When it comes to hair and makeup, I strongly begrudge wasting my money frivolously in Boots and instead often buy higher end products that are well researched and I know I'll be pleased with. However, with traditional January belt tightening underway as well as having just booked an amazing West Coast USA Road Trip with the other pea in my pod – cheap and cheerful (but still well researched) drug store products have become the order of the day. So what are my picks?
Bourjois Happy Light Foundation in 21 – £11.99
I can't help but always be disappointed with drug store foundations so as a result I'm always incredibly reluctant to take a chance on them, especially because I always like to take a sample home first if I can. This is a bit of an exception as I'd just heard so many good things about it (especially from bloggers who also love my current high-end fave YSL Youth Liberator Foundation) so when it came down to it, I thought the odds were pretty good!
It's light textured but with really good coverage (I'd say about medium) and it blends in so seamlessly, leaving a flawless, natural finish. This is particularly surprising as the colour range is so poor – in order to get a pink undertone I had to go darker than I would usually dare (50, the palest was far too yellow for me) – however on the skin, it doesn't look unnaturally deep on in my opinion, despite my normal strive for a perfect match. I actually felt it gave me a bit of warmth to the skin (without out being orange) which was a welcome addition in these pasty winter months.
It lasts well and the finish is radiant, but far less dewy than the YSL Youth Liberator Foundation which I think makes it perfect for day to day wear (especially with my currently combination skin). All in all, a winner I'll continue to keep in my stocks going forward... looks like some good things come out of saving money!
Seventeen Pwoar Paint in Fair – £5.49
The reviews have been mixed for this one but I thought I'd give it a go, if only for the great name! It's very similar in texture to my long term lover MAC Studio Fix Concealer (NC20), so I thought this would be a good one to keep handy in my bag. It's good-ish – reasonable coverage and definitely easy to apply. However my bug bear with this one is that it's advertised as an under-eye concealer, yet this is the one place I think it fails to work well. It's pink toned which for my skin is usually a good thing, however when you're tackling blemishes and dark circles I find my yellow toned MAC Studio Fix and Collection Lasting perfection concealers work way, way better. This is okay for top ups during the day, but otherwise I'm yet to find it's place in my routine.
L'Oreal EverRiche Nourishing & Flowing Shampoo & Conditioner – from £3.99 at the minute
Having fairly thin and easily damaged blonde tresses, I had previously tried the EverStrong Reinforcing shampoo from this line; however I really found this was too heavy for my hair (a rare claim for me) as it left my roots greasy, meaning I often had to use another shampoo to follow. In any case, I like the idea of this line – as I'm trying to grow my hair, the fact there are no sulphates is a big bonus from what I can gather (I'm not fooled into thinking this is an all natural product, don't worry!) and it offers a decent drug store option that's not loaded with things that just coat your hair.
The smell is lovely – slightly sweet and creamy – and it's enjoyable slathering it all over my hair creating a soft foamy lather, no problemo. It makes a fab day–to–day duo which does leave my hair feeling nourished and generally just does the job.
Bourjois Java Rice Loose Powder – £9.99
For my own safety (purse's safety) I've been staying well clear of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder despite the many great reviews, but after hearing how the effects of this can rival that of Hourglass it went straight in the basket. Being yet another radiance product it was never really going to pass me by, and the very light, loose dust and pinky, translucent tones did not disappoint. It's fab for blotting down shiny areas and gives me a much lighter and more natural option to my usual MAC Studio Fix Powder. I find this little beauty means I get a shiny T-Zone far less quickly and look naturally glowy all day long.
Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray – currently £4.66 here
Finally, another alternative to a bankrupt-worthy product I've had my eye on for ages – Oribe Texturising Spray. Every blogger and her pooch has heard about this texturising spray wonder so when Liana Beauty suggested this as a dupe I was in there like swimwear! At such a cheap price compared to the £38 tag of the Oribe version, I was sceptical about its credentials however I was pleasantly surprised at how effective it was. It pumped volume into my often lank roots like no hairspray has ever been able to do and definitely just gives you that natural lift without the need for loads of backcombing (and hence damage).
The downside? I absolutely hate the way this feels in my hair. It's not too bad in the beginning, but later in the day I feel my hair getting knotty and coarse-textured and the next day my hair is a write-off. As a girl who washes her hair only every other day to avoid damage, this is a problem. I've been reserving it for only special occasions when getting that extra 'pouffe' is non-negotiable.
So all in all, a pretty good hit rate on my not-so-splurgey-splurge so far! Any more suggestions on cheap products that'll do it as good or if not better than their pricy counterparts? Let me know below :)