11 November 2010

Budget Beauty Reviews: "Money's too tight to mention"*

Like pretty much everyone else in the country, we’ve had to tighten our belts at Casa Fluff over the last little while. And sadly for me, this has meant curbing my spending on toiletries and cosmetics ( I’m working on the taxi addiction, but that one might actually need medical help). So, here are 4 budget beauty buys I’ve been trying out over the last few months in an effort to introduce more inexpensive brands into my kit.  

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip GlossVictoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss: I picked this up in Yummy Berry for a mere £5 in Glasgow airport last month and was pleasantly surprised. These glosses are a pretty good substitute for Lancome’s Juicy Tubes and, as they have a slightly thinner consistency, they’re not quite as sticky on the lips. The colour is a very sheer berry hue that both smells and tastes great.  I find it quite moisturising, it goes on smoothly and makes my lips look plumped up and shiny. Like all the glosses I've ever owned, you need to regularly reapply. I spotted some pretty, sparkly nude shades along with a bright red that I’ll be picking up next time I pass through the airport, and I think these would also make great stocking- filler gifts for Christmas, too.

Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation: I am one of those women that outraged men are always writing into the Metro Herald about. Yes, I admit it: I regularly commit the cardinal sin of applying my make-up on the bus.  So I was on the hunt for an inexpensive compact for my handbag that I could apply with speed and simplicity on my morning commute.  

Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation
Apart from the excessively long name, I got on quite well with this. Application -- with the sponge that came with it –- was quick and easy, it blended well, felt very light on the skin and, in a matter of seconds, evened out my skin-tone  while not really looking like I was wearing foundation at all. It didn’t provide the dewy radiance of my Chanel Pro Lumiere but I wasn’t expecting miracles, and I was happy enough with the texture and the very sheer finish, though I would have preferred just a little more coverage.  

Now, onto the cons -- of which, sadly, there are a few. Firstly, the product claims to remove the need for concealer and foundation, but this was not the case in my experience. There is no inbuilt SPF, and the packaging has zero handbag appeal, being utilitarian at best. It’s only available in six shades, so I was lucky to find an exact match for my skintone (Warm Almond), and I was disappointed that there was no mirror, which would have been very useful for on-bus application. The biggest problem though, and the one that means I probably won’t repurchase, is that I ran out of this foundation yesterday –- completely -– despite only purchasing at the end of September. This is the quickest I have ever gone through a beauty product –- the glass tub is deceptively thick and doesn't contain as much foundation as you might originally think. At €20 for just over a month’s (daily) wear, it’s not such a bargain after all.

Bourjois Eclat Mineral Pressed Powder
Bourjois Eclat Mineral Pressed Powder: I bought this mineral powder at the same time as the Max Factor foundation. The packaging states this is ‘a blend of minerals for an even, matt and radiant complexion.’  There are 5 shades available - vanillé, beige medium, doré, brun abricoté, and hâlé . Now, the colours seem a little off to me – I have warm, sallow skin but my closest match was actually the palest shade available, vanillé, which, as you can see from the picture at the top of this post, is still quite warm. I’ve been using  this to lightly set the foundation on my t-zone and it’s been fine, has lasted well and includes a mirror, so it’s easy to apply on the hoof. I haven’t noticed any radiance boost and, for me, it’s not a patch on the Smashbox Halo stuff I was using before -- but at €12.99, it’s certainly fit for purpose.

Kelkin Revive: At first glance you might wonder why I’m classifying this as a beauty product. My pharmacist recommended it as a cheaper alternative to Berocca, and it’s billed as ‘effervescent energy for people on the go…a careful balance of B vitamins and minerals with Ginseng and Guarana to help you restore your energy levels and perform at your best.’  All I know is that this tasty orange flavour tablet (which you dissolve in water) made a remarkable difference, not only to my energy levels, but to my skin, hair and, most dramatically, my nails. I ran out about a month ago but restocked last week when I noticed, to my horror, that my nails had started to peel and flake again at the tips. I’m convinced it was this stuff that made the difference.  Kelkin Revive comes in at €9.99 for two tubes of 20, compared to Berocca’s €17.99 for the same.  I’ll definitely repurchase.

But what about you? Have you tried any of these products, or do you have any other budget-beauty recommendations you'd like to share?

Thanks to Deryck Tormey for taking the photo used at the start of this post. Check out his work!

*Post title: Lyric from Simply Red, 'Money's Too Tight (To Mention)'

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