Four beauty essentials under £4 that are better than those 10x the price

I’m very lucky because over the years I’ve been sent hundreds of make-up and beauty products to try out; from £1 Poundland nail polish to £80 a bottle shampoo. Guess what, it’s a complete myth that the more you spend, the better the product.

In fact, here are four items I use religiously that all cost under £4 and are a ton better than products I’ve tried that are 10x the price.

Aldi Lacura Miracle Cream – £3.99

This stuff is magical. In fact, a lot of the Lacura range from Aldi is (I have a massive Lacura guide on their products you should check out).

The ‘gel’ costs £3.99 in-store and online (sometimes) and is an Elizabeth Arden dupe, which costs £28.99.

It smells a bit like cloves, which I don’t really like – but have been using it so long now, I’m pretty used to it.

It’s great for moisturising skin, but most importantly for me, it heals it too. I get psoriasis on my neck and ears, as well as wax lots, so get lots of little cuts and scratches on my skin.

I can cover myself with this at night and will wake up healed and no longer sore.

It’s not always in-store, but comes in every couple of months or so. When I see it, I always buy a couple of bottles because there is nothing else (and I’ve tried everything), that heals like this.

C.Y.O Semi-Permanent Eyeliner – £2.50 (usually £5)

I’ve loved eyeliner since I was 14 years old. I have little eyes and not a lot of eyelid, so I like to put on a ton to give me some sort of definition. I used to do the whole panda eye thing (you couldn’t put too much one back in the early ’00s!), but now I try and keep it classy with a little winged eyeliner.

A big problem for me is that I rub my eyes a lot. Up until I discovered the C.Y.O eyeliner, I’d end up rubbing my eyeliner all over my face, so I constantly looked like I was mid-breakdown.

No longer – this stuff does not come off. I’m telling you, once it’s on and dried – it’s on until it starts to crumble a bit around 8/10 hours later. So, you better be good at applying it when you use it.

In fact, got my boyfriend to film me trying to wash it off below. I was so busy worrying about how swollen my hands look that I didn’t notice him filming in bloody portrait mode!

Can someone explain to me where you get one of those boyfriends who are really good at photography/filming/editing etc? Because mine ALWAYS makes me look worse when helping me out AND complains the whole time too! ha.

Anyway, the mascara comes in a ton of colours and is currently £2.50 online and in-store at Boots (it’s usually £5). However, if you want black, it’s always sold out so if you see it, grab a few of them.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara – £3.30

To go along with my hooded tiny eyes, I have short eyelashes too. My boyfriend has these long ones like a cow and I am genuinely so jealous. I hope any potential future kids get his long lashes.

Anyway, I’ve been using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara for as long as I can remember, which at the time of writing costs £22.50.

Now, can’t complain about it – it’s the of the best mascaras out there for lengthening lashes, until I discovered this Essence mascara which only costs £3.30.

It’s absolutely incredible. If you were going to offer me a freebie, the Benefit or the Essence, I’d choose the £3 one every time.

You can get the Essence Mascara at:

The Ordinary 0.2 Retinol – £4.20

I’m pretty new to this product and have already been impressed with the results over the last few weeks.

Everyone is talking about this new skincare system (the kids on TikTok love it!) because it takes layers off your skin making you look brand new, and also it’s really affordable.

It is retinol, so your skin can be irritated by it, so start off on a low % – 0.2 and build up. HOWEVER, if you do start using it, you HAVE to use sunscreen on your face, because it’s brand new skin which is particularly susceptible to the sun’s rays.

Again, I do a lot of waxing and plucking on my face and can be left with scarring/uneven skin/little scapes – this is taking all this off. You literally get flakes after a few days, but it leaves baby soft skin behind. It’s gross, but great.

You can get The Ordinary at:

Disclosure – There are some affiliates on this page, so if I’m lucky, will make about 10p!

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  1. Alice April 28, 2020
  2. Claire Elliott April 28, 2020
  3. William October 28, 2022

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