Makeup – Where to Save & Where to Splurge

24 Sep

‘A total waste of makeup’: that’s how a friend of mine describes a rubbish day. I know just what she means: when three items can easily cost well over £100, you can be looking at a couple of quid just for a crappy-Monday-in-the office face.*

So, is it worth it? If the thought of going to the bin without make-up gives you the cold sweats then you can’t be making every item a luxury one. Regular make-up users need to know where to splurge and where to save. Opinion will be divided on this, but here’s the Skint in the City opinion on which make-up items deserve the bulk of your budget and which can make do with the scraps.


  •  Eyeshadow: What’s the difference between posh eyeshadows and the cheap ones? Certainly not the vibrancy of the colours so it can only be the amount of time they stay on. But then it’s not very hard to re-apply eyeshadow, is it? Save your cash. Eye palettes containing three or four shades of mascara are much cheaper to buy, overall, than a few individual pots.
  • Lipbalm: Chapstick is just as good as the posh ones in my book. Ditto lipgloss – it comes off in an hour whether it’s cheap or dear.
  • Self-tanner: Johnsons and Johnsons is as good as they get in my book and costs about four quid.
  • Mascara: Some would disagree with this, but  Maybelline mascara is not only the world’s best-selling mascara but the world’s best-selling cosmetic product. The price? A fiver a pop. If you’ve only got cash for ordinary mascara instead of lash-lengthening just dust your lashes with powder before applying your mascara: makes your lashes look dramatically longer. (PS – If you’re desperate, stand a dried-out mascara tube in a glass of hot water for a few seconds to bring it back to life.)


  • Good make-up brushes: the closest thing to airbrushing us mortals can get.
  • Foundation: mineral foundations are tops in my book for great coverage whilst being kind to skin. And a shout-out to Lily Lolo for being the best of them all. 
  • Nail polish:  if you wear it all the time it’s worthwhile buying a more expensive one that will stay on for several days. There’s nothing more unprofessional than sneaking a touch-up in the office. So, if it needs to last, go for good stuff. If, on the other hand, you only wear varnish for parties then stick to cheap brands like Rimmel.

Nail varnish dried out? Add a drop or two of remover to bring it back to life. By the way, a dab of nail varnish also halts ladders in tights from getting worse – keep a bottle of the clear stuff in your make-up bag.  

What do you think? Which one must-have item would you spend the rent money on? Do tell! (It’s Beauty Flash Balm for me)

* Scientifically calculated using the skintinthecity  cosmetology system. Ha. With extra pentapeptidelipogamamides. Pantent pending. 


What you thinking? Go on and tell me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: