Ruth Griffin: The under €10 beauty bargains
Let go of your big-brand snobbery and try these cheap, effective cosmetics instead
Let's be honest, most of us are feeling the pinch in our bank balances this January, and no matter how much of a hardcore skincare buff you are, beauty goodies cannot be considered one of life's essential items when we're in a financial pickle.
This is where budget beauty bargains that punch above their weight come in very handy. I'm talking about those no-fuss, no-frills beauty goodies that actually work and become beauty shelf regulars. So I've acted as your guinea pig and trawled through our supermarkets and pharmacies to find you the hidden beauty diamonds in the rough.
It's time to put aside any skincare snobbery we may have, and keep an open mind about our beauty goodies and their price points. When we take away celebrity endorsements, jazzy marketing campaigns, and alluring packaging, expensive products can sometimes not meet our particular skincare needs.
Improved formulas and technologies in make-up and skincare are now widely available at much lower price points, and afford us the opportunity to address our beauty needs on a shoe string when times are financially tough. Both your skin and bank balance will thank you for it!
Treat vs Cheat
MAC Liquid Eyeliner, €21, Brown Thomas
Catrice Eye Matic Dip Liner, €3.70, available at chemists and Penneys nationwide
6 of the best beauty budget buys
Best for hair: Dealz
If your January pay cheque was swallowed by December debts, you can still spoil your hair with this little gem of a product. Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, €1.50 each, available at Dealz outlets nationwide. (NOTE: this product is not sulphate-free).
Best facial skincare: Aldi Lacura Caviar Illumination Night Cream
For €8.99, this is a total gem of a night cream (and I think similar to one of my favourite moisturisers - the eye-wateringly expensive La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe, Cream €398, from Brown Thomas). Massage this on at night for a dewy, deeply moisturised complexion in the morning. This flies off the Aldi shelves so I always double up when it's available.
Best for body: Boots
Regardless of whether you are on a beauty cost-saving mission or not, this is a beauty shelf essential - a deeply nourishing, silky and beautifully smelling body skin softener for all year round. Boots Ingredients Coconut and Almond Body Lotion,€3.99, Boots nationwide.
Best budget make-up: Catrice
This range is surprisingly lovely for such a low price point. Their hero products are their nail lacquers and their skin finishers (their highlighters, strobing powders and bronzers are especially great too). Their newly launched Pret a Lumiere Illuminating Serum (€4.50, available at pharmacies and Penneys outlets nationwide) will take years off the skin and add that 'lit from within glow' we are all looking for. I think this serum is so similar to, but a lot less expensive than, Make Up For Ever's new Starlit Catch the Light Liquid Highlighter for Eyes and Face (€26, Make Up For Ever outlets and makeupforever.ie).
Best for nails: Lidl
Honestly, I don't find much difference in longevity between super expensive brands of nail polish and much cheaper brands. The key is to invest in really good quality under and topcoats and nail-nourishing oils. Technique is important too - be patient when applying your polish and wait until each layer is totally dry before applying extra coats. A really budget-friendly mani and pedi nail lacquer option is Lidl's Cien Nail Varnish, €1.99.
Best foundation and skin prep: Penneys PS Pro
Foundation is a really difficult beauty product to get right, and to be honest it would be a make-up item I would always try to invest in and not scrimp on cost wise, but if you're totally broke and looking for a good foundation, luckily nowadays there are new technologies and formulas available on the market. A surprisingly good option is Penneys' PS Pro Make Up Mineralize Foundation, €6.
Backstage beauty with Pippa O'Connor
Not content with being a lifestyle maven on her website pippa.ie, mum of two Pippa has recently written a book, Pippa: Simple Tips to Love Beautifully, as well as launched her own jeans collection, called POCO. Here she shares what go-to products are in her make-up bag, and what's on her beauty wish list…
What are your top 5 make-up hero products?
1. My Pippa Palette, and all-in -one palette that contains everything you need.
2. Charoltte Tilbury Eye Cheat is the best nude eyeliner.
3. Vita Liberata Body Blur is like a foundation for the body, it gives the best glow.
4. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is long-lasting and gives a lovely glow, and looks great in photos.
5. Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara gives a false eyelash effect and is long-lasting.
What is your daily skincare routine?
I have started paying more attention to my skincare routine in the last few years. I tend to change products every so often, but at the moment I am using Image products, the Vital C range is my favourite.
What was your top objective in writing your book?
To help give women the confidence to embrace their style and beauty and to share some of the tips that I've picked up over the years.
Do you have a favourite style book of your own?
I like to dip in and out of a few different styles of books. Victoria Beckham's book That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between and How to Walk in High Heels by Camilla Morton, have been two of my favourites.
What is your go-to make-up and hair style?
For make-up it would be dewy and fresh looking - nothing too heavy. My go-to look for hair would be blow dried straight with a slight wave.
What is the best make-up/hair time-saving hack you picked up over your years modelling?
The best make-up trick I have picked up is the illuminators that give your skin that healthy glow - great if you are feeling tired to fake it. For hair, it would have to be good back-combing and dry shampoo.
What is the biggest mistake women make with their hair and make-up?
Trying something that is out of their comfort zone, something they may have seen on someone else but that isn't necessarily true to their own style. If you don't feel confident you aren't going to look it.
Who is your own style crush?
Olivia Palermo, she always has great style and regularly mixes high street with designer. She always looks so polished.
What was the best beauty advice you ever received?
Respect your skin. Look after it, from the inside out. Water, diet and sleep are so important.
What beauty product would you not leave the house without?
Nuxe Lip Balm and the Pippa Palette.
What is your signature scent?
I change my fragrances with the seasons. For winter I love Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir or Orange Bitters. For summer I like Chanel Chance.
Pippa's range of POCO jeans POCO is available at pocobypippa.com