When it comes to buying beauty products, it is sometimes easy to get sucked into believing that more expensive is always better.
However, as with most other things, this is simply not always the case. Yes, to an extent, when it comes to certain skincare products, you might get a higher concentration of ingredients with more pricy products, but in other instances, you are simply paying for the brand and the packaging, without there being much difference at all between this product and a more budget-friendly version that essentially does the same – for a lot less.
As a beauty writer, I test my way through hundreds of products every year, some in the luxury price range, other that are far cheaper – and the thing is – there are great products at every price point. Just like there are bad products at every price point too – and many that are just pretty darn average, no matter how fancy the box is and how much it cost to buy.
And if you are on a tighter budget right now – or simply have better things to be spending your money on than makeup and skincare, here are 10 of my very favourite bargain beauty products this year – ones that I am using myself and are recommending to friends looking for recommendations.
1. Rimmel Kind & Free Moisturising Skin Tint Foundation
I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am with these new Kind & Free Moisturising Skin Tint Foundation from Rimmel. It is the brand’s first-ever clean makeup range that is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free, and not just that, they are actually a really great skin tint product too.
Infused with an antioxidant complex of Vitamin E, Pro-vitamin B5 and Aloe Vera, these skin tints will keep your skin moisturised and dewy-looking all day, while also giving you a beautiful even and natural-looking glow. Oh, and it lasts all day.
€12.49, Inish Pharmacy
2. Carter Beauty Paint & Decorate 10 Piece Luxury Brush Set
Another cruelty-free and Peta-approved product I am so happy to have found.
The new Carter Beauty Paint & Decorate 10 Piece Luxury Brush Set features 10 soft, fluffy and extremely versatile brushes to effortlessly create whatever beauty look you are doing. The set includes blender brushes, brushes for highlighting, foundation brush, powder brush, contour brush, bullet brush, flat brush and even a brow brush.
3. Loreal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara
Everybody needs a great mascara in their makeup bag, and trust me, this is it.
The new Air Volume Mega Black mascara will give you longer and fuller lashes than you have ever had before, much thanks to the new whipped formula which inflates lashes and adds up to 10 times more volume.
I love how it doesn’t smudge, but stays put – even after a very sweaty hot yoga session. Oh, and you can build up the layers for an even more dramatic look.
4. Essence Out In The Wild Eyeshadow Palette
I love palettes that have everything I need in one handy compact, and so this, to me, is perfect.
From matte to metallic finishes, these 12 shades offer the perfect nuances for natural-looking eye makeup with shades ranging from delicate beige to elegant pink to deep rose red or mysterious anthracite.
€11.99, available from pharmacies and stores nationwide
5. CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser
I know – not technically a makeup product, but one that is very much needed to remove said makeup at the end of the day. And belive me, this product is so good I could not NOT include it in my bargain beauty round-up.
CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser gently cleanses and replenishes the skin’s moisture levels for all day hydration, and it gets every scrap and bit of makeup off – without leaving your skin feeling irritated or dry.
Enriched with three essential ceramides to help support the skin’s protective barrier, this really is the perfect everyday cleanser if you ask me.
€13.50, Meagher’s Pharmacy
6. Rimmel Lasting Finish Fix & Go Setting Spray
A real handbag must-have, the new Lasting Finish Fix & Go Setting Spray from Rimmel works two ways – as a prepping spray that gets your skin ready for makeup and helps it stay put – and as a setting spray for after you have applied your makeup too – to lock your look into place.
I love how it also doubles as a refresher that not only makes sure my makeup stays looking good all day, but also gives my face a little burst of moisture throughout the day.
€9.99, pharmacies and retailers nationwide
7. Max Factor Miracle Touch Skin Perfecting Foundation
For days when I feel I need a little more coverage than just a tinted moisturiser, this Miracle Touch Skin Perfecting Foundation from Max Factor is what I reach for. While out a while, the product was recently upgraded with hyaluronic acid and SPF 30.
Meaning, it not only gives you flawless, younger-looking skin, but also helps protect you from sun damage.
I love applying it with my fingers, as the solid formula becomes liquid with the warmth of my hands, and glides on so perfectly, leaving my skin looking really smooth and flawless, and with every uneven tone evened out.
8. Garnier Micellar Vitamin C Cleansing Water
Another great option for cleansing – I use it after the cleansing oil above, as it really works wonders at brightening up my skin thanks to the vitamin C.
Micellar cleansing waters gently remove up to 100 percent of make-up, dirt, SPF and pollution from the skin, which makes it the perfect product for the summer months, when we all use sun cream. And I just love how clean and glowing my skin looks when I use this product, I just know it will be a staple in my bathroom forever more.
€8.95, McCabes Pharmacy
9. Carter Beauty Youth Boost Primer and Serum
Ever since lockdowns, I rarely bother with foundation – and leave it for the times when I do have to attend work things or events, or am going out int he evening.
Most of the time, I leave my skin care, but l love using a primer or seum that simply evens out my skin and makes it look fresh, clean and effortless.
And this new Youth Boost Primer and Serum from Carter Beauty does just that. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, it also contains vitamin C to brighten the skin and nourishing Vitamin E to keep it soft and smooth. This Serum & Primer improves the look of fine lines, whilst restoring your skin’s youthful look.
Even better? This Serum & Primer is oil free, vegan and Peta approved.
10. Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is having a moment – and for good reason.
This new serum from French cult brand Vichy not only targets wrinkles and fine lines, but also visibly improves the skin’s radiance.
And I can attest to just how well it works. After using it for just a few days, my skin genuinely glowed and I got compliments and questions about what I had been doing differently.
€39, Meaghers Pharmacy