January is dire, obviously. Equally obviously, cheap thrills are what is needed to see us through this bleak and bitter month. After all, we may be economising, but we still require a will to live. The following products are not only bargains, but considerably more stupendous than their bank-breaking rivals. Buy them with impunity – and when on offer, which Simple, Johnson & Johnson, Nivea etc so often are in Boots, Superdrug, and your supermarket of choice.
Densely soothing, beautifully effective. Massage on, rinse off and your face will feel utterly cosseted.
A cheap-as-chips beauty editor staple for removing all slap and grime (eye make-up included). Swipe over skin on a cotton pad.
Plumping perfection and another beauty editor favourite, despite their receiving free stuff 10 times the price. Apply on its own or under moisturiser.
The zit-zapping business. Apply at night and spots will be becalmed by morning.
Not only works wonders on lips, but great around a cold-ridden nose or applied to ragged cuticles and eyebrows.
Literally brilliant – youth in a bottle. Looks fantastic by way of a foundation for day or night (although you may want something less luminous for your nose).
Terrific for its declared purpose; equally good by way of neutral eyeshadow.
BEST (CHEAP) LIP SHADES: HEMA MOISTURISING LIPSTICK (£4.50) & HEMA SOFT MATT LIPBALM (£4.75)
Joyously punchy colours at a joyously punchy price.
BEST (CHEAP) SINGLE EYESHADOW: MUA PEARL MONO EYESHADOW (£1)
Super-shiny, long-lasting, invincible; matte shades also available.
BEST (CHEAP) EYESHADOW PALETTE: BOURJOIS LA PALETTE LES SMOKY (£11.99)
For the world’s most smokin’ smoky eye.
BEST (CHEAP) LIP RESTORING TRICK: KIKO EVERLASTING COLOUR PRECISION LIP LINER (£5.90)
Lips vanished with age? Not if you line them with “your” neutral (mine’s 405, Mauve).
BEST (CHEAP) HAND SALVE: NEUTROGENA NORWEGIAN FORMULA CONCENTRATED HAND CREAM (£3.40)
Never bettered at any price. Those Norwegian sailors clearly know a thing or two. Plus, there’s a version with SPF.
BEST (CHEAP) HAIR TOOL: WET BRUSH (FROM £8)
Life-changing used wet (for detangling) or dry (for incredible shine).
BEST (CHEAP) SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER: L’OREAL ELVIVE CLAY OILY ROOTS SHAMPOO & L’OREAL ELVIVE CLAY OILY ROOTS CONDITIONER(£2.99 EACH)
Resurrects dead, flat, January hair.
BEST (CHEAP) HAIR OIL: OGX KUKUÍ OIL ANTI-FRIZZ HYDRATING OIL (£6.99)
Revives dead, parched, January hair. Spray on to damp locks and comb through for a glossy, frizz-free finish, or use on dry hair to quash emergency puffing. Suitable even for fine-haired types.
OGX Kukui Oil Anti-Frizz Hydrating Oil, £6.99
BEST (CHEAP) ROOT CONCEALER: COVER YOUR GRAY INSTANT TOUCH UP STICK (£1.99)
Portable for moments when you spot an offender in a cab or bar, slightly greasy in a way that tames wiry strands and so much easier than the costly powder versions that shed all over your face. Applies like a hair lipstick, each bullet lasting years.
BEST (CHEAP) DRY SHAMPOO: KLORANE DRY SHAMPOO WITH OAT MILK (£9)
Gently cleansing on all hair types, with no ghastly smell or stiffness. Also great by way of a root booster.
BEST (CHEAP) RELAXING BATH: EPSOM SALTS (APPROX £7 FOR 5KG AT MOST CHEMISTS) & MIAROMA PATCHOULI PURE ESSENTIAL OIL (£6.99)
Forget lavender, patchouli is the real, deep-relaxing deal. Magnesium-rich Epsom salts are super calming and so de-bloating that Victoria’s Secret models bathe in them before strutting their stuff. Dissolve the salts in hot water, then sprinkle on the oil.
BEST (CHEAP) BODY OIL: NIVEA 4 IN 1 FIRMING BODY OIL (£10.99)
Another beauty-insider addiction. Lovely and nourishing, it does actually appear to have a firming effect. I used it after I lost a stone in four days when my appendix exploded, and not a stretchmark in sight. Stockpile it when it’s on BOGOF.
BEST (CHEAP) DEODORANT: MITCHUM ADVANCED WOMEN 48HR PROTECTION UNSCENTED ANTI-PERSPIRANT & DEODORANT (£2.89)
No sweat shall pass. Used by actors, athletes and politicians.
BEST (CHEAP) GROOMING DEVICE: PHILIPS SATINELLE EPILATOR (£34.05)
For the price of a single waxing session, you can have hair-free pins for years, with no stubble or waiting around for regrowth. Invest now.