I remember the first time I discovered that YouTube make-up tutorials were a thing. I was 14, waiting for the internet connection to fire up on my parent’s BT phone router and scrolling around on MySpace to find the perfect, emotional song that captured my angst that evening. The kids of today will never know the struggle.
I was aware of YouTube; it was the early days of people uploading videos and I had always assumed it was for people who liked jumping between buildings and recording it or making balloons explode and covering people in gunge, that sort of thing.
Little did I realise the life-changing moment when I, feeling bored, typed ‘MAKE-UP’ into the YouTube search box. I stumbled across a lady called JulieG713 who lived in New Mexico in the USA. She was talking about how to do winged liquid eyeliner and I, who desperately struggled with my 99p brown kohl pencil, knew that this was the woman for me. Over the next few evenings I binge watched Julie’s videos where she talked about brands I’d never heard of; MAC, Urban Decay, Illamasqua, The Balm. Little fourteen years old Rebecca’s world had changed. If Julie had these incredible products, I needed them too, right?!
I remember saving up to go into Debenhams in Cardiff and buying my first Illamasqua creamy concealer and it was everything I hoped it would be and more. Sadly of course, that was an entire month’s pocket money gone so I knew I needed to find some alternatives.
That was when I truly discovered the power of the high street beauty stand. I would see what Julie and others like her were using on YouTube and try and find replicate products in Boots or Superdrug to try and re-create the look myself. I thought I looked incredible. In reality, I definitely had too much concealer on my face, a foundation that was too dark for me and winged eyeliner that went in different directions but you can’t fault a girl for trying.
Over the years, there have been a handful of ‘drug-store’ products (to use the YT jargon) that I put in my wire basket every time I go in to Boots with my advantage card tokens grasped in my clammy hands.
I am in no way kidding myself into thinking I am really good at makeup. I am just about average at it and I am certain that 14 year old girls definitely now all have stronger brow-game than I ever will. I would like to share a few products that I find both handy and affordable with you, lovely reader, as we all try and navigate this terrifying world of strobe highlighters, contour sticks and matte lip kits that cost more than my monthly food shop.
I still feel a little like that girl who discovered her sky blue glittery eyeshadow wasn’t really doing anything for her but I am 100% O.K. with that.
Without further ado, here is Becs Buys: my top 5 high street beauty buys for a gal on a budget.
- Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, £4.19 (currently £3.99!!)
It has reached somewhat of a cult status in the world of online beauty gurus but there can be no denying that the Collection concealer really is that good. I probably buy an average of 7/8 a year because I go through them like nobody’s business! The texture is creamy, incredibly easily to blend and covers under eye darkness with ease. I tend to buy it in the lightest shade for under eyes and the medium shade for any blemish/redness elsewhere. It is also ONLY £4.19 so it always manages to slip its way in to my basket each time I go in to Boots. It’s incredibly dangerous but so incredibly worth it. If you haven’t tried this yet, you really should.
2. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara in Black, £8.99
This is another of those sneaky geezers that always finds its way into my shopping basket. I like to wear a fair bit of mascara and this gives you lashes for days. The applicator is a reasonable size and allows you to really grab those lashes and add volume, particularly handy on the pesky lower lashes that can so easily slip under the radar. A bargain at £8.99 and a firm favourite I always come back to buy every few months.
3. Collection Instant Brow Pomade, £3.99
This little guy has had mixed reviews on the interweb but I have always found it does exactly what it says on the tin. Brows are my first port of call when doing my make-up and I don’t feel myself until I’ve given them a little boost. The brow pomade is creamy in texture making it easy to apply and a minimal amount of product goes a long way. You’ll need a steady hand to apply it to the longest brow hairs without getting the product on your skin but in terms of colour and ease, you really can’t go wrong when it’s less than a fiver! As you can see from this list already, I like make-up that is quick, easy and won’t break the bank and this fella ticks all of those boxes.
4. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent, £3.99
Surely everyone has a face powder in their make-up bag that looks a little something like this? As the pictures show, I really love this product. The transparent powder takes away any unwanted shine and allows my skin and freckles to be on show, which is exactly the au natural look I love. I know I keep harping on about how affordable these products are but a good, staple face powder for £3.99 is just what the doctor ordered.
5. Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Velvet Beige, £6.99
I like my lipstick to be long lasting, moisturising and have a good colour pigment. This bad boy does just that.
It’s super creamy, lasts for ages and is the perfect ‘my lips but better’ colour. Ideal for work or a quick dash to the shops when you feel like you want something on. I’ve been on the hunt for a natural strong lip colour for ages (one of life’s trickiest conundrums) but come back to this lipstick every time. Similar to MAC’s Velvet Teddy (name inspo, I expect!) but not as matte, I would recommend and for only £6.99, you can definitely get away with sneaking those other lippies you have your eye on in your basket; when it’s 3 for 2 on all make-up products- it would be rude not to*!
(*please pay for it first- theft is never the answer…)
And that’s it 🙂
I’d love to hear what your top five affordable products are and what beauty staples you can’t live without!
I have also learnt from this post that the illustrated copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them makes the best background for flat-lays.