Cheap Makeup: Is It Really That Bad?

Pretty much every beauty blogger and makeup aficionado will concede that for the most part, the more money you spend on a product, the better it is. As avid readers of beauty blogs, Claire and I often cry with jealousy over Mac makeup hauls, Illamasqua purchases and Bobbi Brown buys. While we have to confess that on occasion, one of us will splash out on something a bit fancy (see Claire’s Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara Review), most of the time we simply can’t afford to. Our budgets don’t really stretch to spending £30+ on makeup when we run out and of course, things like paying for rent, water and (regrettably) food have to take priority. That definitely doesn’t mean we don’t want to and we’re not begrudging y’all who do (although we hate you and your beautifully made up faces), it’s just not something we do on a regular basis.

With all of this in mind, we have become quite the experts on cheap makeup. Over our makeup wearing years, both of us have tried pretty much every budget to mid-range makeup product on the high street. I get particularly excited and a bit over enthusiastic about trying new products, even if it is something a bit pathetic from MUA or Rimmel. There can be a lot of negative buzz around cheaper brands but I think there’s hope yet. Cheap makeup doesn’t have to bring back horrible memories of slathering your eyelids in baby blue eyeshadow from Miss Sporty. I am of the opinion that there are some absolute gems on the high street and there are a lot of cheap makeup products that you simply can’t ignore. So, with all of this waffle in mind (I just can’t get to the point can I?!), here are my five best cheap makeup products that have been tried and tested.

2True Cheek ‘n’ Lip Tint, £1.99

Any makeup brand that is called 2True should in theory have the face rash alarm bells ringing. Also, a product that is actually £1.99 probably sounds too good to be true (there was a pun in there, I missed it. I am sorry). ALAS MY DEAR FRIENDS, this is actually a great Benetint dupe and the only criticism I have is that it is slightly runnier than its £25 counterpart. The colour actually lasted longer for me and I generally just prefer it. Did I mention it is £1.99…?


Collection 2000 Extreme 24h Felt Tip Eyeliner, £2.99

As a big believer in winged liquid eyeliner (I am Cleopatra), I’ve always been on the hunt for the perfect liquid eyeliner. I’ve dabbled in Barry M, Rimmel and lots of others but this Collection 2000 beauty is at the top of my must-have cheap makeup list. It lasts for AGES (probably 24 hours, I haven’t quite tested it for that long) and it is mega easy to apply. Even Claire gets on with it and her face likes to reject liquid eyeliners.


Primark Nail Varnish, £2 for four.

These have been hyped quite a lot on beauty blogs recently and it’s no surprise really. They’re SUPER cheap (my maths brain works it out to 50p per pot and to this I say WHAAAAAAAAT?!), they last well and they have a great colour range. What more could you want, you needy human beings?!



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Perfect Girl Natural Flirt False Eyelashes, £3.99

These are my go-to lashes. Claire and I love false eyelashes for nights out and I personally couldn’t go out without a pair flapping away around my eyeballs. I used to be a firm Eylure purchaser, but it started to get a bit pricey at £5 per pair. I then went full circle and bought 60 pairs for £7 on eBay and I have now settled on these. They’re big, volumous and just look great. I would say that the glue is a bit crap so you may want to just buy a big pot of decent glue to stick these bad boys on.


Collection 2000 Supersize Mascara, £2.99

I’ll have to pop a disclaimer in over here. Mascara isn’t my forte and I know a lot of people (like Claire) are really picky with what they use. I have blonde eyelashes that have quite a good natural curl, so I am mostly bothered about getting some black colour onto them more than anything else. Saying that, I have tried a lot of the more expensive brands (of which Dior’s DiorShow has been THE WORST) and I will keep coming back to this Collection one. It does the job and I’m happy with it. It’s not too clumpy (though I weirdly quite like clumps) and it stays on well. Definitely worth the £2.99 I’d say!


So, is cheap makeup really that bad? I’d firmly say no. While there are some things you should spent a little more money on (like foundation and prostitutes), there are a lot of other products you can get away with scrimping on. So the next time you whip out your credit card for a hefty Mac  haul, think for a moment whether you can pop to Superdrug and find a decent alternative (and then spend your saved money on tequila).

4 Responses

  1. Vickie June 17, 2013 / 8:28 pm

    Love this post 🙂

    So good to know I’m not the only one who loves a beauty bargain.

    The collection 2000 eyeliner is my lifesaver!

    • Lauren Forse June 18, 2013 / 12:11 pm

      Thanks lovely! It really is amazing isn’t it? Especially for shaky handed people like me who genuinely struggle at putting anything fiddly on! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 xxx

  2. emma September 16, 2013 / 6:23 pm

    Collection 2000 nail polishes are a winner! I got my last one free with a mascara – not bad for 4 quid! They dry super fast (a winner for me as I get bored of waiting for them to dry) and they have bright colours! 🙂

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