February Budget Makeup Finds

I’ve been shopping.

I am by no means a massive cosmetics buyer, but I had a purge of the makeup box, got rid of some old stuff and I’m trying to replace it without spending a fortune. I do like the higher-end brands, but a) I can’t get to the department stores to get them easily and b) money is a little tighter now I’m freelancing, so I’ve had to start looking at the more affordable end of the cosmetics price spectrum.

I was out in town this week and found these in Superdrug:


We’ve got the MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter in Ice Sparkle and the Freedom Pro Lipstick Kit Vamp Collection. The highlighter was £3 and the lipstick kit was £2.50 – both are currently reduced from their regular prices, but they’re not what I’d call expensive in the first place.

I’ve been looking for a new highlighter for a while, mostly because I don’t feel like my current highlighter does actually highlight properly (it’s a bit matte for a highlighter) but also because my skin has become really dull lately and I need some shimmer to make me look healthy.

I’m very pale (I wear MAC Studio Fix in NW10, to give you some idea of how pale I am) and have blue eyes, so I do tend to suit cooler shades. That said, I was a bit hesitant to pick up an ice blue highlighter, but there weren’t any others that suited my skin tone. And this highlighter is seriously blue in the palette.


It’s an even more icy blue when you run your finger over it. The texture is lovely, by the way – very soft:


So you can imagine I was a bit like ‘what the actual hell have I bought?’ when I swatched it on my finger. But then I took my highlighter brush, and did a proper swatch on my arm. And, well, see for yourself:


You can barely see it. It blends out into the most gorgeous subtle shimmer. You need the smallest amount, so one swipe over the palette does for both cheeks, your nose tip and cupid’s bow. I use a different, clean brush to blend it out because it is easy to take too much product on your initial swipe – I’m so used to having to overuse my crummy highlighter that I need to retrain myself into only using a small amount of this one.

This is going straight on the ‘Forever Repurchase’ list. I might need to get a warmer highlighter when the weather heats up and I get my pathetic yearly ‘tan’, but I’ll probably just switch back to my previous one.

There is some powder fallout when you swipe your brush across, but it’s easy enough to blow it away. It’s not a lot of fallout, and what’s more important is that it doesn’t fall everywhere when you’re applying it. I can deal with fallout from the palette!

Now to the lipsticks I bought – I don’t wear lipsticks that much, but I wanted to experiment with some colours, so the Freedom box set seemed like a good idea to try out some new shades. Here’s what’s in the box:



The shades are really nice, and as a former goth I approve highly of them. They’re all very wearable, and I’ve found that you can build up the coverage on your lip from a light swipe, almost like a tint, to a full-on gothic princess look. For a cheap set of lipsticks, that’s pretty good.

I swatched them on my arm so you can see what they look like against my skin tone:


They’re not the best formula (and I just noticed they’ve picked up every one of my arm hairs – they glide on nicely, I have fluffy arms, which is what the little lines in the swatches are), but they were £2.50 – if you’re expecting MAC quality at that price, then your expectations are too high. They’re best applied with a lip brush, I’ve found – they’re quite waxy and can run away with you if you just apply them directly off the stick. Plus then you can build your coverage, as mentioned above. The swatches on my arm are a single swipe with the lipstick, so you can see the colours aren’t that intense and do need to be built up for a real ‘wow’ factor.

Here’s the names of the shades – in the swatches they’re in the same order, reading from left to right:


My favourite so far is Vamp Noir, which is just a step up from one of my daily shades if I don’t build the coverage too much. It’s nice to have five new colours to play with! I also like that the Intense Noir isn’t actually black, it’s a very dark purple and it matches some nail varnish I bought a few weeks ago. I really like these lipsticks, and for what they cost me, I am very impressed.

Cheap makeup can be pretty good. I’ve always believed that the quality of a product doesn’t depend on how much it cost, but you do have to be careful when going into cheaper brands. Coverage and pigments might not be as good quality, and also watch out for allergens. Cheaper cosmetics, especially if you get them off the internet, sometimes aren’t made with as good ingredients as some of the more expensive stuff. So try everything out on your arm or hand before putting it on your face, but go nuts – at these prices, you can afford to!

(This post was not sponsored by anyone and all opinions are my own.)

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