Putting together this list was so much tougher than I thought it would be!! Initially I’d intended on doing a ‘2017 discoveries’ post and sharing everything I’ve found and loved this past year but I kept coming back to old favourites I wanted to mention. Then there was the question of budget.. it was tricky! In the end I settled on best 17 of ’17 UNDER £20. It’s tough for me to truly recommend higher end items since I’m such a budget beauty lover and know how much you can get for your money if you’re trying to rein it in but there are lots of pricier picks I could share if you’re feeling like a treat. Maybe there’ll be a follow up. For now, here are my affordable faves..
Nivea Cream Cleanser – £3.59
Cleanser seems like the right place to start, doesn’t it? I’ve struggled in the past to find a good, basic cream cleanser at the supermarket. To me it’s an every day essential, I can pick up a deodorant, a decent moisturiser, why are there so few cleansers in a sea of micellar water and wipes? Nspa at Asda do a good hot cloth one but what if I’m in Morrisons? This Nivea cream cleanser is simple but effective and I’ve repurchased it over and over.
Botanics Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz – £7.99
I switched to this when I was trying to wean myself off the incredibly expensive Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I wasn’t sure whether it was doing anything fabulous for my skin (certainly not £30 worth of fabulous, anyway) but I was totally addicted to the refreshing mist so I picked up a cheaper alternative. No, the fragrance isn’t as delicious (it’s rose scented) but it gives me a little pick me up for a fraction of the cost and it feels nice on my skin.
Soap & Glory Miracle Moisture Mask – £3.50
2017 has been the year of sheet masks! I’ve kicked my mask obsession up a notch (much to many readers dismay – I use masks for more regularly than advised) and the kind that can be whipped off and thrown away have been my drug of choice. Better still are these bio cellulose (I think that’s the right term) gel-like masks that feel cooling and entirely luxurious as skin treats go. This one is perfect for a hit of plumping hydration before applying makeup. The perfect way to wake up my skin after a long night or before a big one.
Sanctuary Salt Scrub – £13.00
A long term favourite that has made a come back for me this year. I’ve been back and forth with scrubs and this is a particularly messy one since it’s oil based . After buffing and rinsing I get the smoothest shave of my life and my skin feels lovely and soft. I hate the residue in the bath afterwards so I limit my use to once a week but again it adds an element of luxury to an otherwise boring chore.
Masque Bar Dark Circle Reducer Eye Patches – £9.99
I’ve talked you death about these, I know but I had to include them. There’s a theme here, I realise but these make me feel awake and are super refreshing. Those of you finding this post looking for help with dark circles, I can‘t in good conscience tell you that these will work miracles because that’s not why I use them but they definitely plump out my fine lines and de-puff when I’m tired. If you do have darkness or pigmentation however I can recommend the brands hydrogel system. I have melasma from pregnancy and it’s the only thing ever to have made a difference.
The Bodyshop Skin Defence – £16.00
This was a total game changer this year. I think I saw Caroline Hirons talking about this first and at that time I wasn’t even sold on wearing moisturiser under my makeup let alone spf but now I couldn’t be without it. Actually, filming the video for this, I realised that that’s what totally changed my skin this year. As soon as I started moisturising in the morning I was less oily, my skin looked more youthful, my makeup applied better, lasted longer.. madness. I was so stuck in my oily prone mindset I didn’t dare add anything but it turns out my 31 year old face needed a little extra love.
Seche Vite Top Coat – £9.00
This could be a post in itself but I narrowed it down to 2 favourites for the year and really this is an all time favourite. Seche Vite is just the best top coat, it’s ultra glossy, hard wearing, fast drying, amazing. If you haven’t tried it yet, do. People ask me constantly if I’m wearing gels and I always have 2 bottles in reserve.. I’m obsessed.
Models Own Northern Lights – £4.99
This was a new favourite for this year for 2 reasons. 1. It’s a beautiful holographic ‘neutral’ glitter that is very forgiving if your nails chip/wear quickly because it’s not opaque but is opaque enough to not need anything underneath it. 2. between this and the above it kept my nails strong enough to grown uber long this summer and I will always remember our special pointed nail time fondly.
We’re going to make these snappy…
Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink – £9.99
It’s dry, it’s not going to be for everyone but it lasts. The most long lasting liquid lip I’ve ever worn (at any price point) and my colour of choice? Lover.
Bourjois Volume Reveal Waterproof Mascara – £10.99
Better than the non-waterproof, lengthens and defines with no threat of smudges. Approved my Mums sensitive, watery eyes. No higher honour.
Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder – £18.00
Like Benefit Porefessional but to set rather than prime. It gives a diffused ‘soft focus’ effect that blurs pores and fine lines. Perfect for my hollow under eyes and textured cheeks 😉
Freedom Pro Highlight in Ambient – £3.00
Another long time favourite, basically the best dupe for an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder you will find for the money. For a pretty glow rather than a frosty ‘insta-highlight’
Glossier Cloud Paint – £15.00
Expensive for what it is but blendable, can be mixed with others for custom cheek colours and long wearing. My favourite cream blush of the moment.
Colourpop Alyssa Ultra Satin Lip – $6.00
Before there was Matte Ink there was Colourpop Alyssa. My other most worn and most loved liquid lip is far more flattering, wears like a matter but looks like a satin.
NYX Proof It Eye Primer – £6.00
I couldn’t have even attempted liquid liner without this in 2017. My eyes are becoming more hooded and smudgy by the day and this allowed me to keep my wings for one more year.
Morphe Bent Liner Brush – £3.50
That being said, I’ve moved onto a softer wing towards the tail end and have been using this angled liner brush with gel/powder to get what I call ‘the suggestion of a wing’.. I suspect this is the future.
Soap & Glory Solar Powder – ____
Turns out that my favourite glow-getter has been discontinued so shall we leave it there? I have a post on here it if you’re into sadomasochism, all I will say is I hope they bring it back!
And that is a wrap on 2017. I think it’s probably time to start talking about some new stuff, don’t you?