I’m such a sucker for alliteration… But questionable grammatical genius aside, I felt that it’s time to share some budget beauty products that I’ve been using and loving.
Everything in this post is under R300, and most of it is easy to get your hands on. There are a few new discoveries, but most of the products mentioned here are ones I keep going back to.
I had every intention of doing a skincare post with budget products only, but it turns out I’m a spoilt brat. I can’t part with my high tech serums because I can’t imagine having access to them and then just not using them. Sacrilege. I do have some budget-friendly products that I use often though, so all is not lost.
By now just about everybody knows that micellar waters are genius. But I also think they’re pretty much all the same. I even let my sister pour all my little bits into one big bottle the other day, mixing four different brands together – I can’t tell the difference.
Having said that, I’m going to have to insist that you try the new(ish) Garnier Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water. Aside from being great value at R90 for a whopping 400ml, it’s the best of both worlds – it’s as effective as an oil-based makeup remover, but there’s no oily residue when you’re done. If you generally find micellar waters a little harsh on the eye area, you’ll love this.
Speaking of cleansers, the two I repurchase whenever I run out are both from The Body Shop – Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. They’re great all-over cleansers and eye makeup removers (although they have a separate eye makeup remover too – but I don’t bother with that).
I use the oil when I’m in shower and the butter in the bath and at the sink – the pump bottle is easier to operate if there’s water everywhere. They’re R175 each and if you buy them on 3 for 2 (which is often) it works out to R117 each. Score.
I have three favourite sunscreens, and I’m thrilled that they all fall in the affordable category because I apply them liberally. And don’t think you’re ever going to go without SPF in my company, so I often share these with whoever is around too.
In first place there’s Avène SPF50 Spray, which is technically for children but I couldn’t care less about that. It’s a very light milky liquid that spreads easily, and I use it on my face and body. It’s R295 for 200ml, get it from Clicks.
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF30 Hydrating Milk comes in right behind the Avène spray – I’ve used it on and off for years and it’s also a brilliant, non-irritating sun protector. Turns out I was lying because this one is R365, but it’s for a giant 300ml tube so we’re all good, right?
For face only I adore Bioderma SPF50+ Tinted Aquafluid (R237). It’s a light liquid that gives a beautiful glow while somehow still remaining mostly matte. Although I often use it under foundation, it’s perfect for no makeup days as it ever so slightly takes the edge off my very pink-toned skin.
I searched long for a matte, medium-dark crease shade, and I found the perfect one in Bourjois Noctam Brune 08. It’s the perfect intensity and blends beautifully, and I tend to use it with most eyeshadow looks that require a bit of crease definition. It’s R125 from Clicks here, and it’s on 3 for 2 until September 20th. I used it in this video.
I went from not really feeling L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper to using it daily. It manages to shape and tame my often unruly brows and add a touch of definition. The tint is noticeable but not too stark, and I’ll happily repurchase it when my tube runs out. Get it for R150.
Even though I have upwards of 50 lipsticks at my disposal, the three I tend to have in my handbag are all pretty affordable. My go-to nude shades are Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Seduction and LA Girl Matte Lipgloss in Dreamy. The LA Girl (R70) has a cooler tone than the Revlon (R150) and it stays put for a little longer, but I love them both equally.
My go-to red is Maybelline Super Stay 24 in Red Alert. Aside from being the most perfect classic red shade, it doesn’t budge for hours – I’ve had numerous people ask me how I manage to still have red lipstick on after X amount of time had passed. I do touch up the inner rims of my lips every couple of hours, and you need to keep it away from your teeth until it’s dry (which is about a minute). Oh and don’t use the lip balm side – just make peace with temporarily dry lips. Get it for R150.
Also – Real Techniques makeup brushes. I use a Sigma F80 for foundation, MAC 217 for eyeshadow, and for just about everything else I use Real Techniques brushes. They’re priced from R105.
Lastly – when in doubt, choose a Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara. I use to be team Maybelline all the way, but lately L’Oreal has been winning me over. I can’t recall using a mascara from either brand that has been bad (or even average), and most of them are fantastic – like this one here.
I wrote an entire blog post singing the praises of the Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures shampoo, conditioner and treatment masque; and then my blog server crashed on the same day and I lost the post. Long story short – it’s great. It adds shine, gives softness and doesn’t add weight. And it smells absolutely incredible. From R39.
I can’t not mention dry shampoo here. I’ve tried a bunch of high end brands, but my heart belongs to Batiste and Colab – for different reasons.
If my hair is looking slightly lacklustre and in need of some oomph, I can use either. Colab (R90) is less fussy because it truly is translucent – I can spray and go without having to do anything else to it, and it seems to look better throughout the day as my hair moves. Batiste (R75) is definitely best if my hair is greasy, but it needs to be brushed through thoroughly otherwise I have very dull/grey roots. There are variants for darker hair, but I don’t like them as I find the dark pigment ends up on my forehead and under my fingernails as the day goes on.
Right – would you like to see a body, bath & nail edition too?