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
3) Nivea Soft
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
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'..?