Fashion The best bargain beauty products – all under £27

The best bargain beauty products – all under £27

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Castor oil, £8.99,Holland & Barrett; Ilia’s Fullest Volumising Macara, £14,Ilia; L’Oréal’s False Lash, £11.99,Boots

Basix Skin Defence for Seriously Dry Feet, £9.95, Dolphin Fitness; DoSe Ergothioneine Serum, £26, Victoria Health; La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm, £10, Look Fantastic

Basix Skin Defence for Seriously Dry Feet, £9.95,Dolphin Fitness; DoSe Ergothioneine Serum, £26,Victoria Health; La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm, £10,Look Fantastic

I’m a little ashamed to admit that in my youth I was a beauty snob. My thesis was if it’s stocked in my local supermarket, it can’t possibly be worth smearing on my face/hair/lashes et cetera. Between then and now I’ve been shown under the hood of a gazillion affordable products that have robust science behind them. Needless to say, I’ve been humbled.

I can’t lie, I go weak at the knees for a posh lipstick and will willingly pay more for a magnetic clasp and designer case in the same way I coo over expensive shoes and then wear them with H&M jeans.

Put looks aside, however, and budget formulations can be as good as the haute equivalent. Take No7s HydraLuminous Lip Balm (£9.95, No7): the packaging most definitely needs an upgrade, but it goes on like silk and is full of hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, making it one of my favourite tinted lip conditioners. The shades are spot on too – I like Coral best, which is more nude than the name suggests.

Affordable skincare is the category where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Every dermatologist I know rates CeraVe, which is rich in lipids that lubricate the all-important skin barrier, making it suitable for everyone but especially for those who experience transdermal water loss, a common side-effect of ageing. It’s hard to pick one, but I restock its Hydrating Cleanser (£12.50, Look Fantastic), time and time again.

As for a decent moisturiser, I was recently introduced to the brand Byoma at a dermatology conference, a reasonably priced line made in Korea, where skincare science is at its best. The bubblegum-coloured packaging tells you it’s geared towards my daughter’s generation, but its ethos of barrier-boosting ingredients makes its products ideal for mature skin too. I use the Brightening Serum (£12.99, Boots) with ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid; it absorbs instantly minus the tacky finish of other serums of a similar ilk. I’ve also fallen hard for their Barrier Repair Treatment (£16.99, Boots), a light but unctuous cream.

Thankfully there’s a good few low to mid-priced SPFs that meet the high standards one needs to protect against UV ageing. La Roche Posay’s Anthillios is legendary for its pleasing consistency, but I find L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Dark Spot UV Fluid SPF 50 with Niacinamide is better, and currently less than a tenner at Boots.

When it comes to hair, I prefer something that’s SLS- (sodium laurel sulphate) and silicone-free otherwise it weighs my hair down. Garnier’s Ultimate Blends Glowing Lengths (£6.50, Boots) is a joy to use and it gives locks a healthy sheen without the artificial slick that some shampoos and conditioners impart. As I drench my hair in bleach every couple of months, I use their Pineapple Hair Drink Liquid Conditioner (£8, Amazon), once a week to rehydrate my porous strands – I haven’t found anything better for a quick shine boost.

Annabel’s best budget beauty buys

HydraLuminous Lip Balm, £9.95, No7; L'Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Dark Spot UV Fluid SPF 50 with Niacinamide, £9.99, Boots; CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £12.50, Look Fantastic

HydraLuminous Lip Balm, £9.95,No7; L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Dark Spot UV Fluid SPF 50 with Niacinamide, £9.99,Boots; CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, £12.50,Look Fantastic

Byoma Barrier Repair Treatment, £16.99, Boots; Byoma Brightening Serum, £12.99, Boots

Byoma Barrier Repair Treatment, £16.99,Boots; Byoma Brightening Serum, £12.99,Boots

Garnier Ultimate Blends Glowing Lengths, £6.50, Boots; Garnier Pineapple Hair Drink Liquid Conditioner, £8, Amazon

Garnier Ultimate Blends Glowing Lengths, £6.50,Boots; Garnier Pineapple Hair Drink Liquid Conditioner, £8,Amazon


Ask Annabel and Lisa…

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