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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

That time of year has dawned upon students again. Your loan is almost gone, rent is due and worst of all, you’re running out of all that expensive make-up you treated yourself to at the beginning of term. Since your parents have suspiciously stopped answering your phone calls it may be time to swap the Smashbox for a bit of Miss Sporty. Well, sort of. Here are my top picks for cheap make-up alternatives for the starving student. 

Benefit Brow Zings – £24.50

Sleek Make-up Brow Kit – Light or Dark – £8.50

These eyebrow kits both contain a waxy-type substance for colouring, powder for setting and a pair of teeny tweezers. These products eliminate the risk of you getting the dreaded ‘drawn on’ look – leaving you with Delevingne-esque brows.  Having used both, I can honestly say the Sleek kit is just as good. It goes on smoothly and lasts for hours.

Mac TWIG lipstick – £15.50

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss 08  – £5.50

There really is no comparison to the matte finish and full coverage of a good Mac lipstick. My go-to colour is always somewhere in the nude/dark-pink family,

specifically Twig. This colour is a must-have for my friends and I, as it seems to look good on every skin tone. But for those of you who can’t splurge, Rimmel has come up with a substitute. Whilst it may not last for just as long, 08 has proven to bless my pout with nearly the exact same colour for a fraction of the price!

Urban Decay Naked Palette – £37.00

MUA Palette Undress Me Too – £4.00

Eye shadow can give a girl that extra something on a night out without looking like you’re trying too hard. The Naked Palette has 12 shades from Virgin to Gunmetal, but coming to almost £40 – who needs it! Whilst the MUA palette may not include fancy names, I assure you that their 12 shades are virtually identical!

It costs almost 10 times less, so how can anyone resist?

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil – £2.00


Rimmel comes to the beauty rescue again with this eyebrow pencil. It comes in a variety of shades and with a handy eyebrow brush for those girls in a rush (excuse the rhyme). Being the cheapest item on this list, I urge you to ignore the pricey competitors as this pencil simply gets the job done. 

Take the bargain mentality of this list with caution. Not all cheap make-up works as well as these items. Whilst I will refrain from naming and shaming brands, I have had one too many pharmacy foundation nightmares. Now I reside proudly as a self-confessed Bobbi Brown addict, and have yet to discover an inexpensive equivalent. A girls got to spoil herself every now and again after all.


Soraya Ali

Image Source:

1) http://www.superdrug.com/Sleek/Sleek-Makeup-Brow-Kit-Light/p/282828#.VGvVXle5aDQ

2) http://www.gordonsdirect.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/0/8/08.jpg

3) http://www.muastore.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/451×451/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/u/n/muastore_undressed-closed.jpg

4) http://images.ulta.com/is/image/Ulta/2101445?$detail$