Friday, 24 February 2012

Beauty on a Budget: My 10 Favourite Beauty Buys for Under £10

Occasionally I will treat myself to a luxury make-up or beauty product, I adore Benefit cosmetics, I love Clinique skincare and Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat was a fixture in my make-up bag for years. Top branded products are great quality, ultimately though there’s no getting away from the fact that that quality comes with a hefty price tag, just the other day I was browsing the Benefit counter and I picked up a bronzing/highlighting duo for £24(!) I couldn’t help thinking how quickly the cost of high-end cosmetics would mount up...   

Fashion Maths

Faced with the choice of a year’s supply of bronzer or a gorgeous pair of heels the heels win every time for me. So although I’ll splash out on the odd expensive cosmetic the vast majority of the products I used everyday come in under £10 and can be bought on the highstreet, Boots* cards at the ready, here are my 10 favourite budget make-up and beauty buys!

~ I cannot say enough good things about this John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner (£5.59 each or 2 for £7.50). From his ‘Sheer Blonde’ range it comes in two shades ‘platinum to champagne’ for those with lighter blonde hair and ‘honey to caramel’ for darker blondes like me. Not only does this fab shampoo and condition help to stop my highlights fading or turning brassy but they also leave virtually no residue so they never weigh my hair down.

~ I have quite sensitive skin so I need a gentle deodorant and I don’t think you can beat Nivea Pearl & Beauty (£2.10). It’s dermatologically tested and alcohol free so it doesn’t irritate the skin at all. Like all of Nivea's products the fragrance is subtle but incredibly clean and fresh. I also like the fact the roll-on dispenses just the right amount every time.

~ It’s safe to say I’m pretty addicted to exfoliation. Sloughing away dead skin cells not only makes skin look and feel great but studies have shown it can also help to keep you looking young. Tests on men found the area where they shaved –thereby exfoliating the skin- could look up to seven years younger than the rest of their face! I’ve tried various exfoliating scrubs in the past but I don’t think they ever work very well unless you’re prepared to slather on an entire tub (leaving those little beads all over your shower/bathtub in the process!), I find gloves much quicker, less messy and more precise- the perfect alternative. This pair was actually a bargain £1 from Primark although you can usually pick them up for under £3 in any chemist for example Boots Exfoliating Gloves (£2.66).

~ Alongside exfoliation the other cornerstone of my beauty routine is moisturisation. For my face I like something that’s really light, is absorbed easily and won’t clog my pores. This Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser works perfectly for me and is also one of the cheapest moisturisers out there at only £3.79.

~ When it comes to body moisturisers though I prefer something much richer so I usually go for a body butter. I first tried Boots’ Extracts range last Christmas when I was gifted a mini set of them, now I’m totally hooked. I love the natural fragrances –they never clash with any perfume I might want to wear- and how nourishing they are for my skin. My favourites are Honey, Mango and Coconut (£7.95 or 3 for 2)

~ I love all of Soap & Glory’s products but this Hand Food Hand Cream (£2.50) is amazing. It smells wonderful, it’s not greasy, it absorbs easily, what’s not to love? Although there is a larger version available I prefer the 50ml travel-size as it’s so easy to just pop in my handbag and use when I’m out and about.

~ Vaseline has long been one of my must-have products before they even thought to package it in little tins and I had to carry around an oversized plastic tub! Thankfully they have now streamlined their packaging and developed lots of new varieties including a balm with Aloe Vera, (£1.80) one with Cocoa Butter, (£1.99) and my personal fave Rosy Lips (£2.25)  with Rose and Almond Oil.

~ My favourite foundation is  Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse (£7.69). Before I tried this I remember being a little sceptical that the mousse formulation was just another gimmicky idea to sell a product you don’t really need (L’Oreal Roller Foundation anyone?) but as soon as I tried it I loved it instantly. It really does feel amazingly light and blendable but provides good coverage where needed.

~ I discovered this Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow (currently on offer for £5.49) recently after my previous fave product L’Oreal Mineral Shadow was cruelly discontinued. In shade 08 'Beige Rose' it’s a warm peachy/golden shade that has a hint of iridescence to really bring out your eyes. I wear it on its own for a subtle everyday look however it could also easily be used as a base for other eye make-up or even as a highlight.

~ In case it wasn’t obvious from my minimal effort eye make-up routine, I’m really not very adept at applying make-up at. all. I like cosmetics that are super quick and easy to use. This Collection 2000 Eye Definer is the best eyeliner I’ve ever tried. It has a crayon-like texture that’s half way between a pencil and a gel, it glides on smoothly and looks more natural/softer than gel liner.

So that’s my current list of my favourite beauty buys under £10, it was so difficult to narrow it down to just 10, there could have been so many more. What are your favourite budget products?     

* The products I’ve linked to are all on the Boots website for convenience, however they are available elsewhere at varying prices.   

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