If there’s one thing we love, it’s a little makeup splurge, but it’s about that time of the month, where funds are running low and payday is taunting you from a few weeks away. You’re dying for a little pre-payday beauty treat, but your bank balance has fallen into double digit territory.
We’ve all been there; living frugally and counting down the days until that pay cheque hits your account, so you can spend, spend, spend like it’s burning a hole in your pocket!
The good news is, we’ve rounded up 10 budget-friendly beauty buys that will get you some excellent products for minimal cash!
1. Seventeen Skin WOW! (Boots, €8.49)
I mentioned the ‘Tan Liquid Glow’ version of this in my most recent Thailand post, and with good reason – it is amazing! Boots also kindly sent us out the ‘3 Way Highlighter’ version, and I use the 2 of them constantly. Add a little pump of this to your foundation and it gives a gorgeous dewy, luminous finish. I also dab this onto my cheekbones, on my cupid’s bow and under my brows before my powder highlight, which gives a more intense look. I use the tan version for night-time or when I’m faked tanned to the nines, and the highlighter version the rest of the time – LOVE this!
2. Catrice Nude Illusion Foundation (Penneys and selected pharmacies. €8.49)
I picked this up a few months ago on a whim during a routine Penneys dash, and to be honest, even though I am a Catrice fan, I didn’t expect a huge amount from it. How wrong I was…this budget foundation is the bomb! I’ve used it day in day out since, and really put it to the test with long days lately, but it stays put with a lovely dewy and flawless finish, and very little sign of wear. As with a lot of budget foundations, the shade range is limited, but I mix my 020 shade with a small bit of my Forever BB Crème in Nude to get the perfect tone.
3. Dealz Lip Gloss (Dealz, €1.50)
Tara Makeup is always raving about this, so I picked it up to give it a try, and it never leaves my handbag now! It’s one of those shades that would flatter most skin tones, isn’t sticky and lasts surprisingly long for a gloss. At €1.49, it’s a must-own!
4. Wet’n’Wild Lipsticks (Penneys and selected pharmacies, €2.99)
Sara and I have raved about these before (in our series on MAC dupes here, here and here), and you’ll have heard every beauty blogger under the sun sing the praises of these beauties, but the fuss really is warranted. I actually prefer the formula of these to those of MAC Matte lipsticks, as it’s a little creamier so it doesn’t suck the moisture out of my lips. There’s a great range of colours with a load of great dupes for MAC’s shade range, so worth starting your own collection of these ASAP!
5. Lacura Caviar Illumination Moisturisers (Aldi, around €8.99)
When a cream is independently tested as being on par with the eye wateringly expensive Crème de la Mer and La Prairie ranges, you can be sure I’m all over that! I’ve mentioned them before, and these budget creams have been a constant part of my routine for the past few years, but the Caviar moisturisers are relatively new additions (less than a year old). They’re surprisingly effective for dry skin, and a little goes a long way, meaning the pots last me a few months. Well worth a try!
6. Makeup Geek Eye Shadows (Beauty Bay, €6.60)
I could not leave these out of any list of favourites, budget or not! There is a reason these are constantly raved about and there was so much excitement when they launched over here on Beauty Bay a little under a year ago. The shade range is huge, and I defy you not to find a heap of MAC dupes in there! I love that you can buy the pans and pop them into a Z Palette, which allows you to customise your palette with the shades you want. Treat yourself to one or 2 of these – Shimma Shimma and Peach Smoothie are my picks!
7. E.L.F. Blusher in Twinkle Pink (E.L.F., €5.64)
This is a fantastic dupe for NARS Orgasm, and although I own both, I have to admit that I use them equally as often! I tend to order a few E.L.F bits together to justify the shipping cost, and these blushers tend to be great dupes for NARS cult classics in general – try Gotta Glow for NARS Albatross, Candid Coral for NARS Deep Throat and Peachy Keen for NARS Luster!
8. Wet n’ Wild ProLine Felt Tip Eyeliner (Penneys, €4.50)
Another Wet n’ Wild winner! I am so particular about eyeliner and hate when it fades or smudges over the course of the day, so it’s really important to me that it is really pigmented and stays put! SO many expensive brands have disappointed me, but this ticks all the boxes, and is my go-to for day and night at the moment.
9. Seventeen Skin WOW! Concealer (Boots, €6.00)
Another saviour from Seventeen, particularly if you suffer from under eye circles like me! This is a lovely brightening concealer, with surprisingly good coverage and packaging that resembles YSL Touche Éclat, but for a fraction of the price! I haven’t stopped using this since Boots kindly set it for us to try, and it has become a must-have in my make-up bag, to the extent that I have since repurchased myself!
10. PS Pro Longwear Finishing Powder (Penneys, €4-€6)
When my beloved Make Up Forever HD Powder ran out and I wasn’t going to get a chance to pop into them to replace it for a while, I had a momentary breakdown! While I am a massive budget brand fan, I had never found any budget translucent powder that wasn’t chalky and left me looking cakey (to be fair, this is true of a lot of brands for me, both high end and budget!). I had been dying to try a few of the PS Pro range bits and pieces (I am a marketers dream for new product launches), so I grabbed this on ANOTHER random Penneys dash as an emergency solution to keep me going a few days. Since then, I have been using this religiously and still haven’t bothered to replace my old powder – it is so finely milled and silky on the skin that I still find it hard to believe that you’ll get change from a tenner!