Recently, I’ve been feeling the pressure to save up and stop spending as frivolously; however, I did still need a wee pick me up and decided bargain beauty was the way to go (after all, isn’t that why lipstick sales are up…?) It did make me reflect on some of the brilliant products available on the high street; there are some real gems that deliver just as well as their high-end counterparts, so I thought I’d round up some of my favourites here.
Bourjois Foundations – priced between £8.99 and £10.99
I believe that Bourjois foundations are manufactured by the same company as Chanel, and I have to say I think they are on a par in terms of quality. Of course, as these are a high street product and not high end, the packaging isn’t quite as luxurious, but to be honest as most of my makeup resides in my makeup bag rather than on a dressing table, I can’t say packaging alone would tempt me into buying something three times as expensive!
The colour range is fairly good, although some formulations come up pretty yellow-toned (I am exceptionally fair-skinned with pink undertones) and as with most high-street brands however, they are lacking a bit of the really dark shades. However, the quality is beautiful; well pigmented and offering beautiful finishes from sheer and dewy up the more full, matte finishes. I would definitely recommend checking these out if you’re in the market for a new foundation.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – £4.19
I’m not going to say too much about this concealer as it has been discussed to death on You Tube, in blogs and on forums – suffice to say, it covers practically anything, lasts really well and only costs £4.19. Job done.
Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder – £12
Ok, ok, I’ve bent the rules here…hence the ‘ish’ in the title, as this comes in a hair over £10. However, I think the product is so good, I shoe-horned it in anyway (and, in my defence, SaG products are so often on 3 for 2 in Boots so really they do come in under £10…) Up till now, I really hated the feeling of powder on my skin, although having a rather oily t-zone it is a bit of a necessity – however, this powder is so finely milled it sits really comfortably on the skin, and does a fantastic job of keeping shine at bay right through the day.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes – £8.99
These are beautiful little blushes with a lovely, if slightly limited, selection of colours. These remind me of the Hourglass blushes with their swirled finish, but at a much more purse friendly price point. They have a lovely, blendable texture and nice colour payoff. Their nude mauve shade is also the perfect blush when you’re not sure what to pair with a stronger lip colour, giving a little something something, but nothing to statement.
Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Gel Eyeshadow – £4.99
These are another heavily lauded product – and rightly so! My favourite shade is On and On Bronze, a beautiful golden bronze, which last unbelievably well on the lids even without a primer. These can also be used as a type of primer and layered underneath other powder shadows to give them more longevity and make the colour more vibrant. As a side note, Metallic Pomegranate is a fantastic dupe for Illamasqua’s Liquid Metal is Resolute.
The one negative thing I will say about these is the shade range – there is a bronze, taupe and black, but the rest are all fairly bright and I think a couple of more neutral shades (perhaps a lilac/grey or khaki) would make fantastic additions to the range.
Max Factor Mascaras – priced between £6.99 and £18.99
It is a bit of a cheat to include these here as some of their mascaras come in a little over the £10 mark (and one a lot over the £10 mark – the, in my opinion, overpriced Max Factor Lashfinity 3 Day Mascara – who need their mascara to last three days!?) , including my personal favourite, False Lash Effect, but they are so often on offer I thought I’d bend the rules a little.
Mascara is one of those items where I’ve never ventured high-end, as there are such quality options available on the high street, and this does a fantastic job of lengthening and volumising without lashes going spidery.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner – £3.99
I have a fair collection of the Urban Decay 24/7 khol eyeliners and I can honestly say these are right up there in terms of colour payoff, texture and longevity.
Again, as with the other eye items in this post, the shade range could be improved but as there are enough of the standards – black, brown, nude – to be going on with I really can’t complaining. The texture is lovely and soft and they last a good time on the eyes without ending up with a fetching panda eyed look.
L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow –
£6.99 Discontinued – boo!
What can I say – I love these! They are technically a loose pigment, but are very compacted compared to other loose pigments such as Illamasqua. Personally, I prefer these as I find it makes them easier to work with and less messy (traditional loose pigments tend to end up half way down my face, on the carpet and in my hair…not a good). As with the Colour Tattoo cream shadows I do think the range would benefit from a few more colours, but there are some really beautiful shades (including a good dupe for Chanel Ilusion D’Ombre in Illusoire). Shown here is also the elusive Amber Rush shade, only available in the US for some unfathomable reason.
ETA: since drafting this post, I have discovered these have been discontinued (in the UK anyway, not sure about the USA). Not impressed, L’Oreal, not impressed.
These are all products I love and would very happily repurchase – what are yours? If you have anything you’d recommend, let me know in the comments section below!
Ps – apologies for the lack of lovely image with this post; we’re between houses and staying with family, so most of my beauty stash is currently in a box in the garage!