As someone who is living off a student loan, I’m always on the look out for better, cheaper alternatives to the products that I love. When I find something that works, it sticks – though I do have a bit of an obsession with liquid matte lipsticks, but shh – we don’t talk about that.
Here’s some of my current (cruelty-free) favourites that are purse friendly and can be picked up in your local Boots or Superdrug.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Speaking of products that stick: Collections’ Lasting Perfection Concealer has been a firm favourite of mine for years. I used it way back in 2014, before they’d released the colour corrective and Extra Fair shades – so you know this range runs pale. I use Extra Fair in 0, and it’s the palest concealer I’ve come across. Something of a cult classic, I’ve even seen it compared to Tarte’s Shape Tape. It’s a full coverage concealer, and I find both this shade and the green great for covering redness. They work wonders on my dark puffy circles and concealing the redness and veins on my brow-bone. Because it’s heavy duty, it can be difficult to blend and I’ve found the best way is to got a small amount where desired and pat it into your skin with your fingertips or a blending sponge, before setting with powder. I’ve personally never found it drying or had any problems with it – it’s my go to concealer that I stock up on. Some people find it too heavy for them but I absolutely love the thick, creamy formula.
- thick, full coverage concealer
- Shades run pale – I’m literally a ghost so this is fact
- Great for concealing discoloration
- Not as long lasting as packaging claims
- Can be tricky to blend
- Might be too pigmented – needs more shades
W7 Banana Dreams Loose Powder
I was on the handle about re buying my all but used up Rimmel Stay Matte powder, but knowing that it wasn’t cruelty free and trying to change my ways I needed to find an alternative that was actually pale enough for my skin. I’ve tried W7s Primer before and found it really effective and nice to use. I’ve got into the habit of baking my concealer and this product works great – though I’ve noticed it you let it set for too long (like 10+ minutes) it will stick. It mattifies my face and lasts all day, even when it’s warm outside. It’s quite yellow toned but it works great on my porcelain complexion and according to reviews on Amazon it works for a range of skin tones from light to dark. It also has a nice scent and the packaging is super cute – though I do find the powder gets up my nose more than other powders, but that might just be me. I’ve had this one for a couple of months and have nearly used it up so if I don’t find anything for a similar price I’ll deffo be repurchasing Banana Dreams. With prices from £2.50 and reviews comparing it to Ben Nye it’d be rude not to!
- Runs pale
- Finely milled powder, good for baking
- Sets makeup and lasts all day
- Yellow toned
- Can stick/become pactchy if too much product is used
- Gets up nose!
NYX Ink Liner
As you might know, I’ve used the same liquid eyeliner for ACTUAL years. As in 5 whole years. As someone who loves a good cat eye and wears it A LOT, that’s dedication. But last week I finally took the plunge and got myself a NYX ink liner from Boots
After using the same flimsy brush for years, the felt tip shaped pen was new, but surprisingly sleek – I love the results. I have hooded eyes and this makes it much easier to get a smooth line and open up my eyes. The tapered tip means it’s easy to draw winged liner, too. It lasts way longer than my old liner – this is naughty but I literally wore winged eyeliner all day and slept in it, and this product hadn’t budged. The next morning I redid my mascara and concealer and off I went. Just, don’t be like me! The point is, it’s incredibly long lasting and bulletproof. It’s pretty much a dupe of Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner.
- Black, intense colour
- Easy to get sleek lines wings for days
- Tip begins to fray after several uses making it harder to get a sharp point
TBS All In One Instablur Primer
I’m not a big user of Primer, except for when I’m getting glammed up or in Summer to give my makeup some extra staying power. I’ve been using this more since the warmer weather hit, and it definitely makes my makeup stay on and reduces fading. It also really mattifies your skin without being drying, which I love. My makeup glides on with ease when I use this, and it prevents any product from sticking in certain areas and becoming patchy. I also find that my makeup sets better. I’ve tried a few primers including Benefits’ Porefessional and No7 Photoready and this is definitely my fave. I find that primers work best when I apply with my fingers and let it set for a few minutes.
- Long lasting Makeup
- Makeup is easier to apply
- A little goes a long way
- Some skin types may find it too matte
Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Pencil
Firstly, I love the name of this. Secondly, it lives up to it because my eyebrows definitely appear a lot more arched when I use this product. it also makes my brows appear longer and significantly more defined. I’m someone who typically fills in my brows with eye-shadow and aims for a natural look. While that’s achievable with this product, I think it’s more for those who want a vintage, exaggerated, arch. It comes with both a pen for brow ‘tinting’ as well as your standard brow pencil. I definitely use the pencil more, but the pen is great – you can even use it to add individual ‘hairs’ to thicken your brows!
- super arched, shapely brows
pen & pencil duo – versatile
- can be heavy – apply with a careful hand!
- only 3 shades
Let me know your favourite purse-friendly products for the cruelty-free beauty boffin down in the comments and if you enjoyed this post give it some love. Thanks for reading!