Lusting over luxe beauty is all fun and games until you’re on minimum wage and have a tea and bun habit to fund. Budget beauty products were all I used for the first six years of my makeup obsession, so I’ve rooted out the best bits. They live alongside my pricier products and get just as much love. This is what I’ve been reaching for lately.
Colour-correcting concealers have been around for years, but it was only last summer that budget brands started doing them – and doing them well. My favourite is Revlon PhotoReady Eye Primer, €14.20. A light layer imparts enough of a pink tone to cancel out under-eye darkness and its thin consistency means you’re getting the coverage without the caked-on look.
My new favourite mascara is running empty so I picked up Max Factor False Lash Effect, €16.99. It’s always been one of my most-loved mascaras but I forgot how great it is until I repurchased it. It creates big, bold and fluttery lashes. It’s not as waterproof as my Shiseideo Perfect Defining but the ease of removal and saving in price make up for that.
A brow pencil is a brow pencil. I can’t even fathom spending more than a tenner on one. Like, why? Essence Eyebrow Designer, €1.49, stays on all day and isn’t so waxy that colour makes brows clump. A lighter hand is needed for more natural brows, but I give it gusto and end up with a very defined look. The little brush on the end of the cap is handy for setting brows in place and removing any foundation that might have been caught up during application.
Gel liner is a tricky one to get right. For me, it’s got to have a non-glossy finish, be smudge proof and not prone to drying out in the tub. After gallivanting around with more expensive options, I’ve settled and settled well with Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner, €11.99. It’s everything you need from a liner – plus it comes in various shades. Mine is Brown, a chocolatey shade with small flecks of glitter.
I spend most of my life talking about NYC like Ed Sheeran talks about women. Guys, I just LOVE it. It’s so inexpensive and, while some mascaras haven’t been to my taste, the rest of the range hasn’t let me down. I fly through bronzers (getting that Kardashian Kontour) so NYC Blush in Sutton Place Beach, €3.49 is a staple of mine. It’s light enough to slap on without risking Snickers cheeks and its peachy shade adds warmth as well as dimension.
Just after they launched, I reviewed the Rimmel Apocalips, €7.65, range in full on Cherry Sue. They’ve stayed in or or within grabbing distance of my makeup bag since. Pigmented, creamy and available in flattering shades – these are some of the best lip lacquers I’ve tried. I’m wearing Luna in the above picture.
Have you got any affordable beauty products you can’t live without?