5 Beauty Favourites Under £15
Like pretty much everyone there are days/weeks/months when I’m feeling a little freer with money (enough to make me want to spend £40 on that moisturiser everyone seems to love but isn’t necessarily that great) and other months/years/decades when the thought of spending more than £10 on a cleanser feels like a crime against financial solvency.
And until a few years ago that pretty much meant the choice between a carefree afternoon perusing the best that Space NK (and it’s delightfully manicured shelves) had to offer…or just grabbing something I found in a sale somewhere.
But in the past few years the beauty (and bargain) addict in me has been beyond thrilled to see more and more genuinely great, high quality, low price brands come out of the woodwork.
And so now, whether I’m feeling woo-hoo flush or is-that-spare-change-I-spy-down-the-back-of-the-sofa? not so flush, my skin is happily still I’m-pretty-much-ok.
So I thought I’d share five of my absolute favourite products under £15- and which rival anything more expensive brands have to offer (to my mind anyway).
1. Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
This is one of the very few body products that I have rebought over and over again, and I even always keep a couple ‘in stock’ (how pretentious) for when I run out.
While any sort of fancy body scrub is normally in the tens of Pounds, the travel size of this (which is more than enough to keep me exfoliated for a couple of months) comes in at a pretty reasonable £6.95.
Better still, the combination of gentle exfoliation (thanks to the coffee seed powder), the caffeine (which has been shown to improve circulation and even the appearance of cellulite), and the oils (sweet almond and soybean here) makes this perfect for buffing skin to glowy, smooth perfection pre-holidays.
Funnily enough this is a rare product that I recommended this to a friend and she really didn’t like it (not a coffee fan), but everyone else I know loves this as much as me. Having said that, if you’re in any way coffee scent averse I’d skip (although I find the smell kind of energising), but if you like glowing, soft skin that looks more even over time then I’d hop right on this one.
They also make great gifts when you’re stuck for ideas… You’re welcome.
Great for: Coffee fans and anyone who likes their skin soft, moisturised and glowing.
Not-so-great for: Anyone who hates the smell of coffee, plus whoever uses the shower after you unless you’re really careful cleaning up after yourself because this gets everywhere (you have been warned).
2. The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm*
One of my all-time favourite cleansers, this oat-infused balm is super gentle on skin that is any way stressed, as well as being effective enough to remove even the creamiest of makeup formulas.
Housed in a pretty generous 150 ml tube, this is also one of the biggest cleansers I own (not so great for travel but brilliant for value).
Perfect for dry, normal or sensitive skin types, as well as makeup addicts who need something quick to remove products, the sweet almond oil here makes it highly moisturising- but perhaps not so much one for acne types.
Great for: Sensitive, dry or normal skin types as well as anyone who loves an oil or balm cleanser.
Not-so-great for: Acne types, which might find the sweet almond oil here a little too rich.
The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm is £9.99 for 150 ml, Cult Beauty UK and $9.99 for 5 oz/ 150 ml, Sephora US
3. Bybi Babe Balm Bronze
All natural, skin-nourishing and ridiculously flattering, this bronzey/coppery coloured multipurpose balm is my favourite no makeup-makeup for summer.
Great for eyelids, cheekbones, lips, and even collarbones, this (tiny) little balm is seriously versatile yet still manages to last me ages.
Like everything else from Bybi it’s also vegan, cruelty-free, 100 per cent natural, and its packaging is recyclable.
Great for: Fuss-free, versatile beauty that can be dropped into your handbag to cover pretty much any makeup eventuality you want to throw at it.
Not-so-great for: Again, acne types who might find this too oil-rich for use on the face.
4. Fourth Ray Beauty Good Mood Gel Moisturizer
I honestly wasn’t expecting loads from this moisturiser before I tried it- mainly because it does contain some silicone (which I normally really don’t like the feel of)- but by goodness was I wrong.
Made up of an impressive list of natural ingredients which includes glycerin, watermelon seed extract, cucumber fruit extract, and hyaluronic acid, this (delightfully) watermelon-scented gel moisturiser is lightweight yet nicely hydrating.
Just what my skin needs when it’s on the oilier side- as well as in the hotter summer months- it leaves skin comfortable and glowing (plus smelling of watermelon- another plus in my book).
Great for: Oilier skin types, hot weather or anyone who is really sporty (since this won’t turn you into a sweaty puddle when hot like a lot of moisturisers).
Not-so-great for: The silicone averse, as this contains dimethicone.
Fourth Ray Beauty’s Good Mood Moisturizer is $14/£12 for 50 g, Fourth Ray Beauty
5. IGK Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo
Ok so this one is something of a cheat because a. It’s a mini (although not that mini- it lasts me a couple of months), and b. It’s more expensive than a dry shampoo you would normally buy from the pharmacy. But hear me out, because this really is the only dry shampoo I’ve ever used that doesn’t make me hate dry shampoo.
Completely without the horrible dusty effect that makes it look like someone stored you at the back on antiques shop and then forgot about you for a few years- as well as so delicately-scented that I would happily use it as a fragrance- this is a dry shampoo for people who don’t like dry shampoo.
As a bonus, its hair-friendly ingredients like volcanic ash to sop up excess oil mean no more itchy scalp, plus it’s effective enough to use on day 4 hair (something of a necessity for the chronically lazy but occasionally sweaty-haired from exercise like me).
Great for: White dust-free dry shampooing, plus a lovely scent.
Not-so-great for: Really sensitive scalps as this does contains some alcohol.