Hello! I was recently set a challenge by VoucherCodes.co.uk (it’s called the SOS Beauty Box Project, incase you’ve seen it on some other blogs too!) to find the best concealer, lipstick and mascara out of three price categories: £20 and under, £10 and under and £5 and under. As my makeup bag is on the higher end of the spectrum (especially since I had a clear out!), I was very keen to see how the high street compared to their more expensive counterparts. I’ll break it down into mini reviews, a rating and an overall verdict for each product.
First up is lipstick. I tried to go for similar velvet formulas so I could compare them better!
Under £5 – Sleek Makeup True Colour Lipstick in Coral Reef | I have two of these Sleek lipsticks already so I knew what I was expecting when testing this one out. It’s a lovely bright coral shade and does leave a fairly opaque look after a few swipes. It lasts a reasonably long time for the price, but the downside for me is that it clings to every tiny dry patch on your lips so you really have to scrub/moisturise well before using it. 6/10
Under £10 – Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Framboujoise | A much talked about release from the brand, the Velvet Edition Lipsticks sound wonderful on paper, but similarly to the above, I found them rather clingy. One thing I do like is the colour I picked, it’s a lovely bright raspberry shade which fades to leave a nice stain instead of the usual ring around the edges of your lips. They’re nice, but I’m not 100% sure they’re worth the hype. 6.5/10
Under £20 – Lancome L’Absolu Velours Velvet Matte Lip Colour in 373 | I hadn’t actually heard much about this release, but I do really love it. It’s a bright fuchsia pink which glides over lips, making them feel comfortable and smooth without drying them out too much. The colour stays vibrant for hours and it is a lovely product to wear. I’m not 100% sure it’s worth the price, as it’s quite expensive, but it was the most best one for me! 8/10
Final Verdict | While each product did have their plus points, the Lancome offering was the smoothest and most comfortable the wear. As someone who has quite chapped lips (no matter how much lip balm!) I need something to cover them and make my lips look more perfected, while offering colour longevity and a product that I don’t need to think if it still looks ok after an hour. If you don’t have an issue with drier lips, then the Bourjois offering is probably perfect for you, or if you’re restricted budget-wise then the Sleek lipstick is definitely one to look at.
Next are concealers. As someone with fairly dark circles (read: I look permanently exhausted) under my eyes, I always opt for a fairly heavy duty concealer to help me look less like a corpse. So, I picked three that are supposed to do just that.
Under £5 ( well £5.49 but shh) – Seventeen Phwoarr Paint in Fair | I was excited to try this as on first swatch it seemed quite comparable to my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer. The ‘light’ shade is very light, so will suit those with very fair skin (I’m a NC15 in MAC) which was good as I always look for a lighter under-eye shade. It’s very thick, but once warmed up a little it does melt onto the skin and covers well. It didn’t completely conceal my dark circles, but as I was testing it without a corrector, I didn’t expect it to. You do need to powder over this concealer though, as it is very creamy so will crease throughout the day! Overall, I’m really impressed! 8/10
Under £10 – Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer in Light | Another product I was looking forward to trying, as I like how it comes with a lighter concealer shade for under eyes, a more yellow toned concealer for the face and a powder with an applicator. It would be really handy for travelling or someone looking for an all-in-one kind of product! The under-eye shade is slightly pinky, which is good for counteracting the blue tones in dark circles. Similarly to the Seventeen offering, it’s creamy but does a really good job of covering and blends nicely. I feel like the powder supplied is quite heavy (or maybe I just used too much!) and can look cakey when applied over the top, but overall I’m pleased! 7.5/10
Under £20 – Origins Plantscription Concealer in Light | I’ve had my eye on this since Alix from I Covet Thee recommended it on her YouTube. It’s a liquid concealer and supposed to offer fairly decent coverage. But, I was left slightly unimpressed with this concealer in terms of coverage and concealing my dark circles. It just didn’t really do anything by itself, over corrector it was only slightly better so I’m quite disappointed overall! It’s ok around the face, but alone it’s just an average concealer. 5/10
Final Verdict | Although I was disappointed by the Origins Concealer, I will say that it works well layered ontop of one of the other two concealers. By itself I was let down, but using it as a top layer did help. I did really like the other two, the Seventeen is much thicker than the Soap & Glory, but they concealed dark circles well which is great for the price!
Finally, onto mascara. My eyes feel naked without it and, as my lashes are naturally quite long, I tend to opt for a thickening formula and like them to be more on the dramatic side.
Under £5 – Rimmel Extra Super Lash in Black | This mascara has left me firmly in the undecided camp. It’s not a great mascara but it’s not a bad mascara either. It’s just mediocre, which can kind of be expected for the price I suppose. It doesn’t offer a huge amount of length or volume or anything really, just an average mascara which would probably be good as a backup! 5/10
Under £10 – L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara in Black | There was a fair bit of hype surrounding this mascara when it was released, but, as the verdict was quite divided, I’ve found myself on the more disappointed side of the spectrum. It is very black, which is good, but left my lashes looking really spidery and clumpy which was far from ideal! It does lengthen them a little, but overall it’s disappointing in my opinion and certainly didn’t leave them as lovely as the advert suggests! 5/10
Under £20 – Clinique High Impact Extreme Mascara in Black | I just want to start by outright saying I adore this mascara. From first use I was so impressed with how thick and black it made my lashes and the lasting power was amazing too. It doesn’t look clumpy and really ticks all the boxes in terms of lengthening, thickening and adding a bit of a dramatic effect to lashes which is what I look for. It’s an all round amazing mascara and one I will definitely repurchase! 9/10
Final Verdict | As you can probably tell, the Clinique mascara is by far my favourite and may take up HG status next to my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear Lengthening Mascara. I was slightly sad about how much I didn’t get on with the L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara, as I had such high hopes for it!
So, in conclusion, two high end products and two (if you include loving both concealers) lower end products came out top in my opinion. I really enjoyed testing out all of these products and was surprised at just how comparable some ‘drugstore’ brand were to their higher end counterparts. Have you tried any of these products? Or should I do more posts like these?
Fancy a read? See Fashion Notebook and Just Jessica!
Some of these items might have been sent to me for review purposes, see my full disclaimer here.