As tempting as it can be to flash the cash on my beauty buys, sometimes reality has to step in, usually in the form of a phone bill or those pesky university fees. While nothing can beat the feeling of toting a Brown Thomas bag on my arm and getting home to unwrap something luxurious and far too expensive, the budget end of the scale has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and is definitely worthy of more than a nod. My make-up bag is probably a 60:40 ratio of budget to high end brands, so I thought I’d share my favourite picks from the cheap and cheerful end of the spectrum.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
If you haven’t heard of this budget wonder, you don’t know your concealer. At typically less than €7 a tube, this is absolutely my favourite concealer and I’ve no desire to try anything more spendy in its place (although NARS Radiant Concealer was in with a fighting chance). The formula is creamy and long-wearing, covering a multitude of skin issues with ease. For oily blemish-prone skin like mine, it’s a godsend considering the rate I’m getting through my first tube! If the idea of spending €20+ on a decent concealer is a little hard to swallow, look no further than your closest Collection stand.
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
There is no need to spend a small fortune on an expensive blotting powder, honestly. Setting powders are different; I’ve got my eye on a certain Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light – who hasn’t?! But for everyday, on-the-go, shiny-face fixers, Rimmel is your only man. Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent looks flawless on the skin, giving a polished look to my base and really helps to blur uneven texture and tone. The cheap-as-chips pricetag means I’m not afraid to throw it in my handbag, although it is rather sturdy for what it is. It’s not fancy or exciting, but it does everything you need it for.
Sleek Brow Kit
This is only €10 and, given the definition and colour it lends to brows and the great selection of shades, I see no reason to go spending crazy money on the same product from Bobbi Brown or Benefit. Using the Brow Kit is super simple; the wax adds colour and fills in gaps while the powder sets everything for a flawless finish. I would recommend going easy on the wax to avoid a Scouse brow look, however. But if you want a standard wax and powder kit, this is really perfect.
Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream
Okay, this isn’t strictly the cheapest base out there; I bought mine for €14.99. But a lot of decent CC Creams tend to be on the mid-to-high end of the price scale and the quality of this really belies its price. I own bases costing nearly three times as much as this which I don’t enjoy using half as much. The coverage is great, it does wonders for the redness around my nose, and the lasting power is very impressive for a non-matte finish formula. Despite its hydrating properties, it doesn’t feel greasy or claggy on my skin, and there’s a little SPF15 bonus. For an everyday base, you could pay a whole lot more for a whole lot worse.
The ultimate mammy’s multi-tasker, I use this on my spots and I really wouldn’t bother with any other targeted spot treatments if I had to. Nine nights out of ten I go to bed with a face covered in white dots, and typically wake up with dried out spots which are no longer inflamed and angry. Sudocrem is available everywhere for less than a fiver but it truly is a miracle worker. I have heard of Sudocrem masks, which supposedly work wonders for softening the skin; while this puts me in mind of ruined pillowcases, it could be worth a try if I find myself at the end of my tether. Any day now…
Okay, arguably you could spend the cost of a law book on these babies (which, FYI, are very expensive). Recently I reviewed my lovely Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow Palette, which I’m still using pretty regularly. Inglot shadows cost €6 each, which is as much as you’d expect to pay for any drugstore offering. But Inglot shadows are of brilliant quality; their pigmentation and durability are just great, and there is literally any shade imaginable to choose from. I’m including them here because, although a palette can be as expensive as you wish to make it, the quality of an individual pan for its price is unrivalled, for me anyway. You could spend big money on MAC shadows but, for very similar quality, why bother?
What are your drugstore favourites?