The cost of living crisis doesn’t have to spell disaster for your beauty and wellbeing routines. Angellica Bell shares her tips for shopping smarter
With a TV CV that includes The Martin Lewis Money Show and Short Change, a CBBC show that taught children about finances, Angellica Bell has learned all the tricks about getting a good deal. “I’ve always been the person who looks closely at a price tag and thinks about if it’s worth it and if I need it,” she says. “And I wasn’t born into lots of cash so I was always a saver. I had a paper round and would save up to buy beauty products.”
Angellica, 47, lives in London with her husband, Michael Underwood, a fellow childrens’ TV presenter turned teacher and their two children. Their house is being renovated (our interview is soundtracked by drilling) which is, of course, always a financial drain meaning Angellica is very much on saving mode. So it’s the ideal time to winkle out her top tips for budget beauty and wellbeing:
Multi-tasking makeup is your friend
“I’m a big cream blush person and I wear it on my lips too. I like Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush, £21. Using products in several ways saves money – and space – in your handbag. The other really obvious multi-tasker is Vaseline I use it on my face, my cuticles, my lips, my eyebrows and to moisturise my eyelashes when I go to bed.”
Don’t be brand loyal
“I’m fluid when it comes to brands and mix up what I buy all the time. I look for a good deal rather than for a certain brand. As long as the product works and you like it, that’s all that matters. Be open-minded about switching brands if you’re trying to save money.
“With makeup, many people head straight for the big names that spend loads on marketing, overlooking shops’ own brands. Doing TV work, I’ve worked with a lot of MUAs they always swear by Boots No7 makeup [from £4] although it’s not a brand you might think of straight away. I like the No7 High Shine Lipgloss, £9.95.
“When it comes to buying things like paracetamol and ibuprofen, if you check the ingredients list of a big brand against a shop’s own brand, they’re almost always the same but the own brand will be cheaper.”
If you’re going to fork out for a salon treatment, make it a massage
“I’m saving at the moment because of the house renovations so I’m not having many beauty treatments. But I did have a massage the other day, something I haven’t done in a long time, and afterwards, I thought, ‘Oh my god, that was much needed’. I was carrying so much stress in my shoulders. You have to prioritise with treatments: you can’t give yourself a massage so pay someone else to do that, but you can do a pedicure at home. I use a foot scrub, sleep in Boots Care Moisturising Foot Socks (£1.99) to soften and moisturise and then paint my toe nails the next morning.
Set up your personal hair salon
“When the salons were closed during the lockdowns, I bought hair cutting scissors, £8, and started cutting my own hair because I was so sick of the split ends. And even now, if I have to, I will trim it myself.
“Another lockdown purchase was one of those hair drying hoods, like you used to see in the hairdressers on Coronation Street! With mine, you attach it to your hair dryer. (Try Beauté Seoul Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer, £13.98). I put a conditioning treatment on my hair – I like Wakati Water-Activated Advanced Conditioner, £10.99 - and then sit under my hood and read a book for a while.
Pimp your budget body lotion
“I make my own personalised body lotion. I’ll buy a budget own brand one and then mix in a few drops of essential oil. In the summer, when I’ve come back from holidays and my skin is a bit dry, I’ll use coconut oil.”
But remember to treat yourself
“I’m always looking for a bargain but I do treat myself now and then. We all work hard, the juggle is real and you never know what’s around the corner so buy what makes you happy. For me, that’s Benefit They’re Real mascara, £25.50 or a bottle of YSL perfume Libre £52.”
Angellica Bell is a Boots Value ambassador