Tuesday, 28 June 2011

You'd Be Surprised How Much It Costs To Look This Cheap

Nah, it doesn't cost very much at all. As several lovely bloggettes have been posting about their 'top 10 make up and beauty faves' I thought I would give it a go. Mostly because my life is a tragic mire of spreadsheets, house hunting and so forth right now and I can't find any 'pursuits' interesting enough to blog about (I.e. content would read approximately "Vintage fans, did you know that pre-computer, spreadsheets were often called 'ledgers' and the adding up was done on a calculator the size of Belgium..?').

So I give you my (current) top 10 beauty bargains. All of them are dirt cheap, because I'm worth it ('it' being the wine, cakes and tat I buy with the money I save on beauty products):

1) LA COLORS Nail Polish

I usually have colourful nails - indeed, they can be tacky at times. I like it: I can't have pink hair or anything outrageous at work, my nails are my little 'note to self' that I'm not entirely grown up yet.

LA COLORS is a recent discovery, which I have my mum to thank for; the range of colours is amazing, and even more amazingly, LA COLORS can be picked up at Beauty Base for 99p. It's a cheap range, kind of a high-street-China-Glaze-wannabe, but you're getting the same kind of thing as Barry M or Rimmel for under a pound. Plus it hasn't got the 'nasties' some cheap nail polishes have. Two coats are plenty (even for glitters/metallics) and it lasts about a week with a decent top coat.

2) Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

This isn't quite as bargainious as some of my other recommendations. I usually buy it from EBay for about £6 - but it is a little miracle in a bottle for a busy gal. It dries your nails instantly and coats them in a really hard, long lasting glaze. So I'm out of the door in half the time and my manicure - even with rhinestones or transfers- lasts twice as long.

My thrift advice for this one would be avoid nail/beauty boutiques and get it from EBay or Amazon.

Right, now maybe I should stop with the self indulgent nail stuff and get on to some of my shameful thrifty and practical beauty buys...

3) Nivea Soft
Does exactly what it says on the tin: makes you soft. Face, hands, dry elbows, newly shaven legs... £4.18 per tub from Superdrug - and sometimes it comes in pretty seasonal tubs!

4) BeautyUK Eye Shadow Palettes

Other bloggers have said it, but if it's worth blogging once it's worth blogging twice. Deep pigments, poppingly, ludicrously bright colours, smooth easy application... and under £4 per palette. Wonderful for all you Alt, Hippy, Glam, Street, 60s, 70s or 80s fans! Truly a shadow for all people. They even do a natural coloured palette of browns and muted creams, if you have better taste than me- it's number 4. The above ('Soho Brights' or number 2) is my absolute fave-or-ite though.

5) Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Eye Liner

These have names like 'Le Freak' - they are the most amazing glitter eyeliners for £2.99. Unlike most glitter liners in this price range (Moi? A frequent glitterer? How very dare you!), they produce a thick, oozy line of solid glitter- rather than the slugtrail of gel with a few measly scraps you sometimes get. You need to wait about 20 seconds for it to dry. I am not sure whether flapping your hands in front of your face makes it go any quicker, but it's what I tend to use the time for. And it lasts all day. Seriously - I'm wearing it today. What can I say, 'work appropriate' just isn't my bag.

6) Sudocrem

Prices vary according to the size of the tub. Unless you are actually one of those adult baby folk, you'll only need a small one. This snake-oil cures everything; spots, rashes, eczma, irritations, chafing, sunburn, insect bites, blisters from new shoes... I have a small tub in my handbag often in Spring. Allergies, what allergies? Just a thin film applied before bed works wonders. By the way 'snake oil' is a metaphor, it isn't really made out of snakes. Blue Panda Pops are though- just puttin' it out there...

7) Pears Soap

Thankfully, due to a Facebook Campaign, I won't have the inferior (badly tested, bad smelling and generally substandard) 'improved' Pears soap next time I buy. Customer complaints put pay to the unpopular 'improvements' and it's back to the more traditional formula. This original stuff lasts longer than shower gel, smells pleasant for men and women and has only a few, natural ingredients. It's a keeper.

8) Live Colour Professional

I always favoured Shwarzkopf Live Colour for the bright, bright red effect it gave, but it used to rip up my hair something rotten. As well as the great wodges of it in the plug hole after a dyeing session, I'd have breakage, split ends and frizz to cope with. The recent release of this gentler, more professional formulation with the same pigment is well worth the leap of a whole British quid on the price tag (£5.29 - or £4.29 right now at Superdrug). I've tried it and found it less drippy to use, with a bright result equal to the older/cheaper Live Colour. I am converted!

9) TRESemme Colour Revitalisation Shampoo

Another simple, but effective product. It makes my hair stay redder for longer and has good moisturising properties. A huge (as in, truly months worth) bottle is £5.39, however I rarely pay that much as it's often on offer in major supermarkets and easy to stock up on. Use 2-4-1 offers to get the conditioner too (but don't do what I usually do and accidentally buy two lots of shampoo because I haven't read the labels, resulting in yomping back to Superdrug to get another two bottles of conditioner...).

10) Batiste Dry Shampoo

...Because I'm a bit of a slattern at heart. No, seriously, this £2.19, spray-on-brush-out shampoo has applications beyond eking out a wash to three days without finding a bird's nest in there. In fact, if I need to create an updo and my hair is over conditioned and slippery, this is my first port of call. If it isn't empty because I've had too many lie-ins that week and am avoiding scarecrow hair, that is. It's very useful for camping and festivals- in fact the next one we go to I'll take a bottle or two for my hairy ole' husband, just spray him up and brush him down. Cruel. But hygienic at the same time.

What are your 'top 10'..?


  1. Love it all! And especially loving the hair dye recommendation. I had always found the Schwarzkopff made my hair go a bit orange - I have reverted to Feria colour in Plum but that doesn't stick. So thank you especially for the heads up on the new dye.

  2. My top ten:
    nivea hydro care lip balm - perfect for soft lips and wearing under lipstick
    maybelline gel eyeliner - new addition after gemma's blog review, it really is good
    boots cracked heel cream - not just for heels
    Crest toothpaste - none of the others keep my mouth as fresh
    clinique high impact mascara - no clumps & long lasting
    17 eyebrow shaper. - it's the only one the right colour
    ponds cold cream - leaves skin clean without drying
    ponds hydro nourishing moisturiser - not greasy leaves skin lovely
    herbal essence beautiful ends shampoo & conditioner (that's 2)

  3. great post, I really am interested (aka nosey)in what products other people can't do without!!!

  4. I love LA Colors havent seen any around here though, I also like W7 surprisely the color rarely chips.
    also like using the liquid eyeliner from Collection 2000 thanks for the tip will be looking out for more glitter eyeliners.
    my sis uses tresemme she loves it too makes her red hair dye last long too.
    I didnt know there was a new live hair dye, I usually buy it at Asda, so cheap.
    I am going to invest in dry shampoo, my hair gets so greasy.
    thanks amor

  5. Great post, love! I love Batiste but prefer their tinted version which stops me looking like I've gone grey overnight.
    I used to swear by Sudocrem for spotys but finally, at the grand old age of 44 and a half, appear to have grown out of. x

  6. I didn't know they did tinted Batiste.... and I must get one of those eyeshadow pallettes too! xx

  7. Great post. Love the bit about your hubby.

    X x

  8. "By the way 'snake oil' is a metaphor, it isn't really made out of snakes. Blue Panda Pops are though- just puttin' it out there..." - ha ha ha ha ha! FACT!! Anything that makes your teeth enamel blue is WRONG!

    Top notch choices! Especially the Pears!

  9. The eyeshadows and glitter liner look amazing. I must track some down. I have a ten year old Dior red eyeshadow I'm near the end of. I swear by Batiste xx

  10. I must get one of those eye palettes. I have one by Sleek which many other bloggers seem to love, but I find the colour can be a bit patchy xx

  11. Agree totally on the pears, nivea and sudocrem - my firm staples too :)
    I do treat myself to expensive make-up though...one of my only splurges! :)

  12. I only have number 2. I fail haha. That cream looks pretty good. I like Johnson and johnsons baby cream the best.



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