Top Beauty Product Recommendations Under £10

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; but too often, we’re blinded by the promises of various hi-tech products, boasting price tags as lofty as the claims on the package. But time and time again, science has shattered the illusion, with extensive consumer trials often revealing the beautiful truth that cheaper concoctions can be every bit as effective. In fact, according Sali Hughes at The Guardian, "it's neither savvy nor cool to take your eyes off cheaper makeup ranges nowadays" and she goes as far as saying "there's a certain cachet in knowing when to go bargain". Saving money whilst saving face? An attractive proposition indeed. Here are the top five wonder products to make you more beautiful on a budget.


A good primer is a must. It acts almost as an ‘undercoat’, diminishing imperfections, covering noticeable pores and redness whilst anchoring your makeup so it lasts perfectly all day long. Because using a primer reduces the amount of times you need to touch up your face, it’s a savvy cash-saving tip as it means you get through the rest of your make up at a much slower pace. Sali Hughes lists Front Cover, Bourjois, Sleek, Rimmel and Avon amongst her best budget cosmetic brands.


Cosmetics companies and beauty experts alike will insist that mascara should be replaced frequently – ideally, every three months. This is one case where it’s not just a ploy to sell more products. Mascara wands come into contact with your eye area, which is a sensitive place that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. If they pick up something nasty, it gets back into the tube when the lid’s replaced and could give you a nasty infection next time you use it.

In addition, the formula gets oxygenated with every pump of the wand. This not only helps bacteria spread, but makes the mascara dry out and deteriorate, leading to clumpy lashes. Since it’s a product which requires a regular outlay, it’s not worth splashing the cash – from lengthening to thickening, colouring to curling, there is a wealth of choice which fits comfortably inside a £10 budget. InStyle Magazine list their top ten mascaras under £10 with Maybelline's Great Lash classic coming in at number one, followed by offerings from all the major high-street brands including L'Oreal, Revlon and Rimmel.

Multipurpose Moisturiser

Although fragranced products and moisturisers with added novelties such as caffeine or shimmering particles are attractive propositions, the savviest shoppers opt to stock their shelves with a bumper bottle of a rich, neutral formula that can perform all sorts of tasks. Use ‘neat’ as a make-up remover and to moisturise drier areas like feet, hands and cuticles, and elbows and knees, and to soothe chapped lips. Dilute with a lighter cream for all–over use. To get the benefits and effects of those novel costly products, spend time massaging your bargain moisturiser in with brisk strokes to reduce cellulite, or mix with a little bronzer for a glimmer glow. Marie Claire magazine list supermarket best sellers like Johnson's, Ponds, Simple, Nivea and Olay amongst the best moisturisers for under £10.


Nothing looks worse than bad foundation; but even on a budget, you can look absolutely flawless. Most inexpensive high-street beauty ranges offer a wide range of foundations with many of the same benefits of their expensive counterparts – on-trend mineral-based products are particularly good buys and are well-suited to most people’s faces.

The trick is to find a formulation that suits your skin and lifestyle. Fresh-faced youngsters might just need a lick of a lightweight formula to reduce shine and smooth complexion, but as you age, you’ll need fuller coverage. Greasy skin won’t get on with rich formulas, and needs mattifying; whilst dry skin needs something to nourish and perfect it. If you’re prone to spots, a medicated foundation is a good buy.

Always ensure the shade is right for you – test several on the jawbone and if possible view in natural light. Don’t rush into a purchase, instead leave the shop and see how a small amount ‘settles’ on your skin over a couple of hours. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the wisdom of the professionals on expensive skincare counters. Visit for a free consultation and use the advice they give you to purchase a product with similar qualities and benefits from a cheaper range.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Whatever else you apply to your hair and however you style it, nothing beats starting with healthy, clean locks. A decent shampoo and conditioner is really all you need and you can probably cut down on the amount you currently use. A blob of shampoo the size of a 10p piece is ample for most heads of hair, otherwise you’re pouring money down the drain as you rinse and rinse to get out all the extra suds.

Bob Shelton, retail and consumer consultant, told that cheaper hair products are as effective as the premium brands; adding that "the higher priced shampoos add more expensive fragrances to their formulas which drive the price up, but they [typically] don't clean any more effectively than a lower-end shampoo".

It's how you wash and how well you rinse that really makes hair shine, not the product. Wrap conditioned hair in a warm, damp towel and leave for longer for deep conditioning- there’s no need to buy a separate product. Look out for supermarket ranges created in conjunction with big-name hairdressers, or supersized value packs of quality brands. Don’t discount own brand lines, which often emulate the effects of the brand leaders. Also bear in mind most of us wash our hair too frequently – by cutting down, you save even more cash.

Photo Credit: Marshall Segal via photopin cc

Jessica Bourne writes from Chester and specialises in lifestyle topics ranging from fashion and travel to health and beauty. 

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