One of the things I’m most aware of when it comes to running this blog is the amount of money a product costs for the pleasure; not everyone has a huge pot of beauty budget to play with, and not everything is worth the ridiculous price. However, it’s sometimes difficult to navigate the beauty shelves of Boots and get to grips with what’s worth the investment, what’s cheap and not even cheerful, and those beauty bargains that you’ll be telling all your friends about in the weeks to come. So many affordable products land on my desk but cut too many corners for me to genuinely recommend them, but equally far too many brands think a fancy name and a pretty bottle gives them the right to charge £100 for a face cream. With this issue on my radar I sat down and tried to pick five beauty products under a tenner that are genuinely worth every penny – if not more – so you can experience a little bit of fabulous without having to wack it on the credit card.
1. Aussie 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor (£9.99)
In the interest of transparency, I haven’t used Aussie in years and I’m not a fan of their shampoos and conditioners (which are weighed down with silicones/sulphates and have very little actually going for them,) but this little bottle of oil is definitely worth picking up as we step into the colder months. Enriched with the frizz-fighting and ‘damage repairing’ qualities of macadamia nut, jojoba-seed and avocado oil, the lightweight serum can be used before shampooing as a treatment, on wet hair to aid styling or on dry hair to reinvigorate parched ends. It smells amazing and it doesn’t weigh my fine hair down, helping to restore life back into day two or three hair – especially when the dry shampoo has been used to excess. The majority of the ingredients other than the oils are ‘carrier agents’ that help bulk out the product too; it’s great to see Aussie keep things relatively simple and offer an affordable way to look after our barnets this winter.
2. MUA Luxe Glow Beam Highlighter (£5.00)
I’m slightly obsessed with highlighters and they’re definitely my secret weapon when it comes to keeping my complexion radiant during winter, but usually they set me back a small fortune. This £5.00 alternative from MUA is incredibly similar to an Urban Decay one I love, helping to add a beautiful shimmery tone to the tops of cheekbones. I love the slightly unusual pot too, which you have to twist to ‘slice’ up a section of highlighter; not only does this make it easier to apply and more flattering on the skin, but it minimises wastage and breakage. The tone is very golden, so do use it with caution if you’re new to highlighters, but it’s a great little buy from a brand that’s gone a bit quiet up until now.
3. The Ordinary Advanced Retanoid 2% (£8.00)
A future blog post will delve deeper into this revolutionary new brand, but right now I want you all to know about this retinol treatment that will totally change up your anti-ageing skincare regime. Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient that has the ability to tell almost any skin cell to behave like a healthy, younger version of itself; this is hugely beneficial for those of us experiencing the first or latter signs of ageing, as retinol can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, increase collagen production (essential for that youthful ‘bouncy’ texture that we lose over time,) improve the texture of skin and help to overcome discolourations caused by sun damage. Usually expensive and potentially irritating, The Ordinary have made the concept affordable while insuring their retanoid minimises any skin dryness that can often be seen. When applied before bed, this lightweight serum will boost your usual skincare and help fight those signs of ageing over time – at only £8.00, it’s something you NEED if you’re over the age of 30. (For more info on retinols, read my blog post here.)
4. Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream (£2.99)
Liquid lipsticks are all the rage for Autumn, but the majority will set you back upwards of £15.00. These rich creamy tubes from Collection offer up a great colour result and lightweight buildable formula in a multitude of on-trend shades (including purple, berry, red-orange and nude) to tickle your tastebuds. You do have to have a little patience when applying to ensure the pigment is universal in tone across the lips (it tends to look stronger around the outside, so you do need to re-apply in the centre of lips when it’s dried,) but the result is rich and comfortable. If you don’t know whether you want to invest in a full on Too Faced number just yet, these are a great alternative that cost less than a latte… You can’t argue with that.
5. Makeup Revolution Contouring Palette (£10.00)
Contouring may be over in its most extreme form, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all benefit from a little light and dark. This palette features eight complementary shades that can be used to delicately contour cheekbones and enhance the high parts of the face, as well as adding warmth to skin and gently colour correcting dullness. The powders are light, smooth, easy to use and well pigmented for their price point – but most importantly this is available in different colour options (light, medium and dark) so you can match your skintone perfectly. I really like the delicate highlighter and the combination of the peachy-bronze shades to add warmth to my skin as my holiday tan starts to fade. A bargain at only £10.00 for eight different shades in decent sized pans.
Which will you be rushing out to pick up the next time you’re in need of a beauty hit?
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