5 Things I've learnt about high-street beauty

11 Apr 2016

A picture of budget beauty products

Although there's no denying I prefer my high-end beauty, high-street products and brands are where my beauty obsession started out. Over the years I've tried countless products and dabbled in dozens of brands, all claiming to be the next best thing. Some are amazing, great quality for the price, easy contenders for their high-end counterparts. Others don't quite fit the bill and are lacking in that something-something that makes me splash the cash on those high-end alternatives.

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean bad
I think some fans of high-end steer clear of high-street beauty because they think there's nothing under £20 that's going to be worth trying. Yet the high-street is full to the brim of amazing products and brands which are just as good quality, pigmentation, formula and longevity wise as high-end products.

OK so there's some dirt cheap brands whose ingredients are reflected by their price, but those which sit nicely in the middle price range wise have some hidden gems which are just as good as any high-end products in my beauty stash. Barry M and Models Own are wonderful for nail polishes. Max Factor is fantastic for base and cheek products, Bourjois is another one that does amazing foundations. Concealers and correctors are sorted by even the super budget-friendly Miss Sporty and Collection, whilst eyes are easily covered by brands like Sleek and Rimmel.

There's a real lack of colour diversity in base products from all high-street brands
Although the high-street has some incredible bases on offer, especially when you're looking for a liquid base, there's something these budget-friendly brands massively let their customers down with. The shade range.

I'm not the darkest of people, but I have a mediterranean background and an olive complexion. When it comes to high-street bases I'm more on the darker end of the scale of the shades available, which just goes to show how absolutely ridiculous the shade ranges available on the high-street are. Women of colour are almost all but forgotten about when it comes to high-street brands and I can't think of one single brand that does a foundation, or even a concealer, that would suit anyone much darker than myself.

Brands will always create the products their customers need, preventing product waste as much as possible by stocking shades which will sell. But if any high-street brand thinks darker bases won't sell, then they're kidding themselves. Women of colour go for high-end bases because they have no other option - if the high-street refused to cater for them, where do you think they'll take their money?!

The best budget brands are in America
More American brands are slowly making their way over to the UK, but I have a list as long as my arm of brands I wish the UK stocked. Boots is definitely getting better and introducing more, but there's a few more I'd be happy to see join the ranks of my local Boots beauty section.

Although Sephora is a good way to try American brands, with their own range being blooming amazing, they don't stock many budget brands and other big beauty brands and retailers in America don't offer the same shipping deals as Sephora.

British beauty brands either need to step up their game, or the Yanks need to move in.

It's just as easy to get addicted to high-street as it is high-end
Over the years I've changed my spending habits, preferring to treat myself to more expensive products and brands. A lot of people see the prices of high-end makeup as extortionate, and some of it definitely is - I for one could never justify the cost of a Tom Ford lipstick, no matter how much I might want one.

Yet when I was more into my budget beauty than high-end, I used to spend just as much if not more. I used to go into Boots looking for one particular product that cost a few quid, and come out with bags full, unable to resist offers or new releases. My makeup stash used to be much bigger when I was a Boots addict compared to now that I am more selective over where I spend my money.

Boots 3 for 2 though, who can resist?!

High quality ingredients are achievable on a budget
I've seen so many people say they can't afford better skincare, or to opt for natural and organic products, yet there are so many incredible brands who avoid unnecessary ingredients, harsh chemicals and concentrate on natural and organic products, that fall into the high-street category.

High quality products aren't limited to high-end brands and you can find a brand that fits your criteria no matter your budget. Maybe you won't find them in the aisles of your local Boots or Superdrug, but you just have to broaden your horizons a little when it comes to shopping for that new cleanser or body lotion.

What have you learnt about high-street beauty?