Google On The Dressing Table: Top 10 affordable products

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11 November 2013

Top 10 affordable products

I mentioned on Instagram a while ago that i was going to put together a 'best of the high street' post but as i was gathering my favourite things it occurred to me that most of them are affordable dupes for some of my favourite high end products so that is how i am going to talk you through them.

I can happily compare the Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Eye Shadows to my favourites from Bobbi Brown and the Mac Paint Pots. They apply so easily and once they are dry they don’t move for a good few hours so they are great just on their own or as a base for other eye shadow. The stand-out colour for me is 'Permanent Taupe' which is an amazing wearable matte taupe with a blue/grey undertone that warms up when blended so you can create a very quick smoky eye with minimal effort. It also doubles up as a brow product. Another great shade in the range is 'On and On Bronze', a warm brown with golden shimmer running through which looks good on every eye colour.

I have a long standing love affair with YSL Toche Eclat highlighting concealer and the L’oreal Lumi Magique Touch highlighting pen is a great affordable alternative, perhaps not a coincidence asYSL are part of the L’oreal group. It's a very light product that blends well and really illuminates the skin and brightens the under eye area. I also use it down the centre of my nose, on my brow bone and anywhere else that I want to add some light and radiance to the skin. It is not quite as creamy as the YSL and you probably need to use more product but it is less than half the price so great value for money.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in transparent is a much loved product and I reach for this as often as i use my MAC Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder. Its not the most exciting product and the packaging is really poor but it does the job really well, and it is cheap as chips!

The No 7 BB lips remind me of the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors in that they are a hybrid between lip care and lip colour. They give a lovely sheer glossy colour but feel really moisturising and silky on the lips. The colour range is great - both the bolder shades and paler more-nude colours give a sheer wash of colour and look good on their own and over lipstick. They have the added benefit of containing an SPF so they are a great handbag staple.

I originally picked up the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Pencil in 'blonde' because of the fine felt tip end, but I was a bit underwhelmed with that and quickly realized that the harder wax/pencil end was a great dupe for one of my staple brow products - MAC eyebrow pencil in the shade 'Fling', which is the perfect colour for blondes.

I mentioned Rimmels Salon Pro Nail Varnish in the shade Navy Seal in my September favourites and I have raved about the Salon Pro line to anyone who will listen! My favourite high street nail varnish line by a country mile, reasons being:  The formulation is brilliant, the brush is wide and flat and makes application pretty much foolproof - ideal for anyone who suffers from shaky hands! The colour range ticks every box - there is a great red, a very weareable nude, soft pastels including a mint that you will love if you like Essie Mint Candy Apple, a perfect coral (which rarely left my nails in the summer) and then some darker shades too. 

Another really affordable eye shadow I have been loving is the Rimmel Shadow Paint in rich russet. This is quite a unique formula, it’s much more of a liquid consistency than cream but blends out just as easily. It gives a similar look to using a pigment with water which I love, and lasts really well without creasing, however there are currently only five colours in the range and this is by far the nicest,. As is often the case with Rimmel the shade selection is a bit off and I think that could be why these haven’t had much hype, but in terms of formula I think they are great for the money and if you like neutral easy shades Rich Russet is definitely worth picking up.

Max factor miracle touch cream blush in 'soft pink' is a little hidden treasure. The packaging is rubbish but what is inside is the perfect natural-flush colour and the formulation is very comparable to the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge - creamy and pigmented with just enough gloss.

Eye shadows are something i would usually always spend a bit more money on to get the highly pigmented, buttery formula that can be hard to find on the high street, but an exception to that rule is the L’oreal Infallible pressed shadows. These are actually more of a pressed pigment than an eyeshadow, very similar to the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Shadows. They are soft, creamy and buildable with just the right amount of shimmer without being too glittery. The only complaint i have about these is the colour range is so much wider in the US than here in the UK, I don't understand why they do that! 

As far as affordable brushes go there is one clear winner in my opinion. Real Techniques is the brush range from make up artist and YouTuber Samantha Chapman (from Pixiwoo). They are all made from Taklon so are cruelty free and very easy to clean, and they are incredible quality for the price. It is very noticeable that they are designed and developed by a working make up artist because the range isn't huge but it includes everything you need to create a full make up look. My top three brushes from the range are the setting brush which i use to apply highlighter or to set the under eye area and t zone with powder, the expert face brush which i use to buff foundation into the skin and the contour brush which is part of the core collection and is the perfect shape to get into the hollows of the cheeks. It is small enough to be precise with the colour placement but soft enough to blend the colour to avoid the dreaded stripy-cheek!

So that's my top ten, if you're still reading this - well done! I know its a bit of a long one but i hope some of you might find it useful.
Let me know what your top picks from the high street/drug store are.


  1. Brilliant post, I have nearly all of these! I used to use the maxfactor blush al the time but its found its way to the back of my stash...its going to make a reappearance now! x

  2. I love the colour tattoo's and the rimmel stay matte powder xx

  3. Loved this post, thanks Anna. I always buy from high street make up ranges but don't really know what to look out for or have anything to compare them with, so having your very knowledgeable opinion on these products is great. Will def look out for some of these next time i'm in town. x

  4. Great post. The colour tattoo's & the scandal eyes products are so good! I love wearing both of those.
    The No7 BB lipbalms are so nice on & I like that they have SPF in.

  5. This makes me want to go on a massive Boots splurge! Love the lumi magique pen and rimmel polishes too. Need to pick up one of those infallible eyeshadows but the shade I want (safari treasure) is always out of stock! xx

  6. I really want to try the No 7 BB lips they look gorgeous! x


  7. The drugstore is really bringing it atm, my boots wishlist is constantly growing! ;) x

  8. I've been wanting to try the Lumi line and the l'oreal infallible as well as the real techniques brush are aaaaaamazing. Great choices!

  9. I need to try the maybelline colour tattoos!

  10. Fab post hun! I love the Rimmel Salon Pro range - I bought Navy Seal fairly recently and it's gorgeous! I also love the RT brushes and Maybelline Color Tattoos xx

  11. Love this post xx I totally agree with everything you chose - I love the Color Tattoo's xx

  12. Fab post thanks for your help! xx

  13. Thanks for linking me this post in the #bbloggers chat!
    You've featured some absolutely amazing products!
    I really want to try the colour tattoos! they look so pretty!

    Laura xox

  14. I love your top 10, the RT brushes are amazing and such great value for money! :)


  15. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog! Keep up the great work ♡

    PS: May I invite you to my giveaway?

    Win a SUITSUIT luggage set (value €407) on my blog:

  16. Really enjoyed reading this post :) GFC following you :)

    Need to get my hands on the No7 lippies!

    Tigerlily's Beauty Blog


  17. Shahrzad Saednejad13/1/14 11:08

    Rimmel stay matte is one of the best powders I've ever used! I have yet to try the Maybelline colour tatoos they look lovely. Brill post!


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