Cheap Beauty Products That Have Shocked Me! (All under £5!)

I'm a sucker for bargains of any sort, but especially when it comes to make up and beauty products, you don't always know whether cheap products will break you out in a rash, burn your face off or swell up your eyes or lips - that's maybe slightly dramatic, it's more likely the product will just be rubbish. But sometimes, you find amazing products that are super cheap! And it feels like Christmas..

1. Make Up Gallery Nail Hardener - £1 - Poundland 
     - This stuff is amazing and it's no ordinary nail hardener. It coats your nails almost like a clear nail polish, it dries completely in less than 5 minutes and it leaves a shine to your nails, which looks nice. However, it's main job, to harden nails... well, it turns even weak nails into unbreakable nails. They are so strong after you've applied just one coat of this stuff, you have to press down pretty hard to flex them. It lasts on your nails for weeks, or until you peel it off (or take it off properly with nail polish remover) but even then, the effects are lasting. You lose the sheen but they are still left feeling stronger than before. So, if you're prone to a broken nail or work with your hands a lot and have no nails left, this is the product for you. It makes your nails grow so long because they never snap off! Also, you know when the corner of your nail breaks slightly, quite low down so you really don't want to pull it off but it keeps catching on everything? Well this stuff works like glue to fix it in place and stop it from breaking and catching. And it is £1! It truly shocked me.

2. P.S. Round Cotton Wool Pads x120 - £0.50 - Primark 
    - This might be a simple one that most people know, but I use round cotton wool pads every single day to take off any left over make up (after using a wipe) and to apply my skincare products, morning and night. Now I've tried Boots cotton wool pads (£1.69 for 100), Superdrug cotton wool pads (£1.69 for 100), Morrison's cotton wool pads (£1 for 100) etc. etc. but the Primark one's are by far the cheapest and best quality. You get a larger amount in them and they don't disintegrate as you're applying skincare products, like some do! They are soft but sturdy. You can buy 120 larger oval cotton wool pads from Primark for 90p if you prefer larger ones.


3. Essence Silky Touch Blush (Shade 20 Babydoll) £1 - Wilko 
    - For those of you who don't know, Essence is a very affordable brand that here in the UK, we can purchase in Wilko stores on online. A lot of the products are £1 and the most expensive items are £4. This blush is just one of the items I've tried and loved from Essence. It is silky to touch (as the name suggests!), doesn't kick up powder at all and it's very light and buildable - which is what you want from a blush. The shade is lovely for pale skin, it's a pale baby pink but it's not bright and it can be built gradually up so you aren't ending up with clown cheeks from one application. Even the packaging is good quality!


4. Freedom Professional Bronze  - £3 - Superdrug
       - For those of you who don't know, Freedom is made from the same company as Make Up Revolution, i Heart make up and now Make Up Obsession; this company is called Tam Beauty. I haven't tried a massive amount of Freedom products, but they are all super affordable. This bronzer is a sort of neutral tone (not too warm but also not cool) which means it doesn't tend to pull orange on my skin or ashy and it is matte, which means it could be used for contouring or warming up your complexion. I personally use it for bronzing, not contouring. The pan is huge (the packaging isn't great and the hinge snapped quite quickly), but you get 15g of product in the pan (which is more than most bronzers). Just as a comparison (not a dupe!) the cult favourite bronzer Nars Laguna costs £29 and you get 8g of product. 

5. AOA Studio Make Up Brushes - $1 each - Shop Miss A
     - So these brushes are more difficult for us to get hold of in the UK, if you haven't heard of Shop Miss A, you might want to check out my previous blog post about the best websites to buy make up from. Shop Miss A is an American website so the make up brushes can be bought individually for $1 (by the time you add on shipping cost, it works out around £1 each) or you can by a set of brushes - 24 brushes for $20, 12 brushes for $10 and they also do beauty blender type sponges for $1 each which are one of my favourite types of beauty sponge. The brushes are great quality and sturdy, they have very soft bristles and wash well. There is a large number of brushes to choose from also! There's not a lot else you can ask for from a make up brush! I have the set of 24 but also a few individual brushes which are not included in the set - my favourite brush is the F4 Round Kabuki Brush which is great for blending out full coverage foundations.

6. Collection Pressed Powder  (Shade 18 Ivory) - £1.99 - Boots / Superdrug
    - I won't go into detail on this product as I've already written a lengthy description and review on my previous blog post (Best Pressed Powders for Pale Skin) so if you haven't read it, go check that out after you've read this post! But it is my absolute favourite pressed powder, it is light enough for my porcelain skin, it's never smashed or crumbled on me (I've purchased this repeatedly for years) and it mattifies my skin. For £1.99, you can't go wrong and I will continue to repurchase (I always have at least 4 in back up in case they ever discontinue it!

7. Montange Jeunesse Coconut Protein Rescue Masque - £0.90 - Primark
    - This is a single use packet hair mask that I've used numerous times now (one packet it enough to cover my long, thick hair). I love anything coconut or tropical so I love the scent of this, but the actual product is amazing too. It leaves your hair feeling so silky and soft and nourished and it makes it easier to brush your hair after washing it. I tend to leave it in for around 45 minutes but you can leave it in for as long or as little as you want. I did not expect to love this product as my hair tends to prefer expensive brands! This is great to purchase if you just want to try it once before committing to buying a big tub (in other products) or if you want to buy a few for a pamper night for you and your friends. You can purchase this hair mask in Primark, Boots and Bodycare stores and it's between 89p - £1 depending on where you get it.

8. Technic Get Gorgeous Highlighting Powder - £1.80 - Amazon
       - This is a fab highlighter if you have pale skin and like an intense highlighter. It is a pinky / purplely/ white shade, which looks icy on the skin and really suits my skin tone. Even with a light hand, it is quite an intense shimmer so if you like  natural looking highlighters, this isn't the one for you! You can get this highlighter in Bodycare, on Amazon or eBay and it is usually around the £1.80 mark and you get 12g of product (which I feel like will last forever!) Again, the packaging is a bit rubbish, it snapped at the hinges within a few uses, but it's still worth it for me because I haven't ever come across a highlighter in this shade and cheap highlighters can be difficult to find. For the price, it's a great highlighter to add to your collection.
9. Collection Extreme 24h Felt Tip Liner - £2.99 - Boots / Superdrug
   - This is a great liquid eyeliner, especially if you're new to liquid eyeliner or if you aren't confident in applying it. It's got a sharp point, so it's easy to get a very precise line. It dries down pretty much matte and lasts all day - it doesn't flake off or smudge. It also lasts a long time in terms of the felt tip not trying out so it is great value for money at £2.99! I have been using this for years - I just find it much easier to use a felt tip liner as opposed to a gel liner. I've only tried the black shade in these eyeliners but it also comes in purple, blue and green versions.


10. P.S. Matte Liquid Foundation (Porcelain) - £3 - Primark 
      - Again, this is a product I mentioned in my Best and Worst Foundations for Pale Skin blog post so I won't go into too much detail (there is a swatch on that post if you're interested) but it is too good not to mention in this blog. The quality and shade of this foundation really did shock me. It is pale enough for my skin, without using a white foundation mixer, it's a medium coverage and it stays put all day. It doesn't look cakey and it blends easily. There is 30ml of product in the bottle and it comes with a pump. I love this foundation and for £3, it's a bargain.


11. Make Up Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 2 - £4 - Superdrug
     - Of course I couldn't do this blog post without mentioning one of the best affordable make up brands. If you've never tried Make Up Revolution's eye shadow palettes, have you been living under a rock? Go and buy one, now. You need it. All of Make Up Revolution's eye shadow palettes are great in my opinion. One of my favourites is the Iconic 2 palette. This palette has a range of 12 shades, in  both shimmers and mattes and is a nice neutral palette which can be used as everyday or going out eye shadows. There are a range of looks you can create with this palette. The shimmers can be built up to be very metallic (especially with the help of some Mac Fix+) and the mattes are blendable and pigmented. The packaging is sturdy and good quality.

12. T-Zone Charcoal Nose Pore Strips x6 - £1.99 - Bodycare 
      - I've tried a number of nose pore strips for removing blackheads and ingrained dirt and make up and these are by far the best and cheapest I've tried. They come in little sealed packets and you get 6 in a box in Bodycare for around £1.99 but they can also be bought on eBay or Amazon, if you haven't got a Bodycare store near you. My husband used one of these the other day and he was shocked at how much gunk he managed to get out of his nose! (he uses a Nivea for Men exfoliating face scrub almost everyday so his face is generally very clean!). They are quite painful to peel off (I found it less painful than he did - just goes to show women's pain thresholds....) but it left our noses feeling super smooth and you could actually see the empty pores afterwards. Great product for a great price! I will definitely be repurchasing these! 

I hope you've found these mini-reviews and descriptions helpful and if you've got any amazing bargain finds, please comment them and share the love!


Sarah (aka. Pale Princess)