Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Best Budget Beauty Finds

Hi everyone, Lily from LilyLipstick here and today I'm going to share with you my best budget beauty finds.

Despite purchasing make-up since the age of 14, I'm still undecided as to whether expensive products perform better than cheaper ones. 10 years of "insight" has led me to the conclusion that sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Not very insightful. Beauty bloggers have definitely helped me to determine which pricey products are worth my hard-earned cash and which bargain buys are just as good, if not better. While I love treating myself to high end brands and love how expensive products look on my dressing table, sometimes you can't or don't want to spend a small fortune on an essential make-up item.

Here are my top 5 picks:

1. 17 Pressed Powder - quite simply, I will never purchase another pressed powder. This one is under £5, keeps my skin matte for hours despite me suffering from the dreaded "shiny nose" and is light enough to look invisible on my super pale skin. I've tried powders by Clinque and Mac which have given me breakouts and have ended up in the bin. This may not be as beautifully packaged but it has a mirror in the compact which is great for touch-ups and I'm not going to be too devastaed if I drop it onto a tiled bathroom floor and it shatters (seems to happen a little too often for my liking!).

2. Sleek Pout Polish - I use this on days when I don't want to wear lipstick but still need something to brighten up my face. The colour is really pigmented (to the point where you need to make sure you clean it off of your fingers before touching anything else) and long lasting without being at all stickly. I also love how this contains SPF 15 which gives it pride of place in my summer and holiday make-up bags. The pot contains 10g of product so it's amazing value and means you can save your pennies for a Mac lipstick for days when you do want to wear it.

3. ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer - I purchased this after getting tired of trying to scrape the remainder of my Urban Decay Primer Potion out of the terribly designed packaging. Like all ELF Mineral products this set me back £3.50 so I wasn't going to be too disappointed if I didn't like it. After using it for a couple of weeks, I shall definitely be re-purchasing this rather then UDPP. The formula is slightly runnier than UDPP and it takes a few more seconds to dry but apart from that the products are practically identical. My eyeshadow looks more pigmented and stays crease free all day and I even use this on no-eyeshadow days to even out and brighten my eyelids.

4. Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara - I rarely re-purchase mascara so when I do, I know it's because the product is something special. The brush of this mascara is the perfect size to give volumised lashes without blobbing mascara around your eyelids. I love how it can be layered on without clumping and since using this mascara I've had a few people asking me if I'm wearing lashes which is probably the biggest compliment a mascara can get. It lasts all day without smudging and is easy to remove too. This tube is "extreme black" as I like a dramatic lash look but the regular version is great too.

5. ELF Undereye Concealer - I must have got through about 10 tubes of YSL Touche Eclat before I discovered this product. Yes, the packaging is nowhere near as beautiful and I wouldn't even bother using the "highlighter" end but the concealer is amazing. It doesn't crease or settle into fine lines and makes such a difference to my dark circles which are always present no matter how much sleep I get. For £3.50 this is such a hard-working product. I've had mine for over a year and it's still going strong whereas back when I used Touche Eclat I'd get through a tube about every 6 months which was ridiculous (and expensive).

Using these budget basics means that I have spare cash to spend on Mac eyeshadows, Sk:n skincare and my favourite Clinique High Impact lipsticks.

What are your favourite beauty bargains? And which products will you only purchase from high-end brands?

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