From time to time we all get the urge to splash the cash on a ridiculously expensive product, believing it will give us celebrity red-carpet worthy results. However, unless you really are a red-carpet regular, chances are you’re more often on the hunt for a cheaper alternative.
Instagramable cult brands and luxury labels may dominate headlines and are consistently expanding their categories to become more accessible to all. However, with affordable beauty brands cropping up all over the place, will the desire to invest in high end products be reserved only for those with money to burn?
The Tik Tok age has made way for affordable and under the radar brands to thrive. Gaining popularity amongst the young and wallet-wise is often all a product needs to achieve cult-status. Affordable beauty is taking over the industry, in drugstores, supermarkets and online fashion retailers, and is often praised for its wondrous results.
So, are these cheaper alternatives really all they are cracked up to be or will we continue saving our pennies for a luxe-label spend?
When we think about some of our favourite celebrities, we are naturally inclined to believe they wouldn’t set foot in a drugstore and would never imagine they use a mascara that costs less than £20. Their luminous skin and impeccable eye makeup must come at a higher price.
We couldn’t be more wrong. Read any gossip magazine interview or Into The Gloss ＃TopShelfie, and you will discover a number of celebrities proudly praising their affordable beauty must-haves. Even the richest, the most famous, the most successful — actually do seem relatable? They love cheap beauty products.
Everyone from Beyonce to Kylie Jenner have declared their love for an affordable beauty product in the past. Meghan Markle is said to be a fan of budget beauty buys, she reportedly introduced her former makeup artist to the wallet friendly Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara. Whilst Khloe Kardashian’s glow-getting product may be lurking in your makeup bag. The celeb’s former makeup artist, Joyce Bonelli, shared on the Kardashian’s app the beauty secret we’ve always wondered: Khloé gets her glow with Makeup Revolution’s Vivid Baked Highlighter and at under £5 it’s a real steal.
It’s a pretty well known fact, that whatever a popular celebrity endorses will sell like hotcakes, and it’s even better if they are not getting paid to endorse the product, but truly swear by it. Many of us long for the opportunity to get a taste of the celebrity lifestyle and with products that suit any budget, perhaps that is possible after all.
For the selfie generation and the social media addicted who share images and videos of their faces online on an almost daily basis, looking their best is paramount and trends move quickly. In order to keep up with these trends, they need to be experimental. They want to purchase a fluorescent green eyeshadow and bold coral lipstick without breaking the bank. Through influencers and their peers on these platforms, this is how they learn about trends and about brands.
With social media having such a huge influence on the beauty industry, it is easy to see why products gain traction so quickly as they hit the social circuit. According to Mintel, 53% of young women use YouTube to learn new makeup and beauty techniques and to discover the latest trends and products.
The accessible nature of content on platforms like YouTube and Tik Tok makes for a community that shares tips and finds and tests products for it’s viewers, these often include highlighting how to save money with big brand ‘dupes’ or cheap wonder-product finds.
YouTuber Safiya Nygaard’s post titled ‘Trying $1 Makeup from Wish’ has almost 18 million views. These types of videos and online communities are shining a light on cheap products in a way magazines and other marketing methods do not. Making for a very modern way of word of mouth marketing.
It is clear that consumers are looking to affordable beauty brands for their everyday favourites and are integrating these into their routines, even if they are not strictly on a budget. Edited suggests that the way Korean beauty was embraced by the masses supports this with the mainstream adoption of the idea of a fuss-free, low priced but high-quality beauty regime.
With drug stores and supermarkets long standing titans of the affordable beauty movement, it seems time to make way for the fashion retailers. Brands such as Zara and H&M have launched their own lines of affordable makeup and beauty products and it is an area many would be smart to explore.
Fast fashion faces its own scrutiny for a number of social and environmental production choices, whereas affordable beauty faces its own challenges but are somewhat easier to navigate. Retailers should look to beauty as an opportunity to deliver out trend-driven, accessible products that inherently invite fewer questions and concerns. Products to keep up with the ever-evolving online beauty trends and that encourage experimentation and quality results without breaking the bank. It seems highly likely that we will see far more affordable beauty brands popping up in our favourite high-street retailers in the coming months.
With so many affordable options to choose from, navigating the budget beauty scene and finding products that actually work can be a challenge. Here is a list of some affordable favourites that stand the test of time and always make a reappearance in our makeup bags at some point, plus at under £30, they won’t eat into your holiday fund!
Staying true to its name, this liquid lipstick really does stay on super well. It creates a flawless lip that withstands food, drink and all of your other daily endeavours without feeling tight or drying on the lips. In ten luscious shades, you’ll be sure to find your perfect fit.
If the soap brow trend is all youve been able to think about since you first discovered it, then this one’s for you. After selling a number of other cheap beauty brands on their site, Missguided finally launched their own. This styling balm with a spoolie applicator creates long-lasting groomed brows that don’t budge. Perfect to set your style or to create that fluffy, brushed-up laminated brow look.
NYX really is the affordable brand that has it all and this fan favourite never misses. This refillable highlight and contour palette allows you to define your features like a true professional. With eight customizable shades, it is suitable for all skin tones and is perfect for creating a sculpted look that is bang on trend, move over Kim K!
This award winning, crease proof, liquid concealer provides 16-hour full coverage with a matte finish for the most flawless, camera-ready complexion. Available in 26 different shades with a variety of undertones, this holy-grail concealer will continue to make an appearance in makeup bags everywhere.
If you’re on the hunt for an affordable palette to create your go-to nude eye, look no further. This adorably packaged palette offers a delicious selection of matte and shimmer shades with deep chocolate browns and delicate caramels. Plus, if you’re looking for a more colourful approach, there’s a whole collection of confectionary themed palettes to sink your teeth into.