Are you baffled by beauty products, confused by cosmetics and in a muddle over make-up? Don’t worry – we’ve got a list of what’s out there and what it does, so you can shop armed with all the information you need. Even more importantly, we’ve got loads of tips for finding cheap make-up and other beauty products, as well as our very own top make-up tips. So take a look and start saving now.
- How to save money on cosmetics with our cheap make-up tips
- Our make-up guide
- Money saving make-up swaps
Get your hands on some free cosmetics just for giving your opinion. Do some cosmetic research online. You try, review and most importantly keep, new hand creams, moisturisers and all sorts of other goodies.
StrawberryNet is good for discounted make-up. It sells top branded designer make-up at really competitive prices. Despite being based in Hong Kong StrawberryNet offer free shipping anywhere in the world for all their skincare, make-up and hair care products, and offer extra discounts when you order three or more products.
Whilst they say that items shipped to the UK (except fragrance) will not incur VAT charges, some MoneyMagpies found they did have to pay. StrawberryNet do provide a form to fill out should you be charged VAT, and say that on a goodwill basis they will refund those charges. However if you’d rather stick to a site closer to home, there are plenty of options.
A fantastic website for bargain hunters is FeelUnique. They have a huge selection of make-up products from luxury salon brands to high-street favourites, all at incredible prices. They also run regular special deals which offer huge savings, so if you’re a beauty fanatic we’d recommend signing up to their newsletter to stay up to date with all their latest deals and exclusive discounts.
Another great site is LookFantastic. Once again you’ll find a multitude of high-end make-up ranges here, but all at affordable prices. They too have regular sales and special offers that are well worth a look, and like FeelUnique, delivery is free.
We should say that these two sites really are MoneyMagpie favourites – we’ve used them both on a number of occasions and we always get speedy, top-quality service. A big thumbs up from us!
Avon is another great place to look for good value, good quality make-up. They always have plenty of offers running, and if you’re not certain which product is for you, you can get trial sizes of most of them for just 99p. You have to spend £20 to qualify for free delivery.
Amazon and eBay
Amazon is especially good for cheap make-up tools and bags. Get theseheated eyelash curlersfor £8 or this seven-piece professional brush set for only £11.74. While you’re there get a make-up guide book like The Green Beauty Bible(£10.49) to help you on your way.
There’s also a huge selection of make-up and brushes on eBay. They’ve made life much easier by giving you lots of options to refine your search – you can search by product type, then brand, price range and even colour of finish so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find what you’re looking for.
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There are several different kinds of foundation but the three basic types are liquid, cream and powder. Most foundations are either pink-based, orange-based or yellow-based – if you’re not sure which one suits you best go for yellow-based first because it suits most skin tones and combats redness.
Liquid foundations are either oil-based (good if your skin is dry) or water-based (good if your skin is oily) and are usually pretty easy to apply with medium coverage.
Cream foundations are available as sticks or compacts. They give great coverage with a seamless finish plus they’re really convenient to apply and keep in your bag.
Powder foundations are a quick way to get a bit of coverage, so if you don’t have many blemishes this could be the best option for you. There are also foundations available that are cream-to-powder which dry quickly and are great if you’re looking for quick, light make-up.
When choosing your colour, test it by using the inside of your forearm, or your jaw line as foundation should blend with the skin colour of your neck, rather than your face.
TOP TIP! If you’re struggling to find a foundation that matches your skin tone buy two shades – one slightly lighter than your natural skin colour and one slightly darker – then blend them together to find the perfect match.
To cover blemishes and redness use a concealer. Get one that is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone and apply with a small fine-tipped brush or your fingertips so you can gradually cover any blemishes or dark circles without looking caked. Highlighting concealer is great for covering dark circles under the eyes.
TOP TIP! Use a translucent powder to set your make-up – it helps to prevent smudging and makes your make-up last much longer.
To give your face a healthy glow, bronzer is a must. Bronzers usually come in powder form and should be applied before your blusher.
For a bolder look choose a shimmery option and if you want a more subtle shade, go for something matte.
If your skin is naturally fair choose a lighter shade, and if you have darker skin you can go for something with a more copper tone. Less is more with bronzer, so don’t go too mad. You want to look naturally sunkissed rather than like you’ve been dipped into a vat of fake tan.
TOP TIP! Apply your bronzer using a large powder brush to the areas of your face which would naturally catch the sun – that’s the tops of your cheekbones (slightly higher than where you apply your blusher), your nose and a very light dusting on your forehead.
Using blusher is a great way to accentuate bone structure and brighten up your complexion. Don’t be too heavy- handed. Once again unless you want to look like a pantomime dame, less is definitely more. If you’re fair-skinned soft pinks and peaches are a safe bet. Those of you with warmer skin tones can get away with darker shades but take advantage of tester pots and experiment with colours before you buy.
TOP TIP! Use powder blusher on the apples of your cheeks (the plump bits that appear when you smile) and apply from the top of your cheek bone inwards. For a natural look try cream blusher on the cheekbones.
Lipsticks can be matte, satin, or glossy. Use a lip liner to make your lips seem fuller and to stop the colour from bleeding, but make sure that it closely matches your lipstick colour – you can usually buy liner and lipstick from the same product line in the same shade.
TOP TIP! Avoid orange or brown lipsticks because they can make teeth seem yellow.
For the eyes
Use mascara to emphasise your eyes, it will make the lashes look fuller, darker and longer. Meanwhile eyeliner helps to define your eyes and make them seem larger.
Liquid eyeliner needs a steady hand to apply but it’s great for a dramatic look. Alternatively use a pencil for something easier to use and more subtle.
You can buy eyeshadow in various forms and pretty much any colour of the rainbow. Depending on the effect you’re looking for, you can choose a creamy eyeshadow or powder, and experiment to create different effects by layering different tones of the same colour on your eyelids.
TOP TIP! When you apply mascara always start at the base of the eyelashes then wiggle the wand to cover as many lashes as possible. If you want two coats always leave the first coat to dry completely to avoid clumps.
A fairly new addition to the beauty scene – it’s based on hypo-allergenic loose powder without all the chemicals and preservatives of traditional make-up so it’s great for women with sensitive skin. Mineral make-up will last longer than normal make-up because it doesn’t crease or smear easily.
A great place for buying mineral make-up is Green People, a family company which produces cosmetics and skincare using organic active ingredients, rather than the cheaper synthetic ingredients.
TOP TIP! Get a Kabuki brush – to apply mineral cosmetics. The soft bristles are perfect for this kind of make-up.
Lash separator – SWAP FOR – old mascara wand! Keep the wand of any mascara you’ve finished and wash it thoroughly then use it to separate clumpy eyelashes.
Eye cream – SWAP FOR – slices of raw potato or cucumber! Both cucumber and the humble spud are renowned for having properties to take down puffy eyes – just lay a slice over each eye for about 15 minutes for perfect wide-awake eyes.
Eye-brightening drops – SWAP FOR – white eyeliner! Line along the bottom rim for an instant brightening affect.
Tinted lip gloss – SWAP FOR – Vaseline! Just mix your lipstick with some Vaseline for a glossy effect without the price tag.
Lip plumper – SWAP FOR – gold eye shadow! It may sound strange but dabbing some gold eye shadow in the centre of your lower lip will add fullness.
Face mask – SWAP FOR – food! Yes some simple kitchen ingredients can be used to make masks for all skin types. To combat oily skin add some lemon juice and milk to some oatmeal then mix into a paste. Leave on for about 15 minutes then rinse with water. Avocado is great for dry skin but always test a small patch of skin before you apply to the skin in case of a reaction.
Body scrub – SWAP FOR – oil and salt! Mix together some almond oil and coarse sea salt then simply rub into your skin for a fabulously cheap exfoliator.