After my recent splurge on Urban Decay & Fenty Beauty foundations I decided to go to the total opposite end of the scale and try the cheapest makeup on the market that I could compare.
I visited Primark and picked up a large selection of products to experiment with which came to around the same price that the single foundation from Urban Decay cost. I paid £31 for three foundations, a concealer, a lipgloss, a liquid lipstick, a face powder, a blusher, three mascara’s and an eyeshadow palette.
I’m more than happy to spend my money on something that I believe to be high quality and worth the money (which is the case for the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation – I love it!) but I also love a good bargain as well. If I can save money on things then I definitely will! I picked up everything I would normally wear plus one lipstick colour that was a bit out of my comfort zone.
First of all, I visited the Tottenham Court Road Primark on a Saturday. Bad move. Shopping in there was not fun. It was very busy and everyone seemed to be fighting over everything. Whilst in the makeup section it was proving difficult to find a product that was a non-tester, or basically one that hadn’t had someone else’s fingers in. This was fairly off-putting, but I persisted in searching for products that still had their seals on.
During my shopping trip I couldn’t find a highlighter, contour or eyeliner that I would personally use. Even though I would have loved to test out a full face of makeup, I never wear gel eyeliner (I love the felt-tip pen kind!) so I didn’t fancy trying it for the sake of this post. There was a rainbow highlighter which looked pretty fun but equally terrifying, however I knew I would just never wear it so I decided to give it a miss.
The foundations I chose to try were the My Perfect Colour BB Cream (£4), My Perfect Colour Foundation (£2.50), and Longwear Foundation (£5) all in the colour Porcelain. I honestly have really enjoyed wearing all three of these foundations depending on what sort of coverage I want day by day. I’m amazed that Primark were able to come out with shades pale enough for me.
I picked up a creamy/stick concealer for 90p (definitely worth a try for that price right?) simply because all of the liquid concealers that I would prefer to use didn’t seem light enough for my skin, despite the foundations surprisingly being very pale. When applying this concealer, it felt totally wrong to be reverting back to the “lipstick style” concealer, as it was probably THE first makeup product I ever bought as a teenager. I probably wouldn’t continue to use this product on areas that I want to conceal, however it is quite nice used as an under-eye brightener.
The My Perfect Colour Mattifying Powder in Porcelain (£2) isn’t as pale as I would like. It’s a bit like another layer of foundation which I’m not keen on as I’m quite into light coverage these days. I would have preferred to use the a translucent powder, however it was impossible to find a translucent one that wasn’t damaged. I am surprised that the Porcelain powder isn’t as pale as the foundations in the same shade!
I chose to try out the Peachy eyeshadow palette (£4). I was very tempted by their “design your own palette” similar to what Mac Cosmetics do, however by this point in my shopping experience I had had enough of rummaging, so decided to just go with their pre-made option. I love peachy colours so I thought this was a good substitute to a custom made one.
I have been eyeing up the Too Faced Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette for a while now, but as it costs £49 I never actually took the plunge to buy it! This palette from Primark seems like a fairly good dupe for it, and the colours are surprisingly pigmented, and it even smells like peaches too. The Primark one only offers 9 colours rather than 18 in the Too Faced one. I have to admit they don’t last incredibly well, after a full day at the office they had faded significantly, but I think for an everyday eyeshadow palette I will probably get a lot of use out of this.
I put on the My Perfect Nude Lipgloss in the shade Pink Teddy (£2) as soon as I bought it. I have a bit of a bad habit of licking my lips all the time, which makes them become very dry. I generally need something on my lips at all times, whether that’s a gloss, a lipstick or a balm, just to stop me from licking my lips! The lipgloss is a nice peachy-nude colour perfect for throwing on any time, however it smells like sherbet lemons, which might not be something you would want at all times of the day. It feels nice, isn’t too sticky or tacky and wears well.
The Insta Girl Intense Liquid Lipstick (£2) that is out of my comfort zone is, well, exactly that. It’s VERY wet, and so is quite difficult to apply neatly. It’s not like a creamy lipstick or a fudgy gloss. It dries matte but it’s very runny to begin with. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to putting lip products on, and if I’m going to be daring enough to wear a bright colour (this shade is Obsession) that I’m not used to seeing on myself, it needs to be easy to apply. I tried a handful of times to get it to look neat, but once I had got a little better at applying I was just sick of seeing myself in it. I don’t think the colour does me any favours – what do you think?
I must admit I’m not very keen on any of the mascaras. I purchased the PS PRO High Impact (£3), PS Eyeconic (£2) and PS Lash Contour (£2). I have been using the Benefit They’re Real for years and it has been a long time favourite of mine. I have experimented with countless mascaras in the past but none of them live up to They’re Real simply for the effect that I like to achieve with my eyelashes. I was hopeful that one of these super affordable mascaras would be an exact dupe for the Benefit favourite, and I could save myself loads of money, however I was disappointed. The only one that I actually got on with was the PS Lash Contour. The other two just didn’t apply nicely and left my lashes clumpy, without volume or length (I mean, I’m not exactly sure why I was expecting miracles when all three of them came to a combined total of £7 and my beloved They’re Real costs almost three times that amount at £20.50). I’m very lucky to have naturally long lashes, so it’s quite disappointing when my mascara doesn’t accentuate them.
The PS Blush High Pigment Blusher (£1.50) that I picked up in the shade Desire is just lovely. It was surprisingly pigmented compared to other cheap blushers that I have used in the past, and the shade suits my pale skin really well. I think the blusher is my favourite thing out of all the Primark makeup products that I actually bought!
Overall I think that the foundations are great value for money. I love how diverse the different consistencies are and the shade range seemed really good to me. I often struggle to find foundation pale enough, especially when it comes to cheap brands, so hopefully the spectrum will be wide enough for most people. I obviously can’t speak for those at the opposite end of the scale to me though! The concealer and mascara’s I probably wouldn’t bother with, but the eyeshadows and blusher are lovely and definitely worth the scramble for a non-tester/non-damaged product!