A Guide to Beauty Products on a Budget

This helpful guide will help you find the best beauty brands on a budget.

A view of many different colour lipsticks from above.
(Image credit: Getty)

When it comes to beauty brands, there have never been so many to choose from. Navigating what’s worth buying or trying to avoid spending a fortune on is a challenge. 

I’ve been writing about beauty products for over 10 years and during this time I’ve seen a lot of budget fails. However, there are some budget brands on the market that provide the same results, if not better than their more expensive counterparts. 

First up…e.l.f Cosmetics

When e.l.f cosmetics launched in 2004 it was only available online for a while, and as a beauty writer, I felt it was a best-kept secret. Today e.l.f products are available everywhere including high street chemists like Superdrug and Boots. Prices start at just £3 for a mini eyebrow pallet

Even the most expensive products are just £22 for the Youth Boosting Advanced Night Retinoid Serum. I’ve used several products from the range over the last few years and they always do exactly what they say on the tin.   

Wet and Wild Cosmetics

Wet and Wild Cosmetics has striven to deliver quality products at affordable prices. The brand was established in the USA in 1979 but has made its way over to the UK in recent years. If you haven’t spotted this brand on the high street yet, you might have found it crop up on Amazon.

Although I haven’t tried it myself, Wet and Wild Mega Length Mascara is a hot topic. Beauty enthusiasts and raving about its results and at just £.4.49, I can see why! It’s available at Boots, so it’s easily accessible too.  

Revolution Beauty

This brand has taken the beauty industry by storm over the last few years. Recognised as a budget cosmetics and skincare brand that delivers infamous results. Revolution products are Vegan and cruelty-free, and they are a bargain. You can pick up eyeshadow pallets for as little as £8, lip liners from £2 and foundation sticks start at just £6. 

Earlier this year, Revolution launched Super Base Vitamin Primer, £9.99. Many beauty journalists and product enthusiasts have mentioned that Revolutions produced is a clever dupe of Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base costing a whopping £48.50! In fact, Revolution has become synonymous with creating very similar products to some of the industry's most expensive ones. Revolution is available on the high street but there are often bargains to be had at Look Fantastic

Primark Beauty

Primark cosmetics start at just £1. Seems hard to believe but it’s true. You can grab lipliners, lip balms, eyeliner and more at this budget price point. The range is vast, and there’s something for everyone. Perfect for when you are waiting for payday to arrive or fancy experimenting with new colours.  

Poundland

I know, when you’re thinking about your next mascara, you aren’t thinking about Poundland. But you can grab some real finds in this budget store. Prices start from a pound and range from their own brand with TOWIEs Jess Wright as the ambassador. 

You can also pick up inexpensive end-of-line products from bigger names such as Maybelline and L’Oreal. The only downside is because they are end of line if you love something, the chances are you won’t find them again. Probably best to visit when you know you need other items in-store. And remember, products can vary from store to store. 

TK Maxx

I don’t know about you but when I think of TK Maxx I think of grabbing a discounted handbag or designer jeans. But the skincare and cosmetics range at TK Maxx is vast! It is especially great if you need to pick some skincare, fragrance or cosmetic gifts. I’ve spotted eyeshadow pallets from Huda Beauty for 44% less than the RRP and 29% off Armani. 

Collection Make Up

Established in 1987, Collection Make-Up has been providing affordable products for over 30 years, so they know their stuff! Collection Make-up has been a well-known brand for many years and it was a budget beauty lovers go to. With the launch of other budget brands, it shouldn’t be forgotten. The selection of products is extensive as much as they are inclusive. 

I’m a huge fan of the Lasting Perfection Sheer Loose Powder, at just £3.99 it’s a fantastic rival to Lancôme Loose Setting Powder which would set you back a whopping £34!  

Get a slice of the Beauty Pie

If you haven’t heard of Beauty Pie, where have you been?! Beauty Pie is packed full of luxury skincare, makeup and fragrance without the luxury price. With no middlemen, no stores on the high street, no retailer mark up and simple packaging, Beauty Pie provides high-end ingredients and great results without costing a fortune. 

The founder Marcia Kilgore, who also founded Soap and Glory has a world of experience when it comes to skincare. To access Beauty Pie products at bargain prices you need to become a member. You can either pay £10 per month or £59 annually. Once you’re all signed up, you get up to 70% off Beauty Pie products. 

What else to look out for when shopping on a budget…

A woman is looking at cosmetics in a department store.

(Image credit: Getty)

As well as some of the recommendations I’ve given there are other things to consider when finding your own budget beauty bargains.  

  • High-end products use high-end packaging. Budget options often have cheaper packaging, but it doesn’t mean that the product's efficacy is any less. Eyeshadows can still have the same amount of pigment and lipsticks can still have the same amount of moisturisers or staying power - don’t be put off!
  • Lots of brands are made in the same factories with almost identical ingredients, it’s only the packaging that changes. For example, Estee Lauder owns several companies from luxury like La Mar to budget like The Ordinary. The experience of Estee Lauder allows you to have complete confidence in budget brands. 
  • Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter of your favourite brands, you can save more with unique discount codes this way or even save on your first shop. 
  • Always look for discount codes, they change frequently and vary from money off to free shipping. 
Sarah-Jane Outten
Editor

Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.

I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more. 

I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!