A little while ago I was asked to get involved with a really fun project by Voucher Codes called the SOS Box. They asked me to send them a list of nine products; lipsticks, concealers and mascaras all of which needed to fall into the price categories of £5 or less, £10 or less and £20 or less to create the ultimate beauty box. Here’s a look at what I picked and which product won in each category:
I thought I’d start with the category I would scrutinise most, which is the mascaras. I picked Maybelline Great Lash for the Save category, Soap and Glory Thick & Fast for the Spend category and Origins GinZeng. Interestingly, the Origins one left the least impressive result as it didn’t do much other than add a bit on enhancement which is fine if that’s the look you’re going for, but I love a big lash. I was expecting more from the Maybelline Great Lash as it’s got such a reputation and I used it years ago as a firm favourite, but it just didn’t blow my mind. Therefore by default the Soap and Glory Thick & Fast wins; it was definitely the best of the bunch and it provided a solid, black pigment and quite a bit of a volume.
Winner: Soap and Glory Thick & Fast – £10 here
The concealers were a fun category as I got to try products I hadn’t had the chance to before. I went for the Maybelline Cover Stick for my Save category again, the Sleek Makeup Corrector and Concealer Palette for my Spend and Clinique’s Even Better Concealer for my Splurge category. I used all products on both blemishes and under the eyes to give them all a fair trial and interestingly I’d say they all performed the same on both areas. The Maybelline Cover Stick was a good all-rounder that was the right consistency and just creamy enough for all concealing needs. The Sleek palette was a very good budget kit that allows you to custom blend to get the perfect, natural finish and the Clinique’s Even Better was the sheerest of the lot, but I liked the fact that it contains Vitamin C to work on pigmentation. I’d really struggle to pick a winner as they all performed well, but if pushed I’d say the Clinique Even Better just beat the others, purely because of the inclusion of skincare goodies; I love the idea of a product that’s working to correct issues whilst concealing them.
Winner: Clinique Even Better Concealer – £18 here – link.
Lastly we have the lipstick category, which was probably the most fun of the three! My choices were Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Candy Cane for Save, L’Oreal L’Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick in Rose Symphony for my Spend and Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey for my splurge. I’ll start with the Sleek lipstick which was the most glorious shade of a pink, cherry red, but it felt quite drying and didn’t stay on the lips very long. However, it’s worth noting that it’s a very bright shade and they are notoriously high maintenance. The L’Oreal Liquid Lipstick is fab; the colour was gorgeous, I love the application and it stays surprisingly well and fades evenly. I’ve been gagging to try the Black Honey shade of Clinique Almost Lipstick for ages as it’s got such a reputation for being a suits-all shade, plus the Almost Lipsticks are beautiful and it’s fair to say that it delivered on everything; lovely shade (although very brown!), lovely finish and wonderful formula. The winner is definitely L’Oreal’s Liquid Lipstick for being an extremely fabulous product that I will use repeatedly.
Winner: L’Oreal L’Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick – £8.99 here – link.
It seems to be mostly the mid-range products that I got on best with, although I think it all very much depends on the product. I think there are some amazing budget brands, just as there are some rubbish luxury brands, plus one girl’s trash is another’s treasure.
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