Money-Saving Make-Up

I’ve long been a bit of a make-up junkie, and over the years I’ve tried out almost all the major brands.  Just recently, though, with EVERYTHING going up in cost (our gas direct debit has almost doubled in the last 2 years, and you wouldn’t even want to SEE my petrol bill), I’ve been looking at cutting down the amount I spend on beauty products, and have been trying some cheaper alternatives – with some pretty good results.

primerI’ve been using Laura Mercier primer (£28) for two or three years now, and it’s a great product that leaves my skin silky smooth before putting on my foundation.  I find that using a primer makes my make-up last longer and still look pretty good at the end of the day, so I didn’t want to miss out this step in my routine completely.   When my last tube of Laura Mercier ran out, I bought GOSH primer from Superdrug (£12.99), having read some positive reviews, and I’ve been using it for a few weeks now.  Although it doesn’t feel QUITE as silky smooth as the Laura Mercier one, it does the job just as well, and considering it’s less than half the price, I shall be sticking to it in future.

eye shadow

I am a big fan of eye shadow palettes – I probably have every colour of eye shadow ever invented!  And I have to say, I do generally like the higher end of the market as far as eye colour goes – I find the pigmentation of the colours is far better, they are easier to apply, feel nicer on the skin, and last longer.  The Urban Decay Naked eye palette is a cult product, and I’ve always been attracted to those muted colours, however, I’ve never been able to justify purchasing it at £36, and with a drawer full of eye shadow already.

So when I read about the MUA ‘Undressed’ palette, with very similar colours, for only £4 (yes, £4!), I had to try it.  And I’m very pleased with it.  The colours are great and I find that if I use an eye primer (ELF being my current one of choice – less than a fiver), the shadow lasts just as well as any of the more expensive brands.

mascaraOver the years, I’ve tried hundreds of mascaras, from the cheap to the ridiculously expensive.  But I always come back to Maybelline Great Lash, only £4.99, and just as good as any of the £20+ mascaras, in my opinion.  When my last mascara (a Clinique freebie with a magazine last year) ran out recently, just for fun I decided to buy the cheapest mascara I could find and see how I got on with it.  The cheapest I could find was this NYC Show Time at £1.99 in Superdrug, and do you know what?  It’s fine.  I don’t think I’d buy it again, as I think my Maybelline is worth the extra £3, but for the money, the NYC is OK.  It does tend towards clumping a little bit, but  the colour is good, it lasts well, and I really like the brush shape.

lip sticksAnother product that the beauty world has been raving about: Clinique Chubby Sticks.  A mixture between lip colour and balm, these retail at £16.  I have tried these at the Clinique counter several times, but couldn’t justify the purchase, as I already own more lip colour than I’ll ever need in one lifetime.  However, when Revlon brought out an almost identical product – Just Bitten Kissable – at half the price (£7.99), I did treat myself to one.  And I couldn’t tell the difference between the two products.

I’m really enjoying finding cheaper alternatives, but I’m still on the search for anything to replace two of my absolute favourite products:


Mac Strobe Cream and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick.  Nothing cheaper has come up to scratch yet.

What sort of make-up do you prefer?  Do you have any super-cheap products you can recommend?  Would love to hear some thoughts on this.








11 thoughts on “Money-Saving Make-Up

  1. Now this is a blog after my own heart. I LOVE all make up and I was terribly excited when going back to Exeter last year to find that John Lewis was now stocking Bobbi Brown which along with Mac I adore. I ended up buying a new red lipstick and their gel eyeliner. Disappointed with the eyeliner as it has really dried out in the pot with only a third used. My friend in the States sent me for Christmas Mac eyelash serum which I was very dubious about as it is supposed to make your eyelashes grow thicker and longer. Whether it is my imagination or not but I think it is actually working. But would I buy it – nope. She also gave me a BB cream which is nice but not sure it is anything special. On the cheap side I use Lidl´s red wine moisturiser for about four euros. It is brilliant and as good as anything more expensive. Now Caroline the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick is this a face bronzer/highlighter or what? Lovely colours.

  2. Great tips! Have to admit I’m completely lost when it comes to make up (would be embarrassed to tell you how old most of mine is..) and this is just the sort of advice I need! Always struggle finding a decent mascara so will try the Great Lash Maybelline one. Like the sound of the Revlon lip colour/balm too.

  3. always exciting to find cheaper alternatives that work well. I don’t know if you saw last year but I did a post on the Aldi moisturiser, looked up online and it contained the same ingredients as a Nivea one for three times the price, I think it was the Q10 x

  4. Hmmm. Well I love my make up and experiment a fair bit but I have to say I tend to go back to firm favourites despite often trying cheaper alternatives. Having said that, most brands retail for less over here. Foundation: Lancome….. Mascara: Lancome (despite having tried lots of others) but blusher and lipstick I am not fussy at all….Moisturisers I also try various although Clarins is my favourite. Don’t even get me started on Perfumes…. from the sounds of it, you and I together could give Boots a run for its money!

  5. I have used Clinique’s oil-free foundation for about 20 years as I tend to go shiny after a while, and won’t use anything else, luckily I can get it tax-free at work. As for make up I’m not really fussy about eyeshadows or lipsticks and use Rimmel/No.7 etc. Used your Maybelline mascara for years when I was flying as I could get it in the States even cheaper, then went on to L’Oreal’s Lash Architect, but last week bought Max Factor False Lash Effect which is very comparable and as it’s a few quid cheaper think I’ll be buying it in future. Have used Lidl’s moisturiser which are very good, as are Avon’s. My only indulgence is Suuqu’s eyebrow pen which is over £20 but lasts for about a year.

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