Budget Beauty May

So as you will have seen in my previous post, I was dedicating the month of May to using solely my bargain basement toiletries and seeing if there was actually any loss in performance.

Now, I’m not talking about ‘oh this M&S day cream is a dupe for that Estée Lauder magic potion’…. because to hell with that. I’m talking more ‘this shampoo was 64p so put down that Pantene Pro V, your decadent missy.’ (True story)

One month of budget beauty later and I have to say, I’m more or less a convert.

That’s not to say it was all a success, but I certainly had enough successes to find myself wondering why I’d bothered paying £14+ for a Kerastase shampoo that one time, or why I lifted the brand leader shaving foam without even thinking of an alternative.

All the products I purchased were cheap AF and replaced products that I’d run out of during April, so no wastage here;

69p at Lidl


Who doesn’t love having a face wipe on hand for those evenings in the week where you fall into bed and know you deserve a parade for evening making it up the stairs? I don’t always wear make-up during the week, but even when I don’t, my oily skin feels disgusting after a full day on the go, so I’ve pretty come to terms with this being my ‘cleansing of choice’ at least twice a week. Oops.

I ran out of Simple brand wipes (£3.29) and swapped them out for Lidl’s Cien branded sensitive face wipes (69p, yes actual price!) and the long and short of it is that I’m never paying for any other wipes. They were so thick and really felt like they gave a good cleanse.



£1.19 at Lidl

This would not be in my list at all only the pesky summer is forcing me into situations where my albino hams are on display. I’ve used the Gilette shaving foam before and liked the scent, as well as the Soap and Glory moisturising shower cream that doubles as a shaving lotion, but I genuinely thought that there would be zero difference in results between those and the men’s Lidl Cien shaving foam (£1.19)

I was wrong. It did exactly the job it was meant to, but with zero extra. Scent was icky and medical which wasn’t a deal breaker really if there was a saving to be had, but I also felt like it didn’t let my razor get close enough and I didn’t get that lovely smooth leg feeling.

My next endeavour will be to try a chemist own brand, or, as Francesca @ From Pennies to Pounds suggested cheap hair conditioner will do the same job!!


65p @ Lidl

Wow, what a revelation. I had been using Tresemme but, not only did I really love the new stuff, I’ve never had more genuine and random compliments about my hair. I opted for the Tea Tree versions of both shampoo and conditioner because I get a minor high on that scent and I was not disappointed (on the results front, not the legal-high front…).

The scent was amazing and, while there is still some shampoo left, the conditioner was a little on the runny side and lasted me exactly the month of May.

£1 at Poundland

I used a full on hair mask twice a week from Poundland. I’ve had short hair for most of my life so keeping my ends healthy is far from second nature to me, and they very often get into a dire state… know that look your hairdresser gives you when she’s angry, disappointed and disgusted? It’s like when people are touring hoarder houses on TV and they’re trying to be understanding, but something pushes them over the edge eventually? That.

So when beauty blogger extraordinaire, Bex from FaeriWood recommended this Argan Oil mask from Poundland, I knew it had been truly tested. She was on the money – it was thick, smelled divine and I looked like a proper person after using it! I saw on her page that she had problems finding it lately, so, like her, I shall be buying a little for the stockpile when I see them next.


£1.29 from Lidl. Could literally tell no difference from the Batiste one that had just run out. If anything, less chalky when on. Stop spending on Batiste. This is all.


£1.45 at Lidl

I had been using a Garnier face cream and it was fine. It’s not a “game changer”, but didn’t make me as mad greasy as others have in the past. It was just enough to stop my face feeling like a lambeg drum after I get out of the shower. So I was hardly a high bar to jump over, but at £5.99 a pop, I could quite easily be underwhelmed by something cheaper. So I opted for Lidl’s £1.45 gel moisturiser and it was lovely. It’s not the lightest gel I have ever applied but you definitely feel moisturised and not too oily after a few hours.

Would I buy again though? Probably not. It made my face tingle every single day of wearing it and I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t do that after a full month. The good weather in May also made me realise that I definitely need to invest in a moisturiser with SPF.


£1 in PoundWorld

In the sticky hot May weather, my face felt like a swamp (you’re welcome for that imagery). I should first admit that this mask wasn’t purchased to replace a more expensive alternative, as masks aren’t probably as integral a part of my skincare routine as they should be. However, in an act that contradicts this whole experiment, I threw this in the basket while in Poundworld looking for the Argan Oil Hairmask. It was such a lovely product for my skin and I felt so clean afterwards that I got into the habit of using this in the evenings and then putting on my night cream. My skin felt so nice the next morning.


£1 in Poundland

As a partially reformed nail biter, I have found that I need the visual of a painted nail to stop me sitting with a fist full of digits in my mouth. Needless to say, even with this, my manicure never lasts long. I had been using Natural Collections nude varnish which is already super cheap, but for some reason, it gets thick and claggy super fast and I end up trying to revive a bottle for a while and then chucking it in the bin.

The ‘simply nude’ shade from Poundlands own make-up range is quite a thin polish, so two coats are needed, but is so easy to apply and for a quid nail varnish, its definitely a bargain.

In conclusion, don’t get addicted to brands for toiletries, there really cannot be enough of a difference between the brands to justify the price being 10 x higher…  big thanks to Bex & Francesca for helping me pull together this list of epic alternatives.


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