as the next girl, but I also love finding a makeup bargain that performs. Although there’s a lot of rubbish filling the beauty shelves of our High Street stores, there are also some incredible gems that cost only a few pounds and outshine some of their more expansive counterparts. After sifting through some of my current staples, here are five beauty products that cost less than a coffee-cake combo in Starbucks and are a much wiser investment – plus they’re calorie free.
1. Essence Maximum Volume Mascara (£2.80)
A new brand on the block, Essence is certainly pushing boundaries when it comes to budget makeup. The ‘Maximum Volume’ mascara features an innovative elastomer brush with bristles that form a reservoir on the inside, helping to hold a decent amount of product. This allows the mascara to not only provide perfectly defined lashes, but breathtaking volume without any clumping. Considering it’s only a couple of quid, this is a pretty incredible mascara and compares with products five times its price.
2. Collection Idol’Eyes Eye Crayon (£3.99)
When it comes to eye pencils, you mostly get what you pay for: under a fiver and they’re normally scratchy, hard to apply and feature next to no pigment. However, the Idol’Eyes Crayons are chunky and creamy enough to provide some serious punch. The colour is strong, the texture soft and the result buildable – I love this blue shade to add a pop to the lashline, as well as the silver version to help brighten and widen the eyes.
3. Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Varnish (£3.69)
You won’t find a better polish for your pennies – the brush is flat and thick, with a tapered edge to perfectly fit the nail, which aids application. The formula itself is thin enough to build up colour via a number of coats, without the problematic peeling that often results from a thick base. Although they don’t dry in 60 seconds, they don’t remain gloopy for hours on end
4. Barry M Cor Balmy Lipbalm (£3.50)
If you’re a lipbalm lover but also like a bit of colour, then these meet every need perfectly. Each balm features a tinted ring and hydrating core, which together provide the best of both worlds. The colour is very much a tint, adding just a touch of red to bring out the natural shade of lips, while the scent is incredibly moreish. Basically I love these so much I’ve got five.
5. Collection Bronze Glow Mosaic Bronzer (£2.99)
You may only reach for the bronzer a few months of the year, so it’s hard to justify spending a fortune on one. This delightful little number contains four different shades which work to provide a more contoured and natural glow, all in a super lightweight powder than can be easily buffed into the skin. Although it doesn’t come in a beautiful pack, it’s a functional product that’s cheap enough to chuck in your hand luggage and not worry if it reaches the other end of the plane journey in lots of little pieces!
Do you have any makeup must-haves that cost the same as a skinny nut latte?