I went to a lovely beauty dinner organised by Sainsbury’s and it reminded that I was, at one point, doing some sort of supermarket beauty series. I can’t remember the title of this particular series but I’m sure it would have utilised a pun, because I can’t resist them, or there would have been some kind of alliteration going on, like Supermarket Skincare Savers or Best Buy Beauty for your Basket…
Oh wait: just searched my own archives, something I should have done before I started writing the post. It was called – drumroll please – Best Supermarket Beauty Buys. Well I’ve decided to reinstate this series because there are some pretty amazing products in the supermarkets these days – far more than there were when I first filmed.
But back to the Sainsbury’s dinner, where they had recreated their beauty aisles in the restaurant so that it felt as though you were sitting inside a real supermarket. There were mini shopping baskets as placemats and the menu was printed on a Sainsbury’s till receipt and I absolutely loved it. Top marks for inventiveness and just plain old good fun.
More importantly, I had the chance to scan the aisles for new launches. I do this regularly anyway (I do my food shopping at Sainsbury’s 98% of the time) but it was nice to be able to see new launches grouped together and it also reminded me of some favourites I’ve not shown you before.
So here are five top beauty buys from the UK supermarket, brilliant bits to pick up with your beans and your broccoli and your biscuits.
L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara (£8.80 from Ocado here*)
I know I’m at risk of boring you with this one but it really is one of my all-time favourite makeup products with no sign of being usurped at any point in the near future. Fine, flexible comb that gets right to the lashes, good length and separation and easy to remove. It doesn’t tend to flake or smudge on me but note that it is not waterproof. There is a waterproof version but I have no need for it and would rather have speedier removal than additional smudge-security!
No Knot Co The Gentle Detangler (£15 from Sainsbury’s here*)
I’m a big fan of detangling brushes. They’re special brushes designed to slide through hair – wet or dry – to detangle without breakage and they are miraculous things – you’ll no doubt have heard of Wet Brush and Tangle Teezer. I like this offering from new brand No Knot Co; they make tools for waves, curls and coils and this brush is genius in its simplicity. It’s the lightest brush I’ve ever held, so perfect for travel, but it’s just one moulded piece with bristles and so you can wash the entire thing and there’s nothing to trap water in the bristles or handle. It’s massively flexible so really comfortable to use, even when you hit tangles, and it’s a matter of seconds to get the hairs out and bin them. There’s nothing I don’t like about this brush, it’s a holiday must-have I’d say if you usually battle with post-beach hair-washing.
Q+A Grapefruit Cleansing Balm (£7 at Sainsbury’s here*)
Finding cheap cleansers with good ingredients and a luxurious, rich feel is surprisingly difficult. Most lean towards the “face wash” texture, so more of a gel to be splashed off, whereas I almost always go for a sumptuous cream or an oily balm. This Grapefruit Balm from Q+A is excellent – removes all makeup, even eye makeup, massages in beautifully and then removes cleanly without greasy residue. It doesn’t strip or dry the skin, at all, and the fragrance is pleasant (fruity, as you’d expect) but not overwhelming. If you love a balm but want something much, much less spendy than the Emma Hardie and Elemis offerings then this won’t be a disappointment. I also find tubes handier than tubs as I can chuck them in my overnight bag if I’m travelling. Pots and jars feel more cumbersome!
Altruist SPF50 Face Fluid (in store at Sainsbury’s, online at Amazon £9.15 here*)
This is good. I’ve given it a fair old try now and no breakouts (surprisingly common for me when I’m SPF-testing), just solid sun protection from a non-greasy, near-invisible face fluid. It’s lightweight and has top UVA and UVB protection, probably because it has been created by a UK skin cancer specialist. I need to get back on it with my high street SPF trials because every year sees new contenders for the best budget buys and the standard just gets higher and higher – please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions or favourites.
Hello Toothpaste in Unicorn Sparkle (currently £2.50 at Sainsbury’s here*)
One for the kids. Both of mine love this. The packaging is bright and cute and the toothpaste is bubble gum flavour, which feels very illicit to my kids. They’ve never had real bubble gum because they’re still too little and also we’ve decided to follow on in our respective parents’ footsteps and tell all kinds of overblown lies about bubble gum to put them off it. Why did our parents do this? It’s hilarious. I’m definitely coming out with more and more absolute bollocks as the kids get older and the majority of this claptrap is directly from things I heard in my own childhood. I need to do a list. Not turning on the car interior light because we will get arrested is a favourite fib of mine. I actually did believe it was illegal to have your interior light on when driving. Until relatively recently, which is embarrassing. Such a convincing lie did my parents tell me.
Anyway, I’ve eaten a load of this toothpaste as a taste test (which you should never do because [insert lie your parents told you re eating toothpaste]) and it passes with flying colours. Don’t say I never do anything for you.
Here’s a video of me saying all of the above whilst standing in my bathroom: