October 21st 2016
Just as all that glitters is not gold, sometimes gold can be found for a smaller price tag than you might think. Case in point; the following 12 reasonably priced beautifiers.
From velvety moisturisers to budgeproof eyeliners to space-age cleansers, this cutting-edge line up is testament to the fact that high-quality, professional beauty favourites needn’t cost the earth. Check out the wallet-friendly wonders that models, makeup artists, facialists and famous faces across the globe rely upon on a daily basis (bonus: you can actually afford to use them daily too)...
This rose-oil based balm will not only melt away the night’s grease and grime, but stress too; it elevates daily cleansing to aromatherapy, preparing both your skin and psyche for the day ahead. Prebiotics protect the skin from environmental aggressors, pollution and ageing free radicals, while chamomile oil soothes and calms - think of it as a gentle giant as far as cleansers are concerned. Mix it with a little warm water to emulsify on application, and sweep away residue with the enclosed muslin cloth. As washing your face goes, it’s quite the luxurious ritual, and the fact that the product harnesses the power of bio-extracts rather than synthetic baddies makes it all the more comforting to use. Pure perfection.
A makeup remover, primer and moisturiser in one that’s adored by the stylish likes of Karlie Kloss, Jane Birkin and Scarlett Johansson, Lait-Crème Concentré has been flying off French pharmacy shelves since its launch in 1950, and not simply because it’s a great value multitasker. Nourishing without being in the slightest oily or greasy, the now-legendary lotion balances all skin types leaving the complexion satiny and plump and anchoring makeup in place (it’s a jetlagged model’s staple standby). Spotted in only the most chic bathrooms, handbags and gym kits, if you’re looking to downsize your morning or travel beauty routine, this cream could be ‘the one’.
That’s a lot of ‘amazing’ for one product title, but do bear with me, as this cover-up has generated quite the beauty industry storm (in a good way). Described by our very own Sarah Vine as ‘real life Photoshop for the face’, just a pinprick sized amount disguises pigmentation, redness, dark circles, blemishes and even scars. If flawless oil-painting is the look you’re after, Amazing Concealer will make you look as picture perfect as humanly possible, but do be aware that you may just need to blend more than usual in the manner of a great artist. The immaculate canvas you’ll end up with will be worth it, I promise you. If the price doesn’t seem particularly modest, the microscopic amount of product needed to achieve an airbrushed effect, plus the longevity of wear, means that in the long run it’s quite the steal. The waterproof formula survives anything you throw at it (the gym, surfing, power showers…) and the creamy texture won’t leave you looking crusty come tea time.
A real tan rarely involves shimmer and sparkle, so if you’re looking to mimic the effects of a month in Mauritius or a long weekend by Lake Como, this fine milled matte powder is on the case and comes with a no-glitter guarantee. Swooshed on with a fluffy brush, the even finish and flattering, suits-all glow lights up every complexion in the most natural way possible, without migrating or settling into fine lines or pores during the day. Skin texture is smoothed all the more by the addition of hydrating vitamins A & E, aloe vera and gingko biloba leaf extract - getting a tan has never been so good for your skin.
Joeur Mattifying Powder Bronzer, £22.50
Continuing on the beach beauty theme, this multi-textured blusher and highlighter in one may look like a little pot of lava, but its whipped, marbled formula melts into the skin in the best way possible. Its texture blows my mind slightly; it’s not quite a gel, not quite a mousse and not quite a cream, nor is it a powder. It’s closest to a sponge, but this description does it a disservice in the glamour stakes - this is probably the prettiest blusher you’ve ever seen, both in the packaging and on your cheeks. Buildable and blendable when applied with either fingers or a brush, the luminous, lifelike flush lasts all day (beach babes take note; it’s waterproof) while gold flecks within the formula can be blended into the uniform colour or spot applied as a highlighter. As a wash, pop or face sculpting trace of colour, this is one souffle that rises to the occasion every time.
Stila eyeliners have a seriously good rep in this office; we’ve been known to spend most of a New York minibreak raiding Sephora for shades unavailable in the UK. We’re thankful that this classic black beauty is obtainable on our shores, as it’s the life-resistant, idiotproof liner that saves the day when you’re bleary eyed and time is of the essence. It’s pretty much one swipe and you’re Audrey Hepburn - the dense, inky formula and fine-tipped nib make light work of any liner look you have in mind. I view it as essential cosmetic stationery in my makeup stash; a cosmetic sharpie if you will.
Brows are big beauty business, and the pros are in agreement that a well groomed set is fundamental to ‘barely there’ and bold evening looks alike. Enhancing your eyebrows is one of the most subtle makeup changes you can make, but you’ll be surprised by the polished, pulled together effect of a well etched eyebrow. Beverly Hills brow architect Anastasia Soare knows the components of a killer brow (observe her work exhibited on the artfully arched Cindy Crawford and Penelope Cruz), and has condensed her expertise into a standout product range. Dipbrow is particularly impressive; a tinted, stay-put gel-mousse, it creates instant depth and definition without straying or migrating into a monobrow (I’ve been there). Available in no less than eleven shades, it’s practically bespoke to your own brows and allows you to sculpt and shape without anyone guessing what you’ve been up to; you’ll just look remarkably fresh and awake all of a sudden. That’s priceless in our beauty book.
ABH Dipbrow Pomade, £15
With a formula based on the ‘elixir of youth’ favoured by Queen Isabelle of Hungary, this reviving face mist is now favoured by beauty royalty such as Liv Tyler, Alexa Chung and Karlie Kloss (KK has seriously good taste in skincare, see slide two). An indispensable desk buddy at GTG HQ, the skin-toning spritz tightens pores, refreshes makeup and invigorates face, body and mind when the afternoon slump would otherwise get the better of you (it’s definitely preferable to a sneaky bourbon). Infused with a botanical garden of extracts, including rose, orange blossom, rosemary, balm mint, myrrh and Caudalie’s signature ingredient, grape, it restores your god-given radiance when modern life, urban smog and screen fatigue sucks it away. A royal seal of approval must surely be imminent.
Jelly need no longer be associated with children’s parties; it’s shaking up (sorry) the beauty world in its own right. This gentle, wibbly wobbly cleanser whisks away makeup and impurities while protecting, soothing and cooling delicate skin. It’s basically the opposite of stinging, astringent makeup removers, leaving skin feeling soft, fresh and hydrated rather than stripped or sandpaper-like. You may require reinforcements to dissolve stubborn waterproof mascara, but otherwise this Singaporean export is the business.
Any brand who’s name stands for ‘Magic Organic Apothecary’ is welcome in our bathroom cabinet, and this unique English skincare company combines 100% natural British grown ingredients with ancient folkloric know-how. If that all sounds a bit Harry Potter herbology lesson to you, smoothing this yarrow based balm onto bites, grazes, sunburn, chapped skin, eczema, piercings or simply skin in need of a hydration hit will make you a Green Balm believer. A natural hard-worker, you can gargle it to soothe a sore throat, shave with it to keep skin soft, slick it over eyebrows to tame them and apply to split ends to restore gloss and polish, not to mention employ it as a very effective hand cream, moisturiser or cleanser. It’s also a balm for your bank account- your funds will be as healthy as your skin post-purchase.
Móa The Green Balm, £4.99
A British recipe dating back 200 years, naturally antiseptic Pommade Divine was first blended by Butler’s & Co, then chemist to the royal family. Somewhat akin to the Eight Hour Cream of the 1800s, the healing essential oil based balm has been alleviating royal nappy rash, grazes, bites, burns, skin conditions and frizz for over two centuries (that’s quite some shelf life). Antibacterial nutmeg, antiseptic clove and antifungal cinnamon ward off everything from inflammation to insects, while the thick salve strengthens the skin’s barrier and conserves moisture. Sienna Miller is a modern day fan, but Pommade Divine has certainly accumulated quite the customer base since its creation.
What better way to end the day than smothering yourself in snail secretion filtrate? Stay with me here people; the snail slime has ironically swift skincare effects. Savvy, far from squamish South Koreans have been boosting their collagen synthesis, cell turnover and youthful radiance with the stuff for quite some time now, and I can assure you that purified snail secretion washing up on our shores is fantastic news as far as attaining flawless skin goes (no snails are harmed during the slime harvesting process). Adding anti-ageing peptides and intensely moisturising olive, shea and honey into the mix makes Mizon’s innovative blend all the more restorative. It may seem icky initially, but a few nights spent with this sleeping beauty is sure to change your mind.
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