Makeup: Swap & Save

Everyone seems to be going crazy over the new Anastasia Cream Contour Palette or loving their YSL Touche Éclat but at what point do we ask ourselves, can I actually afford this? Is it worth the money? Can I find something cheaper that is just as good? It’s important to know what’s worth the splurge, and what can be replaced on a frugal spree. This blog post is going to be about what can save you pennies in the long run (or short run), advice and products that are just as good.


Highlighter: Everyone was saying how amazing The Balm “Mary Lou-Manizer” highlighter was, so I just had to go out and buy it for myself! To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. It looks great on a swatch, but if you really want a luminous glow, MUA highlighter is hands down amazing. Your cheekbones will be shining from the other side of the street with this bad girl.


Neutral Eyeshadow Palette: I have tried the Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 and (don’t shoot me beauty bloggers) I just have to say, it really isn’t worth all the hype. Yep. I said it. I just wasn’t impressed. I will hands down say that the MUA Eyeshadow Palette or the Sleek New Day /All Night Long Palette, both with 12 shades, is just as good at more than a quarter of the price! With an eyeshadow primer, no one is going to tell the difference anyway.


Setting spray: There is an alternative to the UD All Nighter Setting Spray however I feel that a Setting Spray is something you can definitely splurge on, as it lasts for ages if you just use it for special occasions!


Dewy Mist Spray: I want to let you gals on a little secret. MAC Fix+ Prep and Prime isn’t a Setting Spray! It is a mist spray. It does not set your foundation, it just gives the illusion of a less matte, heavy foundation coverage. They both do the same thing – refresh your face and gives you a dewy finish for a natural looking glow.


Contouring Palette: The collection 2000 Contouring Palette is absolutely magical. A lot of people don’t realise that taupe brown is the perfect contouring shade, as it imitates a shadow as opposed to warm browns (ahem, bronzers) that make you look like you just have mud on your face or as if you’re trying to imitate a zebra crossing. I found out about this amazing bargain when I was borrowing my sisters makeup. I used it and was immediately gobsmacked at how amazing it worked. This is an absolute steal of a price for how well it sculpts your cheekbones! If you’re not a makeup artist, you really will not need all the shades that Anastasia Beverly Hills seem to be offering in one palette. It is as simple as one shade for contouring, one shade for highlighting. End of story. No faff.

Top Tip: When contouring, ensure to only take a little bit of product on your brush at a time so that the product is easier to blend and you don’t end up putting on too much!


Bronzer: These are equally great bronzing powders and will both give you the “Bronzed Goddess” glow. Bourjois has the added benefit (no pun intended) of smelling like chocolate! Yum.

Top Tip: Please do not use your bronzers to contour your cheekbones! They are there to give you a sunkissed glow and a little bit of colour to your face. Use your bronzer lightly on the apples of your cheeks and your T-Zone, as these are the areas that the sun would naturally hit your face.


Blemish Concealer: All of these concealers are amazing. After you have covered your blemish, the formula does not budge and gives you full on coverage for what you need.

Top Tip: If only using concealer, ensure to tap lightly around the edges of where you have used your concealer to blend it into the skin without taking off any of the product.


Undereye Concealer: To me, an undereye concealer is just an undereye concealer. As long as they make me look more awake, I’m happy. These concealers do just as good as a job as the high end well known YSL Touche Éclat.

Top Tip: If you have blue under your eyes, using a peach toned concealer will help neutralize it.


Pore Minimizing Face Primer: I have pores the size of moon craters, these primers did not “minimize” them. However, they do give your skin a soft, silky feel and help your makeup glide on very smoothly. Is there anything special about the Benefit Porefessional Primer? No. Absolutely not. As far as I’m concerned, they both do the same job and feel the same to me, so why not go for the one with the cheaper price tag?


Full Coverage Foundation: I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a high quality foundation, as you really are paying for the formula with the hefty price tag. Foundations are worth the splurge, as it will be covering the base part of your face. Esteé Lauder Double Wear is amazing for a full coverage foundation. It can be used as a concealer as well as a foundation and it does not transfer onto clothes or your hands which is my favourite part! There is a cheaper alternative, however I would hands down go with Esteé Lauder!

Top Tip: A dome shaped foundation brush will help to give you more coverage by pressing the product on as opposed to “painting” it on.


Translucent Powder: Having a powder that is going to minimize your shine without making you look like a 12 year old’s birthday cake is going to cost you good quality cash. The thing about these powders is you use a tiny amount to reduce shine. There is one particular powder that is actually has “no color”, from a brand that is not well known to the public. The difference between a “no-color” powder and a “translucent” powder is that the translucent can give you a slight white cast. This brand is RCMA, the brand that a lot of makeup artists use as it is not consumer based (meaning it is cheaper than “high end” brands but still with immaculate quality), and it is a great save for those who don’t want to turn to the big bucks!


Waterproof Gel liner: Both of these gel liners are water resistant and smudge proof. They last the entire day and are very long wearing. I love Illamasqua but I’m going to have to pass on the £20 price tag! Inglot Gel Liner £8  instead of Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner £20


Waterproof Kohl Liner: Rimmel London does the blackest kohl liners around town. Ask yourself, why you would spend £15.50 on an item that you can get for more than a third cheaper that does the exact same thing. Unless this is a super magical pencil, I’ll pass thanks.

Top Tip: To have your kohl liner last longer on your waterline, add black eyeshadow to it after application.


Brow Pencil: You are not going to believe this. There is literally the most amazing eyebrow pencil from MUA for £1. Yes. You read it right. £1!!! You can buy 16 of them for just one of the Anastasia Brow Pencils!


Eyeshadow Primer: Before I bought my Urban Decay Primer Potion, I thought that eyeshadow primers were just another marketing ploy to get you to buy unnecessary things. Finally, I gave in to buying some when I had some extra cash and it was a real eye opener for me. Eyeshadow primers do work and if you do not have an eyeshadow primer, I urge you to go and buy some right now. It is a must. They make your eyeshadow 10x more pigmented and having a decent eyeshadow primer will really help you get the glam look you need for getting dolled up on your nights out!

Top Tip: Once you have applied, apply your base eyeshadow quickly as the formula can dry almost instantly!


Mascara: To me, after the mascara reaches a certain price (£5-6) they are all relatively the exact same. The high end mascaras do the same thing as the high street mascaras and more than likely, the high street mascara usually turns out better! Maybelline and Rimmel are notorious for bringing out very effective mascaras!

Top Tip: For maximum length, start from the roots of your lashes and wiggle your brush up to the top of them.

Something I haven’t mentioned is lipstick, and you are probably wondering why. There are so many finishes to lipsticks such as matte, frost, sheen etc that it would be impossible to go through them all! My advice is to pick your favourite brand of lipstick and stick to it, as lipstick is a personal thing for us girls and something that you seldom change!


Don’t believe me? Follow this break down. So if you went and bought all of this,  you would be saving a massive £251.39 with a total of the “saved” products costing a measly £48.16 (including Superdrugs 3 for 2 offer on all products) as opposed to the high end products costing a total of £299.55. I did not include the “splurge” price listings, as it’s your choice whether you want to buy those products at the high end price or not.

We have now reached the end of the swap & save. I hope you find the information I have given valuable and manage to save a penny or two! And remember this – the more expensive products are not always the better ones, sometimes you are just paying for the name. Always be on the lookout for bargains and don’t judge a product because of its low price because sometimes it really is good enough to be true!


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