OK, this is how it works: as I potter along doing my beauty research stuff, testing everything in the world from eyewateringly expensive face creams to the cheapest brow gels, I make note of any brilliant bargain beauty finds I come across. Until I have five of them listed: and then I make a video. That’s the general gist of it.
I should do the videos more often than I do but time runs away from me and then something else new and shiny from the beauty labs comes along and you all know how that story ends. With a backlog of amazing products that could get away with being far more expensive than they are – high-performing, slickly-formulated skincare and luxurious-feeling makeup gems – but that aren’t. They are very much cheaper than their luxury equivalents and very often on offer.
In this video we have a lipstick that’s much cheaper than the one I bought from Gucci, a great new shampoo that’s good for those prone to dandruff and three other brilliant beauty buys. It’s an excellent mixed bag of well-priced goodness! Let’s go:
Revlon “Pink in the Afternoon” Lipstick, £7.99 at Amazon here*.
After the Gucci lipstick experiment (here, if you missed it on Instagram) I made it my mission to find the nicest pink lipsticks on the high street. In all honesty I haven’t been hugely successful so far, mostly because when you try to find lipstick testers on the high street they are all missing, or covered in melted lipstick, or they have rolled under the stand. But this pink from Revlon, Pink in the Afternoon, is a very good start indeed. It’s only slightly more muted than the Kimberley Rose from Gucci (here*) but somehow it is infinitely more wearable. Less in your face. Not quite so scary.
It is comfortable to wear with a sheeny finish to start that wears down to an almost powdery pink. I love it. And £7.99? A hell of a lot more palatable than the Gucci version, even if I did get a free (uselessly small) canvas bag from Gucci…
Sali Hughes Placid 5 Acid Daily Exfoliant, currently £9.80 at LookFantastic here*
I’ve always been partial to an acid exfoliant – AHA for glow, BHA for keeping my pores clear and spots at bay. Sali’s 5 Acid Daily Exfoliant covers both bases – glow and clarity – but the best thing about it is its supreme gentleness. You really can use this daily and I have been – every morning as a lazy swipe after my lazy micellar cleanse.
If you have been toying with the idea of introducing an exfoliant into your skincare routine but have been confused about how to use it, when to use it and whether it will play nicely alongside your retinoid addiction, this is an excellent place to start.
L’Oreal Revitalift Clinical SPF50, currently £10 instead of £19.99 at Sainsburys here*
This is a knockout product from L’Oreal; a high protection face sunscreen with a really lightweight, sophisticated feel. It disappears immediately and you can’t feel it once its on the skin, brilliant beneath makeup and easy to cart about. What’s not to love? Excellent for oily skin, dry skin will want a solid moisturiser underneath as this is light on the plumtious front. Currently less than half price at Sainsburys.
Mitchum Cedarwood Stick Deodorant, currently £4.04 here*
Mitchum recently launched a Gel Cream deodorant and though I love the texture, the smell and the efficacy it felt slightly messy to apply. I prefer their cream stick and they do it in the same Cedarwood scent, which is just gorgeous. Slightly green, slightly woody and a far cry from some of the soapy smells that deodorants often have. The cream stick claims 24h hour protection – I never need that much and would shower it off anyway, but it definitely works its magic over the course of a normal day. Though if I partake in a spot of cycling on the Peloton then it is tested to its very limits and there’s definitely some…moistness.
Head & Shoulders Bare Shampoo, currently £6.66 at Boots here*
This feels like a very new lean for Head & Shoulders; a shampoo that looks more premium than anything they’ve made before and with a stripped-back ingredients list. It still contains the signature H&S anti-dandruff agent, so I think it’s as effective as you’d hope it would be, but it feels so gentle on the scalp and my hair wasn’t at all dry or stripped after rinsing. It’s free from sulphated surfectants, silicones and dyes and even the lather feels soft and luxurious. In a blind test I would have had this down as a pricey buy so it’s an absolute steal, especially at the current price.
That’s your lot: now watch the video and hear me say the whole thing all over again…
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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:
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It’s Best Budget Beauty time again and who better to join me in my bargain-hunting exploits than the self-confessed dupe-obsessive Nadine Baggott? Nadine has decades of experience as a beauty editor and presenter and spends an unholy amount of time chasing down high-performance products that cost a fraction of the luxury versions.
In this little duet of videos (is that even a term?) we unearth our favourite makeup and skincare finds in the under £20 bracket. I think that it could quite easily have been an under £15 challenge, really, as most of the products featured hover around or under that price – a few are currently available for under a fiver.
As with last week’s, I have captioned my video using a real-life transcriber so that the subtitles make sense. On the skincare video you can get this to appear by clicking the CC at the bottom of the video screen. I’ve listed the featured skincare products at the bottom of this page – for the makeup finds, click through to Nadine’s video and all of the listings will be in the description box!
Right, get watching if you want to find out which cult (and notoriously hard to get) skincare brand will soon be in Superdrug or which eyeshadow pencil is as good as the designer ones yet costs less than a fiver…
Here’s the Best Budget Skincare video:
and the Best Budget Makeup video on Nadine’s Youtube channel:
Products Featured in the Skincare video:
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser*: http://bit.ly/2rjRByY
Curel Makeup Cleansing Gel*: http://tidd.ly/6b72c794
Inkey List Collagen*: https://amzn.to/2SIY2Xr
Hada Labo Hyaluronic with retinol + collagen*: https://amzn.to/2SWx4dP
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid*: http://tidd.ly/f6b3539f
The Body Shop Aloe Day Cream*: http://tidd.ly/53ff3fb0
Simple Calming Moisturiser*: http://tidd.ly/852f4075
Eucerin Vit C*: http://tidd.ly/e9074e01
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