I think it’s universally accepted now that good beauty products don’t have to be expensive. While I’m all for throwing some money away on a totally unnecessary luxury purchase, if you’re strapped for cash (or prioritising your funds elsewhere) it shouldn’t mean sacrificing on beauty. The aisles of the drugstore are well-known to contain some of the most reliably great beauty offerings around. But there’s another source for cheap and cheerful beauty products which is often overlooked – the high street.
The vast majority of clothing stores now offer at least something in the way of beauty product, too. Within these ranges, there are a ton of hidden gems to be found. Our guide is here to help.
Topshop has a super extensive beauty range, and to be honest there’s nary a dud amongst it. However, our top picks are the eyeshadows and the lipsticks. Both are of exceptionally high quality and come in a range of more high-fashion shades. The Chameleon Eyeshadows are particularly special, offering an intense duochrome that is as stunning as it is unique.
Primark also has a surprisingly large range of beauty products, but their collaboration with beauty editor Alessandra Steinherr is where the true gems lie. If you’re building a skincare routine from scratch, you can find some excellent starters here, but two standouts for us are from the Plump & Glow range. The Plump & Glow Facial in a Stick is a wonderfully unique product, which is perfect for giving skin a boost in a hurry, while the Plump & Glow Plumping Lip Gloss is the closest dupe to the original Fenty Gloss Bomb we’ve ever found.
Zara’s beauty range is far smaller, restricted primarily to perfumes – but those perfumes are fantastic. In a world where dropped £100 on a bottle of fragranced water is not unheard of, it’s reassuring that Zara remains a place where a giant 200ml bottle will get you change from twenty quid. They offer a ton of different scents (many of which are “inspired” by popular designer fragrances) too.
H&M’s beauty range is very fun. The focus is on colour and on trends, with huge ranges of eyeshadows, lip glosses and beauty accessories. Their Loose Glitter is a surprisingly versatile product, which can be tapped over a primer on the eyes or face or even sprinkled in hair for an ethereal look. Also, they have a range of Eau de Toilettes in weird and wonderful scents. Our personal favourite is Lipstick, which is soft, sweet and makeup-y (the holy trinity).
H&M’s big sister store, & Other Stories also has a great beauty selection. The prices are a little higher (although by no means high end), but the quality tends to reflect that. You could pretty much buy anything from the range and be happy, but in terms of makeup we particularly love the Blushes. They’re powder, but very creamy, and offer a wash of beautiful flush. The Shakespeare quote doesn’t go amiss, either. Also, the candle selection of & Other Stories is truly fantastic. They’re pricier than a cheap candle, but cheaper than an expensive one, and look unmistakably “cool girl.”
Finally, did you know ASOS did makeup? I mean, we all know they sell a ton of excellent beauty brands, but they also have a huge range of their own brand of makeup. Their Eyeshadow Palettes are truly fantastic – buttery and soft, pigmented and blendable, and in a selection of wearable but still unusual shades. Another somewhat random hit for me is their Mascara. It’s perfect for “night out” lashes – thick and fluttery, but never overly clumpy. The pink plastic packaging never goes amiss, either.
Shop our favorite picks from the high street brands
Featured images via ASOS
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