A decade ago the cost of makeup was really reflected in the quality of the product you’d receive. As time passes, however, the gap between high end and budget brands becomes ever closer; the packaging may be slicker and the story more complete, but often the performance of the goop inside is hard to differentiate. It’s never been more on-trend to save a few pounds and discover a budget alternative that delivers, and there’s no doubt that Primark started that change in mindset when they became a visible presence on every high street. You may have turned to them for an impulse shoe purchase, a cheeky homeware update or even a little jewellery indulgence, but until now their beauty offering has been somewhat poor. I remember picking up dodgy looking lipsticks and false lashes that were so stiff you could barely close your eyes, but their latest collection sees the quality vastly improve and compete with some of our other favourite budget beauty brands. I’ve tried and tested everything you see below, so here’s a brief overview of what’s worth picking up with a new pair of tights this weekend… And what’s worth leaving on the shelf with that dodgy fluorescent dress.
CC CONCEALER PALETTE
Dullness, redness, dark circles and sallow skin can be difficult to conceal – unless you’ve got a little palette full of fabulous colours like this one, to ‘correct’ the shade distortions! If you want to dabble in the idea then this is a good place to start, offering five shades that help to conceal imperfections and dark circles. The texture is quite challenging (you really have to work your finger into the pan to pick up product,) but the result is a subtle cream-to-powder finish. I would have preferred more Caucasian ‘concealer’ tones, but this does provide a contouring and bronzing option if you change up how the colours are used!
A rather pastel looking container conceals something that’s actually really rather bright inside. Colour correcting is definitely the hot trend of the moment, and this provides an affordable way of trying it out – especially if you’re prone to redness. The creamy formula dries well to leave a matte finish behind, but the tone itself is quite bright and therefore quite tricky to blend in with your foundation. It’s a clear dupe of the Urban Decay Color Correcting Fluid (and is similar in texture) but the shade is the only thing that lets it down. Just be cautious with the amount you use.
Who knew you could swap in a budget primer with a much more premium one and barely be able to tell the difference! The illuminating primer is more like a highlighter, adding light and glow to where you need it (I wouldn’t suggest using it all over,) but the miracle and mattifying primers help to create a smooth and refined base. They blend beautifully and leave skin prepped for foundation, even if they don’t keep it in place until the very end of the day.
RICH COLOUR LIPSTICK
With a large colour spectrum from which to choose, these lipsticks offer a comfortable application experience and rich pigment. They don’t drag over lips and they definitely last as long as many others within my collection, but the slightly chemical scent and cheap packaging let them down. If you’re only fussed about the end result, then definitely grab one of these with your next Primark haul; if you like your lip products to be a little more luxurious, give them a miss.
LIP LINER PEN
The precise, but still quite chunky, lip liner pen is quite subtle and is very much about enhancing the natural curves of lips rather than looking like you’ve overdone it. You could definitely use this to colour in lips and pop a balm over the top, but on its own I’m not sure if it’s worth the extra step.
ULTRA SHINE LIPGLOSS
I adore these. The tapered applicator, sweet smelling glossy formula and rich pigment make these lipglosses a no-brainer. They glide over lips beautifully to diposit a rich and buildable colour that’s comfortable and completely non-sticky. If you buy one thing from the new PS Pro range, make it one or two of these.
GRAPHIC LINER & CORRECTOR PEN
Winged liner instantly upgrades a look, taking you from daytime dowdy to hell-yes-chic. I’ve spent an absolute fortune on liner pens trying to find the perfect solution, but does this hold up against some of my faves? No, unfortunately not. The chunky nib makes it difficult to apply and almost impossible to get an even straight line, but the pigment is strong and easy to blend. What is exciting though is the corresponding Liner Corrector Pen, which erases mistakes without causing a grey mess around the eye area; a bargain and something we should all have in our kit.
This understanted pencil claims to be able to conceal, brighten and contour all in one – and it does just that. The creamy texture is great for topping up under-eye makeup, applying in the corners of the eyes and under brow arches; the blendable formula is really easy to use and definitely brightens otherwise dull skin. It’s one of those products that you could totally overlook, but is actually rather fab.
I’m getting into lip scrubs, but most of them are either overly grainy or excessively greasy. This little pot manages to provide an almost perfect solution to dry lips, helping to gently exfoliate dead skin while hydrating. I would have liked a little more gusto and a few more grains (as well as a slightly less ‘free with Mizz magazine’ pot,) but considering it costs less than a latte you can’t really complain. The vanilla scent is yummy too.
There are lots of other products within the new PS Pro makeup range, but these are a great place to start. It’s fab to see more and more brands offering up enjoyable and affordable makeup, rather than focusing on charging over the odds for yet another smokey eye palette – Primark, I salute you.
The new Primark ‘PS Pro’ makeup collection is available now, with prices ranging from £2.00 to £5.00.
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.