Make-up and beauty products are maybe my favourite things in the world, okay maybe apart from my husband and children. I love browsing the counters in my local John Lewis and having the occasional splurge on a nice new eye shadow or moisturiser. I’m a brand tart and will often switch to a brand to benefit from those lovely deals where you get a bag of stuff for free when buying two products. And I’m a firm believer that your hair and skin get used to products, which stop working so well after a while, so it’s good to switch. In my research for this article I asked a few friends what they could recommend for bargains in the beauty world. They have worked or are working in the beauty industry, or just like their beauty products. I’ve found out so much, much of it is new to me, so I’ll be trying some new products. So here you go.
1) Most make-up brands are owned by the same company and their products are manufactured in the same factory using the same ingredients!! This last bit was news to me! So L’Oréal own YSL, Biotherm and Lancôme. So check the ingredients of say YSL Touche Éclat compared to L’Oréal’s cheaper brand. You’ll find it’s the same product but in fancier packaging and a lot more expensive. I have been advised to check the Lancôme Genifique serum ingredients and compare to L’Oréal, as they are likely to be the same.
2) Chanel eyeshadow and blusher production process is apparently identical to Bourjois. It’s a kiln baking process… Chanel eyeshadow is £24, Bourjois is £7.
3) Be cheeky and ask for samples, always good for eye creams where you only need tiny amount to last a while. The beauty girls in the department stores have tons of samples to offer, so go on have a go next time you are in House of Fraser/John Lewis/Debenhams.
4) Boots “3 for 2” (and similar offers) – I’m not 100% convinced by these offers as I suspect they sometimes bump up the prices on products and then offer 3 for 2 (or whatever) to make the products more appealing and encourage bulk buying; which is great for them, as it enables them to buy the product cheaper from suppliers. Anyway… potentially good for things like shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. No. 7 make up is good and Boots are currently offering buy one get one half price on make-up.
5) Glossy magazines: they are struggling to get and keep readers due to the online variants taking over the tablet world, so regularly they reduce the cover price and give away free stuff. Rebecca Megson tells me that she hasn’t bought a mascara or eyeliner since moving to Bristol 18 months ago! Just this month with Marie Claire, I got a free serum, a voucher for eye cream and foundation, all for the £4 cover price. Plus a great mini spritzer of a new perfume, perfect for my handbag. I got free nails inc varnish worth £10 from Red earlier in the year. Best time for freebies is the run up to Christmas!
6) Bargain tips: so I know olive oil is good for baby’s cradle cap but apparently it can also be used as makeup remover. E45 lotion is amazing for a whole body moisturiser product and is really cheap. Vasoline for lipsalve. I’ve tried expensive products like Lancôme and this is just as effective. St Ives face scrub is so good and is less than £4. L’Oréal Elvive ExtraOrdinary Oil for your hair will last at least six months – it costs £10 but will make your hair feel gorgeous. Tesco own brand self-application tan is apparently amazing and comes recommended by my beautician friend. Good for home application.
7) I love the supermarket bogofs (buy one get one free), and always buy my toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel using these offers. I don’t think I’ve paid full price for one of these items for 10 years! It’s a good way to swap around brands as your hair definitely gets used to a product and will lose its shine if you use the same product all the time. I often get compliments on how shiny my hair is… I put it down to changing brand every time I buy a new bottle. I like Aussie, Pantene, Herbal Essence, Timotei, Dove… I am really not fussy. I like the Original Source shower gel products; normally 99p, they are very inexpensive and smell nice.
8) And the final word comes from Rebecca “the best beauty advice is the really obvious simple stuff, drink shed loads of water (at least 2 ltrs a day), get plenty of sleep and replace caffine with herbal tea/green tea. Oh and a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon in the morning does wonders for your skin and digestive system.
Thank you to my contributors, Kirsty Stanley, Genevieve Hickin, Anita Muir and Rebecca Megson.
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