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Budget beauty: Lidl

October 11th 2012

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You don’t have to spend big to get results, says Hannah Rochell. This week: testing out skin, bath and hair products from a low-cost supermarket

When my editor challenged me to try beauty products from Lidl, I have to say I was a little dubious. This would mean actually GOING to a Lidl, a new experience for me in itself. It’s a strange place, with products piled high in cardboard boxes, ad hoc, like a warehouse. Apparently it’s brilliant for fresh vegetables, but less brilliant for luxury products like wine. So how would its large range of moisturisers, shampoos and body lotions fare?

I threw myself straight into the experiment and ran a bath when I got home. First up was the Cien shower gel in orange flavour (45p). I thought it was a perfectly acceptable body wash, with a pleasant, zingy smell. My husband was less keen on its male counterpart, but maybe that’s because he’s a snob. I washed my face with the Iseree facial wash (£1.29), which cleansed the skin OK, but didn’t remove make-up too effectively, so not for you if you wear hardcore liquid liner or bright coloured lipsticks. Luckily the face wipes (75p) helped out here, and I thought they were as good as any other budget facial cleansing wipes I have tried.

Once out of the bath I slathered myself with the Cien body milk (£1.39). This was probably the best value for money product as the bottle is huge. It went on a little greasy and didn’t absorb quickly into the skin, but I liked the slight olive-y aroma and since I was only getting into my PJs and going to bed, I wasn’t worried about the sticky sheen on my skin. I wouldn’t wear this as a daytime lotion as you’d be forever picking fluff/crumbs/cat hair off your legs, but it’s great for a hit of moisture overnight. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the Iseree anti-wrinkle night cream (£3.49), which was just heavy and greasy and felt horrible on application.

The following morning, I washed the slimy night cream off my face in the shower and felt much better. The orange shower gel woke me up nicely with its refreshing smell and I washed my hair with the Cien colour and shine shampoo (75p) and conditioner (75p). My hair didn’t feel particularly moisturised and it wasn’t a very luxurious product in terms of consistency or scent, but I was delighted to then arrive at a photoshoot and be complemented by the hair stylist on my hair’s “excellent texture”. “What did you use on it to make it look like that?” she asked. I told her I’d just washed it with Lidl shampoo and left it to dry naturally, to which she said it looked like I’d spent hours styling it with expensive products. Result. Hopefully my excellent hair was diverting attention away from my face, which, I noticed, had strange collections of blobs of foundation around my jawline, and I can only attribute this to the Iseree Q10 day cream (£1.99) I had applied before putting my make-up on that morning.

I used all the products until they had run out, with the exception of the body lotion which is simply so big I don’t think it will ever run dry, and the face creams as both were so awful I didn’t want to risk using them again. I’m no snob when it comes to beauty products (or I wouldn’t write this column) but if your face tells you it doesn’t like something, it’s usually a good idea to stop using it before something bad happens. I would, however, recommend Lidl’s hair and body products if you are on a budget. If you just want to be clean and moisturised, you can’t do much better for your money. And if you miss having posh packaging on the bathroom shelf, they would look nice decanted into glass bottles or jars.

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