Thrifty fifty: Ten top budget make-up buys that truly work

Thrifty Fifty is here to help you live a better midlife without breaking the bank. After the best budget skincare bargains and designer looks at budget prices, here’s my top budget make-up buys. Each one is something I buy and use regularly.

Rimmel London Professional Eye Brow Pencil

Simply the best for your brows – and as you can see, I’ve used mine a lot!

Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation

I have two foundations: Mac Face & Body (bought after a recommendation by Sali Hughes) and this one (bought after trying it at my sister’s, who had swapped from Charlotte Tilbury). I opt for the Rimmel one every time. Why pay a fortune for a better product at £8.99?

Barry M Gelly High Shine Nail Paint

After having a Chanel nail varnish that consistently chipped hours after applying it, I turn to Barry M now. (Essence have good nail varnishes too. Who says budget make-up is second-rate?)

Essence Stay 8h Waterproof Lipliner

Incredibly soft, moisturising, long-lasting and only £1.80. I started using Essence when I lived in Madrid and love it. For their prices, I’d recommend you give it a try.

Primark High Society Lustre Lipstick

My sister was so impressed with a pal’s Primark lippie on a night out that she messaged me straight away to say how good it was. They start at 90p – so you’ll have money left from a quid for a 10p mix-up! Budget make-up doesn’t get better!!

Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara Blackest Black

I’ve yet to find a mascara under a fiver (this is £5.99) that doesn’t leave me with panda eyes after five minutes. This is the one I opt for when the pennies are tight.

Rimmel London Stay Matt Pressed Powder

There’s a reason why this has been around for so long – it works. I’ve just bought a new one this week.

E.L.F. Flawless Concealer

I remember when E.L.F. was on online brand with make-up for £1-£2 and was truly budget make-up… It’s gone up since moving into shops, but it’s still nice make-up. I’ve been wearing this for a week and it hasn’t settled into any lines.

Barry M Bare It All Eyeshadow Palette

A beauty editor friend introduced me to Barry M make-up (note to PRs – they never want budget make-up) and I really like it. This isn’t too powdery and has very wearable shades.

Bourjois Little Round Pot Blusher

I always worry about looking like Aunt Sally with two round circles of blusher, but this goes on subtly so you can build up. I love Bourjois. Did you know it’s a high-end product in Canada?

Have you tried any of these? What products would you recommend? I’d love you to leave me a comment below.

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