Bargain Beauty Products

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

As much as I love a shiny expensive case and a satisfying fancy “click” of a luxe cosmetic product, nothing makes me go all make-up junkie quite as much as a trip to Boots. Especially when I discover a bargain product that really delivers.

First up we need to talk about the Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline. You probably know by now I’m a slave to my Max Factor Clump Defy Lash Extensions but the Maybelline is £4 cheaper AND it builds a volumous false-effect lash quicker. The formula takes some getting used to – don’t let it dry too much in-between coats or you will get clumps (too wet and it doesn’t separate enough) but once you’ve got the hang of it…”Hello mahoosive lashes”

The pale pink tube is a hit with many a beauty blogger apparently. And it holds a curl VERY well. I witnessed no droop all day. And I like the curved brush – you can really get to the roots and it doesn’t overload the tips.

As Maybelline always has an offer on, on the day I bought the mascara it was buy one item, buy another half price (there is currently a 3 for 2 on at Superdrug) on a whim I grabbed their Studio powder blusher in “Cosmopolitan” a medium pinky peach with a very slight shimmer. I am uber impressed with the sheer-ness of it (I find cheap blush is usually too powdery and doesn’t blend well) and it’s really buildable, from barely-there to brisk-walk-in-the-park. It’s great quality for £4.49.

Also I must tell you about NYX, a hugely popular drugstore brand in the States, it’s now winged it’s monochrome way over to the British Isles. The lipsticks, particularly the matte formulation and the lip cream sell out all the time. The shade in the header image is “Whipped Caviar” which apparently, is a dupe for Kylie Jenner’s regular hue du jour. It looks ruddy awful with my colouring if I’m honest but I’m very conscious I tend to share only pink or coral…so here’s a very “on trend” alternative. You’re welcome.

If you happen to be planning a trip to London’s Covent Garden then you should definitely make time to visit the new make-up mecca that is 3INA pronounced “Mina”. Founded and lead by all sorts of well established cosmetic industry types, the brand is very competitively priced and offers over 450 products in it’s range. Team Rock My Style discovered it by accident on a client trip and didn’t know where to start. Seriously – you can fill a whole basket full of goodies for thirty quid. I am particularly impressed with the highlighting pen and the “basic” lipstick – I have shade 120 “Paradise Pink” (yes you guessed it, a bright summery orange/pink coral!) that gives a few of my designer versions a run for their coverage and longevity, and all for under a fiver.

Last but not least, my latest hero in the nail department. I recently went on a trip to Glasgow to celebrate my birthday with friends and had grand plans to paint my fingertips with my favourite Smith & Cult Stockholm Syndrome whilst on the plane, complete with top coat and perfect filing. And then I managed to forget my entire nail kit. So there I was, new dress, an evening of cocktails ahead and bare, scruffy mitts.

EPIC fail.

On the afternoon we arrived (Ahem, on the way from a bar to peruse the knitwear collections at All Saints) I popped into Boots and grabbed a bottle of Barry M’S Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint in “Freestyle”, a kind of beige/ballet pink. I wasn’t expecting miracles for £3.99 and I ended up giving myself a manicure in a pub under the influence of two glasses of Prosecco and a plastic bashing high but…..Wow. What a pleasant surprise! In two coats I had a lovely matt tippex-ish look and the colour was gorgeous. Does it last very long before chipping? No. I’d say a max of 36 hours if you don’t bother with a base or topcoat (I didn’t). But if it’s super quick application and a professional-esque finish you are after then it’s worth a go. I especially liked the brush – the perfect width.

Do let me know your recent budget beauty bargains and what I should buy next time I find myself in a pharmacy. Which is probably like tomorrow. Or maybe you know, even today.

P.S The Colour Essence Eye Pencil from H&M? Oh to the M of the G. Goes on like butter, shimmers like sequins and doesn’t budge until you choose to take it off. I have it in “Grand Cru” a kind of taupe/bronze/gold. And now I want ALL the colours.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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24 thoughts on “Bargain Beauty Products

  1. Have been meaning to try NYX for a while, a trip to Boots is definitely in order. I was in Topshop a while ago and picked up a gorgeous deep grey matte nail polish (one shade off a grey I bought previously but whatever) and on a whim bought some elegant touch nail spray for £3. This stuff is genius, you spray it on after painting and after about 90 seconds (it says 60 on the tin) nails are perfectly dry ready for a new coat. I’m also convinced that polish is a bit less prone to chipping. Definitely my best beauty bargain this year so far.

    1. Oooh I keep wondering about this as I appear to be physically incapable of letting polish dry, will be picking some of this up, thanks! 🙂

  2. That Maybelline blush looks nice. I think I’ll get one as a temporary replacement for my usual Shu Uemura number which I keep forgetting to replace as I can only get it online now. Also might have to try the Barry M nail polish. And, as a brown eyed brunette, it would be an insult to Charlotte’s efforts if I didn’t purchase one of those NYX lippies. I hope the brand has made it to Boots’ Belfast branch. At least all this spending will be relatively easy on my bank balance. For once… 😉

    1. After my last Estee Lauder enabling Tracy, I felt it was only fair I test and review some less spendy products. Balance and all that (!) The Maybelline blush is definitely worth a whirl, the colour selection is good too x

  3. I just tried a different maybelline mascara with a curved wand and do not like it. It keeps flaking in my eyes! But I think it might be because I layer too soon.. Anyway, I preferred the number 7 velvet mascara which I tried last time. Not a bargain as such but only £10 so not too bad. Smoky style mascara apparently.

    Can anyone recommend the best gel style, long lasting nail varnish you can do at home? But without the whole light thing? I love having painted nails but can’t justify the regular manicures.. It’s a first world problem..

    1. Jennifer I would heartily recommend the Sally Hansen gel top coat – I think it works with all polishes to make them more hard wearing xx

    2. Rommel’s Super Gel kit is pretty good at £8.99! There are only a handful of colours but the pink and nude are lovely ?

        1. A good 8 / 9 days before those little bubbles start to appear!

          My friend had the nude shade on last week and I immediately went out and bought it.

    3. Jessica Brilliance top coat is absolutely amazing and my holy grail. It makes my regular polish last a good week without chipping and gives a lovely gloss finish. I receive so many comments asking if my nails are gel! I purchase from Feel Unique as they’re often the best priced or have an offer on.

  4. The Barry M Sunset Curing Topcoat is a DREAM! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked about my gels when I’ve actually just stuck this stuff on top of my normal polish. It dries really quickly, is hard wearing and gives a really impressive shine. Well worth the £4.99 price tag! I currently have 8 bottles after some ill advised Boots multi-buy bulk buying. I mean, you never know when they might discontinue…

    1. Ha ha hahahahaha! I currently have 4 bottles of my hair mousse stashed away as I heard it might be being discontinued/difficult to get hold of. Hmmm, I bet this sunset topcoat would work really well with my “Freestyle” shade……

      1. I think the sunset curing title is something to do with the power of the sun hardening the polish… but it’s just a good clear topcoat!

  5. I wan to give the new Rimmel Colourist mascara a try – it supposedly dyes your eyelashes as you use it to make them darker which would be good prep work before holiday!

    1. The brush on this mascara looks EXCELLENT. You should probably buy some. And then report back, obviously.

  6. where to start….I just had a big Boots haul!! L’Oreal colour riche huille nail polishes, Makeup Revolution highlighter palette, Bourgeois velvet liquid lipstick, sleek blusher in suede – a lovely warm soft blush for a natural flush. I spend on foundation but save pretty much everywhere else with make as I love a good play with new colours and formulas

    1. Wow Rachel, impressive shopping skills. I don’t think they have Sleek in my Boots? I’m tempted by that velvet liquid lipstick though.

  7. Ooh may have to look at NYX when I’m over in the US next week – I’m getting married in Las Vegas and planning some cheeky shopping while I’m there! Any other good US brand recommendations? I feel I’ll need some new makeup to recover from the stress of dragging my Charlie Brear dress on the plane!

    1. Nikki get thee to a Walgreens. It’s like a mecca of drugstore make-up. And Charlie Brear in Vegas? This sounds all sorts of epic!

      1. Oooh excellent, Walgreens it is, thanks! I had originally decided to just get something simple from Coast, but my other half made me go try on proper dresses, and if you have ever seen the White Closet in Didsbury and the designers they stock, you’ll know why I’ve ended up with a full on gown!!

  8. Have you tried the Pound Shop eye liner? Bought it for me and my two daughters .. We had all ran out of the YSL eye liner at the same time, saw it in there whilst picking up the usual nonsense I normally buy (biscuits for work etc) and thought we could all give it a go! Both daughters pronounced it as good if not better than the YSL one and it actually never wears out! Still on my first one, and I’ve had it for months … AND IT’S A POUND! I flippin’ love make up and normally spend a small fortune on it, so I’m not one to be easily convinced, but I am totally won over on this one. Ps the lipsticks are pretty good too x

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