Answer me this: why does one’s make-up stash ALWAYS run out at the same time? Mascara, concealer, foundation – they all splutter their final words in unison, leaving you with bugger all except a hefty restocking bill. It happened to me on 3 January – potentially the worst day ever. With no heating or hot water (the boiler broke – Happy New Year!) and with a face the texture of sandpaper, my beloved tinted moisturiser and favourite eyeshadow stick bid me sayonara. Calamity indeed. What with it being January – skint January – plus, y’know, the boiler, now’s hardly the time to spend a small fortune on new slap. But, the good news is we don’t have to. Here’s my round-up of the best make-up buys under £15.
If I had all the money in the world, I would buy another tube of Chanel Le Volume Revolution and one of Lancôme Monsieur Big for good measure. However, you don’t need to spend lots to get a great mascara. I’ve already bestowed the merits of Max Factor’s Volume Infusion wand, while No7’s new The Full 360 Mascara launches in Boots on 16 January for £10. B. HD Dual Wand Mascara comes highly recommended from The Pool’s Elle Turner (one end does subtle lashes, the other does full whack). And for a real bobby bargain, beauty pro Tory Frost is a fan of Essence False Lash Effect Mascara, which rings in at £3.30.
When it comes to lipsticks, Bobbi Brown and Estée Lauder are my luxe faves, but on the other end of the scale there is the delight that is Topshop’s Ultra-Matte Lip Crayon – a dead ringer for another spendy fav, NARS Satin Lip Pencil. Pooler Hannah Banks-Walker is a fan of L’Oréal Color Riche lipsticks, as is mega make-up artist Val Garland. And finally, a beauty-editor favourite, Bourjois Rouge Velvet Lipstick gives great pigment and has excellent lasting power.
For a decent liquid eyeliner that gives you change from a tenner, look no further than Soap & Glory. The Supercat Liquid Eyeliner comes with a felt-tip nip which dispenses the jet-black liner with excellent precision.
A good base is perhaps one of the trickiest things to nail on a budget; however, there are some brilliant products out there. I regularly use Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation and Max Factor’s Radiant Lift, both of which launched last year. The former offers light coverage, which can be built to medium; the latter giving a slightly fuller coverage but with plenty of glow. Several Poolers also endorse L’Oréal’s True Match Foundation. If you like to apply your base with a brush, then Real Techniques does a fabulous variety of tools at reasonable prices.
If you’re yet to hear about Revolution, then listen up. The high street brand, which sells exclusively at Superdrug, is a gem for high-performing make-up at pocket-friendly prices. Number one on the best-seller list is the Conceal & Define Concealer (one sells every five seconds), which is a saint for covering spots and is easily blendable.
For a high-street blusher that doesn’t leave you looking like Aunt Sally, try Collection Speedy Blush Sticks, which come in three pinky shades. Also worth a try is Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher. Both are well under £10.
My failsafe brow product is Bobbi Brown’s Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil. I discovered it over a year ago and am signed up for life. However, if a world shortage were to happen, then I would be heading straight for the Gosh Eye Brow Kit Multi, as recommended to me by make-up artist Lisa Eldridge.
When in need of a little extra glow, squirt a few pumps of No7’s Skin Illuminator into your foundation or pop a thin layer on before you apply your base. It comes in natural pearly shimmer and bronze.