Every beauty obsessive around knows that while getting your hands on that cult mascara is one of the greatest joys life can afford, there is no thrill quite like getting that perfect product at a mega bargain price.
But going cheap can be a false economy; buy the wrong thing inexpensively, and you may well end up using more product, or getting worse results - and then you’ll just have to go and buy something else when you could’ve just bought the more expensive one in the first place.
But what to save and what to splurge on? That’s where pro make-up artists come in. They’ve tried and tested a world of make-up and know which cheapies perform as well as their more expensive counterparts. We grilled them to find out where you can save some pounds - and where you should be investing…
Foundation and concealer. This is where you want most of your spend to be. Make-up artist Lisa Valencia says ‘I tell everyone to invest in base products - they sit on your skin, and if they aren’t formulated really well, they can look mask-like.’ Make-up artist Jessica Kell agrees: ‘I would always suggest spending money on a good foundation that suits your skin type and is your exact shade. Similarly, concealers need to work so hard and not crease, so a good one is worth its weight in gold. I love Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.”
Blush. Another spendy one here, with the experts citing cream blush in particular as being worth investing in: ‘it’ll be more blendable, and you’ll find a far wider range of wearable but highly-pigmented colours if you go for a premium brand.” Try Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, or Kjaer Weis Cream Blush.
Bronzer. Joy of joys, you can save a buck here - especially if you’re opting for a powder bronzer. Lisa Valencia keeps a pan of Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder in her kit because it blends well and outperforms loads of expensive ones.
Mascara. This is a good place to save - provided you don’t want something overly subtle. Kell explains: ‘cheaper ranges offer really good mascaras that offer a full flutter effect.” Try Max Factor 2000 calorie, or L’Oreal Paris Miss Baby Roll Mascara.
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Eyeliner and eyeshadow. Spend on eyeshadow, save on eyeliner, Kell advises. ‘Great eyeshadows will be highly pigmented, blend better, and ultimately save you more time. But you can go cheaper on eyeliners - Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is always in my kit as it really stays put and is blacker than black.’
Brow gel. Go cheap, unless you want your brow gel to colour or contain fibres. In that case, Eyeko Brow Gel is a dream, otherwise, just grab a clear mascara like Miss Sporty Mascara Just Clear, and use it to set brows. Alternatively, you can spray a little hairspray onto a toothbrush and set your brows like that, instead.
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Lipstick. Kell’s advice here is to try a couple of inexpensive lipsticks or lipliners until you know what you want - and whether it suits you. Once you’ve decided, find the shade in a premium range if you’re after something to cosset and care for your lips as you wear; Tom Ford, YSL and Hourglass make fantastic lipsticks that offer great colour pay off and won’t make your lips feel dry.