Wednesday 7 March 2018

20 Under £20 - My Best Cheap Beauty Buys

I started this off to test myself. It started off easily and then got harder. I've kept it in the order in which these came to me. Which means sometimes you'll be able to see my train of thought. I tried to keep it varied. I could probably name twenty great black liners for under £20 but I've limited myself - you all know I love MAC Smoulder so I've tried where necessary to go for something less obvious. For certain others, like the product that is first on the list, there is no question that it deserves it's place here. It's unrivalled. I've been recommending it for a decade or so.

20 Products for £20

What are your favourites? Have I missed anything you think deserves a place? Let me know down in the comments.

1. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.99

It manages the perfect amount of coverage and fluidity without looking cakey. I have these in my pro-kit they are that good. They could do way more than their 6 colours but apart from that this is pretty much a perfect product and Collection don't get enough credit for being a good cruelty free UK brand.
Lasting Perfection Concealer from Collection

2. Pixi Correction Concentrate - £14

Dark circle sufferers and those with hyperpigmentation will know the wonder of a good corrector and this is The One as far as I'm concerned. A great consistency and spot of colour means a bit of this patted on pre-concealer and I look like I've actually had some sleep in recent memory.

3. Maybelline Great Lash BIG - £5.99

I hated the much-loved original of this and so was late to the party for this volumising version. Makes lashes fat at the roots and long and feathery at the tips. I could test mascaras til the cows came home but if I had to run out to get one under £20 it would be this.

4. Revlon Fire & Ice Lipstick - £7.99

I've been less specific below as there are some ranges of lipstick where I love a lot of the colours. For me this is the one Revlon lipstick that not only stands way ahead of the rest but pretty much beats every other drug store red as far as I'm concerned. Want to try a red lip? Try this one.

5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils - £5

So many colours to choose from but Iced Mocha and Yoghurt are my favourites. I take them with me whenever I go away - eye base or smudged out as a wash over the lid they have a beautiful finish, last all day and are a synch to use. Now I've worked out how to sharpen them.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils

6. Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush - £16.50

If you don't know how much I love these I'll assume you are new here. Hello. Rose Glow is my absolute favourite but I have as many of these as I can afford in my pro-kit and right now I have Rose Glow, Golden Glow, Chelsea, Icing and the Customisable Colour Set upstairs just for using on me (not all at once). These are just beautiful and last for so long that you won't regret a penny of that £16.

7. Louise Young Brushes - starting from £10

The one that instantly springs to mind is the Mini Socket Brush (LY13) though I don't mind telling you I have the full set of these - probably twice over. In my kit, in my bedroom, in my office. Given half a chance I buy these for my family and friends. Some of these go over my £20 limit but a lot of them are well under that. Made in the UK and cruelty free these are my brushes of choice.

Louise Young Brush selection

8. Inglot Gel Liner - £14

Louise's angled brow brush LY37 is what I always reach for when applying gel liner and that gel liner is always Inglot. It's matte - which is rare - has a lovely texture and sets in good time and lasts all day. The texture gives it a more vintage look which is up my street.

9. Eyeko's Fat Brush mascara - £18.

Quite pricey but I love this mascara. It's been over a year since I've used it so I'm a bit worried in case they've changed the formula. Great length and volume and I love the squeezy tubes. This is one of the few mascara's that works on my lower lashes too.

10. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick - £17.50

Specifically Dangerous, All Fired Up and Relentlessly Red. I do love Lady Danger but I feel these deserve more attention. Every time I wear Dangerous I get asked what it is and I want to slap whoever stole my Relentlessly Red onset. It started me on a slipperly slope of decanting everything. But I digress. These last well and the colour is incredible. Don't like the feel of a matte? Mix with a bit of the lip balm I'm going to mention below and you'll find it much more comfortable.

MAC Dangerous and All Fired Up Retro Matte Lipstick

11. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat - £16

With Pillow Talk and Crazy in Love I basically will never need to buy any other lip pencils. I'm slavishly waiting to get through the MAC ones in my kit so I can restock with these (though the MAC are better for making lip stains). I'm not into lip liner as a thing but these are soft and subtle enough to define without going over the top. They do what they say - cheat you a bit of extra lip.

12. Bourjois Smokey Stories in Over Rose - £7.99

I was really impressed by this when I tried it out last year and I still reach for it at least once a week. Really lovely, blendable colours that are soft but not wishy-washy. I could do without the chunky glitter thing in the middle but for the price ignoring that isn't really a problem. The Tombre des Nudes palette is a close second but Over Rose just pips it to the post.

Bourjois Smokyy Stories Quads

13. Soap & Glory Archery Brow Sculpting Crayon and Gel - £10

I don't use a lot of brow products - the one I do use is by Hourglass and £2 over budget but this one is surprisingly close to it. The gel does feel like it's there once it's set but I brush it through a bit and it relaxes it just a little. The crayon is lovely and works perfectly well on it's own. I like the ashy tone which is hard to find on a lot of high street brown products.

14. Lord & Berry Kajal - £12

Not for the neat freaks out there and another new find for me. I love that this is grungy and has movement though I was initially doubtful. A resolute setter of my liner with black eyeshadow I find that the movement of this is manageable and makes doing my school run make-up much easier.

15. Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Toasted - £15

I always baulk at buying this as it's not cheap for an eyeshadow and luckily for me it's in my trusty Naked palette but if I didn't do what I do I'd scrap most of the palettes and stick with this and the Louise Young Essential Eye Palette. If I did ever make my own make-up line the first thing I'd do is come up with a dupe for this. Flattering on everyone and really makes your eye make-up look a whole lot more exciting without you having to do much. Especially good for those with blue or green eyes.

16.  Jao Brand Lip Jao - £8

I love this. Great on it's own, lovely over a lipstick and great to have for those lipstick fade emergencies when you realise you've list got a weird lipline left.

Lip Jao

17. Louise Young Blusher - £16

Louise taught me that I could wear blusher. I was all for putting it on someone else but didn't really like it on myself. She not only changed my mind but showed me that her blushers suit everyone. They really do. I have the full set in my pro kit and for me I have Dolly, Mae, Maudie, Coop and Room 43. Beautiful on their own I also love them on top of the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush if I want a more made-up finish.

18. Real Techniques Shade and Blend Set - £8.99

I love these brushes as they are so easy. Easy to get on the high street, easy to use, easy to clean. Ethical and well made there's a reason there are so many imitations but really they are reasonably priced and designed by genuinely nice people so stick with getting the real deal.

19. Garnier BB Cream - £9.99

I really struggled to think of a base I liked from the high street let alone within this price range. And to be honest I'm still on the hunt. However, this is the original and, to my mind, the best. A good colour (though not a good colour range) and a nice finish. It does what a BB cream is supposed to do without having got over complicated like a lot of them. If I had to be parted from my Origins Tinted Moisturiser and sent off to Boots this is what I'd come out with. At the time of writing this is half price at boots and I'm tempted to go and get some.

20. Bourjois Delice de Poudre - £7.99

I actually thought of this very early one and then got distracted. Another highstreet hero that makes an appearance in a lot of pro kits. It has a tiny amount of shimmer making it beautiful on the skin but it can just be acceptable as a dreaded contour if push comes to shove. I love the packaging too - no annoying bits of plastic to break off and I've dropped these loads and yet to suffer a misfortune.

And a sneaky shout out to H&M Bold Eyeliner which is an amazing £3. I've only been using this two weeks which is why I feel I can't really include it yet, but I'm pretty impressed. Lasts really well for the price and is really easy to use. I watched someone using it on the train once and was impressed enough that I made a mental note to try it next time I saw it. For the price I'm sure it's made using leftover printer ink or something but it works.

Bold Eyeliner from H&M

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